Westlake High School (California)

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Westlake High School
WestlakeHS warrior1.png
Westlake High School is located in California
Westlake High School
Westlake High School
Westlake High School is located in the United States
Westlake High School
Westlake High School
100 Lakeview Canyon Road


United States
CoordinatesCoordinates: 34°09′33″N 118°49′02″W / 34.159157°N 118.81731°W / 34.159157; -118.81731
TypePublic high school
School districtConejo Valley Unified School District
PrincipalJason Branham
Enrollment2,320 (2016-17)[2]
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)     Blue
Team nameWarriors

Westlake High School (also known as Westlake High, Westlake, or WHS) is a public high school in the Westlake Village neighborhood of Thousand Oaks, in Ventura County, California. Westlake High School serves grades 9–12 in the Conejo Valley Unified School District. Middle schools that feed into Westlake include Colina Middle School and Los Cerritos Middle School.

The first graduating class was the class of 1980. The first principal was William Albers. All students entering Westlake High School in 1979 signed a charter, which sits in the office today. Ron Lipari was the principal of WHS for 15 years.[3] In 2015, Jason Branham was selected as the new principal.[4]



Newsweek has consistently ranked WHS as one of the top high schools in the United States. In 2015, Westlake High ranked as the 210th top high school in the United States and the 26th-best high school in the state of California according to Newsweek.[5] In 2015, Westlake's average score on Advanced Placement exams was 3.65.[5] In 2016, Westlake ranked as the 119th top high school in the United States and the 15th-best high school in the state of California.[6]

It is one of four high schools in the Conejo Valley Unified School District, that consistently has significantly above-average AP and SAT scores, and 96% of graduating seniors go on to attend some type of college or further education.[7]

Academic teams[edit]

Westlake High School is home to several organized competitive academic teams, including: VEX Robotics, Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial, Science Olympiad, FBLA, and HOSA. In 2016, Westlake High School won the Ventura County Academic Decathlon for the fifth year in a row.[8]

Advanced anatomy[edit]

Westlake High offers a course called Advanced Anatomy. In the course, students work on a human cadaver.[9] Nancy Bowman, a physiology teacher, started the program in 1990.[9] As of 1994, the school was the only school to have a second-year program in advanced anatomy.[10] Jordan Michaels, co-founder of Ringadoc, participated in the program.[11] In 2015, Dr. Ira Byock spoke to the honors class about Death With Dignity laws.[12]


Westlake High School offers a wide variety of sports and activities, including football, basketball, cross-country, tennis, volleyball, cheerleading, water polo, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, softball, swimming, and track and field. Many Westlake athletic teams compete in the Marmonte League of the CIF Southern Section, and are known as the Warriors.

Aquatics program[edit]

From 1995-1999, the WHS boys' swim team won five consecutive Marmonte League titles.[13] In 2001, WHS opened an aquatics complex on its campus.[14] As of 2014, WHS boys' swim team had won three straight Marmonte League titles.[13][15] WHS grad Veronika Weiss, who played on the girls' water polo team, was killed in the Isla Vista shooting.[16] In 2015, the school retired her number 11.[16]


Several Westlake players have gone on to play professional baseball, including Matt Franco, Kevin Howard, Mike Lieberthal, Mike Nickeas, and Christian Yelich. Westlake has never won a CIF Southern Section title, but played in championship games in 1998 and 2001.[17] In 2018 it was coached by Zack Thornton.[18]


California's Westlake High School Football Team players drop flower petals in the water in honor of Lt. j.g. Francis L. Toner IV and Spc. A.J. Castro during a memorial held at the USS Arizona Memorial. Toner and Castro, graduates of Westlake, died during Operation Enduring Freedom

Westlake has maintained a successful football program. In 1989, Jim Benkert became the head football coach at Westlake. Benkert’s reign at Westlake produced four CIF Southern Section championships — in 1999, 2003, 2009, 2011 — and 226 victories.[19] In 2015, Benkert announced he would be leaving Westlake for local rival Oaks Christian School.[19] In 2015, Tony Henney became the new head football coach.[20] Several professional football players have played at WHS, including Billy Miller, Gary Wellman, Rudy Carpenter, and Mike Seidman.


Westlake has had successful golf teams. In 2014, the Westlake High School boys golf team won the CIF/CGA California State High School Championship.[21] In 2015, the boys golf team again won the CIF/ CGA State Championship, becoming the first school to ever win back-to-back state titles in California.[22]


In the late 1980s, Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones played on the boys' soccer team. In the 1986-87 season, Jones and Wynalda helped the team post a 22-2-2 record and led them to the semifinals of the Southern Section 4-A Division playoffs.[23]

Filming site[edit]

  • Blink 182's music video for "Josie" (1998) was filmed at Westlake High School, using official Westlake High School uniforms.Video on YouTube
  • The 1994 movie A Friend to Die For was filmed at Westlake High School, using official Westlake High School cheer uniforms with the logo removed.[24]
  • The 2006 movie Gridiron Gang was filmed at Westlake High School.[25]
  • Halsey's music video for "Colors" (2016) was filmed at Westlake High School, using the football field, classroom, and quad.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ California Department of Education – Dataquest
  2. ^ "Westlake High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Whitnall, Becca. "Lipari out at Westlake High School". The Acorn. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  4. ^ Whitnall, Becca. "Los Cerritos' Branham to follow Lipari at Westlake". The Acorn. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b Bertholdo, Stephanie. "T.O., Westlake ranked among top HS". The Acorn. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  6. ^ Bertholdo, Stephanie. "Newsweek showers Westlake with love". The Acorn. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Westlake High School School Profile 2013/2014" (PDF). Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Moore, Jean. "Westlake High School wins Academic Decathlon again". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b Goodman, Adrianne (November 2, 1990). "Body of Knowledge : High School Anatomy Students Work on Human Cadaver". LA Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  10. ^ Wilson, Tracy (December 28, 1994). "There's No Room for the Squeamish in Westlake High's Anatomy Class". LA Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  11. ^ Belmond, Sylvie (March 28, 2013). "Childhood friends develop tele-medicine tool to improve communications between doctors, patients". The Acorn. Archived from the original on 2015-09-29. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  12. ^ Brown, Eryn (April 6, 2013). "Palliative care expert is a vocal opponent of Death With Dignity law". LA Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  13. ^ a b Appelbaum, Eliav. "Power trio boosts Westlake boys' swim team". The Acorn. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  14. ^ Picarella, Michael. "Westlake High breaks ground on new aquatics venue". The Acorn. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  15. ^ Ledin, Loren. "Puczkowski, Westlake win titles at Marmonte swimming finals". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  16. ^ a b Crouch, Angie. "SoCal School Retires Team Number of Teen Killed in Isla Vista Shooting". NBC. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  17. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (February 25, 2016). "Are overbearing parents ruining the Westlake baseball program?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  18. ^ Appelbaum, Eliav (May 17, 2018). "Westlake's hot stove". The Acorn. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  19. ^ a b Ledin, Loren. "Benkert leaving Westlake for Oaks Christian". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  20. ^ Ledin, Loren. "Henney accepts 'the job in Ventura County'". VCS. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Westlake High School wins 2014 CIF/CGA High School Boys Golf Championship". SCGA.org. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  22. ^ Andrade, Jonathan. "Warriors make California history". The Acorn. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  23. ^ Dominguez, Fernando. "Westlake Enjoys Taste of World Cup : Soccer: Former high school teammates relish roles of Wynalda, Jones on U.S. team". LA Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  24. ^ A Friend to Die For (TV Movie 1994) - Filming & Production - IMDb
  25. ^ Gridiron Gang (2006) - Filming & Production - IMDb
  26. ^ Curley, Joe (April 24, 2019). "Local chatter: T.O. native Moore enjoying first taste of playoff hockey in Toronto". Ventura County Star. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  27. ^ Hess, Terry (September 14, 1990). "USC's balanced attack led by Marinovich". The Daily Collegian, Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved March 11, 2008.
  28. ^ Buttitta, Bob (February 18, 2008). "Charlie Wi has another solid showing". Ventura County Star. Retrieved February 28, 2008.

External links[edit]