Riverside Polytechnic High School
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2010)|
|Riverside Polytechnic High School|
|5450 Victoria Avenue
Riverside, California, United States
|School district||Riverside Unified School District|
|Superintendent||Dr. Richard L. Miller|
|Principal||Dr. Michael Roe|
|Assistant principals||Brian Frost
|Campus size||40 acres (16 ha)|
|Color(s)||Orange and Green|
(No mascot prior to 1940)
|Nickname||Poly; Riverside Poly|
|CAHSEE average||61.4 English-Language Arts
|Average SAT scores||501 Verbal
|Accreditation||Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 2009|
Riverside Polytechnic High School is a four-year public high school in Riverside, California, United States, and part of the Riverside Unified School District. The current facility, located on Victoria Avenue, was opened in September 1965; the traditions of the school go back to 1887, then known as the Riverside High School, making Riverside Polytechnic the oldest high school in the city.
Riverside Polytechnic High School traces its heritage from 1887, when the newly formed city of Riverside needed higher education for the community. The first joint elementary and high school's first graduating class in 1890 comprised seven students—four girls and three boys. Eugenie Fuller was its principal. When classes grew too large in 1902, a new co-educational high school building was constructed on Ninth Street between Lemon and Lime Streets, and the original 14th Street building became the Grant School, serving grades 3–8.
In 1910, Riverside High School's enrollment was approximately 500 students, and new facilities were required. In 1911, the genders were separated, creating a Girls High School at the Ninth Street building, and the Polytechnic High School for boys at a newly constructed campus on Terracina Avenue. Fuller continued as principal of the Girls High School, and Mr. J.E. McKown was appointed principal of the Riverside Polytechnic High School.
In 1916, the Polytechnic High School began offering postgraduate classes. The Riverside Junior College District was formed in 1920, and the Riverside Junior College moved out of the high school to an adjacent property.
World War I brought changes to both high school campuses. The earlier enrollment explosion waned as young men joined the armed forces. In 1924, the school board created a junior high school level and consolidated the senior high schools into one co-educational school. A new Applied Arts Building provided Home Economics and "other facilities for the girls." The old Girls High School now served as a Girls Junior High School, while the Boys Junior High School was located at the old Grant School. 1924–25 saw the Junior College and the Senior High School with growing enrollments, and so provided separate administrations for each. There were 202 seniors in 1924.
During World War II, many Poly girls worked with a federal government–sponsored group called the High School Victory Corps. The girls helped make bandages and other needed items, or worked in essential industries after school. All who took part in these activities were volunteers. In 1944, the Victory Corps was discontinued at Poly.
In the 1950s, there was a tradition that each incoming class at the school would be given an unflattering nickname that would remain with the class until their graduation. For example, the class of 1951 was dubbed the "Geeks" and the class of 1953 was the "Orts".
In 1956, double sessions at Poly were needed until a second high school, Ramona High, could be built. As high school enrollment continued to grow, it was evident that a third high school would be needed in Riverside. In 1960, a new high school, Rubidoux, shared the Poly campus until its campus could be completed in 1961. In 1965, Poly separated from the junior college campus and a site on the corner of Central and Victoria Avenues was built, along with a high school on Third Street and Chicago Avenue, named North High. Both high schools opened their doors in September 1965, with the Victoria site keeping the traditional name of Riverside Polytechnic High School. Since that time, Poly High School classes have taken place on the present site.
Riverside Polytechnic High School is home to one of the original, still active Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) units, established in 1917 and was originally called the Poly High Cadet Corps. It is the oldest JROTC program west of the Mississippi River, and second oldest in the United States. In 1970 it was among the first JROTC units to offer a girls program 
There were 51 young men making up the Class of 1916, known as the "Stags of 1916". There were 18 faculty members. This class was the first to complete the four-year course offered in the new building.
Mascot, Yearbook and School Colors
Riverside Polytechnic High is a supporter of their mascot, a koala known as Kris Koala. In 1940, the koala appeared on the cover of the yearbook. From then on, the yearbook was called The Koala. Over the years, the "Koala" portion of Poly High's koala-bear mascot faded to the point that, today, the mascot is referred to as "The Poly Bears". Poly High colors have always been orange and green.
The first yearbook, The Stag was published in 1912. In 1918, the title was changed to Orange and Green when it became a joint publication for the boys' and girls' schools. In 1940, the title changed again when the mascot was added, to The Koala.
Poly's Vocal Music division has presents 5 choirs at its 4 home concerts. The award-winning Chamber Singers competed in a San Francisco area adjudicated festival in May 2012 and earned a Superior score and was awarded the Best Overall Choir award. Additionally, 2 soloists earned Outstanding Soloist medallions. The Chamber Singers were chosen again to participate in the Disneyland Candlelight Procession and Ceremony in December 2011.
The school's marching band is named the Proud Heritage Band and Color Guard. The band and Color Guard achieved second place in the 2008 SCSBOA Championships Field Tournament. The Winter Drumline won the 2007 American Drum-line Association Southern California Championships, making them the first place high-school Drumline in Southern California.
Poly has the only high school orchestra in the Riverside Unified School District. They received a Superior Score in the 2008 SCSBOA Regional.
|Hakim Akbar||1998||Sports||American football linebacker drafted by the New England Patriots |
|Jennifer Banko-Stewart||1997||Film||Has performed in various Hollywood movies and television programs|
|Bobby Bonds||1964||Sports||Major League Baseball (MLB) player for the San Francisco Giants |
|Larry Christiansen||1974||Sports||Chess Grandmaster, US Chess Champion 1980, 1983, 2002|
|Marcella Craft||1893||Music||International operatic soprano|
|Walter A. Gordon||1914 (est)||Government||First All-American at UC Berkeley, first African American graduate of Boalt Hall, Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Federal District Judge |
|Sharon Jordan||1978||Film and TV||Amongst other roles, recurred on Disney's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody |
|Ben H. Lewis||1921 (est)||Government||Mayor of Riverside from 1965 to 1978|
|Rex Mays||1931 (est)||Sports||Auto racer, 1940 and 1941 national champion, four-time pole winner at the Indianapolis 500, member Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, Riverside Sports Hall of Fame|
|Reggie Miller||1983||Sports||National Basketball Association player and commentator |
|Cheryl Miller||1982||Sports||NCAA women's basketball player, Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, WNBA coach, and commentator|
|Donnie Murphy||2001||Sports||MLB infielder for the Florida Marlins |
|Greg Myers||1984||Sports||MLB player for the Toronto Blue Jays |
|Miné Okubo||1930 (est)||Arts||Artist and writer|
|Jo-Jo Reyes||Sports||MLB pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates |
|Herman O. Ruhnau||1928||Architecture||Postmodern architect|
|William Forsyth Sharpe||1951||Economics||Winner of the 1990 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and helped develop the Capital asset pricing model, which is part of Modern portfolio theory. Also known for the Sharpe ratio.|
|Ray Lyman Wilbur||1892||Government||Medical doctor, Stanford University president, 31st United States Secretary of the Interior |
|Cynthia Woodhead||1982||Sports||1978 world champion swimmer; 1984 Olympic silver metalist in 200m Freestyle|
|Tyler Clary||2007||Sports||Swimmer who won a silver medal at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships, three silvers at the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics.|
|Morgan Stuart||2007||Sports||Washington Huskies – 2009 Women's College World Series Champions|
|Lauren Potter||2010||TV and government||Plays Becky Johnson, a cheerleader with Down syndrome, on the TV series Glee. In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.|
|John Gabbert||1927||Law||Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeals|
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- Diamond, Dick (1980). "Where Eagles Soar". Inland Empire Magazine. Retrieved May 16, 2012. "If the SBHS-Pacific rivalry was hard fought, the rivalry between (Riverside) Poly and Ramona after 1957 was no less fierce."
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- "Victory Corps. (Education)". Time 40 (14): 64. October 5, 1942. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
- Yearbook. Riverside High School. 1944. p. 85.
- Yearbook. Riverside High School. 1945.
- Durian, Hal (June 12, 2010). "Riverside Recollections". The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, California: Enterprise Media). Retrieved November 7, 2010.
- Riverside Poly – JROTC History
- "The Stag". Riverside Polytechnic High School. June 19, 1914. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
- The Koala (yearbook). Riverside High School. 1940.
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- Official School website
- Official Poly Bears Football website
- Riverside Poly High history
- Riverside Poly High School information from old school yearbooks.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Polytechnic High School