James Monroe High School (California)

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For schools with a similar name, see James Monroe High School (disambiguation).
James Monroe High School
9229 Haskell Ave.
North Hills, Los Angeles, California, California
United States
Type Public high school
Established 1958
School district Los Angeles Unified School District
Dean John Cosentino (10–12), Mike Cranshaw (9)
Principal Christopher Rosas
Enrollment 2,477 (2014-15)[1]
Color(s)      Red
Athletics conference East Valley League
CIF Los Angeles City Section
Mascot Viking

James Monroe High School (JMHS) is a high school in the North Hills area of Los Angeles, California, belonging to the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school is located at 9229 Haskell Avenue, North Hills, CA 91343. It is home to Small Learning Communities (SLCs) and two magnet schools. The school's mascot is the Viking.


Monroe High opened in the fall of 1958.[2]

The school selected the team name Vikings after a movie of the same name starring Tony Curtis. The Multipurpose room was named Odin's Hall. The Annual was named Valhalla.

The opening of Panorama High School in October 2006[3] relieved overcrowding at James Monroe High School.[4]

In 2010, James Monroe was ranked 420 in Newsweek.[5]

Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs)[edit]

  • 9th Grade Academy
  • Arts, Media, & Entertainment
  • Public Service (Fire Academy)
  • Engineering & Design (including the Monroe SAS)[6]
  • Magnet (Law & Government and Police Academy)

SAS (School for Advanced Studies)[edit]

The Monroe School for Advanced Studies formed in 2001 and belongs to the larger SLC of Engineering & Design.

The Magnet Schools in JMHS[edit]

Monroe High School offers two Magnet programs for students. Their programs are made to prepare people who want to pursue careers in law, police science, criminology, forensics, and related fields.

Monroe Law and Government Magnet[edit]

  • Established program since 1991
  • Activities like mock trials, debate team, internships, Junior Statesmen of America membership, and invitations to events by local politicians.
  • Graduates accepted at top universities including: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, USC, UC Berkeley, UCLA

Monroe Police Academy Magnet[edit]

  • Established program since 1996
  • Special physical education class with an obstacle course to help prepare students.
  • Students are immersed in a program which acquaints them with career opportunities in a range of law enforcement related fields.[7]

Speech and Debate competitions[edit]

The James Monroe High School team has won ten state championships since 1995, including three in Expository speaking, one in Oratorical Interpretation, one in Original Oratory, one in Dramatic Interpretation, three in Original Prose and Poetry, and one in Thematic Interpretation. There are over 100 more speakers who qualified to the annual State Champion Tournament and ranked in the top 18. The team began in 1995, when Chante Griffin, a former Miss Teen of America, was Monroe's sole qualifier to the California State Finals. In 2016, coach Kathy Graber was inducted into the California High School Speech Association Hall of Fame. Ms. Graber is also the co-President of the Tri-County Forensic League.

Mock trial competitions[edit]

Because of the Law and Government Magnet, Monroe has its own courtroom. The school has a mock trial team, which competes in the Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition run by the Constitutional Rights Foundation and goes against about 80 schools each year. Before 2008, in just the preceding six years, it had been in the semifinals four times, and two times in the quarterfinals. In the 2008 season, it made it to finals once again but lost to Gabrielino High. .[8] In 2009 season, Monroe once again took 2nd place, losing by .76% to Louisville High School, private all-girls school.[9] The following years in 2010 and 2011, Monroe succeeded in advancing to the semi-finals, placing it in the top 4 schools of the county while being the only LAUSD school to achieve that place. In 2012, Monroe succeeded in reaching to finals and beat Crescenta Valley High at the LA County Mock Trial Finals, and will advance to states. This is the first time since 1993 that an LAUSD school achieved this.(last was Marshall High)


The James Monroe High School chess team has won six state championships.[when?][citation needed]

Fine Arts[edit]

James Monroe High School's Music Department consists of Marching Band, Concert Band, String Orchestra, Jazz Band and the winter Drum Line. They have achieved numerous awards and honors. The Marching Band has been invited to perform at many parades including the Rose Parade. The Drum Line was the American Drum Line Association Scholastic A Champion in 2001 and have placed in the top 20 since 2014.


Some sports teams in Monroe include Cheerleading, Song, Dance Guard (Boys and Girls), Football (Boys), Baseball (Boys), Basketball (Boys and Girls), Volleyball (Boys and Girls), Tennis (Boys and Girls), Fencing (Boys and Girls), Soccer (Boys and Girls), Softball (Girls), Track and Field (Boys and Girls), Wrestling (Boys and Girls), Chess Club, and Fencing Club.

Girls' basketball[edit]

The James Monroe High School girls' basketball team has progressively gotten better since Quincy Brooks took over as the head coach in 2005. Within the last six years they have won 4 consecutive League championships. Going undefeated in league play and advancing to the Los Angeles City Section Division 3 Championship in 2010. Improving upon their success in 2011 Monroe won its first girls' basketball Championship in school history and also advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.


The James Monroe High School football team has been undergoing reconstruction over the last 3 years. All the hard work has paid off, and after just winning four games over the past two seasons, the Monroe Vikings ended the 2007–2008 season with a record of 7–4, eventually losing in the invitational playoffs against North Hollywood. Head coach Donald Senegal has worked and fought hard to make the Vikings a competitor, but made them even better than that. The team also currently has quarterback Luis Dorame who has become one of LA's best offenders with passing for more than 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns. For the 2014-2015 Football Season, the football team made it to the CIF championships but lost to LA High School.


The James Monroe High School baseball team has enjoyed success throughout the decades winning their first City championship in 1971 by defeating Fremont 1-0, after losing in the 1966 and 1969 game. In 1974 they continued their success by defeating Taft 9-8. It would not be until 1988 when they would add to their success by defeating San Fernando 3-2. After a slow start in 2009 under the direction of Coach Wagner, Monroe made a run at the city's Division II title, where they lost to Westchester in the final by the score of 11-1.

Track/ Cross-Country[edit]

The Monroe High School Track and Cross Country teams have been quite successful in the past 20 years. Under the leadership of legendary Head Track Coach Dean Balzarett and Coach Leo Hernandez, both Boys and Girls Track and Cross country teams have won multiple League Championships throughout the years.

The Monroe boys is a very respected team in LA City, for its 16 straight league titles since 1997, 3 city titles and 4 back to back to back to back runners up.

In June 2007, Coach Dean Balzarett retired after 41 years as Coach of the Track and Cross Country Teams. He was awarded one of the 2006 California Coaches Association High School Coach of the Year awards. He remains one of the greatest coaches in Monroe History.

In 2005, the Boys Cross Country team ended San Pedro High School's winning streak by winning the 2005 Cross Country Team City Championship. In the 2006 Season, the Girls team placed 2nd in the City, winning its first trip to the State Championship in Fresno. The Monroe boys team made history when they won back to back city titles in 2008 and 2009.

In November 2008, the Monroe Cross Country team attained its third All-City Cross Country Championship. Under head Coach Hernandez, the team collectively outscored top-tier schools such as El Camino, San Pedro, and Granada High School to finish first in the Los Angeles City Section.

In the Fall of 2010 the Track and Cross Country team were dropped down a division to the football team, and in the Spring of 2011 they defeated the 8-year East Valley Champions Verdugo Hills High School.

In early October 2012, the Monroe boys suffered its 2nd defeat in 20 years, to North Hollywood, snapping Monroe's 91 convective dual meet streak, when the huskies produced a 26 to 28 points victory over the undefeated Vikings. The first defeat in 20 years goes back to 1996 when the Huskies also put an end to Monroe's 4th straight league streak run.

On October 31, 2012, Monroe Varsity Boys fought till the end to keep its only record left going, after its 91 straight dual meet victories where snapped by the Huskies. At the East Valley Cross-Country Finals the trio of Gabriel Martinez, Eduardo Rivera, and Santiago Vaca placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd producing a 35–50 point victory over North Hollywood, who edged out Polytechnic with 52 points, to defend its League title streak going onto 16 straight league titles.



League titles: 24
Current streak: 19
Most wins: 91
Current streak: 3

Wins/losses in the last 20 years

120+ wins 2 losses.
Valley Mission League champions for cross-country: 1973, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,
Valley Mission League champions for track & field: 1978–1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010
East Valley League champions for cross-country: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
East Valley League champions for track & field: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Cross-country LA City section titles (1st place): 1973, 2005, 2008, 2009,


Valley Mission League champions for cross-country: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Valley Mission League champions for track & field; 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010
East Valley League champions for cross-country: 2010, 2011, 2012
East Valley League champions for Track & Field: 2011, 2012
Cross Country LA City section titles (2nd place) 2006,

Notable athletes include:

  • Richard Nance - first Viking runner to win city in cross-country and track. Led the Vikings to its First Cross-Country title in 1973, edging out Sylmar by a couple of points. Current school record holder in Track for the Boys' Varsity 1600 meters (4:12 min).
  • Cesario Marquez - Holder of one of the fastest prep times on the Pierce College Course (14:50 mins). The fastest time was done by Ian Alsen of Granada Hills in a dual meet against Van Nuys in the fall of 1987.
  • Manuel Ruiz - Holder of the LA City Track Record for the Boys' Varsity 3200 meter (9:05 mins), only city athlete to break 9 on the 3200 meters race and school record holder (8:55 mins)
  • Gabriel Guzman - Track City Champion in the Boys' Varsity 3200 meter as a Sophomore, Cross Country City Champion as a Junior. Current mile record holder for fros/soph (4:30 mins) and 3200 meters (9:40 min).
  • Tim Quinn - All American High School Pole Vaulter in the 1970s, city and state champion as a junior.
  • Jeff Nadeu- Former Track City Record Holder in the High Jump
  • Led by its captain Jorge Mendez, the 2009 cross country team became one of the best teams in the history of the LA section.
  • Carlos Martin del Campo- Four straight MVP's for Cross Country. 3 Time MVP for Track. 800m City runner up. 800m LA CIty Champion. State finalist in the 800m as a sophomore running 1:56. Four time league champ for Cross Country. Won all his events for Track. Mile: 4:23. 2 Mile: 10:00. 800m: 1:54. 400m: 48.6. 3 Mile: 15:31.


In the Girls Season of 2014–15. The Girls tennis team were league champions. Last time they were champions it was 2010.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "James Monroe High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ "LAUSD School Profile". Search.lausd.k12.ca.us. September 16, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Project Details". Laschools.org. February 26, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "LAUSD Cuts Ribbon on Panorama High School". Laschools.org. November 6, 2006. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Ranking of Monroe". Newsweek. 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ Kaufman, Ellis (February 19, 2008). "Banners Proclaim Small Learning Communities at Monroe High School". www.lausd.net/SLC_Schools/index.html. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ Lin, C.J (November 11, 2011). "Teens take cop lessons". Daily News. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ Knoll, Corina (December 6, 2008). "Gabrielino High wins mock trial". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ Khan, Amina (December 9, 2009). "L.A. County mock trial competition stirs real emotions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ Baxter, Meredith (2011). Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering. Random House LLC. p. 34. 
  11. ^ Mitnick, Kevin (2011). Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-03770-2. 

External links[edit]