Oakland High School (Oakland, California)

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Coordinates: 37°48′17.58″N 122°14′10.43″W / 37.8048833°N 122.2362306°W / 37.8048833; -122.2362306

Oakland High School
1023 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, California, USA
Type Public, Magnet
Motto "In Virtue Summum Bonum Ponamus"
(In virtue we place the highest good.)
Established 1869
School district Oakland Unified School District
Principal Matin Abdel-Qawi
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1875
Color(s) Blue and White
Athletics conference CIF Oakland Section
Mascot Willy the Wildcat
Nickname Wildcats
Newspaper The Aegis
Yearbook The Oaken Bucket

Oakland Senior High School (also known as O-High and OHS) is a public high school in California. Established in 1869, it is the oldest high school in Oakland, California and the sixth oldest high school in the state.


Oakland High School 1872-1895

Oakland High was first located at Twelfth and Market, then Twelfth and Jefferson. It has been in its current location at the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Park Boulevard since 1928. The building that stood before its current manifestation was known as the "Pink Prison" or "Pink Palace." The stairway leading up from Park Blvd is what remains of the exterior. The lamps in the commons are also original fixtures. What is now the football field and basketball courts was once classrooms and a huge theater. The school colors are blue and white.

The building was torn down in 1980 to be rebuilt as a safer structure in the event of a major earthquake.

A new football/soccer/baseball field was inaugurated in the spring of 2006. The football field is officially known as Jackie Jensen Field, while the baseball/softball field is dedicated to Mike Marcoulis, Sr., longtime coach and teacher.

The current 2013-2014 principal is Matin Abdel-Qawi. Assistant principals are Anisa Rasheed, Michael Ray, and Shoshana Towers-Cabrera. Other official positions include: Tiago Robinson (Coordinator of Safe & Supportive Schools), Kaprice Wilson (Truancy Reduction), Carlos Padilla (Head Counselor), Amy Dellefield (Student Activities Director), Susan Yee (Wellness Director) and Justin Booker (Athletic Director).[1]

In the summer of 2008, renovations and rebuilding to the main building (as well in the former shop buildings) began and were completed in August 2011.


With over 1,800 students, 51% are Asian including students of Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Mien, and Laotian descent. Another 29% of students are African American, 16% of students are Latino or Hispanic, 1% are white and all other ethnicities make up less than 3%.

Class Colors[edit]

  • Freshmen:      Purple
  • Sophomores:      Orange
  • Juniors:      Green
  • Seniors:      Blue

Student life[edit]

Oakland High School boasts more than 40 student-run clubs and 24 sports offerings, from the Hip Hop Club to the Math Club and soccer to badminton, OHS has something for everyone. Oakland High is proud to offer three intra-school academies: the Environmental Sciences Academy, Visual Arts Magnet Program, and the Public Health Academy. Two new pathways, AVID and Project Lead the Way (engineering) are also popular with students. There is a thriving World Language department open to all students regardless of their Academy or Pathway interests which include Cantonese, French and Spanish. O-High is also renowned for its excellent Special Education program.



OHS offers many Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as 1 Honors (HP) course, and a wide array of interesting and challenging academic electives. In addition, there are many concurrent enrollment college courses offered from the Peralta Colleges after school.
The AP Test Site Coordinator for the school is Carlos Padilla.

HP Courses[edit]

  • English 3 HP
  • Physics HP

AP Courses[edit]

  • English Literature and Composition AP
  • English Language and Composition AP
  • Calculus AB AP
  • Calculus BC AP
  • Statistics AP
  • Biology AP
  • Chemistry AP
  • Environmental Science AP
  • French 4 AP
  • Spanish 4 AP
  • US History AP

Test scores[edit]

For 2009, the school's API score was 629 out of a possible 1000 points.

California Standard Tests Scores, proficiency rate [1]
English Mathematics Science History/Social
30% 17% 31% 15%


Visual Arts Academy Magnet Program (VAAMP)[edit]

VAAMP teaches student how to be creative and pique their interest in art. Led by Jackie "Ms. B" Marston and Keith "K-Dub" Williams, VAAMP is thriving with new young artists. VAAMP students painted the mural on Park Blvd., entitled "Beautiful Struggle". Featured in the middle is one of the greatest art teachers that ever set foot in OHS. Her name is Ms.Broussard, who has gone through some personal issues and has set a great example for each one of the VAAMPers so that we understand that we all need to live and love. Ms. Broussard has taught many students about what artists truly are.

Environmental Science Academy (ESA)[edit]

The Environmental Science Academy is run by Katharine Noonan and Kevin Jordan. ESA is usually known for high-achieving students and many field trips. Students are also given various tools to prepare for the future such as community service, college courses, School-to-Careers, etc. There are occasionally rafting and camping trips for ESA students. Trips include Catalina Island, Snow Trip (Juniors and Seniors Only), and a Senior Trip to either Costa Rica or Hawaii.

Sophomore ESA students usually have a core class consisting of Biology and Environmental Studies taught by either Noonan or Jordan. This class goes to Lake Merritt on a weekly basis to test the water and learn more about the environment. During their senior year, they are taught AP Environmental Science by their respective sophomore teacher.


In the 2008-2009 season, the Oakland High football team managed a 9-2 record, winning a co-league championship. The team this year will be led by several seniors who are being recruited by division-1 programs: Damante Horton, Charles Cobbs, Kelly Mitchell, Dylon Mafi, Edward Davis, and Earl Harris.

In the spring of 1998, 2007 and 2009, the badminton team defeated Skyline (the seven year defending champions) to become the OAL champions. They won the league with a record of 6 wins and 0 losses. Along with athletic talent, the Badminton team also maintained a very high average GPA, and were named Oakland High's 2007 Outstanding Spring Sports Team.

The Oakland High Catfish Swim Team is another of the many strong teams at OHS. The Catfish have roughly 40 people on the Varsity and JV teams. At the 2008 OAL finals, the Catfish defeated Skyline in both men's Varsity and JV, becoming OAL champions.

In the fall of 2007, the bowling team became OAL champions without a single loss.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://ousdhs.ousd.k12.ca.us/domain/1689
  2. ^ Kovner, Guy (2013-03-26). "Robert Nichols". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 

External links[edit]