Petaluma High School
|Petaluma High School|
|201 Fair Street
Petaluma, California, 94952
|School district||Petaluma City Schools|
|Color(s)||Purple & White|
|Newspaper||The Trojan Tribune|
|Assistant Principals||Bennett Holley & Deborah Richardson|
Petaluma High School is located one mile from historic downtown Petaluma. It is a comprehensive public high school with approximately 1,310 students in grades 9 - 12, serving the west side of Petaluma and many of the rural areas that surround the city in both Sonoma County and Marin County.
Petaluma High School has a graduation rate of 96.33% as of 2011, with 37.2% of students satisfying the requirements for admission to either the University of California or the California State University system. The average class sizes are 24 for Math, 25 for Science and English, and 30 for Social Science. Per the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, 66% of students in English, 30% in Math 69% in Science, and 62% in Social Science scored as Proficient or Advanced. It offers Advanced Placement courses in 15 subjects: English Composition/Literature, Spanish Literature, Calculus A/B, Calculus B/C, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, World History, U.S. History, Macroeconomics, Psychology, American Government, and Art.
The school (along with Casa Grande High School) is set to a “block schedule”, in which there are only three classes (or four, if students choose to take a class before school known as “zero period”) per day.
Petaluma High School began as a public school in 1873, making it one of the oldest high schools in California. Sitting on approximately 24 acres, the current campus was completed in 1935 with the main building remodeled in December 2001. A new science and math building was completed in October 2000. Modernization of the D-Wing building was completed during the summer of 2005.
During the 2009-2010 school-year the new Arts, Media and Entertainment building was opened. The Arts Media and Entertainment program includes education in digital and print photography with a full service laboratory. Students interested in filmmaking partake in the film program, while those interested in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and other art forms participate in the core Art program that culminates in AP Art.
The entire campus consists of the following: 83 classrooms, a wildlife museum, auto shop, wood shop, metal shop, and an agricultural shop. Athletic facilities include a gymnasium; baseball, football, and softball fields; weight room; and swimming pool.
Staff and Administration
The staff at Petaluma High includes 72 certificated teachers, four academic counselors, a Project Success counselor, a full-time librarian, a Safe School Support Specialist, three administrators, and 40 classified support staff members. In addition, it has the part-time services of a school nurse, a school psychologist, a speech and language specialist, bilingual support services, and instructional assistants in special education.
On April 2, 2012, David Stirrat, who had been an assistant principal at Petaluma High School for nearly 4 years and taught at Casa Grande High School for 11 years, became principal. He has earned degrees in international relations at American University and journalism at Northwestern University, and worked at the Washington Post before switching to teaching. He earned a teaching credential at Sonoma State University, and taught kindergarten at Stuart Hall for Boys in San Francisco, elementary grades at Montessori de Terra Linda in San Rafael, and English in Brentwood and at Casa Grande High School. Bennett Holley and Deborah Richardson serve as Assistant Principals.
Petaluma High School is the home of the Petaluma Wildlife Museum, one of the few museums in the country that is solely run by students. Through the Wildlife Museum, students can take classes on Wildlife Management and Museum Management.
The Museum houses over 50 species of fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Thousands of people visit the Museum every year where dozens of high school students provide tours and animal education. Each school year, the Museum hosts several high school classes, educating over 100 teens about a variety of wildlife related subjects. Students take rigorous courses in Wildlife and Museum Management to learn about environmental education, wildlife biology, animal husbandry, public speaking, and museum operations and maintenance. Additionally, throughout the school year, student docents are responsible for animal care, museum maintenance, program development and conducting tours.
Over the course of 20 years, the Museum has hosted thousands of school classes and community groups, teaching them about biodiversity, ecosystems, wildlife, animal adaptations and natural history. Tours are conducted by trained high school docents and are developed around California State Science Standards. Grade school tours visit exhibits representing Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Students also explore large mineral, fossil, and forestry displays. Hundreds of taxidermied and live animals engage children and bring the science lessons alive.
Manufacturing Technology Program
Petaluma High's Manufacturing Technology program is the only NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) accredited high school program in the state of California. Dan Sunia is the Manufacturing Technology Instructor, and won a 2010 Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association in the category of “Partnerships and Collaboratives” for his program “Engineering Design and Apprentice Trades Skills.”
Clubs at Petaluma High include the California Scholarship Federation (CSF), Chess Club, Circle of Friends, Council of Written Word, Dance Club, Environment Club, Future Farmers of America (FFA), French Club, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Interact, Junior Statesman, Latino Club, Magic Club, MEChA Paddle Smashers, PYPC, Street Dance Club, Skills USA, Soul Stealers, and Student Council.
Petaluma High School is a Division III school and one of seven members of the Sonoma County League of the North Coast Section. Its mascot is the Trojans and its colors are purple and white. PHS offers boys sports programs in Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track, and Wrestling. Girls programs include Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, and Volleyball.
In 2009, Petaluma High football had one of its most successful seasons in years, finishing the season 12-1 and making it to the North Coast Section Division 2 quarterfinals. However, they lost in the quarterfinals to Eureka High School. Steve Ellison was the coach of Petaluma High football for the previous 31 seasons and retired after the 2009 season. Coach Ellison's overall coaching record at Petaluma High and Sacred Heart of San Francisco was 218-173-7(Wins-Losses-Ties). Currently, the head football coach is Rick Krist, a physical education teacher and alumnus of the school.
- Lloyd Bridges - actor
- Biff Hoffman - Football player
- Bill Pronzini - mystery writer
- Winona Ryder - actress
- Konrad Schmidt - catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks
- Virginia Strom-Martin - California State Assemblywoman 1996-2002
- Richard D. Hearney - Marine Corps 4-Star General, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps & Naval Aviator
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Petaluma High School
- "Distinguished Schools Data File". Retrieved August 27, 2010.