Mission High School (San Francisco, California)
|Mission High School|
|3750 18th Street
|Faculty||66  (2007-8)|
|Enrollment||854  (2008-9)|
|Website||SFUSD School Site|
Serving grades 9-12, Mission is the oldest high school on its original site in San Francisco; it has been on 18th Street, between Dolores and Church, since 1896. The original campus burned in 1922, and the replacement was completed in two stages, the west wing in 1925 and the main building was dedicated by San Francisco mayor James Rolph on June 12, 1927. Originally, girls and boys had separate courtyards. The boys' is overlooked by the "baby tower", about 100 feet (30 m) high, and the girls' (right) topped by a 127-foot (39 m)-high baroque dome. Mission Creek runs beneath the school.
The school is two blocks from Mission Dolores, from which it gets its name. The current student body is diverse, with Latino and African American students constituting the two largest ethnic groups, although neither group makes up a majority of the student body.
The lobby leads to a theater that has 1,750 folding wooden seats on two levels and a gold leaf ceiling. Grand as any movie palace, it was outfitted with twin 35 mm projectors. Funding never came through for the elaborate pipe organ system it was promised, but the chandeliers have been re-lamped.
Mission High School was founded in 1890, although it was housed in various Mission District locations until 1896. That year, the Board of Education purchased a parcel of land from the Jewish Cemetery Association to construct a permanent school building. The original Mission High School building was completed in 1898 as a three-story brick school designed in the Italian Renaissance Beaux-Arts style. The building withstood the 1906 Earthquake, and became a neighborhood shelter, while Dolores Park, which stands across the street from the school, became a tent city for displaced residents.
In 1922, the original Mission High School was destroyed by fire. The present Mission High School complex was then constructed in a Mediterranean Revival/Baroque/Churrigueresque style between 1925 and 1927, during the height of San Francisco's "Golden Age" of school construction. John Reid, Jr., San Francisco's City Architect, was the designer. The elaborate ornamentation on the school is likely due in part to the visual proximity to the nearby Mission Dolores Basilica, which features towers and ornamentation in the Churrigueresque architectural style.
In 1936, California artist Edith Anne Hamlin was commissioned under the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project to create a series of western-themed murals for the school. Noted artist Maynard Dixon consulted with Hamlin on the murals, and the pair married in 1937. Two murals showing the founding of nearby Mission Dolores still survive, while the third was lost during a 1970s seismic retrofit. The late 1930s also saw the construction of Drew Athletic Field behind the school, in an area that had been occupied by houses fronting on Dorland Street (that one block of Dorland was removed to construct the field).
Mission High School was retrofitted to meet earthquake safety standards starting in 1972. This included the removal of some of the building's architectural ornamentation, as well as the loss of the WPA Hamlin mural. Students attended Polytechnic High School until their return in 1978. The building continues to function as a public high school and remains an architectural landmark in the Dolores Park area of San Francisco.
The school is currently being remodeled. Also, in the 2007-08 school year, principal Kevin Truitt won SFUSD Principal of the year.
The Athletic Scholarship Advancement Program
An attractive program at Mission is the Academic Scholars Advancement Program(ASAP). As part of a summer program ASAP sends 150 Mission High School athletes attended 31 programs. They traveled to 22 locations in nine states, and a few ventured as far as Japan, China, and Italy. ASAP helps cover the bill to send these kids to a summer program.
A Partial List of Summer Programs
- Brown U. Leadership and Global Health Class
- Camp CEO
- Columbia U. Pre-College
- Cornell U. Summer College
- Coro Leadership
- Cosmos (Math and Science Program)
- De Young Museum
- Outward Bound
- St. Luke’s Hospital
- Santa Clara U.
- Engineering Program
- Softball- Girls
- Stanford U.
- Basketball Camp-Boys
- Cross-Country Camp-Boys
- Junior State of America
- Math and Science Pre-med
- Track and Field Camp-Boys
- Wrestling Camp-Boys
- Gladstone Program
- Soccer Camp-Boys
- Soccer Camp-Girls
- SMASH ( Math and Science Academy)
- UC-Santa Cruz
- Spirit Squad Camp-Girls
- Maya Angelou: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and actress.
- Wally Berger, class of 1923, professional baseball player
- Frank Cerda: activist and counter culture figure.
- Hank Chapot, 1972: Green Party of California founding delegate, founder of the California Green Archives and three-time state assembly district 14 candidate.
- Joe Cronin, class of 1923, professional baseball player
- Lou Spadia, Former General Manager and minority owner of the San Francisco 49ers
- Babe Dahlgren, class of 1932, professional baseball player
- Vincent DeDomenico, 1933: inventor of Rice-A-Roni and developer of the Napa Valley Wine Train.
- Bobby Freeman, rock & roll & r&b singer from the late 50's. "Do You Want to Dance"
- Alan Gallagher, 1963: Former San Francisco Giants third baseman.
- Eddie Joost, class of 1934, professional baseball player
- Wally Judnich, class of 1934, professional baseball player
- Guy Mitchell: 1950s pop singer.
- Melissa Ng, 1990: Hong Kong TV actress.
- Lothar Osiander, professional soccer coach.
- James Rolph: governor of California (1931–1934) and mayor of San Francisco (1912–1931)
- Carlos Santana, musician and guitarist.
- Gus Triandos, 1948: baseball star
- Anibal Vega, 1987: member Nicaragua National Baseball Team; participated in 1996 Olympics for Nicaragua
- Leland Yee, California State Senator
- Tony Psaltis, MVP and team captain of the 1956 USC men's basketball team
Diversity: Mission High school is the first public school to have a LGBTQ/ Drag show assembly. This event has helped spread awareness and acceptance around LGBT issues and other forces (e.g., Intersectionality). The Gay-straight alliance club (GSA) is in charge of this event; they started doing the event officially on May 2010. Prior to May 2010, there were previous assemblies held in a different, smaller theater with an audience. One of the strong leaders of such group is Pablo Rodriguez, he is a Latino, male, gay identify who has being empowering and changing the school environment toward acceptance.
- "California School Directory: Mission High". California Department of Education. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- "City of San Francisco Designated Landmarks". City of San Francisco. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- Knapp, Gwen (March 9, 2010). "Young men on a mission at Mission High School" (DTL). The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- Rizga, Kristina (August 22, 2012). "Everything You've Heard About Failing Schools is Wrong". Mother Jones. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- Fimrite, Peter (August 4, 2007). "Frank Cerda - activist, elder of 'Chosen Family' commune" (DTL). San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- California State Assembly elections, 1996
- Guthrie, Julian (October 22, 2007). "Vincent DeDomenico dies - invented Rice-A-Roni, built wine train" (DTL). San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- Nan, Chuck (November 3, 2006). Fifty Years by the Bay: The San Francisco Giants 1958-2007. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4259-6573-0.