The History Behind CHS

San Andreas was selected as the location for the Calaveras High School in December, 1904, after the Calaveras Union High School district was approved by the voters on November 4, 1904. It was comprised of the entire county. High School classes began in September, 1905, in the Odd Fellows and Masonic Building on the corner of St. Charles and Main Streets. The first class numbered Forty-four pupils, twenty-four in the General Culture (Academic) and Eighteen in the commercial class. The first principal, James Keith, served for sixteen years. He was the one most responsible for initiating the movement to form the Calaveras County High School District, and after serving four years as district attorney, he again became principal and served in this position until his death. He was known as the "Father" of the Calaveras High School District.

        According to Dr. R. Coke Wood, in Las Calaveras, "The Land of Skulls": "The first graduating class was in 1910 with only one graduate, Maude Newland." He further states: "The school had grown to the point in 1926 where the Masonic Hall was no longer adequate, and plans were made for a new high school. As the first move, the Board of Trustees purchased thirty acres of ground from Clarence Getchell as a campus, and a bond election was held in 1926 to raise $125,000 for the construction of the new building." The new school building opened in 1928. (Las Calaveras is the quarterly magazine of the Calaveras County Historical Society, still active today.)  In 1954 the Calaveras Unified School District was established by a vote of the people of the District and went into effect July 1, 1955. In 1956, a $550,000 bond issue was passed to construct a wing of classroom buildings, a gymnasium, and a swimming pool.

        It is impossible to list all the fine teachers who have served in San Andreas Schools but a few should be mentioned: Charles Schwoerer, teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools, served for thirty-two years as superintendent and taught for fifteen years previous to being elected to the superintendency. He was born in Murphys in 1887 of pioneer parents. He profoundly influenced the growth of Calaveras County educational services with his active leadership up until his passing in 1971.

        Teresa Rivera was an outstanding teacher in the county schools before coming to the San Andreas schools. She served as superintendent in 1914 and again in 1918, the first woman to serve in this capacity in the county. 

        Louise Oneto served as teacher and principal of the San Andreas school for twenty-six years and her total teaching time in the county was forty-eight years, the longest career in the history of the county. She is now retired and lives in Murphys. 

        The principal of the high school from 1943 to 1957 was Oliver L. Kenfield under whose leadership the $550,000 bond issue was passed, the campus enlarged, and the district unified. Enrollment in the high school tripled during this controversial period. No other principal had as much influence in expanding the educational facilities of the county. He retired in 1963 and passed away in 1971.

-Source: Documents from the Calaveras County Historical Society, Main Street, San Andreas, California

CHS Today

        Calaveras High School is located in San Andreas in Calaveras County, California. The school has around 900 students who mainly come from Valley Springs, Jenny Lind, San Andreas, West Point, Mokelumne Hill, Mountain Ranch, Rail Road Flat, Burson, Wallace and the surrounding areas in the northern part of the county.