When Professor J.M. McKenzie arrived in Oakdale from Nebraska in the 1880's
he discovered that there was no school for his two children. Like he'd already
done in Nebraska, he started a campaign to establish a school.
With the help of the community, Stanislaus Seminary and Normal School began operation in 1889. Classes were held on the second floor of the Good Templar's Hall on Railroad Ave between "G" and "H" streets. A year later the school moved to its own two story building on Eucalyptus Ave.
In 1892 the California legislature decided high school districts could be formed and supported by taxes so Professor McKenzie handed over operation of his school to the Oakdale High School District and Oakdale High School opened its doors that year.
The first commencement was held in 1894, graduating six students, five of who were women.
In 1904 a fire destroyed the school building and it wasn't until 1908 that students moved into their own building again on donated land west of Oakdale and north of F Street. The new domed building cost $20,000. The current building was built in 1948 and there have been several renovations since then, the most recent in 1992-93. Remnants of the foundation of a previous building still exist and are now called the slab.
The slab has a long tradition at Oakdale High School. Each year, just before school starts, seniors paint the slab any way they want. During the rest of the year the slab serves as a meeting spot for students, a center point for outdoor rallies, and a stage for student activities.
The original mascot of Oakdale High was the scarab, standing for knowledge
and tradition. The mustang replaced the scarab in 1930 despite a controversy
over whether the mustang would only represent the sports interests. The
mustang's proponents carried the saying that the mustang would stand for
vigor in both academic and athletic endeavors.
Oakdale High School