John F. Kennedy High School (La Palma, California)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John F. Kennedy High School
Kennedy HS of La Palma Fighting Irish Logo.png
8281 Walker Street
Southern California
La Palma, California, Orange County 90623
United States
Coordinates 33°50′33″N 118°2′14″W / 33.84250°N 118.03722°W / 33.84250; -118.03722Coordinates: 33°50′33″N 118°2′14″W / 33.84250°N 118.03722°W / 33.84250; -118.03722
School type Public, High School
Established 1964 (1964)
Status Operational
School district Anaheim Union HS District
NCES District ID 0602630[1]
Superintendent Michael Matsuda
CEEB code 050379
NCES School ID 060263000177[2]
Principal Russell Earnest
Teaching staff 91
Grades 9th-12th
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 2401 (2009-2010)
 • Grade 9 656
 • Grade 10 641
 • Grade 11 557
 • Grade 12 547
Student to teacher ratio 26.38
Campus type Large Suburb
Color(s) Kelly Green & Gold
Athletics conference Empire League CIF Southern Section
Sports Football
Mascot Fighting Irish
Rival Cypress High School
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Newspaper The Shamrock
Feeder schools Walker Junior High

John F. Kennedy High School is a public, four-year high school and International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in the city of La Palma, California. Kennedy gets most of its students from the junior high school across the street, Walker Junior High School.


John F. Kennedy High School opened to 1,488 students in the 10th and 11th grades on September 14, 1964. For its first year of operation, there was no senior class. Kenneth MacPherson was Kennedy's first principal. Most buildings were ready except the dressing rooms, the gym, and playing fields. The school was to be named Centralia, in keeping with Board policy to name high schools after an elementary school district in the area; however, the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 prompted a group of patrons to have the school (then under construction) renamed in his honor.[8] It was one of the first schools in the country to have been named after the assassinated president.

In the fall of 2011, the administration of Kennedy High School was criticized for its "Gold Card Program," in which students who performed well on the California Standardized Tests the previous year were given special recognition through special planners and ID cards, along with perks and bonuses at local businesses and throughout the school. Nearby Cypress High School had also implemented a similar program, but it did not receive as much media attention. Both schools have since removed or altered the program.[9][10][11][12]

Currently, Kennedy serves around 2,400 students in the 9th through 12th grades. Recent construction has added a quad area, a second practice gym, renovated classrooms, a new library and counseling center, a modular "4th court," as well as an extensive music building which includes an auditorium, two band rooms, two choir rooms, practice rooms, and a new pool.


Kennedy's sports teams are known as the Fighting Irish (the senior circle looks like a three leaf clover from above). They are a member of the Empire League in CIF's Southern Section. The school's main rival is Cypress High School. The Fighting Irish football team won the CIF-SS Southern Division Championship in 2006, adding to the AAA championship they had won in 1971.[13]:76,82 This 2006 championship team was led by coach, Mitch Olson.[13]:82 In the 2007-08 year, after 21 years as the head coach of football, Olson left to coach in Georgia.[14][15] In 2007, the Irish softball team was a CIF-SS Southern Section semifinalist, losing to Empire League rival Pacifica High School.[16] Kennedy boys' soccer (introduced in 1972) won the CIF-SS championships in 1980,[13]:112 co-championed in 2003 and 2004,[13]:114 and won Empire League Champions in 2011, while the girls' team won league titles in 1984 and 1988.[citation needed]


International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme[edit]

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a prestigious and rigorous course of education that prepares students for study in the most elite colleges and universities world-wide. Kennedy High School has been authorized to offer the IB Diploma Programme since July 1999 and the programme is taught in English. Upon successful completion of all IB requirements and exams, students are awarded a second diploma (separate from their Kennedy diploma) that will grant one to two years of college credits. The University of California accepts IB Diploma holders as incoming sophomores.[citation needed]

Band and Colorguard[edit]

John F. Kennedy High School's band and colorguard is called the Shamrock Regiment. The band was formerly known as "The Guards." The band is a division 6A and is part of the SCSBOA.


The choir is known as the Kennedy Singers. The different groups are as follows: Harmonic Fusion, Treble Effects, Lyrical Tones, Vocal Motion, and Concert Choir.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Anaheim Union High". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved Aug 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for John F. Kennedy High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved Aug 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ "John F. Kennedy High School Overview". Best High Schools. U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Directory of Schools: 2011-2012" (PDF). WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools. July 2011. p. 65. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Superintendents's Message". Anaheim Union High School District. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Anaheim Union High School District Organizational Chart" (PDF). Anaheim Union High School District. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Administrative Team". Kennedy High School. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Walker, Theresa (November 18, 2013). "JFK High: 'Representing eternal flame'". The Orange County Register. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ Martindale, Scott (5 October 2011). "Principal defends color-coded IDs; expert 'horrified'". Orange County Register. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Martindale, Scott (6 October 2011). "Student IDs that reveal test scores deemed illegal". Orange County Register. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Diepenbrock, William (6 October 2011). "Anaheim Union kills color-coded ID program". Orange County Register. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Hibbard, Laura (6 October 2011). "John F. Kennedy High School Issues Illegal IDs To Students Based On Standardized Test Scores". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d Simmons, Thom (January 2012). "CIF-Southern Section All Sports Press Guide and Record Book" (PDF). California Interscholastic Federation. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. 
  14. ^ Henderson, Martin (4 February 2008). "Football: Kennedy's Olson trades one OC for another -- in Georgia". Los Angelos Times. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  15. ^ Starrs, Chris (24 August 2008). "Oconee County: Olson feels right at home". Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Fryer, Steve (1 December 2007). "Pacifica grinds way past Kennedy". Orange County Register. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "Casey Fien Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ Kim, Leonard. "About Leonard Kim". 
  19. ^ Broeske, Pat H. (December 2014). "Growing Up in Orange County". Orange Coast: 88. 

External links[edit]