South Pasadena High School

South Pasadena High School

Infobox Secondary school
name = South Pasadena High School

motto= Fair play, Strength, Scholarship, Leadership
type = Public secondary
grades = 9–12
established= 1906
address = 1401 Fremont Ave
city = South Pasadena
state = California
country = USA
enrollment = 1,600
mascot = Tigers
principal = Janet Anderson
television station = -
newspaper = " [ Tiger] "
website = []

South Pasadena High School (SPHS or "SouthPas") is a public high school serving grades 9-12 located in the city of South Pasadena, California.

The school is one of five schools in the South Pasadena Unified School District.

Established in 1906, it is the first and only high school in South Pasadena. The campus is situated on the west side of the city on Fremont Avenue. The school is composed of several main academic buildings, a library, a performing arts auditorium, a swimming pool, three sets of tennis courts, two indoor gymnasiums, a 400-m outdoor track, and three athletic fields. Housed within these facilities are the departments of English, foreign language, math, science, social science, performing arts, athletics, physical education, ELD (English language development) programs, special education, and the ROP (regional occupational program). The school's motto is "Scholarship, Leadership, Strength, and Fair Play." The school colors are orange and black, and the mascot is a tiger.


SPHS opened in 1906 after South Pasadena residents approved a measure that would construct a public high school.

Before 1955, South Pasadena High School was known as South Pasadena-San Marino High School, serving both South Pasadena and San Marino. San Marino opened their own high school in 1955.

In 2000, SPHS initiated a major renovation and modernization project, which was completed in 2003. All the buildings except the auditorium were renovated and are now modernized. The auditorium was repainted to emphasize the lovely friezes above the entrance.

In 2003, SPHS dedicated a concrete wall honoring former superintendent George C. Bush, who was murdered in 1940 by administrator Verlin Spencer. It was later determined that Verlin Spencer was high on prescription pain killers.

In 2004, the South Pasadena Board of Education unveiled plans to renovate the SPHS football/track stadium. The field will be replaced with FieldTurf and the dirt track will be replaced with an all-weather track. The only such improvements since the proposals is the replacement of the football goal posts after the previous ones (used for football and soccer) were damaged, primarily the north post. The damage occurred when a lawn mower was driven into the north post. However, SPHS finally has funds approved for a composition track and field, and renovation will begin following the graduation ceremony for the class of 2007, which will be the last school ceremony held on the old field.

In 2005, SPHS students and faculty successfully saved principal Janet Anderson from reassignment, proposed by then-superintendent Rob Arias. Anderson had been principal of SPHS since 2001. Arias originally reassigned Anderson to a nearby elementary school. On March 18, 2005, faculty picketed outside of school, protesting the reassignments before school and students walked out of class to protest the reassignments as well. The Board of Education repealed the reassignments, leading to the resignation of Arias. Two school board members, both of whom favored the reassignments, were voted out months later in an election.

In 2006, SPHS celebrated 100 years since its opening in 1906. As part of the celebration, on March 17, 2006, all students received a t-shirt reading "South Pasadena High School, Celebrating 100 Years of Tiger Tradition" at no cost.

The Class of 2006 was the centennial graduating class for SPHS. As part of the celebration, banners along Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena were displayed, showing the senior portraits of past alumni, the most recent graduates, and the class of 2006. To honor the 100th graduating class, students of the class of 2006 chose "100 Years" by Five for Fighting as their class song. The Class of 2006 numbered 304 students participating in the graduation ceremony on June 16, 2006. As a class gift, the class presented to SPHS a bronze tiger statue, which was placed in the SPHS library foyer.

Due to South Pasadena Unified School District's budget problems, numerous changes have occurred: Two teachers were laid off at the end of the 2005-2006 school year (a math teacher and a social science teacher). According to the South Pasadena Board of Education, SPUSD owes the teachers union (Teachers Association of South Pasadena) a 5.98 percent pay increase. An estimated 80 percent of the SPUSD budget, as in most schools, is dedicated to teacher salaries, thus there is less funding for other necessities such as textbooks.

Because of SPUSD layoffs, only one teacher was added to the SPHS faculty for the 2006-2007 school year.

For the 2006-2007 school year, new policies were adopted. The senior class was required to sign an agreement to not have more than ten absences. Students belonging to the senior class were not allowed to paint any of the lunch tables (a senior tradition), and students who violate the policies are assigned harsh penalties. Also, students who are assigned Saturday School detention are to serve Saturday School on a Saturday instead of making up the detention after school or during late-start days.

Recently, the South Pasadena Board of Education considered improving the track and field at SPHS before school ended in June, 2007. This would have affected the graduation ceremony of the class of 2007, and the Board of Education considered relocating the ceremony. Members of the graduating class spoke out against moving Commencement outside of the track and field stadium at SPHS. As a result of the concerns, construction of the new track and field is scheduled to begin on June 18, 2007 and will be completed in October. Construction began on June 25, 2007. SPHS Football will have their first "home" at Glendale High School and will play two home games at SPHS. [] Construction was completed in September and SPHS had their first home game on October 26, 2007. The field is the only one of its kind in all of California.

Class Songs

Each year, the graduating class selects a class song.

2003 - "I'll Remember" by Madonna
2004 - "In My Life" by The Beatles
2005 - "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals
2006 - "100 Years" by Five for Fighting
2007 - "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey
2008 - "Beautiful Day" by U2

As the 100th graduating class, the Class of 2006 overwhelmingly chose "100 Years" as the class song.


SPHS's API score for 2006 is 830, up by 13 points from 2005.

The on-site screen printing company, SPHS PawPrints, has received numerous orders from clients, including the American Cancer Society for the Relay for Life event. Pawprints has won third place at the Project ECHO competition at UCLA Anderson School of Management. In the same competition, the other business, which is the student store, received second place.

The school's publications, Tiger Newspaper and Copa de Oro (yearbook), are additionally prestigious. Both organizations have been awarded by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Tiger Newspaper has been awarded with the best High School newspaper by Columbia Scholastic Press Association once for the best newspaper in the country, and the Copa de Oro yearbook has been awarded with the best yearbook in the country twice.

Associate Student Body

The Associate Student Body (ASB), otherwise known as the Student Government in other schools, is composed of of Commission and Class Officers.

There are 13 Commissioners-- Commissioner General (ASB President), Commissioner of Internal Affairs (ASB Vice President), Commissioner of Correspondence (ASB Secretary), Commissioner of Finance (ASB Treasurer), Commissioner of Academics, Commissioner of Activities, Commissioner of Assemblies, Commissioner of Athletics, Commissioner of Clubs, Commissioner of Noontime, Commissioner of Publicity, Commissioner of School and Community, and Commissioner of Spirit. The first four Commissioners-- Commissioner General (ASB President), Commissioner of Internal Affairs (ASB Vice President), Commissioner of Correspondence (ASB Secretary), Commissioner of Finance (ASB Treasurer)-- are considered the Cabinet. For the class offices, there are four positions-- President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer-- for each class.

Together, the Commission and Class Office make decisions of the activities, dances, recognitions, clubs, sports events, and other essentials that make up a high school experience.

Homecoming takes place during the last home football game of the season.

Notable alumni

*William Holden (William Beedle) - Class of 1936
*Bronson Pinchot - Class of 1977
*Nancy Spears (Los Angeles Sparks President) - Class of 1987
*Jaleel White - Class of 1994

Rivalry with San Marino High School

Since the opening of SMHS, South Pasadena and San Marino have shared a tradition of awarding a "perpetual plaque" to the school that wins the football matchup each year. SMHS won the first game in the history of the rivalry. Since 2003, SPHS has held the plaque. The record is in favor of SPHS: 27-23-3.

TV shows and movies filmed at SPHS

SPHS has been used as a set for these TV shows:
*Desperate Housewives
*Days of Our Lives

The following movies included scenes filmed at SPHS:
*Gone with the Wind
*Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
*American Pie
*Legally Blonde
*13 Going on 30
*Back to the Future
*Mr. Deeds
*Bruce Almighty
*Old School (film)
*Fat Albert


* Houston Comets Assistant Coach Ryan Weisenberg coached the SPHS boys varsity basketball for five years before joining the Los Angeles Sparks coaching staff.

External links

* [ South Pasadena High School]
* [ South Pasadena High School Alumni Association]
* [ South Pasadena High School Class of 1988]

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