Alhambra High School (Martinez, California)

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Alhambra High School
150 E Street
Martinez, California 94553
School type Public high school
Founded 1897
Superintendent C.J. Cammack
Principal Thomas Doppe
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,298[1] (2011-12)
Language English
Color(s) Blue and gold         
Mascot Bulldogs
Team name Dogs

Alhambra Senior High School is a public high school in Martinez, California, United States which was first established in 1897. During the 2006-2007 academic year, the school had enrollment of approximately 1400 students. Alhambra plays an active role in the community, with students participating in extracurricular sports, theatre, music, mentoring, and outreach programs as well as numerous community events. The school's mascot is "Spike" the bulldog, who can often be seen in appearances with "Spikette" at football games and rallies.


According to the SARC report for the 2014-2015 school year, the student population is 55% White, 5.4% Latino, 2% African American, 3.8% Asian, 3.4% Filipino, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 9.7% of two or more races.[2]


Alhambra's campus was built into one of the Bay Area's characteristic rolling hills. The campus was renovated in 1994, and is now set in a Spanish style reminiscent of the old campus. In 2003, the Center for the Arts (Performing Arts Building or PAB) was completed, which seats 350 and plays host to theatrical and musical performances. This is a marked improvement for the school's drama department, which previously performed in the school's "multi-use room", a combination cafeteria and stage space. During the reconstruction, it staged its performances inside the school's cramped library. Most recently the Drama Department received a new Black Box theater. Performances can be conducted there, or alternatively in the PAB building. The Center for the Arts also features rooms outside that are used to exhibit art. The Center for the Arts also has a large projector screen that can either hang down or retract into the ceiling above. This screen is often used for awareness programs for the students.

The school's synthetic field for football, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse borders the main avenue through town, and an all weather track, tennis courts and basketball are set on the top of a hill. The renovation also produced a large gym facility and a student commons.

All throughout the campus are student-made paintings on doors, walls, and seating areas. Often, the paintings are remakes of other famous paintings, but there are original works as well. For example, in between the F and H Buildings are low concrete walls with numerous flags from different countries painted on top. Some wall paintings depict famous people or musical instruments.


Alhambra Senior High 2012-13 State API score was 826 and the school or Student Groups scored at or above the statewide performance target of 800 in the 2012 Base. [3]

The average SAT scores for 2010, 2011, and 2012 were 1585, 1605, and 1566 respectively.[4] These are typically 63-102 points better than the statewide average.

81% of Alhambra's total graduates enrol in postsecondary institutions. [5]

When comparing the Academic Performance Index, the SARC report found Alhambra to rank 8 out of 10 statewide in 2012-2013.[6]


The Alhambra student body sponsors the following sports programs: baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross-country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, water polo and wrestling. The school frequently fields excellent teams in most of these sports, especially football, Baseball, cross-country and track & field.

The Bulldogs baseball team has had two notables players drafted in the MLB since 2010.

Robert Stephenson in 2011 was drafted in the first round, as number 27 overall selection out of Alhambra by the Cincinnati Reds. He is currently playing in minor league baseball.

Elliott Waterman, who was also drafted in 2011, attended the University of San Francisco before being selected by the Washington Nationals in the 13th round, as overall selection number 414. Waterman is currently playing in the Gulf Coast League for the Nationals' rookie league team.

The Bulldogs gridiron teams are always competitive, in large part due to the extraordinary leadership by 20+ year head coach Dave Silvera. Alhambra's most successful and memorable football teams included back-to-back 13-0 seasons leading to North Coast Section (NCS) championships in 1990 (led by quarterback Mark Rueb, running back Jeff Waters and offensive lineman/defensive lineman Joe Dunn) and 1991 (led by quarterback Ronny Odell and running back David Pruett). In the 1994-95 school year the Bulldogs and the furious foursome of Jon Lee, Corey Green, Michael Thompson and Stanley Joyner helped them finish second in the championship, winning the NCS title in the 1996-1997 school year (led by quarterback Kenny Kerns, running back Anthony Aires, and running back Anthony Lastrico).

During the 1997-1998 school year the Bulldogs won their division and lost in the conference championship game to Granada. The Granada football team was a team Alhambra had easily handled earlier in the season. Memorable players from the 1997-1998 school year football season were Bino Jackson, Ryan Lee #19 running back/scat back and defensive back/cornerback, Teddy Ballen, Tyler Fowler, Mike Ryken and Kevin Berry as quarterbacks.

The football program had an off year for rebuilding in the 1998-1999 season, but surprisingly bounced back in 1999-2000. Key team players for 1999-2000 were Michael Cunningham (#5 fullback/linebacker), Justin Sharman (#82 wide receiver/cornerback/defensive back; all county both ways), Chris Bryan (#12 at quarterback; Honorable Mention for all county), Jacob "Jake" Lee (#19 cornerback/defensive back; received Honorable Mention for all county), Sam Nichols, Tyson McGuire, Doug Durban, Travis Minetti, and Matt Souza.

Since the 2000 football team won their division, they went on to the state conference championship game against the high school football team Foothill. They barely lost to Foothill in 1999-2000 and 1997-1998. Unfortunately, Alhambra had a couple of off years in the early 2000s but has now returned to what's expected of an Alhambra football team in 2006 to present (excluding the 2008-2009 year with a record of 2-9). In the 2009-2010 season Alhambra went to the championship game, losing to Marin Catholic high school, but still finishing with a record of 11-2.

Track & field and cross country were under the direction of Coach Tim Bruder for 33 years (who recently died in his sleep). Coach Bruder's contributions are numerous to Alhambra Athletics; he is irreplaceable and will be extremely missed. These Alhambra sport teams have sent athletes to numerous state championships, such as the 1994-95 team with Jon lee, Corey Green, Michael Thompson and Stanley Joyner, who had a chance at winning the 4x100 relay when a bad hand-off suppressed their chances. Several Alhambra cross-country alumni have gone on to becoming collegiate all-Americans. The track team hosts the annual "Martinez Relays", the oldest high school relays in Northern California.

In 2000, after the transfer of James McCauley, a stand-out volleyball player from De La Salle High, the school added JV and varsity volleyball to their spring sports line-up. The varsity team was coached by former Alhambra alum Samantha Kirkhouse and was co-captained by James McCauley, #4, and Tom Hall, #13. The team, also including Eddie Glaeser, #6, Chris Uyeda, #26, and Nick Roth, #7, was involved in many disciplinary disputes with the North Coast Section CIF due to the diversity of personalities on the team. The team was still able to enjoy marginal success for their first season, and the program remained intact through the 2010 school year.

Scott Osterholt, wrestling coach, was a finalist in USA Olympic Trials-Greco Roman wrestling. He was a three-time national place winner, and a national team member.

Alhambra High School also has a Mock Trial team, coached by Ed Fortier and Dawn Polvorosa. It has the highest winning percentage of all teams at the school, and places well in the county championships, taking second place in 2005 and 2009, and going to state in 2006. Alhambra's team installed a courtroom journalist for the 2009-2010, a position available to participating teams, thought not filled by Alhambra's team. The courtroom journalist, Bailey White, won the county championship for journalism and participated in the California mock trial championships for both the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons.

In 2011, the Alhambra Mock Trial team had some coaching changes. Frank Reichert took over from Ed Fortier as the teacher coach. In the 2011 competition, Alhambra rebounded from the 2010 season and continued their string of good performances, taking fourth place honors.

Performing arts[edit]

Alhambra has an excellent drama and performing arts center constructed in 2002. AHS has a marching band, flag team/colorguard, drumline, concert band, jazz band, and orchestra. The drama department puts on one non-musical play in the fall, and one musical in the spring. The marching band plays at all home football games, competes in WBA, and participates in parades.

Julianne George is the conductor of all bands and orchestras. Gerard Wiener is the drama teacher and director. The Drama Department has put on shows including Cabaret, The Pirates of Penzance, The Diary of Anne Frank, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hello Dolly!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, Grease, Once Upon a Mattress, Charlie Brown, 12 Angry Jurors, Xanadu, All in the Timing, Much Ado About Nothing, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Almost, Maine. The musicals feature a live band with students conducted by George or previously a student, Bridgette Smith.

Alhambra also produces an annual "Talent Show of Fine Arts" called the Backroads Coffeehouse, which features paintings, music, dance, poetry, and more. Students who wish to take part in it sign up in the fall and perform near the end of the school year in the Performing Arts Building of the Alhambra campus. The Creative Writing Class spends some of the year designing the Backroads Magazine, a publication sold at the Coffeehouse that contains photos, poems, and other artworks created by students.



Coordinates: 38°00′09″N 122°08′03″W / 38.00246°N 122.13405°W / 38.00246; -122.13405