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School Spirit and History

School Mascot: Jaguar

Jaguar logo

School Colors: Teal, Black, and Gold

Alma Mater

Valley Center Alma Mater loyal, strong, and true, proud students and alumni honor you with gratitude, for the lessons we have learned here, for the will to live our dreams, Valley Center loyal Jaguars, we shall ever be!

School Fight Song

Fight on and on ye Jaguars win Onward into battle we will win again Keep your spirits high never bow a knee We won’t stop ‘til victory.

Fight on and on ye Jaguars win Proudly raise your banners high For it’s the black and teal hail to our team Valley Center Jaguar High


School aerial view

Founded in 1998, Valley Center High School was built to be a school for the community of Valley Center.  Conversations go all the way back to the 1960’s where community members stated to meet to discuss the possibility of a new high school in Valley Center.  In the early 1980’s a community group of volunteers organized the Valley Center High School Committee and purchased property in 1988.  The formal planning began for VCHS in 1992 with a joint committee of teachers and community members.  Over the next few years the Escondido School District started to experience overcrowding leading to the passage of a construction bond in 1996 to authorize funds to build a new school.  On Saturday, May 10th, 1997 a groundbreaking ceremony was held to officially start the construction on the new Valley Center High School.

An organized group of twelve staff members (The Dream Team) began planning at the new built school for the opening of VCHS in March of 1998.

The Dream Team: Ron McCowan, Laura Whitten, Joel Vexler, Dennis Zabinsky, Steve Baker, Rob Gilster, Tom Buck, Marta Mann, Rich Watkins, Don Martin, Bart Schwarz, Jane Rattmann, Mickey Chew, Jon Petersen, Susan Croce, and Principal Ed Loman.

Things moved quickly with new staff hirings, athletic and cheer team tryouts, and huge group of parent and community members lending their support.  In April, student records were moved from Orange Glen, the new school colors featuring teal were chosen, and a huge pep rally was held for the students who would leave Orange Glen High School to become part of the the first class of VHCS.

With teachers still putting together desks and equipment arriving every day, Valley Center High School opened with enthusiastic students and a energized staff.  “Hard hats are the preferred head cover!” and “Teachers don’t need desks.” were heard from the students.  The opening year of the school was marked with great successes and new traditions: the first homecoming bonfire, brand new student textbooks, state of the art computers for students to use, the football team winning its first game, wrestling winning its first contest, the community donating funds for a new Ag. Greenhouse, and the “All Highs Dance” at VCHS.  Students ended the year saying, “The pizza is great and the campus is clean!”  Despite these positives, the school and community also faced its first tragedy  holding a memorial service for two students, Jennifer Lyon and Stephanie Whittington, who were killed in a traffic accident on Cole Grade Road near the school.

In 2000, VCHS celebrated its first graduating class of 156 students.  That same year with the formation of the new Valley Center-Pauma Unified School district VCHS left its founding district of Escondido and joined its new local community unified school district.  The track team wins its first CIF Championship, a new Powder Puff game tradition is started, and the new drama program inducts it’s first 17 members into the International Thespian Society.  In 2002, along with a new district Superintendent, VCHS gets a new principal and a new bell schedule of 3 traditional days and 2 block days which continues to today.  October 26th, 2003 shortly after midnight Valley Center is hit by one of the worst firestorms in the history of the community.  The school, it’s students and staff, and the community rally together to support each other for what would be the first of two major fires that spread throughout the area.  Later that same year VCHS celebrates recognition as a California Distinguished School and the Jags Varsity Football team win their first CIF championship title against Beasley at Qualcomm Stadium.

VCHS welcomes an addition to its campus in 2004 with the building of a new performing arts center later to become known as the Maxine Theater.  In November 1st at 7pm, the first of many tickets are sold to a sell out performance.  For the 2006 school year Ron McCowan returns to VCHS as the new Principal and brings with him a new slogan, “One town, one team, one dream!”  A newly renovated stadium is opened at VCHS to a Friday night lights crowd of football supporters against local rival Orange Glen High School. In late 2007, the community of Valley Center is hit by the biggest and most devastating fires it has faced.  VCHS becomes the shelter for the community with the high school gym filled with over 3000 people who face the possibility of losing their homes or possessions.  “The planes roared overhead in the air all day long and smoke in the air was blinding...and the fire just kept on coming...”. The school and the community comes together to take care of its own.

Valley Center High School has continued to grow both it is amazing staff and in the number of students it has welcomed since is opening in 1998.

high school logo

Fun Facts

  • During the construction of VCHS a rumor spread throughout the town that a construction worker was buried alive in the concrete.

  • Female convict crews assisted staff and parents in the early setup of the school and is classrooms.