Saldivar is Anaheim’s First Alumnus Principal

2017 – Robert Saldivar – Class of 1996

Robert Saldivar, a Class of ’96 graduate, who previously served as an AHS teacher and assistant principal, has left his principal post at Orange View Junior High to become Anaheim High’s newest principal and the first alumnus to serve in that position.

Saldivar began his teaching career at Anaheim in 2001, after earning his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in health from Cal State Fullerton. He later earned his master’s in education from Azusa Pacific University.

At Anaheim High he taught AVID, health science and coached baseball, football, and basketball. He began his administrative career as an assistant principal at Ball Junior High, then returned to Anaheim as an AP before becoming the principal of Orangeview Junior High, also an AUHSD school.

Saldivar with his family of junior Colonists

Saldivar, whose wife Liliana Hernandez is also an AHS graduate from Class of 1999, said he is grateful for the opportunity to lead his alma mater. “The saying really does ring true in my case: ‘Once a Colonist, always a Colonist.’ ”

C. P. Evans – Anaheim Principal – 1898-1900

1898-1900 – C.P. Evans

C.P. Evans, who for 33 years was a teacher in the public schools in different parts of California, was the person who convinced the Anaheim school board to begin classes for 9-12 graders on the second floor of Central School in 1898, the year considered the offical start of a high school in Anaheim.

Evans was born in Cleburne County, now Calhoun County, Alabama, June 30, 1857. His father, W. H. Evans, was a Methodist minister who, in the fall of 1871, brought his family to California and settled in Farmington, San Joaquin County. He later became connected with the public schools of the district as a teacher and afterward followed the same occupation in Modesto, Stanislaus County, where he died in 1875.

C.P. Evans was still a child when his father located in Modesto, and he received his education in the public schools of the district. In March, 1876, he received his teacher’s certificate and taught school near La Grange for four years. In order to gain the advantages of special training and equipment he entered the State Normal School at San Jose and was graduated in 1883. His previous work had been so successful that it was with no difficulty that he obtained schools and he taught in Santa Barbara County for a number of years.

Eventually he went to Orange County and spent two years farming land near Anaheim. He then became principal of Loara Elementary School.

At this point in time, high school classes were not being taught in Anaheim after the departure of Anaheim’s first school principal James M. Guinn, who became the superintendent of Los Angeles schools in 1881.

Class of 1899

In 1898, Evans convinces the school board that classes should extend past the ninth year and high school classes officially begin on the second floor of Central School. Evans becomes principal and, assisted by Miss Helen French, they teach a student body of 39 student, 17 boys and 22 girls in grades nine through twelve. He serves as principal from 1898 to 1900.

He next accepted the position of principal of the National City High School and, afterward, taught four years in the Julian high school. In 1908, he returned from Julian to National City and bought 10 1/2 acres near town and planted lemon trees. His ranch was considered one of the finest and most attractive properties in the section, situated on an elevation just outside of the city and commanding a fine view of the surrounding country.

Evans made substantial improvements to the property and installed every modern appliance to facilitate his labors, constantly implementing new and progressive methods, helping increasing his crop output each year, helping him net $10 an acre annually.

Evans married, in 1878, Miss Alice M. Fincher, a native of Missouri, and they had one daughter, Alva P.

He was a member in the Masonic order, being connected with South West Lodge, No. 283, A. F. & A. M., of National City, and was master of the lodge, while he is also well known in the affairs of the Woodmen of the World.

During the long period of his identification with school teaching his ability and force of character made him an important factor in educational expansion in the state and, although he has abandoned direct connection with school interests, he has nevertheless begun a work which is being carried forward to completion along modern lines of progress.

Adapted from “A History of San Diego County”  –  S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1913

The Clayes Family: An Anaheim High Dynasty

The Clayes’ family three-generational connection to Anaheim High School goes back to 1914 when Joseph A. Clayes began his tenure as a teacher of art and commerce. He became Anaheim High’s principal in the fall of 1919 and remained in that position for 22 years until his death on July 1, 1941, becoming the school’s longest serving principal.

Among the student body of about 300 students attending Anaheim in the early 1920s was Clayes’ son, Alfred I. Clayes, a Class of 1922 graduate who became one of Anaheim High’s famous athletes from that era.

Alfred I. Clayes – Class of 1922

Along with his prowess on the football field, Al was captain of the varsity basketball team. He also was a talented actor and starred in the school’s dramatic productions and, for several years in the 1920s, played the lead role in several alumni dramatic productions.

Alfred’s two sons, Joseph A. and Alfred I. Clayes, also graduated from Anaheim in 1950 and 1952, respectively.

Joseph A. Clayes II – Class of 1950

Joseph was co-editor of the school newspaper, treasurer of Lambda Sigma, a science club, and majored in mathematics. He went on to become a member of the very first incoming class of CSU Fullerton in the fall of 1959 and was elected the third student body president of what was then known as Orange County State College.

Alfred I. Clayes Jr. – Class of 1952

Alfred Jr. was a top athlete in the swimming pool and on the football field, playing on the first team led by Anaheim’s legendary coach Clare Van Hoorebeke. He also served on the student council and was a top scholar.

The family’s legacy of excellence at Anaheim High was certainly inspired by Principal Clayes who was truly a father-figure to all. Tributes to him in the school yearbooks attest to how much he was admired by students and faculty:

“Mr. J.A. Clayes has been principal of Anaheim Union High school for eleven years. During that time his achievements have been notable and the hundreds of graduates who have gone out regard him with affection and respect. The present class will remember him as an able administrator, a sincere friend, and a man of great attainments of culture and character. . . ”1930 Blue & Gold

His well-deserved reputation undoubtedly came from his “one family” philosophy, a concept that built close ties between the administration, faculty and students. Clayes and his wife Alma, who was a member of the Douglas Fairbanks family, often entertained faculty and students in their home. One school newspaper article reported that the couple cooked and served a dinner to the cast of the senior play.

His love of Anaheim’s children was further displayed when he helped established the City of Anaheim Parks and Recreation Department, an agency that still serves Anaheim youth.

Not only was he a beloved principal, he served during a time when Anaheim High was in its formative years. His tenure included such life-changing events as World War I, the stock market crash of 1929, the 1933 Long Beach earthquake that did irreparable damage to Anaheim High, and the 1938 flood that devastated the City of Anaheim.

When construction began on a new main building and auditorium, he was overseeing 879 students for the 34th session of the high school and continued to help shape the school and its pupils with a steady hand, leading thousands of students to lives as productive citizens.

Principal Clayes’ legacy lives on at Anaheim High in the form of the school logo he designed. The copyrighted logo appeared for the first time in the 1928 yearbook and was officially adopted as the Colonist symbol.

A bronze plaque of his image has a place of honor in the school foyer and, as a tribute to Principal Clayes who served as superintendent of the Anaheim Union High School District from 1934 to 1941, the school named their athletic stadium and playing field after him. Built in November 1927 for $13,000, Clayes Stadium is the oldest existing structure on the Anaheim High campus.

Clayes Stadium

Clayes Stadium served as more than just a place to sit and watch athletic competitions. It became an iconic structure that stood as a source of expressing school pride. For years, Colonist classes painted the stadium with their class year during secret evening sessions. Being part of the paint crew is a favorite memory of many Anaheim High graduates.

The Clayes family certainly played a prominent part in Anaheim High’s history and added to the school’s famous Spirit, Pride and Tradition, a legacy that continues to inspire today’s students and alumni.

Dr. Paul Demaree – Anaheim Principal -1941-1954

Dr. Paul Demaree – AUHS Faculty – 1925-1937/AUHS Principal – 1941-1954/AUHSD Superintendent – 1941-1958

Dr. Paul H. Demaree

 One of the most beloved Anaheim principals, Paul Demaree’s tenure at the high school started in 1925 as a social studies teacher and football and baseball coach. In 1926, Demaree’s “B” teams had the best records of all the AUHS teams.

In 1937, Demaree was hired to serve as principal of Capistrano High School. Three years later, upon the death of Joseph A. Clayes, who served as principal for nearly 22 years from 1919 to 1941, the School Board rehired Demaree, this time as principal.

At the first assembly of the 1941 school year, Demaree reminded the student body that “principal” ended in “pal,” a word he hoped would describe his relationship with the students. Not only was he a friend and father figure to Anaheim pupils and teachers, four of his students were his own children, including daughters Kathleen (’38), Gania (’44), Ruth (’45) and son Dan (’50).

Demaree and his wife, Mary, often entertained students and teachers at their home and, for many years, prepared and served a turkey dinner to the faculty and staff as a prelude to the school holiday break.

Also a community leader, he was active in the Rotary Club, his church and the YMCA. Mr. and Mrs. Demaree worked each summer at the YMCA’s Camp Osceola in the San Bernardino Mountains, where they would cook elaborate meals for camp’s teenage occupants. A special favorite was Mrs. Demaree’s hot caramel yeast rolls she baked each morning for the hungry campers.

An active board member of the local YMCA, Demaree was a counselor for the Blue and Gold Hi-Y Club of more than 100 members. Six of his Hi-Y boys jointly shared valedictorian honors at graduation in 1950.

Principal Demaree also organized a Toastmaster’s program to encourage public speaking skills in the community. He is credited with being one of the original founders of Toastmasters International. He also formed a Junior Toastmasters program at the high school.

The start of World War II dramatically changed the atmosphere of AUHS when 50 students of Japanese descent were forced to relocate with their families to concentration camps. Poignant in that Demaree was born in Japan to missionary parents, he was especially vocal in speaking out against discrimination toward Japanese-Americans, a courageous position to take considering the war fervor at the time.

The principal kept in touch with many Japanese-American students who were interred during the war and encouraged them to continue their studies.

Life at the high school was further affected as students left for jobs in the defense industry and to serve in the military. Demaree asked all his students to carry identification cards in case of bombings. On the first day of school in 1942, Principal Demaree called the student body together with all of them being sworn in the Victory Corps. Students participated in scrap metal drives and held contests to sell the most war bonds and stamps. All teachers were required to take a 10-week course in first aid.

When a manpower shortage affected the 1943 harvest, Demaree responded to pleas for student volunteers from local farmers by declaring half day schedules (called the Victory Schedule)  from the beginning of school in September through mid-October.

The popular Nutrition Period of today originated in 1943, when Demaree introduced a 10-minute “relaxation period” because too many students were coming to school without eating until noon. He felt their health and learning efficiency were being impaired.

The war in Europe was over just as the Class of 1945 was getting ready to graduate. The Japanese surrendered in August, leaving a sense of freedom in the United States that had not been felt for years. Demaree held the first assembly on Sept. 24 at which he introduced the new student body president who read the list of AUHS students who had died in the war.

The next 10 years saw the City of Anaheim evolve from a sleepy farm community to a post-war boom town. Change was inevitable for the school as well. For the first time since the District’s establishment, Anaheim High’s principal vacated his post to become the full-time superintendent. Demaree and his staff kept up a frantic pace of buying land and building schools to keep ahead of the educational needs of the children moving into Anaheim. The District asked Anaheim residents to approve a bond measure for $6 million to help accomplish this monumental task.

Demaree retired in 1958 when the building program was in full swing. Yet even after retirement, he continued to be involved in the dedication of new schools in the AUHSD. Throughout his time as Anaheim’s principal and the District superintendent, Demaree provided steady leadership and support to the students and teachers, continually espousing the “one family” concept for the faculties of the new schools.

AUHSD Superintendent Mike Matsuda with Gania Demaree Trotter whose father was Superintendent and Principal Dr. Paul Demaree

Demaree left behind a legacy as one of Anaheim High’s most beloved principals, serving during a time of amazing transformation of the school system and its students. He continues to serve as a benefactor to the students of Anaheim High School through the “Dr. Paul Demaree Endowed Scholarship” established by his daughter Gania (Demaree) Trotter (’44), who later became a music teacher at AUHS.

To donate to this fund, which will be managed by the Scholarship Committee of the AHSAA, a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation, please mail a check to the AHSAA, P.O. Box 389, Anaheim, CA, 92815, with the notation that the donation is to be placed in the Demaree Endowment fund. Questions may be e-mailed to anaheimalumni@yahoo.com. For more information on the AHSAA, visit www.anaheimcolonists.com.

J.M. Guinn – The Father of Anaheim Education

James Miller Guinn (aka J.M. Guinn), was a prominent educator and historian in southern California during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Guinn maintained an active role in his community, having membership in several local historical and fraternal societies, and kept lifelong affiliations with the Presbyterian Church and the Republican Party.

By the end of his life, Guinn had produced a voluminous literature on California and its prominent residents.

Born in Houston, Ohio, on Nov. 27, 1834, Guinn grew up working on his family’s farm, garnering his primary education during the winter school sessions. He became a teacher at eighteen years old, a vocation he utilized to earn his way through college – first at Antioch, and later at Oberlin.

When the news of the fall of Fort Sumter reached Guinn at Oberlin in 1861, he immediately volunteered to fight for the Union Army, serving as a member of Company C of the Seventh Ohio Infantry. He participated in the early West Virginia campaign, serving under Rosecrans, then later under McClellan. During this campaign, Guinn’s company saw heavy combat in the battles of Green Lane, Winchester, Cedar Mountain, Antietam, and Gettysburg.

At Cedar Mountain, Guinn was only one of six soldiers from his unit to emerge unhurt. After Gettysburg, his superiors promoted Guinn to corporal and sent his regiment to serve under William Tecumseh Sherman in the Tennessee and Georgia campaigns. During this service, Guinn again saw fighting at the battles of Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, and Ringgold. He mustered out in June 1864.

In poor health after leaving the army, Guinn traveled to California by way of Panama. Shortly after settling and finding a teaching position in Alameda County, however, Guinn got wind of gold finds in Idaho and walked three hundred miles to the Boise Basin to seek his fortune.

After failing to strike it rich after three years of mining, Guinn returned to California, this time to the southern portion of the state. In 1869, he reached the town of Anaheim with $10. (By the time he leaves Anaheim 12 years later, he will own $15,000 in land holdings.)

Guinn’s timing was perfect, and most certainly beneficial to Anaheim’s future educational system. Anaheim’s first teacher Fred William Kuelp had resigned due to ill health and his replacement, Carl Van Gulpen, is shortly replaced by Guinn.

Anaheim had been established 10 years prior to Guinn’s arrival, and educating their children was a top priority of the German colonist.

Unlike the Spanish Pobladores (colonists), who always built a church first and left the building of a school house to those who came after them, the Anaheim Colonists built the school house first and left the church building to those who came later.

An adobe building was erected in 1860, to serve the double purpose of a school house and assembly hall, on a lot in the center of the colony. But during the great flood of 1861-62, the waters of the Santa Ana River over damaged the foundation of the school house, rendering the building unsafe.

While classes continue in the Water Company’s building on Center Street, Anaheim formed an official school district in 1867, then finally erected a new school building in 1869. This is when Guinn stepped in to begin his 12-year reign as the Anaheim School District’s first principal.

In 1870, Guinn listed an enrollment of 91 students, divided into two schools (primary and grammar) and taught by two teachers. The town’s population at this time is estimated at 1,000.

This same year he helped form, along with W.W. McFadden, newly elected Superintendent of Los Angeles Schools, the first teachers’ institute of LA County. The men had also worked together to form a LA County Board of Education as a means to standardize county schools. (Anaheim schools fell under the jurisdiction of the LA Board of Education, as Orange County wasn’t founded until March 11, 1889.)

Much of the time that Guinn was in Anaheim, he was a member of the School Board and took an active interest in examining teachers who applied for certificates (the legal licensing procedure at that time).

In 1871, a report by McFadden showed 20 school districts in Los Angeles County, as compared to the six it had in 1855. Among them, he showed Anaheim with two schools (the primary and grammar departments) with 204 students. This first grade was taught by Guinn, who held a State Educational Diploma and earned $90-per-month salary.

High standards were being set by Guinn. The school staged its first exhibit with a program of declamations, dialogues, farces, tableaux and music. By charging a fee for this first open house, Guinn purchased charts and an outline map for the school. He also established the first final examination dates, which included an oral exam that was open to the public.

By 1874, Guinn, who is both principal and teacher, is offering subjects for high school diploma and begins classifying students into grades. The high school curriculum included classes in history, physiology, natural philosophy, rhetoric, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, geology, astronomy, chemistry, philosophy, botany and zoology.

This is also the year Guinn marries a young teacher in the Anaheim schools, Dapsiliea Marquis. The marriage produced three children: daughters Mabel Elizabeth and Edna Marquis, and son Howard James.

In ensuing years, the school building became inadequate for the growing population. In 1877, a plot of land is purchased for a new school building at the cost of $1,500, and Professor Guinn drafts a bill authorizing the district to issue bonds to the amount of $10,000.

He was instrumental in securing its passage by the legislature. It became a law March 12, 1878. The bonds were sold at par and the school building, costing more than $10,000, was built out of the proceeds. This was one of the first, if not the first, instance in the state of incorporating and bonding a school district to secure funds to build a school house – a method that since has become quite common and has given to California the best district school houses of any state in the Union.

Anaheim school district was extended to take in what was formerly Fairview district and a four-room school house in West Anaheim.

1879 – The new two-story Central School opens on January 16. The school, which features as clock steeple and bell tower, is built in the center of a two-acre lot at 231 Chartres Street. The 217 elementary through high school students are taught by two men and two women who are paid $75 a month.

1880 – Matilda Rimpau, daughter of Anaheim pioneer Theodore Rimpau, is the first student in the Anaheim school system to graduate with a high school diploma.

Also in 1880, Thompson & West’s History of Los Angeles County says: “The town of Anaheim boasts of the handsomest school building and the largest school in the county outside of Los Angeles city.”

In 1881, after Anaheim schools showed marked improvement, the city of Los Angeles hired Guinn to superintend their school system. After two years in this position, Guinn shifted his vocational interests into real estate and merchandising, although he maintained a strong interest in Los Angeles’ history and educational facilities for the remainder of his life. He also served as deputy county assessor for several years.

Politically he was a stanch Republican.  He was secretary of a Republican club  before  he  was  old   enough  to  vote,  and,  arriving at  the voting  age, he cast his   first  vote  for John C. Fremont in 1856 and voted for every Republican nominee for President.

In 1873, when the county was overwhelmingly Democratic, he was the Republican   nominee for the assembly and came within 52 votes of being elected.  In 1875, he was the nominee of  the  anti-monopoly wing of the Republican party for state  superintendent of public instruction.  For the sake of party harmony, he withdrew just before the election in favor of the late Professor Ezra Carr, who was triumphantly elected.

Guinn served a number of years on the Republican county central committee, being secretary from 1884 to 1886, and he was a long time (and founding) member of the Stanton Post (Los Angeles) chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic.

He was a member of the American Historical Association, a founding member of the Historical Society of Southern California, and filled every office in the society.  He was an officer in the Pioneers of Los Angeles County, served on the LA Board of Education between 1904 and 1914, and received a gubernatorial appointment to serve on the California Historical Commission in 1914.

As an historian, Guinn became very prolific toward the end of his life, producing a number of massive volumes on several California counties and notable residents. He also wrote a brief history of California, and a history of Los Angeles city and county. He contributed a number of valuable historical papers to magazines and newspapers and edited the SoCal Historical Society’s Annual for 10 years.

He was a member of the American Historical Association of Washington, D.C.,    having the honor of being the only representative of that association in Southern   California.  While in the teaching profession, he was a frequent contributor to educational periodicals and ranked high as a lecturer on educational subjects before teachers’ institutes and associations.

Guinn died at his home in Highland Park after a short illness in September 1918, weeks shy of his eighty-fourth birthday.

From the description of History of the Stanton Post 8055 G.A.R., [1890?]. (Natural History Museum Foundation, Los Angeles County). WorldCat record id: 23250333 and the description of Papers of James Miller Guinn, 1824-1918 (bulk 1870-1918). (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 299167713.

A List of Anaheim Principals from 1869-2017

Anaheim Principals

Click on the principal’s name to see photos and bios when available.

  1. James Miller Guinn – 1869-1871 (12 years*)
  2. C. P. Evans – 1898-1900 (2 years)
  3. Fred Athearn – 1900-1902 (2 years)
  4. Charles E. Taylor – 1902-1903 (1 year) – no photo available
  5. F. Pinell – 1903-1905 (2 years) – no photo available
  6. Inez Payton – 1905-1907 (2 years – first female principal) – no photo available
  7. Franklin Walker – 1907-1913 (6 years)
  8. W. Hauck – 1913-1917 (4 years)
  9. Claude R. Prince – 1917-1919 (3 years)
  10. Joseph A. Clayes 1919 – 1941 (22 years)
  11. Paul H. DeMaree – 1941-1954 (13 years)
  12. Frank Kellogg – 1954-1962 (8 years)
  13. Chester R. Shirk – 1962-1968 (6 years)
  14. Avon P. Carlson – 1968-1976 (8 years)
  15. Dale M. Schroeder – 1976-1983 (7 years)
  16. Maggie M. Carrillo – 1983-1990 (7 years)
  17. Craig Haugen – 1990-1993 (3 years)
  18. Jack Weber 1993-1995 (2 years)
  19. Doug Munsey – 1995-1998 (3 years)
  20. Pat Savage – 1998–2000 (2 years)
  21. Carl Hecht – 2000-2004 (4 years)
  22. Ben Sanchez – 2004-2013 (9 years)
  23. Anna Corral – 2013-2017 (4 years)
  24. Robert Saldivar** – 2017 – Present

* Guinn was the first Anaheim principal to offer subjects for high school diplomas in 1874. By the time he left Anaheim in 1881, only one student – Matilda Rampau – had received a high school diploma. 

**First alumnus principal

Gallery of AHS Principals

Chester R. Shirk – Anaheim Principal 1962-1968

1962-1968 – Chester Shirk

Chester Shirk’s career with the Anaheim Union High School District began in 1938 when he came to Anaheim High as a math teacher and coach.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, Shirk returned to Anaheim in the Fall of 1946.

When population growth spurred the District to build more schools, Shirk was assigned to serve as a vice principal at Western Junior High, serving under Principal R. Kenton Wines.

Western was a junior high from 1954 to 1957. The first year for a complete senior high school was 1959 with the first graduating class in June 1959.

He then served as principal of  Brookhurst Junior High, which officially opened Nov. 12, 1956, at 601 N. Brookhurst Ave., on land that had been used for Anaheim High farm and agricultural classes.

Shirk served as principal for just the first semester before he was called to help tranform Western from a junior to senior high school and became its first principal, a position he filled until coming to Anaheim High in 1962. He served as principal until 1968.

During his tenure at Anaheim High, Shirk was elected president of the CIF Southern Section Council. He served in that position from 1966-67. For many years, he was one of the leaders in the council and a representative of the powerful Sunset League.