Arcadia High School (California)

Arcadia High School is a four-year comprehensive secondary school located on a 40-acre (16 ha) site in Arcadia, California, United States. It is part of the Arcadia Unified School District.

Arcadia High School
Arcadia High School logo.jpg
Arcadia High School is located in California
Arcadia High School
Arcadia High School
Arcadia High School is located in the United States
Arcadia High School
Arcadia High School
180 Campus Drive


United States
CoordinatesCoordinates: 34°07′50″N 118°02′13″W / 34.130563°N 118.036852°W / 34.130563; -118.036852
MottoA Symbol of Honor and Pride
School districtArcadia Unified School District
PrincipalAngie Dillman
Number of students3,385 (2016–17)[1]
School color(s)Cardinal and gold
AthleticsColorguard, football, marching band, baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, pep flags, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo
Athletics conferenceCIF Southern Section Pacific League

The high school was opened in 1952. The incoming freshman classes consist of students that feed in from Arcadia's three middle schools: First Avenue Middle School, Richard Henry Dana Middle School, Foothills Middle School.

It is among the few public high schools in California to receive a distinguished Great Schools Rating of 9 out of 10.[2] In 2010, BusinessWeek ranked Arcadia as the best place to raise children in the state of California for the second year in a row, citing the city's school system and its low crime rate.[3]

The school has a teaching staff of 148. Four hold doctorate degrees, and 110 have master's degrees.[4] The administrative staff consists of the principal, four assistant principals, and one dean of students. A staff of eight full-time and two part-time counselors hold master's degrees and Pupil Personnel Service Credentials, with two of the counselors licensed Marriage/Family/Child Counselors.[4] Arcadia High School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and received another six-year accreditation in June 2017.


Arcadia High School (2012)

Arcadia was once part of the Spanish Empire and part of a 21-square-mile (54 km2) area called Rancho Santa Anita.[5] In 1845, Hugo Reid, a pioneer from Scotland, bought Rancho Santa Anita from Governor Pio Pico.[6] Through the years, several early settlers occupied Rancho Santa Anita. In 1875, Elias Jackson "Lucky" Baldwin bought the land. The city of Arcadia's destiny was entwined with the fortunes of Baldwin, who expanded his property holdings to 63,000 acres (255 km2) in the San Gabriel Valley. Baldwin went on to oversee Arcadia's incorporation in 1903 and became the city's first mayor. The Arcadia School District came to be at the same time as the incorporation of Arcadia in 1903.[6]

In 1950, the high school students of Arcadia, Duarte, and Monrovia attended the same high school, "Monrovia Arcadia Duarte High School", more often called "MAD High". In 1951, with a fast-growing population, a bond measure that called for the construction on a new high school in Arcadia was proposed. After its passage, workers began construction and Arcadia High welcomed its first freshman and sophomore classes in September 1952. However, many students had to attend their first year of high school at First Avenue, the oldest school in Arcadia, erected in 1903. The new buildings were built in the next two years and by the 1954 school year, all high school students in Arcadia were together at Arcadia High.[6]

About 1975, the closed-campus policy and the dress code were discontinued. The change was influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court decision Tinker v. Des Moines, which stated that students do not "shed their constitutional rights... at the school house door." That year the student population of Arcadia High reached it highest population at about 3,300 students.[6] For the first time, students also were granted representation on the school board. They gained the right to elect a representative to attend school board meetings and speak for the student body.[6]

In the 1980s, enrollment had decreased considerably to about 2,200 students, largely due to the aging demographic in Arcadia. Since then, enrollment has rapidly increased. In the 1990s, the demographics of the school dramatically changed.[6]

The Apache Marching Band has won 30 major championships and has marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade sixteen times.

A$218 million bond measure was passed on the November 7, 2006, election ballot for the purpose of upgrading and repairing Arcadia schools. A large part of local property taxes are absorbed by the state, and Arcadia is the lowest funded unified school district in Los Angeles County.[7] A new Student Services Center provides a grand entrance to the high school on Campus Drive. The two-story structure includes general and special education classrooms, three computer labs, a television studio, graphic design and digital photography classrooms, and the high school's career center and health, counseling and administrative offices. The brick and glass exterior finish visibly blends with other elements of the campus. Ground was broken in the summer of 2008.[7]

The Science Center is located on the south side of the campus on Duarte Road. The two-story center includes chemistry labs with preparation areas and collegiate-style biology and physics classrooms separated by lecture rooms.[7]

The 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) Arcadia High School Performing Arts Center anchors the campus at the northwest corner. The center has ground level and mezzanine seating for 1,200, and a stage that accommodate 150 musicians. The building contains a smaller theater, orchestra and dance rooms, and an internal courtyard. The Performing Arts Center construction began in 2010[7] and opened in October 2012. "This will be the first venue of its kind for the district and the community," said district Superintendent Joel Shawn.[8]


In the late 1990s, Native American activists[who?] threatened to sue Arcadia High School over its use of the "Apache" mascot.[9] These Native American activists and many Arcadia community members viewed the high school's use of Native American symbols, including an "Apache Joe" mascot, the Pow Wow school newspaper, the "Apache News" television program, the "Smoke Signals" news bulletin boards, the school's auxiliary team's marching "Apache Princesses" and opposing football team fans' "Scalp the Apaches" signs as being offensive. The school consulted with Native American groups and made some concessions but did not change the mascot. Some residents of Arcadia, who are former students at the school and have Native American ancestry, do not take offense to the school's use of these symbols.[citation needed] Arcadia High School has established a relationship with the White Mountain Apaches and sponsors an annual charity drive to aid needy members of their community.[10]


  • U.S. News & World Report Gold Star school 2012[11]
  • A national-placing Ocean Sciences Bowl Team (1st place in 2013)[12]
  • The Marching Band and Color Guard was selected to perform in the nationally televised 2019 Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade[13]


Arcadia High's 19 Advanced Placement (AP) courses include: AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Computer Science, AP United States History, AP United States Government, AP Comparative Government, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics C, AP Spanish Language, AP Spanish Literature, AP Chinese Language, AP French Language, AP Japanese Language, AP Music Theory, and AP Art History.[4]


The gym at Arcadia High School.
The track at Arcadia High School.

Arcadia High School is governed by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section as a member of the Pacific League. Its athletic mascot is the Apache and its colors are cardinal and gold. The Apache boys compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo. The Apache girls compete in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. There is a pep squad with Song, Cheer, and Pep flags. Arcadia's main rival is Crescenta Valley High School. Both teams often contend for the League Championship.

Arcadia teams often qualify for the CIF playoffs. In 2005, boys' soccer was a finalist in the Division III CIF playoffs. The girls track team has lost two dual meets in the last four years and regularly send athletes to CIF Finals. More recently, the girls soccer team has won 7 consecutive league titles and had back to back trips to the CIF Quarter Finals for girls soccer.

Cross country, and track and fieldEdit

The boys' cross country team were placed 3rd, 7th, 8th, 4th, 3rd, 1st, 2nd and 1st in the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 California Interscholastic Federation CIF-State Cross Country Championships in Division I, respectively. They were led by renowned head coach Jim O'Brien.[14][15]

In 2005 they qualified for the state championship for the first time in school history. They placed third overall and earned a spot on the state podium. In 2006, Arcadia went to the Nike Team Nationals Championship open race where Andrew Pilavjian led the way for the Apaches as the ninth fastest American runner on the day where he placed seventh in the open race and fourteenth overall (open and invitational races combined, including Kenyan national runners).

In 2008, the team placed fourth in Division I at the state championships and came in second in the Open (non-invitational) race behind Kenya at Nike Team Nationals. Renaud Poizat led the team at the state championship with a fifth place showing. They then placed third at the state championship in 2009, losing by a narrow margin of just 12 points. In 2010, the team took first place at Nike Team Nationals and set a new record for the lowest team time in history. The team remained undefeated the entire season and broke the California state record. Arcadia senior cross country star Ammar Mousa was named the Gatorade boys' cross country runner of the year in California for a second straight year in 2011. As defending state champions in 2011, Arcadia came up short of back-to-back state championships where they placed 2nd, however did end up placing fourth at the national championships. They were led by individual state champion Sergio Gonzalez.

In 2012, the boys cross country team won another state championship, led by Estevan De La Rosa. They went on to win the Nike Cross National Championships.[16]

The Boys Track team has also been successful from 2005, winning over 90% of its meets and three league championships in a row, (2005–07). In 2009, Arcadia track became the first team in the Pacific League to be undefeated on every level. The boys and girls frosh and boys and girls varsity were unbeaten. 44-0. 2009 was the 4th league championship for Arcadia varsity boys track in five years. The girls varsity has repeated as league champion for a third straight year (07-09). Coach Doug Speck was inducted into the Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame at Mt. San Antonio College in 2009.[17]

Arcadia is known for its Arcadia Invitational, the largest high school track meet in the nation.[18] The meet has witnessed high school records being broken and has featured future Olympians Quincy Watts, Steve Lewis, Danny Everett, Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Gail Devers, Mike Powell, Michael Marsh, Marion Jones, Allyson Felix, Monique Henderson, Deena Kastor, Michelle Perry, Alan Webb, Cathy Freeman from Australia, Bryshon Nellum and other athletic stars such as USC and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, George Farmer, De'Anthony Thomas, George Atkins III, and Remontay McClain.[19]

Academic TeamsEdit

Arcadia is home to several academic teams, including the Constitution Team, Quiz Bowl, Destination Imagination, Mathematics Team, Physics Team, Science Olympiad, National Science Bowl, National Ocean Sciences Bowl, Mock Trial Team, Speech and Debate Team, Solar Cup, Academic Decathlon, and National History Bowl.

Recent achievements:

  • In 2011 the school won first place at the National Science Bowl, JPL Regional Competition.[20]
  • In 2010 the school won first place at the National Science Bowl, JPL Regional Competition.[21]
  • In 2013 Arcadia High School won first place at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Regional Competition at JPL, and first place in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[12]
  • In 2010 Arcadia High School won first place at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Regional Competition[22]
  • In 2010 Arcadia High School Constitution Team earned the California State Championship title.[23] In April 2010, Arcadia High School's Constitution Team was declared the national champion of the We The People competition.[24]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit


The school has traditionally had two show choirs: New Spirit, an all-girls' show choir, and Chanteurs, a mixed show choir. Chanteurs and New Spirit have been around for 59 and 35 years, respectively, as of 2011. Both groups have earned the highest honors in competitions throughout Southern California, maintaining their ranks as two of the top show choirs in their years running.

The choral program includes a Concert Choir, which consists of male and female choral singers performing classical pieces, and a Treble Choir, which consists of lower classmen female singers learning to sing in a choir setting. The Arcadia High School choral department also hosts the annual Pow Wow Show Choir Invitational. The Arcadia Choral Department was directed by Mr. Rollie Maxson, director for over 20 years, who retired in 2010. Mr. Rick England is now the choir director.

Starting with the 2012–2013 School Year, Arcadia High School will have two mixed show choirs "Chanteurs" (Advanced Mixed) and "Harmonix" (Intermediate Mixed). With the creation of an Intermediate Mixed show choir ("Harmonix") at Arcadia High School, the women's group New Spirit has been dissolved.


Arcadia's Colorguard competes at the World Class level and the scholastic A level. At world championships Arcadia World Guard has placed 5th in 2005, and 3rd in 2006, 2007, and 2013. Its World Guard has won gold at Southern California Championships numerous times.

Concert BandEdit

Concert Band is divided into three levels: Band I, Band II, and Band III. Band I consists of freshman. Band II is divided into two classes due to its size: Brass and Woodwinds, and consists of all players who are not freshmen and not in Band III. Band III is the selective top-level Concert Band, with an audition requirement to enter.


The orchestra has competed in the Heritage Festivals in Orlando, San Francisco and San Diego and winning first place in all three divisions for their three orchestras. The orchestra, like the Concert Band, is divided into three levels: Orchestra I, Orchestra II, and Orchestra III. Orchestra III has an annual audition process, selecting those who qualify for next years group.

Instrumental MusicEdit

The instrumental music department draws from strong music programs at Arcadia middle schools. The music department consists of groups such as the Marching band, Orchestra, Color Guard, Open and World Percussion.

The Marching Band has over 300 members. The Arcadia Apache Marching Band consists of the band, the color guard and the percussion. The band has marched in the Rose Parade in nearby Pasadena sixteen times, most recently in 2017. They have also marched in venues as the Gator Bowl parade and the 44th Presidential Inaugural Parade. Arcadia has held the annual Arcadia Festival of Bands since 1954.

Performing artsEdit

Arcadia has a drama program, a dance/prop production program (Colorguard) who has placed third in the nation twice, a dance program, an advanced dance company (Orchesis), four choirs and a large instrumental music program. The Arcadia High School Theatre Department won first place in the High School Intermediate Category for its ensemble performance of Oklahoma!. Competing with schools from all over the United States, they secured the first-place trophy in February 2012.[25] In 2013, the Arcadia High School Theatre Department took home the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California (DTASC) Sweepstakes Trophy. Out of 66 schools throughout Southern California, Arcadia High School won the most first place awards ranking them in first place for the overall sweepstakes award.[26]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Arcadia High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Arcadia High School – School overview". GreatSchools. May 22, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Best Places to Raise Your Kids: 2010: California". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. November 9, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Profile 2012–2013" (PDF). Arcadia High School. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "History Of Arcadia". City of Arcadia, CA. Archived from the original on October 21, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Dr. Richard W. Cordano. "Brief History of Arcadia High School". Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d "Welcome to the Arcadia Unified School District – Arcadia Schools FAQ and Informational Brochures". November 7, 2006. Archived from the original on October 12, 2006. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "New performing arts center now taking shape in Arcadia". July 25, 2011. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  9. ^ Abram, Susan (October 28, 1997). "More Than a Mascot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  10. ^ Burch, Matt (April 25, 2011). "Whiz Kid of the Week: Anne Wu". Patch. SCAC (Student Council Apache Commission)...protects and makes sure the school symbol, the Apaches, is used appropriately. The group also hosts money and clothing drives for the White Mountain Apaches in Arizona. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  11. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2012". Newsweek. May 20, 2012. Archived from the original on May 21, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2013 – via The Daily Beast.
  12. ^ a b "2013 NOSB Finals". Milwaukee, WI: National Ocean Sciences Bowl. April 2013. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  13. ^ "Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade". Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  14. ^ Patrick, Dick (June 27, 2013). "Why a Top High School Coach Was Fired". Runner's World. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  15. ^ Gerweck, Jim (September 17, 2011). "Arcadia High School: Preaching the Gospel". Runner's World. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Manlius and Arcadia High School XC Clubs Win Nike Cross Nationals Titles". Nike Cross Nationals Official Site. December 1, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  17. ^ "Hall of Fame-Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational". Mt. San Antonio College. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  18. ^ [1] Archived April 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Arcadia Invitational". Arcadia Invitational. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  20. ^ Arcadia High School Wins Regional Science Bowl, archived from the original on February 2, 2011, retrieved January 24, 2011
  21. ^ National Science Bowl, JPL Regional Competition – February 20, 2010, retrieved April 24, 2010
  22. ^ National Ocean Sciences Bowl Regional Competition – March 6, 2010., retrieved April 24, 2010
  23. ^ "Arcadia Constitution team makes it to national competition in Washington D.C.", Pasadena Star-News, archived from the original on February 29, 2012, retrieved April 24, 2010
  24. ^ Center for Civic Education: National Winners' Awards., archived from the original on May 1, 2010, retrieved May 1, 2010
  25. ^ "Arcadia High Tops the Nation with its First {{subst:lc:Place}} Win at the Musical Theatre Competition of America". Monrovia Weekly. February 16, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  26. ^ "Arcadia High School Theatre Department Wins The DTASC Sweepstakes Trophy". Arcadia Weekly. May 6, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  27. ^ "Bruce Bochte Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  28. ^ "Marianne Gravatte | is now part of – Memory Lane". July 21, 2001. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  29. ^ US Baseball Academy Web Team (November 16, 2010). "4 Former MLB Players Got Their Start at Los Angeles area Arcadia High School – Baseball Camp | US Baseball Academy". Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  30. ^ "Steve Kemp Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  31. ^ Lieber, Jill (September 10, 1990). "Keep It All in the Family: The Matthews brothers, Clay and Bruce, play and fight hard". Sports Illustrated Vault. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  32. ^ "Arcadia High School ROCK Legends". Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  33. ^ "Mark Smith Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  34. ^ "Van Halen (Michael Anthony) Arcadia High School ROCK Legends". June 20, 1954. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  35. ^[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit