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Tustin High School to mark 100 years with ‘Centennial Family Picnic’

This beautiful fountain was a class gift from the Tustin High School Class of 1925.
Tustin High School Fountain in 2021. TUSD Maintenance and Operations was entrusted with the restoration project of the fountain. Electricians and plumbers worked on the project and creative expertise came from tile craftsmen; Alfredo Cruz and Edward Cruz, and THS’s own ceramics teacher, Ysabel Gray, who created the ceramic fountain finial.
(Courtesy of Tustin High School)

Tustin High School is Tustin Unified School District’s flagship school, and this 2021-22 school year marks the school’s centennial.

Founded in 1921 under its first name, Tustin Union High School, the school opened its doors in September 1922 to serve about 75 students who previously were attending classes at the Tustin Primary School.

“With the agricultural background of the area, there were kids from all over the county coming to Tustin Union,” said Chris Miguel, co-director of activities at Tustin High as well as co-president to the Tustin High School Century Task Force.

This fountain was a class gift from the THS Class of 1925.
The original fountain was a class gift from the Tustin High School Class of 1925. During the modernization of the campus Plaza in 2009, the slightly damaged fountain was removed and stored away. As Tustin High’s 100th Anniversary approached, the fountain was recovered and restored this past spring to its former glory. The decorative tiles on this fountain are original to 1925 except for the lower square blue tiles that have added height to the fountain.
(Courtesy of Tustin High School)

Early on, Tustin Union High School was a two-story structure surrounded by orange groves and other agri-businesses, which inspired the school mascot, the Tustin “Tiller.” Today Tustin High School serves 2,285 students in grades 9 through 12 on 38 acres of land in Tustin.

The Tustin High School Century Task Force, a planning committee made up of Tustin High School teachers, staff, THS alumni and community members, has spent the last year fundraising and preparing to celebrate 100 years. The celebration is centered around three major events, the first being the Homecoming football game against Mission Viejo’s Trabuco Hills on Friday, Sept. 10.

“We will be celebrating some past football alumni as well as past homecoming queens at the game,” said Sarah Markley, who is co-director of activities at THS and co-president of the task force with Miguel.

The game is followed the next day by the Tustin High School Centennial Family Picnic, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tustin High School’s front lawn at 1171 El Camino Real in Tustin.

“It is open to both the current student body and their families, as well as the whole Tustin community itself,” says Markley. “We are hoping that any person with a connection to the high school or even just the city will come out for it.”

Entry to the family picnic is free, and attractions will include live music and games for kids. Local food trucks like Cousin’s Maine Lobster, TK Burgers and the Pokémon Ice Cream will post up, and tacos from Taqueria El Gordito will also be available.

More than 14,000 elementary and middle-school students went back to school Wednesday.

In addition, Markley promises a show full of student performances.

“We will have a program with some of our current Tustin High School programs being celebrated like dance, cheer, band and choir,” said Markley.

These two fall events lead up to the Spring Gala Reunion planned for April 22, 2022, at the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana.

“That will be our cumulating event at the end of the year — a big celebration,” said Miguel.

Tickets to the gala will benefit the Centennial College Scholarship fund, awarding $1,000 to $5,000 to deserving Tustin High graduating seniors.

“We are hoping to raise money for our Centennial Scholarship that we would like to be able to gift in perpetuity to students each year,” Markley said.

The THS Century Task Force is also asking for historical memorabilia like yearbooks or old photos, which will be prominently displayed inside the Tustin High Sports Pavilion. Items can be dropped off at Tustin High’s administration office.

For more information, call Tustin High School at (714) 730-7414 or visit tustinhigh100years.com.

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