Coachella Valley High School
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|83-800 Airport Blvd,
Thermal, California 92236
|School district||Coachella Valley Unified School District|
Coachella Valley High School is a public high school for grades 9-12. It is located in Thermal, California. The District includes grade and middle school sites to accommodate a fast-growing population of the area. The population is 90% Hispanic (excluding those from seasonal migrant laborers), and consists mainly of residents from Coachella. Many students also come from areas such as Indio and Thermal.
The high school was opened in September 1910 after 10 acres (40,000 m2) of desert brush land was donated. Coachella Valley High School is the oldest public school in the Coachella Valley. It was incorporated into the Coachella Valley Unified School District in 1966 to include a high school instead of only elementary schools in nearby Coachella. A second high school, Desert Mirage High School opened in 2003 to ease overcrowding which peaked at 2,500 in the early 2000s.
The school's location was decided on because it was the central point of the Coachella Valley. In 2002, social studies teacher Chauncey Veatch was honored as National Teacher of the Year.
Arab mascot controversy
The school mascot, "Arabs", was named in the 1930s to honor the once large Arab colony involved in the date palm growing industry. The school took the position that the name was a "gift" to the Arab peoples for their contribution to the economy of the Coachella Valley, not as a foreign racial symbol.
In 2002, Coachella Valley High School officials had a meeting to determine whether to rename the mascot out of concern it might produce negative stereotypes against Arabs and Middle Eastern people, after the September 11 terrorist attacks. They decided to keep the mascot name.
In April 2014 the committee was working to keep the Arab Mascot, but to develop an image that represented the fierce warrior history of the mascot, in a way that is not considered an offensive stereotypical caricature. In addition, the students and staff were working to add in an Arab History component.
On September 09, 2014, the school board voted unanimously to adopt new logo and mascot, the "Mighty Arab". The decision was made with the approval of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Coachella Valley High School is in the De Anza League after many years in the Desert Valley League. This move was made by their administration for purposes of competitive equity. They will be the largest school in the De Anza League Coachella Valley High School's main athletic competition (rival) is Indio High School.
- Cheerleading (Varsity, Jr. Varsity, & Freshman)
- Football (Varsity, Jr. Varsity, & Freshman)
- Volleyball (Varsity, Jr. Varsity, & Freshman)
- Boys Cross Country (Varsity/Jr. Varsity)
- Girls Cross Country (Varsity/Jr. Varsity)
- Boys Soccer (Varsity/Jr. Varsity)
- Girls Soccer (Varsity/ Jr. Varsity)
- Wrestling (Varsity/ Jr. Varsity)
- Tennis (Varsity, Jr. Varsity, & Freshman)
- Baseball (Varsity, Jr. Varsity, & Freshman)
- Jim Criner – football coach
- Julio Díaz – boxer, former IBF lightweight champion
- Alan O'Day – singer songwriter
- Raul Ruiz - congressman
- Joe Ortiz - Radio-Television Talk Show host, published author (class of 1959)
- Eduardo Garcia - former Coachella mayor, Assemblyman
- Victor Manuel Perez - California State Assembly Majority Leader Emeritus, former Assemblyman, City Councilman
- CNN.com - Teacher of the Year: 'I love what I do' - August 15, 2002
- "Coachella Valley High School Arab mascot stirs controversy". The Desert Sun. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "Coachella Valley High School 'retires' Arab mascot", The Desert Sun, August 29, 2014.
- "High school to drop 'Arabs' mascot that some found offensive", Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2014.