William Howard Taft High School was founded in 1960, named after the 27th president William Howard Taft and has been a well established school in the Los Angeles area. It officially became a charter school during the 2013-2014 school year. By looking back at the older yearbooks, (which date back all the way to 1960!) there are many interesting things to come across; the schools former accomplishments, former principals, former faculty and staff, etc. For instance, in 1985, Kathryn D. Sullivan was acknowledged for her remarkable achievement of being the first woman to walk in space. Sullivan graduated from William Howard Taft Charter High School in 1969. According to the ‘85 year book, after graduating, in 1973, Sullivan received a bachelor of science degree in Earth Sciences. She had received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Five years later, she earned her Doctorate in Geology from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. That’s when Kathryn Sullivan was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA. She was selected in January 1978 and completed her 1-year training. The yearbook stated; “In August 1979, she was eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on a future Space Shuttle Crew”.
So, Taft Charter High had the first female astronaut to walk in space, what else did they have? They had a broad range of different clubs and organizations where students were able to join. Everyone had a place they belonged in due to the variety of clubs, many of them are still here at Taft today! These are the clubs still active till date since 1985: Spanish Club, French Club, German Club, Middle East Club, Pep Club, Publicity Club, Club Video, Ping Pong/Computer (United Way Winners), Ski Club, Speech and Debate, Band/Choir, Play Production, Thespians, Art Production, Stage Crew, Spring Cabinet-United Students, Tribune, Dance Production, Senior Steering, Junior Steering, Sophomore Steering, Freshmen Steering, Astronomy Club, Shalom Club, Spanish Club, French Club, German Club, Middle East Club, Pep Club, Publicity Club, Club Video, Ping Pong/Computer (United Way Winners), Ski Club, Speech and Debate, Band, Choir, Play Production, Thespians, Art Production, Stage Crew, Spring Cabinet, United Students, Tribune, Dance Production, Senior Steering, Junior Steering, Sophomore Steering, Freshmen Steering, Astronomy Club, and Shalom Club.
Taft Charter High School has tiptoed around its way in the entertainment industry, It was used in the filming of the 1979 film, Survival of Dana. Also in the 1995 installment of“The Brady Bunch Movie”. And even in the 2011 movie, Crazy Stupid Love. Lastly, Taft Charter High School was present in Marc Webb’s 2012 film The Amazing Spider-Man. Here are some pictures;
The Brady Bunch, 1995.
Crazy, Stupid, Love, 2011.
Not only has Taft starred in films, but we’ve also had many stars attend and graduate! Lisa Kudrow, famously known as Phoebe Buffay, graduated from Taft with the class of 1981. Actor Jason Bateman, rapper Ice Cube, NFL wide receiver Steve Smith, and Actor Wilmer Valderrama are just a few of the many celebrities who have attended Taft!
Lisa Kudrow, 1981.
It’s enthralling to open the books and travel back in time to see how much has changed since then from clothing to style and tone, and even mannerisms over time. We can truly see how Taft as a school has really grown and made a name for itself in society today. Let’s see what history you make!