SCHS community commemorates its 150th anniversary


The 2022-2023 school year marks the 150th anniversary of SCHS. SCHS is the third oldest high school in the Bay Area and the sixth oldest high school in California.

Many feel SCHS has maintained a focus for students to strive and succeed academically. SCUSD Director of Communications and Community Engagement, Jennifer Dericco, believes SCHS has been accomplishing their goal.

“The school offers so many diverse opportunities,” Derrico said. “Whatever their current and future interests are for their lives, they can explore their own interests to try to figure out who they are as people and what they want to do with their lives and their academic and personal careers.”

Similarly, Superintendent Dr. Gary Waddell acknowledged how supportive the school has been for the community.

“The traditions and history of the school and community are inspiring,” Waddell said. “We know that the many classes of graduates take great pride in SCHS and the role that it has played in their lives.”

Alongside catering to the well-being of the school community, the PTSA, an executive board who meets monthly and makes decisions for the good of SCHS, has provided support throughout the years. The PTSA has transitioned toward new goals, with one goal met by renaming the association to include students alongside parents and teachers. College and Career Resource Technician, Anthony Butler, appreciates PTSA’s advancements and finds the change to be a big accomplishment.

“Seems like they’re student focused,” Butler said. “That’s really admirable because I’m sure that there are parents that are mostly looking for leadership positions, so they want to make sure that not just their kids but all kids have a great experience.”

Butler believes students should be more involved in SCHS, and the PTSA encourages student participation in the community.

“Adding students means they’re willing to listen to the student voices,” Butler said. “They’re willing to make sure that students are heard, and that’s important too.”

In efforts to involve students with the association, bringing back Grad Night for the seniors on campus is one way of doing so, Board Treasurer Nichole Soterwood noted.

“The seniors have enjoyed a safe Grad Night, and twice as many seniors are now participating than when it was held off campus,” Soterwood said. “Now that it has been held on campus for two years, we are working to make it sustainable so that future PTSA leaders will continue the tradition.” 

PTSA does not fail to include the entire school community in their celebration. Events are extended to all grades, and the association is committed to creating a welcoming environment.

“At the beginning of the school year, the PTSA hosts the freshmen welcome lunch and our members plan, shop and serve the food,” Soterwood said. “At the end of the school year, we host a senior breakfast and staff appreciation brunch.”

On Oct. 1, PTSA held a community-wide event, participating in the City of Santa Clara’s Parade of Champions with a handmade float that was built by a select team of SCHS’s 49ers STEM Leadership Institute students. A logo created specially for the anniversary was painted on the float for the parade.

“Six of our juniors took this on as a project and are building this float that featured the logo that was created, which is a 150 shield,” Principal Gregory Shelby said.

The history of SCHS extends far back in time. Flashback to 150 years ago, long before the new change to become the Bruins, SCHS was represented as Santa Clara Panthers, which they recognized in the making of the float.

“For the majority of the time, we were actually the Santa Clara Panthers, but it’s been for the last 41 years the Bruins,” Shelby said. “There are a lot of people in our community who were Santa Clara Panthers, and we wanted to include them as part of the history and celebration.”

Shelby believes SCHS’s 150th anniversary is not just a school event, it’s a way to bring the community together and reflect on the years past. 

“This celebration helps to bring folks together that way,” Shelby said.