GUIDE FOR NEW SCHOOLS

Check here for a quick primer on prominent and influential Californians who arguably deserve to have a high school named for them plus here's a list of possible nicknames that would be unique for any new school in the state. Enough Eagles, Cougars and the rest of the old-fashioned boring nicknames. Photo by Kirby Lee/TheSporting Image.

Prominent Californians Who Arguably Deserve To

Have a California High School Named In Their Honor

Note: Many schools these days are named for local educators or other significant local dignitaries. This isn't mean't to demean the names of any of those schools, just provide a list of those from a statewide perspective that do not as of yet have a high school named for them. Thanks to good friend Phil Marquez of Fullerton for providing some of the names and commentary for this list.

Richard M. Nixon -- 37th President of the United States; only native born Californian to become president; possible high school nicknames include Checkers, Gators, Wallbreakers.

Pat Nixon -- Former First Lady is from Norwalk.

Ronald Reagan -- Two-term California governor and two-term U.S. president; not from California but has lived most of adult life in the state; Reagan Library in Simi Valley. New school being built in a few years in Camarillo (near Simi Valley) would be a good candidate to bear his name. Possible nicknames: Hellcats (reference to movie in which Reagan starred and met his wife, although school officials might be wary of word "Hell" in a nickname) or how about Stallions (another Reagan movie reference and good for the love he's had for his ranch)?

Edmund G. "Pat" Brown -- Two-term California governor; credited with building much of state's infrastructure, including water projects; father of another California governor, Jerry Brown.

George S. Patton -- Legendary World War II general was born in Pasadena/San Gabriel area.

Alan Cranston -- U.S. Senator representing California from 1968 to 1993. Also known for efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Jackie Robinson -- One of the most influential African-Americans of the 20th Century; graduate of Muir High in Pasadena.

S.I. Hiyakawa -- Japanese-American who served in internment camps and later became a U.S. Senator.

Sally Ride -- First woman astronaut in space; now a prominent scientist.

William Randolph Hearst -- Powerful newspaper publisher.

Tom Bradley -- Prominent four-term mayor of Los Angeles.

John Wayne -- Legendary actor; Orange County airport named for him; once played football for Glendale High. Possible unique nickname: Leathernecks or Seebees (reference to war movies he was in).

March Fong Eu -- Four-term legislator and later Secretary of State for 16 years; first Asian American woman ever elected to a constitutional state office in the U.S. If you went to a school named for her, you'd be going to (pronunciation) Yew-Hi.

Linus Pauling -- Major figure in chemistry, science.

John Steinbeck -- One of most legendary writers in American literature; future schools in Salinas/Watsonville area could bear his name.

Charles Schulz -- Creator of Peanuts comic strip; would be most appropriate for school in Redwood Empire where he lived and died.

Charles Crocker -- Sacramento merchant became one of the big four early California landowners.

Mark Hopkins -- Another of the big four. Note: the other two, Stanford and Huntington, have a major university and a beach named for them.

Pio Pico -- The last governor of the state under Mexican rule in the 1840s and later became L.A. City councilman.

Gene Autrey -- Only person to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; owner/founder of world champion Anaheim Angels.

William Mulholland -- Brought water to Southern California.

Walt Disney -- Not originally from California, but certainly changed it forever with entertainment empire.

Ray Kroc -- Turned McDonald's into fast-food giant and helped change the way Californians (and Americans) live their lives. Also owner of San Diego Padres. Possible nickname: Adiles (think about it).

James H. Doolittle -- Led daring air raid against Tokyo in the early stages of World War II.

George Lucas -- Prominent filmmaker born and bred in Modesto area. Nicknames: millions of Star Wars possibilities like Jedi, Jedi Knights, Skywalkers, Vaders, etc.

Bob Hope -- Also one of those not born here, but famous for what he did here. May you rest in peace.

Nicknames That Would Be Unique In

The State And Ones We'd Like to See

99ers -- Reference to the legendary highway that runs through the Central Valley. Would be perfect for one of the new valley schools.

Sabrecats -- The state fossil is actually the sabre-toothed cat.

Leatherbacks -- A type of turtle that is found in the waters off the state.

Huelguistas -- This means strikers in Spanish. Would go well with any school named after Cesar Chavez.

Humpbacks -- Named in honor of whale species that sometimes wander into the S.F. Bay and further inland. Not sure if any school, though, would want the word "hump" in its nickname.

Smokies -- Would be in honor of Smokey the Bear and not as a reference to a certain type of clique that exists at most schools.

Kingsnakes -- This is a species of snake that is found in the state. Another reptillian nickname we like is Salamanders.

Otters -- Other marine mammals that would be good include Sea Lions and Seals.


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