Leigh High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leigh High School
Leigh High School billboard.jpg
The Leigh High School billboard.
5210 Leigh Avenue
San Jose, California, 95124
United States
Coordinates 37°14′32″N 121°55′16″W / 37.2422°N 121.9210°W / 37.2422; -121.9210Coordinates: 37°14′32″N 121°55′16″W / 37.2422°N 121.9210°W / 37.2422; -121.9210
School type Public, comprehensive high school
Founded 1962
School district Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD)
Oversight Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools
Superintendent Patrick K. Gaffney
Principal Pam Holt
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,600+
Language English
Campus Suburban
Area Santa Clara County
Color(s)           Forest Green & Gold
Mascot Longhorn
Team name Longhorns
Feeder schools Union Middle School
Dartmouth Middle School
Ida Price Middle School

Leigh High School is a secondary school located in San Jose, California. Opening in September 1962, it was the fifth school to be established within the Campbell Union High School District. The school has twice been awarded the California Distinguished School award, in 1999 and 2003.[1] As of 2005, the enrollment at the school was 1729 students. The school colors are gold (yellow) and pine green. The school's mascot is the Longhorn.


Leigh High School is an academically successful high school, with rankings placing it above average when compared to others in California. The average SAT scores of students were the highest in the district in 2000, and were above the state and national averages.[citation needed] The California Department of Education Academic Performance Index of Leigh High school gave it a ranking of 9 within its state, and a relative ranking of 8. Ninety percent of Leigh graduates go on to attend either university or community college after graduation.[citation needed]

Leigh's 1,600+ students annually score above the state and national averages on the STAR, CAHSEE, SAT, and Advanced Placement tests. Leigh also serves a large Special Education population through its Resource, Special Day Class, Emotionally Disturbed, and Beacon programs. Maintaining an average class size of thirty students, Leigh provides a comprehensive curriculum that includes instructional programs designed for college-bound, Special Education, and vocational students.[citation needed]

Advanced programs[edit]

Leigh offers Advanced Placement (AP) instruction in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English Language, English Literature, World History, US History, American Government, Studio Art, Spanish Language, French Language, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, and Statistics. Leigh also offers eight honors classes: English 1–4, World History, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Special education programs[edit]

The school's AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has been in place for four years, so Leigh now has four AVID classes, one for each grade level.

Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE) offers interested students a variety of vocational training in areas such as multimedia, cosmetology, managerial accounting, electrical maintenance, and auto body repair.

All high school students in the county’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Deaf/HOH) program attend classes at Leigh, some of whom take sheltered classes with other deaf students, but many of whom are mainstreamed into classes with Leigh’s hearing population.

Specialized academic instruction classes are considered for students with IEPS and certain learning needs.

Music programs[edit]

Leigh High School is noted in the Campbell Union High School District for its many musical programs. Leigh High School offers a concert band, a symphonic band, a wind ensemble which requires an audition, and a jazz ensemble which also requires an audition. During the winter, the music program offers both Winter Percussion and Winter Guard programs, the latter which has become a World Guard and has ranked in the finals at world competitions.

Leigh also offers choir as a year-long class for all grades.

As of the 2008–2009 school year, the music program's parent association has changed its original name, Instrumental Music Parent's Association, to Performing Arts Parent's Association (PAPA), due to the combination of Leigh High School's drama, choir and band programs.

Leigh High School's Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Music Theory Class, Jazz Band, and Marching Band have been directed by Suzanne Holden since the beginning of the 2008–2009 school year.[2]

Leigh High School Marching Band[edit]

Leigh High School marching band is one of the school's most popular and renowned activities, usually bringing in more than 100 students per season. It includes a drumline, a front ensemble, a colorguard, woodwind instruments, and brass instruments.

The marching band competes in the Western Band Association (WBA) competitions in the fall, along with the Northern California Band Association competitions. The Leigh High School marching band also performs their competition show at all home football games.

Pre-marching season preparation for the band includes a weekend away at camp and a week at school, the latter reaching up to 9 hours a day.

Marching band field shows usually consist of an opener, a ballad, a percussion feature, and a closer. In addition to a band director and staff members, the Leigh Marching Band is led by student captains and section leaders.

In the winter of 2012, the Leigh High School Marching Band traveled to San Diego to perform in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. They marched in the Big Bay Balloon Parade, were selected to perform their show during pregame and were also a part of a combined halftime show with other schools from around the nation. Later they competed in a national competition. The band won first place and all the caption awards in both the parade and competition.

Symphonic band[edit]

Symphonic band is a performance based ensemble for students who have prior experience on their instrument and the ability to read music. The ensemble consists of wind instruments and percussion.

Wind ensemble[edit]

Wind ensemble an audition-only ensemble that performs frequently and includes travel to festivals nationwide. On odd years the group strives to perform out-of-country and performed in Europe in year 2011. On even years they take smaller trips, such as to San Francisco, to perform.

Winter Percussion[edit]

Leigh high school has performed very well in the California Colorguard Circuit percussion competitions since the ensemble's formation in 2005. The ensemble was disbanded in 2008 mid-way through the season by the administration, but members continued to perform in conjunction with students from nearby Branham High School in 2009 with their winter percussion ensemble. As of the 2010 season, the Leigh Winter Percussion ensemble has been reformed and has started off their season quite well with a whole new suite of music, as well as instructional staff. Since its creation in 2005, the Leigh Winter Percussion ensemble has put on the following shows:

2005: Chairman Dances
2006: A Day In The City
2007: Ritmo (concert percussion)
2008: Fire Garden Suite
2009: Anxiety (in conjunction with branham High School in the Branham-Leigh Winter Percussion)
2010: Chronos (CCGC Champions)
2011: W"e" Belong
2012: Evil entwined (Jekyll and Hyde)
2013: The Rules of Art
2014: Scarlet Skies

Concert choir[edit]

Students sing all levels of music literature in a choir. The principle singing group performs at concerts, festivals, or other events during the school year. Mrs. Suzanne Royer is the current Choir director at Leigh.


This advanced choir performs many times throughout the school year. Students have to audition for the choir. In the spring of 2011, Madrigals traveled to England, Wales, and Ireland.

School athletics[edit]

Students at Leigh High School compete in a variety of interscholastic sports, usually at the highest level available to them. Many teams have won regional championships.

In only the second year of the school's existence the 1964 Varsity football team tied for the league championship. This was followed up by the 1966 Varsity football team that won the league title outright. In 1970 the Varsity football team again won the league title with a record of 11–1, its lone loss coming in the inaugural County Championship game against Los Altos Hills (30–23). Leigh also won back to back Mount Hamilton division league championship titles in 1994 and 1995 losing 1 regular season game and 1 tie in that span. The 2001–2002 Varsity Football team was runner-up in the Central Coast Section Championship. The 2004 Varsity Football team also shared the league championship with Oak Grove High School.

In the mid 1970s, Leigh High was noted for its Cross Country dynasty, under the coaching of Homer Latimer, and in 1974 the Longhorns won the national title. The school's proximity to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where runners trained vigorously year round, was a significant contributor to the program's success. They also won the California Central Coast championship in baseball in 2000.

Student government[edit]

Student government is a vital part of the extra-curricular life of Leigh. The students involved are elected by their peers and foster community amongst students and staff. A subgroup of this organization is Leigh’s Student Congress where diverse representatives are chosen from each sixth period class. These congress meetings promote discussion, planning, and publicity for campus activities.

There are more than thirty clubs on campus open to all students, with meeting times during lunch or after school, which makes it convenient for students to attend. Each club or organization must have a constitution and must be approved by the Associated Student Body (ASB).

School campus and facilities[edit]

Leigh is currently in the final stages of its building renovations, which were initiated by a ninety-five million dollar local school bond measure passed in 1999. All playing fields, the library, the cafeteria, and a majority of the schools classrooms have been renovated. The administration offices, student quad, art classrooms, and former music classrooms are next in line for renovation. Because Leigh High School was built in 1962, building renovations will continue until the school is completely retrofitted for education in the 21st century.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Dootlittle, Emilie (2013-03-12). "Leigh band marching to beat of a new director - San Jose Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 


External links[edit]