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NLMUSD Board to Hold Pair of Proclamation Ceremonies at S.E. Academy and Excelsior High

 

 

February 23, 2022

NORWALK, CALIF. – The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education will hold two proclamation ceremonies in the coming weeks, celebrating Southeast Academy High School on February 24 and the former Excelsior High School on March 10.

The proclamations highlight the heritage of each school as well as the impact the institutions continue to have on the NLM community.

Southeast Academy, located in Norwalk, is the only stand-alone, free public military and law enforcement high school in the state of California. NLM along with the Southeast Regional Occupation Program and the ABC Unified School District approved the creation and installation of the Academy in 2000. It was founded as a public, military and law enforcement Career Technical Education program focused on leadership and a broad school curriculum that helps prepare all students to be career and college ready.

Lead by Master Sergeant Marty Schafer since its inception, Southeast Academy moved to its current location in Norwalk in 2009 and expanded to include all high school grade levels in 2010. In its short 21-year history, Southeast Academy has seen cadets enroll from 27 different school districts and has graduates that have served military careers in addition to producing alumni that have become doctors, lawyers, elected officials, and business professionals.

Notable alumni of Southeast Academy High School include Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine Alexandria Charles (c/o 2011), United States Army Intelligence Officer Jonathan Hawkins (c/o 2010), current NLM Board of Education member and former United States Navy Cryptologist Dr. Robert Cancio (c/o 2005), and United States Navy Seal Team Chief Petty Officer Adrian Garcia (c/o 2003).

The former Excelsior High School served the Norwalk-La Mirada community from 1903 until the school closed in 1981. The founding class featured 23 students taught by three faculty members at the Norwalk Grammar School in the then-Norwalk School District. The first building for the school was completed in 1912 and by 1919, the district named the school Excelsior High School. In 1920 the newly formed Excelsior Union High School District, which served the present-day communities of Norwalk, La Mirada, Bellflower, Artesia, and Cerritos, took over the school and in the next year, plans were completed for a new high school site that would be completed in 1924 and open its doors to nearly 300 students.

As the years passed, Excelsior High School would serve as a beacon for the community, including serving as the site of the initial Senatorial campaign by then-Representative Richard M. Nixon. Excelsior would also be joined by Norwalk and La Mirada High Schools and would be added to the newly-formed Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District in 1964.

While the school closed in 1981, the historic site still stands as a functional part of the community, hosting the Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School, various sporting events on its fields, and serving as a filming location for blockbuster movies including most recently Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Its architecture is regarded as one of the most visually stunning in Southern California and it boasts esteemed alumni such as Norwalk pioneer Charles Frederick Hargitt (c/o 1912), former First Lady of the United States Pat Nixon (c/o 1929), and political pundit James Gattuso (c/o 1975).

The proclamation ceremonies will held at each school site and attended by Board of Education members as well as Norwalk-La Mirada Superintendent John M. Lopez and other District staff, along with members of both school communities. Both ceremonies will feature a reading of an official proclamation drafted and signed by the Board of Education.

 

 

 

Award-winning HMG-CN is a  hyper -local community news and investigative reporting print newspaper in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  Covering Cerritos, Artesia, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Norwalk, La Mirada Lamplighter Community Newspaper, La Palma, Commerce, Downey, Bellflower, Pico Rivera.

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