Mission San Jose High School

Mission San Jose High School
Mission San Jose High School
41717 Palm Ave.
Fremont, California, 94539
United States
Coordinates 37°32′40″N 121°56′0″W / 37.54444°N 121.933333°W / 37.54444; -121.933333
Type Public
Opened 1964[1]
School district Fremont Unified School District
CEEB Code 050970
Principal Sandra Prairie
Vice principal Zachary Larson
Faculty 200
Grades 9 – 12
Enrollment 2,169 students  (08-09)
Grade 9 539 Freshmen
Grade 10 545 Sophomores
Grade 11 548 Juniors
Grade 12 537 Seniors
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Green, Black, and White             
Mascot Mission Man
Team name Warriors
USNWR ranking 36th (2009)[2]
Newspaper 'The Smoke Signal'
Yearbook 'Costanoan'
Feeder schools Hopkins Junior High School
Information (510) 657-3600

Mission San Jose High School (abbreviated MSJHS or MSJ), is a public, co-educational, four-year secondary school founded in 1964 and located in the Mission San Jose district of Fremont, California, United States. It consistently ranks as one of the top high schools in the United States and is known for its strong academics, sending 91% of its graduates to post-secondary schools.[3]



On December 9, 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Mission San Jose High as the 36th best high school in the United States as well as the 4th best (open enrollment) public school nationwide.[2]

Mission San Jose has a strong AP program, as demonstrated by the high percentage of students earning passing scores of 3 or above on AP exams. Among large public high schools, Mission has the highest passing rate for both AP Statistics and AP French.[4]

Mission San Jose students also perform well in other state and national tests. The school holds an API (Academic Performance Index) of 952 in 2010.[5] A ranking by Newsweek places the school 140th in the United States.[6] The school claims many other achievements and honors, among them the high number of students earning National Merit Scholarships.[citation needed] The school was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 1987, 1996, and 2008. In addition, 87% of the students are on the honor roll with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and students' SAT scores are in the top 95% of the nation.[5]

Extracurricular activities

Academic competitions

Research Symposiums

In 2009, Mission had its first ever Intel STS finalist. In 2008, Mission sent two students to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, as they had won Grand Prize at the local San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair (SFBASF.) In 2011, Mission again sent a student to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair after that students Grand Prize award at the local SFBASF. Mission has also had a consistent showing in the Siemens Competition, the best years being 2007 and 2011, with 4 semifinalists each. In addition, Mission students have been participating in many other research symposiums, such as the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

Quiz Bowl-style Tournaments

Students have participated in various quiz bowl tournaments, often qualifying for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl and National Science Bowl. From 2003 to 2005, MSJ placed in the top 39 at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (runner-up in 2003, champion in 2004, and third place in 2005). In 2005, MSJ achieved its best-ever showing at the National Science Bowl, finishing runner-up to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Also, later that year, they placed 50th overall.

In 2007, MSJ also made solid showings in both national competitions, placing in the top 16 out of 64 in NSB and 10th out of 25 in NOSB. In 2008, Mission San Jose's Science Bowl team lost to Monte Vista High School[disambiguation needed ] at the regional competition, placing third behind Albany High School and Monte Vista and failing to advance to the national competition.[citation needed] However, in that same year, Mission San Jose's National Ocean Science Bowl Team placed first at the regional competition, advancing to the National Competition and placing second behind Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.[7]

In 2009, Mission San Jose's Ocean Science Bowl team finished fourth in nationals, and its Science Bowl team finished in the top 12 at nationals. Mission San Jose has also sent teams to the HSNCT, the quizbowl national championship. In 2009, they sent two teams to the HSNCT, their A team placing 11th and their B team placing 43rd, out of nearly 200 teams that went to the event.

In 2010, despite missing all of their seniors, Mission San Jose's Quiz Bowl Team A took 11th place nationally. Team B made a strong appearance as well, but did not place. The same year, their Science Bowl C team defeated their own A team to go on to nationals, where they failed to place. In 2011, MSJ's Science Bowl A team defeated Bellarmine College Prep to win their regional event, the first time in 3 years that MSJ's A team has won (as opposed to its B and C teams). The team placed ninth in nationals.

Speech and Debate

Mission San Jose's Lincoln-Douglas Debate team (also known as OHSODEF) is a nationally renowned program - in 2004-2005, the team was ranked first in the country.[8] Notable accomplishments for the team include winning the National Tournament of Champions in 2003 and closing out (having two debaters meet in the final round of) the 2004 Fall Classic tournament at the Greenhill School.[3] However, since the Speech and Debate club was suspended in the 2007-2009 school year, many of the school's debaters have left the school team.

Local (Bay Area) Competitions

In 2006, Mission San Jose took second at the first Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad. In its first year of Science Olympiad competition, Mission advanced to the 2006 NorCal State Championships at which it placed 7th. In 2007, it took 1st at the regional level and 2nd at the state level. In 2008, Mission sent 2 teams to the Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad, capturing 1st and 4th place, and at states, the A team captured 4th place, losing out to 3rd place by only 1 point. In 2009, Mission sent 3 teams to the Bay Area Regional, capturing 1st, 5th, and 6th.

Mission San Jose has consistently sent strong teams to the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium WonderCup Challenge. MSJ has won the Challenge 4 out of the 6 years the Challenge has existed; three of those wins were in a row (2004–2006).[4] MSJ managed to get 2nd in 2007 and 2008, losing to Albany High School.

The school's robotics club has seen some recent successes, with a FIRST Tech Challenge team taking first place at a local regional event. A FIRST Robotics team was organized at the school in 2008 and won an outreach award, and has since grown to include students from other schools in the district.

National Olympiads

When in its prime in both 2006 and 2007, Mission San Jose had 14 USA Biology Olympiad semifinalists, 635% higher than the national average by numbers of semifinalists and 350% higher by the ratio of semifinalists to participants (those who did not qualify). In both years, one student advanced to the National finals, an intense 14-day training camp at George Mason University that decides the 4-member USA IBO team. In 2011, 21 students were named semifinalists, and two students advanced to the National finals at Purdue University.[9]

Mission San Jose's math team has consistently scored among the top in the nation on the American Mathematics Competition, AIME, and USAMO tests. In 2006, Mission San Jose's team produced 2 USAMO qualifiers, and has consistently produced multiple USAMO and USAJMO qualifiers since. In 2005, one student was invited to participate in MOSP. Furthermore, the team won 1st place in the California Math League in 2006, edging out rival Lynbrook High School by one point. In 2007 and 2008, Mission settled for second place, whereas in 2009, the team tied for first place with a perfect score with three other schools.[10]

In 2008, Mission San Jose High School had a student qualify for the United States National Physics Olympiad, and in 2009, two students, including a sophomore, qualified. Those two students later moved on to compete for the US at the International Physics Olympiad, where they both received gold.

In 2011, Mission San Jose had two students advanced to the National finals (top 20) of the United States National Chemistry Olympiad at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Go Tournaments

Mission San Jose's Go team has taken first place at the California High School Go Championships 3 years in a row (2005–2007), beating out Piedmont High School[disambiguation needed ] and Monta Vista High School. In 2008, the MSJ go club sent a team of 4 to compete in the ING National School Tournament and won 1st place in the Open Division to become the national champions. In 2009, the club won 2nd place in the Division B Tournament. In 2010, Mission won first place in Division A at the newly formed Bay Area High School Go Tournament.[11]

Chess Tournaments

The chess team has taken 2nd place in the Northern California Chess Championship for three years straight. In 2005, the team tied for 1st at the CalNorthYouthChess regionals. In 2000, the team took 1st at the State Scholastic Championship.[12]


Mission San Jose High School's old bell tower, which was replaced with a less prominent structure similar in design after a section of one of the legs began to deteriorate.

Mission San Jose High School belongs to the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL), which comprises the five high schools in Fremont as well as James Logan High School and Newark Memorial High School, the only high schools in Union City and Newark, respectively. The MVAL is a league of the North Coast Section of the California Interscholastic Federation.

Sports at which Mission high-school typically excels at includes badminton (2004-2011 NCS champions), tennis (2004 & 2009 NCS champions), wrestling, and swimming (League champions for over 26 consecutive years). The Boy's Tennis team became a dominant force in MVAL surrendering only 6 individual matches during the 2008 season, and 4 during the 2009 season. In 2008, the (ninth-seeded) boy's team upset the #1 seeded team Redwood Giants (Larkspur); equally as impressive, the 2008 girl's team (seventh-seeded) upset the San Ramon Valley High School team (second-seed).

In 2009, the Boy's team headed to the NorCal Championships after upsetting both the #2 seeded team from Redwood, but also defeating #1 powerhouse Monte Vista in a rousing come from behind victory at Logan High School. Monte Vista lead 3-1, with MSJ winning the final four sets that were in play, to win 4-3, capping an NCS Championship. The following fall, the girl's team set an impressive record as well, with an undefeated 84-0 league individual record, 1st place in the MVAL team tournament, 1st and 3rd place in the MVAL singles tournament, and a clean doubles sweep in the MVAL doubles tournament. The previously number two seeded 2009 Girl's Tennis Team went on to the NorCal Championships after they placed first in Division 1 NCS, upsetting the number one seed, Foothill High School, at Golden Gate Park.

In recent years the Mission water polo team has come out very strong. In the 2008 season, the Water Polo team has won the MVAL Tournament.

Mission's volleyball program has increased in strength in recent years. In 2009, the Mission Girl's Volleyball team, composed of 9 juniors and 3 sophomores, won the MVAL league championship with a 11-1 record, losing only to Logan High School. In the 2009-2010 season, Mission Girls Volleyball headed up to second round North Coast Sectionals. In 2009, the Mission Boy's Volleyball team seized the MVAL league championship with a 12-0 season and scored 2nd place in Division 1 NCS. In the 2009-2010 season, MSJ Boys Volleyball went up to North Coast Sectionals first round.

In recent years Mission's mens soccer team as excelled under the coach of Joe Marden. In 2007 the Warrior's men's soccer team were Division 1 National Champions with an astonishing season of 14-1 led by captains Cody Foster and Christopher Wright. Their reign continued when coach Marden led the Warriors to another NCS championship in 2008 after Greg Loski's last minute goal against St. Mary's. As Joe Marden stepped down as head coach in the 2009-2010 season Mission's soccer teams struggled as they ended the season with a 4-7 record.

Mission San Jose has also traditionally fielded a strong wrestling program, often placing at the top of the team standings in the North Coast Section Tournament. Mission hosts its own tournament towards the end of the season, generally considered to be the toughest wrestling tournament in the North Coast Section, and is often seen as a predecessor to the standings of the NCS tournament for each weight class. Led by Coach Thomsen, Mission has sent several warriors to the medal podiums in the last couple of years at NCS.

Historically, Mission San Jose High School has been known for its strong football teams. In the 1978 football season, the team was the first in MVAL history to win the North Coast Section 4A Varsity Football Championship going undefeated 12-0. They were coached by Jim Randall and led by the record breaking running back Michael Carnell, who rushed for a record 2,364 yards and 44 [5] touchdowns in one season. The Warriors also produced former SF 49er and Super Bowl XXIX Champion Gary Plummer. Weaver, Mike (1987-12-09). "Ex-Mission star tries to break into NFL". San Jose Mercury News * The Weekly: pp. 14 -.  Staff, Writer (1977-11-07). "Faces In The Crowd / Mike Carnell". Sports Illustrated: pp. 93. 

However, in recent years the performance of Mission's football teams has fallen. In 2002, the team was disbanded due to lack of interest, but was reformed the following year and in 2005, it won their homecoming game. In the recent 2008 football season, the freshman football team won its first game in 4 years. The game was won against Santa Teresa High School by a score of 7-6. This team was lead by captain Jay "The Suckh" Shah who ran for the only touchdown and intercepted the ball to seal the game. The 2009 Freshman football team beat Irvington High School 32-0, but only during preseason. The 2010 Varsity football team beat De Anza High School 27-6 in the preseason, but it should be noted that the star player on the De Anza team was injured and many players were not present. The 2010 Freshman football team beat American High School 30-6 in regular season on their last game.

Mission's Winter Guard team recently won Champion status in the 2006 Novice Division competition against fifteen other Guard Units at Del Oro. The baseball program enjoyed a run of success in the late '80s through the mid '90s, but has seen a lack of interest recently. Johnny Abrego, Greg Moore, and Bobby Hill are former Mission San Jose baseball players who have enjoyed professional success. Abrego and Hill played a number of years within the Chicago Cubs organization, while Moore played with the Anaheim Angels and Colorado Rockies.

More recently, however, the freshman (class of '13) football and baseball teams have consistently placed high in their leagues. The freshman football team has placed an outstanding record against other teams in the Tri-Valley district, despite their mercurial loss of 45-0 against American High. Nonetheless, the baseball team is receiving praise for placing top in many of its respective games, with an amenable 17-2 seasonal record.

Despite a terrible boys Basketball and Football team, the athletics remain strong with MSJ scoring first at MVALS in over half of its other sports. Notable teams who consistently make it to the state level include the badminton team and swim team.

The school colors are green and white and the mascot is the warrior. Its logo was the Mission Peak (a mountain easily visible from campus) until recently when a new warrior logo was designed and implemented by student vote. The school's previous logo was a feathered arrow, but this was changed in the mid-1990s in response to controversies surrounding the use of Native American mascots and symbols by American schools. Currently, the school designates the "Mission Man" as a mascot.

Student activities

Mission has numerous different clubs organized by students. They cover a variety of categories, including sports, volunteering, languages, publications, and academics.

Student Activities are directed by the Associated Student Body, or ASB, Council, composed of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Activities Coordinator.

Elections (with votes from the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors) are held annually to determine the new officers for the following school year. The ASB Council meets every Wednesday at lunch to approve checks, pass new clubs, and discuss important announcements.

The two major student publications are the Smoke Signal, an award-winning, self-funded student newspaper which is printed every three weeks, and the Costanoan, the school's full-color yearbook. A student literary magazine, the Phoenix, also is published by the Phoenix club once a year.



As of the 2005-2006 school year, 75% of the students were Asian American (primarily Chinese but with a burgeoning Indian population), 20% were European American, and 5% were other races.[13]


Mission San Jose High School building.

Campus Design

Marquee in front of the school

Mission has a somewhat unusual and spacious campus design. Built in the 1960s, the campus was designed for about 1,600 to 1,800 students and has eight wings and a main office. B-wing classrooms are typically for the math and social science department, and the C-wing is primarily for the science department. The main auditorium, C-120, is part of the C-wing. The English and fine arts departments are located in the E-wing.

The G-wing includes the large and small gyms, the boys and girls locker rooms, swimming pool, and weight training room. Likewise, L-wing is the library section. Located just across from the main office, it also includes the copy center and other rooms.

The drama and foreign language classes are found in the M-wing. N-wing classrooms typically hold the freshman classes (i.e. health, geography, etc.), but the culinary arts classroom, foreign language classrooms, and some English classes are found there.

The P-wing is composed entirely of portable buildings. As of 2009, it includes 13 portables. The Fremont Unified School District recently approved a plan to replace the portables with a new two-story facility, with the first floor designed specifically for students with special needs.

A new A-wing was constructed and used during the 2010-11 school year. It is used as a cafeteria and classrooms for statistics.


Students on their way to class.

The school has over 2,000 students, exceeding its design capacity and resulting in overcrowding and many other major problems. Fremont's population has grown from less than 50,000 when the school was built in 1964 to well over 200,000 today. Almost every school in the city has space issues stemming from this population explosion (four of the five high schools in the district have at least 1,500 students), but Mission has been among the most impacted. Even after a significant redistricting by the Fremont Unified School District in the late 1990s, which reassigned much of the Warm Springs area students (mostly from Weibel Elementary School, causing significant unrest in the community) from Mission to Irvington High School, Mission's enrollment is once again at about 2000.

In the 2008-2009 school year, construction was started on the school to make new classrooms and a new cafeteria. MSJHS was proposed to become a closed-campus school beginning with the school year 2009-2010; however, due to limited funding as well as statewide and district budget cuts, this is likely to be indefinitely postponed. Furthermore, to accommodate the increase in the student body population, beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, proposals have been made to eliminate small freshmen classes, increase the student-teacher ratio for general classes to 35:1, and increase the student-teacher ratio for PE classes to 50:1.

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of Mission San Jose High School include:


External links

Coordinates: 37°32′41″N 121°56′02″W / 37.5447°N 121.933842°W / 37.5447; -121.933842

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