Ventura High has a rich history, how much do you think you know?


Larabee Stadium has been the starting point for many now or passed professional level athletes. Photo by: Gavin Cross

Gavin Cross

Ventura High School has not always been a high school. In the past it has been used as a college-level learning center. Photo by: Gavin Cross

Founded over 100 years ago, in 1889, Ventura High School is full of history lessons of its own and there is much to learn about the first high school established in Ventura County. Considering the school’s extensive history, being open for learning for 130 years, it would be strange to think it doesn’t have some weird facts. A school rumor that has been around for a while is the story of Toby. He is known as either a student here and also a part of the drama club, an alumni, or even a janitor. Students have different stories for these different so called “Toby” characters, but in the end of all of them he ends up either falling off or hanging from the cat walk in the Little Theater behind the auditoriu

m here on campus. According to members of the drama department, [Toby] is known to be friendly but he (apparently) enjoys messing with people.

VHS’s own “Little Theater” is supposedly home to the ghost of past student, janitor, or alumni (depending on the version you’ve heard), Toby. The theater is very ominous when the lights are off and the curtains are down for the day. Photo by: Gavin Cross

       Other than the strange stuff, Ventura High School has produced many talented alumni who have gone on to do great things. Junior Chris Beal’s dad, Chris Beal Sr., is a professional mixed martial artist that came from wrestling at VHS. I’m sure all of you know about KYLE, but if you don’t, he came from acting in Ventura High’s own Drama program to being a wide spread rap artist and actor. Football players have gone on to play in the NFL, including Eric Turner (Browns, Ravens and Raiders), Chris Thomas (49ers, Redskins and Chiefs), and Roman Fortin (Lions, Falcons and Chargers). Also producing NBA players like Jamaal Wilkes (Warriors and Lakers) and James Ennis (Heat), Ventura High has a long history of high-level athletics.

Along with the topic of athletics, VHS has had some bad run ins with coaching of sports teams.  In 1994, an assistant football and baseball coach at VHS was suspended over allegations of having sexual relationships with students. This was the third coach from Ventura High School and the fourth teacher from the district to come face to face with these accusations in a span of two years.

        The school didn’t just appear from the ground one day. VHS was founded in 1889 and buildings were still being demolished and added up until the 1950s. Originally there was a brick building sprung with ivy on the corner of Main St. and Catalina St., although, the building did not comply to the Field Act which set standards for building safety from earthquakes. This school has been through a long, interesting history and will continue to add to that timeline throughout the years.