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Final Beam Put into Place at Kathleen MacDonald High School

Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) has achieved a major milestone in the construction of its newest school. On Saturday, Oct. 9, the district held a celebratory beam signing just before the final steel beam was put into place on Kathleen MacDonald High School.

The school is the final of three schools built on the former Agnews campus. MacDonald High is scheduled to open in August 2022, one year after Abraham Agnew Elementary and Dolores Huerta Middle Schools opened.

“Building the high school is the capstone for this innovative preschool to 12th-grade campus. The crowning achievement in our journey to build the ultimate educational environment for our students,” said SCUSD School Board President Jodi Muirhead.


Long-time SCUSD School Board Trustee Jim Canova says he’s excited to see 15 years of hard work near a close.

“This has such a special place in my heart. I can’t begin to tell you. This has such an important piece of my heart and my soul,” said Canova. “I fought for this for a long time and I’m so glad to see it done. I’m so glad to see this actually being completed.”

The school is named after Kathleen MacDonald a former Vice Principal of Wilcox High School. MacDonald attended Fremont Elementary School and Santa Clara Intermediate as a young girl.

“I left there and went to Santa Clara High School and became a Panther and graduated from Santa Clara High School. Three and a half years later, I entered the campus of Wilcox High School as a student teacher in the field of business and that has been my home ever since,” said MacDonald. “I’m so appreciative of the Wilcox community that is here today. Thank you so much for being my family. This is my family—Santa Clara Unified.”

Dr. Vivian Rhone-Lay is the founding principal of Kathleen MacDonald High School. She says the school will include “modern, flexible seating and technology designed for collaboration.”

“Three signature traits will be established at MacDonald High School: a design thinking culture, learning communities and inquiry-based learning. This school will be an educational ecosystem that will integrate design thinking to inspire creativity, empathy and continual growth,” said Rhone-Lay. “At MacDonald High School we will ensure that students of all backgrounds and abilities achieve success and truly feel a sense of accomplishment.”

The final beam will rest on the concession stand in the school’s stadium. Before the beam was put into place it was signed by MacDonald and her family along with SCUSD leaders and community members.

State Assemblymember Alex Lee, former state Assemblymember Kansen Chu and representatives for Congressman Ro Khanna and state Senator Bob Wieckowski were all in attendance. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor as well as city councilmembers from Santa Clara and San Jose were also in attendance.

Kathleen MacDonald High School is located on Zanker Road in San Jose next to Dolores Huerta Middle School and Abram Agnew Elementary School.


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