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The History of San Juan High School

In 1911 the need for a four-year high school was recognized. The original school was convened in a building in Fair Oaks with the Grammar School. That building is the Community Clubhouse now. The San Juan Union High School District was organized by 1913. It was composed of Sylvan, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, Roberts, and San Juan Districts. In 1913-1914 when the first classes were being held in the Grammar School, there were 46 students of whom 41 were freshmen. In June 1914 the first student graduated (Dorothy Gertrude Jerauld). 

By 1915, the decision was made to locate at the present site on Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights. The land for the school site was donated by Walter Trainor (the man who named Citrus Heights). In the summer of 1915 work was begun on the building. Enrollment swelled to 92 with a large group coming from Folsom (Folsom High was not built until 1922). The original building was a two-story school with a frame construction and a tile roof. This structure remained until the late 1950’s (since 1938 it was hidden behind the auditorium and the "A" and "B" wings of the present structure). At its inception, San Juan served all students living east of Fulton Ave., south of the Placer County line and north of the American River. Boys rode in a Tally Ho Mac Truck and girls in Pierce Arrow Stages. Some farm families transported students to the old Railroad Station south of Fair Oaks Village, where the bus met them. 

By 1940, two years after the "A" and "B" wings were built, the school enrollment totaled about 400. The old building, which had been nearly abandoned in the late 1930’s, was reoccupied room after room until it was in full use again. Following the end of World War II, it became possible to add the "H" wing (music) west of the auditorium. A gradual program of building shops, a gymnasium, and classroom wings was begun, which culminated in the late 1950’s with razing of the original building and the construction of "C" and "D" wings on its former site. The present enrollment at San Juan is approximately 600.

We are indebted to Phebe Cale, San Juan High School Librarian for 37 years before her retirement in 1977. No one person knew more about San Juan and its history.

Drawing from our rich history of academic excellence, San Juan High School is preparing for a dramatic new change to give students an excellent foundation in career and technical education as we enter the next 100 years of San Juan High School.