Helix High School

Coordinates: 32°45′16″N 117°2′14″W / 32.75444°N 117.03722°W / 32.75444; -117.03722
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Helix Charter High School
7323 University Avenue


United States
Coordinates32°45′16″N 117°2′14″W / 32.75444°N 117.03722°W / 32.75444; -117.03722
TypeCharter public comprehensive secondary
MottoOnce a Scottie, Always a Scottie
FounderJohnny Aguilar
School districtGrossmont Union High School District
PrincipalKevin Osborn
Faculty89.31 FTE
Number of students2,469 (as of 2022)[1]
Color(s)   Green and gray
NicknameScotties/ Highlanders [2]
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
NewspaperHighland Fling

Helix High School, or Helix Charter High School, in La Mesa, California, is a charter high school built in 1952. It received its charter in 1998. Part of the Grossmont Union High School District, it serves a mid-level socioeconomic community and has a student body of approximately 2,400 pupils. Helix serves parts of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Spring Valley; however, as a charter school, all high school students in the state of California are eligible to attend.

Helix High School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is a California Distinguished School in 2001 and 2009.[3][4][5]


Helix Charter High School opened as the second high school in the Grossmont Union High School District in September 1951, to relieve record enrollment of 3000 at Grossmont High School. Its first principal was Benton Hart. In November 1950, East County voters overwhelmingly approved a local bond issue for $1.9 million that financed "the University Avenue high school." Helix's first year of studies were held at Grossmont while the new campus was being built. The two schools operated on double sessions that year.[citation needed]

Helix, receiving half of Grossmont High School's students, attended class in the afternoon. Grossmont's 1500 students attended in the morning. Because of rapid population growth in the area, Helix soon grew overcrowded itself. This resulted in plans to build and open El Cajon Valley High School four years after the opening of Helix.[citation needed]


Since the opening of the school, much of the campus and technology has deteriorated or become outdated. With voter approval of Proposition H in 2004 and Proposition U in 2008, Helix High School will undergo remodeling projects. These projects include a new administration building, a new science building, a new performing arts center, and remodeling of all standard classrooms.[citation needed]

The remodeling of the campus has already started, and has been completed for buildings 10, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 1100, 1140, 1200 the new science building (1800), the performing arts center (900) and the lecture hall (1300), which officially opened in January 2014. The remaining buildings to be remodeled include 1000 (Gym), and 1600 (cafeteria). Building 800 has been demolished, and the new Administration/Student Services Office is located in its old location. In addition to the renovation efforts of the campus buildings, all of the landscaping on the school grounds will be rehabilitated.[citation needed]


Bagpipe Band[edit]

Helix Charter's pipe band includes several pipers and a drum corps consisting of several snare drummers, tenor drummers, and one bass drummer. During autumn, the bagpipe band accompanies the Helix Highlander Band in parades, football games, and sometimes field competitions. Additionally, they march the varsity football team out onto the field before home games. During the rest of the year, the pipe band frequently performs at paid as well as volunteer gigs, and competes at various Scottish Highland Games in Southern California.[6] The bagpipe band is funded by the Helix Instrumental Music Association.

Battle for the Musket[edit]

Every year since the school's opening in 1952, Helix and Grossmont High School have competed against each other for this musket, given to the winner of the Grossmont vs. Helix varsity football game.[7] Typically, this football game is one of the most attended of the season. This is just one of several weapon-themed rivalry games that Helix holds with the surrounding high schools.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Helix High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "Home". helixscotties.com. Archived from the original on 2018-08-24. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "2009 Distinguished Middle and High Schools - California Distinguished Schools Program (CA Dept of Education)". Cde.ca.gov. 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  5. ^ "List of California Distinguished Schools in San Diego County". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007.
  6. ^ "Performing Ensembles". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  7. ^ "Helix and Grossmont Football to Battle for the Musket, League Title Friday". patch.com. 28 October 2013.
  8. ^ Sauro, Tony (April 18, 2017). "Comic strip artist set to speak at Delta College". The Record.
  9. ^ a b c Shanahan, Tom (January 25, 2003). "Allen has legendary stature in San Diego Lincoln High product isn't the only local icon". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. SPECIAL: SUPER BOWL XXXVII-1.
  10. ^ Brand, Steve (November 9, 2010). "High school Top 50". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on November 13, 2010.
  11. ^ "Cecil to join College Football Hall of Fame". The San Diego Union-Tribune. July 15, 2010. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012.
  12. ^ "Colorado, Led By Helix High Alum, Faces San Diego State In Replacement Game". Times of San Diego. 2020-11-27. Retrieved 2022-10-31. The Buffaloes are 2-0 under first-year head coach Karl Dorrell, a 1982 graduate of Helix Charter High School in La Mesa.
  13. ^ "Helix High School Class of 1977 Classmate Profiles". www.classcreator.com.
  14. ^ Infusino, Divina (February 4, 1990). "Helix High's Hopper rebels without pause". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. E-1.
  15. ^ "Directory of ANA Qualified Appraisers". Appraisers National Association.
  16. ^ "Three Metro stars selected to County all-star basketball". Chula Vista Star-News. June 7, 1973. p. B-4. Retrieved August 10, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ Blair, Tom (October 15, 2010). "The high cost of losing . . ". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010.
  18. ^ "Helix High School - Tartan Yearbook (La Mesa, CA), Class of 1967, Page 63 of 238 &#124". e-yearbook.com.
  19. ^ Trotter, Jim (December 14, 1998). "From Pacific Bell to NFL: It's a snap". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. C15. Marc Raab, a 29-year-old manager with Pacific Bell, thought he was having a pretty good week when his alma mater, Helix High, won its first CIF-San Diego Section football championship in 16 years on Tuesday.
  20. ^ "Versatile Helix QB has foes guessing". U-T San Diego. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  21. ^ Karen Pearlman. "Book launch at Helix on Friday". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  22. ^ Sullivan, Tim. "Alex Smith answers call as top choice by San Francisco 49ers". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012.
  23. ^ "S.D. tight ends known for quality, not quantity". The San Diego Union-Tribune. October 6, 2017.
  24. ^ "Bill Walton Stats - Basketball-Reference.com". Basketball-Reference.com.
  25. ^ "Title IX helps baby brothers, too". San Diego Hall of Champions. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012.
  26. ^ "Scouting the Raiders". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on November 14, 2009.
  27. ^ "Steven Haynes, founder of Athletes for Education, dies at 56". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on March 24, 2011.

External links[edit]