WASC Self-Study Report 2016-17
February 20, 2017
Welcome to our school community. I am honored and privileged to have served as principal of my alma mater for the past twelve years. I am proud of our students’ accomplishments in high school and post-graduation as they have pursued their goals.
Like many families in our community, my family moved from Oakland to Antioch in search of a better opportunity for their children. My father found local employment and purchased our first home in 1968. I grew up in Antioch when it was a small town and everyone seemed to know each other. I attended elementary, junior high school and high school with my childhood friends and graduated from Antioch High School in 1979.
Following my college education, I returned to serve my community and discovered my town had grown to a large suburban community of over 100,000 residents. With significant growth, our community experienced increased diversity among our student body. Throughout my career as a school teacher, guidance counselor, vice principal and principal, I have learned the great opportunity that education provides our youth.
During the past decade, I have observed new challenges in our community due to high unemployment, foreclosures and homelessness. As families have been displaced from the Bay Area, many moved to Antioch in search of affordable housing. This phenomenon caught the attention of KQED, which investigated the gentrification that resulted in a clash of cultures. The recently produced “An American Suburb” podcast sheds light on the racial tension between a long-time blue collar white community and a new diverse population of residents from Oakland. The second in the series focuses on how our high school is successfully bringing our diverse school community together to share common ground as Antioch High School Panthers.
Additionally, in the past six years, the Antioch Unified School District has seen 144% rise in foster homes and a 252% increase in the number of students in foster care. Despite those astonishing numbers, Antioch High has achieved a graduation increase from 78% to a current 92%; with a reduction in drop-outs going from 22% to 8% percent.
In order to meet the needs of our student body, Antioch High has been transformed from a one large comprehensive high school to small learning communities that create a personalized education with a strong sense of family. Linked Learning career pathway academies have been developed to close the opportunity gap for all students through the random selection process that ensures equity and access for all learners. The added value of academies is it enriches education for all students by introducing them to career technical education courses that bring relevance to their common core academic subjects.
Antioch High School receives a great deal of support from the community. Each year the business community provides financial scholarships for graduates and paid internships for students. Our parent community has organized fundraising events in support of student programs, and our city passed a $56.5 million school facility improvement bond to turn the historic campus into a modernized 21st century high school.
As you visit our school campus, you will see areas under construction. The first phase of construction was completed last year with the addition of a new main entrance, school offices, library, college and career center, new athletic stadium, and modernized classrooms and hallways. We just started the second phase that will include a new cafeteria at the center of campus and modernization of the 1100 building into a new media center with new classrooms and updated computer technology.
I hope you enjoy your visit and have the opportunity to meet our student body, school staff, parent and business community to learn about the strong sense of family and community that we share.
Principal of Antioch High School
“Antioch High School . . . a tradition of excellence”