El Modena High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
El Modena High School
El Modena HS logo.png
3920 Spring St.
Orange, CA 92869

United States
Type Public
Established Opened September 1966, Graduated first class June 1968
Principal Dr. Saxton
Enrollment 2177[1]
Mascot Vanguard
Information (714) 997-0705

El Modena High School, also known as called El Mo (or "ElMo"), is a traditional 4 year public high school located in the El Modena neighborhood in the eastern portion of the city of Orange in Orange County, California.

The school celebrated its 40th anniversary during the 2006-7 school year. El Modena High is part of the Orange Unified School District and competes in the Century League.


The Gay-Straight Alliance[edit]

In 1999, when the Gay-Straight Alliance Club applied to be a recognized student club, the board of the Orange Unified School District denied the application. The board demanded that the club change its name and agree to limitations on speech of the club members. Students sued the district in federal court based on the Equal Access Act (Colín v. Orange Unified School District, No. SA CV 99-1461).

In February 2000, the judge for the case issued a preliminary injunction ordering the district to allow the club to meet while the lawsuit was pending. In September 2000, the board settled the lawsuit out of court by agreeing to adopt new rules governing student clubs. The Gay-Straight Alliance gained the same rights as any other campus club, was allowed to keep their name, and had no restrictions on their speech.[2][3]

In March 2000, school district punished the new club president by having her falsely arrested and removed from the school.[4] She was later declared factually innocent in legal proceedings.[citation needed]

Faculty Convicted of Registrable Sex Offenses[edit]

From 2003 to 2009, several illegal sexual assaults were committed involving some of the faculty and students at El Modena High School. Four faculty members, including a principal, were convicted for offenses under California Penal Code Section 290, or offenses that require inclusion on the California "Megan's Law" Sex Offender Registry, as well as the federal Adam Walsh Act. Three of the cases resulted in guilty pleas, while one case resulted in a guilty verdict by a jury trial (which has subsequently been overturned).

  1. Band director Jason Cawelti was arrested on Dec. 5, 2003, and pleaded guilty to various sexual conduct violations with a person younger than age 18 in June 2004.[5]
  2. Principal Brent Bailey was arrested in February 2007, and pleaded guilty for lewd sexual conduct in a public park in June 2007.[6]
  3. Another band director, Carlie Rose Attebury, was charged with sex with an underage male student on multiple occasions in February, 2008. She was convicted of four counts on November 24, 2010 by jury trial.[5][7][8][9] However, on August 2, 2012, Attebury's conviction was overturned by an appellate court, which ruled that testimony given which may have swayed jurors should have been inadmissible. Attebury is currently waiting on word on whether she will be retried, but for now, she remains registered on California Megan's Law sex offender website. If she is not retried, she may petition the court for removal from the registry.[10]
  4. Janitor Luis Mejia was arrested on June 2, 2009, for a sexual assault on a mentally handicapped student. In March 2010 Mejia pleaded guilty to six felony counts of sexual assault and one misdemeanor count of child annoyance.[11][12]


A vanguard, used as the school's mascot, is a soldier in the foremost division or the front part of an army. Vanguards are the troops assembled in the front line when going into battle, which is why the school newspaper is titled the The Frontline.[13]

  • Wrestling: CIF champions in 2000, 2003, and 2014.
  • Softball: CIF champions in 2008

Marching Band[edit]

The El Modena Vanguard Marching Band and Colorguard is a state-recognized performing ensemble, competing in the Western Band Association circuit. They placed 5th in state in the A division in 2009 and 3rd in the AA division in 2010, 6th in the AA division in 2011, and 5th in the AA division in 2012.

Yearbook program[edit]

Yearbook- El Modena boasts a national award-winning yearbook titled Escena, which means "scene" in Latin. The yearbook is annually sent to a national competition and has received a Gold Standard award for its book in the year 2007.[citation needed] In 2011, El Modena's yearbook staff received 12 individual and group awards before the publication of their book even began.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

Day wrote a sketch for Saturday Night Live about Heshi, a career day motivational speaker played by Nasim Pedrad (from nearby University High School) that was introduced as situated at El Modena[16]


  1. ^ El Modena High School - Orange, California - CA - school overview
  2. ^ http://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/cases/record?record=121
  3. ^ http://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/press.html?record=696
  4. ^ "‘I Didn’t Do It’:Teen’s suit says she wasn’t principal-biter" Daniel C. Tsang, OC Weekly, April 26, 2001
  5. ^ a b Denisse Salazar and Eugene W. Fields (2008-10-29). "Music teacher arrested after allegation of lewd acts with boy". The Orange County Register. 
  6. ^ Courtney Bacalso (2007-05-31). "Ex-principal pleads guilty to lewd act". The Orange County Register. 
  7. ^ http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_16710535?nclick_check=1
  8. ^ Larry Welborn (2010-11-09). "Teacher sex misconduct trial gets under way". The Orange County Register. 
  9. ^ California Superior Court, County of Orange (2010-11-19). "Trial of Carlie Rose Attebury (Case 08CF3103)". California Superior Court, County of Orange. 
  10. ^ Greg Hardesty (2012-08-03). "Band teacher's sex conviction overturned". The Orange County Register. 
  11. ^ "Janitor charged in special-ed molestation Tuesday". KTLA. 2009-06-03. 
  12. ^ "OC janitor gets 6 years for student sex assault". The San Diego Union Tribune. 2010-03-12. 
  13. ^ El Modena Frontline student news site
  14. ^ Whitehead, Brian (January 30, 2013). "Skateboarder rides into business world". Orange County Register. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ Leal, Fermin (November 20, 2013). "ElMo High grad's words are live on Saturday night". Orange County Register. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/day-607649-high-school.html
  17. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 30, 2011). "Divergent paths bring pals together for opener". MLB.com. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  18. ^ Fryer, Steve (June 11, 2007). "Freeman a shot in the arm". Orange County Register. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  19. ^ Glick, Shav (January 20, 1990). "Gordon Opens Busy Year With New Ride". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Milo Ventimiglia". Wizard World. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°47′23″N 117°48′44″W / 33.789634°N 117.812115°W / 33.789634; -117.812115