Editor’s Note: This timeline was researched and compiled by Jason Bezis, Livermore High School Alumnus (class of 1991) and former editor of El Vaquerito. Together with the historical photographs collected by the Livermore-Granada Boosters, this document chronicles not only the history of our school, but also the history of Livermore itself as well as the Bay Area. As such, this timeline serves to remind us that with age comes wisdom, and that the collected wisdom of 125 years lies here in the hallowed halls of our school — if we can but seek it out.
1891-1901: The Early Years
Benjamin Harrison was President of the United States. Czars ruled Russia. Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain. Japan was a relatively closed society. The world was a much different place in 1891, the year that Livermore High School, the first union high school in the state of California, opened in a rural town of 1400 people.
Before 1891, local students seeking education at a level higher than ninth grade attended the Livermore Collegiate Institute, the namesake of today’s College Avenue. The “Livermore College” opened in 1870 and served an average of 50 students per year until its closure in 1895. Since the College was a private school, pupils paid tuition. A major reason for the demise of the Livermore College was the establishment of Livermore High School, where district students received a free education.
The following is a chronicle of the history of Livermore High School, 1891 to 2017: by Jason Bezis.
1890 Assemblyman F.R. Fassett, a former Livermore elementary school teacher and principal, proposed a bill allowing the establishment of “union high school” districts. A union high is a consolidation of two or more elementary school districts that agree to share a common high school. This concept was to be especially beneficial to rural areas, such as Livermore, where each elementary district did not have a large enough population to financially sustain its own high school.
March 20, 1891 The state legislature approved the Union High School Act with a majority in both houses. Many credited its passage to Fassett’s persistent and convincing arguments. Because he was instrumental in the establishment of our own school, Fassett was known as the “Father of Livermore High School.”
The Union High School Act greatly affected secondary education in California. The number of high schools in the state increased from 24 in 1891 to 98, four years later.
April 4, 1891 Representatives from eleven eastern Alameda County elementary schools met for the purpose of organizing a union high school in Livermore. All but two districts, Pleasanton and Midway, agreed with the proposal.
May 21, 1891 Regarding the upcoming election, the Livermore Echo endorsed the formation of a union high school by asking, “Which would you rather be taxed to support – a school in Oakland, or one in Livermore?”
May 23, 1891 Voters of the other nine school districts (Livermore, Inman, Green, Harris, Townsend, Vista, Highland, Mocho, and May) approved the union high school proposition with only four votes recorded against it. As a result, Livermore High school became the first of hundreds of union high schools approved by voters all over the state.
June 6, 1891 The recently elected board of trustees of the Livermore Union High School met for the first time at the Livermore Grammar School. They decided by unanimous vote that the school should be located within the city limits.
July 6, 1891 Board of trustees held its first business meeting and elected J. G. Young as Chairman, and F.R. Fassett as Clerk. They also decided to charge $2 per month tuition to students who resided outside of the district boundaries.
August 31, 1891 Livermore Union High School (LUHS) opened in one room of the Livermore Grammar School building. E.H. Walker earned a salary of $150 per month for teaching and serving as the principal for the 15 pupils.
August 27, 1892 A majority of the citizens of the nine elementary school districts voted “tax-yes” to tax themselves to raise the $11,000 necessary to construct a separate high school building. Assemblyman Fassett deemed the election returns a credit to the patriotism and generosity of “the good people of the valley.”
January 1893 J.F. Meyers, as the lowest bidder, was awarded the contract to construct the two-story high school building for $9220.
June 16, 1893 The first class of Livermore Union High School, refereed to as the “Pioneer Class,” graduated in the Farmers’ Union Theater. The ceremony included poetry and music, with the audience paying 25 cent admission. County superintendent G.W. Frick presented diplomas to the nine graduates. President Kellogg of the State University (now U.C. Berkeley) and state superintendent of schools J.W. Anderson delivered speeches. David Starr Jordan, professor at Stanford University, also was present at this event.
Summer 1893 G.W. Wright served for one year as principal of LHS. Miss. A. Crawford wa vice principal.
August 12, 1893 State University President Kellogg and Stanford University Professor Brenuer attended the dedication of the high school building, which would serve as the LUHS’s home for the following 37 years. The main building included a laboratory, a library, and a piano. Eventually, a windmill, water tank, and barn were erected. F.R. Fassett commented on the building, “There is not a Livermorean who is not justly proud of it.” A social dance in the new structure followed the ceremonies.
1894 Thirteen young men established LHS’s first football team. They were self-taught and played four games against schools in places such as Hayward and Centerville (Fremont).
January 30, 1895 LHS students produced the school’s first newspaper, The Argosy. “It is a journal which represents Union High School #1. Its purpose is to give an account of what is going on in the high school and to promote the art of journalism,” wrote chief editor Newton W. Armstrong, class of 1898.
Summer 1895 Professor W.J.Connell began the first of seventeen years serving as the fourth LHS principal, replacing J.M. Patton. No other LHS principal held the post for a longer time.
March 1897 Debate raged over whether ninth graders belong in high school. Local residents complained that they were being taxed twice to educate the freshmen, once on the high school level, and again for elementary school funding.
June 1897 Margaret (May) Nissen, LHS English and Latin teacher from 1910 t0 1948, was the sole graduate of the class of 1897. She was also the first LHS student who could enter the State University unconditioned in any subject. The other twelve members of her class were retained for an extra semester when the board of trustees raised graduation standards in 1896 to comply with the University regulations.
September 1897 German was a popular subject for the 56 students attending Livermore High School.
1898 LHS graduated two classes, one in March, and the other in June. The March class consisted of thirteen students who had been retained for an extra semester when the school raised graduation requirements in 1896. Four pupils graduated in the June class. 1898 was also the first year that trigonometry was offered as a course at LHS.
June 23, 1900 The Livermore Herald dedicated three-fourths of its front page to an account of the graduation ceremonies of the class of 1900. The festivities were stretched over two nights with class activities on Monday, and the commencement ceremony proper on Tuesday evening. Class activities included musical performances, poetry recitals, reading of the Class History and Class Prophecy, and the presentation of a farcical play. The following night, the ten graduates received their diplomas in a formal ceremony.
February 1901 Debating club established with the first topic being the value of a business education versus a college education.
Graduations were held at the Farms’ Unions Theater beginning at the first commencement in 1893 until construction of the Sweeney Opera House in 1905. The Sweeney Opera House was home to many other LHS events, such as dances and basketball games, until the opening of the new Fifth Street Elementary School in 1922. Graduations were held there until the opening of LHS’s own auditorium in 1930.
Social dances often followed graduation. Two-night graduations were also common in the early years of LHS. (See June 1900 on this page.)
Senior Hop was an annual dance that the senior class sponsored each year, thanking the community for its support. Senior classes from 1893 to at least 1913 held these dances. The 1903 event was regarded in the Livermore Herald as “one of the most enjoyable social functions ever given in Livermore.”
Green and gold have been school colors for at least 113 years. An account of the 1903 Senior Hop described, “The school colors, olive green and yellow, were very effectively used in streamers.”
Cresta Blanca Picnic This function was for the entire student body every May on the grounds of the Cresta Blanca Winery.
1901-1919: War and Peace
Summer 1904 LHS lost accreditations from the State University. During its first twenty-five years, LHS lost and regained accreditation from U.C. Berkeley at least three times. Whenever the school was not accredited, LHS graduates were obligated to attend a credentialed high school before attending college.
January 1906 Livermore High School began to offer typing class.
February 1906 LHS vice principal Charles Thompson disappeared in a bizarre tales that included threats of murder.
July 1906 Non-resident students, mostly from Pleasanton, had to pay $8.50 per month in tuition to attend LHS. At one time, one-fifth of LHS’s enrollment was pupils from Pleasanton who rode to school on horseback, by buggy, or by train.
April 1907 Livermore High School’s first janitor, “Captain” Daniel Watson Smith, died. One the day of the funeral, school was dismissed early.
1908 LHS orchestra organized. In 1911, the group dissolved, only to be revived the following year by Mr. Louis Sachau.
1908 After pressure from local taxpaying parents who had to sent their children to Oakland for commercial education, the board of trustees decided that LHS should have a full business department. In 1909, two rooms were added to the school building to accommodate the new department.
1909 C.H. Wente began the first of over twenty years of serving as chairman of the board of trustees.
January 1909 M.S. Antony contacted to do the plumbing and sewage connections to the school.
June 5, 1909 Former California Governor George C.Pardee was received with such great ovation as he gave the graduation address for the class of 1909 that “the audience could have listened for hours to his earnest talk.”
1910 Agriculture department founded with Jason Armstrong as the first instructor. He taught general agriculture, botany, chemistry, and horticulture courses.
1911 The tradition of producing an annual school play began with the presentation of of “She Stoops to Conquer.”
January 1911 LHS and high schools in Hayward, Centerville, and Irvington formed the Central Alameda Athletic League (C.A.A.L) to pr
omote interschool athletic competition in rural Alameda County. It began with league play of basketball.
March 1911 LHS established its school lunch program.
September 16, 1911 Student reporter wrote in the Livermore Herald, “The schools must continue to grow or they will very soon cease to be of value to an advancing civilization.”
March 30, 1912 In an article written for The Herald about new courses, Principal Connell touted LHS as a model school, “LUHS was among the first of the country schools to provide for modern educational training.”
May 1912 By this month Livermore High School had graduated 169 pupils over twenty years.
Summer 1912 F.L. Talbert replaced longtime Principal Connell.
1913 Mothers’ Club organized parties for the purpose of bringing students, parents, and teachers together to exchange information and enjoy one another’s company. One event that this club sponsored was “Old Settlers’ Night” at which Valley pioneers were invited to share their memories.
January 1913 After a spark from a chimney ignited the school’s roof, students organized a bucket brigade to extinguish it.
June 1913 Bruce H. Painter, formerly of Sonoma Valley Union High School, selected from 12 applicants to become the sixth principal of LHS.
Fall 1913 Girls’ Athletic Association (G.A.A), a longtime LHS institution, established. This intramural sports program included activities such as interclass volleyball and basketball, “most of the girls are interested in this new part of their life and are endeavored to make their athletics a success.”
November 1913 L.E. Wright wired the school building for electricity only in selected areas such as the assembly room, the halls, and the basement. P.G.&E. Installed a 15 kilowatt transformer in 1914; however, the building remained to be heated with coal.
1914 For the 1914-15 academic year, the school operated on a budget of $10,737.48.
January 1914 F.R. Fassett, the “Father of Livermore High School,” died.
Early 1915 Since only ten percent of California’s high school students entered college, the State Board of Education advised Livermore High School to shift more of its resources away from college preparatory education, and toward vocational education.
March 1915 LHS changes its official name from “Union High School District #1 of Alameda County” to “Livermore Union High School District of Alameda Co.”
By 1916 LHS had its own newspaper, The Oak, a knitting circle, and an honor society similar to C.S.F. Sports included basketball and rugby.
Summer 1916 After concluding that the basement was insufficiently lighted to be remodeled, W.H. Faragher constructed a separated one-story building for the Manual Training Dept.
October 1916 Julia Fassett donated a valuable collection of books to the school library to serve as a memorial to her late husband, F.R. Fassett, the founding father of LHS.
November 1917 The State Legislature discussed providing free textbooks to students.
January 1918 LHS students contribute to the Allied war effort by purchasing $2900 in Liberty Bonds. For five minutes each week they also received instruction about rations and conservation of food and energy.
June 1918 T.L. Breechen of Clovis named principal “with the highest recommendations as a teacher and a citizen.”
September 1918 At a patriotic Liberty Bond rally “the students sang Over There with such enthusiasm and spirit that it rang through the whole building.”
September 1918 LHS closed for two weeks to allow students to assist with the local grape harvest. In October, the pupils were transported to Manteca to pack tomatoes for overseas troops.
1919 Two mysterious arson fires were quickly contained, one in April in a storeroom, the other in November in the attic.
Winter 1919 LHS opens on and off due to a flu epidemic. Unsafe conditions additionally caused the cancellation of dances.
March 1919 Pleasanton failed in its attempt to become annexed to the Livermore U.H.S. District.
April 1919 Principal Breechen dismissed due to a disagreement between he and the trustees “regarding the policy of conducting the school.” For the interim, May Nissen acted as principal.
Holidays To commemorate holidays such as Lincoln’s Birthday, Constitution Week, and Columbus Day, LHS students hosted special ceremonies. For example, the February 1923 Lincoln Day celebration included recitals of the Gettysburg Address and poetry, such as Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” Performances by instrumentalists and vocalists rounded off the evening entertainment.
Jr.-Sr. Luncheon The junior class usually sponsored a dinner for the outgoing upperclassmates. Classes also selected class flowers, colors, and mottoes.
Dances According to May Cole, class of 1922, dances were free of charge and “all young girls were chaperoned…by their fathers.” The junior proms of the late 1920’s were held in the school gym.
Clubs Blocked L, Honor Society, Spanish, Jr. Red Cross, CA Scholarship Federation (founded in March 1925) and Boys’ and Girls’ Glee (singing) were all active clubs during this era.
Teachers included Herbert Lee (French & Math), May Nissen (English, Math, & Latin), Gladys Lynam (commercial ed.), Anna King (science & chemistry), Martha Tanner (history & home economics), Ethel Reith (civics, English, & U.S. history), Ruth Anderson (U.S. History & English), and Stanley Gibson (p.e., woodworking, & auto mechanics).
1919-1929: A New Home
May 1919 Trustees unanimously elected English born Herbert Lee to replace Breechen. The Herald was optimistic, believing, “a new and better era in local educational offers is about to open.”
December 1919 Breechen awarded $426 in lost pay and damages as he sued the district in the Alameda Co. Superior Court. However, the county Board of Education vowed to continue the fight when they discovered that Breechen’s name was not present on the files of universities from which he claimed to have graduated.
December 1919 Committee drew up a constitution for the student body. It called for the formation of five student service subcommittees and membership dues of 50 cents.
1920’s LHS began to offer night school for adults, teaching automechanics, sewing, and other subjects. One of the most popular courses was “Americanization,” in which immigrants learned the process of becoming naturalized citizens.
March 1921 Representing the western United States along with the Los Angeles Athletic Club and the University of Nevada, several LHS graduates, including four McGlinchey brothers, competed at the equivalent of the NCAA Basketball playoffs in Kansas City. To qualify, they defeated teams from various Northern California colleges and universities. They won their first games, but eventually lost to the team that clinched the National Championship.
March 1921 The Board of Trustees approved construction of a stage in the assembly hall. The Alumni Association sponsored a ball to raise the money.
July 30, 1921 In an editorial to the Livermore Herald, Principal Lee urged that the Livermore H.S. District expand into Pleasanton. However, Pleasanton desired its own high school. Since one-third of LHS’s students lived outside of Livermore, Lee was quick to attack any plan that would reduce the population of his school, “It has been suggested that Pleasanton might erect a school of its own. This would be a serious mistake.” The resolution of this debate came with the opening of Amador Union High School in Pleasanton in 1922.
September 1921 Football uniforms and equipment arrived. Until this time rugby had been the preferred sport.
1922 The Senior class made burlap curtains for the Sweeney Opera House, the site of many LHS functions. The draperies, embroidered in a geometric design with green and gold fabric, were used on the stage.
1923 LHS first produced and sold “The Green and Gold,” the school annual. The 1925 edition sold for $.50.
March 1923 Trustees purchased the neighboring block for an athletic field.
October 1923 The local community nearly unanimously endorsed a plan to build a gymnasium. The Trustees expected to cut costs in half by having the boys enrolled in woodworking classes do all the work except for the heavy manual labor. LHS instructor and Stanley Gibson designed the building and oversaw its construction.
February 1924 Gym “beginning to take shape.”
May 1924 The sophomore class threw a Mother’s Day party with poetry and music to entertain the guests of honor.
September 1924 An electric pump replaced the windmill as the power source that supplied the school with water.
January 1925 Manual Training classes built handball courts.
February 1925 Former Principal Breechen, dismissed in 1919 and now a Berkeley insurance agent, charged with burglary of an Albany home.
October 1925 Teachers graded on a numerical system of five grades, with “1” being the highest and “5” being the lowest. Grades “1”, “2”, and “3” were respectively equivalent to today’s “A”, “B”, and “C.” “4” signified an “Incomplete” and “5” meant failure.
December 1925 “Basketball and speeches” entertained the crowd at the dedication of LHS’s new 800 seat gymnasium. The building included showers and dressing rooms, but the timeclock and drinking fountain were what “made a hit with the crowd.” Due to the use of student labor, the $20,000 structure only cost $12,000 to construct.
July 1926 In an Oakland Superior Court settlement an LUHS student received $5,154 in damages due to injuries caused in a shop accident.
June 1927 Twenty-seven graduated in the auditorium of the Livermore Grammar School
September 1927 The City Board of Trustees closed “H” St. between 7th and 8th Sts. to allow for an enlarged athletic field.
January 6, 1928 The Livermore Herald considered the replacement of LHS’s wooden school building “Livermore’s most pressing need for the year.” The editorial stated about the 35 year old structure, “It is unsafe from every standpoint” and that it had “long ago outlived its usefulness.”
June 1928 The Freshmen English class paper, The Live Wire, honored retiring Principal Herbert Lee, “he has witnessed a doubling of (LHS) attendance and the addition of many out buildings.” Also during this month, the trustees sent their proposal for a new school building to the State Board of Education for approval.
February 1929 A state Official condemned the wooden school building as a “fire trap.” He also cited the poor lighting, the lack of an auditorium, and overcrowded conditions when he gave the structure a rating of 366 out of 1000 possible points. For comparison, the minimum score on this scale for an “obsolete” building was 500 points.
March 1929 The Trustees selected the present Maple Street site for the new school for a number of reasons: the land cost less than $11,000, and the site was well-situated within the city limits with 62 of the more than 200 students presently attending the school living within 8 blocks of the proposed campus. Another factor was that Maple Street was “a fine, wide street to front on, now having curbs and sidewalks,” valuable amenities in those days.
Among the reasons for abandoning the old location of the school were that the soil was too gravelly, the lot was too small, and the price of purchasing neighboring homes for expansion was prohibitive.
March 4, 1929 The entire school assembled to listen to the inauguration of President Herbert Hoover on the radio.
April 1929 A local citizen donated a valuable newspaper, the April 5, 1865 edition of the New York Herald, to the school. This issue announced both Confederate General Lee’s surrender and the assassination of President Lincoln.
April 16, 1929 Endorsements from organizations such as the American Legion and Women’s Improvement club helped a $160,000 20-year bond measure pass five to one in favor of providing funds to construct the main building, which would become the most expensive structure ever built in Livermore up to that time. The Davis-Pearce Co. designed the brick edifice, which was to be completed by early 1930.
May 1929 The Livermore High School Band sported new green and gold uniforms as it competed in its first contest.
September 1929 Contractors C.A. Bruce and Sons of Pleasanton commenced work on the main building. LHS instructor Stanley Gibson oversaw construction.
November 1929 Workers cut LHS’s gym in half to be moved on rollers across South Livermore Avenue to the school’s present Maple Street location. There they added dressing rooms. In the late 1940’s, this structure was converted into the music building, giving it the distinction of being the oldest building on campus.
November 30, 1929 Seventy-five former LHS students gathered to bid farewell to the old building. Graduates shared stories about their days at the school and recalled memories as the group moved from room to room on one last “pilgrimage” through the dilapidated structure. The evening concluded with speeches, poetry, and music.
December 2, 1929 The junior class produced the first issue of the L.U.H.S. Torch, a student newspaper. Among the first articles were stories about school spirit, the Science Club, Armistice Day, and an account of the Jr. Red Cross campaign to send Christma boxes to the children of Guam.
Football Beginning in 1931, the Lions Club gave an annual “most valuable player” trophy to the player who expressed “outstanding qualifications” as a player, leader, and for “inspiration, citizenship, and scholarship.”
Clubs were basically reformed each year. The Junior Red Cross Club was the most active on campus, sponsoring a dance, benefit drives and social work. Other clubs included Biology, Tennis, Music, Dramatics, Public Speaking, Home Economics, Cartoon Photography, and Penmanship (promoting better handwriting). Among the special privileges granted to C.S.F. members were “excuses for absences, and tardiness not required.”
Associated Girl Students (A.G.S.) and Boys’ League were organizations “second in importance to the Student Body due to their large memberships.” A.G.S. presented “programs of interest to the girls” and sponsored the Spring Carnival, once known as “Hi-Jinks,” where students sold handicrafts and homemade candy. A.G.S. also hosted the annual Mother’s Day Tea.
Boys’ League was a similar club designated for the boys. Its activities included sponsorship of interclass baseball and “Fathers and Sons Night,” an evening each year when boys would come with their dads to play “volleyball, sack races, baseball throws, relay races,” and “appleducking” together.
1930-1941: World War II
January 1930 The trustees put the former high school site up for sale. By this time, the new building was fifty percent complete. Local citizens who were not used to the Spanish style of architecture complained that the roofing tiles were uneven, “the lines zig-zag all over the place…it looks pretty nice but there isn’t any regularity.”
January 17, 1930 Student reporter for the Livermore Herald mentioned that “an A is from 95-100 percent and a B is from 85-95 percent.”
February 1930 The State Supreme Court upheld the decision made in the Alameda Co. Superior Court that the saw which maimed a shop student was not equipped with adequate guards. Also during this month, a business agent for the Electrical Workers Union accused the trustees of paying inadequate wages and disregarding the county charter, which stated that local local subcontractors should be preferred to work on the new school building.
April 1930 The new building was nearly complete, with workers installing lockers and setting up chairs in the auditorium. At the same time furniture from the old school was scraped and re-varnished.
April 28, 1930 New school put into regular use. The first public event in the new auditorium was a band concert on May 2nd.
May 4, 1930 Grand Officers of the Native Sons of the Golden West (NSGW) laid a plaque at the official dedication of the main building. The County Superintendent of Schools and Grand President of NSGW were special guests at the ceremony which included a dramatic flag raising by the Local Commander of the American Legion. The school band and other musicians entertained the audience which was ushered by LHS students. Following the program the trustees and faculty led visitors through a “public inspection” of the new facility.
May 9, 1930 The Livermore Herald commended the trustees and contractors for “providing the community with a splendid new high school..it is attractive in appearance…but lacks the elaborate and useless frills…which indicate a waste of money.”
June 1930 Old school buildings razed; the trustees sold the property in November, 1931.
August 1930 Tennis and handball courts constructed at the present site of the library building. For the first time, LHS competed in football in the North Coast Section of the California Interscholastic Federation. Because no other fields existed at the time, membership in track and baseball were postponed.
December 1930 The Class of 1910 donated $300 to the school and announced planes to erect and ornamental brick wall with a fountain and pool in front of the school.
March 1931 LHS band played a twenty-five minute program over KLX radio.
May 1931 A.F. Isensee of Escalon elected principal to replace A.G. Speiss, who resigned.
September 1931 Under the direction of Stanley Gibson, shop classes built football bleachers to accommodate 450 spectators.
October 1931 Burglar smashed window to steal $4 from the principal’s office.
August 1932 Summit Grammar School annexed to the LUHS district, resulting in “a slight decrease in the tax rate.”
March 1933 An outdoors band concert in Carnegie Park nearly called off due to an advancing snowstorm.
September 1934 In an effort to establish universal schedules throughout the Bay Area, LHS resumed classes after summer vacation on September 4, rather than in late August as had been custom. As the school reopened, LHS faced declining enrollment as the families who had labored on the Hetch Hetchy water project left town.
January 1935 After a thief stole small change from the school library, the trustees urged the facility “to refrain from keeping money at the school in the future.” The police compared footprints left at the crime scene to the shoe treads of suspects to no avail.
March 1935 For the first time in the history of the Southern Alameda County Athletic League all three LHS basketball teams (Varsity, B, and C) clinched SACAL championship titles. In addition, all five regular Varsity players qualified for the all-star team.
June 7, 1935 Walter Dexter, Executive Secretary to state Government Merriam, and “widely recognized as one of California’s leading inspirational speakers,” delivered the commencement address to the graduating class.
October 1935 In response to a 1933 earthquake that killed over one hundred people in Long Beach and consequent building code legislation, the trustees called for a bond election for $50,000 that would reinforce in the main building, gymnasium (music building), and shop (now site of Student Union).
October 1935 By staging a boxing night as a fundraiser, the Livermore Elks collected $109 to benefit injured LHS athletes.
October 11, 1935 Principal Isensee explained LHS’s new grading system in The Livermore Herald. Instead of giving the standard “A”, “B”, “C” grades, LHS began to evaluate academic performance based on individual capability, with an “R” for “Recommending”, an “S” for “Satisfactory”, and a “U” for “Unsatisfactory” work. Isensee hoped that this new method would “emphasize cooperation,” “eliminate inferiority complexes,” and indicate “individual growth.”
1936 LHS began to offer auto safety classes.
April 11, 1936 An $18,000 bond measure for reinforcement of the school’s buildings passes three to one in a special election. The Public Works Administration, a New Deal program, provided $15,000 more. When P.W.A. funds were exhausted in October, work stopped for one week as supplemental funding pended approval in Washington.
July 1936 Workers installed ⅜ inch thick steel plates on the main building. Engineers felt that these plates would transmit the majority of earthquake waves to the foot-thick concrete walls. Reconstruction of the building concluded in August 1937 with the renovation of the auditorium and stuccoing of the exterior of the main building.
July 1937 Principal Isensee injured his wrist when he fell from scaffolding at the school.
September 1937 Home economics teachers Miss Billie Waters, on vacation in the Orient, escaped from Shanghai just as the Japanese invasion of China began. Waters told the Livermore Herald that she had survived bombing and witnessed Chinese women selling their children “to see that their babies were cared for” before she fled the war zone on a Swiss ship.
February 1938 Special meeting of the senior class called to re-collect class rings so that the faded stones could be replaced.
March 1938 LHS and Amador High School instituted an inter-school exchange program in which students entertained one another on Friday nights with tap dancing, jokes, singing, accordion and clarinet duets, and violin solos.
March 1938 Mr. Bailey’s shop classes built a baseball backstop and podium for the school.
March 18, 1938 Entire student body excused at 11:00 and marched behind the school band downtown to the flagpole to attend the dedication of the Greyhound bus to “the City of Livermore.”
June 1938 Maitland Henry, editor of the Livermore Herald, offered congratulations to LHS alumnus, football star, and future teacher Nevin McCormick on his graduation from Notre Dame University and pointed to him as an “inspiration” and “bright light of hope in what many consider the dark prospects for modern-day youth.” McCormick became an LHS p.e. teacher in 1958.
September 1938 Agriculture Department re-established with courses offered in general ag., livestock, poultry raising, and mechanics. Federal grants covered about half of operating expenses and instruction at school was intended to be theoretical, with the actual farm activities done as “home projects.” An emphasis was placed teaching “how to make production pay profits.” Later this month, LHS founded its chapter of the Future Farmers of America.
September 1938 E.H. Walker, first principal of LHS, died in Oregon.
September 1938 Majority of LHS students given fluoroscope examinations to determine whether or not they were afflicted with tuberculosis. LHS had the lowest percentage of cases in the county.
December 1938 Sixteen students checked into the Del Valle Tuberculosis Sanitarium had their own teacher and received LHS credit for their work.
November 1939 Football team won a championship for the first time, taking the East Bay Counties Athletic League (EBCAL) title.
February 1940 Civic classes took over the City of Livermore for the day, with students holding offices such as mayor, council member, police chief, and milk inspector. One participant summarized the activity: “it brings the duties and responsibilities of town town officials closer to the students.”
December 1940 School play postponed when six actors suffered the flu.
August 1941 Vernon J. Stoltz became principal of LHS. A seven-period day ran from 8:40 a.m. to 3:44 p.m. Lunch began at noon and lasted forty-seven minutes. New classes for the 316 students included auto mechanics, welding, and third year French and Spanish. Band was also incorporated into the regular schedule.
The Junior Carnival was the school’s “biggest public event of the year” with “a wide array of entertainment and fun.” Booths included penny throw, football throw, and bingo. The highlight of the evening was the crowning of the Carnival Queen, who was chosen from four class queens. Students voted by purchasing one cent tickets.
Junior Prom The Veteran’s Memorial Hall on L Street and the school gym were the sites of this annual event.
Student Body Cards Two dollar cardholders were granted free admission to the majority of dances and assemblies and a free subscription to the school newspaper. Students with one dollar card received discounts for most events, but had to pay for the paper.
Boys’ League was the counterpart club to Associated Girl Students. Its activities included sponsorship of interclass baseball and “Fathers and Sons Night,” an evening each year when boys would come with their dads to play “volleyball, sack races, baseball throws, relay races,” and “appleducking” together.
C.S.E. was active throughout the 1940s. Field trips included a moonlight picnic at the Sunol water temple, a tour of the NBC Radio Building in San Francisco, and an excursion to see the play The Barretts of Wimpole Street.
September 1941 Students who worked downtown during school hours received credit in LHS’s first R.O.P.-style work experience program. LHS officials hoped to expand employment opportunities and “make the graduate a more useful citizen.”
November 1941 To pay for national defense, LHS students paid a three cent tax on football game and dance admissions.
December 7, 1941 The show went on as the Senior play “No Mind of Her Own” continued through blackout conditions in Livermore. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor this morning and civil defense officials wanted citizens to be prepared for a possible nighttime air raid. Since it was LHS’s golden anniversary, performers danced Gay Nineties numbers during intermission.
1942 Junior Red Cross was intensely involved in the war effort. The club sent copies of the school newspaper, the Torch, to LHS alumni and servicemen stationed overseas. Other projects included collecting tin and paper for recycling, and sewing dresses for British girls.
April 1942 The Torch dedicated an issue to the “LHS boys in the service,” “we are proud to know that they are fighting…to preserve rights and liberty.”
April 1942 After winning a nationwide violin contest, junior Dolores Miller played with the NBC Orchestra in New York. The highlight of her trip was meeting the famous conductor Leopold Stokowski.
May 1942 Graduation commemorated early to allow students to assist in harvesting crops and meet and employment shortage. Nine graduating seniors were absent due to enlistment in the armed forces.
September 1942 To raise money for the student body fund and send steel to the mills, LHS students collected scrap metal. This “Treasure Hunt” was also a class competition, and the city was accordingly divided into four sectors.
Fall 1942 Students released from school to pick grapes and tomatoes.
November 1942 Some students needed to arrange their own transportation to school when the bus lines were shortened due to fuel rationing.
December 1942 Memorial services held at LHS for Private Nathan MacLean, the first Livermore man “to pay the supreme sacrifice” in World War II. A special gold star was placed on the school service flag in honor of him.
February 1943 LHS enrollment dropped from 300 the previous year to 277, chiefly due to older boys in the service and workforce.
May 1943 As a reward for purchasing $5351 in War Bonds, LHS students were taken on a special tour of the Livermore naval air station (converted to the Lab in 1950s).
June 1945 Graduating class contributed $150 for a plaque at the school listing the names of students and faculty killed in the war.
July 1945 L.O. Ridder appointed principal to succeed Stolz.
November 1945 With four wins and one tie, LHS took the EBCAL football title.
April 1946 C.S.F. attended a radio broadcast, ate lunch in Chinatown, and toured the San Francisco Examiner building on a trip to San Francisco.
July 1946 As a provision of the G.I. Bill, war veterans were offered an agricultural training program at LHS. The class eventually became so popular that another teacher was hired.
September 1946 Ralph T. Wattenburger of Dunsmuir replaced Principal Ridder. Music and art were returned to the schedule, with drama and public speaking offered for the first time.
October 15, 1946 Local citizens passed a bond measure 507 to 158 in favor of providing $200,000 to construct an agriculture shop, a music building, a new gym, and a swimming pool. Although one local organization protested the use of school funds to build a pool, fifteen other groups endorsed the bond sale.
1947 Senior class produced the first volume of El Vaquero, the school yearbook. Since the advisor was Anne Trudeau, the Spanish teacher, and the ability to speak a foreign language was considered “more sophisticated,” and the students opted to entitle their production with the Spanish word for “cowboy,” the school mascot.
May 23, 1947 Senior ball celebrated in the school gym. Admission was $1.25 per couple. Local historian Tillie Calhoun was a proud member of this class.
July 1947 Livermore, Pleasanton, and Sunol considered forming one consolidated high school district, but plans fizzled. LHS was to be the one three-year high school that would serve the three communities. Amador Valley High School was to be converted into a junior high school.
October 1947 The LHS Future Farmers of America chapter won the high honor of “Master Chapter” at the FFA state convention in San Luis Obispo.
May 29, 1948 World champion swimmers, including several contenders for the 1948 Olympic Games in London, gave exhibitions at the official opening of the school swimming pool. Fifteen hundred spectators stood in the rain as the pool was dedicated as a “Living Memorial” to the eight students and one teacher killed in World War II. Sam Hayes, a “noted news commentator,” flew in from Hollywood to be the principal speaker.
June 1948 May Nissen, LHS English, drama, and Latin teach for the previous thirty-seven years, retired.
July 1948 The 20-30 Club, a local service organization composed of men between the ages of twenty and thirty, began borrowing money from local citizens to raise the $18,000 needed to light the football field. The club expected to repay the loans with the new revenue from night games. The new, lighted field was ready by the first game of the next season.
January 1949 Workers broke ground for the boys’ gym and agriculture buildings. In June two boys set fire to the partially completed gymnasium, but damage was limited to a charred counter and smoke marks.
January 1950 Boys’ gym dedicated under the theme of “a sound mind in a sound body.”
January 1952 Memorial services for Private First Class Edward Jansen, class of 1948, held at Livermore High School. Jansen was killed in the Korean War.
May 1952 Livermore voters approved two proposals to raise money for the high school district. One proposal was for a $320,000 bond issue for improvement and expansion of LHS. The other was for a property tax increase.
February 1953 Ground broken for the $175,000 library building which was to contain eight classrooms and a conference room along with the school library. A science laboratory replaced the old library on the lower floor of the main building.
September 1953 Due to overcrowding in the two local elementary schools, the elementary school district arranged to use five of the library building’s new classrooms.
November 1953 Livermore High School joined the new East Bay Division athletic league.
January 1955 Principal Wattenburger eyed the neighboring Villa Gulf public housing project as a potential site for expansion of LHS. The school eventually purchased the land, closing a portion of School Street, and constructed the math and language arts buildings there.
March 1956 Local citizens passed an $800,000 bond proposal that provided funds to increase the school’s capacity to twelve hundred students. As a result, the science building, girls’ gym, and metal shop were constructed, the music building was remodeled, and the boys’ locker room was expanded.
March 1956 High School board of trustees revealed their new truancy rules. The first unexcused absence resulted in the lowering of one full grade and made the student ineligible for athletics. The county attendance officer was notified of the second offense. A third infraction was grounds for suspension.
March 1956 Teachers’ salaries ranged from $4200 to $6960.
May 1957 The trustees reprimanded Vice Principal Herman Mettler for allowing hazing at a Block L initiation. The senior Block L members responsible for the incident later apologized to the victims’ families.
October 1957 Football game against San Ramon postponed because many LHS players had the flu.
November 1957 Within weeks of the successful launch of Soviet satellite Sputnik and the consequent increase in American science education funding, Livermore High School dedicated the science building and the girls’ gym.
December 1957 Two local youth admitted stealing powder and exploding two homemade bombs on campus.
July 1958 Twelve LHS student worked for the summer at the University of California Radiation Laboratory (Lawrence Livermore Lab). In October twelve other students took a special computer course given at UCRL which was “probably the only high school course in electronic computers in the country.”
September 1958 When Ralph Wattenburger became district superintendent, science teacher Edwin Rundstrom became principal of LHS.
September 1958 LHS math program revamped to incorporate accelerated and remedial programs. The schedule for the new year also included a staggered six period day.
Hope chests were given each year to all senior girls by Kamp’s furniture.
Student Council consisted of 35 members representing the clubs and four classes. This governmental organization approved club constitutions, regulated fundraisers, and passed laws concerning the student body.
Student Assembly was composed of homeroom representatives. Its powers were to pass or veto bills proposed by the student council.
Student Court was the judicial arm of the Associated Student Body government. The school elected a judge at large and classes selected the jurymen. Student council members issued citations to pupils who violated the school rules. The jury determined the guilt or innocence of the accused, and the judge sentenced the offender. Student Court sought to try “any member…who brings disgrace to the school,” including reckless drivers in the student parking lot. Common offenses were trespassing on the Senior Lawn or sitting on the Senior Bench. The most common punishment was work duty.
October 1958 El Vaquerito published its first issue. Since there was no journalism class offered, the associated student body produced it. The first editorial read, “Your El Vaquerito staff hopes to print a paper worthwhile and of interest to all students. Fee free to bring your opinions to us, for we want to make The Little Cowboy your paper.”
November 1958 Math club established with thirteen members, sponsored by math teacher Herbert Thomas.
December 1958 On a royal visit to the Livermore Lab Queen Frederica of Greece “altered her original route” to “acknowledge the greetings” of the LHS student body, by driving past the school on East Avenue.
1959 Track built around football field for $18,000. Under the direction of coach Nevin McCormick the track team took four consecutive EBAL titles from 1961 to 1964.
April 1959 Front half of the math building under construction. According to math teacher Joann Cox, the school’s population was expanding so rapidly that eight more rooms were added in annex the following year. By September the structure was occupied by students; however they had to “camp out” until the furniture arrived.
November 1959 Under the leadership of coaches Don Couch and Paul Reginato varsity football won its first undefeated season. Junior varsity also took the East Bay Division title.
November 20, 1959 Junior class sponsored the first homecoming dance.
December 1959 City of Livermore and student body agreed to share costs of cleaning up “Nicotine Alley,” the nickname for the street now officially called “Cowboy Alley.” The funds were to be utilized to construct curbs “to keep cars out in the street” and “make their seats a little less romantic at noontime.”
May 1960 Livermore voters overwhelmingly supported a $4 million state loan and selected “Granada” for the name of the new high school. Rejected names included “Mocho,” Oak Knoll,” and “Boot Hill High.”
November 1960 Construction of Granada High delayed one year due to scarcity of state funds and a leveling of local population.
November 1960 English teacher Don Muentz organized a wrestling team.
December 1960 Judge Joseph Schenone (an LHS alumnus) warned that if jaywalking and littering continued he would ask to close the campus.
1961 Trustees rejected bid by the Office of Civil Defense to have classes construct a demonstration fallout shelter.
January 1961 Jack Lee appointed assistant principal of LHS.
January 1961 Team teaching begun in history and biology classes. Eighty to one hundred students participated in lectures and broke off into small groups for questions and exams.
February 1961 Principal Rundstrom called the girls together to explain the dress code for miniskirts. His decree: “To the knees and no higher.” Dean of girls Marie Barthe’s responsibility was to ensure that this rule be followed. If the length of a dress was in question she asked the girl to kneel to see if it touched the floor.
Spring 1961 Senior bench vandalized, smeared with horse manure, molasses, and feathers. The concrete was also cracked, with hay burning underneath. The class of 1962 received the blame.
May 1961 Language arts building under construction. When the structure was in the design stage, teachers suggested that the rooms be larger and the hallway be three feet wider than those of the math building. Also during this month track won its first varsity title.
June 1961 Two hundred six members of the class of ‘61 threw up their caps at the first outdoor graduation.
Fall 1961 Band director complained about the condition of the music building. He stated that the building was unusable on many winter days due to inadequate heating and brought in an optometrist who deemed the classroom a “health hazard” due to insufficient lighting.
September 1961 Livermore Herald announced the invention of an exciting new substance called “Teflon.”
March 1962 Agriculture building remodeled to include electronics lab.
May 1962 Fifteen hundred C.S.F. members from 120 high schools converged on LHS for the “Science Soaring in the Sixties” conference. Dr. Edward Teller, “father of the hydrogen bomb,” was the main speaker.
June 1962 Superintendent Wattenburger wrote in the yearbook about LHS’s role as a pilot school for a course entitled “Communism vs. Democracy”: “We hope that (students) will be able to identify the enemies who are a menace to our “American Way of Life.”
March 1963 Future Granada student body met in LHS auditorium to choose school colors and mascot.
March 1963 Oklahoma! was the all-school play.
April 1963 San Francisco’s KGO-TV replaced the western Cheyenne one night with a special broadcast of a high school orchestra concert. LHS’s orchestra played along with other “well-noted” groups from around the Bay Area.
September 1963 Construction delays at the site of Granada High School caused the 358 students to spend the first semester on LHS’s campus. Granada pupils attended their first classes in the faculty rooms and on the auditorium’s balcony and stage. An English class met in the girls’ exercise room and the library building was entirely “off limits” to the Cowboys.
November 22, 1963 President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. German and history instructor Judith Beery first received word during fourth period when fellow teacher and fiancee Mr. Beery informed her that he had heard a radio report saying that the President had been shot. An announcement over the p.a. system later confirmed the rumor. As a result, school was canceled after lunch and a basketball game was postponed. School was also called off the following Monday for the funeral.
December 1963 Debate raged over whether the senior class should present schools plays versus allowing an all-school musical. Proponents of the musical argued that the seniors barely covered expenses and that only 48 people tried out for the 46 parts cast in the previous play.
1964 Library remodeled and expanded to include the magazine and classroom areas.
January 1964 Granada High’s campus dedicated. The student body, which consisted only of freshmen and sophomores was bussed to LHS for p.e. And science classes. According to Laraine Spencer, class of ‘66, many members of her class faced personal crises as friends were separated by the new school district boundaries.
1965 Voters in the Green, Inman, and Livermore Elementary School Districts voted to unify with the Livermore Join Union High School District. After a year of preparation, the new trustees selected LHS principal Edward Rundstrom as the first superintendent of the consolidated district.
1965 The most radical group on campus, according to members of the class of ‘65, was the Young Democrats. Connie Scales Gomez recalls having a sit-down strike to protest closing the campus at lunch.
1965 According to Betty Klino (Gonsalves), class of ‘65, girls protested the dress code by coming to school one day dressed as little girls. They wore bows and ruffled outfits as they licked lollipops and sang “Ring Around the Rosey.” Klino stated that they found themselves in serious trouble when they drew squares in the squad and began to play hopscotch.
March 1965 Coach Clancy Crew thrown into pool when basketball team celebrated 59-58 victory over Albany. The team played a perfect season.
July 1996 Vice principal Paul reginato took over the principal’s office from Edward Rundstrom.
October 1966 Graphics arts class, under the direction of Mr. Peterson, printed El Vaquerito on campus.
1967 “It has been liberalized and I’m pleased with that,” stated teacher Gerald Stunkel about the school’s new dress code. Boys had to wear socks with sandals, keep their shirts buttoned up, and keep their hair “reasonably trimmed.” Girls’ makeup could not be excessive and dresses could be worn up to to 2” above the knee. Pants, slacks, and jeans could be worn only at outdoor athletic events and on cowboy dress-up days. Since tall girls had difficulties finding clothing that met the qualifications, student assembly petitioned the administration to substitute the words “two inches” with “appropriate.”
G.A.A. The Girls’ Athletic Association “was formed to promote fun and sportsmanship among girls.” It was designed for all girls enrolled in p.e. Classes and sponsored many recreational sports activities, including Aquacade.
Aquacade was a swimming club that sponsored and annual water carnival that included diving, water ballet, and class competitions among female swimmers.
Computers were finding their place on campus. The counseling office used them to assist with scheduling and report cards. An IBM system allowed all grades to finally be centralized on one report card.
A.G.S. gave an annual Mother-Daughter social.
The Bell Tower on the main building actually lacks a bell. However, the old building, used from 1893 to 1930, had a bell “that the boys just loved to ring,” according to May Nissen, class of 1897 and English teachers from 1910 to 1948.
Clubs in the 1960s included Electronics, FBLA, Tri-Science, and American Field Service.
1967-1975: Changing Times
November 1967 Captain Blalick of the Livermore Police Department visited Mr. Braz’s civics classes to explain the hazards of drugs such as LSD. During the discussion, various forms of marijuana were on display and cigarettes were lit so that students “could smell the particular odor.”
1968 Twenty to thirty high school and grammar school students were apprehended in just one week of business at the old Lucky shopping center next to the public library. Shoplifting had become so serious that Lucky had hired a security guard and threatened to close up during lunch and after school if crime continued.
October 1969 Livermore district forced to slash budget by $1,060,200. Among the cuts considered were a reduction in counseling and library services, an increase in student-teacher ratios, and the elimination of summer school and area chairmens’ pay. Principal Reginato recalls that the district ran completely out of money, “We couldn’t even spend one nickel to buy a pencil.” The district had to borrow $500,000, which it paid back within a couple of years.
December 1969 Student body constitution revised to establish new Student Court and election rules.
1970s During this decade, many changes occurred on campus. Girls won the right to wear pants, and the school’s enrollment peaked at 2500. To relieve the crowded conditions, six classes met in the auditorium with two on the balcony, three downstairs and one on stage.
March 1970 Student assemblyman Bryon Ferr proposed an Anti-Smog Day at LHS. Students who usually drove to school would have been asked to walk or bike that day.
April 22, 1970 Earth Day commemorated around the world and on the LHS campus with demonstrations to promote environmental consciousness. To simulate air pollution, Ms. Harrower utilized a fog machine to fill the library building with a “gagging odor.” Mrs. Keeler’s class displayed garbage and made a “curiously original” beer can drapery. Another group blasted music to demonstrate sound pollution. One student even donated a Volkswagen body, selling the chance to smash the car for 10 cents per whack.
June 1970 Fire in the auditorium caused nearly $12,000 in damage. Principal Reginato stated that faulty wiring was the cause and that although the main curtain was damaged, fire sprinklers “saved most of the stage”
August 1970 After the Livermore Lab denied a request by the Scientists and Engineers for Social and Political Action (SESPA), a Berkeley-based anti-war group, to hold a conference at the lab, the group attempted to locate the meeting at LHS. SESPA timed the meeting to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. After the school district turned down their request, they took their case to the Alameda Co. Superior Court. SESPA lost the injunction.
September 1970 The Math Learning Center, “a fascinating, new change in education,” was established at LHS by Mr. Ofiesh and Mr. Graham. The program, which allowed students to work at their own pace, offered specialized courses in advanced mathematical topics in addition to the standard algebra and geometry classes.
November 1970 El Vaquerito reported tension within the student body. Groups on campus included “cowboys,” “quad dwellers,” and “School Streeters.” The stereotype of “School Streeter” was that they used drugs, smoked and hung out on School Street, and had radical political beliefs. They were also accused of littering and harassing residents of nearby houses.
“Quad dwellers” were based in the quad, seldom smoked, had moderate political views, and were considered overly supportive of school activities such as rallies and athletics. Animosity between groups on campus eventually helped launch Human Relations Day.
March 1971 School Board discussed providing a student bill of rights that would allow students to voice grievances such as unfair actions by teachers and administrators.
April 1971 Girls protest school’s athletics budget. Boys’ sports received $8400 from the district while the G.A.A., the Girls’ Athletic Association was allotted no funds. Pom Pon girls had to purchase their own equipment. The boys pointed to the fact that their athletic events grossed $9000, generating a $600 profit, to counter the girls’ argument.
Summer 1971 Old woodshop building, constructed in the 1930s and now site of student union, condemned. Secretaries Diane Andrade, class of ‘50, and Ann Austin witnessed the spectacular demolition of the termite-infested structure. “That thing went down like a bunch of matchsticks,” recalled Austin. During the summer, the main building was remodeled. The old hallway became storage rooms, and the counselors’ offices became the nurse’s headquarters.
November 1971 Student government widely criticized. The Student Police refused to issue citations and consequently the Student Court had heard no cases the previous year. The police force was also drastically understaffed, with only 10 officers when the school constitution called for 30 positions.
December 1972 Led by President Kevin Scott, the student body offered $8000 in funds to furnish the student union.
January 1973 EBAL Board of Managers forced LHS to forfeit basketball game against Liberty Union High School when LHS player Dean Harvin was suspended from play for 90 days. Harvin had transferred to LHS a few months earlier when he was declared ineligible at his previous school. EBAL stated that he had violated a rule about students transferring from other districts. Eventually Harvin won a court injunction and returned to play.
March 1973 Survey in social science classes revealed that 38 percent of students had sampled the drug marijuana.
May 16, 1973 Student union dedicated. Nancy Allen, 1972 Homecoming Queen cut the ribbon with Kevin Scott, student body president.
September 1973 Mrs. Russell established a hiking and camping club.
September 1973 As the new school year commenced, administrators considered relieving overcrowded conditions by holding a double session at LHS. One group of students was to attend from 7 a.m. to noon. The other group was to begin classes at noon and leave at 5 p.m. The school also faced a paper shortage as mills shut down to comply with new government pollution standards.
October 1973 Math department’s purchase of 14 pocket calculators generated much attention: “If you are in the Math Learning Center, and you are lucky enough, you get to see and use of these ‘jewels,’” wrote a student in El Vaquerito.
December 1973 Principal Reginato believed there was a “99 percent chance” that the football team would relocate to the new 8000 seat Robertson Park stadium. LHS’s facilities were plagued with bad lighting, insufficient seating, and the need to re-seed the grass every year.
December 1973 Arab oil embargo caused a nationwide energy crisis. When the Livermore school district’s energy bill was $30,000 higher than expected, the district mandated that all “non-essential” lights be turned off. Other conservation efforts included plans to turn off the swimming pool.
April 1974 After more than $45,000 in books had been stolen in the previous ten years, the school library installed a $7500 security system.
December 1974 School board made policy changes. Students were required to attend class 320 minutes per day and teachers taught five sections per week instead of six.
1975 Chabot Junior College Valley campus (now Las Positas Junior College) established in north Livermore.
1975 Meat cutting lab and auto shop buildings opened.
Campus Life According to Bill Spragge, LHS industrial arts teacher, “the long hair and mini-skirts of the 1960s shocked the faculty.” However, students displayed no strong feelings about the Vietnam War.
Basketball games were popular fundraisers. CSF sponsored several games in which the players rode donkeys around the court. Each year the faculty men challenged the varsity team to raise money for the Foreign Exchange Student fund. El Vaquerito and the Pep Band also had annual duels.
Clubs in the 1970s included Drama, Ecology (began after Earth Day in 1970), German, Hiking & Camping, International Exchange Club, Crafts, People Inc. (Future Homemakers of America), CSF, and METS (Math, Engineering, Technical Society).
Public Schools Week In April 1971 LHS held an open house called Expo ‘71 in which all departments had exhibits.
Drama produced musicals such as Guys and Dolls (1971), Once Upon a Mattress (1974), and Anything Goes (1975).
1975-1980: Crowded Together
February 1975 Officer Craig Worden of the Livermore Police Department visited campus each week to eat lunch so that “kids and cops” could “get acquainted on a relaxed, informal basis.”
March 1975 Past experiences with students drinking led the music department to hand down an ultimatum: “All overnight trips have been canceled indefinitely.” According to band director Mike Ward, he had tried every channel to control the students’ behavior including suspending, expelling, and talking to the trouble-causers.
April 1975 Mrs. Petrick’s television production class and Mr. Buckly’s journalism class united to produce a 25-minute weekly newscast complete with news, weather, administration interviews, and sports. The program was titled LHS Today and was produced, filmed, and edited entirely students. The TV classes also videotaped educational programming (KQED) for use at other district schools.
July 1975 Seven hundred fifty youth from three states and Canada converged on the LHS football field for a drum and bugle corps competition.
October 1975 School pool closed temporarily for repairs. Leaking drainage pipes had caused the pool to lose 1100 gallons of water daily. The school district rented May Nissen Park’s pool until the damage pipers were fixed.
October 1975 For the second consecutive year, LHS’s marching band took first place in the California State University Festival of Marching Bands.
December 1975 Gael Schaefer, LHS class of 1976, named California’s winner in the Bicentennial Senior Writing competition. As the state finalist, she flew all-expenses paid to Williamsburg, VA to compete for a $10,000 scholarship and the chance to have her “Bicentennial Minute” aired on CBS-TV.
1976 Students questioned the fairness of keeping class an extra five minutes after school for every false fire alarm.
January 1976 When the EBAL Board of Directors announced plans to cute league play of freshman sports, 1000 local citizens protested by signing a petition, and several complained directly to the Livermore School Board. The Board assured parents that frosh athletics would not be cuts in Livermore.
February 1976 LHS basketball guard Ted Wood led EBAL in scoring for the year. Scouts considered him the best guard in Northern California.
June 1976 LHS deans “were not amused” when three seniors made a last minute limousine arrival to the edge of the football field during graduation ceremonies. The three graduates received their diplomas after the ceremony. The police arrested two students the previous night for trespassing when over one hundred students decided to camp out at school. The graduation set-up had been vandalized.
Summer 1976 Workers placed fiberglass siding on the swimming pool to prevent water seepage and added the mezzanine to the school library.
September 1976 Mandatory teaching of the metric measuring system began at LHS. A special Metric Committee was formed to help students and teacher cope with the changes. Committee chair Scott Tenenbaum boldly offered El Vaquerito this prediction: “I think that within the next eight years (by 1984) the U.S. will be completely switched over.
Fall 1976 LHS administration was composed of principal Paul Reginato, vice principal Bob Bronzan, dean of boys Tom Davis, dean of girls Nancy Steele, and athletic director Tom Favero.
November 1976 Varsity football ranked first in the EBAL league.
December 1976 Administration announced plans to close the student union after lunch. Until this time, the building had remained open all day. Some students who used the building in the afternoon created such a mess each day that the custodians could not handle the job. By 1979, the lunchtime messes were so bad that the student union was almost completely closed.
1977 Portable classrooms P-1 through P-6 added to the campus on the eastern edge of the staff parking lot. Room P-6 was to serve as the school’s new television studio, with $20,000 in new equipment.
1977 Latin and Greek teacher Shirley Woods ordained a minister at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.
February 1977 Parents and class officers petitioned the district office to allow the seniors to hold their ball in San Francisco. The LHS administration preferred a closer site. That year the school board granted the parents’ request. However, in 1978, the board denied permission, and the senior ball and junior prom were held as “unofficial” activities, independent of school sponsorship.
February 1977 LHS administration banned four basketball game spectators from all remaining games after a group of 30 people (not all LHS students) stood up and thumbed their noses at the Granada coach.
March 1977 LHS coaches Ron Berg and Tom Harmon sponsored their first annual wrist wrestling tournament.
May 1977 Granada High’s system of flexible class scheduling, a program called TUFOLD, faced public attack. Students took their classes in 15 minute long “mods,” with the standard class 3 mods, or 45 minutes long.
May 1977 Mural painted on south inside wall of school library. “After the (1976) remodeling, the library really lacked color,” stated librarian Emily Crowley in an interview with El Vaquerito. Crowley took her decorating problem to art teacher Pat Kiazawa, who came up with the mural idea and assigned her best artists to it. With supplies furnished by the student assembly, the students painted on the theme “Humanities” during class time. The class of 1978 had intended to decorate the other wall of the library.
October 1977 Phoned bomb threat and ticking noise forced evacuation of the school. A repairman later discovered that the ticking sound was due to a malfunction in a pay phone next to the main building.
March 1978 LHS shared the EBAL varsity basketball title with Granada.
April 1978 Main office burglarized. During the year, over $8000 in damages occurred to the school, including vandalization of the football scoreboard.
June 1978 California voters passed Proposition 13, a law that lowered property taxes and thus reduced funding to public institutions, including public schools such as LHS. In 1979 the district faced a $2 million dollar budget shortfall and Superintendent Leo Croce recommended that 55.8 teaching positions be cut.
Fall 1978 Football field lighting system replaced for $33,000.
1979 LHS teacher Sherrie McClain involved in a fatal air accident. McClain is remembered as an “energetic and committed” social science teacher. Friend and fellow teacher Linda Starnes commented, “She loved teaching in a way you don’t often see.” At the time of her death, McClain’s California History classes were busy compiling a book on the history of Livermore. Starnes decided to take over McClain’s classes to ensure that Our Valley: Yesterday and Today would reach completion. Proceeds from the sale of the book were used to establish the Sherrie McClain Memorial Scholarship.
1979 Human Relations Day established by social science teachers Warren Council, Linda Starnes, and Martha Eddleman. Its purpose was to increase communication between diverse group of students through a series of awareness-increasing activities done at Ravenswood Historical Site. Council was an LHS alumnus who credited Kevin Drake’s Civil War class as his inspiration for becoming a teacher.
January 1979 KNBR-AM’s Mike Cleary visited Lynne Petrick’s television classes.
June 1979 Members of the class of 1979 and Granada High accused of vandalizing the school. Pain was found poured over buildings and in the swimming pool. Garbage cans were discovered on roofs and shrubs were uprooted. Principal Reginato called the scene “utter destruction” and considered canceling graduation ceremonies.
October 1979 Tempers flared when a student of one race fought with a student of another. Vice Principal Bob Bronzan felt, however, that it was more of an adolescent dispute that a racial problem.
January 24, 1980 Final examinations interrupted when a 5.5 magnitude earthquake jolted Livermore. Although LHS physically suffered only minor damage, nerves were frazzled. Business instructor Beverly Preslik ducked under her desk to find that her IWE had commandeered it. She searched for protection elsewhere as ceiling plaster fell around her. Science teacher Eric Lyons also was without safe shelter. The doorframe he sought was blocked with a locked door. Lyons was concerned about the nearby rattling windows that fortunately did not shatter. Finals resumed within an hour.
Specialized courses offered in late 1970s were California history, communication in the 70s, the year 2000 (a class that looked at trends of the day and extrapolated future implications), colonial history, anthropology, and science fiction. Under the Pilot Course program, teachers with an idea for a course could write up an outline, submit it to the administration for approval, and then offer it to students.
Television Production classes, besides producing a weekly newscast, were involved in a number of activities, such as hosting a mayoral debate. One year they provided a live broadcast of the Livermore-Granada football game and had live coverage of a gale-force storm that even professional reporters viewed from indoors.
Drama produced plays and musicals such as Cheaper by the Dozen (1976), The Sound of Music (1977), A Christmas Carol (1980), Fiddler on the Roof (1981), and The Homecoming (1981), the pilot to the TV program The Waltons.
Softball Coaches Spinelli and Gutierrez has an interesting way to recruit female players. THey challenged two tennis players, SUe Miller and Chrissy Odegard, or a doubles match and won. The losing girls were then “obligated to become ‘proud’ members of the softball team.” The girls attributed their loss to “distractions from coach Gutierrez…jokes and stuff.”
Aquacade LHS’s synchronized swimming club continued to enjoy popularity into the 1980s with their 1981 production Broadway and the Silver Screen.
1980-1991: LHS Turns 100
June 1980 Gary Kenny took over when Paul Reginato retired after serving as principal for fourteen years.
January 1981 LHS’s system of self-scheduling replaced by computer-scheduling. Students now could only select classes according to subject, not by teacher and period.
Fall 1981 $1.2 million district budget deficit forced students to take only 5.5 classes.Fifty percent took six classes, while the other half of the student body took five classes.
September 1981 LHS returned to a block schedule. In previous years, the school operated on a rotating schedule in which a particular class met only four days per week. A state law mandating a set number of class minutes per year forced the changes. A seven period day began at 8 a.m. and lasted until 3:03 p.m. Classes were fifty-three minutes long with seven minute breaks between periods.
1982 American Civil Liberties Union questioned two district policies. It opposed the use of breathalyzers to test if students were intoxicated, and the new program to reduce truancy, called “Operation Stay in School.”
In the truancy program, students who were on the streets during school hours needed special off-campus passes. Otherwise, they could be picked up by police and take to a special reception center (the old Rincon school) until their parents came to release them. By October 1983, 295 students had been picked up and the police deemed this program “largely responsible” for a 24 percent in property crimes. The profile of a typical burglar in Livermore at the time was a high school truant.
February 1982 Boys’ soccer was North Coast Section champions.
April 1982 $2000 stolen from safe on campus. The door had been lifted right off its hinges with no pry marks or fingerprints.
June 1982 Senior Randy Johnson, who played for the Seattle Mariners, won a booster team certificate award. As a freshman he had advanced to the varsity baseball team.
November 1983 Since heating bills had become too costly for the district. LHS’s swimming pool was drained and covered.
January 1984 Plans to alter high school boundaries created controversy. Effective in fall 1984, 100 extra incoming freshmen were sent to LHS. If these measures had not been taken, Granada would have had 600 more students than LHS by 1986.
January 1985 Drama instructor Vicki Stadelhofer was “very excited” when LHS’s production of The Cat and the Canary won state recognition. As one of three plays chosen by the Secondary School Theater Association of Northern California, the cast and crew were invited to perform the play in San Jose.
September 1985 Two females, Heather Shelby and Heather Showaker, played on the freshman football team. Coach Nick Barbato saw this historic event as “a challenge” and was “impressed with the young women’s serious attitude toward practice and eagerness to improve their skills.”
March 1986 LHS Principal Gary Kenny left his post to become principal at the newly founded California International School in Hong Kong. Keith Cariveau was named the 17th principal of LHS in May.
June 1986 Combined LHS and GHS band and orchestra performed at Expo ‘86 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The groups raised over $55,000 total for their trip. The LHS group, directed by David Branson, played both American and international music.
March 1987 After being closed for over three years, the school swimming pool reopened.
May 1987 Two dignitaries from the Chinese consulate in San Francisco watched the final performance of LHS’s school musical The Sound of Music.
Summer 1987 Much of the school was repainted. The district also spent $55,000 to replace the warped floor in the boys’ gym.
March 1988 LHS student leader and administration’s decision to give bud vases instead of wine glasses as mementos for the junior prom and senior ball created controversy.
April 1988 Associated Student Body adopted a new constitution. Important changes included that addition of a second vice president position and the creation of new standing committees. Clubs also lost the right to have a representative on the student council.
April 1988 Two LHS athletes suspended for possession of alcohol.
Summer 1988 “The Wall,” a student hangout in front of the school, demolished to make way for a trailer for workers renovating the auditorium.
November 1988 Journalism classes began producing a monthly magazine, W.P.M. The following year’s production was called Pulp and Circumstance. In 1987 they began to offer Labyrinth, a literary/arts supplement to El Vaquerito.
January 1989 Seven journalism students and advisor Helen Daniel flew to Washington to witness the inauguration of President George Bush.
April 1989 After a year-long million dollar renovation, the auditorium reopened in time for the first presentation of The Sound of Music. Changes included a deepened orchestra pit, a larger stage, cushioned seating, remodelled dressing rooms, new lighting, and better acoustics.
June 1989 Class of ‘89 presented a concrete sign in front of the school. The class of ‘90 gave the stained glass window in the main building.
October 17, 1989 7.1 earthquake rattled the Bay Area, collapsing a portion of the Cypress Freeway and the Bay Bridge, killing over 60 people. At 5:04 p.m., few people were at the school, and fortunately there was little damage. The school pool overflowed, flooding the weight room and sending water to the edge of the football field.
December 1989 LHS varsity Pom Pon squad won fourth place at the NCA National Championships in Dallas, Texas.
February 7, 1990 President Bush visited the Lawrence Livermore Lab. Two LHS journalists, Scott Kamena, and Tim Kordas, were the only student reporters at the press conference.
May 1990 After winning two Bay Area tournaments, the Academic Olympics team travelled with economics teacher Ann Lindl to Lake Forest, IL for a national competition.
September 1990 Renowned physicist Dr. Edward Teller, “father of the hydrogen bomb,” taught an eight-week Physical Sciences Appreciation class for two hours each Saturday morning in the auditorium. The course, which was offered through the UC Davis Extension program, attracted students and adults from all over the Valley.
November 1990 Frosh football team completed its first undefeated season since 1971. They scored 191 points over seven games and gave up only 12 points, two touchdowns over the year.
November 1990 Both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams won the North Coast Section title.
December 1990 City of Livermore renamed the sections of Fifth and Church Streets adjacent to the School “Cowboy Alley.”
December 1990 Record cold weather devastated California’s citrus crop and caused damage at LHS. Radiator pipes burst in the math and language arts buildings and flooded several rooms. According to custodian Henrietta Hodge, who was called to work overtime on New Year’s Eve, the water was about ankle deep.
January 1991 Budget cuts forced the elimination of a seventh period class for most students. The school library slashed hours the previous October. In May, the Board of Education approved the layoff of 48 teachers districtwide. In the fall at LHS, there was a 50 percent reduction in extracurricular funding and the counseling department will be closed.
January 1991 Officer John Foxx of the Livermore Police Department volunteered to serve as LHS’s resource officer for the next three years. He cited the “development of a good rapport between students and the police” as his main objective.
Janaury 1991 Suzanna Smith, class of ‘92, selected as Representative Pete Stark’s pages for the semester.
February 1991 LHS ‘s participants on the annual “Close-up” trip to Washington, D.C. arrived there just after the 100-hour allied ground assault on Iraq and Kuwait began in the Middle East. The day after the liberation of Kuwait, some students visited that nation’s jubilant embassy.
March 1991 San Francisco 49ers challenged LHS students and staff in fundraising basketball game for the Livermore Boosters. “It was an over-match,” stated math teacher Nelson Fong, “they could have wiped the floor with us.”
March 1991 Academic Olympics won the Bay Area Championship in Fremont for the second consecutive year. In April, the science team was on of eighteen schools nationwide to compete at the National Science Bowl in Washington.
May 1991 Committee planned possible renovations of the campus, including remodelling classrooms and the library, and redesigning the quad.
Play productions Classes performed The West Side Story, Macbeth (1987), Arsenic and Old Lace (1987), Oliver! (1988), Anything Goes (1990), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1990), and Oklahoma! (1991).
Clubs in the 1980s and early 90s included Chess and War Games, Future Problem Solvers, Earth club (began after Earth Day in 1990), Forensics, DECA (career opportunities), the Multicultural Student Union, Science, Math, French, F.B.L.A. (business), Future Homemakers, Future Farmers, and the popular honor society, C.S.F., which began at LHS in March 1925.
E2=C5 was the slogan selected by the staff in 1988 as the objectives of an ideal high school. The equation meant “Excellence in Education = Caring, Commitment, Contribution, Communication, and Cooperation.
Livermore High School History Timeline – June 1991 to May 2017
1990s LHS stopped offering Driver Education courses as part of its curriculum. “Manny” Braz was the longtime teacher.
June 14, 1991 Cast and crew of LHS musical “Oklahoma!” sang to nationwide audience on CBS This Morning.
June 15, 1991 LHS Centennial commemorated all day on campus, with 15 ½ hours of events, including reunions of all classes and an evening dance. El Vaquerito issued a special Centennial Edition.
Fall 1991 Major recession caused significant budget cuts at schools across California, including LHS. Many teachers were re-assigned or lost their jobs. Student counselors were axed. Livermore Valley Education Foundation was formed to raise private funds to support local schools, to partially ameliorate the cuts.
Fall 1991 Leo Croce Elementary School, an LHS feeder school named for 1973-90 school superintendent, opened in “Springtown.”
September 1991 School board approved naming of Craig Mueller Memorial Baseball Field. Mueller, class of ’62, played at Long Beach State and died of leukemia at age 43 in 1988. He was on the last team that played on the LHS diamond next to the football field (’60) and first team to play on the current diamond (’61) next to the “400” building.
January 1992 LHS and GHS principals differed on proposed North Coast Section realignment of Alameda County schools into new athletic leagues. Transportation for student athletics continued to be a local controversy. School board approved travel to Wassen High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado to study school operation as possible model for LHS and GHS.
January 21, 1992 Willard Scott announced LHS’ 100th birthday nationwide on NBC-TV’s Today program.
February 1992 School board approved purchase of 506 and 560 Maple Street for future LHS expansion. The board agreed not to use eminent domain to acquire two other properties.
July 1992 School board approved new football field lighting and new portable classrooms.
February 1993 Dodge Drunk Driving Simulator program visited LHS. The 1992 Dodge Daytona’s adjusted responses simulated what happened to a driver who consumed up to 12 drinks.
April 20, 1993 School board approved new LHS schedule, effective fall 1993. LHS classes shifted to a “block schedule,” a system wherein class periods were lengthened and fewer per day.
June 1993 School board declared selected LHS furniture surplus and approved new air conditioning systems ($779,325, J.D. General) in Math (300) and Language Arts (400) buildings.
1993 Sheila Cooper became the first permanent female LHS principal.
Early 1990s LHS connected to World Wide Web.
Early 1990s Attempt to eliminate honors classes
Mid-1990s Computer replaced typewriters in Keyboarding classes.
1990s Theatrical productions included “Anything Goes” (’90), “Oklahoma” (’91), “Hello Dolly,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Brigadoon,” “Wizard of Oz” and “Bye, Bye Birdie” (’96), “I Remember Mama” (’96), “Music Man” (’97), “Me and My Girl” (’98), “Fiddler on the Roof” (’99) and “Arcadia” (’99). Businesses contributed to back-to-school, exchange student support and other fundraisers; McWhorter’s Stationers contributed generously through the ‘90s.
Fall 1993 First annual Cowboy Roundup basketball tournament (based on Dec 1997 article about 5th tournament)
October 1993 Student Nick Marcon died. As a memorial, a statue of a cowboy on a bucking horse was erected near the football scoreboard.
November 10, 1993 Dozen students injured during lunchtime truck rollover. Many were thrown from the back of the truck as they returned to campus from a fast food restaurant.
January 1994 School board approved move of four portable classrooms from LHS to Marylin, Rancho and Sunset elementary schools.
Spring 1994 San Francisco All Blacks played home games of United States Interregional Soccer League on LHS football field.
May 1994 School board approved Science Building modernization.
June 1994 School board approved undergrounding of overhead utilities on LHS campus (Diede Construction, $65,558).
Fall 1994 LHS shifted to College Preparatory Math (CPM) system.
September 1994 School board approved replacement of boys’ gym lockers (Rusco, Inc., $69,600).
November 10, 1994 Two LHS students allegedly placed a piece of metal on the railroad track at the L Street crossing, preventing a signal arm from lowering and causing a motorist to crash into a speeding train.
November 1994 LHS commemorated centennial of its football program.
December 1994 Rebecca Spies, class of 1991, named Rhodes Scholar.
Spring 1995 Young Authors’ Short Story Contest established at LHS.
May 1995 School board approved $832,000 for portable buildings and $577,207 for LHS school modernization.
June 1995 LVJUSD Board adopted ten-year facilities plan that included a per-square foot new development fee increase to finance projects that included a potential third high school.
June 25, 1995 Fire consumed LHS athletic equipment shed, destroying all track, gym and wrestling equipment and causing an estimated $50,000 in damage. The blaze began around 9 p.m.; phone calls from alert neighbors allowed for a rapid fire department response, sparing the nearby gym from damage beyond the 30-foot flames that licked its walls and melted windows. Arson was suspected as the LHS night watchman spotted youths running from the scene.
July 3, 1995 Bottle rockets destroyed abandoned house across Maple Street from LHS.
July 1995 LVJUSD released study of transfers between LHS and Granada via in-person interviews and focus groups by consultant Gayle Wayne. An increasing number of Granada students requested transfers to LHS, in part because of dissatisfaction with and misunderstanding of GHS’s “block” schedule. Over the previous two years, nearly 180 GHS students sought transfers to LHS, raising concerns about LHS overcrowding and GHS under-utilization.
October 1995 LHS band won the most honors of any local band at the Foothill Band Review. Trustees approved LHS campus painting ($70,546, Mike’s Painting of Livermore; accepted April 1996).
1996 John Diaz, class of 1973, named Editorial Page Editor of San Francisco Chronicle, a position that he holds to present. (El Vaquerito featured him in a March 2012 profile.)
Winter 1996 Wrestling team won EBAL championship. Steve Page was coach. Color Guard team tied for first place in Winter Guard Championships in South San Francisco.
February 1996 Troy Dayak, class of 1989, involved in first Major League Soccer trade, from New York MetroStars to San Jose Clash. “I’m a Tri-Valley boy. I’m not a New York City type of kid,” Dayak told the Contra Costa Times. “I’m not an urban cowboy.” He was on the U.S. soccer team in the 1992 Olympic games.
March 5, 1996 Trustees approved construction of new library south of “400” building, addition of two classrooms to 1957 science building and renovation of “F” wing ($1,598,000, HK Merron Construction, Inc. of El Dorado Hills).
April 1996 Trustees selected consultant Mike Paoli & Associates for site selection and environmental documentation for a third comprehensive high school (not built as of 2017). Three seniors submitted a letter to trustees describing their experiences with the absence of school counselors.
May 1996 “Radical Reality” assembly on drug and alcohol abuse received a very positive student reaction, student representative David Yow told trustees. Directed by Kris Harper, band traveled to Seattle and British Columbia for Hyack Festival.
June 1996 Trustees approved gym floor replacement/repair ($157,251, Diede Construction of Woodbridge; accepted August 1996) and pool equipment replacement ($43,519, Western Waterfeatures, Inc. of El Dorado Hills; accepted Oct. 1996).
December 1996 Trustees considered conversion of old library building into music, home economics and special education facility.
1997 LHS had high school rodeo team since approximately 1972.
Late 1990s Community groups, including Livermore Valley Opera, Valley Choral Society, Valley Dance Theatre and Livermore-Amador Symphony, used LHS Theater for performances, including “Nutcracker.” Boys’ and girls’ EBAL water polo began at LHS.
1997 Junction Middle School music teacher Mike Ward, LHS alumnus, was Livermore District Teacher of the Year.
January 1997 New library and 1957 science building addition placed into use. Trustees accepted project on February 4, rejecting construction union requests to delay. Library dedicated on March 12, 1997; trustee Anne White commended the 1975 local school bond Measure B that partially funded the new LHS library, 22 years later.
March 1997 Trustees approved temporary cap on LHS enrollment for 97/98 school year based on capacity constraints.
April 29, 1997 Trustees approved modernization of Building B and portions of Buildings H and L ($1,201,270, CT Brayton & Sons, Inc.). They accepted the modernization of Building B and portion of Building L and staff parking lot in December 1997.
May 1997 Trustees approved proposal by teacher Bob Stansbury for Advancement Via Individual Determination course.
May 19, 1997 San Francisco Chronicle covered LHS production of “Music Man,” from its infancy to opening night. It characterized instructor Carol Hovey as “a soft-spoken 43- year-old strawberry blond who can bark like a Broadway tyrant when the need arises” and noted that she had taken over management of the theater and handled outside rentals.
June 1997 Several students complained to school board about lack of student parking.
July 1, 1997 Student Amber Brooke died of cardiac arrhythmia during summer school math class.
October 1997 Student claimed to have been kidnapped from LHS campus, causing concerns about security. Investigation revealed claim was a hoax, to cover for her decision to run away from home.
December 1997 Trustees approved amendment to 1994 contract with Rainforth and Grau Architects to include architectural services for classroom renovation in Buildings K and L and Building A ($130,000). Ruth Clark’s hospitality class produced food served at Livermore transit center dedication ceremony.
January 1998 Bomb threat forced East Avenue Middle School students to evacuate to LHS for a day.
February 1998 Freshmen sponsored Valentine Day dance. Sophomores hosted Parent Prom. Chorus performed Pops Concert. Family Math Night held to review programs available the following year.
February 25, 1998 Day-long gay tolerance protest at LHS. Around 40 LHS and Granada student protested on LHS campus, holding picket signs that read “Real Men Aren’t Afraid of Gays,” “Gay Is Okay” and “Straight But Not Narrow.” LHS senior Danielle Witten organized the event, which led to creation of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. At the March 17th school board meeting, students expressed concern about homophobia and sex education.
March 1998 Trustees approved asbestos abatement at LHS and Junction ($35,870), accepted in Sept. 1998.
Spring 1998 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program began statewide (ended 2013). Joint concert held with LHS and Canadian band. Boys’ soccer won EBAL championship.
May 1998 Blood drive, 24 Hour Relay and first Cowboy Carnival held. Trustees approved modernization of buildings A, K and L ($934,832, Greg Opinski Construction), accepted in Nov. 1998.
June 1998 Students asked school board to aid LHS tennis after students were no longer able to practice or play at Livermore Valley Tennis Club.
July 1998 Trustees directed staff to proceed with third comprehensive high school in north Livermore.
Fall 1998 Career Center relocated. ASB (Student Body) decided to try GHS plan to ease student parking problem. Many students complained to school board in late ‘90s about parking.
September 1998 Motivational speaker addressed Renaissance Assembly.
October 1998 Homecoming theme was “Big Cities.” Spirit Week included Pajama Day and Twins Day.
December 1998 Trustees approved smaller 9th grade English classes in the spring semester as a pilot project under the State’s Morgan-Hart Class Size Reduction Program. Senior Amrullah Omar expressed concern to school board about prejudice toward Muslims and Middle Easterners and suggested more programs at all educational levels.
Early 1999 Teacher George Graham alleged systemic grade inflation in LHS math classes through much of the 1990s.
January 1999 Trustees approved architectural work for renovation of School Street corridor, student parking lot, stadium track, P.E. hardcourts and fire lanes ($150,000).
February 1999 LHS stepped up suicide prevention program after deaths of two students in recent months. In May, ASB President Bernice Espinoza asked the school board for restoration of the counseling program, eliminated in 1991.
March 1999 Senior Joel Even won national inventors contest.
March 2, 1999 Voters passed $150 million bond Measure L, including $110 million for schools, $20 million for the City and $20 million for LARPD. This was the first local school bond measure since 1975.
April 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. LHS administration set up a box in the school office to collect condolence letters. Lockdown procedures were created to prepare for the possibility of a future schoolwide emergency. On July 22, 1999, Livermore SWAT officers conducted drills on campus. “It’s a chance for officers to practice in a realistic environment,” spokesman Tom Hood told the Valley Times. “Schools pose a situation with open-air areas, buildings, courtyards, cafeterias that many other settings don’t.” In Oct. 1999, trustees approved replacement of outside door locks so that classrooms could be secured from within during emergencies.
May 1999 Trustees approved renovation of track, hardcourt, student parking lot and tennis court area and installation of relocatable toilet building ($461,700, DRYCO, Inc.) and swimming pool repair and remodel ($246,400, Tricon Construction), accepted in Sept. Trustees approved new Advanced Chemistry (AP) and Desktop Publishing (Adobe PageMaker 6.5). They approved Chemistry Honors in August.
June 1999 School district celebrated granting of tenure to 69 teachers districtwide at LHS theater.
July 1999 LHS band performed in National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C.
Summer 1999 Music Building, the school’s original 1920s gym that was moved from the old LHS campus in 1930, was demolished for $39,730 by Campanella Corporation of Oakland (accepted in Dec. 1999). The demolition crew found the wooden bleachers that long had been out of public view. “The quad was so bare looking after the demolition and it took us a long time to get used to the fact that it was gone!” recalled principal’s secretary Chandra Whetzel in 2017. An extension of the quadrangle and amphitheater (2004) replaced it.
Summer 1999 Girls’ gym lockers replaced.
September 1999 Students filled a “rooter bus” for first “away” football game. Ag. teacher Ron Furtado received Honorary American Degree, a high honor from national FFA organization.
October 1999 Homecoming floats could not be towed around football field due to new track. Superintendent Lorraine Garcy announced that a program on drinking and driving, “Every 15 Minutes,” would be presented in spring 2000. School Beautification Day was Saturday before Spirit Week. LHS defeated GHS in Red Ribbon Week activities sponsored by police department.
November 1999 Football team advanced to NCS tournament. On 3-2 vote, trustees approved federally-funded class size reduction for 9th grade social science for spring 2000 ($138,000).
2000s Theatrical productions included “State Fair” (’00), “Cyrano de Bergerac” (’01), “Secret Garden” (’02), “Odd Couple” (’04), “Guys and Dolls” (’05), “Macbeth” (’05), “Hello, Dolly!” (’06), “Lives of Saints” (’06), “Urinetown” (’07), “Comedy of Errors” (’07), “Music Man” (’08), “Antigone” (’08) and “Romeo & Juliet” (’09). Carol Hovey directed most.
Early 2000 LHS musicians (Pep Band) performed at grand openings of Home Depot and Albertson’s stores in northern Livermore. Band traveled to Fresno and Anaheim. San Francisco 49ers played LHS staff in fundraiser basketball game benefiting band. New gym approved at GHS ($2.2 milion).
April 2000 Trustees discussed number of instructional minutes and whether or not high school students were reaching the state minimum (64,800) on both six- and seven-period schedules. Trustees Anne Lindl, former LHS economics teacher, and Julie Orvis sought data and schedule options, but the other three trustees disagreed.
May 10 & 11, 2000 “Every Fifteen Minutes,” an alcoholism/drunk driving awareness program, began at LHS and other local high schools, arranged by the Livermore Police Department and Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. It generally is a two-day program held every two years, usually attended by juniors and seniors. An auto accident is simulated on the school football field, usually attended by both LHS and GHS students. Fire trucks and ambulances generally participate and a “drunk driver” student is arrested. Pre-determined juniors and seniors are declared dead through a ritual. El Vaquerito explained in 2016, “Each of these students were pulled out of class by the grim reaper. They return shortly after placing their grave in the amphitheater and painting their faces white. When they came to class their obituaries were read and they pronounced dead as they “died” in an alcohol related crash.” Once these students returned to their classes, they represented the living dead for the duration of the event. These students did not speak, use social media, or interact with others. Resource Officer Jennifer Rios announced the May 2016 program by declaring that it is “about making decisions and how the decisions you make can affect your life, and the life of your family and friends… For the next two days, we will show you, by example, how these tragedies affect the school environment and your life… watch and absorb how an alcohol-related tragedy can change your life forever.”
June 2000 Marilyn Russell, science teacher since 1967, retired. She created a popular field biology course that included many field trips, including birdwatching in local parks, evening herpetology drives on backroads and whale watching on Martin Luther King Day. LHS seniors wrote to school board about School Street closure, parking, lunchtime campus closure for freshmen and sophomores, uniforms, class sizes and heavy backpacks due to textbook and locker shortages.
2000 Dr. James Green became LHS principal, the first principal directly hired from outside of the district since Mr. Wattenburger.
September 2000 Altamont Creek Elementary School, a K-5 LHS feeder school, opened; Christensen became a grade 6-8 middle school. Assemblymember Lynne Leach held school finance town hall meeting in LHS theater.
October 2000 Crayola Dream-Makers program selected “Castle in the Sky” drawing by freshman Kira Addington for exhibition and for the Crayola permanent collection. Trustees accepted construction work: reconfiguration of staff parking lot, reinforcement of utility box traffic lids and adding handicap access to bleachers.
November 2000 Teacher Mrs. Heather Hammer urged trustees to approve a librarian for LHS.
April 2001 LHS baseball catcher Michael Gordon died from meningitis. Student vaccination campaign followed. (Gordon is memorialized today through the annual “Gordie Classic” baseball tournament held during spring break. LHS baseball retired his number “6.”)
Spring 2001 Administration of California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) began, taking full effect with class of 2006. The graduation requirement was suspended statewide in 2015.
September 11, 2001 Major terrorist attacks occurred in New York and Washington, D.C. before school. Unrelated local tragedies contributed to the melancholy at LHS. A morning fire at an apartment building near campus partially closed East Avenue, which delayed students and staff in reaching the school. The street closure and presence of many emergency vehicles caused speculation that the Livermore Lab was a terrorist target. An emergency faculty meeting was held to convey the news that teacher Mrs. Heather Hammer’s son had died the previous day. Principal Green recalled in 2017, “Through the day as I walked around campus, I saw TV sets on in almost every classroom (and every office). In many classes students were doing their work, but the TVs were on and everyone was watching with at least half an eye.”
October 2001 Beginning of US/NATO military response in Afghanistan gave new significance to the 25 members of the LHS Afghan Club.
Fall 2001 School district designated Ed Rundstrom Learning Center at former Sonoma School in honor of former LHS principal and superintendent.
2002-03 “Dot com bust” recession reduced school revenues and caused many cutbacks, including janitorial staff. In fall 2002, delayed approval of state budget caused midyear school budget cuts.
May 2002 Coached by Ron Furtado, FFA team won the state championship in marketing at Cal Poly. LHS placed first again in 2003.
June 2002 Seventh child of Julie Ann Larson graduated LHS. From 1979 to 2002, a Larson child attended LHS, excepting 1994-95 (22 of 23 years).
July 2002 Michigan mechanical engineering professor R. Brent Gillespie, class of ’86, received Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from President Bush.
Fall 2002 Principal Green held series of meetings with parents to discuss three alternatives to current schedule: traditional schedule of six-55 minutes periods, GHS schedule (fewer classes and attend every day instead of every other day) and mixed seven-period schedule (one day when all classes meet for 50 minutes, two days when periods 1, 3, 5, 7 meet for 90 minutes and two days when periods 2, 4, 6 meet for 90 minutes).
October 2002 Delbert Gee, class of 1973, appointed Alameda County Superior Court judge. (El Vaquerito featured him in the May 2012 issue.)
December 2002 Livermore Police Department proposed to school board to use drug-sniffing dog Harry to search for narcotics at middle and high schools. A school district news release said, “The proposal would involve searches that would be unannounced and on randomly selected days and times. The target areas would include student parking lots, hall lockers, PE lockers, and common areas such as the stadium, the quad area, among others. The searches would be conducted with a school administrator present and while students are in class. At no time would students or staff members be searched.
2003 Annual Fiction & Diction event began, sponsored by teacher Mr. Mark Cabasino. It was a public reading of poetry and short stories written by the juniors and seniors of the Creative Writing class. It was an evening event, held in the LHS library or theater, open to the public. By the late 2000s, the LHS literary magazine Verbivore was sold at the event.
2003 New greenhouse built for agriculture program. Trustees designated it “Mike White Greenhouse” in May 2003 to honor school district facilities administrator.
February 2003 Sarah Yow selected for All-State Honor Band. Nearly 200 LHS students sent petition to school board opposing library budget cut. School board voted to consolidate Del Valle and Phoenix continuation high schools on Fifth Street campus in 2003-04 year.
Spring 2003 School board voted to limit high school students to seven classes instead of increasing the student-teacher ratio. “The LHS staff voted almost unanimously to increase class size rather than offer students only seven classes,” LHS teacher Keith Pickering-Walters told the Board, according to the Tri-Valley Herald. “So I was shocked when you voted the way you did.” In contrast, the majority of GHS teachers favored seven, 100-minute classes to keep smaller class sizes. The trustees also reduced math and p.e. aides. However, on May 20, 2003, trustees reversed their decision and permitted students to take eight classes. To offset this cost and keep the budget balanced, the Board voted to eliminate the two high school crisis counselors.
Spring 2003 Drumline won statewide competition in Hollister.
June 2003 Joseph Dierking, Rochelle Greenhagen and Erik Ward were valedictorians. Senior Andrew Gomez died in a motorcycle accident on Tesla Road en route to graduation ceremony. Andy Grant and Leah Avilla of LHS named Contra Costa Times swimmers of the year. Nearly 250 LHS FFA members exhibited livestock at Alameda County Fair.
Fall 2003 New health course added as graduation requirement, replacing a semester of 9th grade social science.
September 2003 County schools superintendent appointed fiscal advisor Jim O’Connor to develop a long-term financial recovery plan for Livermore district, with veto power over district decisions. In October 2003, he recommended that high school class sizes be increased. He stated in his November 14, 2003 report, “It can be argued that decisions in special education, employee compensation and benefits, construction, enrollment projections, class size maintenance, and technology resulted in fiscal overextension.” O’Connor departed in spring 2005 after the district met its reserve requirements.
October 2003 Homecoming theme was the four seasons.
December 2003 LHS 39th annual holiday wrestling tournament renamed the Jim Miltner Memorial Wrestling Tournament to recognize the former Cowboy wrestler. It previously had been called the Bob Bronzan Tournament in honor of the LHS teacher and wrestling coach who founded it in 1965.
June 2004 Mr. Clancy Crew, art teacher since 1957, retired. Almond Ave. Elementary School, an LHS feeder school, closed.
2004 (approximate) natural grass football field replaced with first artificial turf field – with rubber infill.
Summer 2004 Quadrangle renovated to include new trees and outdoor amphitheater. Principal Green designed a cowboy mosaic that was embedded in the quad pavement as a centerpiece. Student Union building substantially renovated, including filling in of “pit” at center and construction of an overhang around much of its perimeter.
Fall 2004 State Board of Education approved Livermore Valley Charter School.
November 2004 LVJUSD voters passed Measure D, a five-year $120 parcel tax (2005-10) to pay for salaries and benefits. Among its stated purposes were to place two counselors at LHS and to restore college and career preparation classes.
December 2004 Mrs. Joyce Keeler, English teacher from 1963 to 2000, died. She donated her personal book collection to LHS, which was integrated into the library as the Keeler Collection, bearing special bookplates designed by principal’s secretary Chandra Whetzel. Mrs. Keeler adored F. Scott Fitzgerald and canines.
Mid-2000s Math Learning Center, founded in 1970, faded out of existence.
Early 2005 Local band RUNFORIT opened amphitheater.
March 12, 2005 LHS, GHS and Mendenhall musicians staged a benefit concert at Livermore Presbyterian Church for 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami UNICEF relief fund.
Spring 2005 LHS and GHS hosted Colorguard and Percussion Festival, attracting 60 California and Nevada schools. German language students hosted visiting students from Germany.
May 10, 2005 School board approved major new policy, “Limiting High School Students’ Off Campus Privileges,” effective fall 2005. Trustees cited safety as their main concern in requiring freshmen, sophomores and juniors to remain on campus for lunch. “I’m mad,” sophomore Katie Becker and “I’m livid,” junior Kelly Stevulak told the trustees, according to the Tri-Valley Herald. They said that students would “revolt.” Campus catering director Barbara Lee said that lunch sales locations and menu options would be added. The original proposal would have allowed juniors to leave campus at lunch.
May 18, 2005 Celebratory barbecue held on campus after LHS won “buckle up” seat belt usage award. Based on a two-week undercover survey, police concluded that LHS students used seat belts at a higher rate than GHS and Del Valle students.
May 23, 2005 Financed by the Livermore Lab, LHS theatre hosted “Manya: A Living History of Marie Curie,” a one-woman drama by renowned storyteller Susan Frontczak.
June 2005 Senior Katie Dashner received Edward Teller Science Scholar Award (instituted 2004), including $1,000 and eligibility for a Livermore Lab summer internship.
Mid-2005 David Chamberlain became LHS principal, beginning a two-year tenure.
2005-06 LHS enrollment peaked at an all-time high of 2,101 students, according to the California Department of Education Data Reporting office. This was a significant increase from 1,736 students in 1996-97. Granada increased from 1,395 students in 1996-97 to a peak of 2,360 in 2007-08.
August 2005 LHS campus closed at lunch, a watershed change to campus life. Only seniors in good standing were permitted to leave campus during the 45-minute lunch break. Previously students of all grades were permitted to leave the campus at lunch. Additional food services were provided on campus, including expanded cafeteria offerings and meals from fast food restaurants. To accommodate the larger number of students on campus at lunch, an additional food sales location was added in a portable building behind the Main Building and additional outdoor benches and tables added throughout the campus. (Mrs. Martha Eddleman and other history teachers long had used the threat of a lunchtime “closed campus” to illustrate American colonists’ reaction to the British 1763 Proclamation Line, evoking visceral reactions from students.)
Fall 2005 Grade point average calculations changed to give an extra point for Advanced Placement courses. Grade “A” in AP classes became worth five points, compared to four points in non-AP classes.
September 2005 Campus on lockdown one afternoon from 3:08 to 3:25 p.m. due to nearby police action unrelated to school. LHS parents received information through automated telephone calling system.
Fall 2005 Seniors Grace Ryan, Diana Stegall and Kelsey Schimmelman received Achievement Awards in National Council of Teachers of English writing contest. In 2006, seniors Gutierrez, Heather McLean and Lauren Swift won.
January 2006 School district warned that out-of-area teenagers representing themselves to be LHS or GHS fundraiser students were attempting to sell various products door-to-door.
January 10, 2006 Body of freshman Kayla Reed-Sheets, age 15, found in Delta-Mendota Canal near Vernalis. She was reported missing in December 2005. Friends left flowers, candles and cards at a makeshift memorial at LHS and held an evening candlelight vigil on January 25th, covered by Bay Area television news. Governor Schwarzenegger’s office offered a $50,000 reward for information concerning her slaying. Her homicide remains a “cold case” in 2017.
February 4, 2006 Livermore Pow Wow, an all-day Native American cultural event, held at LHS.
March 9, 2006 Freshman Bryan Matz, a varsity wrestler, died at his home.
March 21, 2006 School board approved new course “Sports in Society.”
May 2006 Conducted by Dean McNair, the Concert Band, Symphonic Band and percussion group presented their spring concert. Senior Mina Bionta won an award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Indianapolis. Verbivore literary magazine premiered.
Summer 2006 Livermore schools choirs, directed by Art Gagnier, performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
August 2006 Daily schedule began at 7:55 a.m., with Periods 1-4 on “A Days” and Periods 5-8 on “B Days.” Periods were 95 minutes long. Lunch was 11:25 a.m. to noon. Periods 4 and 8 ended at 3:25 p.m. “School Loop” (http://livermorehs.schoolloop.com/) replaced “In Touch Online” as the school’s personalized, teacher-parent-student internet-based communications tool. An August 16, 2006 post by principal’s secretary Chandra Whetzel explained, “School Loop is a web-based education service that will provide a free homework e-mail and a web site specifically relating to your child at Livermore High. Parents and students can register in School Loop at any time. … Once you have registered and the school year has begun, you may access information about your student’s classes and assignments. School Loop will automatically send a daily update to your e-mail each afternoon from participating teachers.” The name of the LHS administration’s newsletter, “In Site,” was briefly changed to “New Pony Express” in the mid-2000s.
August 22, 2006 Trustees authorized eminent domain lawsuit to acquire Wilson Family Funeral Chapel at 3070 East Avenue (1.05 acres, $2 million) to clear land for LHS new science building project. Purchase of parcels at 3062 and 3138 East Avenue followed.
Fall 2006 Show Choir course added, combining singing, dancing and acting.
December 2006 Eight Livermore Lab employees from the Amigos Unidos Employee Networking Group spent three hours at LHS to encourage Hispanic students in their education, sharing personal accounts of their backgrounds, education and careers.
2006 First LHS digital marquee installed at East Avenue and Maple Street.
2006 LHS lacrosse team created.
2000s American Cancer Society held a local version of its annual 24-hour Relay for Life fundraiser on LHS football field and track every June (e.g., 2008), usually with a nighttime ceremony, “themed laps,” and with the word “HOPE” spelled on bleachers with luminaria.
Late 2000s Clubs included Fashion Club, Interact (associated with Rotary), Muslim Student Association, Ignited Youth (Christians) and Tri-M Music Honors Society. The Go Green Club installed recycling stations across campus and promoted environmental education through the Daily Gram.
2007 Apple iPhone debuted, created in part by Bob Borchers, class of 1984.
January 2007 Catholic Church Oakland Diocese announced that planned Livermore high school would not proceed, partly due to cost overruns in Oakland cathedral construction.
January 28, 2007 Alexander Curtis (oboe), Amanda Houston (bassoon) and Paul Eteve (alto saxophone) played in Alameda County Honor Band concert at Hayward’s Chabot College.
Early 2007 Many fire alarm evacuations of the school occurred in February and April.
May 2007 LHS named California Distinguished High School, one of 95 in state in 2007, for narrowing achievement gap.
2007 Darrel Avilla became LHS principal. Known for his signature “Good morning, Livermore High School” greeting on the school loudspeaker, he was LHS football coach from 1987 to 2002.
July 20 & 24, 2007 Lisa Ackerman, class of ’07, was “Teen Jeopardy” tournament semifinalist on the nationally televised quiz show, winning $10,000.
August 2007 “[W]e came back to school to find cameras and gates that rocked our world,” El Vaquerito observed. A fence was erected around campus. Access to campus was restricted as gates were installed in Cowboy Alley and near the Activities Office. Security cameras were installed on campus at 16 locations. “Because of recent incidences involving violence on school campuses, for example, Columbine and Virginia Tech, we wanted to make sure our students were as safe as possible,” Senior Advisor Mrs. Kacinski told El Vaquerito. Many restrooms were remodeled to provide automatic flushing and seat covers. Over the following months, the baseball diamond was relocated to provide space for portable buildings. New agricultural and industrial science buildings were added.
Fall 2007 New nutritional requirements changed LHS cafeteria menus. Fried foods were banned and calorie limits imposed. Original M&M candies were removed from sale.
October 2007 LHS musicians and artists participated in opening day ceremonies for Bankhead performing arts theater in downtown Livermore.
October 2007 “Ancient Civilizations” inter-class competition during Spirit Week generated controversy. The junior class explored a “China” theme for their homecoming float and their Spirit Day. They first wanted a “Ninja Day,” but school administration blocked it because ninjas are Japanese. Then they considered a “Chopstick Day,” which administrators nixed as racially insensitive. When the junior class suggested “Ancient China Day,” administrators expressed concern that students would wear Japanese kimonos. The Class of ’09 countered with an “Asian Day” theme, which administrators opposed. Students finally settled on “Fireworks Day.” “There is a knowledge gap in Ancient Chinese history [curriculum],” Mr. Schmokel, Leadership official, told El Vaquerito. He proudly spoke of the students’ dedication to get it right. The sophomore class theme was “Ancient Greece” with a “Toga Day.” El Vaquerito explained, “In the past, Toga day was always struck down because of dress code violations. But this year, the students were willing to compromise. To have Toga day, rules were enforced requiring pants are worn under the sheets, and are visible. Both shoulders, also, have to be covered. And though many students were upset by these rules, Schmokel explained, ‘It’s to not give an impression that someone is not wearing only a toga.’” Vice Principal Ron Nicola explained, “Some stereotypes carry negative connotations and others don’t. In my mind, togas don’t belittle the culture.” Elected Rally Commissioner Cathy Garcia replied, “I don’t think this is fair and a lot of people have complained about the administration for this very reason.”
October 2007 The color of free “2 Cool 4 Drugs” bracelets distributed during Drug Week sparked discussion. El Vaquerito reported, “Because the color red is loosely affiliated with gang problems, it was thought best if the new color was green. … Many students find this change somewhat ludicrous and offensive. In fact, students who typically wear the red bracelets have refused to wear the green.”
2008 Main building renovation project.
January 2008 Two issues of The Stampede, an “underground” student newspaper, were distributed. The editor-in-chief told El Vaquerito that he started the paper to address injustices.
January 22, 2008 School board approved end of LHS “A/B block” schedule system, which had been in place since 1993, effective in fall 2008.
February 2008 Teachers reported that they were using online services to detect and deter student plagiarism. English teacher Barry Parr told El Vaquerito, “About a third of my students plagiarize, but it is not necessarily intentional.” He said that nearly one-tenth of his students were aware that they were plagiarizing. “Out of 60 US History students, only one blatantly plagiarized,” teacher Cate Sarraille said about her adoption of Turnitin.com. “In the past, I would have had five or six who did so.”
February 29, 2008 Sadie Hawkins Dance theme was “’80s Sadies.” El Vaquerito wrote, “Everyone attending the dance is encouraged to dress in sizzling 80’s clothing, such as leggings, big glasses, neon colors, shoulder pads, or skinny jeans.”
March 14, 2008 “Mr. Cowboy Pageant,” an annual tradition, began. El Vaquerito explained in 2016, “Mr. Cowboy is similar to a classic beauty pageant: 12 contestants, one for each month, show off their personality, intelligence, beauty, and talents in a grandiose show in front of an adoring audience. However, Mr. Cowboy has an endearing twist. All of the contestants are senior boys who have been nominated by their peers as outstanding individuals.” Proceeds from ticket sales benefited the senior class, including provision of Senior Ball activities. The first pageant in 2008 included three categories: formal outfit, board shorts and talent. All of the contestants participated in two choreographed dances.
March 29, 2008 Helen Daniel (née Radewan), LHS English teacher and journalism adviser from 1972 to 2004, inducted into Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame. She was a mentor to both students and younger teachers and did much to integrate English language learners (esp. Vietnamese), gays/lesbians and other marginalized students into campus life.
April 15, 2008 New science building construction project ($14 million) began. The school district purchased and demolished homes along East Avenue to add 1.2 acres to the campus ($3 million). The $11 million project constructed a nine-classroom science building (18,800 sq. ft.) and added a new quad (33,500 sq. ft.) between the new building and the “400” building. Campus supervisor Bill Snyder, a lithophile, discovered agate stones unearthed during the project.
May 16, 2008 First Black and White Bash, an LHS-GHS dance that alternated between the schools.
Spring 2008 Judith Guidry, longtime campus supervisor, retired after nearly 20 years of service. Gentile family (multi-generational LHS alumni) donated $65,000 of film camera equipment to LHS photography class.
Fall 2008 LHS and GHS shifted from a “Block A/B” semester system to a “3 x 5” trimester system. Students changed their courses and took final exams three times per year (every 12 weeks) instead of two. Class periods were shortened from 90-105 minutes to 70 minutes. Under the trimester system, students took four to five courses and attended each course daily (as opposed to every other day under the old system). The phrases “A day” and “B day” faded from the LHS lexicon. The school board approved the trimester system for a three-year trial period. San Luis Obispo High School inspired the plan. Many students were skeptical of the trimester plan. El Vaquerito reported that were “boos and catcalls” at the school board meeting, “Many students on campus are upset that the situation seemed out of their hands. Though some students attended the meeting and spoke out, the majority of students felt that they were being manipulated by the system.” Principal Avilla posted a video at livermorehighonline.com to explain the plan.
November 2008 Black Student Union members volunteered at San Francisco Food Bank during Thanksgiving break.
April 2009 New science building and quad dedicated. 1950s science building renovated.
Circa 2009 “Shooting Stars,” a cheer team composed of special needs students, began. It performs at athletic games and rallies. A March 2014 KGO-TV news report featured the team.
2009-10 LARPD re-designed Bothwell Park, old campus block at 8th and H Streets as baseball/softball diamond eliminated. Remaining foundation of 1893 building quietly discovered and removed.
May 2009 Major League Baseball pitcher Randy Johnson, class of 1982, made a surprise visit to LHS. Johnson was inducted in the M.L.B. Hall of Fame in 2015. Other alumni who played M.L.B. are Bryan Shaw, class of 2005 and Junior Graham, class of 2008.
June 2009 Mr. Nelson Fong (math/science) and spouse Mme. Lorraine Fong (French/math), longtime LHS teachers, retired.
June 2009 Valedictorian graduation honor changed. Instead of granting the “valedictorian” title to all students who received straight “A” grades, a single valedictorian was designated, the graduate with the highest weighted grade point average. Some students complained that the new system unfairly rewarded students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, whose “A” grades received five (instead of four) points.
Fall 2009 Freshmen In Transition (F.I.T.) classes began, a one-trimester designed to help new students acclimate to high school. Teacher Mrs. Taylor told El Vaquerito in 2009 that the class would teach “social skills, emotional and social support, character development, note taking skills, technology etiquette, computer basics, discipline policies and procedures, as well as the history, climate and culture of Livermore High School.”
October 2009 Homecoming float/skit theme was “board games” (LIFE, Monopoly, Candyland, Clue).
November 2009 Drop in Academic Performance Index score caused LHS to consider adopting the GHS policy that raised student grades based on STAR test results. LHS offered six days of off-campus lunch for sophomores and juniors who moved up one level on three STAR subject tests or who scored proficient or advanced on three STAR tests. English department voted to create an “English Workshop” course aimed at English language learners.
December 2009 Colors of “Cowboy Nation” shirt produced by Leadership class generated controversy from alumni for excluding gold (LHS color) and including black (GHS color). Principal Avilla said that LHS colors were dark green and sunflower yellow; “[W]e need to stay green and gold,” he said to El Vaquerito.
December 17, 2009 First alumni basketball game.
2010s LHS dramatic performances included “The Visit” (’13), “Animal Farm” (’13), “Fortinbras” (’14), “An Ideal Husband” (’15), “1776” (’16, with an all-female cast), “Pirates of Penzance” (’16), “Almost, Maine” (’16), “39 Steps” (’17) and “In the Heights” (’17). LHS choral groups in this era included concert choir, chamber chorale and treble choir.
2010s A common sight on campus was “Special Day” students in the Workability On-Campus Program delivering coffee and baked potatoes to teachers in their classrooms. El Vaquerito explained, “The purpose of the Workability On-Campus Program is to allow the students to learn important and essential skills in life. These students are able to experience what it is like to have a job in the future, learning how to support their community, work together as a team, and how to be responsible of their designated tasks. The students are also able to learn how to count money, place orders, utilize people skills when they talk to new people on campus, and important communication skills that they need in the future.” LHS teacher Brenda Woodsmall founded the program.
2010s Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program helped students to quit smoking. In 2013, three coordinators, including campus supervisor “Big John,” assisted students. In March 2014, LHS held a weeklong “Kick Butts” event with lunchtime activities.
Fall 2010 LHS Green Engineering Academy (originally called Engineering Green Solutions) established to train students for careers in clean technology and renewable energy. Students are enrolled all four years. At least 50% of students entering the academy must meet one of the following criteria: at risk of dropping out of school, not proficient in English and/or math, or having a GPA at or below 2.2. GEA was established with a California Partnership Academy grant. In 2015, the White House recognized GEA as a “Bright Spot,” one of 230 programs nationwide that are creating opportunities and closing the educational attainment gap for Hispanics.
2010s “Dark Rally” tradition began, held in Large Gym. An account of the 2016 Dark Rally said, “[T]he whole school cooperated and illuminated the gym with the lights on their phones to create an amazing display in the dark.”
November 3, 2008 Livermore voters passed Measure M, parcel tax extension.
Circa 2010 AP U.S. Government & Politics first offered as substitute for Civics.
January 2010 Major earthquake in Haiti had special significance to French teacher Mme. Rene, a native of Haiti. Leadership class raised relief funds. Student Brandon McCallum worked at a refugee camp in summer 2010.
February 17, 2010 LHS administration reminded students of cell phone policy. El Vaquerito explained, “The rules state that all of the following are “inappropriate” uses of a cell phone: texting the answers to a test to another student, arranging drug deals, taking pictures of teachers or students at any time in the day, and organizing fights.”
Spring 2010 AP Calculus teacher Mrs. Johnston instituted “Pizza and Problems,” a two-hour weekly class to assist students preparing for the May exam. Livermore and Sandia lab employees and retirees served as adult advisers.
August 2010 Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory High School opened on the former Portola Elementary School campus, with enrollment of 70 during 2010-11. Enrollment increased to 440 students in 2013-14. The school lost significant enrollment in 2016-17 after it lost its accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; many students transferred to LHS.
Fall 2010 Enrollment failed to reach estimate, causing budget, course and faculty cutbacks as school year began. Student-teacher ratios increased to above 30 in some classes. Students complained that too few academic elective options were offered. El Vaquerito wrote, “The bottom line is that the economy has taken a toll on our school this year.”
Fall 2010 New anonymous mascot excited “Cowboy Nation.” El Vaquerito reported, “[I]t will consist of a giant cowboy head and cowboy body, which will conceal the identity of the person inside it.” The mascot received special training at U.C. Davis. Student clubs included Hiking Club, Civil War Club, “Alma de Bronze,” focused on Hispanic culture, and “A Very Potter,” focused on the Harry Potter book series. The Future Farmers of America club had its own demonstration farm on a five-acre parcel in north Livermore (Las Colinas Road) whereon students raised livestock.
September 10, 2010 Campus lockdown triggered by student who falsely claimed to possess a firearm in class.
November 2010 Academic Performance Index (API) score increased to 802 on 1000 point scale in 2009-10 school year, up 33 points from 2008-09. In January 2011, student Luke Lalor criticized test-focused curriculum in El Vaquerito, “The administration does everything they can to raise our STAR test scores without considering to whether their actions are actually benefiting students’ education. AP classes, rather than focusing on their subject, are geared toward the test.”
November 2010 School recycling stations damaged as thieves removed “California Redemption Value” beverage containers. Mr. Steve Bailey’s AP Environmental Science class brainstormed solutions.
November 2010 El Vaquerito’s Jesse Romero opined on 1980s student fashion, “Girls back then dressed like they walked out of a rainbow with bright colored shirts hanging off of their shoulders … Boys had long hair that was flipped out on the sides … People in the past would look like aliens if they walked around in the store or in the mall or at the park; they wouldn’t belong.”
2011 “The Martian,” a book by Andrew Weir, class of 1990, published. In 2015, it became a major motion picture. Computer scientist Ralph Merkle, class of 1970, inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work in public-key cryptography.
January 2011 LHS held its second annual facial hair growing contest, “Manuary,” following the May 2010 “Manly Month of May.”
May 2011 Annual girls’ “powder puff football” game cancelled, then revived after rule changes. El Vaquerito reported, “LHS seniors Celeste Rietveld and Kaitlynn Amaral (players) and Joseph Gonzalez (coach) sat down with Principal Avilla to save this great event … These rules were agreed on to maintain the health and well-being of all players while sustaining a competitive, semi-physical game.”
Spring 2011 Senior Grad Night bus trip to southern California included Knott’s Berry Farm, California Adventure and Disneyland over 33 hours.
June 2011 Mrs. Susan Pfiefer, English teacher for 39 years, retired.
Fall 2011 Online teaching program Class.com began for credit recovery, make up and enrichment classes, in lieu of summer school.
November 22, 2011 Senior David Goddard killed in car accident.
December 2011 LHS Mechatronics Club build a “trebuchet” that launched pumpkins 250 feet away.
January 2012 Mrs. Bogetti, new LHS librarian, imposed new rules for textbook distribution after an audit showed that the library was missing $25,000 in textbooks. Many students failed to return their overdue books or attempted to substitute their books with classroom copies.
January 2012 El Vaquerito discussed the Green Academy: “The green academy consists of an engineering course directed by Mr. Waltz along with regular classes which incorporate various “green” information into the standard curriculum … The Green Academy aims to accomplish three goals. The first goal is to decrease the education gap between poor and exceptional students, the second is to provide real engineering skills straight out of high school and the third is to have three-year students concurrent with the same teacher for each subject to decrease adjustment time and increase educational value.”
January 2012 Lax enforcement of dress code examined in El Vaquerito. Social Science teacher Cate Sarraille said, “What’s necessarily appropriate to wear out with friends is not necessarily OK for school, or even work for that matter.” A January 2013 op-ed criticized saggy pants, sheer shirts and short shorts.
February 2012 Vice Principal Mrs. McKnight (nee Ms. Kacinski), Class of ’12 advisor, pleaded with seniors to stop playing a game called “Assassins,” a class-wide battle that battle involved partners being assigned targets to “kill” with Nerf guns or red sharpie pens.
February 3, 2012 LHS partially removed restrictions on access to YouTube.com, allowing YouTube EDU videos.
February 15, 2012 Awards ceremony held at LHS for English Language Learner students across school district.
April 2012 Concerns raised about cyber-bullying of teachers through RateMyTeachers.com website. Greek Week was the “spirit week” of third trimester, including a cardboard boat race in the school pool on “Pirate Day.” A perennial Greek Week activity is a “Quidditch” game on Harry Potter Day.
July 2012 Alberto Solórzano, vice principal at Union City’s Cesar Chavez Middle School, became LHS principal. As a native Spanish speaker, he took special interest in English language learners. He told El Vaquerito, “[At Cesar Chavez,] the reports of English-learners who did not reach proficiency on STAR tests were a number of pages. Here it’s only two pages. This is a manageable population that we can help and improve.” Among this signature loudspeaker phrases was “And don’t forget to tell someone you love them.”
October 2012 Senior float, “Grease,” received 100 of 100 points from Homecoming judges.
December 2012 Dance team placed third in national competition.
December 21, 2012 “Snow Day” tradition began on the last day before winter break. The celebration was originally created by LHS’s leadership class as a reaction to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 26 people one week earlier in Newtown, Connecticut. The tragedy cast a pall over LHS’s planned “Dark Rally,” which was to focus on the 2012 end of the Mayan calendar (that Dark Rally was postponed to January 2013). Leadership teacher Jeannette Garza explained to El Vaquerito‘s Thuyvi Pham in a January 2016 article, “Sandy Hook really hit us and it was so sad. It occurred to us that we probably shouldn’t be having an end of the world rally in the same time frame that Sandy Hook happened. People were very scared so we were coming up with ideas that would bring some joy instead of focusing on the things that were happening.” Garza explained that, “… the snow wasn’t blown in. The Leadership kids had to shovel the snow everywhere and spent hours doing so, finishing just before passing period between first to second period … all of a sudden, the sound system we had out began to play ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ and all the kids just came running out there…it wasn’t like now how there’s snowball fights and [students] were just happy and playing, building snowmen… some kids were in tears because they never saw snow before.” Less artificial snow was used in 2015 on account of the statewide drought. The last LHS snow day with natural precipitation occurred in February 1976.
2013 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System replaced STAR tests.
January 2013 Change to policy of designating a single class valedictorian through class rank and grade point average discussed. Principal Solórzano and other faculty members wanted to broaden selection criteria and potentially designate multiple graduates.
January 18, 2013 First “Operation Needle Drop” video produced by student group, Cowboy Alley Productions, in cooperation with Leadership class. The fourteen-minute video, shot with a single take, featured hundreds of students on a musical tour of the campus, ending with the entire student body gathered on the quad. Senior James Miille was director; junior Jose Hackbarth operated the camera. Mr. Castro, Video Productions teacher, explained the concept, “It’s a one-shot music video where the camera starts rolling at point A and stops rolling at point B.” El Vaquerito editor Deena Malaeb added, “It’s a lip dub and resembles a flash mob, where everyone tunnels around one student who is lip-syncing to music.” Similar productions followed in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, all posted to YouTube.com.
February 2013 El Vaquerito special edition devoted to gun control debate, inspired by Sandy Hook school massacre. School Resource Officer Ryan Sanchez said that the entertainment industry altered youth perception of violence, “[M]ovies and video games are like reality-based training for kids. If you do anything long enough, you get desensitized.” The March issue discussed football concussion injuries.
March 2013 LHS Athletic Booster Club, a non-profit organization that supports facilities, equipment, uniforms and other needs, held its “Cowboy Round-Up” fundraising dinner. It also raises money through sale of LHS apparel and blankets. (Livermore-Granada Boosters long held an annual Olympian Scholarship Awards Banquet, often in LHS gym.) Other organizations that support LHS include the Livermore Valley Educational Foundation (LVEF), Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) and Alumni Association.
March 2013 Lunch was 35 minutes. Seniors and underclassmen with “STAR card off-campus days” could leave campus. El Vaquerito noted that off-campus food options included McDonald’s, Safeway, Subway and Taco Bell off of First St. near I-580, Mr. Pickle on S. Livermore Ave. and Subway on Pacific Ave.
April 2013 El Vaquerito debuted a Spanish language section, “Vida Vaquera,” explaining, “El Señor Parr y el director Solórzano tuvieron la idea de crear una sección en español.” [“Mr. Parr (journalism advisor) and Principal Solórzano had the idea to create a section in Spanish.”]. Juan Espinosa was first section editor. The first articles discussed immigration reform and the election of Pope Francis. El Vaquerito had a “Spanish” page as early as 2005.
May 2013 El Vaquerito reported on a mid-April breakdown in campus discourse, “Rude accusations during Greek Week, inappropriate Junior Prom behavior, and a campus strewn with lunch trash prompted intervention and warnings from LHS administration … During the [Greek Week] competition, many competitors from all four of the classes made jabs at their rivals and complained over point deductions and disqualifications … Mrs. Garza, ASB teacher, asks, ‘Why do we dump trash on our own campus? Why do we enable this destructive behavior from a small group of people?’ … Principal Solorzano responded to the initial problems of Greek Week by issuing a statement over the loudspeaker on Tuesday, warning students that if their behavior didn’t improve, the remainder of Greek Week, including the rally, would be canceled. This statement was reiterated on the Cowboy Nation Facebook page and an automated telephone message was made to the homes of LHS students … The day after the warnings, Solorzano remarked favorably on the noticeable changes in behavior.” Social media fomented the crisis, as classes gained bonus points by voting through Twitter (@LHSCowboyNation) with their class year (e.g., #LHS13). “Each class eventually exceeded the maximum voting limit of 2,000 votes per class.” LHS administration began reviewing the Twitter feed, causing some students to protest that it was an “off-campus” issue. Vice Principal Mr. Eckert replied, “You need to recognize that when it’s not private, any person who has an account can look at it.” El Vaquerito commented, “In reality, students, and even adults, widely misconstrue social media as their own personal space to express themselves. Social media is quickly accessible, and that seems to be the biggest problem.”
June 20, 2013 The Obama White House honored Eric Kansa, class of ’90, as a “Champion of Change” for his development of OpenContext.org, an open access publishing venue for data in archaeology and related fields.
2013-14 Enrollment dropped to 1,750, near a twenty-year low.
Fall 2013 Twins Ashley and Jessica Lois, class of ’13, matriculated at U.S. Naval Academy, joining brother Kevin Lois. Damariay Drew, class of 2012, began redshirt freshman year on Cal Berkeley football team. LHS clubs included Book, Hiking, Interact (community service), Latin, Math (tutor students), Perfectly Imperfect (self-confidence for young women), Science Bowl and Toms Club (community service).
September 16, 2013 Senior picnic at Robertson Park ($40), organized by Mr. Castro and other teachers. It included athletic events, a giant inflatable slide, henna tattoos, music and food. Breathalyzer tests were administered before boarding buses. After cleaning the field, students formed a giant “14” for a class photo.
October 24-26, 2013 Homecoming was a three-day event: Thursday night floats presentation and bonfire, Friday rally/football game with queen coronation, Saturday dance with king coronation.
November 2013 “Twitter has taken over Facebook as the popular social media for students at LHS … Twitter is like a giant group chat between hundreds of people at LHS every night. Anytime something notable happens, like a Raiders game, the VMAs or even a fire drill, there are people talking about it on Twitter. People go on Twitter to complain, to amuse, to laugh, and to become better friends with people,” reported Braden Cartwright in El Vaquerito.
November 2013 Students Ashley Fagundes (color guard) and Kristina Goff (cheer) performed in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
December 2013 Peder Andersen, LHS basketball scorekeeper for 61 years (3,500+ games), died. “Cowboy Nation Sixth Man” student section (Twitter: @lhs6thman) brought spirit to boys’ and girls’ basketball games. The section was called “12th Man” at football games. El Vaquerito article “What’s Up with LHS Sports?” about the mediocre winning records of many teams over the past decade generated much discussion on campus and on social media and a reply by Athletic Director James Petersdorf, “Even though our enrollment is down we’re still moving in a positive direction … Schools are a living breathing thing. When people don’t invest in it, it dies. That includes the student body. That includes the coaches, the players, the administration, and the teachers.” Five students received community appreciation for aiding a senior citizen who fell outside of St. Michael’s Church.
January 2014 Future Farmers of America (FFA) funding was jeopardized as the Governor Jerry Brown administration considered major changes to state Agricultural Education Incentive grants. LHS was among 315 FFA chapters in California and the last remaining chapter in Alameda County. Its 225 FFA students were among 73,000 statewide. Ag-related classes offered at LHS included agricultural science, agricultural biology, animal anatomy, wildlife management, construction technology, animal science and floriculture. Mr. Joe McNealy (class of ’93) was primary teacher.
January 2014 Shannon Melrose reflected on the LHS-GHS athletic rivalry in El Vaquerito: “Livermore students often make signs that say “Stomp the Mats” or “We Don’t Take No Bull” … At the rival games, each student cheering section attempts to chant louder than the other, creating chaos and havoc in the gym or in the field bleachers. This madness excites the players, causing the game to become even more intense … During the Livermore-Granada football game, players from both teams helped each other up off the field after taking hard hits … After the football game, the Livermore and Granada students and athletes all enjoyed their time together at In-N-Out. The rivalry was put aside for a while and the teenagers could re-connect with their rival-school friends. Most of these teens have actually grown up playing CYO basketball or LYF football all together, so they have been acquaintances ever since they were very young.”
February 2014 AP Calculus AB teacher Mrs. Heather Lamb took a hastily-announced, health-related leave of absence after first trimester; Mrs. Anne-Marie DeBoever took her place. El Vaquerito wrote, “[S]ome students still felt a dedication to Mrs. Lamb and were unwilling to embrace a brand new teaching process. Days passed, and it was obvious that the student-teacher relationship within the class held no cohesion.” Some students requested a new teacher from LHS administration; some parents contacted the school district. Parents “expressed concern that some students were now at the risk of losing scholarship opportunities and college acceptances.” Principal Solórzano decided to replace Mrs. DeBoever with AP Calculus BC teacher Mrs. Johnston. “Parents, by going above me and seeking higher authority, put pressure on the site to move faster to quiet down the voices. I’m hoping the decision I made is the best one for our kids,” Mr. Solórzano told El Vaquerito. “After Johnston took over the class, troubles persisted. After the first day of the new AP Calculus setup, Johnston reported that she received thirteen e-mails questioning her teaching techniques,” El Vaquerito reported.
March 2014 Trimester system was under fire. In 2010-11, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges requested a study of the trimester system from LHS teacher and student perspectives. In 2013, of 67 responses from teachers, 42 were negative, six were positive and 19 neutral in their assessments of the trimester system. Many teachers believed that 12 weeks was insufficient time to build rapport with students. Foreign language teachers thought that their courses were too intensive. Some teachers observed a “dislearning phenomenon” that occurs on summer breaks that is amplified when students skip a subject for a trimester. The 2013 report touted the trimester system’s scheduling flexibility as “particularly attractive for students involved in sports, attending courses at Las Positas, working part-time jobs, or simply involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities.” Livermore Schools Superintendent Kelly Bowers cited five goals of the trimester system: improve student achievement (especially math), increase elective options and scheduling flexibility, provide teacher collaboration time, encourage innovation and creativity and unify LHS and GHS onto the same schedule.
June 2014 Mr. Kevin Gunn, history teacher and coach since 1976, retired.
June 3, 2014 LVJUSD voters passed Measure G, a seven-year $138 parcel tax (2015-22).
September 10, 2014 Ribbon cutting ceremony for new Independent Living Skills Center for special education students.
July 1, 2015 Vicki Scudder became LHS principal.
2015-16 Enrollment was 1,794. According to the CALPADS database, racial composition was 946 White, Not Hispanic (53 percent), 526 Hispanic or Latino of Any Race (29 percent), 109 Two or More Races, Not Hispanic (6 percent), 102 Asian, Not Hispanic (6 percent), 68 Filipino & Pacific Islander, Not Hispanic (4 percent) and 32 African American, Not Hispanic (2 percent). All 21 Migrant Education Students were Hispanic/Latino. Nearly one-quarter of LHS enrollment (416 students, 23 percent) was socioeconomically disadvantaged. More than half of all LHS Hispanic/Latino enrollees (283 students, 54 percent) were socioeconomically disadvantaged. Hispanics/Latinos compromised 68 percent of all LHS socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Nearly one-third of LHS Asian students and nearly one-half of LHS African American students were socioeconomically disadvantaged. LHS had 120 English language learners, of whom 86 percent were Hispanic/Latino. In 2016-17, many attended Mr. Jeffrey Taves’ English Language Development (ELD) class with aide Carmen Perea-Tellez.
Fall 2015 Teaching of Latin resumed after a 20-year hiatus. Ms. Mary Kaye Brown was teacher. In 2016, a 115 year-old Latin notebook used by LHS student John James Moy, Class of 1901, was donated to LHS.
Fall 2015 Former El Vaquerito advisor Barry Parr hands over his duties to new advisor Lydia Sarraille. El Vaquerito is moved to a digital platform online both to save money and to provide students with a modern understanding of print media. The website for the student publication undergoes several redesigns as the news staff adjusts to the format.
November 2015 A dedicated counselor, Sharon Stewart, began providing advice to first-generation college applicants.
2016 Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes offered at LHS included Foods (Mrs. Webber), Culinary Arts (Mrs. Neumann-Baughman), Fashion (Mrs. Webber), Child Development (Mrs. Pavon), Business (Mrs. Telford), Agriculture (Mrs. Porter and Mr. McNealy), Computer Science (Mr. Curl), Green Engineering Academy (Mr. Waltz), Metals (Mr. Woodworth), Auto Shop (Mr. Woodworth), Robotics (Mr. Woodworth) and Woodshop (Mr. McNealy). LHS students could attend courses at GHS, Dublin High and Dublin Beauty School (cosmetology) through the Regional Occupational Program (ROP).
2016 LHS had two video game clubs: GEAR Club and Fighting Game Club (FGC). GEAR Club was centered on handheld devices; FGC focused on fighting games.
January 2016 Members of the LHS cheerleading/dance teams performed in London. John “Big John” Flores, class of 2002, retired from LHS after nine years of service in campus security.
February 2016 LHS journalism class visited Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Mr. John Ascher, LHS art teacher for 11 years, retired to become a minister in Wisconsin.
March 17, 2016 LHS conducted a 30-minute shelter-in-place drill after campus administration received an anonymous threat. The same day LHS began replacing its “Daily Gram,” a reading of announcements over the school public address system during homeroom period, with “Cowboy Nation News” (CBNN) videos. El Vaquerito explained, “CBNN was created in order to make views viewers more invested in the content, as many did not listen to the Daily Gram. Cowboy Nation News is believed to be an easier alternative for students to receive daily announcements. A link to CBNN is emailed to all teachers, but it is also accessible on the Livermore High School website.” Leadership and Video Production classes created CBNN. The plan was for it to begin on Thursdays and ultimately expand to other days of the week later in the trimester.
April 2016 “LivermoreGossip” Twitter account attracted hundreds of followers over the weekend of April 22nd, causing concern among LHS students, parents, faculty and administration. El Vaquerito explained, “The page offered students a way to anonymously post comments and accusations about their peers, asking students in their bio to “Submit (their comments) in the dm’s.” These messages would then be posted on the page in the form of an anonymous Tweet. The content of these tweets ranged from harmless jokes, to cruel and hate-filled accusations, to crude and sexual accusations.“
April 17, 2016 Mr. Mike Helton, economics and civics teacher since 1998, died from lung cancer.
Spring 2016 Varsity baseball won NCS Division 2 championship.
June 2016 LVJUSD voters passed Measure J, a $245 million facilities bond measure that funded more than $30 million of LHS projects, including new football field artificial turf and bleachers replacement and the upcoming replacements of the Large Gym, boys’ locker room, swimming pool and weight room, modernization of the Small Gym and widening of the running track to nine lanes. Six LHS students traveled to Cuba with Spanish teacher Michelle Gonsalves.
Fall 2016 LHS changed its “learning outcomes,” touted on posters throughout campus, from “PACT” (Personal Development, Academic Achievement, Communication, and Technology) to “LIFE” (Literacy and Critical Thinking, Innovation, Fitness, and Ethics). Student clubs at LHS included CTR Club, Red Cross, Debate Team, Poetry Club, Book Club, and National Honor Society. Ignited Youth and Young Life were Christian clubs. The Link Crew club helped freshmen adjust to high school and hosted events for freshmen, including Freshman Welcome Day, the Freshman Tailgate, Freshman Halloween Carnival and Cookies n’ Cram, a final exam study forum. Drama Club sponsored evening events, such as Fall Drama Showcase (a talent show) and Play in a Day (students write a play one day, then perform it the next day). Interact Club raised funds for charities.
September 2016 Back-to-School dance cancelled due to poor ticket sales. LHS dedicated its new artificial turf football field with cork infill.
October 2016 LHS football won its first homecoming game since 1999, defeating Dougherty Valley. Edna Chance, class of 1935 (age 99), named honorary homecoming queen.
Fall 2016 Girls Who Code Club established at LHS and other local schools to introduce girls to basic computer programming. “I wanted the girls to feel that the club was a safe place where no one would be judged,” facilitator Janet Seidl said.
Early 2017 New LHS digital marquee installed at East Avenue and Maple Street.
March 2017 Girls’ soccer won Division II North Coast Section championship.
April 22, 2017 Livermore version of national March for Science held at LHS.
May 20, 2017 LHS commemorated its 125th anniversary with a Saturday afternoon open campus.