Lick-Wilmerding High School

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Lick-Wilmerding High School
755 Ocean Ave, San Francisco, California
Type Private
Motto A private school with a public purpose
Established 1895
Head of school Eric Temple
Faculty 75
Number of students 450
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Black, gold
Athletics 11 sports
Athletics conference Bay Counties League - West
Mascot Tiger
Newspaper Paper Tiger

Lick-Wilmerding High School is a college-preparatory high school located in San Francisco, California, United States.


Lick-Wilmerding was founded on September 21, 1874 as the California School of Mechanical Arts by a trust by James Lick. George Merrill was hired to manage the school as the first director, and Lick officially opened in January, 1895. George Merrill was the director of Lick until 1939, and later also the director of Wilmerding School of Industrial Arts and the Lux School for Industrial Training for Girls. The California School of Mechanical arts and the Wilmerding School of Industrial Arts merged to become Lick-Wilmerding High School. Lux school later closed, and its students joined Lick-Wilmerding.

Mission statement

The school's website says of its mission: "Lick-Wilmerding's central mission is to offer its students a distinctive and exemplary education, the key ingredients of which are: the school's 'head, heart, and hands' curriculum, the inclusive nature of its community, and its commitment to society beyond the campus. Each of these elements is grounded in the principles set forth by the school's founders -James Lick, Jellis Wilmerding, and Miranda Lux."

The actual text of the mission statement, printed in school publications and in every classroom of the school, is as follows:

"Lick-Wilmerding High School inspires students to become self-directed, life-long learners who contribute to our world with knowledge, skill, creativity, compassion, and can-do confidence. Toward this end, Lick-Wilmerding integrates a distinguished college preparatory curriculum with a distinctive program in the technical arts. As a private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding encourages participation in community service and is committed to developing innovative educational programs that will benefit students and teachers throughout the Bay Area. Lick-Wilmerding's purpose, built on the foundation of a diverse and inclusive community, is to develop qualities of the head, heart, and hands that will serve students well throughout their lives."[1]



Each student must be enrolled in a minimum of six five‐unit courses per semester, regardless of grade level. A total of 30 units per semester are required.[2] In keeping with over a century of LWHS tradition, every student is required to complete technical arts courses (such as wood, metal, jewelry, robotics, or electronics).

Historically, LWHS has been known to offer technical courses that other independent schools in the Bay Area do not offer. Some of these include Metal, Woodworking, Robotics, Electronics and Jewelry. LWHS also has several year-long Architecture courses and an introduction to design course, entitled Contemporary Media and Arts that is mandatory for all freshmen.

LWHS' Performing Arts Department has choir, jazz band, an orchestra, two a cappella groups, one-acts, and musicals. There is also a dance group.


The school's 450 students in grades 9 through 12 reflect LWHS' tradition of a strong commitment to cultural and social diversity. The student body is 3% African-American, 16% Asian-American, 48% Caucasian, 6% Latino, 26% multiracial, and 1% other.

Over the past four years, 95 students have earned recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program; 37 have been named Finalists. In addition, three students have been honored as a Finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program and four students have been selected for the National Hispanic Recognition Program. Six students from the class of 2006 were National Merit Semifinalists, and all became Finalists. From the class of 2007, 15 students have attained National Merit or National Achievement Semifinalist status.

Of the 59 full-time teachers, administrators, and program directors, 42 have master's degrees and four have doctorates. Of the eight part-time teachers, all have master's degrees. Performing, technical, and fine arts teachers have extensive work and performance experience.

Test scores

Averages for the class of 2015:[3]


  • 30.3 (35 takers)
SAT Reasoning Test
  • Critical Reading: 677
  • Math: 682
  • Writing: 683 (94 takers)
SAT Subject Tests (and number of test takers)
  • Biology Ecology: 593 (7)
  • Biology Molecular: 645 (2)
  • Chemistry: 689 (25)
  • Chinese with Listening: 587 (3)
  • English Literature: 665 (71)
  • French: 651 (10)
  • French with Listening: 710 (1)
  • Korean with Listening: 800 (1)
  • Math Level I: 599 (13)
  • Math Level II: 708 (73)
  • Physics: 672 (9)
  • Spanish: 685 (6)
  • Spanish with Listening: 695 (6)
  • US History: 595 (6)
  • World History: 640 (1)


On average, Lick-Wilmerding receives approximately 900 applications each year for 128 seats in the incoming 9th grade class. Full Tuition for the 2015–2016 school year is $42,438, with Flexible Tuition ranging from $1,000 to $42,438. This includes books, lunch, and all course materials and supplies [4]


From the website:

Aim High

Aim High was founded in 1986, with 50 students and 12 teachers, on the campus of Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco.

The program has evolved into a collaboration with several outstanding educational institutions: Lick-Wilmerding High School, The Urban School of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District and St. Paul's Episcopal School. Additional partners include the Bay Area Teachers Center, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Exploratorium."

The Bay Area Teachers Center

"The Bay Area Teachers Center, located within Lick-Wilmerding High School, offers a unique one-year secondary school single subject teaching credential in partnership with San Francisco State University. See the Bay Area Teachers Center (BATC) website at"

Extracurricular activities

Technical Arts Programs

"Remaining faithful to its century-old history as a pioneering institution in the technical arts, LWHS offers a unique collection of shop classes. This is an important part of the school's mission of developing in young people those "qualities of the head, heart, and hands" which will serve them well in college and in life.

The department's courses seek to provide a basic understanding of the qualities and characteristics of the materials in the Glass, Electronics, Machine, Jewelry and Wood Shops, as well as to foster an appreciation of the design principles introduced in the Drafting & Design course. LWHS students learn to work conceptually and physically, moving from theory to practice in order to bring the designs of the mind into the physical world.

The faculty members work closely together, often stepping across conventional boundaries. They are committed not only to educating young people but also to furthering their own learning and to exploring their own creativity. Their common objectives include efficient use of technologies, effective problem solving, creative expression, aesthetic appreciation of craft and design, and personal empowerment through self-confidence and self-esteem."

  • Metal Shop: Fabrications, Advanced Fabrications, Jewelry/Metal Art, Advanced Jewelry/Metal Art
  • Glass Working: Glass Foundations, Advanced Glass
  • Wood Shop: Woodworking I, Advanced Woodworking, Wood Carving
  • Electronics: Electronics Foundations, Advanced Electronics


Fall Teams
  • Boys and Girls Cross Country
  • Boys Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Frosh/Soph Soccer
  • Girls Varsity, Junior Varsity and Frosh/Soph Volleyball
  • Girls Varsity and Junior Varsity Tennis
Winter Teams
  • Boys Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Frosh/Soph Basketball
  • Girls Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Frosh/Soph Basketball
  • Boys and Girls Wrestling
Spring Teams
  • Boys and Girls Track and Field
  • Boys and Girls Badminton
  • Boys Varsity Lacrosse
  • Girls Varsity Lacrosse
  • Varsity Baseball
  • Girls Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer
  • Boys and Girls Swimming
  • Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity Tennis
  • Golf


Lick-Wilmerding offers more than forty student-led clubs and organizations that allow students to become engaged in their environment and connect with others who share similar interests.

Awards has also designated Lick-Wilmerding as the 6th top high school in the United States utilizing Green Architecture [1]

California Music Education Association Honors
Chamber Singers: Unanimous Superior, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007.
Big Band: Unanimous Excellent, two years running, and Unanimous Superior, two years before.
Advanced Jazz Combo: Unanimous Superior, for four years
Orchestra: Unanimous Superior, for one year

Anaheim Heritage Festival Honors
2004: Chamber Singers and Chamber Orchestra: Gold

Notable alumni

See also


  1. Lick-Wilmerding Parent Handbook
  2. Lick-Wilmerding Course Catalog, 2010.

External links

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