The Only Museum Within A High School

By Kent Sanctuary

The El Cerrito High School Archiving Project was established in 2005, to preserve the history of El Cerrito High School. It was formed by parents, alumni, and teachers who felt the traditions, artifacts, and legacy of the school had value and wanted to make it available to future generations. The group has continued the efforts for the last fourteen years, and also encourages future alumni through the awarding of scholarships. Since the group was established they have created a history museum inside the school and given out over $38,000 in scholarships.


El Cerrito High School opened in 1941 and developed a reputation for excellence. By the 1950s it was considered one of the best high schools in the United States. In addition to excellence in academics, the high school produced some prominent people, including Pumpsie Green (Boston Red Sox), John Thomas (San Francisco 49ers), Maria Remenyi (1966 Miss USA), and Roddy Lee (1972 Olympics). Perhaps the most well-known alumni were the four members of the rock band, Creedence Clearwater Revival (1963).

Preserving the history of the school

In 1989, after the San Francisco Bay Area was rocked by the Loma Prieta Earthquake, engineers were asked to check out the El Cerrito High School buildings. It was determined that some of the buildings had structural and/or design flaws, and the entire campus should be replaced. Plans were made to build a new campus. The PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association), along with several