BHS celebrates 125 years


It’s a history lesson over a century in the making.

“Bakersfield High School is the oldest high school in Kern County,” BHS archives teacher Ken Hooper said.

BHS turned 125 this week. 

The first “first day of school” was Jan. 9, 1893. At that time, the historic high school was known as Kern County High, opening its doors with just 36 students.   

It wouldn’t be until 1945 that K.C. would become BHS.

Hooper and his class of seniors study how the school has changed over the years.

“It started out as a small school in what is now Elm Grove,” Hooper said. “It expanded over the years. 1915, 1905, 1920s was the biggest expansion and the once again in the 1940s when they added Harvey Auditorium in 1948.”

Today, hundreds of students fill the campus.

“When I look back at the archives I see the size of the classes and I’m shocked to see that there’s probably less than a hundred in each class and now it’s more than a hundred,” archiving student Jose Jimenez.

For Driller Ivy Hasselbar bleeding blue and white is a long standing tradition that goes beyond the classroom.

“I love that I can be apart of this school because it’s very historic,” Hasselbar said. “And now I go here and I’m a third generation Driller, my father went here and his mother, my grandmother, went here so it’s amazing to kind of live out that legacy.”

BHS is planning an “all-school reunion” at its homecoming game in the fall, to celebrate 125 years. The festivities will include a time capsule to be sealed in the mini water tower located on the school’s newly remodeled football field. 

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