LearnBoost welcomes Casa Grande High
Casa Grande High School is a public high school in Petaluma, California. The current principal is Ms. Linda Scheele. The Assistant Principals are Eric Backman (3rd year), Stephen Owens (2nd year), and Bertha MacClain (1st year).
For a few years now, Casa Grande has been offering classes focused on a specific field of study, the most notably being the Health Career Pathway courses. In this program, about 30 students have three classes in common, all of which primary focus on is medicine and health care. Other Pathway programs have started up, including Visual and Performing Arts. The 2007-2008 school year will provide opportunities for all students to select an area of interest. Beside the two above, they will include: Technology and Industrial Applications, Culinary Arts and Event Planning, Sustainable Society and Legal and Social Justice. The purpose behind these programs is to develop an intimacy among the students and create relevant curriculum that is tied to students' interest outside of school. These will provide a connection and relevance that did not exist otherwise and help students achieve greater academic success.
Some critics say, however, that the basis of these programs, which is the overall success of students in Advanced Placement courses and the fact that those students have always been in a small learning community, does not take into account the difference between an average student's academic drive and that of an AP student. Hopefully though, offering students classes that are more aligned with their interests and intelligence styles will address their academic curiosity and drive. Although many students were placed in a cluster that they did not select during the initial pilot year, the opportunity to select from six different areas of interest should address that problem in the 2007-2008 school year.
Casa Grande has raised an outstanding Academic Decathlon team which has seen great success over the years. The team has represented Sonoma County for the last 24 years in the decathlon's state-level competition, where the team has had great success, including winning California's Division II title seven times in the last nine years. The team has advanced to the final competition at the national level once, where it took sixth place overall.
Most recently, in the 2007-2008 school year, the team won the Division II title with the highest score ever achieved by any Casa Team, defeating perennial rival Vanden High School from Fairfield, California. It was awarded 7th place overall, defeating many strong Division I teams, such as Taft High School.
The Gaucho Gazette is Casa Grande High School's award-winning student-run newspaper.
The Casa Grande Varsity football team has been very successful, and once held a five year winning streak defeating crosstown rival Petaluma High School in the annual Egg Bowl which was created by former Casa Grande coach Dave Hargrove. The streak took place between 2002 and 2007, but was broken in 2008. The competition was a loss for Casa Grande with Petaluma High taking the victory in the end 21-14. Coach O'Brien stepped down from the head coaching position he held for about 10 years. The Varsity team was beaten again in 2009 by Petaluma with a crushing defeat of 40-14. Long time assistant coach Trent Herzog is now leading the Gauchos as of the 2009 season.
Casa Grande has also made it to play-offs every year since 2003. The 2003 and 2004 teams not only went to play offs but made it to the section championship game. Even so both years ended with a loss. 2003 was to Eureka and 2004 to Montgomery.
The basketball program at casa is run by athletic director James Forni. Only being at casa for a short time and still teaching at Petaluma high, Forni was asked to step in as the head coach after former coach Jeremy Russotti stepped down. After taking over the program the team has performed very well on a year to year basis.
Casa Grande's Cross Country has over 30 athletes, and has produced some of the North Bay's leading long distance runners. The team’s home course is at Martinelli Ranch, which is located between Petaluma and Sonoma on state highway 116.
After the 2008-2009 school year,three of the four assistant principals left the school which was unprecedented. Former VP Erin Fender took a job at UC Berkeley, Mark Molina became principal of Willow Glen Middle School in San Jose and Dennis Harrington retired.