some of the photos can be clicked on for a larger view
The laying of the foundations for the new Desert High School was long anticipated
by many. When the work finally began, those anticipations became realities. The total cost of the twelve classrooms, shop building, music rooms, gym and locker rooms goes into many thousands of dollars. The modern buildings of concrete and steel will truly be a tribute to those persons who sacrificed their time and money that we, the students, would have adequate educational facilities.
When it became time for the dedication of this yearbook it was not difficult to determine to whom it should be dedicated. The new Desert High School, completed, will be a tribute to Mr. Melvin J.- Curtis, District Superintendent of the Muroc Unified School District.
Four years ago, when this class of Seniors were Freshmen, they walked into a school which had been built or redesigned to meet their needs in a period of a very few weeks by Mr. Curtis. He had had to hire teachers and obtain equipment, text books, and school buses for their use. From this time on Mr. Curtis has devoted his time and effort to the betterment of existing conditions for the students of the Muroc Unified School District.
Mr. Curtis, with the aid of the school board members, has overcome many obstacles in the development of Desert High School. Many times he has been told that “It could not be done”, but he merely turned a deaf ear to such comments and continued. The large arch building which can be seen all around the countryside is Desert High School’s Gymnasium which was classified in this category. He felt that the students in the Desert area deserve the same opportunities that students in other areas have. Mr. Curtis has made many trips to Los Angeles, Sacramento, and any other place where the right authorities might listen to his plea. The new Desert High School shows the results obtained.
Yes, the students of Desert High School owe Mr. Curtis a debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts in the construction of a school and the fine educational program which has been available to the students of this school despite the handicaps which Mr. Curtis, the students, and teachers have had to overcome during the construction of Desert High School. When the time comes for the sign “Temporary Quarters of Desert High School” to be taken down and burned, Mr. Curtis should have the privilege of lighting the match.
Desert High School was founded in 1950, starting with a one-grade school and adding a grade each year until this year when we had our first senior class, completing a four year high school. Desert High School has grown from sixty-four to two-hundred and forty pupils.
In 1953, the school became a part of the Muroc Unified School District which consists of three schools – Gephart Elementary School at Boron, Edwards Elementary School, and Desert High School.
This school has grown just as rapidly in its extra-curricular activities as it has in its enrollment. Desert High School has an outstanding band with attractive purple and gray uniforms. The first trophy to be awarded to the high school was won by the band in 1951. During the school year, the band makes several trips throughout the region and represents our school very well.
Athletics have been an important part of the school’s program. It has had a Varsity and Junior Varsity football teams, class A, B, and C track teams, class A, B, and C basketball teams, and a Varsity baseball team. Desert High School is a member of the Desert-Inyo Athletic League.
Completed construction of the new school buildings is expected soon. The new school will include a gymnasium with girls’ and -boys’ locker rooms, seven classrooms, two home-economics rooms, two laboratories, a music room, and a shop room.
And now, with a new high school and our wonderful spirit, comes an accomplishment of four years of dreaming, hoping and good hard work on the part of many– our very first yearbook. Those first four were the hardest. The next years will be the green years–there will be fun, winnings, and laughter ahead, but the memories will always be kept in this book–our “Desert Footprints.”
Credits: All above information on Construction, Dedication and History is from the 1955 Desert Footprints – the first annual from Desert High.
Under construction – the library
Thank you to Linda Hanes Wisen. I sent an email out asking if someone could scan some of the photos and information for us to put on our desertalumni.com site. Linda mailed her four yearbooks to me – to use until she arrives for the reunion in October.