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History of Moorpark Unified School District

Although Moorpark did not become a town until 1900, two earlier settlements, Epworth, located northwest of town, and Fremontville, located to the southwest, were early settlements in the area. Each of the settlements had a one-room schoolhouse that served the children of these two farming communities.

Construction of the Fremontville school began in 1895 and the school was completed the following year. It was built on two hilltop acres located in the area that is now called Peach Hill, at the intersection of Peach Hill and Rolling Knoll roads. The land was donated by local rancher Pierre Agoure. The school was open to students from the surrounding areas to ensure an enrollment large enough to qualify for a public school teacher.

The town of Moorpark was established in 1900 when a Los Angeles real estate developer named Robert W. Poindexter began to develop a large tract of land that he owned between Epworth and Fremontville. Poindexter gave the Southern Pacific Railroad an easement through his property and a strip of land on which to construct a depot. By August of that year, a post office was established in the newly constructed depot and a general mercantile store and hotel were moved from Fremontville to the town site.

With settlements on either side of Moorpark to provide a customer base, a cluster of businesses grew up around the railroad depot. Homes were built around the shops and within a few years a school was needed. In March of 1904, residents of Moorpark petitioned the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to change the name of the Fremontville School District to Moorpark. By August of that year, the name change was approved and the schoolhouse was being moved from its location in Peach Hill to the northwest corner of Charles and Walnut Streets, which at that time was the center of town.


As the population of the town grew, the schoolhouse was enlarged and extra buildings were added to accommodate the additional students. In 1928, it was decided that a new elementary school was needed and one was constructed on land purchased from the Flory family. The school, which originally served students in grades 1-8, was later named Flory School. As the population of Moorpark continued to grow, new classrooms and an assembly hall were added. In the late 1950's, space was at a premium due to high enrollment and first grade students were placed on a half-day schedule. The district decided that a second elementary school was needed and construction began on land purchased by the district on Poindexter Avenue. The new school opened on September 5, 1961 and was named Poindexter School. In the late 1980's, the name of the school was changed to Chaparral Middle School.


Since Moorpark's elementary school only served students through eighth grade, the residents of town realized the importance of the town having its own high school. In 1909, residents petitioned the county to create a high school district in Moorpark. When their request was denied, the community created their own private high school in 1912. The school was housed in the Moorpark Women's Fortnightly Clubhouse on Charles Street and, although tuition was free, each student had to provide $10 a year to cover the cost of the teacher. Finally, in February of 1920, Moorpark voters approved a school bond in the amount of $85,000 to cover the cost of constructing a new public high school. On October 30, 1920, the cornerstone of the Moorpark Memorial Union High School was laid and construction began at a location just northwest of town (the present site of Walnut Canyon School.) This structure served the community of Moorpark until the late 1930's when it was demolished and another school was built in approximately the same location. In the mid-1980's, work began on a new high school on 48 acres of land on Tierra Rejada Road. The new school, now officially renamed Moorpark High School, opened its doors in 1988.


In 1980, Moorpark voters approved the unification of Moorpark's elementary and high school districts and the new district was named the Moorpark Unified School District. At that time, the housing boom in Moorpark that had begun in the early 1980's made it necessary for the district to begin construction of many new schools to serve the town's growing population.


School Established
Arroyo West Active Learning Academy 1991
Campus Canyon College Preparatory Academy 1987
Chaparral Middle School 1961
Community High School 1982
Flory Academy 1928
High School at Moorpark College 2000
Mesa Verde Middle School 1994
Moorpark High School 1920
Mountain Meadows 21st Century Learning Academy 1987
Peach Hill Academy 1984
Walnut Canyon School 1998


Since unification in 1980, many Moorpark residents have taken time out of their busy schedules to serve as members of the Moorpark Unified School District's Board of Trustees.


Board Member Term(s)
Carla Robertson 1980-1989
David Gutierrez 1980-1985
Bill McMahon 1980-1987
Charles Schwabauer 1980-1985
Roger Beaulieu 1980-1983
Thelia Miller 1983-1987
Lynda Kira 1985-1989
Patty Waters 1985-1991
Dennis Hatland 1985-1987
Cynthia Hubbard-Dow 1987-1991
Tom Baldwin 1987-2006
Sam Nainoa 1989-1993
Pam Castro 1989-1994
Greg Barker 1991-2016
Clint Harper 1991-1998
Gary Cabriales

1993-2002, 2003-2004

David Pollock 1994-2010
Mindy Yaras 1999-2006
Chris Evans 2002-2003
Ron LaGuardia 2004-2014
Bruce Thomas 2006-2016
Ute Van Dam 2008-current
Nathan Sweet 2010-current
Robert Perez 2014-current
Scott Dettorre 2016-current
Jeff Donabedian 2016-current


All photos courtesy of the Moorpark Historical Society