Tulare Union High School is a public school for secondary education in Tulare, California, United States. This high school is part of the Tulare Joint Union High School District, along with Tulare Western High School and Mission Oak High School, led by Superintendent Tony Rodriguez. Enrollment at the four-year high school is approximately 1,650 for the current school year.
The Administration Building and the school’s Tulare Community Auditorium are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The school has grown steadily since the 1980s with expanding local land development and corresponding general population. In 1989 the Tulare Joint Union High School District retained the firm of Earth Metrics to forecast district growth and analyze the facility needs of the system in future years. In the 1980s the California Legislature changed the rules governing school facilities financing by authorizing school districts to directly levy School Impact Fees (sometimes called “Developer Fees”), and by deeming the School Facilities Act the exclusive means by which cities and counties can address the overcrowding of schools. Thus at that time the district forecast the future enrollment and established appropriate development fees to finance forecast facilities needs to expand Tulare Union High School and other district facilities.
The school’s athletic teams compete in the six-team East Yosemite League under the name Tribe.
Tulare Union is one of few U.S. high schools to have graduated multiple Olympic gold medal winners. DecathleteBob Mathias won gold in 1948 and 1952, and discus throwerSim Iness won in 1952. Mathias and Iness were classmates who graduated the same year. The school’s stadium was named after Mathias in 1977, and a gymnasium was named after Iness in 1994.
From 1924 until 2016, the school’s athletic nickname was the Redskins. The term “redskin” is widely defined by dictionaries as pejorative, and the California State Assembly banned use of the mascot by public schools in September 2015. Principal Nunley defended the term, saying that the school had no history of racism and that the mascot honored natives. State Senator Marty Block described that as a rationalization, and said the term is a racist slur which warrants state intervention. The school had until 2017 to switch, and the district voted in June 2016 to change the name to Tribe. The move was part of a wider controversy over the use of Native American imagery as mascots