Junior High Unveils New Class Mural

By the Santa Barbara Unified School District

Santa Barbara Junior High School unveiled a new mural to commemorate its 90th graduating class. SBJH opened its doors in 1932 as the first junior high school in the City of Santa Barbara. The following year, artisans from the Works Progress Administration added the Marjorie Luke Theater.

To keep in the theme of the school’s mascot, the Condors, the mural highlights what makes students soar.

The artwork features feathers created by students and staff that include decorations on the front and a statement about what makes them soar on the back.

School leaders unveiled the new mural during an event on Thursday, May 25. The entire project was spearheaded by SBJH English teacher and Emergent Multilingual Learner lead PJ Carmean. 

Ms. Carmean applied for and was awarded a $3,000 grant from the Santa Barbara Education Foundation to fund the project. 

In collaboration with SBJH art teacher Darren Iacono and SBJH woodshop teacher Michael Nott, 650+ feathers were applied to wooden backing and affixed to SBJH’s new Multipurpose Building. 

In her remarks at the unveiling, Ms. Carmean said, “This mural reminds us that when we combine our diversity and differences, it creates something beautiful,” 

Mr Iacono’s and Mr Nott’s students also helped with the project.  In true community fashion, four former SBJH (and current SBHS) students spent many hours after school assisting Mr. Iacono and Mr. Nott with the final product. 

“What I love most about this project is that it was both community-inspired and community-created; it brought the entire school together,” said SBJH Principal Dan Dupont.

SBJH is truly proud of the community effort it took to bring this project to fruition. We’re excited that generations of future Condors will be able to benefit from this collaborative project. 

“I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project that celebrates the vibrant Condor Community. SBJH educators have inspired nine decades of scientists, engineers, writers, artists, athletes, and more. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the school in the next 90 years,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent.

Santa Barbara Junior High School’s 90th graduation is on June 8th.


Written by SBUnified

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). Learn more at sbunified.org

What do you think?


0 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment


  1. Congratulations to all involved! This is a wonderful accomplishment to commemorate a milestone in SBJHS History. I’m proud to say that I did my student teaching there under Lee Beckom and Larry Rodriguez in 1967.
    There are a couple of errors in the first paragraph, however. Santa Barbara Junior High School is, indeed, the first Junior High School in Santa Barbara. Not, however, at the Cota Street location. I believe it was originally housed in what had been the Santa Barbara High School building near the Lawn Bowling facility downtown. That would have been about the time that the “new” high school opened on Anapamu Street.
    The first purpose built Junior High was La Cumbre Junior High on Modoc Road. I believe the cornerstone says 1928. I taught there from 1967 to 2002 and became the unofficial historian. La Cumbre will soon celebrate its Centennial. I hope to still be around.
    I believe that the WPA was involved in far more than what became the Marjorie Luke Theatre. The beautiful tile work, the mural in the Library and the ceramic urn(s) — there were two — were all part of their contributions to a landmark building.
    La Cumbre, being built before the Great Depression, does not have those touches although it is beautiful in its own right. My students did a short unit on the history of the school that included an “exclusive” tour. Some may remember where the “angels” are and where one might find the “bears”.
    Frank Brownie “Once a Lancer, always a lancer.”

Fallen Tree into Power Lines Causes Small Buellton Fire

Recycling Organics in North County