Huntington Beach High School

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Huntington Beach High School
1905 Main Street
Huntington Beach, California, Orange County, 92648
Type Public high school
Motto Preparing our students to become educated, responsible and successful citizens within our global community.[citation needed]
Established 1906
School district Huntington Beach Union High School District
Principal Rocky Murray
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2,909[1]
Color(s) Black and Orange         
Team name The Oilers
Newspaper Oiler Ink
Yearbook The Cauldron

Huntington Beach High School (HBHS) is a public high school in Huntington Beach, California. Built in 1906, it is part of the Huntington Beach Union High School District. HBHS is a California Distinguished School.[2] Huntington Beach High School is also the home of the Academy for the Performing Arts.


Beginnings: The School on Wheels[edit]

Huntington Beach High School's founding was one of uncertainty and political opposition. Originally known as Las Bolsas High School, the school opened in Los Alamitos in 1902 and served as a secondary school for Westminster, Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, Bolsa, New Hope, Fountain Valley, Chica, Ocean View and Springdale elementary districts. However, after only one student showed up for class, the site was scrapped four days after its opening. After attempts to find a permanent location failed due to political opposition and controversy, the remaining districts of Ocean View, Springdale and Fountain Valley were joined by those of Huntington Beach and Newport Elementary.

In 1906, the "school on wheels," as it was often called because of its inability to secure a permanent location, finally settled in Huntington Beach and began operation as Huntington Beach Union High School. Classes were initially held in the basement of an auditorium operated by the local Methodist church. Having received a land grant from the Huntington Beach Company, the high school completed construction of its first permanent buildings at its current location in 1908. By 1910, there were seven teachers and three clubs; Huntington Beach had a population of 815 people. By this time the four graduates had become an average of 14 graduates a year. The first graduating class consisted of six students, but expanded rapidly in the next decade into the hundreds.

In 1921, the Huntington Beach Company increased mining in abundant oil fields around the city bringing a wave of prosperity to the area. In 1926, the school's architects, Allison & Allison, a Santa Ana firm, described the school's structure as a Lombard Romanesque Revival. The iconic bell tower and auditorium were the first buildings constructed, and seven other buildings were built between 1926 and 1952.[3]

In the 1970s, Huntington Beach High School began construction of new facilities for a variety of reasons, the most prevalent was the earthquake on February 9, 1971. Some older buildings were demolished and rebuilt because of damage.[citation needed]


Cap Sheue Field is home for Huntington Beach and other local high school athletic organizations.
Stillwagon Auditorium was named after former Activities Director Darrell Stillwagon.

Huntington Beach High School is known for its bell tower and auditorium. They were originally built in 1903 and were rebuilt in 1926.[4] In July 2009, renovations were completed on the 27,000 square-foot, 600- seat Darrel Stillwagon auditorium and the bell tower. Construction was also completed on the school's new 9,200-square-foot performing arts classrooms building and courtyard. The project was funded through the HBHSUSD modernization and expansion program.[5]


The demographics of the student body are as follows:
American Indian/Alaskan Native 6.7%
Asian 8.1%
Pacific Islander 0.5%
Filipino 0.9%
Hispanic/Latino 15.6%
African American 1.2%
White 59.6%
Other/Declined to state 7.4%[1]

Academy for the Performing Arts[edit]

The school serves as the host campus for the District's magnet arts program, the Academy for the Performing Arts, an audition-only curriculum based school. Originally formed under the name School of the Performing Arts (SPA), the program opened in 1993. It was renamed to Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) in 1997. The Academy has ten separate departments: Acting, Costume Design, Dance, Musical Theatre, Music Media Entertainment and Technology (MMET-Popular Music), MMET-Media, Orchestral Music, Playwriting & Directing(Dramatic Production) and Technical Theatre. APA puts on 39 shows as well as hosts a Film Festival and Talent Show annually, along with a multitude of other various performances throughout the community and worldwide.


The bell tower

The school competes in the Sunset League. In 2006 the school moved to the Sea View League (which consisted of Huntington Beach, El Toro, Foothill, Woodbridge, Northwood, and Trubuco Hills) from the Sunset League, but moved back to the Sunset League in 2009. The Sunset League now contains Huntington Beach, Edison, Newport Harbor, Fountain Valley, Marina, and Los Alamitos.[6] The first high school varsity surfing team in the United States was founded at Huntington Beach High School by Bruce "Snake" Gabrielson.[7] In 1989, the Huntington Beach Oilers football team went 8-2, losing only to Mater Dei and Ocean View, winning first place in the Sunset League. The Oilers, however, had to forfeit all of their games because of an ineligible player. The starting tackle had moved from Maryland, however his mother had not sold their home in Maryland before moving to Huntington Beach. Because of this, CIF ruled that this was a case of dual residency, and he was ineligible. A school-wide walk-out ensued the following day, with students marching down Main St., up Yorktown Ave., and then settling on Sheue Field, the football field. Later that night, a candlelight vigil was held in front of the school. The Oilers appealed the CIF ruling in the court. Judge Thomas N Thrasher ruled in favor of Huntington Beach High School. As the team began to practice for the playoffs the next night, news broke that the judge's ruling had been overturned. Local televisions stations covered all the events.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]


Art and media[edit]

Elected officials[edit]

Government officials[edit]

  • Amanda Simpson, Executive Director of US Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, Obama Administration


Music groups[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dataquest
  2. ^ "California Department of Education, Distinguished School Awards". 
  3. ^ Santiago, Joseph D. (2009). Ebb & Flow: 100 Years of Huntington Beach. Historic Resources Board of Huntington Beach. pp. 19–20. 
  4. ^ Cuaron, Brian (November 3, 2007). "Restoration of a bell tower". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  5. ^ Mickelson, Laura (July 8, 2009). "HB High auditorium renovation and addition embraces the old and new". Huntington Beach Independent. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  6. ^ Szabo, Matt (March 26, 2009). "Huntington Beach moving back to Sunset League". Huntington Beach Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Bruce "Snake " Gabrielson". Ironman Hall of Fame Web Site. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  8. ^ Ted Rich. "Robert August Surfboards". Retrieved 2008-03-30. [dead link]
  9. ^ Sciacca, Mike (2008-08-13). "Working his dream gig". Huntington Beach Independent. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  10. ^ Carroll, Corky (November 17, 2011). "From The Hill, you can see yesterday clearly". Huntington Beach Wave. p. 13. 
  11. ^ "Howie Clark Statistics". Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  12. ^ Chris Epting (April 9, 2008). "Cheering for a home-grown Angel". Huntington Beach Independent. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  13. ^ "Dennis Hamilton profile". Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  14. ^ Hamilton, Tom (March 2014). "Oilers Strike in Rich on Gridiron". Pipeline (Huntington Beach High School Alumni Association) 23 (1). 
  15. ^ "Courtenay Stewart". Stanford University's Official Athletic Site - Synchronized Swimming. Stanford University. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Jim Dedrick Statistics". Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  17. ^ Winslow, Jonathan (July 3, 2014). "Parade grand marshal at long last". Huntington Beach Wave (The Orange County Register). p. 2. 
  18. ^ Djanseziang, Kevork (March 17, 2015). "Seal Beach's Jack Haley, who played for UCLA, Chicago Bulls, Lakers, dead at 51". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "Player Bio: Drew McAthy". Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  20. ^ Arias, Carlos (April 16, 2006). "More than hype". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  21. ^ "Tito Ortiz UFC Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2014. 
  22. ^ "OP Honor Roll". Surfing Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  23. ^ "The Laguna Playhouse Profiles" (PDF). Bad Dates playbill. The Laguna Playhouse. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  24. ^ Burris, Annie (June 29, 2009). "'Nontraditional' murals coming to downtown Huntington". The Orange County Register. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Days of our Lives Biographies". 
  26. ^ Agopian, Eleeza V. (October 22, 2007). "The day their music died". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  27. ^ Wener, Ben (February 17, 2006). "Band of misfits right in". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 

External links[edit]