John F. Kennedy High School (La Palma)

John F. Kennedy High School (La Palma)

Infobox Secondary school
name=John F. Kennedy High School
established = 1964
type = Public
principal = Kelly Wilson
city=La Palma
country=United States
schedule= 6 period day
mascot=Fighting Irish
colors=Green, white, and gold

John F. Kennedy High School is a public, four-year high school in the city of La Palma, California. It is one of eight comprehensive high schools in the Anaheim Union High School District. Kennedy gets most of its students from the junior high school across the street, Walker Junior High School.


John F. Kennedy High School opened to 3,488 students in the 10th and 11th grades on September 14th, 1964. For its first year of operation, there was no senior class. Mr. Kenneth MacPherson was Kennedy's first principal. Most buildings were ready except the dressing rooms, the gym, and playing fields.

The school was to be named Centralia, in keeping with Board policy to name high schools after an elementary school district in the area; however, the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 prompted a group of patrons to have the school (then under construction) renamed in his honor. Monico (Sonny) Mallari, a ninth grader at Walker Junior High School, presented the Board with a petition of 400 names, asking for the change. As a result, many traditions have developed due to the Irish heritage of the Kennedy family.

Currently, Kennedy serves around 2,400 students in the 9th through 12th grades. Recent construction has added a quad area, a second practice gym, renovated classrooms, a new library and counseling center, a modular "4th court," as well as an extensive music building which includes an auditorium, two band rooms, two choir rooms, and practice rooms.


Emerald Chain

The Emerald Chain is made up of the top 10 male and female students in the junior class based on grade point average. These 20 juniors line the path for the seniors at graduation. Emerald Chain was originally created by Cliff Ishii.(

Alma mater

often when the alma mater is sung, students, staff, and alumni make a "V" for victory sign and or a "K" for Kennedy. They also stomp their feet during the word "fight" in the second verse as well as creating a drum roll during the last two lines. The marching band also sings the alma mater during the bus rides back to Kennedy.


Kennedy's sports teams are known as the Fighting Irish. They are a member of the Empire League in CIF's Southern Section.

The Fighting Irish football team won the CIF-SS Southern Division Championship in 2006, adding to the AAA championship they had won in 1971.

In 2007, the Irish softball team was a CIF-SS Southern Section finalist, losing to Empire League rival Pacifica High School.

Kennedy boy's soccer won CIF championships in 1980, 2003, and 2004, while the girls won titles in 1984 and 1988.

Other Fighting Irish sports include basketball, baseball, track, tennis, golf, swim,volleyball, badminton, and water polo.


Band and Colorguard

John F. Kennedy High School's band and colorguard is called the Shamrock Regiment. The band was formerly known as "The Guards." The band is a division 6A and is part of the SCSBOA. There are different individual groups within the main band which includes: Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble and Winter Drum line. Since 1974, the marching band has traveled to Ireland and England every four years to perform in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin. The band has also gone to the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney, Australia. Directors are Bob Anthony and Joshua Parsons. The Shamrock Regiment is the largest band in the AUHSD district.


Kennedy High School has a strong Choir program headed by Sarah Berndt.The Head Choir Teacher Brian Hogan was surplused at the end of the 07-08 school year to Oxford Academy. He will be greatly missed by Kennedy Students and they wish him the Best.They are known as the Kennedy Singers. Kennedy has the biggest choir program in the AUHSD some years having 300+ students enrolled in choir. The Kennedy singers are unlike any ordinary choir, they are what is known as a Show choir. Their scheduale consists of four shows, the broadway show, the christmas show, the spring show which changes every year, and the pop show. Show week, also known as choirs "hell week" consists of a tech rehearsal,dress rehearsal and 2-3 show nights.


Kennedy also has a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corp one of the top program headed by LTC Marc Breslow(R).

Clubs and Organizations

John F. Kennedy High school has many clubs and organizations available to the students on campus. They include Junior State of America (JSA), Future Business Leaders of America(FBLA), California Scholarship Federation, Key Club, National Honor Society, Friday Night Live, Leo Club, Model United Nations, Science Club, International Club, Computer Club, Bridges, DAV-FI, Guitar Club, Anime Club, and Christian Club.

Notable alumni

*T.V. and Film Actor, John Stamos.
*Brandon Baker, actor in films such as "Johnny Tsunami", "", Daniel Pinto in "The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story".
*Alan Bannister, major league baseball player.
*Lisa Tucker, American Idol contestant.
*Rhema McKnight, wide receiver for the University of Notre Dame. Picked up in August 2007 by the San Diego Chargers off of waivers.

*Greg Hansell, former major league baseball player.
*Casey Ellison, former child actor who appeared in TV sitcom "Punky Brewster"
*Debra Jensen, former Coppertone model, Miss January, 1978 Playboy magazine

Alma Mater

The Alma mater is sung to the melody Navy Hymn [] . It is usually followed by the fight song.

Our School, that grand old Kennedy
We praise thy name with loyalty.
So true to three through trials there be-
She'll always be so dear to me.
Green, white and gold-we'll fight to gain
The crown of victory and fame.

The Fighting Irish we will be-
To win our fight for victory.
Good sportsmanship and honor, too,
Will be supreme in all we do.
We'll be remembered like the flame-
A living tribute to the name.

(The third verse is only sung at graduation)

As graduating class depart,
A tear flows from each loyal heart.
The school that guides us all the way
From dark defeat to light of day
We know that when we meet again,
All hail to thee, oh, Kennedy.


*Senator Edward Kennedy visited the school in 1974.
*The senior circle looks like a three leaf clover from above.
*Kennedy introduced soccer to the AUHSD in 1972.
*Kennedy High School's rival is Cypress High School.
*It is common to hear during announcements, that when sports are against Cypress High School they refer to them as the "school down the street".

External links

* [ Kennedy High School website]
* [ Anaheim Union High School District website]
* [ Kennedy Shamrock Regiment Website]
* [ Kennedy FBLA]

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