The History of Yorba Linda High School

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Journey Mou

Yorba Linda High School is home to over 1,800 students. “Run with the Stampede!”

Yorba Linda High School is known for its excellent academics, award-winning athletics, and refined arts. It was recognized as one of  U.S. News and World Report’s “Top High Schools” and is in the top 5% of high schools nationwide. However, YLHS had meager beginnings from a 70-acre piece of land like most buildings do. 

 

Yorba Linda High School started construction in April 2007 and opened its doors to students in 2009. The school was built because there were no high schools in Yorba Linda, the nearest school being Esperanza High School. Before YLHS was made, there were also problems with schools being overcrowded. 2,862 students attended Esperanza High School when the school was built for 1,800 (Los Angeles Times). The two other high schools in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified District, El Dorado High School, and Valencia High School were also around 100 students beyond the schools’ capacity. 

 

In 2001, there was a court case surrounding the construction of a high school in Yorba Linda. The district was accusing the city of trying to short it on redevelopment money. The district said it could not start planning for a school until the issue is resolved since the city needed extra funds to complete the school. Once this was settled, plans for the high school began moving forward. In 2006, Nathan Shapell, for whom Shapell Stadium is named donated $13.5 million to go toward Yorba Linda High School’s $130 million construction cost (OC Register). The remaining costs were funded by developer fees, state matching grants, a Measure Y bond passed in 2002, and money from the Yorba Linda Redevelopment Agency. The board decided to name at least one facility at Yorba Linda High School after Shapell, his donation being one of the largest given to any school district in Southern California. Today, athletes at Yorba Linda High School go to the Nathan Shapell Memorial Stadium to play games, including our own D3-SS Champion varsity football team.

 

Once the school opened, Yorba Linda High School quickly became a California Distinguished School and a Gold Ribbon School. Along with being in the top 5 of over 70 public high schools academically in Orange County, YLHS has also had much success in athletics and arts. Yorba Linda High School’s primary goal is to connect all students, whether through ASB, a sports team, arts, or a club. There are 21 athletic teams, over 70 clubs, and different arts, including theater and band. Every student has something to choose from. 

I chose Yorba Linda because I heard that it was a great school and they have good academics. I like that there are a lot of opportunities to get help in or out of class and they care a lot about the sports.”

— Lola Quintus (10)

Now, Yorba Linda High School houses over 1,800 students including students from other countries. Lola Quintus (10), a foreign exchange student from Luxembourg stated, “I chose Yorba Linda because I heard that it was a great school and they have good academics. I like that there are a lot of opportunities to get help in or out of class and they care a lot about the sports.” 

 

Traditions are still living on and creating a positive influence on scholars attending this school. With academic excellence and the tightly knitted community, Mustangs carry on the pride and legacy that was formed in 2009 and on.