Saturday, August 25, 2012

Loara Beginnings - 80's

John Dahlem

As school sets to begin this Monday, I feel it important to start with some simple facts. Years ago, Dr. John Dahlem worked hard to make sure that the true history of the school was kept for years to come.  When he taught and coached at Loara he started to keep track of simple facts and figures for his California History Classes, when he came back as the Principal he added to this information, and now in his retirement he is working hard to solidify where the name Loara came from.  Below you will find some facts and background to the school's origins as given to us by the 2007 inductee to the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.  


1962 Student Handbook page 3

Location:  1765 W. Cerritos Ave
Anaheim, California 92804
Opened: 1962
Mascot: Saxon
Colors: Cardinal Red, Gold, and White
District:   Anaheim Union High School

Note: There is a discrepancy in A History of AUHSD - One to Twenty Eight written by Louise Booth and the 1962 Student Handbook presented to me by Anthony Mastroangelo (class of 65) over what the colors of the school are.  For Historical purposes we are going with the Cardinal Red, Gold and White as the Handbook pre dates the History.  And knowing Orville "Tommy" Thomason he wouldn't have made that mistake in his first handbook.



In September 1962, the history of Loara High School began on the campus of Magnolia High School, where the Loara students were on double session with the Sentinels until Christmas vacation.  At that time the move was made to the permanent home at 1765 West Cerritos Avenue.  The campus, that is bordered on the east by Euclid Avenue, was once the ranch of a Snyder family, who had 34 acres of fruit trees and sugar beets.  They moved to Anaheim in 1889, selecting land that had a view of the ocean.  Their Daughter Dora was a member of the first graduating class of Anaheim High School (1901).

One to Twenty-Eight - A History of AUHSD 1980
Only the tenth grade was taught that first year with 28 teachers.  The second year, the eleventh grade was added, along with 34 teachers.  But the third year (1964-65), a full staff of 84 teachers and 14 classified employees were in charge of the three grades.  The first graduating class was that year, June 1965.

Heading the administration was Orville "Tommy" Thomason, principal, and Kenneth Spencer and Elizabeth Arnold as assistant principals.

Built on a modified version of the Azusa Plan (the concept of a school within a school), Loara was similar to Magnolia and Savanna.  Each of the separate grades had its own section of the campus with a multi purpose room and office.  Each office had a sink and steam table so that the multipurpose room could double as a cafeteria.  Soon, however, the food was dispensed from a central building in the back patio and the students ate on picnic tables.  The offices attached to the multipurpose rooms became working spaces for teachers. 

The system of units, one for each grade level, was discontinued in the fall of 1978.  The old senior court room became the band office, practice & class room.  The junior court was refurbished into the ASB headquarters, housing the ASB cabinet and activities director and the sophomore court acted as the detention hall until 1996 when it was turned into a Career Guidance Center and AVID (Advancement via Independent Determination) class room.  Food has since been dispensed from "speed lines" cafeteria style.

Because of the closure of schools such as Trident, Fremont etc., enrollment in 
certain High Schools began to increase.  During the 1980-81 school year, Freshmen were added to all high school campus'.  Loara felt the crunch for the first time when portables were added to the campus.  Also with the increase need for security Live on Security mobile homes were added. And with all this the campus became an officially closed campus during the 1985-86 school year when they built the fencing that surrounds the school to this day.

By John Dahlem
California History Teacher
Loara High School

No comments:

Post a Comment