Live Oak High School: US News and World Report Great School

Live Oak High School is the perfect size; big enough to have all of the extra-curricular activities, yet small enough to individually affect kids’ lives. The high school has a high graduation rate and prepare their students well for college. The school’s success has not gone unnoticed. Live Oak High School was recently named as a great high school by US News and World Report.

Principal Tony Walton, who has spent his entire educational career of 20 years at Live Oak High School, says that the school is the hub of the community. “Parents see that our school sends their kids to colleges all over the country,” he said. “They trust that and want that to continue.” Students believe that they can do it and the school provides all the resources needed in order for them to succeed.

Principal Walton has been principal for the past eight years; he says he is blessed to serve in a culture where students come first that was created and nurtured by LOUSD Superintendent Mat Gulbrandsen who served as principal of the school before him. The “Kids First” culture continues to thrive. “The staff here is amazing,” Principal Walton said. “If it’s good for kids, they will tackle any obstacle to make it happen.”

College and Career Readiness is a strength of the school. Principal Walton tells all of his 587 students that they must know these four staff members in order to change their lives and succeed: Jennie Duran, Counselor, Joanna Alvarado, College and Career Readiness Tech, Cindy Perez, Secretary and Nick Roberts, Behavioral Intervention and Support. Whatever resource a student needs is provided for success.

In addition to these resources, Live Oak High School is an AVID school. Each teacher takes on 15-18 students to mentor and support them with their SMART goals. Teachers meet with their students one-on-one twice per semester to check in on their progress with these goals.

The five member LOUSD school board also supports the culture for doing what’s in the best interest of students. Board members visit the school regularly. Kathy Walker, a current board member, raises funds for the Live Oak Schools Foundation. Some of the funds from this foundation are used for the Live Oak High School Goodness Campaign.

"Live Oak High School continues to do a fantastic job of meeting the needs of all students. Staff strive to provide student supports and remove barriers. It is evident with the success of A-G readiness and Work Readiness completion," Superintendent Mat Gulbrandsen said.

Principal Walton says that he focuses on four doorways for students:
·        University or College
·        Community College
·        Military Service
·        CTE School
With a graduation rate of 95%, most students choose one of these four doorways.

“I am proud of the work Live Oak High School is doing for their students,” Sutter County Superintendent of Schools Tom Reusser said. “The school has strong core values and students always come first.”

Principal Walton keeps in touch with his students during this time via zoom. He says that the students often say that they love their school and miss being on campus.

Live Oak High School is ranked 492 out of 3,162 public high schools in California. It is ranked #2 in the Yuba-Sutter area. To read more about the ranking for Live Oak High School, click on this link: US News and World Report Great Schools 2020.

Published: September 2020