LearnBoost welcomes Catalina High Magnet School
Catalina High School (also known as Catalina Magnet High School) is a public high school, located on the North Side of Tucson, Arizona. Catalina is a magnet high school (drawing students from the entire school district) in Tucson Unified School District and serves approximately 1300 students in grades 9-12. The school name originates from the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. The school mascot is the Trojan, and the school colors are royal blue and white.
With only one high school Tucson High, the TUSD school board began discussion of building a second high school in the district in 1953 to meet the population growth of Tucson. In January 1957, the partially completed campus facilitated a full student body. Additional classrooms, shower and locker facilities and a science wing were added later, with 10-cent levy funds and federal aid under Public Law 815. The school presently has 65 regular classrooms and the 8-classroom science wing. R.T. Gridley was the first principal of Catalina, and the first graduating class was in May 1957. Catalina students voted for its first student council and student officers in September 1955 while still at Tucson High.
It would not be until 1959 that the original plans for the school were completed. In the 1960s Catalina was known as the Disneyland for the higher income students who attended Catalina from central Tucson and the Catalina Foothills. Shortly following the establishment of Catalina, many other high schools opened in the more affluent suburbs of Tucson, including , Rincon, and Canyon del Oro.
When Pueblo and Catalina High Schools were on the planning boards in 1953, TUSD School Board member Delbert L. Secrist wanted to name them "Abraham Lincoln" and "George Washington" respectively. His fellow board members didn't go along with the idea. Catalina was named under a new TUSD school board policy of naming high schools after local mountain ranges. Catalina was built as a state-of-the art school, costing $2,496,619, to which were added extra classrooms, locker and shower facilities and a science wing, totaling 73 regular classrooms. The school was initially controversial, with critics dubbing Catalina Disneyland, as the architecture was viewed as lavishly modern and expensive. Catalina, which had been designed for 1,500 students, opened with an enrollment of 2,000. Prior to the completion of the buildings, students had attended Tucson High on double-sessions, with Catalina students attending the morning session.
The building was designed by Scholer, Sakeller & Fuller, r Architects, and was built by J. J. Craviolini and ; L. C. Anderson.
Catalina is under accreditation by the North Central Association. It is the home of three magnet programs allowing students to apply from all over the district. The aviation program has two strands. The private pilot strand gives students the opportunity to earn their pilot's certificate as part of their curriculum. The structures strand gives students the opportunity to learn to build and repair aircraft. The electronics strand teaches students about robotics. The allied health program has several strands including the Certified Nursing Assistant program, the radiology program, the athletic training program and the pharmacy technician program. The traditional magnet is a back to basics curriculum. The construction academy offers students a traditional vocational experience teaching building trades from nail and hammer and heating and air conditioning to home design. The academy is fully partnered with SAHBA and several local construction companies in the area. The career & technical academy offers students the opportunity to earn Pima Community College credit while taking their courses at Catalina. Culinary arts and digital media arts are just two of the several articulated courses.
Catalina presently competes in the Arizona Interscholastic Association 4A Gila Conference, Division II. The girls are the 2006 State Cross Country Champions.
Catalina is also home to the AZ-943 Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Cadet Group. The unit has earned the title of Distinguished Unit for the past seven years as well as various awards for marching and community service. The Senior Aerospace Science Instructor is Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maldonado, USAF Ret. and the Aerospace Science Instructor is Master Sergeant Mark R. Wagner USAF Ret.
Eugene Seymour, Class of 1958, physician, created AIDS testing lab to serve the Hispanic population of Los Angeles; leads an effort to create anti-viral drugs against a wide range of viral diseases; founded a company that developed a rapid HIV blood test and has conducted HIV research worldwide; he consults for the United Nations; during Vietnam War he was a major in the Medical Corps; speaks worldwide regarding viral diseases; graduated from U of A, Baylor Medical School, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; has done post doctoral training at UCLA and was on the medical faculties of USC and UCLA; chosen by the Catalina High School Foundation as the Alumni of the Year in 2007 (the first winner of the award).
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