Kearny High School (San Diego, California)

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Kearny High School
1954 Komet Way
San Diego, California
United States
Type Public
Established 1941
School district San Diego Unified School District
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,714
Color(s) Maroon and White
Mascot Komets

Kearny High School is a public high school in San Diego, California. Kearny High School serves students in grades 9-12 from the Linda Vista, Serra Mesa and Kearny Mesa communities. The school is part of the San Diego Unified School District. Kearny's mascot is the Komet.


The actual name of the school is Stephen Watts Kearny High School, named after General Stephen Watts Kearny. A former military base on the land, Camp Kearny was near where the current campus is located. The camp was named in honor of General Stephen W. Kearny, a leader in the Mexican-American War.[1]

Kearny High opened its doors in 1941 in Linda Vista. The original school was a building in the neighborhood before moving into what is now Montgomery Middle School located at 2470 Ulric Street San Diego, CA 92111. The Class of 1943, was the first graduating class. In September 1945, Army ROTC was introduced on-campus. In 1953 the high school moved to its present location on Wellington.


Small schools[edit]

During the 2004-2005 school year, Kearny transformed from a traditional high school into a campus with four specialized small schools, each with an emphasis on a different field of study. The schools are:

The small school system is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Kearny is one of three such small schools in the San Diego area, the other two being San Diego High School and Crawford Educational Complex. The class of 2005 was the first graduating class from Kearny's small school system. The small schools are distinct from one another with different principals, teaching staff and course requirements. Each school offers specialized classes only available through their specific program.


Kearny High uses a 4x4 block schedule, which means that students are able to complete four full classes a semester (fall term and spring term) totaling eight full classes a year, rather than the traditional six year-long courses. This enables students to complete a year’s full curriculum in a more condensed term and allows them to enroll in additional electives or ROP courses.

Since Kearny has specialized academies, each school is able to offer a variety of elective courses not commonly taught in public schools. Each academy offers individual AP, ROP, and electives pertaining to their specific theme. All four schools have come together with a common emphasis on planetary changes and global warming, using various technological skills to educate the student body.

Exclusive to Kearny High, students who display academic excellence are able to take Mesa Fast Track their junior and senior years. This program allows students to enroll in college courses at Mesa College for both high school and college credit during the school day, and further enables the students to succeed post high school.


Kearny offers a wide array of sports:

  • Fall: Football, Cross Country, Women's Volleyball, Women's Tennis.
  • Winter: Soccer, Basketball, and Wrestling
  • Spring: Track and Field, Men's Volleyball, Badminton, Softball, Baseball, Men's Golf, Men's Tennis

Kearny participates in California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sports.

The current Athletic Director is Wrestling Coach Jonathan Sachs.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Daniel Newman class of 82. Collegiate, professional and olympic baseball player at The 2000 Sydney Olympics. Pitched at U.S.D., Houston Astros Org and Italian Pro League(IBL) 1989-2009.
  • Richard Alf, Co-founder and former chairman of the San Diego Comic-Con International.[2]
  • Cliff Hicks, Class of '82, played in three Super Bowls during his 9½-year NFL career.[3]
  • Cleavon Little (1939–1992), actor, Blazing Saddles.[4]
  • Darnay Scott, Class of '90 ex-professional football player for the Cincinnati Bengals[5]
  • Alan Trammell, Major League Baseball player and manager for the Detroit Tigers[6]
  • Phil Tippett, Visual Effects Artist, Model Maker (Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)[7]
  • Bob Mosley, Bassist and vocalist for rock band Moby Grape and as a soloist.
  • Birt Slater, Football Coach, and Teacher. Coached Kearny to three CIF titles, and became a San Diego Charger assistant coach upon retirement. Voted to the San Diego Hall of Champions as a coaching legend.
  • Jack Taylor, Legendary Baseball Coach at Kearny High School.
  • Jack Winans, Drama teacher at Kearny High School, specialized in Shakespeare.
  • Tess Gerritsen, Author
  • Harold Greene, Journalist and Newscaster


  1. ^ Fetzer, Leland, San Diego County Place Names A to Z, page 73, Sunbelt Publications, Inc., San Diego, ISBN 978-0-932653-73-4
  2. ^ Rowe, Peter (2012-01-05). "Richard Alf, 59, one of Comic-Con's founders". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  3. ^ Cliff Hicks, database Football. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  4. ^ Dibsie, Patricia. "San Diego-reared Cleavon Little dies: Tony winner, star of 'Blazing Saddles'", The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 23, 1992. Accessed August 12, 2007. "He graduated from Kearny High School in 1957."
  5. ^ Gordon, Jeff. "Scott Travels Clean Path to Success", St. Louis Post Dispatch, October 3, 1999. Accessed August 12, 2007. "Darnay Scott left St. Louis in 1988 as a combative teen-ager who would take on all comers.... He blossomed at Kearny High School, starred at San Diego State with his buddy Marshall Faulk and moved on to play for the Cincinnati Bengals."
  6. ^ Harrison, Scott. "Yore Detroit Tigers: Diamond greats of yesteryear hope their sparkle will rub off.", Metro Times, March 26, 2003. Accessed August 12, 2007. "Martinez attended Kearny High School, as did Trammell, and was a good athlete who held many records at the school outside San Diego."
  7. ^ Sanford, Jay allen. "Famous Former Neighbors: Phil Tippett." "He graduated from Kearny High School in 1969."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°47′59″N 117°09′43″W / 32.7998°N 117.1619°W / 32.7998; -117.1619