Palo Alto High School

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Palo Alto High School
50 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, California, 94301
United States
Coordinates 37°26′13″N 122°09′25″W / 37.437°N 122.157°W / 37.437; -122.157Coordinates: 37°26′13″N 122°09′25″W / 37.437°N 122.157°W / 37.437; -122.157
School type Public, comprehensive high school
Founded 1898
School district Palo Alto Unified School District
Oversight Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools
Superintendent Glenn "Max" McGee
Principal Kimberly Diorio
Assistant principals Jerry Berkson, Kathie Laurence, Victoria Kim
Staff 127 (2011–2012)[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,943 (2014–2015)[2]
Campus Suburban
Area Northern Santa Clara County
Color(s)           Green & White
Team name Vikings
Newspaper The Campanile
Feeder schools Jordan Middle School
JLS Middle School
Terman Middle School

Palo Alto Senior High School, known locally as "Paly", is a public comprehensive high school located in Palo Alto, California It was founded in 1898 and is one of the oldest high schools in the region. The school's property is adjacent to Stanford University. Paly has a rivalry with crosstown Gunn High School.




  • 1,943 students: 982 Male (50.5%), 961 Female (49.5%)
White Asian Hispanic Two or More Races African American Filipino Pacific Islander American Indian Not Reported
974 564 194 91 67 23 19 11 0
50.1% 29% 10% 4.7% 3.4% 1.2% 1% 0.6% 0%

Standardized testing[edit]

SAT Scores for 2013–2014[3]
Critical Reading Average Math Average Writing Average
Palo Alto High 628 661 631
District 629 668 634
Statewide 492 506 489
2013 Academic Performance Index
2009 Base API[4] 2013 Growth API[5] Growth in the API from 2009 to 2013
901 905 4

Student media[edit]

  • The Campanile, the high school newspaper. It prints 24 broadsheet pages once every three weeks. The Campanile has been in the National Scholastic Press Association Hall of Fame since 2004, and also has won four Pacemaker awards and also a West regional award for editorial excellence from Time.
  • Verde is Paly's school magazine publication, published five times each year and available online. Verde has won Pacemaker and Gold Crown awards for scholastic journalism, including the 2005 Gold Crown award in the Newspaper category.[citation needed] In 2006 Verde won the Best in Show at National Journalism Convention held in San Francisco.[citation needed] In 2008 Verde was one of four newsmagazines awarded the Pacemaker award from the National Scholastic Press Association.[6]
  • The Viking is Paly's sports magazine publication, published six times each year and available online. Founded in 2007, The Viking was the first publication at the high school level to solely cover athletics in the country. The Viking has won several Gold Crown awards for scholastic journalism, including awards as both a print and hybrid (print/online) publication.[citation needed]
  • The Paly Voice, launched in the 2002–03 school year, is Paly's online news source. It features searchable archives of all other Paly publications as well as exclusive online content. In the spring of 2005 the site won both the People's Voice and Overall Webby Award in the "Student" category.[citation needed]
  • Proof is Paly's arts and entertainment magazine. It was first published second semester of the 2009–10 school year.
  • In October 2014, a brand new Media Arts Center was unveiled at Paly. This multimillion-dollar, 23,000 square foot building is filled with state-of-the-art technology catering to the diverse needs of the multitude of student journalism groups on campus.[7]


Palo Alto High School Robotics team is registered as a FIRST robotics competition team as Team 8. The team was founded in 1996, and currently has 85 members.


Titles won by teams from Palo Alto High School range from CIF State Championships in Boys Varsity Basketball in 1993 and 2006,[8] a football Division I state championship in 2010,[9][10] volleyball Division I state championships in 2010 and 2011,[11] to CCS Championships in Football in 1995, 2006, 2007, and 2010,[12] and countless CCS titles in other sports. In 2010, both the Boys and Girls Lacrosse teams won the inaugural Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Championships.

Paly has 23 varsity teams, including football, swimming, as well as badminton, softball, basketball, track and field/cross country running, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling teams.[13] The school is also home to several athletic clubs, including an Ultimate Frisbee Club.[14]



The school's basketball team won the California state championship in 1993.

In addition, the 2006 boys basketball team won the Division II state title after defeating Mater Dei of Southern California in a close 51–47 game. One member of that year's team, Jeremy Lin, is now a member of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.


The 2010 Palo Alto High School football team went undefeated, compiling a record of 14–0. The season culminated with a 15–13 upset victory for Paly over the nation's 5th-ranked team, Centennial High of Corona, to claim the first Division I State Championship in school history.[9][10] Palo Alto finished the season at #13 in the nation in Maxpreps's final rankings.[citation needed]


The Palo Alto High School girls volleyball won the Division 1 California State Championship in the fall of 2010, two weeks before the school's varsity football team also won the Division State championship. The volleyball team finished the season with a 41–1 record, breaking the school's record for most wins in a season from the previous season's team. Palo Alto finished the season ranked no. 2 in the country.[citation needed] The team won another Division 1 California State Championship the following year to become back-to-back Volleyball State Champions, finishing ranked no. 1 in the nation by Maxpreps.[11]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "School Profile 2011–12: Palo Alto High School". California Department of Education. 
  2. ^ a b "Enrollment by Ethnicity for 2014–15: Palo Alto High School". California Department of Education. 
  3. ^ "SAT Report 2013-14 – District Level Scores". California Department of Education. 
  4. ^ "2009 Base API School Report – Palo Alto High". California Department of Education Assessment, Accountability and Awards Division. 
  5. ^ "2013 Growth API School Report – Palo Alto High High". California Department of Education Analysis, Measurement, & Accountability Reporting Division. 
  6. ^ "NSPA – Contest Winners". June 15, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ Elena Kadvany (October 12, 2014). "Paly to host three-day grand opening for Media Arts Center". Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  8. ^ "CIF State Boys Basketball Champions" (PDF). pp. 60–61. Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "State Football Championship Results" (PDF). p. 39. Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Stephens, Mitch (December 17, 2010). "Palo Alto shocks nationally ranked Centennial to capture CIF Division I state football title". Palo Alto Online. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Borsos, Paige (December 17, 2010). "Volleyball Conquers State Championship in Five-Game Thriller". The Paly Voice (Palo Alto High School). Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Historical Record of CCS Football Champions Year-by-Year". Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Brochure 1" (PDF). Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ Blake, Jamie (November 17, 2008). "Ultimate Frisbee Club passionate about unique hobby". Palo Alto Online. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "The Joan Baez Web Pages". Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  16. ^ Nolan, William F. "Erle Stanley Gardner (1889–1970)," 'Early Life' sub-section, pages 1-2. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
  17. ^ Emmons, Mark (December 29, 2010). "Cardinal coach's energy, intensity level always in the red". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Stanford to Introduce Jim Harbaugh as Head Football Coach" (Press release). Stanford University. December 18, 2006. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  19. ^ Disney Legends web site, "Legend Bio: Ollie Johnston, Animation." Retrieved March 14, 2009.
  20. ^ Faraudo, Jeff. "Kirksey strikes gold in two sports". Oakland Tribune. March 15, 2009. [1]
  21. ^ a b Palo Alto History Project, "The Grateful Dead: Making the Scene in Palo Alto"
  22. ^ Stephens, Mitch (April 2, 2006). "BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jeremy Lin / A knack for the big play". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 8, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ O'Neil, Dana (December 10, 2009). "Immigrant dream plays out through son: Harvard's do-it-all star learned the game from his father and a host of NBA legends". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 12, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  24. ^ "The Last Roundup." Oakland Tribune. March 15, 2009 [2]
  25. ^ Tennis, Mark. "Mr. Basketball 2003: Trevor's Time.", April 3, 2003 [3]
  26. ^ Player Bio: Teresa Noyola
  27. ^ "Téa Obreht - The Tiger's Wife". Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  28. ^ Cassidy, Mike (November 19, 2011). "Cassidy: Former Silicon Valley CEO settles into the writing life". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Brown, George; Prioleau, Cassie (February 19, 2010). "Palo Alto High School wrestlers Dave and Mark Schultz remembered for Olympic gold medals, love of wrestling". The Paly Voice. Palo Alto High School. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Hall of Fame". USATF. August 7, 1962. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  31. ^ Simon, Mark (December 11, 1999). "Palo Alto to Honor Local Boy". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  32. ^ Sheehy, Kelsey. "Meet the U.S. High School Students Competing in 2012 Olympic Games". U.S. News & World Report LP. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]