Redwood High School (Larkspur, California)

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For other "Redwood High Schools", see Redwood High School.

Coordinates: 37°56′17″N 122°31′27″W / 37.93806°N 122.52417°W / 37.93806; -122.52417[1]

Redwood High School
395 Doherty Drive
Larkspur, California, United States
Coordinates 37°56′17″N 122°31′27″W / 37.93806°N 122.52417°W / 37.93806; -122.52417
Type Public school
Established 1958
School district Tamalpais Union High School District
School code CEEB 051-361
Principal David Sondheim
Assistant principals Liz Chacón
Katy Foster
LaSandra White
Faculty 86 teachers; 9.3 FTE counselors & support staff (2011–2012)[2]
Grades 9–12
Number of students 1456 (2011–2012)[2]
Grade 9 359
Grade 10 391
Grade 11 380
Grade 12 326
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Red & Grey         
Athletics conference North Coast Section (NCS), Marin County Athletic League (MCAL)
Mascot "Big Red" (Giant)
Team name Giants
Rival Marin Catholic High School
Newspaper Redwood Bark
Yearbook The Log
Feeder schools Del Mar Middle School
Hall Middle School
Kent Middle School
Ross Middle School

Redwood High School is a public secondary school located in the city of Larkspur, Marin County, California, approximately 11 miles north of San Francisco. Redwood High is part of the Tamalpais Union High School District. The school serves the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Ross, and Tiburon.


By 1957, the school age population of the Tamalpais Union High School District had grown too large for Tamalpais High School and Sir Francis Drake High School to accommodate. With the pressure of students coming in from elementary schools from Sausalito to Belvedere to Ross it was therefore put to the voters of the district to decide on a solution. The vote was to create a new school, and chosen for its site was the marshy area that extended east from the centrally located town of Larkspur to U.S. Route 101, an area that townspeople had called "the slough" since Larkspur was settled. It seemed the perfect solution. Of course, back in 1957, such things as the vital importance of wetlands were under-appreciated, therefore the land was seen as "waste." Beginning in early 1957, a large section of the marsh was flattened and filled, two roads were cut through from Magnolia Avenue out to the new school, and a playing field and parking lot were included. The first students who were to attend the new High School were allowed to choose the name of the newspaper and sports teams, choosing the Giants as their mascot in reference to the nearby redwood trees. School publications followed the tree theme: the Bark became the school's newspaper, and the Log the school's year book. The colors red and gray were a source of much contention, but were finally accepted. The school opened its doors in 1958 and in came three classes relocated from other area high schools, and one class that would graduate in 1962 thereby becoming the first class to attend all four years at Redwood.

Redwood in the news[edit]

On September 11, 2008, Redwood was recognized by the federal Blue Ribbon Schools Program.[3] The school has received the California Distinguished School award three times (1990, 1996, and 2003).[4]

On May 24, 2006, Redwood gained notoriety for a prank gone wrong. Seven chickens were found dead in a school hallway. Apparently, certain seniors, intending to release 32 chickens purchased at a live market in San Francisco's Chinatown, had left them in the trunk of a hot car. A student tip led the administration and Marin's Humane Society to the "pranksters." The four students most directly involved were not allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies. The incident made it into the local newspaper, as well as several major newspapers around the country.[5]


Redwood High School, main entrance

Redwood High School is set at the foot of Mount Tamalpais on a 63.88 acre campus which has 81 classrooms, a library, performing arts center, swimming pool, and athletics fields. The original campus was opened in 1958, with additions to the main building made over the next few years. Redwood's main school building (an original; see above) contains approximately 69 classrooms, the Bessie Chin Library, four laboratories, and the theater. Other buildings on the campus contain industrial technology areas; photography, ceramics, and graphic arts studios; band room; and a cafeteria. Other sports and performance facilities include a large gymnasium and smaller gyms, a 40-meter swimming pool, tennis courts, a track, athletic fields, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Between 2002 and 2006, Redwood High School has been undergoing major modernization as part of a $121 million facilities bond measure approved by the Tam District voters. Approximately forty million dollars have been spent to remodel classrooms, refurbish the gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis courts, and performing arts center, and install new athletics fields. In 2007–2008 Redwood rebuilt the often flooded parking lot. During the 2008–2009 school year, a new gymnasium was constructed, the 40-meter pool built, and new tennis courts laid. During the summer of 2011, an experimental classroom space was created to allow teachers the opportunity to explore new technologies, classroom management, and instructional strategies. A new Fine Arts building is planned for construction in the 2011–12 school year.[2]

In the spring of 2006, Redwood art students created a 40-foot mural of the Marin County countryside. The mural was created on an exterior wall of the CEA (Covered Eating Area). The 100th anniversary of Larkspur, 2009, is also the 50th anniversary of Redwood High School.[6]


The following breakdown of students based on ethnicity is from 2010–2011.[2]

Student Ethnicity Percent
African American 1.9
Asian American 5.6
Hispanic 8.3
Filipino 0.3
Native American 0
Pacific Islander American 0.3
White American, non-Hispanic 76.2
Multiple or no response 6.5

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Varsity Sports[edit]

Fall Sports[edit]


Girls Volleyball

Girls Water Polo

Boys Water Polo

Girls Golf

Cross Country

Girls Tennis

Boys Soccer


Winter Sports[edit]

Boys Basketball

Girls Basketball



Spring Sports[edit]

Track & Field

Girls Soccer

Boys Volleyball



Swimming & Diving

Boys Lacrosse

Girls Lacrosse

Boys Golf

Boys Tennis

Club Sports[edit]

Ultimate Frisbee (Year-round)

Crew (Year-round)

Sailing (Year-round)

Rugby (Spring)

Mountain Biking (Spring)

Roller Hockey (Spring 2007-2009)


The student-run newspaper, the Bark, has a long history of excellence, with student writers, photographers, and graphic designers earning honors at the national level each year. Active since the school's inception in 1958, the newspaper acts as a limited public forum for its student, teacher, parent, and community audience. Circulation of the free publication reaches 2,000 each month. The paper also maintains social media links on Facebook and through mobile devices, with its own online publications.


The Music Department has two Jazz Bands, "Jazz A" (big band) and "Jazz B", two concert bands, the Wind Ensemble (adv.) and the Symphonic Band (int.), as well as two Performance Workshop classes, and a Beginning Guitar and Bass class. The Music Department usually goes on tour every year, in 2009, 2010, and 2011 it went to Yosemite National Park. In 2009 and 2010 it hosted the Night of Swing as a fundraiser. In 2011 this was changed to a Night of Blues due to orchestration availability.


Redwood's theatre company, EPiC, is student-run. It provides students with endless opportunities to create, explore, and learn in the theatre. Every year, the senior theatre students create an original one-act and enter it in the Mother Lode Festival. The piece usually wins the highest award offered at the festival, "Superior."[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Redwood High School
  2. ^ a b c d "School Accountability Report Card Reported Using Data from the 2011–12 School Year". Tamalpais Union High School District. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Rob Rogers, Marin Independent Journal, "Redwood Recognized as Blue Ribbon School," 2008-09-11, accessed 2008-09-11
  4. ^ "WASC Report 2006-2007". Redwood High School. 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Joe Wolfcale, Marin Independent Journal, "Fowl prank at high school," 2006-05-27, accessed 2007-02-28
  6. ^ Gollan, Jennifer (May 13, 2006). "Appreciating life in Marin: Redwood students create 40-foot mural of countryside". Marin Independent Journal. 
  7. ^ a b c d Redwood Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
  8. ^ a b Marin Athletic Foundation
  9. ^ Player Bio: Pete Carroll :: Football
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Redwood High School Distinguished Alumni Avenue of the Giants
  11. ^ Stanford University Department of Mathematics
  12. ^ Doyle at IMDB
  13. ^ SF Chronicle profile of Mark Fainaru-Wada
  14. ^ Strupp, Joe (July 19, 2006). "The Brothers Fainaru: From Baseball to Baghdad". Editor & Publisher. Retrieved December 31, 2008. 
  15. ^ a b c d Act Locally SF
  16. ^ "Feds to ease restrictions on 'American Taliban' John Walker Lindh". Associated Press. March 18, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2009. "[John Walker Lindh] attended Redwood High School in Larkspur but left after one semester." 
  17. ^ The Secret Magdalene
  18. ^ Flow Down Like Silver (Hypatia of Alexandria) (9780975925591): Ki Longfellow: Books
  19. ^ "About Gavin Newsom". Office of Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  20. ^ Eric Schmitt reports on Iraq

External links[edit]