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Torrance High School

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Type  Public
Principal  Karim Girgis
Enrollment  2,257
Phone  +1 310-533-4396
Colors  Grey, Maroon
Established  September 11, 1917
Faculty  91
Nickname  Tartars
Founded  11 September 1917
Torrance High School
Address  2200 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501, USA
District  Torrance Unified School District

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Torrance High School is a high school located in Torrance, California. Founded in 1917, it is one of the oldest high schools in continuous use in California and is the oldest of the four high schools in the Torrance Unified School District. Four of its buildings are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.


Torrance High School is a popular filming location for television and motion picture production. It is most widely known for its appearance in high-profile television shows, including Beverly Hills, 90210 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is the alma mater of broadcaster Paul Moyer, Medal of Honor recipient Ted Tanouye, World War II prisoner of war Louis Zamperini, professional golfer Angela Park and professional golfer Jenny Shin.

Torrance High once held an international soccer match between the United States and Canada at the 1991 North American Nations Cup.

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School history

Torrance High School first opened on September 11, 1917 under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Unified School District as a combination high school and elementary school to accommodate the area's rapid post-World War I growth brought on by the regions petroleum industry and iron works, as well as the Pacific Electric Railway expansion.

Torrance High's first commencement ceremony took place June 18, 1918, during which three female students received their diplomas. In 1947 Torrance Unified School District—TUSD was formed but was not certified for a high school. During the school year of fall 1946 to summer 1947. Torrance High School became part of the Redondo Union High School District. Torrance High has a series of underground bomb shelters located throughout the school, dating back from the Cold War era. The very first graduating high school class from TUSD was the Class of 1948. In 2009, 97% of Torrance High's students passed the CAHSEE exam.


In 2013-2014 school year, Torrance High had an enrollment of 2,142.

  • Asian (excl. Filipino) - 28%
  • Filipino - 10%
  • Hispanic - 17%
  • Caucasian - 30%
  • Black - 11%
  • Other - 4%
  • The average gross income of Torrance High's ZIP code (90501) is $46,839.


    Torrance High has over 100 classrooms; a library; access to site, district, and county media resources; five computer labs; at least one computer per classroom; two gyms; and local athletic fields.

    The Main Building 1917 with the 1921 'L wing' additions, the Senior Patio, the 1921 original Science Building—current Home Economics Building, the Streamline Moderne style 1937 Auditorium, and the first 1923 Torrance Elementary School, now referred to as the Annex: are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places (in 1983). These were Torrance's first such landmark listings. In 1921 a scenic Spanish Colonial Revival glazed tile fountain and Mexican Saltillo tile patio was added to Torrance High's Mediterranean Revival style Main Building, along with the attached 'L wing' expansion. The patio area is frequently seen in Beverly Hills, 90210, has been known for decades as the "Senior Patio," and is traditionally off-limits to underclassmen. The seniors of the class of 1975 never had access to the patio which was under renovation during their entire senior year. The Main Building received a major exterior restoration and interior modernization in the late 1970s and is the campus building most often seen on film.

    The Long Beach earthquake (magnitude 6.4) on March 10, 1933, left its mark on the campus. The quake destroyed the upper part of the original auditorium and caused the ground near it to sink several feet. The area was nicknamed the "Sunken Garden" until rebuilt. The landmark auditorium replacing it was built in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration project while the elevated administrative offices were added in 1962.

    The Ted T. Tanouye Memorial is located directly across from THS. Tanouye, class of 1938, was a technical sergeant in the US Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. The memorial was dedicated in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of the Tanouye's heroic acts during World War II.

    Filming history

    Torrance High's unique architecture and relative proximity to Hollywood Studios make it an ideal filming location for major television programs and motion pictures. Its credits include:

  • Torrance High served as the facade of fictitious West Beverly High School in the Fox Network series Beverly Hills, 90210, and in The CW's spin-off, 90210; as the original Sunnydale High School, the alma mater of Buffy Summers in the WB Network series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first three seasons; and as a location for the short-lived Fox Network series Skin. It was a filming location for the NBC drama Medium. More recently, it serves as the facade for Ulysses S. Grant High School in The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
  • Movies
  • Torrance High was used as the high school setting for the Freddie Prinze, Jr. movie She's All That. Torrance High also played a prominent role in, The Wild Life, Not Another Teen Movie, Whatever It Takes, Cursed, Wild Things 3, and Bruce Almighty.
  • All American High, a documentary film chronicling the life of the 1984 THS senior class, was filmed on the campus. The film is narrated by a Finnish exchange student, and observes 1980’s California high school culture from a foreigner’s perspective. All American High Revisited (2014) combines the original film with new footage of the film's principal subjects being interviewed on their high school years, the process of growing up, and the various paths in life that they took.
  • Activities

    Torrance High has had a long successful athletic history winning many league titles in the current Pioneer League and also in the past Bay League.

    Historic records

  • The Baseball team won over 30 league titles including over 15 CIF titles.
  • The Football team has won more than 20 league titles including over 10 CIF titles with one state title.
  • The Boys Golf program has featured two CIF-Southern Section (CIF-SS) Individual Champions in Ted Oh who won the title in 1992 as a frosh denying Tiger Woods a clean sweep during his high school career (Tiger was the CIF-SS champion in 1991,93 and 94) and then Lucas Lee in 2004.
  • The Girls' Golf team has won CIF-State Championships in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 plus CIF-State Runner Up finishes in 2006, 2010 and 2011 for 7 consecutive CIF-State 1st or 2nd-place finishes. From 2004 to 2011, the Girls Golf team captured 28 CIF post-season trophies for 1st or 2nd-place finishes including 26 in a row from the CIF-SS Team Divisionals, CIF-SS Team Finals, CIF-WSCGA State Regional and CIF-State Championships. Current and past LPGA golfers Angela Park (CIF-SS Champion in 2003), Jane Rah (CIF-State Individual Champion 2005), and Jenny Shin (CIF-State Individual Champion 2008 & 2009) led the Tartars and won significant CIF individual titles.
  • The Track & Field team won over 5 league titles including 1 CIF title and 1 state title.
  • The Cross Country team won over 15 league titles including 3 CIF titles and 1 state title.
  • The Wrestling team won more than 20 league titles including over 7 CIF titles.
  • The Boys' Soccer team won over 10 league titles.
  • The Boys' Basketball team won over 10 league titles.
  • The Girls' Softball team won many league titles including many CIF titles.
  • The Torrance High Marching Alliance was considered one of the top marching bands in the state.
  • The NJROTC has won many titles until the program was disbanded in 2008 due the infamous 2008 budget cut.
  • Latest achievements

  • The Football team was the Pioneer League Champions in 2007-2008 being undefeated in the League.
  • The Baseball team was the Pioneer League Champions in 2007-2008 being undefeated in the League.
  • The Boys' Volleyball team was the Pioneer League Champions in 2007-2008.
  • The Softball team was the Pioneer League Champions in 2007-2008 being undefeated in the whole season.
  • The Boys' Baseball team was the Pioneer League Champions (undefeated) and CIF Champions in 2007-2008.
  • The Marching Alliance won the 2008 SCJA State Band Championships.
  • The Boys' Tennis Team was the Pioneer League Champions (undefeated) in 2008-2009.
  • The Girls' Golf team has appeared in 11 consecutive CIF-Southern Section (CIF-SS) Team Finals from 2002-2012 and finished in the top 10 each year (Championships in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, & 2010 with Runner-Up finishes in 2007 and 2011) for the 580 member CIF-SS high schools stretching from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs.
  • The Boys' Baseball team was the Pioneer League Champions(undefeated)and CIF Runner-Up Champions in 2008-2009.
  • The Girls' Tennis Team was the Pioneer League Champions in 2009-2010.
  • The Boys' Baseball team was CIF Champions in 2014-2015
  • The Girls Softball team was CIF Champions 2014-2015.

    As an unofficial tradition, Torrance High has been known for many of its graduates enlisting with the U.S. military, particularly the Marine Corps. Many alumni have gone on to become professional players, some before they even graduated. Deon Thompson graduated in 2006, and went on to play Basketball for UNC as a Forward. Angela Park became a professional golfer in April before her graduation in 2006, and went on to tie for second place in the LPGA US Women's Open of 2007. Angela would earn the 2007 LPGA Rookie of the Year Award. Jenny Shin, Class of 2010, has competed on the LPGA Tour since 2011 and recently won the 2016 LPGA Volunteers of America Texas Shootout along with 22 career top 10 LPGA finishes.

    Student groups are a significant part of student life, with service clubs like UNICEF and KIWIN'S, and academic groups such as Model United Nations and United States Academic Decathlon serving many interests. Cultural clubs are also available for students interested in another nationality's culture. The largest clubs at Torrance High by average attendance are CSF, Kiwins, UNICEF, Bible Club, KCC (Korean Culture Club), KFCC (Filipino Club) all averaging between 50-100 students each month.


    The school's alma mater is set to the ballad "Annie Lisle."

    Torrance High offers 65,700 instructional minutes on a yearly basis and has nine minimum days for testing and/or staff development.

    In 2004, Torrance High instated its Schoolwide Academic Goals in an effort to raise its education standards. Comprising an acronym of the mascot's name, they outline goals of technical competency and other standards. Every year, about 50% of the seniors attend community colleges after graduating.


  • Louis Zamperini (1936) – Track star and World War II hero; 2015 Rose Parade Grand Marshal. Film and book Unbroken (film) based on his life.
  • Ted T. Tanouye (1938) – Medal of Honor Recipient in the Asian-American segregated unit during the Second World War, The 442nd Regimental Combat Team. A memorial is dedicated to him in front of the school.
  • Gary R. Pfingston (1958) – 10th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
  • Rocky Chavez (1969) Politician. California State Assemblyman from the 76th District. Retired USMC Colonel
  • Entertainment

  • Bobby Blotzerdrummer for Ratt
  • Randi Brooks – actress
  • Juan Croucier – bass player for Ratt and Dokken.
  • Danny Gans – comedian
  • Gregory Hatanaka – film director
  • Dave Kermandrummer
  • Paul Moyer – television newscaster
  • David Pack – leader of the band Ambrosia
  • Julie Ronnie – actress
  • Sports

  • Ray Diaz - baseball player, Cal State Northridge University
  • Kevin Higgins- former Major League Baseball player.
  • Fred Kendall – former Major League Baseball player and coach
  • Jason Kendall – former Major League Baseball player
  • Lucas Lee - PGA Tour Golfer in 2016 & helped UCLA win the 2008 NCAA Men's Golf Championship
  • Justin Miller – Major League Baseball player
  • Lisa Moretti – professional wrestler: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment champion under the name "Ivory"
  • Angela Park – LPGA professional golfer, won the LPGA 2007 Rookie of the Year Award
  • Thierry Pham – Professional Body Builder/ Model
  • Jane Rah - LPGA professional golfer since 2012 with 1 top 10 LPGA finish in her career.
  • Demi Runas - LPGA professional golfer since 2015.
  • Valdimir Morozov Olympic Bronze Medalist in 2012 Summer Olympics. Currently holds Russian record for 50m backstroke, 100m Individual Medley (short course meters).
  • Townsend Saunders - Olympic Medalist Freestyle Wrestling, wrestling alumni. California State Runner-Up 1985.
  • Jenny Shin - LPGA Golfer since 2011, won the 2016 LPGA Volunteers of America Texas Shootout and has compiled 22 top 10 finishes
  • Deon Thompson (2006) – basketball player, North Carolina Tar Heels.
  • Bart Johnson – Major League Baseball player
  • Antone Williamson - Major League Baseball player.
  • References

    Torrance High School Wikipedia