Today a small group of Realtors including me were given a wonderful tour of the fantastic Redondo Union high school by Dr. Stephen E. Keller, the Superintendent of Redondo Beach Unified School District and Principal Mary Little. It was quite an honor to have a tour given by these two energetic, dedicated, and enthusiastic educators! We walked all over the huge campus and got to see many of the latest building and improvement projects. Dr. Keller told us that the campus is apparently the third largest high school campus West of the Mississippi River and by the end my feet definitely agreed with that assessment.
Our tour included the new administration building, a much needed “new front door” (as Principal Little called it) to house the counseling staff, administration offices, meeting rooms for Associated Student Body, etc. There was a gorgeous ocean view staff room as well. But the highlight of this part of the campus was the college career center, where dozens of computers and loads of colorful reference materials, along with 6 full time career counselors for a student body of about 2500 students, an amazingly high number.
We continued on to the roof, with its’ solar panels and raised beds of green plants; the building has LEED certification and the plants are to help keep the building cool and to put oxygen back into the air.
After that, a tour of the new “small gym” including its mirrored dance studio with special springy floor, the new Aquatic Center, and the drama department including a fully refurbished 2500 seat auditorium with a special collapsible orchestral clamshell and a “black box” room that allows for very intimate settings with audiences of about 80. Along the way, we stopped at an overlook and saw the newly refurbished football field, track and field area, resurfaced tennis courts and soccer field, and so much more.
I asked Dr. Keller what he was proudest of in the school (other than the students of course.) He said he was proud of the fact that just like Redondo Beach, the school’s student body is very diverse ethnically and socio-economically and he sees all of them getting along and thriving in this environment. They have industrial education programs such as culinary arts along with the more traditional auto mechanics, language programs including Spanish, Chinese, and French, and classes as diverse as ROTC and Drama. The school also has an award winning concert band and a choral music program. The science building is scheduled for remodeling starting this summer. Everywhere we went, the campus was lively and energized, with state of the art facilities and teens who looked happy to be there (or as happy as teenagers can look at school!)
I came away very impressed with both Redondo Union High School and with Dr. Keller and his enthusiasm for his district. Like all the Redondo Beach schools, this school is great and getting even better by the minute!