Early School History
Around 1884, Alhambra citizens saw the need for their own school. Two elections failed, largely because of the powerful resistance of the San Gabriel School District. Alhambrans then petitioned for a partitioning of the district and agreed to placate the San Gabriel District by giving San Gabriel a school at Vega and Main. Old Mill Creek became the dividing line on the east, with a deviation that gave San Gabriel the school.
The new principal Sebastian Shaw and the Alhambra students set up classes in an old redwood cabin on property on South Chapel near Beacon Street. A fire hydrant across the furrowed field on Garfield Avenue provided drinking water for the school. When the roof caught fire one day, the children used their dinner pails to bring water to douse the blaze. A $10,000 bond election was passed to build a school and a site was purchased for $175 at Garfield and Alhambra Road. There a four-room, two-story frame building was constructed.
In September 1887, the school opened with 27 elementary and high school students. A Mrs. E. Jones was the teacher and principal. The cornerstone for the current location of Alhambra High School was laid in April of that year. Alhambra High School opened in 1898, between Second and Third Streets, south of Main Street.
Current enrollment at AHS is over 2800 students, in this ethnically-mixed school district, Alhambra High School is one of the three comprehensive high schools. Extensive curriculum offerings encompass Reading for remedial instruction, to Advanced Placement courses in six departments, including English composition, Calculus, Environmental science, Physics, Chemistyr, Biology, American Government/Civics, United States History, World History, Art History, Japanese and Spanish and Psychology.
A majority of the campus was rebuilt in the 1960′s, the C and D buildings were completed 10 years ago. Last year the new S building featuring 10 state of the art science laboratories opened
In early 2007, Alhambra High School was one of a select few public high schools in California to be awarded a distinguished Great Schools Rating of 8 out of 10. In addition, AHS is currently ranked as a Silver Medal Award winner by US News and World Report tops American High Schools.
Alhambra has a storied athletic tradition. For more information check out our numerous championships or the Alhambra Athletics Hall of Fame A few of the highlights include:
Football: 2002, 2006
Baseball: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
AHS has an award winning Drill Team, Orchesis Dance Team, and All Male Dance team; all under the supervision of Mrs. Crawford.
The marching band has grown under the direction of Mr Mark Trulson. It competes in numerous street, field and musical competitions each year. The Mighty Moor Marching Band was selected to march in the 2009 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, the first time a band from Alhambra has been in the parade in 40 years. Additional offering in music include the Moor Singers and the award winning Tri-City Orchestra.
The Alhambra Council and State PTA sponsor an art contest, Reflections in which students are given a “theme” and art projects including drawing and painting, music, dance, writing and photography are submitted based on that theme. Course offerings include ceramics, drawing and painting, dance and multiple levels of photography.
Speech and Debate
Alhambra High School is a team on the rise in speech and debate and is starting to solidify its place as a yearly force in both the local and national levels. After the 2010-11 season the team was ranked second overall in both the Southern California Debate League and in the East Los Angeles District. It finished ranked 35th overall nationally.
On the wall of Room 225 at Alhambra High School, there is a plaque that every member of the newspaper recognizes: The Ted Tajima award recognizing excellence in student journalism. From 1948 to 1983 Tajima served as advisor to Alhambra High’s Moor Newspaper.
“To his students, he was “T” or “Mr. T,” a man of inspiration and exacting standards. He spent his entire teaching career at the school,” the Los Angeles Times reports in an obituary that ran Sunday. “Under his tutelage the student newspaper had a decades-long run as one of the best in the country.”
Today the AHS newspaper continues its award winning tradition under the guidance of Mr Padilla. The Moor publishes both traditionally and electronically.
AHS supported an Academic Decathlon team since 1992. For the last three years the team has qualified for state and placed within Division II and in Super Quiz. In addition, the team has not placed out of LACOE top 12 for the past 15 years. Team highlights include the 2010-2011 2nd place state finish of Bob Qian.
AHS has supported a Science Olympiad team since 1993. AHS has qualified for state 3 times.
AHS Biomedical program has produced more finalists in the Westinghouse/Intel science competition than any other school west of the Mississippi. Students work with researchers and doctors in universities and hospitals settings and have numerous publications and County Science Fair awards.
H. George Anderson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Bob Boyd, former college basketball player and coach for the University of Southern California
Leo Carroll, NFL football player
Kevin Cheng, Chinese Actor
Dean Cundey, Award-winning Director of Photography
John C. England, US Navy officer who was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Stan Freberg, voice actor
Hardie Gramatky, watercolorist
Sam Hanks, winner of the 1957 Indianapolis 500 and inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 1981.
Richard Hatem, 1984, Screenwriter and Producer
Darrall Imhoff, former NBA player, Olympic Gold Medalist
James Jannard, businessman
Jonathan Ke Quan, Vietnamese-American actor
Ralph Kiner Former Major League Baseball player and MLB Hall of Fame member.
Aaron Krach, novelist, artist, magazine editor
Dorothy Howell Rodham, homemaker and mother of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lewis Sargentich, legal scholar at Harvard Law School
Tex Schramm, former manager of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
Cheryl Tiegs, model
Mickey Thompson, racecar driver
Jim Tunney, American football official, author, motivational speaker
Martin Vasquez, former soccer player and coach
Dick Wallen, UCLA football All-American, recipient of the 1957 W.J. Voit Memorial Trophy
Max West, professional baseball player
Verne Winchell, businessman