Built for $4.5 million, FVHS opened September 12, 1966 with 2,300 students. The school was named for the city of Fountain Valley and was dedicated on November 9. Student government was patterned after the city government. Our first principal was Dr. Paul Berger. Dr. Berger came up with the French theme and the Baron name. The choirs were given French names–Les Chanteurs and Troubadours–and the yearbook was titled Raconteur. The school motto was “Toujours Avec Fierte,” French for “always with pride,” and the school paper was Le Mot.
In 1968, 16-year-old Laura Shernaman created a design for the county’s official flag. Her design featured the official county seal centered on a yellow sunburst and a vivid orange background.
403 seniors graduated in 1968.
We had newsworthy aquatic seasons in 1972-1973 when the swim team was anchored by Shirley Babashoff. Ray Bray was our coach. Babashoff was an Olympian at the 1972 West Germany Olympic games and 1976 Montreal Olympic games. Her personal accolades include 6 silver medals and 3 gold medals. She was nationally ranked in events ranging from the 100 to 1650 yard races. Babashoff led the Girls Fountain Valley swim team to the CIF championship in 1973, where they defeated Long Beach Millikan.
In 1973 we were the largest high school west of the Mississippi River with 4,300 students. Designed for 3,000 students, the school had to offer double sessions with shorter periods to accommodate the huge number of students.
Fountain Valley High School formed girls athletic teams in 1975. The girl athletes participated in G.A.A. (Girls’ Athletic Association) until 1974.
The Royal Regiment was selected to represent California in Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural parade. They proudly marched down Pennsylvania Avenue playing “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” as the American hostages were released. Every classroom at FVHS had a TV for the students to witness their high school band marching in the parade. Frank Barnes was the band director, and he marched in the parade with the Booster President, John Hoefler.
Students at FVHS formed a Gay/Straight Alliance club in October of 1993. It started with over 45 members. There was great controversy. The board of Trustees votes 4-1 in favor of the club by way of the Equal Access Policy. Don Katz, Ron Katz, Amanda Martin, Jeff Edmonston and Ola Metwally were the student leaders of the Alliance.
Controversy developed during the taking of the 2004 senior class photo. 13 students tried to spell out “Jesus (heart) U” and “Jesus is the way” on their t-shirts. Refusing to merge into the larger group, 11 of the students walked out. The issue went all the way to the Board of Trustees, which voted 4-1 against taking a new picture. The issue eventually faded and the 13 students chipped in to purchase a $250 yearbook page.
List of Principals
Paul Berger 1966-1979 Founding Principal
Larry Lucas 1979-1980
David Hagen 1980-1985
Mike Kasler 1985-1991
Gary Ernst 1991-2000
Connie Mayhugh 2000-2004
Chris Herzfeld 2004-2014
Kirk Kennedy (interim) 2014-2015
Morgan Smith 2015-present
Summer Altice, Athlete and model
Jack Babashoff, Swimmer
Shirley Babashoff, Swimmer
Craig Brewer, Screenwriter
Carlos Briceno, Volleyball player
Emil DeCou, Conductor
David Denman, Actor
Steve Fifita, Football player
Kathy Gregory, Volleyball player
Sam Helfrich, Director
Luke Hudson, Baseball player
Casey Janssen, Baseball player
Lovieanne Jung, Softball player
Candy Kung, Golfer
Rudy Land, Artist
Duval Love, Football player
Ken Margerum, Football player
Omar Metwally, Actor
Michelle Pffeifer, Actress
Kevin Romine, Baseball player
C.J. Wilson, Baseball player
Russell Holmes, Volleyball player