The Huntington Beach Union High School Board of Trustees officially dedicated Edison High School in early 1969. Edison High School, three blocks from the Pacific Ocean was designed to serve the fast growing population of Huntington Beach. The name of the school was a result of a contest that almost resulted in the newly constructed educational facility being named Robert F Kennedy High School. However, since the Southern California Edison Company donated much of the land the school was built on, the final decision was to go with Edison High School. Green and gold were selected as the colors to represent one of the finest new schools in California.
The new school was opened under the principalship of Ernie Pascoe. Mr. Pascoe led one of the youngest and most innovative teaching staffs in the state. School began amid construction and last minute alterations to the nearly finished Edison High School. Beginning in 1969, the school served freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Many traditions were established during the first year and continue to be part of the Edison High School culture to the present day.
During that first year, the brand new Edison football team played the very highly C.I.F. rated Fountain Valley team. The seemingly outmaned Edison team defeated Fountain Valley 21-20. One of the most intense and enduring sports and academic rivalries was born during that first year of Edison and Fountain Valley competition. To the present day, Edison and Fountain Valley remain in a dedicated competition that culminates in the Big game played each year to the cheers of thousands. The yearly football contest is played for pride and for the bell. The winner of the contest is allowed to keep the large brass bell for one year.
Edison High School continued to grow and serve the community in a variety of ways. During the 1970s, Edison High School served the second largest student population west of the Mississippi River. Edison began instruction at 7:00 A.M. and ended the academic day at about 5:00 P.M. Approximately 4,000 students were educated during the extended days of the large population boom of the era. Edison High School continued to innovate during the student population increases.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Edison High School introduced new methods to serve the students and community. Students were allowed to select their classes from a growing list of electives. Students were allowed to select specific teachers for their required classes. These and other innovative educational activities, combined with widespread positive community involvement, resulted in a unique learning environment that has continued into the 21st century.
Over its history, Edison High School has used a partnershp of staff, administration, students and community to consistently score in the top percentile of standardized testing. Edison High School has been designated as a National Distinguished High School, one of the highest academic honors bestowed on secondary institutions. From 1969 to the present day, Edison High School remains at the top academic levels among contemporary secondary school institutions.
The 1990s introduced a new era for the Edison High School community in which Edison continued to offer and develop a variety of academic opportunities and co curricular activities. Political clubs, diversity organizations and various academic groups allowed students to select and participate in an activity that allows fulfillment and potential. Along with unique clubs and organizations, Edison offered an award winning musical program that gave support and performed in highly competitive performances. Students could also join one of the most honored cheer programs in the state or participate in drill team or dozens of other student centered opportunities. At the end of the 20th century, Edison High School remained a highly diverse program that gives each student an opportunity to achieve his or her full potential in academic and co curricular programs.
During the latter part of the 20th century, Edison High School experienced fifteen years of leadership from a single principal. Brian Garland, a former Social Studies teacher, became principal and presided over a multitude of educational changes that made Edison ready for the next century of educational innovation. Mr. Garland recognized that a contemporary high school should meet the broad and unique needs of all its students. Combining award winning academic services with sports and other co curricular offerings, Edison High School adapted to changing requirements of the students and society.
The 21st century has allowed Edison High School to continue an innovative approach to a broadly based secondary educational experience. Academic scores continue to place Edison High School at the top of California and national secondary institutions. Co curricular opportunities allow involvement of students in a wide variety of unique opportunities. The Edison community remains involved and supportive of their children and of the school.
Some have called our high school, Club Ed. Such a designation clearly shows the deep feeling our community and staff shares in our high school. Edison High School continues to work as a team for the development of each student and the success of our institution as a complete and broad based educational facility. Since 1969, Edison High School has developed into one of the most successful and respected secondary institutions in the nation. A wide variety of academic and co curricular programs with deeply committed community support has resulted in a truly community based educational institution.