Nordhoff High School

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Nordhoff High School

Ojai, California, United States
Coordinates 34°26′30″N 119°16′02″W / 34.44167°N 119.26722°W / 34.44167; -119.26722Coordinates: 34°26′30″N 119°16′02″W / 34.44167°N 119.26722°W / 34.44167; -119.26722
Type Public
Established 1910
Principal Dr. Greg Bayless
Faculty 62
Enrollment 759 (as of 2014-2015 school year)
Campus Small-Size Town/Village
Color(s) Royal Blue, Gold
Athletics Baseball
Cross Country
Track & Field
Athletics conference Tri-Counties Athletic, Frontier and Tri-Valley League and CIF Southern Section
Mascot Ranger(s)
Rival Villanova
Athletic Director René Nakao-Mauch

Nordhoff High School is the public high school serving Ojai, California and most of the surrounding communities within the Ojai Valley, with exception of the towns of Oak View and Casitas Springs, which are located within the boundaries of the Ventura Unified School District. The school is located at 1401 Maricopa Highway, just to west of the City and near the Census tract designated town of Meiners Oaks. Nordhoff is the only High School within the Ojai Unified School District, with the exception of Chaparral Continuation High School. Established in 1910, the school celebrated its Centennial in 2010.[1]

The original High School was located at 703 El Paseo Road, which is now the site of Matilija Junior High. The original school buildings, located in an area known as the "Arbolada", were built/rebuilt in the late 1920s using traditional Spanish (Mission Style) architecture. The school moved to its current location in 1966. "Matilija", being the former site that served as Nordhoff High School, still features large tiles with the initials "NUHS" (Nordhoff Union High School - original name of the school district) on the steps of the athletic field.


Nordhoff High School is named after the original town name for Ojai. The town was originally named Nordhoff in honor of the author Charles Nordhoff (journalist) who wrote the book "California for Health, Pleasure and Residence" published in June 1872. Early settlers of European Ancestry were said to have been impressed with the book enough to move to and settle the area, eventually naming the town after Mr. Nordhoff. The following statement was included in an obituary written just after his death, which occurred in San Francisco on July 14, 1901:

The town of Nordhoff was named for Charles Nordhoff, in appreciation of the good words spoken of the Ojai Valley as a health resort, both as a writer and in personal talks with friends.

According to local records, the name "Nordhoff" sounded "a bit too German", and the town name was eventually changed prior to World War I, when American sentiment became increasingly anti-German. As part of this trend, Nordhoff was renamed Ojai in 1917, supposedly at the insistence of local business man and philanthropist Edward Libbey.

Although the original town has since been renamed, the High School, along with the original Cemetery, are the only two significant landmarks which still bear the original town name of "Nordhoff."


Nordhoff competes in the Tri-Counties Athletic Association which consists of the Tri-Valley and Frontier Leagues. Nordhoff currently plays football within the Tri-Valley League. Nordhoff’s primary rivals are often thought of as Carpinteria High School located in Southern Santa Barbara County, and Santa Paula High School, located just south and east of the City of Ventura. The football stadium, which is located on the Nordhoff school grounds, is called “Ojai Valley Community Stadium.” Nordhoff’s football team is considered by many to be a small-school powerhouse within the northern Southern California/Coastal Central California region, having made numerous appearances in CIF-SS play-off games, including three championship games and several first, second round and semifinal games over the past two decades. Nordhoff finished the 2010 school season ranked #1 in the CIF-SS Northwest Division, and amassed a 12-1 overall record, including a perfect 10-0 regular season schedule. In 2012 Nordhoff won the CIF Southern Section Northwestern Division by defeating North Torrance 31-14 at North High School. And again in 2013, Nordhoff won the CIF Southern Section Northwestern Division by defeating El Segundo High School 49-21. 2013 also saw Nordhoff's first ever post-season bowl game appearance for the CIF Division 3 Southern Championship. The Rangers lost that game to eventual undefeated CIF Division 3 Champions, Corona del Mar High School, by a score of 24-8.

In popular culture[edit]

The movie Easy A, a 2010 teen drama/comedy was filmed at Nordhoff High School under the fictitious name of "Ojai North High School". Many of the Nordhoff students were featured in the film or hired as extras.


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