Mark Keppel High School
Mark Keppel High School Established 1938 Type Public Secondary Principal Ms. Grace Love Students 2466 Grades 9–12 Location 501 East Hellman Avenue,
Alhambra, California, USA
Coordinates Coordinates: Colors Cardinal and White Mascot Aztecs Rival Alhambra High School Newspaper 'The Aztec' Website mkhs.org
Mark Keppel High School is a four-year California Distinguished School located in the city of Alhambra, California in the Alhambra Unified School District. The school is on the southern edge of Alhambra, adjacent to the City of Monterey Park, and borders the Interstate 10 Freeway. Mark Keppel serves students from portions of Alhambra, Monterey Park, and Rosemead.
Mark Keppel High School is named for Dr. Mark Keppel, Superintendent of Los Angeles County Schools from 1902 to 1928. Since its inception, Mark Keppel High has been involved in an interscholastic rivalry with cross-town rival Alhambra High School.
Construction of Mark Keppel High School started December 19, 1938, three days after the ground-breaking ceremonies. The school was one of the thousands of projects built by the Public Works Administration during the Great Depression, but this was one that the PWAs of Monterey Park, Alhambra, and the unincorporated Wilmar section of Los Angeles County would be proud of.
The 1944 Aztec Varsity Football team, under the command of head coach Eddie Wagner, and with Bill Martin, CIF-SS Football Player of the Year 1944, leading the team, beat the Pasadena High School Bulldogs 19–13 for the CIF-SS Championship at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Student participation in activities and school spirit peaked during the 1950s as the Mark Keppel Aztecs-Alhambra Moors rivalry increased. Football games became so popular that they had to be held in the Rose Bowl to accommodate the crowds. Rivalry exacerbated and began to extend beyond the football field and into other extracurricular and social activities.
During the early sixties, there was a period of minor cultural tension between the predominately white "Surfers" and the "Chicanos". The 1967–68 school year was the beginning of a significant cultural shift. School spirit and participation in school activities waned as the sixties counterculture found its way onto the campus. ASB came to be perceived by much of the student body as an exclusive social clique. Anti-war sentiment over the Vietnam War accelerated and political activism encouraged students to protest. The school dress code was no longer enforced as boys began sporting longer hair, and girls began wearing trousers to school. Racial tensions increased as whites relocated and the Hispanic population increased.
In an attempt to "unify" Monterey Park schools within the city boundaries, a measure was proposed which was purportedly an attempt to segregate its largely White student body from the largely Hispanic student body coming from Garvey Junior High in neighboring Rosemead, a part of Alhambra School District. The measure failed to pass in an election in 1970.
But as the 1970s drew to a close, the predominance of the White and Hispanic student population of Mark Keppel High slowly shifted as larger numbers of Taiwanese immigrated to United States. Monterey Park became a haven for Asian immigrants because of its proximity to downtown Los Angeles. High-density housing and shopping developments along Garfield Avenue were marketed to these new residents, and stories of home buyers riding bicycles with grocery sacks full of cash were circulated.
In spite of editorials in the Monterey Park Progress newspaper which urged residents to invite newcomers into their social groups, the emergence of Chinese-language storefront signs on Garvey, Garfield and Atlantic Boulevards changed the perception of Monterey Park to the “Chinese Beverly Hills”. Participation in school activities and school spirit continued to wane, but did so because of immigrant students’ unfamiliarity with American high school culture rather than with the prevailing counterculture and disillusionment of the times.
In the 1990s the younger immigrants became acclimated to American culture while in elementary school and made their way into Mark Keppel High. Student interest was reborn and new clubs formed with more emphasis on the stewardship of the environment and social consciousness. The nineties became a "Renaissance" of fresh optimism, exemplary academic achievement, excellent student participation in school activities, and great success in athletics.
Mark Keppel has an active local campus chapter of the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. Mark Keppel High School is one of the top schools in the Alhambra Unified School District.
Awards and accreditations
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges six-year accreditation: 1996, 2002, 2008 pending
- California Distinguished School Award: 2005
- Exemplary Career Technical Education Award: 2005
- Title I Academic Achievement Award: 2004, 2005, 2006
- Governor’s Performance Award: 2001, 2002, 2003
- Ranked 451 on Newsweek's 1,000 "Best High Schools in America": 2004
- First Place in LA County Academic Decathlon of 2008
In 2007, the student body was 90% Asian American, 23% Hispanic or Latino, and 3% Caucasian, the remaining 4% consisted of Filipino, African-American, Native American and Pacific Islander students. The predominant languages spoken at students' homes are Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish. Approximately 60% of the student population participates in a free or reduced lunch program, while 25% of the students participate in ESL 
Visual and performing arts
In 2007, band and orchestra teacher Dr. Carla Bartlett won the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County's Bravo Award as an in the Arts Specialist division, one of the highlights of her career. Leading the District Band along with rival Alhambra High's Mark Trulson and San Gabriel's Tammy Cognetta, Dr. Bartlett and the marching band qualified to participate in the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Mark Keppel has established itself as one of the premier co-ed Badminton school in Southern California in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Under the direction of coach Harold George, the Aztec badminton team has won CIF-SS championships in 1987 (3-A), 1990 (3-A), 1991 (3-A), 1992 (3-A), 1993 (I), 1994 (I), 1996 (I), 1997 (I), 1998 (I), 2010 (I) and was CIF-SS runner-ups in 1995 (I), 2002 (I), 2003 (I), 2004 (I), & 2009 (I).
Both the Aztec Boys and Girls Varsity swim teams won back-to-back CIF-SS Division IV championships in the 2007 and 2008 season. The Girls Varsity swim and dive team won the CIF-SS Division III championships in the 2010 season. In addition, the Aztecs have captured the Division 3 CIF-SS championship 2011 in both Boys and Girls. It is the girl's fourth title in five years. It is also the boy's third title in five years.They are also undefeated in Almont League for 7 years in the running.
The boys Varsity soccer team of 1979 won the CIF-SS Division III championship by beating Orange County's University High School by the score of 4-2. This was the first CIF title for the school in any sport during the previous 25 years.
The girls Varsity Cross Country team has been League Champions since 2009 to present.
The boys Varsity basketball team achieved great accomplishments in 2010, advancing to the CIF-SS Division 2A semifinals. The team is coached currently by Hung Duong. Advancing to the semifinals was never accomplished in Keppel history.
The girls Varsity basketball team were Almont League champions for 8 years, from 2002-2009.
The girls Varsity tennis team has been Almont League champs for several years. And once again were League champs in 2009/10.
Mark Keppel High School's journalism class, headed by Cynthia Bradley, runs the school newspaper, issued tri-weekly.
The organization sells copies of its magazine each year during or near the time of the Festival of Learning. Released only once a year, the IDEA Magazine is an annual compilation of Mark Keppel students' achievements in literature and art.
The student-run yearbook committee compiles each year's most memorable events into the annual, known as Teocalli. The name pays homage to the temple of religious ritual that once served as the crux of Aztecan worship.
Mark Keppel High School is designed in the Streamline Moderne architectural style, a variant of the Art Deco, and a product of the Great Depression. While the Art Deco celebrated the mechanization of the Jazz Age with big, bold, vertical designs, exotic materials, and elaborate decorations, the Streamline Moderne was a more reserved and utilitarian style. The Streamline Moderne mimicked the fast, dynamic look of machines with sleek, aerodynamic and nautical forms, low horizontal designs, rounded corners, and shiny materials.
The architecture of Mark Keppel High School features rounded corners in and outside the auditorium, on the staircase leading up to the front entrance, and in all the interior stairwells. Incised horizontal lines cut through the brick stringcourse which wraps the lower part of the building and the brick pillars between the windows. The stucco texture coat of the facade features designs that emphasize horizontal shapes; blocks between the windows on both floors and along the top of the building contribute to the geometric, yet sleek look of the building. The uppermost block is bounded by a horizontal brick band, and the building is crowned with a small inset ledge. Extra handrails are found in front of the windows in the second floor hallways, in front of the display cases around the administration offices, and on the north wing exterior staircase.
Mark Keppel High School features three bas relief murals made by native Southern California artist, Millard Sheets.
The three enamel on stainless steel murals entitled "Early California" decorate the exterior of the auditorium, and depict the founding of California as well as the regional features of Los Angeles County. The second image show the placement of the two smaller murals on the auditorium.
The largest mural crowns the entrance to the auditorium and depicts the three main groups that colonized and populated California: the Spanish Conquistadors, the Catholic Missionaries, and American Pioneers. The mural features a golden California on a backdrop of green mountain ranges, dotted with golden Redwood trees, and capped with a large reflective stainless steel sun wrapped with a sunburst decoration. On the left, the Conquistador goes before his ship, claiming the new land in the name of Spain. In the center, a Missionary kneels down, gingerly placing a mission in Southern California. On the right, a Miner 49’er pans for gold while his wife holds their child and rifle, their covered wagons behind them.
The two smaller murals are located on the southern facade of the auditorium, facing toward Hellman Ave. The mural in the center right depicts early Los Angeles County with the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, the San Gabriel Mission surrounded by orange groves in the center, a dairy farm with Cowboy below, and the Long Beach Harbor in the south.
The mural on the right showcases the entire state of California. From north to south: a lumberjack cuts down a Redwood tree, two miners pan for gold, and a farmer harvests oranges from his orange grove. A cowboy gallops in on a white horse from the east, while a large ship sails in majestically from the west.
- Hank Aguirre, class of 1950: Major League Baseball Pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs.
- Bill Martin, Class of 1944: CIF-SS Football Player of the Year 1944.
- Jack Colvin, class of 1950: Stage and screen actor, co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Institute.
- B. Wayne Hughes, class of 1952: Founder and director of Public Storage, a self-storage company.
- Jim Sterkel, early 1950s: Namesake of Jim Sterkel Court at the University of Southern California's Galen Center.
- Dan Vadis, class of 1955: Actor who appeared in sword and sandal films such as The Triumph of Hercules, and Clint Eastwood westerns such as High Plains Drifter.
- Larry Burright, class of 1955: Major League Baseball Second baseman.
- Mike McCormick, class of 1956: Major League Baseball Pitcher with the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, and the Kansas City Athletics.
- Malcolm McNab, class of 1960: Jazz, pop, and classical horn player, Session musician, two-time winner of the Most Valuable Player Award of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
- Foster Hirsch, class of 1961: Professor of film studies at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York; Author of sixteen books on Film and theater.
- Luis J. Rodriguez, late 1960s–early 1970s: author of Always Running, a chronicle of gang life in the school's area in that era.
- Jenny Gago, class of 1970: actress, she has performed extensively in movies and television for 25 years, including recurring roles as Captain Santina on MacGyver, Detective Beatrice Zapeda in Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy, Anaya on The Agency and Grandma on Freddie.
- Raul X. Garcia, class of 1975: IFC Short Film of the Month Winner.
- John Avila, class of 1976: currently a music producer and former bassist of Oingo Boingo
- Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, class of 1983: Tibetan Buddhist lama and teacher, founder of Kechara House in Malaysia.
- Jeff Dandurand, class of 1992: Radio DJ and Comedian
- Terence Yin, class of 1993: actor
- Hope Sandoval: Singer, Mazzy Star, "Fade Into You","Hallah"
- Ralph Ting, class of 2010: actor, You, Me and Dupree
- ^ Mario Villegas, A 'Classic' for many reasons, ESPN Los Angeles, November 4, 2010
- ^ City of Alhambra 2008‐2014 Housing Element, June 2009, City of Alhambra, p. 77, http://www.cityofalhambra.org/government/city_clerk/downloads/HousingElement_08-14.pdf, retrieved 2010-06-25
- ^ Alhambra Unified high school boundary map
- ^ "CIF Southern Section Record Book; All-Time Football Champions". cifss.org. 2008. http://www.cifss.org/pdfs/record_book_new.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- ^ "Teacher Student Ratio Mark Keppel High School". GreatSchools. 2006. http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/ca/other/14566#students. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- ^ "Bravo Awards - 2007 Highlights". Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. February 28, 2007. http://www.musiccenter.org//education/bravo_2007.html. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
- ^ "CIF Southern Section Record Book; All-Time Football Champions". cifss.org. 2008. http://www.cifss.org/pdfs/record_book_new.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- ^ http://www.insidesocal.com/paspreps/2007/05/swimming-keppel-and-la-canada.html
- ^ http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/18087.asp
- ^ http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/sports/ci_15095999
- ^ "CIF Southern Section Record Book; All-time Football Players of the Year". cifss.org. 2008. http://www.cifss.org/pdfs/record_book_new.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- ^ http://wn.com/Mark_Keppel_High_School
- ^ 
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