Woodrow Wilson High School (Los Angeles)

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Woodrow Wilson High School
"Once a Mule, Always a Mule"
4500 Multnomah St
Los Angeles, California 90032

Type Public
Established 1937
School district Los Angeles Unified School District
Principal Luis Lopez
Staff 45
Faculty 135
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1500
Color(s)             Navy Blue, Vegas Gold & White
Athletics Baseball, Football, Boys & Girls Soccer, Softball, Track & Field, Cross Country, Boys & Girls Basketball, Cheer, Drill Team, Boys & Girls Tennis, Boys & Girls Volleyball
Athletics conference Northern League, Los Angeles City Section CIF
Mascot Mighty Mule (Seymour)
Rivals Abraham Lincoln High School, Benjamin Franklin High School

Woodrow Wilson High School is a Los Angeles Unified School District high school in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.[1] Since the year 1970, its location has been 4500 Multnomah Street in El Sereno [2] atop Ascot Hills. The school serves El Sereno, and University Hills, not to mention areas of City Terrace and Ramona Gardens.[citation needed]

Wilson High, with an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students, is one of six high schools under the direct supervision of LAUSD Local District 5. The school colors are Navy Blue, Vegas Gold and White, the school's mascot is a Mule (Seymour). Notable alumni: One of Wilson's alumni Ben Davidson. He played for the Oakland Raiders, but never played football for Wilson; he was on the basketball team. He died in 2012. Another alumni is Claire Sinclair, who was playmate of the year for 2011.


The new Wilson High School opened in 1970.

In 1970, Woodrow Wilson Senior High School moved to its new campus on top of Multnomah Avenue. The school was designed by architect Paul Williams. Wilson was the first LAUSD School to implement multi-floored buildings equipped with elevators and escalators to accommodate disabled students.

Wilson High School has had problems with overcrowding. As with most inner-city public schools, the large influx of the student population has been a cause of concern for administrators and parents alike. With a set capacity prescribed almost 40 years ago when Wilson was built, this past decade has been a struggle for students as their educational experience is amid overcrowded classrooms and under staffed faculty.[citation needed]

In 2007 Wilson High School celebrated its 70th anniversary. In 2012 it will celebrate its 75th anniversary.

1968 Wilson Walkout: The Beginning of the Chicano Movement

In late 1967 East Los Angeles housed a school system entrenched in racism. The Mexican American community had the highest high school dropout rate and lowest college attendance among any ethnic group. The poor facilities and constant underestimation of student capabilities by teachers created an atmosphere hostile to learning. The oppressive conditions coupled with the inability to make changes compelled students, activists, and teachers to meet and discuss the situation. They decided that making their plight public was the best way to pressure the school board into compliance with their demands for education reform.

Lincoln High School teacher Sal Castro, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sal_Castro, along with student leaders from the five public schools in East Los Angeles (Roosevelt, Wilson, Lincoln, Garfield, and Belmont) such as Paula Crisostomo, college students like Moctesuma Esparza, and groups such as United Mexican American Students (UMAS) and the Brown Berets, developed thirty-six demands to bring to the Board of Education. These goals included bilingual, bicultural education, Latino teachers and administrators, smaller class sizes, better facilities and the revision of text books to include Mexican American history.

Their needs were not met, and so the students threatened walkouts, which they called “Blowouts.” Los Angeles public schools are paid based on the number of students in class each day. By walking out of homeroom before attendance was taken, the students could targeted the schools financially. An ad hoc committee, UMAS, and college students established Blowout committees at Roosevelt, Lincoln and Garfield high schools, plus a central coordinating committee. Their meetings were almost always infiltrated by plainclothes policemen.

Wilson High principal Donald Skinner canceled a student production of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park,” citing it as too risqué for a Mexican American audience. The incident was enough to prematurely trigger the walkouts. Although Wilson was not one of the original three schools intending to walk out, 300 students there walked out on March 1, 1968. The administration had senior students blockade the main exit, but resilient students found the auditorium door. They pushed the school entry gates back and forth, as students inside demonstrated by throwing fruit, books and more over the gate. Policemen and photographers showed up on the scene as the students were told to return to class. Some refused, forming sit-ins and rallies. As a symbol of the walkouts, students wore the image of a foot on their clothes. They said they would not return to class until their demands were met. http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/east-los-angeles-students-walkout-educational-reform-east-la-blowouts-1968

The walkouts or blowouts, which began with the March 1, 1968 walkout at Wilson, are credited as seminal events of the Chicano movement: "The blowouts resulted in the gradual beginning of various reforms, including bilingual education, Chicano studies, more emphasis on academic subjects, more encouragement of Mexican American students going to college, and more Mexican- American teachers and administrators," sTaid García. "Many problems continued – and still do – but what had changed was the consciousness of Chicanos both among students and in the community concerning the need to fight for educational justice. There is no question about the significance of the blowouts in the history of the Chicano movement and in Chicano history." (Garcia, Mario T. “Blowout: Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice.” Blowout: The 40th Anniversary Conference on the 1968 East Los Angeles Chicano Student Walkouts. UCSB Chicano Studies Institute. UCSB February 20, 2008.) http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=1723

1970's Football City Championships

During the 1970s, Wilson’s football coach was the legendary Vic Cuccia. Coach Cuccia led the Mighty Mules to a 39-game winning streak, taking the team to win the City’s Section 3-A championship in 1975, 1976, and 1977.

Cuccia’s own son, Ron Cuccia, was the team’s quarterback for those three years, during which time he set a City and State record for passing, accounted for 145 touchdowns, and set a national record for total offense with 11,451 yards. The Mighty Mules also went on to win the City championship title in 1978. During his 22 years as the football coach (1956-1977), Vic Cuccia compiled a 151-42-6 record. He was also a teacher, serving all his 44 teaching years at Wilson High School. Coach Vic Cuccia, who grew up in El Sereno, was honored for his dedication and work on September 1999. Wilson High School’s football stadium was renamed in his honor (the football field had already been dedicated in honor of Paul Barthel, a former Wilson teacher). Coach Vic Cuccia passed away on January, 2008 at the age of 80. http://elsereno90032orgblog.blogspot.com/

Performance and demographics statistics[edit]

The school's graduation rate for 2004-2005 was 61.7%. [2] The school's California API score was 562 for 2006, and of its student population, 77% are in a Free or Reduced Lunch program and 30% are designated as English Learners. 8% of the students participate in a GATE program. The student body is 93% Hispanic, 4.8% Asian, 1.5% black, 0.5% white and 0.2% Native American. The API score of the 2009 - 2010 school year was 615 and jump up to 637 the following year. [3][4]

Academic Performance Index (API)[edit]

API for High Schools in the LAUSD District 5 and local small public charter high schools in the East Los Angeles region.

School 2007 [3] 2008 [4] 2009 [5] 2010 [6] 2011 [7] 2012 [8]
Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School 807 818 815 820 832 842
Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science School 718 792 788 788 809 785
Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School 662 726 709 710 744 744
James A. Garfield High School 553 597 593 632 705 706
Abraham Lincoln High School 594 609 588 616 643 684
Woodrow Wilson High School 582 585 600 615 636 648
Theodore Roosevelt High School 557 551 576 608
Thomas Jefferson High School 457 516 514 546 546 589
Santee Education Complex 502 521 552 565 612

The Hitching Post[edit]

The Hitching Post is a bi-monthly publication by the Journalism class.

Wilson's newspaper has been around since around 1941, but the name has been changed several times, thus the confusion in the number of volumes printed so far.

Advanced Placement program[edit]

Students are accepted into the Advanced Placement Program and individual advanced placement classes based on faculty and counselor recommendations. A student may be admitted into an AP class by request or if the AP instructor has approved the request. These are the current courses offered by Wilson[citation needed]:

  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP English Language
  • AP English Literature
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP French
  • AP Government
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP Physics(No longer offered)
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Spanish Language
  • AP Spanish Literature
  • AP Statistics
  • AP U.S. History


  1. ^ Landsberg, Mitchell. "County gives Los Angeles International Charter High School a second chance." Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2010. Retrieved on September 8, 2011.
  2. ^ "Students Get History Lesson in Mural Project">Valencia, Monica." [1]." Los Angeles Times. January 15, 2007. Retrieved on August 28, 2012.
  3. ^ 2006-07 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 25, 2009
  4. ^ 2007-08 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 25, 2009
  5. ^ 2008-09 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 8, 2012
  6. ^ 2009-10 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 8, 2012
  7. ^ 2010-11 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 8, 2012
  8. ^ (APR) Retrieved on April 13, 2013