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Principal Gilberto Martinez's Welcome Message
The mission of Wilson High School and El Sereno Middle School is to empower all students with the skills and knowledge to become compassionate, inquisitive, principled young people who create a more peaceful world through global awareness, critical thinking, and a commitment to action and service.
Our vision is to create an academically rigorous school of international merit where all stakeholders function as a cohesive and collaborative learning community to ensure that all students succeed as knowledgeable, ethical and caring citizens of the world.
Woodrow Wilson Senior High School has been making historic changes since the late 1930’s. Its door first opened in 1937 in what is now El Sereno Middle School located on Eastern Ave. Our original colors were Purple and Gold which changed to Blue and Gold in the 1950's. Classes were separated into winter and summer classes and took place in tents and old bungalows. The first gym was built right before World War II and was completed in 1942. The first class to graduate was in the winter of 1940 with a class of 40 students. Since opening its first doors, we have had a total of 14 principals Angus L. Cavanagh being our first and Mr. Gilberto Martinez is acting principal.
In 1970, Woodrow Wilson Senior High School moved to its campus to the top of Multhnomah St. On a clear day to the south, you can see Catalina Island and to the north Mt. Baldy. Once Wilson opened its new doors, it became the major landmark of El Sereno. Woodrow Wilson Senior High School was designed by California architect Paul Williams. It became the first 5 story high school in the district. It was originally designed to accomodate handicapped students, providing elevators and escalators in our buildings.
Many people wonder why our mascot is a mule and what led us to that choice. There are actually two reasons, the first is that the original Wilson High School was built on a mule farm and the second was to honor the important role that more than 200,000 American mules played in hauling U.S. and British equipment in Europe during World War I when Wilson was president--before mechanized warfare made them obsolete in World War II. Much closer to home but also during Woodrow Wilson's time, local mules hauled what was then the world's largest telescope and all the materials for the observatory to house it, up a dirt trail to the top of our own Mt. Wilson that towers over us....but that mountain was already named for local winery owner Benjamin Wilson, who had built the trail in the 1850's. From that telescope in the 1920's, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe in all directions, which led to the Big Bang theory--one of the great scientific discoveries of that or any century. The observatory is vacant but still well worth a visit to see the huge telescope. And all made possible by some mighty mules.
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