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Oakland High School (California)

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Title: Oakland High School (California)  
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Subject: Jack London, Oakland, California, Edwin Meese, Julia Morgan, Chick Gandil, Annie Montague Alexander, Yōsuke Matsuoka, Marsha Hunt (singer and novelist), George Pardee, Franklin Knight Lane
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Oakland High School (California)

Coordinates: 37°48′17.58″N 122°14′10.43″W / 37.8048833°N 122.2362306°W / 37.8048833; -122.2362306

Oakland High School
Motto "In Virtue Summum Bonum Ponamus" (In virtue we place the highest good.)
Established 1869
Type Public
Principal Anisa Rasheed (Interim)
Students 1875
Grades 9-12
Location 1023 MacArthur Boulevard,
Oakland, California, USA
District Oakland Unified School District
Colors Blue and White
Mascot Willy the Wildcat
Yearbook The Oaken Bucket
Newspaper The Aegis

Oakland Senior High School (also known as O-High and OHS) is a public high school in California. Established in 1869, it is the oldest high school in Oakland, California and the sixth oldest high school in the state.


Oakland High was first located at Twelfth and Market, then Twelfth and Jefferson. It has been in its current location at the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Park Boulevard since 1928. The building that stood before its current manifestation was known as the "Pink Prison" or "Pink Palace." The stairway leading up from Park Blvd is what remains of the exterior. The lamps in the commons are also original fixtures. What is now the football field and basketball courts was once classrooms and a huge theater. The school colors are blue and white.

The building was torn down in 1980 to be rebuilt as a safer structure in the event of a major earthquake.

A new football/soccer/baseball field was inaugurated in the spring of 2006. The football field is officially known as Jackie Jensen Field, while the baseball/softball field is dedicated to Mike Marcoulis, Sr., longtime coach and teacher.

The current interim principal is Anisa Rasheed. Assistant principals are Vinnie Blye, Tareyton Russ, and Shoshana Towers-Cabrera. Other official positions include: Tiago Robinson (Case Management), Kaprice Wilson (Truancy Reduction), Carlos Padilla (Head Counselor), Amy Dellefield (Student Activities Director), and Justin Booker (Athletic Director).

In the summer of 2008, renovations and rebuilding to the main building (as well in the former shop buildings) began and were completed in August 2011.


With over 1,800 students, 51% are Asian including students of Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Mien, and Laotian descent. Another 29% of students are African American, 16% of students are Latino or Hispanic, 1% are white and all other ethnicities make up less than 3%.

Class Colors

Freshmen: Purple
Sophomores: Orange
Juniors: Green
Seniors: Blue

Student life

Oakland High School boasts more than 40 student-run clubs and 24 sports offerings, from the Hip Hop Club to the Math Club and soccer to badminton, OHS has something for everyone. Oakland High is proud to offer three intra-school academies: the Environmental Sciences Academy, Visual Arts Magnet Program, and the Public Health Academy. Two new pathways, AVID and Project Lead the Way (engineering) are also popular with students. There is a thriving World Language department open to all students regardless of their Academy or Pathway interests which include Cantonese, French and Spanish. O-High is also renowned for its excellent Special Education program.


  • Chess Club
  • Close Up
  • Drama Club
  • Environmental Science Club
  • Club Francophone
  • Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Glee Club
  • Hip-Hop Club
  • Japanese Club (Go Club)
  • Peer Health Educators
  • Polynesian Club
  • Procrastinators Club
  • Sound and Light Crew
  • Upward Bound
  • Vietnamese Student Association
  • Water Polo Club


OHS offers many Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as 1 Honors (HP) course, and a wide array of interesting and challenging academic electives. In addition, there are many concurrent enrollment college courses offered from the Peralta Colleges after school.
The AP Test Site Coordinator for the school is Carlos Padilla.

HP Courses

  • English 3 HP
  • Physics HP

AP Courses

  • English Literature and Composition AP
  • English Language and Composition AP
  • Calculus AB AP
  • Calculus BC AP
  • Statistics AP


  • Biology AP
  • Chemistry AP
  • Environmental Science AP
  • French 4 AP
  • Spanish 4 AP
  • US History AP
  • World History AP

Test scores

For 2009, the school's API score was 629 out of a possible 1000 points.

English Mathematics Science History/Social
30% 17% 31% 15%


Visual Arts Academy Magnet Program (VAAMP)

VAAMP teaches student how to be creative and pique their interest in art. Led by Jackie "Ms. B" Marston and Keith "K-Dub" Williams, VAAMP is thriving with new young artists. VAAMP students painted the mural on Park Blvd., entitled "Beautiful Struggle". Featured in the middle is one of the greatest art teachers that ever set foot in OHS. Her name is Ms.Broussard, who has gone through some personal issues and has set a great example for each one of the VAAMPers so that we understand that we all need to live and love. Ms. Broussard has taught many students about what artists truly are.

Environmental Science Academy (ESA)

The Environmental Science Academy is run by Katharine Noonan and Kevin Jordan. ESA is usually known for high-achieving students and many field trips. Students are also given various tools to prepare for the future such as community service, college courses, School-to-Careers, etc. There are occasionally rafting and camping trips for ESA students. Trips include Catalina Island, Snow Trip (Juniors and Seniors Only), and a Senior Trip to either Costa Rica or Hawaii.

Sophomore ESA students usually have a core class consisting of Biology and Environmental Studies taught by either Noonan or Jordan. This class goes to Lake Merritt on a weekly basis to test the water and learn more about the environment. During their senior year, they are taught AP Environmental Science by their respective sophomore teacher.


In the 2008-2009 season, the Oakland High football team managed a 9-2 record, winning a co-league championship. The team this year will be led by several seniors who are being recruited by division-1 programs: Damante Horton, Charles Cobbs, Kelly Mitchell, Dylon Mafi, Edward Davis, and Earl Harris.

In the spring of 1998, 2007 and 2009, the badminton team defeated Skyline (the seven year defending champions) to become the OAL champions. They won the league with a record of 6 wins and 0 losses. Along with athletic talent, the Badminton team also maintained a very high average GPA, and were named Oakland High's 2007 Outstanding Spring Sports Team.

The Oakland High Catfish Swim Team is another of the many strong teams at OHS. The Catfish have roughly 40 people on the Varsity and JV teams. At the 2008 OAL finals, the Catfish defeated Skyline in both men's Varsity and JV, becoming OAL champions.

In the fall of 2007, the bowling team became OAL champions without a single loss.

Notable alumni

  • Anna Head (1874), Educator
  • George Cooper Pardee (1875), Governor of California, 1903–1907
  • Sylvia Gerrish (as Lillian Rollins), (1878), musical comedy actress
  • Franklin Knight Lane (1880), U.S. Secretary of Interior, 1913–1920
  • Henry A. Melvin (1884), California Supreme Court Justice, 1908–1920
  • Julia Morgan (1890), architect
  • Gertrude Stein (1892), Author
  • Judah Leon Magnes (1894), Chancellor/President Hebrew University, Jerusalem 1925-1948
  • Percy Weller Hall (1894), Cal Athletics Hall of Fame, Captain of 1898 Cal Bear Football team to defeat Stanford (22-0) for the first of two, consecutive victories (1899 33-0) to earn the Tilden Trophy and Statue, "The Football Players." Assistant coach and friend of Jackie Jensen, Bill Rigney, Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf and Brutus Hamilton.
  • Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1896), Industrial Engineer
  • Jack London 1896, writer
  • Yōsuke Matsuoka (1896), Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs during WW2
  • Chick Gandil (1906), baseball player
  • George J. Hatfield (1907), Lieutenant Governor of California, 1935–39
  • Walter Plunkett (1919), 1951 Academy Award for Costume Design for "An American in Paris"
  • Fay Lanphier (1924), Miss California, 1924 & 1925, Miss America, 1925
  • Ralph Edwards (1930), television producer
  • Carroll Borland (1931), Actress, Author, Professor of Education
  • Dudley Manlove (1931), Vaudeville, Radio and b-Movie Actor
  • Lee Gum Hong (1931), first Chinese-American to play organized baseball
  • Bill Rigney (1936), NY Giants player and first manager of the San Francisco Giants, 1956
  • Robert Nichols, actor[1]
  • Jackie Jensen 1945, Athlete, College Football Hall of Fame
  • Armand Mauss (1946), sociologist
  • Edwin Meese (1949), U.S. Attorney General, 1985–1988
  • Zoe Ann Olsen-Jensen (1949), Olympic diver - Silver, 1948; Bronze, 1952
  • Nellie Wong (1952), poet
  • David Carradine (1954), actor
  • Chris Burford (1955), NCAA Football Hall of Fame
  • Clark Miller (1955), NFL Football
  • Wayne Schneider (1955), CIF Football Coaches Hall of Fame
  • Mel Wong (1956), Choreographer, Dancer, Visual Artist
  • Stan Peters (1957), long-time Laney football coach
  • William Wong (1958), Journalist
  • Stanley Mazor (1959), engineer
  • George Nicholson (1959), Jurist
  • Ben Fong-Torres (1962), Journalist
  • Shirley Fong-Torres (1964), Chef, tour operator, and popular travel and food writer
  • Marsha Hunt (1964), singer and novelist
  • Denny Dent (1966), painter
  • Sherry Hu (1969), KPIX-5 (CBS) reporter
  • Sheila E., percussionist
  • Lloyd Moseby (1978), Major League baseball player
  • James A. O'Donnell (2004), NCAA Wrestler
  • Jabari Brown, Rivals Top 100 Basketball Player (2011)
  • Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Basketball Player

See also


External links

  • OHS Memorial Pages
  • Oakland High School
  • Wildcats Alumni Association - the official alumni association
  • Visual Arts Academy Magnet Program (VAAMP)
  • ESA

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