Los Gatos High School

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Los Gatos High School
Los gatos school grounds.jpg
Los Gatos High School is located on E. Main Street in Los Gatos, California
20 High School Ct.

TypePublic high school
Established1908; 113 years ago (1908)
School districtLos Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District
PrincipalKevin Buchanan
Staff93.98 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment2,138 (2018–19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio22.75[1]
Color(s)  Orange
Athletics conferenceSanta Clara Valley Athletic League
CIF Central Coast Section
MascotWilly the Wildcat, Wilma the Wildcat
Team nameWildcats
Communities servedLos Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga
Feeder schoolsFisher Middle School, C.T. English

Los Gatos High School (LGHS) is a high school in Los Gatos, California. It was founded in 1908 and is part of the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District, which in 2021 was ranked the best high school district in Caliifornia[2][3]

The school enrolls approximately 2,100 students and employs about 100 teachers. Los Gatos High School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and has regularly received six-year accreditations, the highest possible. It has been recognized twice as a National School for Excellence. LGHS is also notable for its sports programs, most recently winning a Central Coast Section football title in 2019. The Los Gatos Wildcats are part of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League of the CIF Central Coast Section.


Los Gatos High School, originally Los Gatos Union High School, was founded in 1908 and remains the only high school in Los Gatos.[4] From the late 1880s until then, high school age students were taught at Los Gatos Central School, a grammar school which was established in 1886.[5] The original building was in Mission Revival style, and on the site of the current library. The current Neoclassical main building was dedicated on January 17, 1925; it was built using a $250,000 bond measure passed in 1923, and was designed by W. H. Weeks, a famous architect of schools in California. The former building continued in use but was gradually demolished and by 1955 had entirely disappeared.[5] The main building was extensively renovated in the mid-1960s, reopening in 1967.[4] In 2001, the town of Los Gatos passed a $79 million bond measure for a new renovation, which has included several new buildings.

Due to the unusual joint cooperative nature of the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District, until 2005, Saratoga High School shared Los Gatos High School's Prentiss Brown Auditorium for performing arts and, until 2006, they shared Helm Field for football games. Both are on the grounds of Los Gatos High School but are available for equal use by both schools. When the two schools played each other, the title of home team rotated between them each year.

Academics and Activities[edit]

Los Gatos High School is well known for its rigorous academics. In 2021, Niche ranked Los Gatos High School as #37 with California. In 2020, 98% of graduating seniors went on to attend college, including 75% to four-year colleges, and had an average SAT score of 1257 and average ACT composite score of 28.[6] During 2019-2020, 78% (403 students) of LGHS class of 2020 took at least one AP course.[6]

Students participate in over 70 academic, athletic and community service activities that annually raise over $100,000 for charities and non-profit organizations.[6]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni at Los Gatos High School include:

In the media[edit]

Los Gatos High School was originally called "Los Gatos Union High School", which still appears engraved on the front of the main building.

The front façade of the school was shown on The Amanda Show starring Amanda Bynes. It was used in the show's soap opera spoof segment called "Moody's Point". The front exterior of the school was also used on Saved by the Bell.

The school was also used as a filming location for several scenes in the 1996 made-for-TV movie Lying Eyes.

The school, its stadium and track, and nearby Santa Cruz Avenue were also used for filming an episode of the 1986 television series Starman; drama students played the role of some extras.

The 1988 made-for-TV film Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story was based on the life of former Los Gatos High School head football coach Charlie Wedemeyer, who was stricken with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and continued to coach the football team for several years.[4] The movie was actually filmed in Goose Creek, South Carolina, at Stratford High School.

In 1992, Principal Ted Simonson, former Dean of Boys during earlier decades, attracted media controversy for a series of racist and bigoted jokes he made during a roast at the Lions Club in which he referred to female joggers as "jigglers" and described gay-friendly city of San Francisco as "Fairyland" and the city of Oakland, California, with its large African-American population, as "Jungleland."[10][11]

In 2021, NBC Bay Area published an investigative report about "a wave of sexual misconduct allegations by current and former Los Gatos High School students on social media".[12] The report details an ongoing student-led movement to change the culture of LGHS that gained momentum in 2020.[13]


  • Henry Meade Bland (1887–1889) – later California Poet Laureate
  • C. H. Crowell (1889–1891)
  • H. E. Shumate (1891–1895)
  • A. M. Kelley (1895–1898)
  • Louis K. Webb (1898–1899)
  • George C. Russell (1899–1901)
  • W. W. Wilson (1901–1905)
  • Charles I. Kerr (1905–1908)
  • Allan B. Martin (1908–1909)
  • Frank M. Watson (1909–1915)
  • Edwin Forrest Blayney (1915)
  • W. F. Walton (1916–1918)
  • E. N. Mabrey (1918–1920)
  • Irving Wallace Snow (1920–1922)
  • J. Warren Ayer (1922–1931)
  • Prentiss Brown (1931–1956)
  • Fred Canrinus (1957–1970) – older principals[14]
  • Dr Allen Coryell (1971–1978)
  • Ted Simonson (1978–1998)
  • Trudy McCullough (1998–2005)
  • Doug Ramezane (2005–2009)
  • Markus Autrey (2009–2015)
  • Kristi Grasty (2015–2020)
  • Paul Robinson (2020–2021, interim)
  • Kevin Buchanan (from 2021)


  1. ^ a b c "Los Gatos High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  2. ^ Niedzwiecki, Stephen (May 18, 2021). "This Is the Best School District in Every State". Newsweek. Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  3. ^ "Newsweek Magazine Names Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District the Best School District in California". Brian & Dan | Sereno Group. 2021-06-18. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  4. ^ a b c Salem, Avi (September 19, 2018). "Fast Times at Los Gatos High". Metro Silicon Valley. pp. 14–19.
  5. ^ a b Conaway, Peggy (2004). "Cultural Memory". Images of America: Los Gatos. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 119–121. ISBN 0-7385-2903-6.
  6. ^ a b c "Los Gatos High School Official Profile 2020-2021" (PDF). Los Gatos High School (official site).
  7. ^ Stone, Larry (October 31, 2012). "Vikings' Jared Allen channels his inner beast". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  8. ^ Gretchen, Mueller. [Hall of Fame - USA Triathlon "student"] Check |url= value (help). Hall of Fame - USA Triathlon.
  9. ^ "Jason Jurman obituary". San Jose Mercury News. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
  10. ^ Bryant, Dale (May 27, 1998). "Principal Lessons: Whether the road is bumpy or smooth - and it's been both - Ted Simonson stays the course". Los Gatos Weekly-Times.
  11. ^ "Principal Apologizes for Veiled Slurs Against Blacks, Gays". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  12. ^ "#MeTooLGHS: Investigating Sex Assault Accusations by Los Gatos High Students". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  13. ^ "Los Gatos: Rally to fight sexual assault & harassment highlights slow change". The Mercury News. 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  14. ^ Bruntz, George. The History of Los Gatos 1971, p. 111.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°13′19″N 121°58′35″W / 37.222000°N 121.976280°W / 37.222000; -121.976280