In late August, Esperanza High School celebrated its 50th anniversary! The campus first opened its doors in 1973 to serve the needs of a growing local population. It was named after the Spanish word Esperanza, which means “hope” in English. It was the belief that the word hope characterized the motivation of settlers in the area, whether as early as the Yorba and the Ontiveros families, or those who came to make the citrus and oil industries possible.
To kick off the celebration on Friday, August 25, Esperanza hosted a 50th-anniversary football game where all decades of alumni were recognized on the field during halftime. The varsity team beat Walnut High School 25-0 in Nathan Shapell Memorial Stadium in front of a crowd of alumni, current students and families, and staff beaming with Aztec pride.
Then on Saturday, August 26, Esperanza held a presentation, put on by the school’s ASB program, to look back at many of the Aztec’s accomplishments throughout the decades. Esperanza’s cheer, dance, band, and choir students performed for those in attendance.
Principal Jeff Giles addressed those in attendance and specifically the alumni who returned to campus to share in the festivities. “I know for many of you sitting here with us today, this is the first time you have been on the Esperanza campus in a long time. And I would think that many of you have the same question. Namely, is Esperanza still the same great school it was when I attended here? To answer that question, I will tell you that our students are learning in state-of-the-art classrooms equipped with amazing technologies that allow teachers to utilize learning opportunities that would not have even been dreamt of 50 years ago.”
He went on to share about the school’s many offerings in the areas of academics, athletics, activities, and the arts. “In short, this is definitely not the Esperanza high school that you graduated from, but I believe that we are continuing the legacy of excellence that many of you helped establish so that you can, and always will be able to proudly say that you are a graduate of the amazing Esperanza High School.”
Following the presentation, ASB students took alumni and other attendees on a tour to see all the changes and modernization that have taken place on campus over the years. To finish the event, there was a reception in the quad with Esperanza’s jazz band and refreshments for all in attendance.
“It was a great event that captured the traditions at Esperanza throughout the years,” ASB Director Meghann Lukach shared. “We also are showcasing and making this relevant to the current students by having a timeline in our 200 building where students can look back at the history of Esperanza.”
Esperanza is proud of its rich history as they hold true to their motto, “Where Excellence is a Tradition.” Congratulations and happy anniversary, Aztecs!