Amador High School

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Amador High School
Sutter Creek, California, Amador County 95685
United States
Coordinates 38.39813°N 120.81094°W
School type Title I Public
Established 1911
Status Open
School district Amador County Unified School District
School number (209) 257-7300
Administrator Julie Riffel
Principal Jared Critchfield
Grades 9-12
Age range 13-18
Number of students 760
Average class size 27
Language English
Hours in school day 7 hours, 45 minutes
Campus Amador High School
Campus type Closed
Color(s) Dark Blue, White, and Pink
Fight song "On to Victory"
Athletics conference Mother Lode League
Mascot Buffalos
Nickname Amador
Team name The Thundering Herd
Rival Argonaut High School
National ranking 1027 (2012-2013 School Year)
Newspaper "Herd This"
Yearbook "The Skip"
Feeder schools Ione Junior High School, Jackson Junior High School
Mascot Name Buckingham "Bucky" Amador Buffalo
Band Amador High School Marching and Concert Band

Amador High School, located in Sutter Creek, California, is one of two high schools in Amador County. It is a public school that serves about 800 students in grades 9-12. Originally known as "Amador County High School" at its inception in 1911, the school's name changed to "Sutter Creek Union High School" in 1916, reverting to "Amador County High School" in 1949, at the request of that year's graduating class. In 1984, upon completion of the merger of three school districts in the county, the name was changed to "Amador High School".[1]


California uses the Academic Performance Index (API) to measure annual school performance and year-to-year improvement. Amador High School had an API growth score of 791 in 2009. Amador High School's 2009 base score was 788, however the school did not meet its 2009 school-wide growth target.

Under No Child Left Behind, a school makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) if it achieves the minimum levels of improvement determined by the state of California in terms of student performance and other accountability measures. Amador High School made AYP in 2009.

School statistics[edit]

Scores on the California Standards Test[2] follow:

Subject Amador HS Other CA Schools
English/Language Arts 58% 41%
Geometry 42% 24%
US History 38% 38%
Biology 51% 36%
Science 32% 35%


Amador High School is home of the Buffalos (Thundering Herd). They are part of the Mother Lode League and a member of the California Interscholastic Federation (Sac-Joaquin Section).

Amador High School is well known for their superior Girls Soccer program. Since its inception in 1998, the Amador Girls Soccer program has amassed 13 league championships. The Amador Girls Soccer program has campaigned its way to four consecutive years of league championships, in both Varsity and Junior Varsity squads, (2012,2013,2014,2015) and has 2 CIF Section Championships in both division 6 in 2013 and division 5 in 2015. Amador also offers many other sports, such as football, baseball, basketball, wrestling, and swimming. Throughout the 1980s they had the most successful track and field program in the Mother Lode League with at times over 70 athletes participating on one team. The schools pee-wee football & cheer team is called the "Amador Jr. Buffaloes". Current UC Davis Football Defensive Assistant Brian Bellotti was a member of the Amador High School Football Team from 2001 to 2003. In 2011, the boys basketball team made it to the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships, held at Arco Arena. The team unfortunately did not win, but became the runner-up. Amador's Girl Cross Country won the Sac-Joaquin Sections in 2012-2013, and continued on to State. Amador also has a stellar football program led by Bill Baker. He has produced multiple winning seasons as well as playoff appearances in the past few years. After losing in the 1st round 3 years in a row, some of the Amador players have decided to change up the tradition of 'facing the house' and now face the hill in all warm ups. In 2016, Coach Bill Baker lead the Thundering Herd to win the CIF Division 6 Sectional Championship.

Rivalry with Argonaut[edit]

Known as the "Big Game" officially, and unofficially also the "Cross-County Clash",[3] the towns of Sutter Creek and Jackson have watched Argonaut High School & Amador High School face off in Football, Basketball, and Baseball for more than 50 years. In football, both teams play for the coveted "Rotary Bell",[4] which remains in the possession of the winning team for a full year. Students previously participated by defacing the other school's property, but in recent years police have succeeded in controlling the vandalism. The town of Sutter Creek supports Amador during sports seasons by displaying the school's colors along Main Street.


Amador High School Drama and Publications, as it is officially recognized as an organization, is led by Giles Turner, who has been a teacher at the school for over 50 years and created the department. The school holds a variety of shows throughout the year that feature improvisation, solo acting, duo acting, the fall musical, a student written one-act, beginning drama one-acts, the spring play, and the final show of the year, Revue, a variety show. In the spring of each year, Amador also hosts the Mother Lode Drama Festival, which invites schools from all across northern/middle California to compete in solo and duo acting, as well as one-acts and vocal competitions. Many other community shows are put on through the Amador Theater Department.

Each year Amador Drama also competes in the Lenaea Drama festival in Folsom. In 2013, they took home a gold medal for student director and best original one-act, as well as a silver for one-act performance and a bronze for duo acting. In 2015 their student-led, student-directed one-act was awarded the Synergy Award, and students took home gold and the Respondent's Choice Award for solo acting.


Amador High School started the first band in all of Amador County in Sutter Creek in the 1914–15 school year, with the 2014–15 school year marking the 100th anniversary of bands in the county. The band has had a number of directors, most notably Hank King, who was the director at the school on and off for over forty years. John Burns is the current band director for the high school.

In 2005, Christopher Tootle became the main director for the ailing school band program, and has since built it back up to over fifty students. Tootle had recently announced his resignation for the 2014–2015 school year,[5] although UOP-graduate John Johnson took his place as of September 16, 2014. Johnson himself had graduated from Amador High School in 2010.

The concert band participates in the Disneyland Performing Arts program, going every two years. Other band events include: The Italian Picnic Parade, the Parade of Lights, Forum Festival, PacWest, and many more. The standard uniform for marching is white tops with silver buttons, navy pants, black shoes and black shakos. Concert attire is black blouses and skirts for the ladies and tuxedos for the gentlemen.

Fight Song and Alma Mater[edit]

On To Victory:

"On to victory,
Our team will fight and, do or die,
Amador is here,
We’ll raise our banners high.
For alma mater dear,
Buffalos, fight with all your might!
On to victory,
Forever Blue and White!"

Alma Mater

"Alma Mater bold and true
Sing to praise the White and Blue
School of the fair and brave
Proud may thy Banner wave
Pledge Allegiance to thy name
Amador uphold your fame
May your Honor never fail
Hail! Hail! Hail!"

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Enver Gjokaj: actor
  • John Vukovich: Major League Baseball player, manager, coach
  • Stan Barrick: Professor of Mathematics Education, California State University, Sacramento


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°23′53″N 120°48′39″W / 38.39813°N 120.81094°W / 38.39813; -120.81094