LCHS still looking good at 50

La Cañada High School's golden anniversary celebration kicks off with homecoming party.

September 19, 2013|By Sara Cardine
  • From left to right, Sheri Dobbings Morton, class of '67, Christopher Kelly, class of '93, Brian Hull, class of '68, Joani Bartoli-Porto, class of '66, Bill Chapman, class of '66, and Margi Cocon Braatz, class of '67 in front of their alma mater, La Cañada High School in La Cañada Flintridge on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. The high school opened 50 years ago this month.
From left to right, Sheri Dobbings Morton, class of '67,… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

When students first set foot on the brand-new La Cañada High School campus back in September 1963, they had no idea they were creating a legacy.

The city’s new unified school district had just formed two years prior, separating itself administratively from the Pasadena school system. As a result, La Cañada was opening Foothill Intermediate School on the former La Cañada Junior High site and starting classes at the high school for freshman, sophomores and juniors only.

La Cañada teens who were entering their senior year in the fall of 1963 remained at John Muir High School to complete their high school careers in the Pasadena school system.

Sheri Morton, neé Dobbings, who graduated in 1967 with the first class to attend LCHS a full four years, remembers the new campus on Oak Grove Drive.

“We walked on pallets to get to the gym because there were no sidewalks,” Morton recalls. “And where the pool is now, we lined up for PE in the white, two-piece uniforms that had to be washed and ironed every Monday.”


This year, LCHS turns 50. The pallets have been replaced by sidewalks. Buildings have been added and re-purposed, and girls now compete on athletic teams of their own. To celebrate the high school’s past, present and future, staff and alumni are planning three events this school year and asking anyone with ties to LCHS to join them.

“Celebrating 50 Years!” kicks off Oct. 4 with activities leading up to this year’s homecoming game. On March 15, 2014, residents may attend La Cañada Educational Foundation’s Spring Gala and on May 31, an all-classes reunion will feature a tour of the campus and an evening party at a private residence.

“All classes are welcome to come and the community is welcome,” says Morton, who is on the planning committee for the events. “It’s not just for alumni — we want families to bring future high school kids, too.”

The events offer a chance for former students to get an up-close-and-personal look at their alma mater today, and to meet people from other classes who may share similar memories, says Joani Bartoli-Porto, class of ’66.

During a recent campus visit, Bartoli-Porto recalled students assembling out front on Nov. 22, 1963 to learn devastating national news.

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