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Whittier High School

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Whittier High School
Cardinal image.jpg
12417 East Philadelphia St.




Type Public
School district Whittier Union High School District [1]
PrincipalTimothy Liggett
Grades 9 – 12
Enrollment2,082 (2015–16) [2]
Color(s)Red and White
Mascot Cardinals
Nickname Cardinals

The sign in front of Whittier High School

Cardinals Mascot on School Wall

Whittier High School (WHS) is a high school located in Whittier, California . It belongs to the Whittier Union High School District .
It is the alma mater of President Richard Nixon (class of 1930) and John Lasseter (class of 1975), founder of Pixar Animation Studios .


  • 1 Academics
  • 2 History
    • 2.1 History of the Whittier Cardinal
  • 3 Students
    • 3.1 Ethnic breakdown (2007-2008 year)
    • 3.2 Average class size (2017-2018 year)
  • 4 Athletics
  • 5 Notable alumni
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Academics[ edit ]

Whittier High School AP courses:
AP Art History ,
AP Biology ,
AP Calculus AB ,
AP Calculus BC ,
AP Chemistry ,
AP English Language and Composition ,
AP English Literature and Composition ,
AP Environmental Science ,
AP European History ,
AP French ,
AP Human Geography ,
AP Macroeconomics ,
AP Physics C ,
AP Psychology ,
AP Spanish Language ,
AP Spanish Literature ,
AP United States Government and Politics , and
AP United States History .

History[ edit ]

Whittier High School was established in 1900 when the few classes were in the upper floor of the old Jonathan Bailey School. At that time, there were 47 students in attendance. The classrooms included a study hall, a library, a recitation room, a science laboratory, and the principal’s office. The library contained one stack of books. For a heating unit, there was an old-fashioned wood stove. A few pictures and a statue of Julius Caesar ornamented the building.

Following the addition of the East Whittier, Ranchito, Rivera, Los Nietos, Pico, and Mill Districts, the school became known as Whittier Union High School. In 1905 a new building was opened at the corner of Philadelphia and Lindley, which is the current site of Whittier High School today.

A rapid influx of students necessitated the constructions of a girls’ gym, an administration building and an auditorium in 1923. Soon after, the shops on Pierce Avenue were built.

The Long Beach earthquake of 1933 rendered most of the buildings unsafe. Classes were held in crowded storerooms, basements, and bungalows until condemned buildings could be reconstructed. The Science Building was rebuilt in 1934; a Boys’ Gym in 1935; dressing rooms and Cafeteria in 1936. The Auditorium stood idle for almost 20 years and then was renovated into the present Library.

In 1938, the District approved bonds for a new Girls’ Gym and an Auditorium. Both were completed in 1940.

Following World War II, the Whittier area began to grow rapidly. In 1952, the student enrollment was over 3,500. It was at this time that the District opened a new high school called El Rancho. Growth continued and in 1953, California High School opened, followed by Santa Fe in 1955, Sierra in 1957, Pioneer in 1959, La Serna in 1961, and Monte Vista in 1964. By 1966, the District had almost 16,000 students in seven schools.

In 1967, Buffalo Springfield performed in the Whittier High School auditorium.

Because of declining enrollment, two of the schools closed in 1979. Many students from the Sierra High School area came to Whittier. Since that time, Whittier High School’s enrollment has slowly increased each year.

Several areas of the Whittier High School campus were featured as Hill Valley High School in the 1985 blockbuster film Back to the Future , and its 1989 sequel Back to the Future Part II .

From government sources (including the Federal Emergency Management Agency ) and bond financing, monies have been obtained for district-wide structural repairs. The seismic repairs and remodeling are still under way.

In 1998 the Boys Gym was destroyed by fire. The new Perry Gym opened in 2002. The Holloway-Poucher Aquatic Center was completed in 2001. Other buildings and areas on campus are named after alumni and members of the Cardinal community: the O.C. Albertson field after the first principal, the Myron Claxton (’36) Science Building, the Vic Lopez (’46) Auditorium, the Bob Chandler (’67) Sports Complex and the Marion Wilson Hodges fountain, also a former principal.

History of the Whittier Cardinal[ edit ]

In 1930, the cardinal was chosen as the Whittier High mascot because it is a native of Mill Creek (the area just north of Rio Hondo College). The bird was chosen because of its scarlet coat, which corresponded with the school colors. It was also felt that this bird possessed the same spirit and determination that has always been representative of Whittier High School.

In 1935, the Cardinal insignia was designed as a result of a contest, which lasted four months. The event was culminated by a special student body election to choose what has become the Cardinal insignia. Since then, the insignia has been used on class rings, pins, the Cardinal Key, and a victory flag.

Students[ edit ]

Ethnic breakdown (2007-2008 year)[ edit ]

American Indian / Alaska Native<1%
Latino / Hispanic80%
Multiple/No Response<1%
Pacific Islander<1%

Average class size (2017-2018 year)[ edit ]

30 Students

Athletics[ edit ]

Boys’ Water Polo,
Girls’ Tennis, and
Girls’ Volleyball.

Girls’ Water Polo,
Soccer, and

Boys’ Baseball,
Girls’ Softball,
Boys’ Tennis,
Track & Field,
Golf, and
Boys’ Volleyball.

Notable alumni[ edit ]

Richard Nixon

  • Richard Milhous Nixon ’30, U.S. Representative, Senator, Vice President and 37th President of the United States 1969-1974
  • Rear Admiral Paul Pugh, USN ’37, fighter pilot [3]
  • George Buehler ’65, professional football player for the Oakland Raiders
  • Bob Chandler ’67, professional football player for the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders
  • Helen Hannah , ’34, United States Marine 1943-75, chaperone in All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • John Lasseter ’75, writer, director, producer, founder of Pixar Animation Studios
  • Vaneza Pitynski ’06, actress

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ “District Information / Whittier High SARC Reports” . Retrieved 2016-02-08.

  2. ^ “Whittier High” . National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  3. ^

External links[ edit ]

  • Whittier High School Official Website
  • Whittier High School Cardinal Band Website
  • Whittier Union High School Class of 1927 Yearbook
  • Whittier High School Class of 1967 Reunion Committee Website

Coordinates : 33°58′50″N 118°02′40″W / 33.98050°N 118.04431°W / 33.98050; -118.04431

  • v
  • t
  • e
Whittier, California
  • Whittier City School District
  • East Whittier City School District
  • Whittier Union High School District
    • Whittier High School
  • Fullerton Joint Union High School District
    • Lowell High School (closed in 1980)
Colleges and universities
  • Whittier College
  • Southern California University of Health Sciences
  • Jonathan Bailey House
  • The Quad at Whittier
  • Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital
  • Whittwood Town Center
  • Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility (closed)
  • Whittier Daily News
  • 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake
  • Whittier Conservancy
This list is incomplete.

  • Category Category
  • Portal Portal

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Categories :

  • Whittier, California
  • High schools in Los Angeles County, California
  • Educational institutions established in 1900
  • Public high schools in California
Hidden categories:

  • Articles needing cleanup from December 2008
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  • Schools needing cleanup
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