Nordhoff High School

Nordhoff High School (NHS), originally Nordhoff Union High School, is a public high school in Ojai, California that serves most of the Ojai Valley. The school is located at 1401 Maricopa Highway, within the city of Ojai and near the town of Meiners Oaks. Nordhoff is one of two high schools within the Ojai Unified School District, the other being Chaparral High School, a continuation school. Established in 1910, the school celebrated its centennial in 2010.[2]

Nordhoff High School
1401 Maricopa Hwy

TypePublic high school
PrincipalDave Monson
Enrollment708 (2016-2017)[1]
CampusSmall town
Color(s)          Royal blue and gold
Athletics conferenceCIF Southern Section
Citrus Coast League
RivalCarpinteria High School
Santa Paula High School
Athletic DirectorRené Nakao-Mauch
WebsiteNordhoff High School


The original Nordhoff High School campus was located at 703 El Paseo Road, which is now the site of Matilija Middle School. The original school buildings, located in an area known as the "Arbolada", were built/rebuilt in the late 1920s using traditional Spanish Mission-style architecture. The school moved to its current location in 1966. Today, MMS still features large tiles with the initials "NUHS" on the steps of the athletic field.

The school takes its name from the town of Ojai's original name of Nordhoff. The town, in turn, was named in honor of the author Charles Nordhoff who wrote the book "California for Health, Pleasure and Residence", published in June 1872. Early settlers of European ancestry were said to have been impressed with the book enough to move to and settle the area, eventually naming the town after the author. The following statement was included in an obituary written just after his death, which occurred in San Francisco on July 14, 1901:

The town of Nordhoff was named for Charles Nordhoff, in appreciation of the good words spoken of the Ojai Valley as a health resort, both as a writer and in personal talks with friends.

According to local records, the name Nordhoff sounded "a bit too German", and the town name was eventually changed prior to World War I, when American sentiment became increasingly anti-German. As part of this trend, the town was renamed Ojai in 1917, supposedly at the insistence of local businessman and philanthropist Edward Libbey. Although the community has since been renamed, the high school and the original town cemetery are the only two significant landmarks which retain the original town name of Nordhoff.


Nordhoff High School athletic teams are nicknamed the Rangers. The school is a charter member of the Citrus Coast League, a conference within the CIF Southern Section that was established in 2018. Prior to that, Nordhoff was part of the Tri-County Athletic Association.[3]

The football stadium, known as Ojai Valley Community Stadium, is located adjacent to the high school gymnasium and student parking lot. Nordhoff's football team is considered by many to be a small-school powerhouse within the Southern California region, having made numerous appearances in CIF-SS playoff games, including three championship games since the 1990s. Nordhoff finished the 2010 school season ranked #1 in the CIF-SS Northwest Division and amassed a 12-1 overall record, including a perfect 10-0 regular season schedule. In 2012, Nordhoff won the CIF-SS Northwestern Division by defeating title game host North Torrance 31-14. In 2013, Nordhoff won the CIF-SS Northwestern Division by defeating El Segundo High School 49-21. That same year, Nordhoff appeared in a state bowl game for the first time, losing to eventual CIF Division 3 Champion Corona Del Mar by a score of 24-8.

Nordhoff High School sponsors the following sports:

Fall season

  • Football
  • Marching Band
  • Cross Country
  • Boys' Waterpolo
  • Girls' golf
  • Girls' tennis
  • Girls' volleyball

Winter season

  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Girls' Waterpolo
  • Wrestling

Spring season

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Boys' golf
  • Boys' tennis
  • Boys' Volleyball
  • Swimming
  • Track and field

The movie Easy A, a 2010 teen drama/comedy was filmed at Nordhoff High School under the fictitious name of "Ojai North High School". Many of the Nordhoff students were featured in the film or hired as extras.


  1. "Nordhoff High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  2. Nordhoff Centennial plans
  3. Ledin, Loren (March 23, 2017). "Releaguing plan brings opportunities and complaints". Ventura County Star. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
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