Heritage Photos

AIVD Alumni gather at Clairemont High, 2005
In celebration of AVID's 25th Anniversary, original AVID students, tutors, teachers, and AVID Founder Mary Catherine Swanson, return to Room 206 at Clairemont High School in San Diego, California. The original AVID classroom, Room 206 has has been home to AVID students since 1980.

1985 College Field Trip1055—This shot, taken on an AVID class field trip to Stanford University in 1985, depicts early AVID students from Clairemont High School. The very first AVID college field trip took place at the end of the 1981-1982 school year, with AVID students spending a weekend living in the UCSD dormitories. Today the college field trip is taken by thousands of AVID students nationwide and is a fundamental component of the AVID elective.

DanaAward21—In this photograph AVID founder Mary Catherine Swanson is recognized as a 1991 Dana Award winner by Dwight Coblentz, Language Arts Director, San Diego County Office of Education and Jack Port, Board President San Diego County Office of Education. Mary Catherine accepted the award on behalf of public school teachers throughout America saying, "I accept this award on behalf of the thousands of teachers currently involved in the quest to make the American educational system a model that meets the needs of all learners." Newspaper headlines from the New York Times to the San Diego Union Tribune proclaimed, "AVID Founder Wins Equivalent of Nobel Prize."

1989writeoff228-1—AVID students participate in the first Subject A Write-off Contest held in San Diego in 1989. AVID founder Mary Catherine Swanson started the contest to prepare students to pass the Subject A writing placement exam used by the University of California, a test with only a 50 percent passage rate. The rest were placed in remedial English courses, for which they did not receive college credit. AVID teachers and English professors worked together to develop the prompts used in the write-off contest and awarded scholarships to the winners. Today AVID students across the nation compete in write-off contests.

SummerInstitute1989218-1—Founder Mary Catherine Swanson speaks at AVID's very first Summer Institute in 1989. Funded by a grant from the Education Consolidation Improvement Act (ECIA), AVID's first Summer Institute was held on the campus of the University of San Diego.

Padres Scholars369—Pictured here is the inaugural group of AVID Padres Scholars taken in June of 1995. The Padres Scholars program, co-sponsored by the San Diego Padres players and management, provides 25 $5,000 college scholarships each year to promising 8th grade AVID students. The monies are held in the Padres Foundation Fund to earn interest until the student enters college. Each nominee was required to write an essay and to be interviewed. Academic achievement, character, citizenship, and need were all weighed equally in the selection process. The first four Padres Scholars were named in June of 1995. An additional 21 were named in 1995-96. Pictured from left to right are John Flores, Satomi Zeigler, Bernice Alcantara, and Erubey Lopez.

SI 2003581—Students from Livingston Middle School in Sacramento perform an original rap at AVID's Summer Institute in 2003 at the Sacramento Convention Center. Note that students hold binders. An integral part of the AVID program, AVID students are required to keep their notes and work in organized 3-ring binders that are closely monitored by their teachers in weekly binder checks.

AVID Car658—Taken ca. 1985, this photo shows the dedication and drive of this car's owner, Doug Roselli, AVID Coordinator at El Cajon Valley High School.

Sweetwater High 1995
665—AVID students at Sweetwater High School, in San Diego California, pose with their science fair projects in 1995.

1st AVID Center Board666—The original AVID Center Board, pictured here in 1992, the year it was founded. Funded with monies from the Charles Henry Dana Award, the Board was charged with developing a plan for the expansion of the AVID program. Pictured from left to right: Ed George, Harry Weinberg, Mary Catherine (AVID Founder), Uri Treisman, Ann Navarra, Ron Ottinger, Clarence Fields (an original AVID student) and Tom Page.

20th Anniversary816-4—Taken at AVID's 20th anniversary celebration in San Diego, California, July 2000, this photograph features young singers from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts singing to AVID founder Mary Catherine Swanson. Every year, teachers from all over the nation are trained in AVID strategies at one of AVID's nationwide Summer Institutes. Student speakers and performers are always the highlight of the closing session luncheon.

500—In this shot, Garfield High School (LAUSD) principal Henry Gradillas gives the keynote speech at AVID's first Summer Institute held at the University of California, San Diego in 1989. Gradillas is best known for his supporting role as principal to inspirational teacher Jaime Escalante, whose story was made famous by in the film "Stand and Deliver."

CHS Students on Bus1056—This photograph depicts Clairemont High Schools students being bused to school in 1980. In the 1970's Clairemont was home to an academically high performing student body that was made up predominately of upper-middle class Anglos. At the end of the decade, the opening of a new high school precipitated the loss of half the student population. To augment the school's dwindling numbers and to be in accordance with the San Diego City's Schools voluntary integration program, minority and low-income students from all over San Diego County were bused to Clairemont High School. The influx of this new student body caused academics to suffer and while many teachers blamed it on inherent shortcomings of this new group of students, Mary Catherine Swanson believed that given support, these same students could excel in college preparatory classes.


LA Times 1985
1107—This photograph of a 1985 Los Angeles Times article, featuring the then five year old AVID program, shows AVID founder Mary Catherine Swanson teaching some of the original AVID students. This Times article was one of many articles written in 1985 that brought attention to the fledgling program's financial troubles. During the first five years, Swanson funded AVID exclusively through a series of small grants and some discretionary funding provided by the superintendent, and worried that the program could be in jeopardy without a more solid funding base.