South Tahoe High School

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South Tahoe High School
1735 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Sierra Nevada
South Lake Tahoe, California, El Dorado County 96150
United States
Type Public school
Motto Arts, Academics, and Athletics
Established 1952
School district Lake Tahoe Unified School District
CEEB code 050075
Principal Chad Houck
Staff 101
Grades 9-12
Gender Co-educational
Enrolment 1001
Mascot The Viking
Newspaper The Viking Longship
Yearbook The Sotanian

South Tahoe High School (STHS) is a public high school in South Lake Tahoe, California, United States. It was established in 1952 and is the only high school that belongs to the Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD). The school mascot is the Viking and its colors are blue and gold.

South Tahoe High School has 1001 students as of 2015. 56 percent of its students participate in the Advanced Placement courses and the school has been given a silver ranking by US News. In 2013, 53 percent of its students scored proficient or advanced on the English-Language Arts section of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program. On the History-Social Science section of the STAR, 43 percent of students scored proficient or advanced, and only 33 percent did so on the Mathematics section. In 2005, Newsweek magazine ranked the school as a "top 1000" secondary school in the United States.

The school features an open-air campus. In June 2007, the school was surrounded by firefighters to avoid it being burned down in the devastating Angora Fire. In 2009, an extensive multi-year (completed 2013) set of renovations and new construction projects transformed the school's facilities. A new program began in 2014 to provide every student with a free Chromebook for the year.


The official school campus map as of June 2015

South Tahoe High School was founded in 1952 in South Lake Tahoe.[1] The school's campus was originally at the current South Tahoe Middle School, but it was later moved to its present location.[2] The current school was built in an open-air style with most of the buildings not connected to each other with hallways.

In 1976 a high school senior, Kathleen Keohane, was murdered off-campus and the case remains unresolved.[3]

The Angora Fire came within yards of the high school in June 2007. Dozens of firefighters surrounded the school to defend it from the flames.[4]

From 1996 to 2013, the school and LTUSD experienced a downward trend of enrollment. In 2013, LTUSD had 36.6 percent fewer students than in 1996.[5]

From 2009, the school began a $64.5 million venture to renovate many of their facilities and completed their goals by 2013.[6] In the summer of 2011, the school began constructing a new student union and a new art building (Tahoe Arts Design Academy), and began rebuilding the "Viking Stadium."[7][8] The Tahoe Arts Design Academy was modeled after a Hollywood studio and features a 300-seat theatre.[9]

Ivonne Larson, the principal of South Tahoe from 2006-2014, was promoted to assistant superintendent[10] and Chad Houck took over as principal.[11]

Since 2014, the school offers Chromebooks to students for the year free of charge. The school has accepted the Google for Education service and it is provided on all of the Chromebooks. Houck has said that there has been a correlated 10 percent drop of missing assignments since they started the pilot Chromebook program.[12]

Students at South Tahoe High School restarted a school newspaper in the fall of 2015 called The Viking Longship. The newspaper is published approximately every two weeks on the STHS website, in print, and via students' school-issued email accounts.[13]

Academics and enrollment[edit]

Bell schedule[edit]

Period Begin End
0 7:05 7:47
1 7:55 9:20
2 9:33 11:04
3 11:12 12:37
Lunch 12:37 1:15
4 1:15 2:40

South Tahoe High School classes begin at 7:55 am (1st period) and end at 2:40 pm.[14][15]


South Tahoe High School enrolls 1001 students and 47 full-time teachers. Females make up 51 percent of the students and males make up 49 percent. 43 percent of students are eligible for free lunch provided by the school. The following is a breakdown of student enrollment by ethnicity:[16]

Ethnicity Number Percentage
White 531 53.0
Hispanic 354 35.4
Asian 69 6.9
American Indian 14 1.4
Black 11 1.1
Two or more races 9 .9

The 9th grade is made up of 266 students; 10th has 254; 11th has 263; and 12th has 218.[16] South Tahoe Middle School (STMS) is the only middle school in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.[17]


The school received the California Gold Ribbon Schools Award from the California Department of Education in 2015.[12] 56 percent of the students have participated in at least one Advanced Placement (AP) class and 52 percent of participants have passed at least one of their AP tests. The average number of AP exams taken per AP participant is 3.4.[18] US News has given South Tahoe a silver ranking and a numerical rank of 1213th out of all high schools in the United States.[19] In 1999, the school was named a California distinguished school by the state.[20] In 2005, Newsweek magazine gave South Tahoe a rank of 996th out of 27,478 schools in the United States.[21][22]

2013 was the last time that California public schools were required to administer the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program since it was replaced by the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). In 2013, students at South Tahoe High demonstrated below average scores in all three areas tested by the STAR.[23] The following shows the scores for the last STAR test compared the district and state average:

Percentage of students who scored proficient or advanced on the STAR testing
Subject South Lake Tahoe High School Lake Tahoe Unified School District California
English-Language Arts 53 51 55
Mathematics 33 57 50
History-Social Science 41 38 49

The school has a low dropout rate at 5.5 percent, compared to the state average of 11.4 percent. However, 8.4 percent of its students have been suspended at some point, compared to the state average of 4.4 percent.[23] South Tahoe has an average attendance rate of 89.1 percent.[24] Beginning in 2014 and under the direction of Houck, the school has begun implementing a system of "Redemptive Citizenship Program" in which students receive demerits for breaking rules. Students with too many demerits are prohibited from some school activities.[25]


Due to its proximity to Nevada, South Tahoe's athletic teams have competed as a member of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) along with two other similarly-isolated California schools nearby: Truckee High and North Tahoe High.[26] The Vikings compete in the 1A level (second-largest) in the Northern Nevada region of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.[27] In its tenure in Division 1A, South Tahoe has seen the most success in skiing (boys'), soccer (boys') and cross country (boys') with three championships for all three sports. The boys' Alpine skiing team has won in three consecutive years, from 2008-2010. Additionally, South Tahoe competes in Far West Nordic cross country ski races.[28]

Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association State Championships[edit]

The following table contains the years that students in each sport won a state championship (if applicable) in the 1A division of the NIAA:

Sport Years Citation
Cross country (boys') 1999, 2010, 2011 [29]
Cross country (girls') 2004, 2005 [30]
Basketball (boys') 1987, 1992 [31]
Alpine skiing (boys') 2008, 2009, 2010 [32]
Soccer (boys') 2003, 2005, 2010 [33]
Soccer (girls') 2010, 2011 [34]

School song: Alma Mater[edit]

"Neath the Sturdy Mountain Summit Stands South Tahoe High

Alma Mater Strong and Mighty Thee We Glorify.

Blue's for Faith And Gold's for Valor, Standards Boldly Fly

Spirit, Truth in Thee We Honor, Hail South Tahoe High"[35]

Notable alumni[edit]

The following are notable people who graduated from South Tahoe High School:

Person Graduated Known for
Jamie Anderson[36] Gold medalist at the 2014 Winter Olympics; four-time X Games gold medalist[37]
Maddie Bowman[38] 2012 Gold medalist at the 2014 Winter Olympics; three-time X Games gold medalist[39]
Jerod Haase 1992 College basketball player for University of California, Berkeley, and University of Kansas; currently head basketball coach at Stanford University[40]


  1. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  2. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-05.  External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ "1976 murder of High School student |". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  4. ^ "Calif. fire destroys more than 200 buildings". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  5. ^ "Lake Tahoe Unified School District Enrollment Up". South Tahoe Now. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  6. ^ "Lake Tahoe Unified School District completes all major projects tied to $64.5 million bond |". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  7. ^ "Construction on new student union building begins |". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  8. ^ "" (PDF). Archived from the original on February 9, 2012. Retrieved 2015-06-04.  External link in |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Tahoe Arts & Design Academy | LPA Inc.". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  10. ^ "South Tahoe High Principal Promoted to LTUSD Assistant Superintendent". South Tahoe Now. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  11. ^ User, Super. "Home". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  12. ^ a b "South Tahoe High receives state award |". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  13. ^ "The Viking Longship Newspaper - South Tahoe High School". Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  14. ^ "South Tahoe High School Bell Schedule" (PDF). Lake Tahoe Unified School District. 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "Lake Tahoe Unified students head back to school". South Tahoe Now. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  16. ^ a b "South Tahoe High School in SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA | Student Body | US News". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  17. ^ "Welcome to STMS! | South Tahoe Middle School". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  18. ^ "South Tahoe High School in SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA | Test Scores | US News". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  19. ^ "South Tahoe High School in SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA | Best High Schools | US News". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  20. ^ "Distinguished Schools - El Dorado County Office of Education, Placerville". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  21. ^ "Newsweek puts STHS in exceptional academic company |". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  22. ^ The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools
  23. ^ a b "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-04.  External link in |title= (help)
  24. ^ "Lake Tahoe Unified School District to focus on keeping kids in school". South Tahoe Now. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  25. ^ "SHERMAN E" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  26. ^ "NIAA Member Schools Index". Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association. NIAA. 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  27. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  28. ^ "FAR WEST NORDIC". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  29. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  30. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  31. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  32. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  33. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  34. ^ "Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association  :" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  35. ^ "South Tahoe High Alumni Foundation". Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  36. ^ "Jamie Anderson in South Lake Tahoe, California (CA)". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  37. ^ Wise, Mike (2014-02-09). "Gold medal, the Jamie Anderson way: meditation, incense and candles". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  38. ^ "Maddie Bowman spins for gold in Sochi |". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  39. ^ "Maddie Bowman | U.S. Freeskiing". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  40. ^ Haase, Jerod (1997). Floor Burns: Inside the Life of a Kansas Jayhawk. ISBN 978-0965839211. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′26″N 120°00′47″W / 38.907198°N 120.013189°W / 38.907198; -120.013189