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Fri., Dec. 22, a group of former students are inviting the community to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the unique education system called Nova High School with other alumni, faculty and families in an open house format from 4-6 p.m. with a special 5:30 p.m. presentation in the lobby of what is now called University Preparatory School at 2200 Eureka Way in Redding.
Background: Starting in 1967, Shasta County freshmen who usually attended Shasta High School, Central Valley High School and Enterprise High School united for one year at a brand new campus called Nova High School located in the former Shasta High School building, now U-Prep. Formed under the leadership of its original principal, Dr. Jack Schreder, the institution was a national example of a cutting-edge educational institution that had never really been seen before.
“The Nova experience that began in 1967 brought many students with varying backgrounds across Shasta County together to share their freshman year in a common educational environment that I believe brought our community together and formed bonds that have lasted over 50 years.” – Dr. Jack Schreder, first Principal Nova High School 1967-1974
Nova High School lasted until 1991 when population increases in far eastern Shasta County demanded another high school be created, so the school was turned into the more traditionally formatted home of Foothill High School until they relocated to their current campus in Palo Cedro in 1999.
“50 years ago this year I was honored to be selected as the first principal of Nova High School, the years I was at Nova were some of the most satisfying of my 62 years of teaching and administration in public education. As a resident of Redding, it gives me great pleasure to see many of my former students contribute to the well-being of our community.” – Dr. Jack Schreder
After the 5:30 p.m. special presentation hosted by Jim Cloney, Superintendent of Shasta Union High School District, all are invited to reconnect at 1991 Nova alumni Kenny Breedlove’s restaurant Shameless O’Leery’s in their special event room for unofficial gathering from 6-8 p.m.
“For me, besides lessons learned at Nova, many acquaintances were made and friendships forged. These relationships fueled later academic and athletic rivalries as we all moved on to Shasta, Enterprise or Central Valley High School the next year. That year at Nova made future sporting events, trips to the mall, invites to house parties and keggers all mini reunions of sorts. It seemed as if you always knew someone wherever you went. You never felt alone or out of place as Nova, by assembling such a high number into one place, increased the odds of connecting with someone similar. Nova made a seemingly large city small and introduced the willing to different points of view that hopefully prepared them for life today. I will always cherish Nova memories.” – Michael Flanagan, community activist and former Nova Student
“Being a restaurant owner I find myself having a lot of unique conversations with a lot of unique people. I’m always shocked at how many times the ‘I went to Nova as well’ comment is made. As soon as it does we automatically have a fraternity-like bond and the conversation becomes, ‘Do you remember the crowded stairs, or the courtyard where everyone had lunch?’ Nova was such a great place to meet kids from other schools that you would never have if you went straight to your high school as a freshmen! I still to this day have friends that I would never have had if it weren’t for Nova!” -Kenny Breedlove, Owner of Market Street Steakhouse and Shameless O’Leery’s, and former Nova student from the last class of 1991.