Mark Keppel High School

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Mark Keppel High School
The Aztec.jpg
501 East Hellman Avenue
Alhambra, California 91801
United States
Coordinates 34°04′12″N 118°06′59″W / 34.069996°N 118.116524°W / 34.069996; -118.116524Coordinates: 34°04′12″N 118°06′59″W / 34.069996°N 118.116524°W / 34.069996; -118.116524
Type Public Secondary
Established 1938
Principal John Scanlan
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2466
Color(s) Cardinal and White         
Athletics conference Almont League
CIF Southern Section
Nickname Aztecs
Rival Alhambra High School
Newspaper The Aztec

Mark Keppel High School is a four-year California Distinguished School located in the city of Alhambra, California in the Alhambra Unified School District.[2] 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.[3] 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 for 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.

Keppel's Four Flags



In 2007, the student body was 70% Asian American, 23% Hispanic or Latino, and 3% Caucasian, the remaining 4% consisted of Filipino, African-American, Native American and Pacific Islander 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 [6]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Visual and performing arts[edit]

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.[7] Leading the District Band along with rival Alhambra High's Mark Trulson and San Gabriel's Tammy Cognetta, Dr. Bartlett and the marching band qualified to participate in the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade.


The Varsity football team, under coach Eddie Wagner, beat Pasadena High School 19-13 for the 1944 CIF-SS Championship at the Los Angeles Coliseum.[8]

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.[9][10] The Girls Varsity swim and dive team won the CIF-SS Division III championships in the 2010 season.[11] In addition, the Aztecs have captured the Division 3 CIF-SS championship 2011 in both Boys and Girls.[citation needed]

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 newspaper, The Aztec, which is published once a month. 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.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]