Sun Valley High School (California)

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Sun Valley High School
Los Angeles, California
United States
School type High school
Established September 9, 2009 (2009-09-09)
Principal Clara Herran
Grades 9-12
Enrolment 568 (2014-15)[1]
Color(s) Burgundy and Gold
Mascot Wildcat

Sun Valley High School is a four-year high school in Sun Valley, Los Angeles. It is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The principal of the school is Clara Herran. Sun Valley High School is home to over 600 students and 24 staff members and offers Project Lead the Way Engineering and a Media Arts/Film Production program along with Advanced Placement courses. The schools athletic teams are known as the Wildcats.


Sun Valley High School is located in the East San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles near the intersections of the 170 and 5 freeways.


Sun Valley High School opened its doors on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 on what was formerly the Richard E. Byrd Middle School campus. Sun Valley High School opened as a secondary school in the Sun Valley area to relieve overcrowding at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School.[2]

The school opened in the fall of 2009 to 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. It was remodeled from the preexisting Byrd Middle School which was relocated across the street from Francis Polytechnic High School. The school includes a new basketball gym, new classrooms and science labs, and an extended library. The first year of the school did not include any seniors. The first graduating class was the class of 2011, which were the school's first juniors.

The school features specialized elective classes in the Fine Arts, Engineering, and Film Production.[3]

Departments and Programs[edit]


Sun Valley High School offers a fine arts program. Students are encouraged to take Introduction to Art AB and Drawing AB. In Introduction to Art, students are introduced to the principals and elements of art and design. In Drawing AB, students learn technical drawing.


The school offers the Project Lead the Way curriculum in Engineering.[4] which includes the Introduction to Engineering and Design and Principles of Engineering courses and a Robotics capstone course.

In 2012 the school's engineering team was recognized for winning the Aerospace Herndon Science Competition with their entry "A Renewable Energy Source for the 3rd World".[5] [6] [7]

In 2013 the school's engineering team was recognized for qualifying as an International Semifinalist in the Conrad "Spirit of Innovation" Competition.[8][9][10] The team placed third in Aerospace Herndon Science Competition with their "Vertical Aquaponics Rotating Greenhouse".[11] The team won a LAUSD Video in the Classroom award[12] for their video entitled "The Ultimate VEX Experience"[13] which documents their first year of robotics competition. The engineering team fielded two teams in the Mini Urban Challenge California Regional competition and placed first and third respectively.[14][15][16] Sun Valley's regional championship team also won an award for "best presentation". The regional win qualified the team for the National Competition held in Washington DC.[17][18] The National Finals Competition was held on June 1, 2013 at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History. The team placed first with their technical presentation and first overall to become the National Champions for 2013.[19]


The award winning filmmaking program began in 2009 with the opening of Sun Valley High School. It is part of the California Career Technical Education (CCTE) Career Pathways. The Film Program heavily integrates media arts and core content standards into the curriculum. Film classes are open to every student. Students may take Filmmaking 1 and Filmmaking 2. Students in the program experience Voices from the Industry (VFI) where industry professionals mentor, encourage, coach, and share their industry experiences with students. Since 2011, students worked with David Bugliari, Sharif Atkins, William L. Johnson, Craig Ross Jr., and Syvel Sandford. Students also participate in the Writers Guild Foundation High School Workshops and have worked with professional writers, Kendell Shaffer, Fred Rappaport, Marie Weiss, and Sarah Fitzgerald.

The Sun Valley High School Film Program won two awards in the 47th Annual California Student Media Festival.[20] High school seniors Frank Peralta, Jonathan Duran, Arturo Ruiz, and Cesar Verduzco produced the entry entitled "Grad Song". "Grad Song" won the Special Award Category for the theme for 2013 which was "American Graduate". "Grad Song" is an independent student music video focused on failing, trying again, and then succeeding with the help of the community and self-motivation. "Our Voices" is a short documentary produced by film teacher Mrs. Guest-Johnson[21] celebrating the struggles, successes, and dreams of High School Seniors one week before graduation in an environment where only 30% of students were on track to graduation in their sophomore year. "Our Voices" was created to hear students and have them share their experiences with future students and staff. "Our Voices" won the Teacher-Created Award for secondary schools. "Our Voices" also won a VIC Award for KLCS LAUSD.[22]

Clubs and Teams[edit]

Da Vinci Engineering and Design Team Robotics Team Key Club Human Rights Club




In 2013 the Sun Valley High School Boys' Soccer team maintained a perfect 12-0 record capturing the league title and went on to win the Los Angeles City title for small schools maintaining their undefeated record. They went on to compete in the CIF Southern League playoffs progressing all the way to the finals where they lost to Amino Leadership. The team finished ranked 30th in California and 49th in the Nation.[23] The team is coached by Oscar Cardenas.


Students Run LA[edit]

In 2013, Sun Valley High school formed their First Student's Run L.A. Team.

Alliance for All (LGBT)[edit]


  1. ^ "Sun Valley High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ Haber, Shannon. "LAUSD Celebrates New School Year, New Schools & Innovative Programs: 25 More Schools Off Year-Round Calendar." Retrieved from
  3. ^ "UC Doorways" Retrieved from;jsessionid=6CED940FC8530FE8F88751790D1201FC?execution=e1s4
  4. ^ "UC Doorways" Retrieved from;jsessionid=6CED940FC8530FE8F88751790D1201FC?execution=e1s4
  5. ^ "Sun Valley High Engineering Team Wins STEM Competition" Retrieved from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  7. ^
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  10. ^[permanent dead link]
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
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  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ 47th Annual California Student Media Festival
  21. ^ Mrs. Guest-Johnson
  22. ^ Vic Awards Archived 2013-06-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^,ca%29/soccer-winter/home.htm

Coordinates: 34°14′06″N 118°23′46″W / 34.235°N 118.396°W / 34.235; -118.396