Mount Diablo High School

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Mount Diablo High School
2450 Grant Street
Concord, California, 94520
Motto "Victory with honor"
Founded 1901
Principal Liane Cismowski
Vice principal Chris Beischel
Vice principal Akilah Byrd
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,372[1] (2012-13)
Language English
Color(s) Maroon and Crimson Green         
Mascot Danny (the Devil)
Team name Red Devils

Mount Diablo High School is a public high school located in Concord, California. It is the oldest school in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, founded in April 1901.[2]


The school features several specialized programs, known as "academies". Originally these were opt-in; a student could join an academy or choose to pursue their education without taking academy classes. However, beginning in 2012 all current sophomores and freshmen and all incoming students were required to enroll in one of four academies.[3][4] In part because this decision had been controversial, a year after the requirement was imposed the school district assigned a new principal to MDHS.[5]

In an academy, several courses are planned and sometimes even taught by a collaborating team of teachers; readings in English, for example, might be selected to complement the themes being covered in the academy's history or science classes. The four academies are these:

  • The International Hospitality and Tourism Academy (IHTA) is a campus program which teaches cooking and hospitality. The program includes the student-run restaurant Serendipity,[8] which operates three days a week and is supported by the students' mentors as well as professional chefs and bakers. IHTA also incorporates the Sustainable Hospitality Pathway, which focuses its nutrition and food prep classes on career fields including healthy food service, agri- and eco-tourism, and outdoor recreation. The Sustainable Hospitality program is led by instructor Cindy Gershen, owner of the Sunrise Bistro in Walnut Creek.
  • Academy of Construction & Mechanical Engineering (ACME)
  • Medical Bio-Technology Academy (MBTA)
  • The World Academy

MDHS also has an active Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). At one time, it also offered a FAME (Fine Arts, Media, Entertainment) Academy.[9]


Because MDHS serves more low-income families than are found anywhere else in central Contra Costa County, it has lower test scores[10] and a slightly higher rate of disciplinary problems than other nearby schools.


Although there were grammar schools in the area throughout the 1890s, the nearest high schools were in Berkeley and Oakland. In 1901, voters established what was then known as the "Mount Diablo Union High School District", and classes were held in various temporary locations for the first two years, including the grammar school on Willow Pass Road and the Odd Fellows hall at the corner of what are now Salvio and Colfax streets.[11] On 14 February 1903, district trustees voted to construct the first MDHS building, which opened in 1904 and was torn down in 1963.[12]


  1. ^ California Department of Education. "Enrollment by Grade for 2011-12". Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Significant Dates in Diablo History". Mt. Diablo High School Alumni Association. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Harrington, Theresa (29 January 2012). "Should Mt. Diablo High convert to all academies?". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Harrington, Theresa (11 February 2012). "Complaints mount at Mt. Diablo High". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Harrington, Theresa (26 June 2013). "Mt. Diablo school district announces new principals". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mount Diablo High School Discovers Success With the Digital Safari Multimedia Academy". THE Journal. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Adobe Success Story: Mt. Diablo High School". Adobe Systems Inc. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "CCCOE - ROP - Serendipity". Contra Costa County Office of Education. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "MDUSD High School Academies". MDUSDParents blog. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "2013 Growth API School Report - Mt. Diablo High". California Dept. of Education. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Harris, Joel A. (2009). Images of America: Concord. San Francisco: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 59 & 67. ISBN 978-0-7385-6913-0. 
  12. ^ "Significant Dates in Diablo History". Mt. Diablo High School Alumni Association. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°58′59″N 122°2′8″W / 37.98306°N 122.03556°W / 37.98306; -122.03556