University of San Diego High School
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
|University of San Diego High School|
|5961 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, California 92110
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Founder||Rev. John Dickie|
|Status||Defunct; transitioned to Cathedral Catholic High School in 2005|
|President||Dr. Richard Kelly (until 2004), James Tschann (2004-2005)|
|Vice principal||Margaret Mauro|
|Asst. Principal||Leslie Beswick|
|Chaplain||Fr. John Puodziunas|
|Color(s)||Red and Gold|
|Rival||St. Augustine High School, Academy of Our Lady of Peace|
|Newspaper||The El Cid|
|Yearbook||The Presidio (48 total volumes)|
|Affiliation||Diocese of San Diego|
|Website||http://www.usdhs.org (now defunct)|
The University of San Diego High School (USDHS), also known as The University High School (UHS) or "Uni", was a Catholic, co-educational, college preparatory secondary school located in San Diego, California. In 2005, the school was closed and reopened in Del Mar as Cathedral Catholic High School.
University High School, as the school was commonly known (from its inception through the 1980s) was founded in 1957 on a site overlooking Mission Bay to the west and Mission Valley to the south, and dedicated to providing a value-centered education to San Diego's young men. In 1970, sister-school Cathedral Girls High School merged with UHS to become a co-educational school. The class of 1971 was the first co-educational graduating class in USDHS history. It maintained its emphasis on teaching solid values and strong discipline, while at the same time, providing opportunities for each student to grow according to his/her individual potential. Over 10,000 students have graduated from the school.
Up until the transfer, the Linda Vista campus held 1,450 students who studied a college preparatory curriculum in fulfillment of the school mission "...to assist parents in the spiritual, intellectual and physical development of their children." Students were also afforded opportunities to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular activities including fine arts, athletics, clubs, service organizations and leadership roles. Beginning with the 1998–99 school year, students were required to complete service hours for community organizations to fulfill their graduation requirements.
Alumni of USDHS and CGHS supported the educational process by sending their children to USDHS and enhancing the academic offerings. Brother Michael Wallgren, 1985–1991, assisted by a generous gift from the George Pflaum, Jr. Foundation, started the Learning Center at USDHS to provide necessary assistance for students with certified learning differences. Through the generous financial assistance of parents, this facility has increased its capacity to 90 students with two full-time and two part-time faculty.
Dr. Richard Kelly, Principal and President from 1991–2004, acted on the Strategic Plan prepared for USDHS with the assistance of the School Board, Parents Association, and Faculty. The Strategic Plan provides for academic, athletic, and social enhancement, often made possible only by physical plant improvements. Academically, there has been an expansion of the Fine Arts Program, the addition of eight new classrooms, and an increase of five Advanced Placement courses. The initial purchase of ten high-end research computers linked to the Internet and a new writing lab complemented the enhancement of the Campus Center building. The computer lab received all new iMac computers and all classrooms had a new computer and printer installed to allow teachers to write lessons, input grades, post homework and keep parents updated on student progress in 2000.
In 1999, the Diocese of San Diego proposed a plan to relocate University of San Diego High School. The plan was proposed due to a rising rate of student applicants to USDHS, and the current campus was becoming too small to handle such a number of students. The plan was approved, and the diocese, contracting with Sundt Inc., began construction on a brand new campus, in a location in Carmel Valley. The new school was to have larger facilities to accommodate up to 2000 students, and host many extra curricular activities and sports such as football, swim/dive, water polo, basketball, sailing, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, softball and baseball. The majority of these activities have had to hold practices and events outside of the USDHS campus, such as at USD, or at improvised locations on campus, due to the lack of facilities.
The new campus was due to be completed in summer of 2005, and USDHS officially shut down after the 2004-2005 school year. The new school opened as Cathedral Catholic High School in August 2005, with all the same faculty and administration, and the remaining three classes who came from USDHS (Classes of 2006, 2007, and 2008). The new freshmen class of 2009 was the first to graduate from Cathedral Catholic after all four years at the new location.
In 1998, the then-United States Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, named University of San Diego High School a Blue Ribbon School. USDHS, as well as two other San Diego area schools, are among 166 secondary schools nationwide being recognized for their excellence in teaching, student achievement and parental involvement.
Note: The first Principal of University of San Diego High School was Reverend Father James Cadden, a world class scholar of Church History. All of the faculty were ordained Priests for the first few years of Uni High's existence.
Cathedral Catholic High School
The transition to Cathedral Catholic High School has been challenging for students, teachers, and alumni. Cathedral Catholic has attempted to continue all of the traditions founded at USDHS, from the Dons mascot to the academic, athletic and social awareness standards.
USDHS 50th Anniversary and final graduating class
September 2007 marked the 50th year of operation for the University of San Diego High School (now known as Cathedral Catholic High School). To commemorate this, Cathedral Catholic declared that school year "The Golden Era of the Dons", which provided themes for many events throughout that school year, including the annual Star Gala which was held in April 2008.
In addition, the weekend of February 1–3, 2008 honored the 50 year legacy held by USDHS and now Cathedral Catholic, with a weekend of celebration for all alumni from all three institutions (USDHS, CGHS, CCHS).
The dedicated walk of fame that was interred on the quad at Uni was originally proposed to be moved and installed on the quad of CCHS around a new memorial fountain. But due to deterioration and costly efforts, the stones were not brought to CCHS. Those who had names there were honored with a memorial display, which was hung in the USDHS Library at CCHS during the 50th Anniversary Celebration. More notable dedications for major Uni/CCHS contributors have been engraved into the stone benches and lamp posts around CCHS' quad as well.
On May 31, 2008, the final class to have ever walked the halls of USDHS graduated. The class of 2008 was the final freshman class from Uni. Starting with the class of 2009, all students will be fully CCHS students.
USDHS: The Official Documentary
In honor of the 50 year legacy of the University of San Diego High School, several students from Uni/CCHS worked together to produce a 45-minute documentary detailing the many decades that Uni and CCHS have celebrated so far. The documentary, which was fully student-written and produced, was a big hit at the 50th anniversary celebration.
The documentary featured over hundreds of photos from over the years at USDHS, as well as photos/videos from the campus in its final years. Interviews with many alumni, faculty, and staff were also filmed, and are included as well.
An extended version was proposed and work had begun on it in 2009, but the project was put on hold and eventually scrapped.
- Mark Prior (1998) - Baseball player in the New York Yankees system as he makes his comeback. Luke Walton, Prior, and Quentin were on the Dons Basketball team together
- Cindy Luis (1973), award-winning sports writer for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin; she was the first female editor-in-chief of the USDHS El Cid and the first female sports editor in the Gannett newspaper chain in 1978 (The Pacific Daily News, Guam)
- Cameron Crowe - Academy Award-winning writer-director (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous)
- Phil Mickelson (1988) - PGA Tour golfer, winner of 5 majors, Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), PGA Championship (2005), and The Open Championship (2013) considered one of the best golfers of his generation
- Scott Peterson (1990) - convicted of killing his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn child in a widely publicized case; now on death row at San Quentin State Prison
- Thomas K. Arnold (1976) - publisher of Home Media Magazine and entertainment writer whose credits include USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times
- Gloria Calderon Kellett (1993) - ALMA Award-nominated writer for How I Met Your Mother. She worked for Cameron Crowe and married Dave Kellett, both fellow USDHS alumni.
- Dave Kellett (1992) - cartoonist who created Sheldon (webcomic)
- Mandy Stadtmiller (1993) - New York Post writer; comedian
- Steven C. Hayes (1966) - Psychologist; creator of a popular mindfulness therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and its basic program in cognition, Relational Frame Theory
- Luke Walton (1998) - Basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers (2003–present).
- Chris Lansing (2005) - Current Smash Ball World Record Holder
- Carlos Quentin - Baseball player for the San Diego Padres
- Jerry Trainor (1995) - Actor most notable for playing Spencer Shay on iCarly and Crazy Steve on Drake and Josh; his mother has been a math teacher at the school since the 1980s, and continues to do so at the new school
- Barry Zito - Baseball player for the San Francisco Giants; 2002 Cy Young Award Winner with the Oakland Athletics
- Kelly Rulon - Water polo player for the UCLA Bruins, who won a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and now plays for the UCLA Women's Water Polo team, winning the NCAA title in 2007, causing UCLA to be the first NCAA school to gain 100 national titles.
- Moriah van Norman - Olympic silver medalist, Water polo; played for the USC Trojans, who won the Peter J. Cutino Award in 2004, recognized as the best female collegiate player
- Justin Green - Fullback for Baltimore Ravens
- Phil Lebherz - Founder and CEO of the non-profit, Foundation for Health Coverage Education
- Pete Adams - Guard for Cleveland Browns 1973-1976
- Steve Dunning - Pitcher for Indians/Expos/Athletics/Rangers/Angels 1970-1977
- Bruce Binkowski - Executive Director, Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, Long time stadium announcer for San Diego Padres
- Mike Carey - NFL Side Judge (1990–1995), Referee 1995–Present, first black referee in Super Bowl history (Feb. 3 2008 - Super Bowl XLII)
- Chris Richard - First USDHS graduate to make it to the Pros (baseball) and the 14th player in history to hit a home run on the 1st pitch on 7/17/2000. Started with Baltimore 2000-2003 before serious shoulder injury. Durham Bulls 2007-2010.
Linda Vista Campus
After the closing of USDHS in June 2005, the Linda Vista campus became the home of Notre Dame Academy (San Diego, California), while their new campus, also in Carmel Valley, was being completed. NDA's campus was completed in winter 2005, and the school moved out of Linda Vista in January.
From 2006 to 2007, security around the campus was tightened due to gang vandalism and intruders. The portable classrooms which were added to USDHS were removed during the NDA period, leaving only the concrete buildings to remain. The statues and relics from the old campus, such as the Mary statue from the quad, were all moved to locations around the Cathedral Catholic campus. The campus sign that overlooked the entrance of the school was taken in 2006 by alumni and students, and donated back to CCHS. The sign continued to make appearances at Grad Nights for the past 3 years as a memorial, but is rumored to be auctioned off in 2009.
The Dons Athletic Hall of Fame was moved to the gymnasium at CCHS. The Walk of Fame that was interred on the quad at USDHS could not be brought over due to deterioration, and instead the names of all the contributors and donors were placed on a memorial wall in the USDHS Library at CCHS.
The former campus received much activity between 2007 and 2008. A cleaning crew sanctioned by CCHS and the Diocese came to the campus following the October 2007 Wildfires to sweep up ash and any garbage that remained. The campus was also a filming location for many students of CCHS Multimedia, who had gained permission to enter the remains of the school to shoot for short-film projects, as well as the 50th Anniversary video.
On February 23, 2008, The San Diego Union Tribune confirmed the sale of the USDHS Campus to The Irvine Company for $50 million. The company plans to build 533 apartments on the 16-acre (65,000 m2) site of the former University High School.
On May 5, 2008, demolition began on the site of the USDHS campus. The gym and the campus center were the first to be torn down, followed by the south side of the campus, then moved north towards the rest of the school. The last visitors to the school while it was still standing were alum and long-time Uni teacher, Danny Wilson, accompanied by two of the students who had worked on the school's official documentary in the past year. The remains of the campus and wall were destroyed in October 2008.
In 2010, the land that the campus once stood upon was leveled to the street. A wood fence was put up, and small construction began in some parts, starting with what used to be the former school's basketball courts and faculty parking lot. Production was halted in April due to financing issues, but has since resumed and been completed. The new complex is called Carmel Pacific Ridge Luxury Apartments with an address listed as 5945 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA 92110 though it sits atop the same land that Uni once occupied.