On Campus: Wildcat Walk behind the Administration Building
On Campus: Wildcat Walk behind the Administration Building
Since its founding as Warren G. Harding High School in 1924, what we know today as University High School has always been a center of excellence. Re-named in 1929 in honor of the move by UCLA to its Westwood campus, Uni’s faculty and staff have given tens of thousands of students a rock-solid foundation for their future. The University High School Education Foundation (UHEF) is helping ensure that today’s students are able to continue to excel in academic, arts and athletics, as have those of the past.
The UHEF was created as a 501(c)(3) charitable, tax-exempt corporation in 1985. The Articles of Incorporation state specifically its purpose:
“… to raise funds for University High School, Los Angeles, California to help maintain the high standards of education in the school and the community by supplementing funding which has been substantially reduced since [passage of California] Proposition 13.”
The Foundation is a volunteer organization. Its Board of Directors meets monthly in West Los Angeles.
The UHEF produces an annual newsletter for its members detailing activities, expenditures, and alumni news for the previous year (our most recent Newsletter, in PDF format, is available here). It is mailed only to those (1) who are members in good standing, and (2) for whom we have current mailing information.
Become a member of the University High School Education Foundation today: visit our “Become A Member” page now.
In 1985, Uni Principal Jack Moscowitz and parent Barat Fink were determined to supplement the school’s budget following funding reductions in the aftermath of the passage of California Proposition 13 in 1978. The answer was to engage the energies of Uni parents, teachers and alumni. An annual UHEF picnic began in 1989, expanded to include a classic car show in 2003 (on hiatus from 2012-15 due to on-campus construction, but which returned in 2016).
The initial alumni contact list was small, but energetically maintained by Stan Stoner and Ruthella Gibbons, both from the Class of 1942. It now contains over 14,000 names and is regularly updated by Ivan Finkle ’50.
The Foundation has raised more than $1.1 million to support Uni, including funding for the modernization of the College-Career Center, installation of the school’s first computer lab, a new library security system, new seating for the Stivelman Theatre. In addition, the UHEF funds annual awards including:
∙ $1,000 Sharon Mednick Memorial Scholarship (two recipients annually)
∙ $1,000 UHEF Community Service Scholarship (two recipients annually)
UHEF additionally serves as a conduit for alumni groups that plan events while actively supporting the school.
Ceremonial Trowel from the laying of the cornerstone of Warren G. Harding High School, on April 5, 1924
Sandee Yamamoto is a current parent of a Uni High sophomore. She is head of U.S. affairs, production and Tristone Entertainment, a Japanese talent management and film production company. She is involved with foreign casting, contract negotiation and all connections outside of Japan. Sandee has served on parent organizations at various LAUSD schools and considers herself a public education advocate. She first joined UHEF as the lead parent coordinator for Uni High Theater. She recognizes the importance of “one” community voice, to be an effective organization to support all the students and educators of Uni.
V.P ALUMNI OUTREACH
Kathleen Cohen “86, is an experience strategist focusing on creatively integrating digital platforms. She has over 20 years merging physical and virtual worlds. Kathleen is a highly creative, business-savvy, big-picture thinker who leads clients into locating, designing, and producing next generation technologies with engaging content for impactful visitor experiences. She sells vision from the cross-section of creative thinking and user engagement. Her past work includes: DreamWorks, IBM Innovation and Disney. Currently Kathleen is working in two focused areas; 1)Augmented Reality(AR) glasses that spatial map safe-guided pathways for the visually impaired and blind. 2) Advancing tech innovation for themed entertainment and sustainable tourism. Kathleen was Senior Class President and with a very active committee has coordinated the ’86 decennial reunions. In 2016 the class raised and donated $2,461.00 to the UHEF for Uni.
V.P PARENT OUTREACH / UNI CHARTER GOVERNING COUNCIL REP.
Jay Manning is the parent of a Uni freshman, (Class of 2021), with another student at Emerson, (Uni Class of 2023). Currently serving as president of the Emerson parents organization, (PACE), as well as Chairman of the Emerson Charter board. Newly elected as Chairman of the Uni High School Site Council (SSC).
He looks forward to growing UHEF membership among current Uni families, while continuing UHEF outreach to the Uni Alumni family.
Jordan Friedberg is married to Janine Gershon both natives of Los Angeles, with three children 19 (now a sophomore at Oregon State), 17 and 14 (both at Uni) all of whom have been involved in soccer since they were 5. Jordan is a certified club and AYSO referee, past club team administrator, certified coach and a board member and treasurer for the past nine years for an AYSO Region.
Jordan, has an MBA from Pepperdine University. His past experience includes, upper management in a TV/film network and production/post production companies, and management of start-up Internet companies. He also has skills in all areas of accounting, budgeting, finance, and management, including forensic accounting, His management experiences in post includes working with large and boutique post innovative industry leaders in equipment, post-production and production in both film and video, management of a theater in turn-around, coordination of fundraising of 3.7 million dollars in matching funds. He has been an Associate Producer on more than 480 hours of network programming and feature movies. Past companies have included: Corporate Accounting Director of ABC American Broadcasting Company, CFO Cinema Research Corporate, CFO Pacific Ocean Post. Currently President of FilmRoos Inc. and Aremac Consultants, LLC.
Jordan has been involved in the Los Angeles area community for years, including as a board member of two different synagogues, PTSA Treasurer for University High School, Founding Board Member of the Bel Air Film Festival, Producer on RADD/Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drunk Driving®.
Class of 1950. After Uni earned MS Applied Physics, UCLA. Joined The Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, and eventually retired from Hughes Aircraft Company in 1995. Still living in Westwood and enjoys “giving back” to Uni.
VICE PRESIDENT ACTIVITIES/ATHLETICS
Randy Awni is a son of Marge Johnson, a Uni grad from the 50’s and he is also the proud father of Jared Awni, Uni class of 2014! A UCLA grad and business owner in West Los Angeles, Randy and his family are invested in the community and donate time to better it.
Current Principal (and a tireless promoter of Uni and its students), since 2008. A professional educator for more than 25 years, he began as an elementary school teacher at West Hollywood Elementary in 1988. Prior to his current position, he was the Assistant Principal at Westchester High School from 2004-08.
Parent of four Uni grads & Board Member since ’93. A passionate devotion to quality public education for all children has kept me involved with the Foundation. My kids keep wondering if I’ll “ever graduate from High School.”