• The Phoenix would like to thank the Assistance League of Los Altos for their valuable donation to keep our newspaper running. With their assistance, we will be able to print quality issues that reflect the interests of Fremont High School and the wider community.
The Student News Site of Fremont High School

The Phoenix

The Phoenix

The Student News Site of Fremont High School

Breaking News
  • The Phoenix would like to thank the Assistance League of Los Altos for their valuable donation to keep our newspaper running. With their assistance, we will be able to print quality issues that reflect the interests of Fremont High School and the wider community.
The Student News Site of Fremont High School

The Phoenix

Centennial milestone celebrated at FHS


Throughout the 2023-24 academic year, FHS has been celebrating its 100th anniversary, commemorating a century of history and progress since its establishment in 1923.

The history of FHS began in September of 1921, when the West Side Union High School District was formed due to a shortage of high schools in the Sunnyvale-Cupertino area. After a year of debate on whether or not the district should unite with other nearby high school districts, it was unanimously decided by the district board to create an independent high school in May 1923. 

“100 years is a legacy, it’s all built up with all the efforts from our staff, students, and alums,” FUHSD Board of Trustees member Rosa Kim said. “Without the efforts [of everyone], it wouldn’t have been possible. I’m so proud that I’m a part of this FUHSD community and family.”

FHS first began classes in the fall of 1923 at the Sunnyvale Elementary School, as there was not yet a permanent site for the school. The school board later purchased the land where FHS is located today, and construction began on the main building, which is now the oldest building in the district. Since then, FHS has grown to over 2,000 students.

“The tradition has always been to prepare students for the next phase in life,” FUHSD Superintendent Graham Clark said. “In the 20s and 30s, 40s, it was more to prepare students to go into the workforce. Right now, we’re more preparing students for college, [because for] around 70-80 percent of kids, two or four-year college is their goal.”

According to Clark, the FUHSD’s dedication to student admission to universities extends to extracurricular activities and ensuring that all students meet what colleges seek. The “a-g” subject requirements are the required high school courses a student takes to be eligible to apply for a University of California or a California State University. 

The district aims to support all students regardless of their plans post-high school. The biggest factor in deciding to adopt new changes to the curriculum is what colleges want from their applicants. 

“What really impacts our education right now is what colleges expect high school seniors to have done in order to admit them,” Clark said. “And so for us, if colleges say, ‘we need this,’ then we, the district, have to change ourselves to provide that so that [students] can get into college.” 

As students become increasingly involved around the school campus, more extracurricular activities are becoming school-sponsored. Student activities, such as competitive clubs and sports, have increased the academic excellence of the FUHSD.

“Students are our best ambassadors, so the things that they do are the legacy of the future,” Clark said. “In activities and things that [students] participate [in], they leave a record that becomes the history of the future. I know that the robotics team did very well this year and all of those types of achievements bring a lot of pride in the school and for the community.”

Though the FUHSD still has a long way to go and lots of goals to achieve, many alumni note the significant growth they have seen since their high school days. 

“It’s disorienting to be back on campus, because they completely remodeled the entire campus, except for the main building,” Robert Nesslar, an FHS alumnus from the class of 1969, said. “If we had a robotics club at our time, I would’ve been all over that. Back in our day, we just had electronics, just very basic stuff.”

On May 11, 2024, FHS hosted a centennial celebration to officially commemorate the 100-year anniversary of FHS and the greater district of FUHSD. This event was centered around honoring alumni and the present-day FHS community.

“If you look at the history of the city of Sunnyvale, in particular, there’s a lot of people who live here that grew up here, and they’re very connected, so keeping those connections is kind of important,” Clark said. “We obviously have strong connections with our parents and with our current students, but this is a city of over 200,000, and we only have around 2,000 students here at Fremont. There’s a lot of people who are alumni, alumni parents or maybe even alumni grandparents, so it’s good to keep a connection to them so that they feel good about supporting education here.”

According to Rachel Zlotziver, the FUHSD’s Coordinator of Communications, preparations for the event officially began in August when the 2023-24 school year began.

The event was planned for open houses at FHS and at the FUHSD adult school, with performances from the FHS choir and band, and a robotics showcase at FHS along with demonstrations of art and dance classes and new building tours at the adult school.

“I hope [visitors will] remember all the history that has come before and built this district,” Zlotziver said. “Hopefully we will still be committed to our values in the next 100 years. It’s wonderful to mark what’s come before, but we also want to continue to build a wonderful place for our students in the future, our staff, our community, and keep that legacy alive.”

Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein, retired FUHSD Superintendent Polly Bove and representatives from Ro Khanna and Evan Low’s offices were all in attendance, with some guests giving speeches and awards to FHS.

“They represent this community, the voters of this community, and so I think it’s nice for them to recognize institutions like ours that have been at the heart of this community for so long,” Zloziver said. “We appreciate them doing this.”

FHS historian and Assistant Principal Andy Walzak led many initiatives for the centennial, but most notably, a War Memorial Dedication. This happened at 11:45 a.m. to honor soldiers who were FHS alumni. Some who are currently serving also attended the celebration. For instance, Staff Sergeant Tanielu enjoyed the experience.

“We got to see many veterans, from around 1941 to present, and it was just very heart-humbling to see all the people that have served,” Tanielu said. “The ceremony and the dedication to those fallen veterans had a very great turnout, and it was very heartfelt.”

The tribute not only honored the soldiers, but also served as an educational opportunity for the public about their sacrifices. Given the Bay Area’s distance from war, there is a lack of awareness among people about the extent of sacrifices made by FHS veterans.

“We live here now in such a bustling busy area, in the Silicon Valley, but it’s important to remember kind of the roots of where we came from, and to remember that lot of those men before didn’t have the chance to finish their high school career like most of us did, and to remember the sacrifice that they made,” Zlotziver said.

Students have shown their pride in many ways whether it is through serving the community or by adding to the pride of the school. FHS’s school spirit can be seen through a variety of events. Trudy Gross commended the school spirit she witnessed during the event, and that FHS celebrations were well-executed, especially considering that it is the flagship institution of the district.

“Fremont High School and the [FUHSD] is really a big part of the Sunnyvale community and the six cities our district takes up,” Gross said. “I want students to feel like they are a strong part of Fremont and also a strong part of the city of Sunnyvale.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sophie Wang
Sophie Wang, Editor-in-Chief
Sophie is a senior and is excited to is excited to return for her fourth year on The Phoenix's staff as Editor-in-Chief. Outside of the paper, Sophie is a dedicated member of French club and an avid reader of trashy romance novels. You can often find her creating more unnecessary Spotify playlists, binging dramas at midnight, or wasting her money online shopping.

Comments (0)

Comment authors are NOT required to fill out their name and email if they do not wish to. Users do NOT need to be registered and logged in to comment. Comments are manually approved by the site's staff before being posted. Comments will either be denied or approved - it will not be edited. Comments cannot contain vulgar language - remain professional.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *