Mark Keppel High School
|Mark Keppel High School|
|501 East Hellman Avenue
Alhambra, California 91801
|Athletics conference||Almont League
CIF Southern Section
|Rival||Alhambra High School|
Mark Keppel High School is a four-year California Distinguished School located in the city of Alhambra, California in the Alhambra Unified School District. The school is on the southern edge of Alhambra, adjacent to the City of Monterey Park, and borders the Interstate 10 Freeway. Mark Keppel serves students from portions of Alhambra, Monterey Park, and Rosemead. Mark Keppel has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014.
Mark Keppel High School is named after Mark Keppel, Superintendent of Los Angeles County Schools from 1902 to 1928. Construction began December 19, 1938, three days after the ground-breaking ceremonies. The school was one of the thousands of projects built by the Public Works Administration during the Great Depression.
- California Distinguished School Award: 2005
- Exemplary Career Technical Education Award: 2005
- Title I Academic Achievement Award: 2004, 2005, 2006
- Governor’s Performance Award: 2001, 2002, 2003
- Ranked 451 on Newsweek's 1,000 "Best High Schools in America": 2004
- First Place in LA County Academic Decathlon of 2008
- Third Place in LA County Science Olympiad: 2012
- First Place in LA County Academic Decathlon of 2014
As of the 2014–2015 school year, the student body was 72% Asian American, 22% Hispanic or Latino, and 1% Caucasian.  The remaining 5% consisted of Filipino, African-American, Native American, Pacific Islander, and other students. The predominant languages spoken at students' homes are Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish. Approximately 60% of the student population participates in a free or reduced lunch program, while 25% of the students participate in ESL. 
Visual and performing arts
In 2007, band and orchestra teacher Dr. Carla Bartlett won the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County's Bravo Award as an in the Arts Specialist division, one of the highlights of her career. Leading the District Band along with rival Alhambra High School's Mark Trulson and San Gabriel High School's Tammy Cognetta, Dr. Bartlett and the marching band qualified to participate in the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Justin Lee, a UCLA graduate, now directs the school's band and orchestra, following Dr. Bartlett's retirement in December 2016.
The school has an active theatre arts program led by Nadine Page Phillips. Plays, musicals, and other performances occur throughout the school year, often in conjunction with the school orchestra. In 2015, Mark Keppel High theatre students were invited to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland where they performed in a rendition of Peter Pan. Various UC "A-G" certified programs such as AP Art History are offered.
Mark Keppel has established itself as one of the premier co-ed Badminton school in Southern California in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. The badminton team has won CIF-SS championships in 1987 (3-A), 1990 (3-A), 1991 (3-A), 1992 (3-A), 1993 (I), 1994 (I), 1996 (I), 1997 (I), 1998 (I), and 2010 (I).
Both the Aztec Boys and Girls Varsity swim teams won back-to-back CIF-SS Division IV championships in the 2007 and 2008 season. The Girls Varsity swim and dive team won the CIF-SS Division III championships in the 2010 season. In addition, the Aztecs have captured the Division 3 CIF-SS championship 2011 in both Boys and Girls.
The boys Varsity soccer team of 1979 won the CIF-SS Division III championship by beating Orange County's University High School by the score of 4-2. This was the first CIF title for the school in any sport during the previous 25 years.
Mark Keppel High School's journalism class runs the monthly newspaper, The Aztec. The yearbook is Teocalli, named after the Aztec temple, and comes out once a year several months before summer break begins. Until June 2016, "Idea Magazine" was a student-run, biannual compilation of Mark Keppel students' work in literature and art, advised by AP English teacher Mrs. Patrice Flores. "U Magazine" is a registered student publications club, also advised by Mrs. Flores, for the school year 2016-17.
Mark Keppel High School is designed in the Streamline Moderne architectural style, a variant of the Art Deco, and a product of the Great Depression. While the Art Deco celebrated the mechanization of the Jazz Age with big, bold, vertical designs, exotic materials, and elaborate decorations, the Streamline Moderne was a more reserved and utilitarian style. The Streamline Moderne mimicked the fast, dynamic look of machines with sleek, aerodynamic and nautical forms, low horizontal designs, rounded corners, and shiny materials.
The architecture of Mark Keppel High School features rounded corners in and outside the auditorium, on the staircase leading up to the front entrance, and in all the interior stairwells. Incised horizontal lines cut through the brick stringcourse which wraps the lower part of the building and the brick pillars between the windows. The stucco texture coat of the facade features designs that emphasize horizontal shapes; blocks between the windows on both floors and along the top of the building contribute to the geometric, yet sleek look of the building. The uppermost block is bounded by a horizontal brick band, and the building is crowned with a small inset ledge. Extra handrails are found in front of the windows in the second floor hallways, in front of the display cases around the administration offices, and on the north wing exterior staircase.
Mark Keppel High School features three bas relief murals made by native Southern California artist, Millard Sheets.
The three enamel on stainless steel murals entitled "Early California" decorate the exterior of the auditorium, and depict the founding of California as well as the regional features of Los Angeles County. The second image show the placement of the two smaller murals on the auditorium.
The largest mural crowns the entrance to the auditorium and depicts the three main groups that colonized and populated California: the Spanish Conquistadors, the Catholic Missionaries, and American Pioneers. The mural features a golden California on a backdrop of green mountain ranges, dotted with golden Redwood trees, and capped with a large reflective stainless steel sun wrapped with a sunburst decoration. On the left, the Conquistador goes before his ship, claiming the new land in the name of Spain. In the center, a Missionary kneels down, gingerly placing a mission in Southern California. On the right, a Miner 49’er pans for gold while his wife holds their child and rifle, their covered wagons behind them.
The two smaller murals are located on the southern facade of the auditorium, facing toward Hellman Ave. The mural in the center right depicts early Los Angeles County with the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, the San Gabriel Mission surrounded by orange groves in the center, a dairy farm with Cowboy below, and the Long Beach Harbor in the south.
The mural on the right showcases the entire state of California. From north to south: a lumberjack cuts down a Redwood tree, two miners pan for gold, and a farmer harvests oranges from his orange grove. A cowboy gallops in on a white horse from the east, while a large ship sails in majestically from the west.
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- Hank Aguirre, class of 1950: Major League Baseball Pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs.
- Jack Colvin, class of 1950: Stage and screen actor, co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Institute.
- B. Wayne Hughes, class of 1952: Founder and director of Public Storage, a self-storage company.
- Jim Sterkel, early 1950s: Namesake of Jim Sterkel Court at the University of Southern California's Galen Center.
- Dan Vadis, class of 1955: Actor who appeared in sword and sandal films such as The Triumph of Hercules, and Clint Eastwood westerns such as High Plains Drifter.
- Larry Burright, class of 1955: Major League Baseball Second baseman.
- Mike McCormick, class of 1956: Major League Baseball Pitcher with the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, and the Kansas City Athletics.
- Malcolm McNab, class of 1960: Jazz, pop, and classical horn player, two-time winner of the Most Valuable Player Award of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
- Foster Hirsch, class of 1961: Professor of film studies at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York; Author of sixteen books on Film and theater.
- Michael Starbird, class of 1966: Academician, Professor of Mathematics, University of Texas, Austin
- Luis J. Rodriguez, class of late 1960s–early 1970s: author of Always Running, a chronicle of gang life in the school's area in that era.
- Jenny Gago, class of 1970: actress, including Captain Santina in MacGyver, Detective Beatrice Zapeda in Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy, Anaya in The Agency and Grandma in Freddie.
- Fred Ryan, class of 1973: Former Chief of Staff for Ronald Reagan and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Ronald Reagan Foundation.
- John Avila, class of 1976: currently a music producer and former bassist of Oingo Boingo
- Terence Yin, class of 1993: actor
- Hope Sandoval, class of 1985: Singer, Mazzy Star, "Fade Into You","Hallah"
- Ralph Ting, class of 2010: actor, You, Me and Dupree
- "Mark Keppel High". NCES. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Mario Villegas, A 'Classic' for many reasons, ESPN Los Angeles, November 4, 2010
- City of Alhambra 2008‐2014 Housing Element, June 2009 (PDF), City of Alhambra, p. 77, retrieved 2010-06-25
- Alhambra Unified high school boundary map
- "Mark Keppel Science Olympiad team advances to state competition with a record performance". Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Alicia Banks (February 13, 2014). "Mark Keppel named champs in L.A. County Academic Decathlon". latimes. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, California". U.S. News. 2015. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- "Teacher Student Ratio Mark Keppel High School". GreatSchools. 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- "Bravo Awards - 2007 Highlights". Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. February 28, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
- "CIF Southern Section Record Book; All-Time Football Champions" (PDF). cifss.org. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- "California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division IV High School State Championships". Swimming World News. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "SWIMMING: Keppel girls win third title in four years". Retrieved 13 January 2015.