Homestead High School (Cupertino, California)

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Homestead High School
Cupertino, California
United States
Coordinates 37°20′10″N 122°2′55″W / 37.33611°N 122.04861°W / 37.33611; -122.04861Coordinates: 37°20′10″N 122°2′55″W / 37.33611°N 122.04861°W / 37.33611; -122.04861
Type Public 4-year comprehensive
Established 1962
Principal Greg Giglio[1]
Staff 97 (in 2007)[2]
Grades 9–12
Number of students 2,405 (in 2015)[2]
Campus Suburban
Color(s)      green      white
Athletics conference Santa Clara Valley Athletic League
CIF Central Coast Section
Team name Mustangs
Newspaper The Epitaph
Yearbook Pegasus

Homestead High School is a four-year high school serving north western Cupertino, western Sunnyvale, and portions of southern Los Altos, in Santa Clara County, California. Established in 1962, the school serves 2,405 students in grades 9 to 12 as part of the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD).[2][3] In 2003 and 2009, the California Department of Education recognized Homestead as a California Distinguished School, and in 2004, the Federal Department of Education recognized Homestead as a Blue Ribbon School.[1][4]


The table below represents the increase in enrolling students between the years 2003 and 2015.

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
1,844 1,823 2,001 2,089 2,270 2,242 2,240 2,190 2,270 2,311 2,367 2,270 2,405


As of the 2007 school year, the racial composition was as follows:

Approximately 5.5% of the student population were economically disadvantaged.[clarification needed]



Homestead High School has played a role in the development of Silicon Valley. During the late 1960s and 1970s, the school was a haven for students interested in electronics and the emerging computer age. The school’s electronics class is considered as seminal as Frederick Terman's program at Stanford University.[7] During this period, the electronics teacher, John McCollum, created a hands-on classroom in which students like Stephen Wozniak learned while designing, building, repairing, and understanding a range of equipment.[8] Today, would-be engineers, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs find support through the school's programs in robotics, mathematics, science, business courses, and its Future Business Leaders of America chapter.


Homestead High School's swimming pool.

Homestead High School is bordered by Homestead Road to the north and Interstate 280 to the south. Beginning in the summer of 2009, solar panels and shade structures were added over both parking lots and the fields were reorganized so that a new stadium could be constructed. The other half of campus, facing Homestead Road, consists of several school buildings. The majority of the buildings have an inner corridor with outdoor corridors connecting the buildings. Green-colored hoofmarks decorate Homestead High School's sidewalks and walkways, which are from the school's official mascot and color. The front walls of the school are decorated with murals of a similar theme, including a large mural of a mustang.[9]


Homestead High School's curriculum includes preparatory courses, vocational training, and general education. The school has a variety of special programs to meet the needs of exceptional students. Open-access Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered in the subjects US History, English, Physics, Calculus, Art, Government/Economics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Statistics, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese and Music Theory. Several programs promote positive learning for all students, including AVID and inclusion classes to support the needs of English Language Learners and Special education students. The school also offers a Peer Tutorial program and a program called EXCEL[clarification needed] to serve the needs of students unable to pass the California High School Exit Exam and finish graduation requirements. The school introduced a block schedule in the 2003 school year that includes a 25-minute tutorial period four days a week.[1]

Academically, Homestead ranks in the top 20 high schools in Santa Clara County.[citation needed] Based on the average standardized test scores of its diverse student body, Homestead is ranked fourth of five in the Fremont Union High School District, below top-ranked Monta Vista High School,second-ranked Lynbrook High School, and third ranked Cupertino High School and above Fremont High School.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Homestead High School provides a broad co-curricular program. Students actively lead and participate in a wide variety of organizations, clubs and teams.[10]

Music Department and Marching Band[edit]

Homestead has an accomplished music program consisting of at least a dozen performing groups ranging from jazz ensemble, marching band, choral groups and string and symphonic ensembles, to extracurricular activities such as Winter guard and Winter Indoor percussion ensemble. In April 2010, Homestead's Marching Band was one of only 10 high schools nationwide selected to participate in the 2011 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.[11] On November 24, 2013, Homestead's Marching Band placed 4th overall at the 2013 WBA Combined Grand Championships with a score of 92.05, the highest score in Homestead history.

Homestead High School Marching Band is under direction of Mr. John Burn and Mr. Eric Weingartner. Current instructional staff include Chris Carrasco, Brad Fujizawa, Jeff Kohler, Dave Lewis, Jacqueline Meyler, Dave Papay, John Q. Shoemaker, Kelsey Thiel, Lane Armey, Dave Sankus, Alec Swink, Ercan Erhan, David Medina, Jase Peeples, Shawn Gongwer, Vienna Michaelsen and Ricky Contreras.[12]

The marching band has enjoyed a continuous run of championships and sweepstakes starting in 1993 with their field show rendition of The Phantom of the Opera. Since then, the Mighty Mustang Marching Band has performed such shows as The Who's Tommy, and Miss Saigon. In their first foray into statewide competition in 2005, the band tied for 6th place in the 5A division at the Western Band Association (WBA) State Championships.

The following competition results illustrate the marching band's growing success: Grand Sweepstakes Award and Sweepstakes Awards in Music, Marching, Showmanship and Field Show at the Cupertino Tournament of Bands in both 2006 and 2007;[13] The band's colorguard placed 2nd at the 2006 WBA State Championships; Competing against bands from across the Western United States, the band placed 5th in finals at the 2007 Bands of America regional.; Breaking the 90 mark in WBA competition for the first time in 2008, the marching band placed 5th in the WBA finals with a score of 91.22; The band's percussion section placed 1st in the 5A division at 2009 WBA State Championships.[14]

The jazz, vocal, string and wind ensembles consistently rank superior in competitions.[15] Many of the musical groups have traveled internationally, performing at world-class venues. The Wind Ensemble and Orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall at the 2007 New York Band and Orchestra Festival, winning Silver Awards for each group.[16] Participating in the 2009 Australian International Music Festival held in the Sydney Opera House[17] on a trip to New Zealand and Australia, the Wind Symphony received a Gold Award and the Jazz Ensemble took home a Silver Award.

In accordance with Homestead's long-standing reputation as a leader in internet technology at the high school level, the HHS Marching Band maintained the first website in the Fremont Union High School District, hand-coded by alumna Shanna Roberts in 1995. The site continued, albeit from a different domain, after her graduation by alumnus Trenton Hill, and is now maintained by the Homestead High School Music Boosters.

Winter Guard[edit]

The Winter Guard program is one of the most accomplished in the state. Five time undefeated California Color Guard Circuit (CCGC) champion in three different classification, the program is at its peak of excellence. The unit has won numerous Winter Guard International (WGI) regional competitions and in both 2009 and 2013 was a Scholastic A Class finalist at the WGI World Championships. The program currently competes in the Scholastic A classification in the CCGC and WGI circuits for the 2013 season. Staff currently includes Caption Head Jase Peeples, Shawn Gongwer, Ricky Contreras and Jay Murphy among others.

Programs (2007-2014)[edit]

Year Class Show Title
2007 A Class "Wonder Woman"
2008 A Class "Charlie's Angels"
2009 A Class "Vector Blue"
2010 Open Class "The Fallen"
2011 Open Class "Fun, Laughs, Good Times"
2012 Open Class "Pandemonium"
2013 A Class "The House of EL"
2014 A Class "Children of the Atom"

Winter Percussion[edit]

Homestead's Winter Percussion (also known as Indoor percussion ensemble) has enjoyed a meteoric rise since 2006 through four different divisions, competing in the California Color Guard Circuit (CCGC), Winter Guard International (WGI), and San Joaquin Valley Color Guard and Percussion Review (SJVCGPR) circuits. Homestead's percussion ensemble is the CCGC 2010 Scholastic World Division Champion.[18] The world class instructional staff are Dave Sankus, Lane Armey, David Medina, Alec Swink, Daemon Williams and Jason Freitas.

The Epitaph[edit]

Homestead's award-winning student newspaper, The Epitaph, won eight Gold Crowns from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). During that same period, it received eight Pacemaker Awards from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). As late as 1994, those were the most national awards ever given to a high school paper.[citation needed]

The paper also received one of its highest honors, The Press Freedom Award from the Student Press Law Center, in 1988 for its successful defense of a story about a junior boy who was HIV positive, one of the first such stories in any high school newspaper. The story had been initially censored by the principal but was allowed to run when the newspaper invoked California Education Code section [48907] California Education Code 48907, a California law that protected students' rights to free expression. The story was reported nationally in the wake of a Supreme Court's decision in Hazelwood School District et al. v. Kuhlmeier et al., 484 U.S. 260 (1988) This case gave school officials greater latitude in determining the content of a school's official student publications. The California law made the ruling moot in the state.

During that same period, the paper also won numerous local and state awards. The San Jose Mercury News named the paper the best in its annual contest for Silicon Valley student newspapers ten of the twelve years the paper ran the contest. It was also awarded the top prize from the San Francisco Press Club several times during that period, as well as the top prize from the now-defunct Palo Alto Times.[citation needed]

The paper's unusual name was selected by the school's first students in 1962. In keeping with the school's western theme and Mustang mascot, they named the paper after the first newspaper west of the Rockies, The Tombstone, Arizona Epitaph, which had been popularized in a television series of the time about Wyatt Earp, "Tombstone Territory."

Some of the newspaper's former staffers have gone on to work in journalism professionally. Among them, Alex Williams ('83) and Michael D. Shear ('86) write for The New York Times, while Angela Chen ('09) writes for The Wall Street Journal. Erica Werner ('89) is a White House correspondent for The Associated Press.

The paper's adviser from 1976 to 1994, Nick Ferentinos, was the 1994 Dow Jones News Fund's National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year.

With a gift from alumnus, Steve Wozniak (class of '68), co-founder of Apple, The Epitaph adopted desktop publishing in 1986, among the first high school newspapers to use the technology to produce a student publication.

In 2013 The Epitaph limited print distribution for financial reasons. The Epitaph is available at the newspaper's new website:

Homestead Cancer Society[edit]

Homestead Cancer Society is a club that hopes to spread knowledge and awareness about cancer, including the causes, effects, treatment options, and research achievements, among the students of Homestead High School, provide volunteer and leadership opportunities to the students of HHS that will enable them to play an active role in the fight against cancer, and organize fundraising events to benefit the organizations devoted to cancer research and cancer cure.Throughout the year, members were able to visit cancer research labs, listen to guest speakers, volunteer at events, and work towards raising awareness.

Forte! Music Community Service Club[edit]

Forte! [sic] is a club on campus that provides opportunities for musicians to perform music as means of community service. Forte! allows students at Homestead High School to express themselves through the art of music. Forte! is composed of chamber ensembles that perform to serve the community. In the past, the club has performed at the Cupertino Square Shopping Center, JW House of Kaiser Permanente, the HC Manor in Sunnyvale, and the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center.

FIRST Robotics Team[edit]

Homestead has a robotics team that competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The team, which is FRC team number 670, was created by students in 2001. Alumnus Steve Wozniak has served as a key supporter of the team over the years. The team has a website detailing its history, mission, news, and ongoing activities.[19]

Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)[edit]

Homestead High School is home to a chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), an organization dedicated to preparing students for success in business and careers. The chapter has enjoyed great success, having won an unofficial sweepstakes tally at California FBLA's Bay Section level 17 consecutive years (1998-2014), and the official Sweepstakes Award at the California FBLA State Leadership Conference for the past 16 consecutive years, (1999-2014). Homestead FBLA has also been the top chapter competitively in the entire nation for 14 of the past 15 years and for the last 8 years consecutively. The chapter has a paid membership of over 240 students for the 2013-2014 school year, making it one of the largest chapters in the Western Region. In 2011, Homestead’s Partnership with Business, Community Service, and American Enterprise projects all placed in the top five at the National Leadership Conference for the first time in its history. In addition to business competitions, members attend guest speaker presentations, participate in public speaking projects, organize community service events, work with business professionals, and network with students and adults from across the nation, allowing members to develop the skills necessary to enter the business world.

Interact Club[edit]

Currently the largest student-run organization on campus, Interact is a club dedicated to develop leadership and character skills as well as allowing members to find their passions. Consisting of over 200 amazing active members, Interact's mission is to provide its members with opportunities to perform service, build character, and develop leadership. The Homestead Interact club is part of District 5170 which is the largest Interact district in the world. Homestead Interact stays in close relations with the district to provide students with volunteer and leadership opportunities that range from learning how to help and interact with local communities to making an impact internationally through causes that are chosen by the district. The interact club at Homestead is also closely connected with the interact clubs in the Fremont Union High School District and they work closely together to create ways to fundraise for the international projects through car washes, talent shows, dances, and more.

KFC: Komedy and Film Club[edit]

The KFC: Komedy & Film Club represents the school at the annual district-wide Student Film Festival. At the First Annual Homestead High School Student Film Festival in May 2006, members of the KFC took third place overall. At the Second Annual FUHSD Student Film Festival in May 2007, members of the KFC represented their school while placing 1st in the Comedy category.[citation needed]

Mathematics Competitions Team[edit]

The mathematics team has regularly qualified for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). Over the past five years, the team has placed among the top 10 schools in the Mu Alpha Theta National Log 1 Contest Mathematics Contest, taking fifth place nationally in 2009-10, third place in 2008-09, ninth place in 2007-08, and fourth place in 2006 and 2007. From 2003 through 2006, Homestead's math team placed among the top 10 teams nationally in the Ciphering Time Trials, a contest sponsored by National Assessment & Testing. During this period, Homestead's team also placed among the top 20 teams in several other contests sponsored by National Assessment & Testing, including the Team Scramble, the Four-by-Four, and the Collaborative Problem Solving Contests.[20] In 2002, the Mathematical Association of America's American Mathematics Competition (AMC) awarded the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Excellence in Teaching to Homestead teacher and team faculty advisor Steve Headley.[21]

Model UN Club[edit]

The Homestead Model UN club sends delegates to conferences, where they represent a country and work with delegates from other schools representing other countries to attempt to find diplomatic solutions to current world problems. It is a simulation of UN debates, where delegates participate in caucuses, pairing up with other nations to propose resolutions to the problems presented that are voted on and passed or struck down. At conferences, depending on the country represented, delegates are put into different committees, with the goal of solving a specific issue.

The Pegasus[edit]

Homestead's yearbook, Pegasus, has been its most award-winning publication of recent years, capturing two Pacemakers from the National Scholastic Press Association in 2002 and 2005.[citation needed] The Pacemaker is awarded to the 20 best yearbooks in the country, often out of more than a thousand contenders. The yearbook was also an NSPA Pacemaker Finalist in 2000 and 2001. In 2006, the CSPA awarded the Pegasus a Silver Crown. The yearbook has also won myriad other awards, ranging from CSPA Gold Circles (awarded for individual stories, concepts, designs, and photography) to various Best in Show awards.

Science Bowl Team[edit]

Homestead has a team competing in the Science Bowl, a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Over the years, Homestead students have won awards at the National Chemistry Olympiad and the National Science Bowl. Teacher Gareth Wong initially organized and advised the team, and in 2002 the American Chemical Society recognized his work with a High School Teacher Award for the Western Region.[22] The team is currently advised by chemistry teacher Chris Nafrada and physics teacher Mary Anne Plano. On February 10, 2007, Homestead's team won the regional competition at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, eventually repeating their regional victory on February 2, 2008.[23] At the 2007 National Science Bowl Competition in Washington D.C., Homestead's team placed twelfth out of more than sixty high-school teams, winning a $1,000 prize for the school's science department.[24] In 2009, Homestead made it to the National competition for the third time in a row. At the National Science Bowl Competition, they placed in the top eight out of sixty-seven other high schools.

Theater Department[edit]

Homestead has a theater department that presents multiple plays per year - a two to three act fall play, a collection of one-acts directed by students, and a musical produced with Fremont and Monte Vista high schools. Homestead also sends a contingent to the annual California Thespian Festival. In the spring of 2006, Homestead students Ittai Geiger and Jeff Glass took first and second place, as well as "Best At Fest" at the International Thespian Society Festival, where more than 2,000 students competed.[25]


Trichinosis is a math, science, and philosophy club. The club provides peer support for students interested in participating in the county science fair or other science and technology competitions. Over the years, club members have won awards at the Synopsis Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship, the California State Science Fair and the Siemens Competition.


Homestead has teams in the following sports:

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of Homestead High School include:


  1. ^ a b c "Executive Summary School Accountability Report Card". Fremont Union High School District. 2005–2006. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  2. ^ a b c Retrieved 2015-03-17.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "HHS School Profile" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  4. ^ "2004 Schools — No Child Left Behind—Blue Ribbon Schools Program". United States Department of Education. 2005-09-23. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  5. ^ [1]"School Profile". February 2015. 
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ Malone, Michael S. (1999-04-08). "Infinite Loop — Peeling Apple to find no core". CNN. Retrieved 2007-01-13. In particular, there was a class at Homestead in electronics taught by John McCollum. It would prove as important to the computer age as Fred Terman's electronics class at Stanford had been for Bill Hewlett and David Packard three decades before. 
  8. ^ Rahimzadeh, Auri (1995). "The PowerGS Issue #5 Woz Interview". Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  9. ^ "Water Fountains". YouTube. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  10. ^ "Homestead High School Clubs". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  11. ^ Wilson, Matt (2010-04-28). "High school band to play in Thanksgiving parade". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  12. ^ "Homestead HS". Western Band Association (Western Band Association). 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  13. ^ Elbogen, Ruby (2006-10-25). "Striking up the bands is a longstanding tradition". Cupertino Courier (MediaNews / Silicon Valley Community Newspapers). Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  14. ^ "Western Band Association 4A/5A Class Championships" (PDF). Western Band Association. 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  15. ^ "BW 2009, The Bandworld Legion of Honor". Bandworld Magazine. April 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  16. ^ "New York Band and Orchestra Festival - Program Details". 2007-04-21. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  17. ^ "2009 Australian International Music Festival". World Projects Festivals and Tours. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2010-04-01. [dead link]
  18. ^ "CCGC - Home". Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  19. ^ "Homestead Robotics Team". Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  20. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  21. ^ "AMC Sliffe Alumni List - California". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  22. ^ Jce Staff (September 2002). "ACS Announces High School Teacher Awards". Journal of Chemical Education 79 (9): 1067. doi:10.1021/ed079p1067. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  23. ^ "DOE Regional Science Bowl at SLAC". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  24. ^ "NSB: Media". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  25. ^ "Noteworthies". Los Altos Town Crier. 2006-03-29. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  26. ^ "Meet Dan Gordon". 
  27. ^ "Linda Jezek records at". 
  28. ^ "Homestead High School". 
  29. ^ "Mad Man: Meet Blogger Phil Yu « KoreAm Journal – Korean America's Premier Magazine". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

External links[edit]


Fremont Union High School District

Cupertino | Fremont | Homestead | Lynbrook | Monta Vista