March 11, 2019
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA—Hundreds of Walnut High School alumni, staff, students, and community members joined a 50th anniversary celebration held on March 7.
The high school was founded in the rural community of Walnut in 1968 with 600 students and has grown to become a top performing school in the nation with over 2,300 teens.
“I would like to thank all the staff members who paved the way for the past 50 years and contributed so much to this school,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.
“Walnut High is a great school with outstanding students, staff, parent and community support, and a wonderful blend of tradition and innovation.”
The program commemorating five decades of Mustang legacy included student entertainment, historical videos, special guests, and school tours.
“Walnut High was built on a rich tradition that dates back to the beginning with principals Jack Ingram, Don Skraba, Dr. Ken Gunn, Russell Lee-Sung, Dr. Jeff Jordan, and now myself,” said Principal Brandon Dade.
“My predecessors set the standard of excellence that we continue to appreciate and value each and every day.”
Guests were eager to pose for commemorative photos, browse through yearbooks and memorabilia, and mingle with fellow graduates and faculty members.
“Every memory from Walnut High is a favorite!” recalled Class of 2000 alumnus Josephine (Sueng) Cooper who was thrilled to connect with former teachers Buddy Clements and Lisa Donee at the event.
Assistant Superintendent and Walnut High alum Dr. Jeff Jordan highlighted the school’s deep culture of relationship-building during the anniversary celebration.
“One thing that’s been a common factor for 50 years is fact that everyone who either attends or works here still keeps in touch - and that speaks volumes.”
“Walnut High was a good school when it was established, but has become outstanding since that time,” commented retired administrator Ray McMullen.
“And that’s in great part thanks to former principal Dr. Ken Gunn who through his leadership and an outstanding teaching and support staff established an expectancy of caring and excellence that you see today.”
“These are the most gifted and passionate teachers and students, and most supportive parents that I’ve ever been around,” Dade said.
“Walnut High is truly an amazing place to be!”
Walnut High School has received prestigious accolades including National Blue Ribbon School, California Distinguished School (seven-time honoree), California Gold Ribbon School, Top 100 Most Challenging Schools in America, Grammy Signature School Semifinalist, League and CIF Championships, and U.S. News, and World Report Silver Medal Winner.
Walnut High alumnus and retired Collegewood Elementary teacher Jane Dyer-Smith browses through Mustang memorabilia during the 50thanniversary celebration on March 7.
Suzanne Middle School teacher and alumnus Helen Papadopoulos finds her class yearbook on display at the Walnut High 50th anniversary party.
WVUSD parent and alumnus Lily Eibert browses through 50 years of Mustang history with her children.
Alumni pose for commemorative photos during Walnut High’s 50th anniversary party on March 7.
Walnut High’s 50thanniversary celebration included student entertainment provided by band, choir, dance, and cheer groups.
Assistant Superintendent, former principal, and Mustang alumnus Dr. Jeff Jordan speaks of the school’s culture.
Yearbooks and memorabilia on display at Walnut High’s 50th anniversary celebration.