Abraham Lincoln High School (San Francisco)

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Abraham Lincoln High School
The seal of Abraham Lincoln High School.png
The seal of Abraham Lincoln High School
2162 24th Avenue
Sunset District, San Francisco, California 94116
Coordinates 37°44′50″N 122°28′52″W / 37.74728°N 122.48103°W / 37.74728; -122.48103Coordinates: 37°44′50″N 122°28′52″W / 37.74728°N 122.48103°W / 37.74728; -122.48103
School type Public school
Motto Latin: Finimus Coepturi
(Finish to begin)
Established August 27, 1940 (1940-08-27)
Founder Clyde W. White
School board San Francisco Board of Education
School district San Francisco Unified School District
Superintendent Richard Carranza
School number 405
Dean Debra A. Lee
Principal Shari Balisi
Enrollment 2027
Campus type Urban
Color(s)          Red and Gold
Athletics conference CIF San Francisco Section
Mascot Mustang
Nickname Mustangs
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Newspaper Lincoln Log

Abraham Lincoln High School (ALHS) is a California Distinguished and fully accredited public high school located in the Sunset District of San Francisco, California. In 2017, ALHS was ranked #822 nationally and earned a silver medal by US News & World Report, placing it in the top 3.1% of public high schools nationwide.

ALHS is a comprehensive high school with a long history of high expectations and excellence. ALHS provides a positive, nurturing school environment that supports high academic performance and high student self-image. ALHS offers a rigorous AP and honors program, and offers its students the opportunity to specialize through six academic programs: the ACE pathway, the Biotechnology Pathway, The Business Academy, Digital Media Design Academy, Teacher Academy, and Green Academy. The Business Academy, Digital Media Design Academy, Teacher Academy, and Green Academy are SFUSD CTE (Career Technical Education) supported programs. The Business & Teacher Academies are CA Partnership Academy (CPA) Grant funded programs. The Biotech Pathway and the Teacher Academy are unique to Lincoln and are currently being modeled in other schools in the district. The Green Academy is a innovative program which teaches students cutting edge Green Technology concepts and skills. Finally, the ACE pathway is available to college bound students who want to focus on art and architecture, construction and engineering

In addition to its academies and pathways, ALHS provides services for Special Education severely and non-severely impaired students, a comprehensive English Language Learner (ELL) program, a Mandarin Secondary Dual Language Pathway, Spanish, Mandarin, French, and Japanese instruction through honors and AP, a GATE pathway for gifted and talented students, a Wellness Center, Peer Resource Program, AVID, Step-to-College, and a vast array of clubs, athletics, and other extracurricular activities.


Abraham Lincoln High School was established on Tuesday, August 27, 1940, accepting approximately 950 students under Lincoln's first principal, Clyde W. White. Its opening and dedication ceremony was held on September 22, 1940.

A 1938 bond issue, approved by San Francisco voters to address the increasing population in the Western San Francisco area, financed the incorporation of Abraham Lincoln High School with a three-story building of 50 classrooms, library, and cafeteria as well as a football field, costing over $750,000 in 1940 (adjusted for 2005 dollars, this would be over $10 million). Additions such as the North and South Gymnasiums, the auditorium, and the bungalow expansion were completed later.

In December 2007, Lincoln began modernization of the existing campus for accessibility and construction of a new building to replace the 23 aged bungalow buildings which covered a large portion of the site. The bungalow replacement resulted in a new 18-classroom CHPS-Designed building. (Collaborative for High Performance Schools). Construction of the new $9.25 million building was completed in 2009 with 22,754 square feet of new classrooms.

The first Star Trek convention was held at Lincoln in 1975.[1]

The building is portrayed as Elmore Junior High School in the British/American cartoon show The Amazing World Of Gumball.


In the center of the Sunset District, Abraham Lincoln High School occupies four blocks demarcated by the intersections of Quintara Street and Santiago Street and 22nd Avenue and 24th Avenue. The school is located near the Sunset Reservoir, which supplies water for the Sunset district and serves as a rectangular, city-block track for physical education, and directly north of McCoppin Square, the Taraval Police Station and the Parkside branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

Academics and admissions[edit]


Abraham Lincoln High School is a "westside" school along with Lowell High School and George Washington High School. The north wing to the campus was constructed to alleviate crowding.

Lincoln allows students to leave campus during lunch with an unrestricted open campus lunch policy.[2]


Abraham Lincoln High School, unlike alternative schools such as Lowell and SOTA, is a comprehensive school which does not require special applications or test or auditions for admission. As with all SFUSD schools, Lincoln's admissions policies are affected by the "diversity index", which considers factors such as socioeconomic status, academic achievement, parents' educational background, and the API score of the sending school.[3]

For the 2017-2018 school year, ALHS was the second most requested high school in the district, after Lowell, 34% (1,548) of all applicants requested Lowell as a 1st choice, and 19% (868) requested Lincoln. [4]

For the 2006-2007 school year, Lincoln had 2,870 total students applying and 956 students ranking it their first choice. In that year, out of the top three most requested high schools (Lincoln, Lowell, and Washington), Lincoln was also the most competitive high school in terms of admission rate with an acceptance rate of 17.19%—in comparison, only 2,223 students (48% of all applicants) applied for Lowell's 740 slots for an admission rate of 33.28% and 3,124 students (68% of all applications) applied for Washington's 550 slots for an admission rate of 17.60%.

For the 2006–2007 school year, Lincoln was the most competitive district high school in demand with 3,430 applicants, or 74% of all applicants. Out of the top 3 most requested high schools, Lincoln was also the most competitive public high school in terms of admission rate with an acceptance rate of 17.31% compared to Lowell's 30.81% and Washington's 20.08%.[5]


White Hispanic Asian / Pacific Islander Black American Indian / Alaskan Two or More Races
6% 20% 63% 6% 1% 5%

The majority of the school's population is Asian or Pacific Islander.[6]


The school colors are red and gold, and its school mascot is the Mustang, a feral horse that embodies the attributes of hardiness, grace, speed, and independence.

The school hymn was written by a Lincoln graduate, Patricia Cutler Aversano, in 1943 and called "High on a Hilltop". The lyrics to the hymn are:

High on a hilltop, 'mid sand and sea,
Abraham Lincoln, we will honor thee forever.
Thy sons and daughters, however long the trail,
Always will remember thee. Hail! Hail! Hail!

Lincoln has a football tradition with Washington High School in San Francisco called the "Bell Game". It is a football game where the winning school receives the prized bell. Spirit week is an important time at Lincoln High School. It takes place the week of the "Bell Game" vs. Washington High School. Various events occurring during Spirit Week include "Battle of the Classes", Twin Day, Crazy Hair Day, Nerd Day, Polo/Hat/Tie Day, and Duct Tape/Tinfoil Day.

The school has its annual Brotherhood Sisterhood Assembly (a.k.a. BSA) which is one of the most popular events that occur annually at Lincoln High. Various clubs put on acts, dances, slide shows to show the diversity the school is made of.

Lincoln also hosts two seasonal festivals each year: Fall Fest and Spring Fest. The events are a chance for student clubs and organizations to raise money by selling food or providing entertainment. Many cultural clubs sell food that is representative of the culture.

The Turkey Day game is the city championship football game held annually on Thanksgiving.

Extracurricular and community work[edit]

Abraham Lincoln High School has a strong extracurricular program with over 150 clubs, student organizations, and interscholastic sports teams, including Amnesty International, Red Cross Club, Lincs Service Society, Environmental Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Youth for Chinatown Elderly, JROTC (Color Guard, Drum Corps, Exhibition and Flag Drill Team), Black Student Union, the Varsity Gold Show Choir, and Drama (each year they put up a fall and spring play).

One of the most anticipated annual events at Lincoln is the annual Brotherhood/Sisterhood Assembly (BSA), which began as an opportunity to understand other cultures after a near fatal school-related shooting, which resulted in a paralyzed teenager over ten years ago. The Brotherhood/Sisterhood Assembly is a two-hour assembly presented by a wide array of extracurricular clubs that promotes tolerance and awareness of all kinds, from cultural (Polynesian Dance Club, Middle-Eastern Club, Munocka Performing Arts, Koinonia Club, Japanese Culture Club, Korean Club, Vietnamese Club, and Fellowship Club), diversity (Gay-Straight Alliance, Peer Resources, Black Student Union), and student interests (Hip Hop Club, Break-Dancing Club, Drama Club, Varsity Gold Show Choir and Cheerleading Team).

Other important annual events are Fallfest and Springfest, two occasions when students can relax with a decreased schedule. Accompanied by popular music, a majority of clubs hold fundraising activities in the open courtyard, from JROTC's traditional barbecues to Chinese food, other cultural dishes, smoothies and mixed drinks.

The student body at ALHS generally prides itself on making generous charitable contributions and running charitable campaigns, with annual drives for organizations such as the San Francisco Food Bank and Salvation Army as well as fundraising for current disasters and other events needing charitable contributions. In 2004 the San Francisco Food Bank recognized ALHS for collecting the most food out of all San Francisco schools, and recently overshot its expectations in raising $10,000 in the wake of the 2004 Asian tsunami.

School Athletics[edit]

ALHS take pride in its school athletics programs, and fields varsity teams in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, fencing, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball and wrestling. ALHS also offers track and field, badminton, softball, weightlifting and girls' flag football. ALHS has a number of sports clubs including archery, cycling and dragon boat.

Dragon boating at ALHS: Established in 1996, the ALHS dragon boat team is one of the largest in the Bay Area,. The dragon boat team is co-ed and has won numerous championships in the past and currently holds the championship title in the 2016 Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival high school division. Every year, the dragon boat team travels nationally and internationally to many different locations including the East Bay, Southern California, Canada, and China.

Student/teacher demographics[edit]

  • 2006–2007:[7]
    • 2343 students; M/F (56.1/ 43.9)
Latino White African-American Chinese Japanese Korean American Indian Filipino Other Non-White Decline to State
11.1% 6.3% 7.4% 52.1% 1.0% 1.6% 0.5% 5.4% 12.4% 2.2%
  • 2006–2007:[7]
    • 126 Certificated Teachers; M/F (54.7/ 45.2)
Latino White African-American Chinese Japanese Korean American Indian Filipino Other Non-White Decline to State
5.5% 59.5% 4.7% 14.2% 2.3% 1.5% 0.7% 0.7% 0.7% 9.5%

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Amy Alexander, Class of 1981. Journalist, author, producer. Amy Alexander edited the Lincoln Log newspaper in her senior year, went on to a successful career in journalism and media. She was an award-winning staff writer at The San Francisco Examiner, The Fresno Bee, and The Miami Herald. She authored four non-fiction books, Fifty Black Women who Changed America (Kensington Press, 1999) and Lay My Burden Down (Beacon Press, 2001), which she co-wrote with Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Alvin Poussaint; Uncovering Race: A Black Journalist's Story of Reporting and Reinvention (Beacon Press, 2011). Amy Alexander also edited the definitive essay collection on Louis Farrakhan, The Farrakhan Factor (Grove/Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998.) She has written reviews and articles for The Nation, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and also produced a talk program for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. Inducted into the Lincoln High Alumni Wall of Fame in April 2007.
  • John L. Burton, Class of 1957. President of the California State Senate and former Congressman.
  • Andy Casper, Class of 1943. San Francisco Fire Chief 1976–1982.
  • Bruce Cohn, Class of 1965. Founder of B.R. Cohn Winery; manager of The Doobie Brothers.
  • Henrietta Davis, Class of 1971. An accomplished Bay Area opera singer who has sung at the San Francisco Symphony, the Oakland Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Orlando (Florida) Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Brown Bag Opera.
  • Cecil O. De Loach, Jr., Class of 1956. San Francisco firefighter, winemaker, viticulturalist, founder of De Loach Vineyards, Sonoma County, CA. Inducted into the Lincoln High Alumni Wall of Fame in May 2012.
  • Bob DiPietro, Class of 1945. Baseball star.
  • Barbara Eden, Class of 1949. Actress.
  • Peter Giles, Class of 1962. President and CEO of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.
  • Gordon W. Gribble, Class of 1958. Professor of Chemistry at Dartmouth College.
  • Vince Guaraldi, Class of 1946. Jazz musician, pianist, and Grammy Award-winning composer; best known for composing music for animated adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip.
  • John Hill, Class of 2011. Award-winning journalist and news editor featured in VICE (magazine), Alternative Press, New Noise Magazine, and many other publications.[8]
  • Mike Holmgren, Class of 1966. Former NFL head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers
  • Jess Jackson, Class of 1947. Graduated from UC Berkeley's Boalt Law School; founder of Kendall-Jackson, Sonoma County's largest wine company.
  • Martin Jenkins, Class of 1971. Federal District Court Judge and Trustee, most widely known for presiding over the largest civil rights class-action suit in American history, Dukes v. Wal-Mart.
  • Jack Kerrigan, Class of 1958. Baseball pitcher.
  • Ron Jones (teacher), Class of 1958. After graduating from San Francisco State and Stanford Universities, became dedicated to improving the skills of individuals with disabilities and fighting prejudice; coached basketball at the Recreation Center for the Handicapped where he never lost a game; author with three of his works being adapted into award-winning television dramas; tireless lecturer and speaker. His story about a classroom experiment in Fascism, The Wave, is printed in nine languages and is required reading in German schools. (See also The Third Wave.)
  • Donald King, Class of 1948. Judge, attorney, and author, receiving numerous awards including "Trial Judge of the Year" by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and the "Award of Merit" from the Bar Association of San Francisco; taught at Hastings College of Law and the law schools at the University of San Francisco and Golden Gate College; named 1995 "Alumnus of the Year" at the University of San Francisco.
  • Gus Lee, Class of 1964. Best-selling Asian-American author, attorney, legal educator, and four-time whistleblower.
  • Zeph Lee, NFL player[9]
  • Mark Litke, Class of 1965, TV News Correspondent, including Chief Asia Correspondent for ABC News until 2007.
  • Terry Lowry, Class of 1964. Weather anchor, host-producer of a Hispanic public affairs program, and news anchor; later became a volunteer with numerous charities, including the Easter Seal Society of San Francisco, Salvation Army, San Francisco education Fund, and San Francisco School Volunteers; was awarded the League of United Latin Citizens Women of the Year for 1981; the American Women in radio and television's Outstanding Broadcaster for 1984, and the Easter Seal Society's 1986 recipient of its Public Service Award.
  • Gen. Robert Menist, Class of 1960. Two-time "Bronze Star" Medal recipient in Vietnam, and awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Medal.
Richard Serra's Fulcrum in Broadgate, London
  • Johnny Miller, Class of 1965. Professional golfer and a leading golf commentator for NBC Sports.
  • Wendy Nelder, Class of 1958. Former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
  • Martin J. Pasqualetti, Class of 1962. Professional geographer who pioneered work on energy landscapes, particularly in the southwest United States. Twice appointed by Arizona Governor as Chairman of Arizona Solar Energy Advisory Council, founder of Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, co-founder of Arizona Solar Center, published 5 books and 100 other items on renewable energy, Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences at Arizona State University.
  • Richard Serra, Class of 1954. One of the most recognized site-specific artists in the world, a minimalist sculptor who studied at the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Yale University.
  • Tony Serra, Class of 1952. Trial attorney and tax activist, with the main character of the 1989 movie True Believer being loosely inspired by him. Most widely known for his role in Judi Bari's successful litigation against the FBI.
  • Ted Soulis, Class of 1956. San Francisco Fire Commissioner & Businessman.
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Class of 1961. Actor.
  • Walter Tolleson. Class of 1943. Composer, Trumpet Virtuoso and Bandmaster.
  • Laurence Tribe, Class of 1958. Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard.
  • Ken Venturi, Class of 1949. Professional golfer (PGA Player of the Year in 1964, Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1964) and CBS Sports Commentator for thirty years.
  • B. D. Wong, Class of 1978. Only actor to win the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and the Theater World Award for the same performance (M Butterfly); now best known for his role on the popular television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
  • Brooksley Born, Class of 1956. American attorney and former public official who, from 1996 to 1999, was chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). As Chairperson, she warned Congress and the President of the need to regulate financial instruments known as over the counter (OTC) derivatives, but her warnings were disregarded. Lack of regulation ultimately led to the crash of the derivatives market, and helped trigger the economic and financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'Star Trek' convention gets new respect – SFGate
  2. ^ "Lunch Time Policies". Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ Student Assignment Process Archived December 5, 2004, at the Wayback Machine., SFUSD.
  4. ^ http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/enroll/files/2017-18/Round_1_March%2021_2017_v2.pdf
  5. ^ "Visit our new Site". Portal.sfusd.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  6. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Lincoln (abraham) High". nces.ed.gov. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  7. ^ a b "SFUSD Profile 2006–07: Lincoln HS". 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  8. ^ "Noisey: Music by VICE". VICE. 
  9. ^ "ZEPH LEE". profootballarchives.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 

External links[edit]

General information[edit]

  • Abraham Lincoln High School Alumni Association – Contains information about Wall of Fame inductees, Sports Hall of Fame inductees, reunion dates, and various news and events from the Lincoln alumni community.
  • Abraham Lincoln High School PTSA – Contains the online versions of monthly PTSA newsletters and meeting minutes, membership and fundraising information, and various news and events for parents.
  • GreatSchools.net Profile – An independent overview of Abraham Lincoln High School with various statistics such as API, test scores, and average class sizes.
  • SFUSD High School Map Locator – A map of Abraham Lincoln High School compared geographically to other high schools
  • [1] - Contains general information, statistics and data on ALHS
  • [2] General data on SFUSD high school requests.
  • [3] US News and World Report 2017 ranking and analysis