History of San Pasqual School as Remembered by Jane L. Trussell

1875- San Pasqual School District was formed. A building was built in the center of the valley (now the monument Crossing). Then the next year it was moved to the Wood’s property at the west end of the valley. There were 3 Trustees. The first teacher was J.B. Newcomb. Boy’s attendance was sporadic because they were kept home to work.

1877- East San Pasqual School District was formed because it was too far for the children at the east end to walk to the west end every day. A residence, which was housed an Indian family, was used.

1882- An adobe building was constructed. (It still stands, but in great despair.) Water came from a well with a hand pump. There was 2 out houses – one at the farthest southeast corner of the property, the other at the farthest southwest corner, one for the boys and one for the girls. Before a bridge was built over the river, there were 2 terms, one in the fall and the other in the spring.

1918 and 1919- The two one-room schools were joined to form a new school in 1918, but the children continued to attend the one-room schools until it was ready. The state formed a district and a School board was elected; San Pasqual Union School District was born! The school was located on property donated by William H. Dyer and Edward H. Webb (one acre each). A brand new school building was constructed in 1922 and stood where the flagpole is located at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the existing building. A house (teacherage) was built on the back of the school property for a teacher to live. Before this time, the teachers were boarded with private families. The old schoolhouse and the teacherage were demolished in 1970 for a new larger building. That building housed students until the school was moved to Rockwood Road in 2001. The building is now the home of the San Diego Archaeological Center.

1935- WPA (Works Progress Administration) built the two retaining walls the site exists.

1942- Jane Largent (Trussell) was hired as teaching principal at a salary of $1400 a year, plus $50.00 for being principal. There were 2 teachers and about 45 students.

1944- Henry Fenton (who by this time owned half of the valley) used his heavy equipment to enlarge the playground.

1946- Fenton brought together the remaining members of the class of 1886 for a reunion. They stayed on his Bandy Canyon Ranch for a week. Elizabeth Judson Roberts one of their teachers was also present. At this time he restored the adobe school building.

1967- The first Kindergarten class was held in the old teacherage. Linda Pusker had 5 students.

1968- A Quonset was brought in to help create another classroom for the increasing enrollment.

1970- A new building was constructed on the area that had been the playground. To the state requirements, we leased 8 acres from the City of San Diego. 4 classrooms, office, and restrooms were built in this unit. Then 2 years later, 4 classrooms were added on the north side, creating a total of 8 classrooms.

1976- Trussell retired as Superintendent/Principal. Marydee Hinrichs , a teacher, became the chief administrator. Trussell remained part-time to help the new superintendent and teach physical education to all the classes.

1980- An additional building was added. Portable buildings soon followed. Inter-district attendance agreements were encouraged to bring in more revenue.

1986- Gordon Christensen became the Superintendent/Principal. Interdistrict transfer students became the majority of enrollment with over 70% living outside of the district boundaries. With the addition of the new development called Rancho San Pasqual in the late '90s, three family factions existed causing tension in the school culture.

1997- Jeff Felix was hired as Superintendent/Principal. Because the school was bursting at the seams with students, it was apparent that another location was needed. This was due not only to the 2 large housing developments, but also to contaminated water supply issues, failing leach fields, a very busy highway with no safe turn lanes, and no place to expand on the old site. A new location on Rockwood Road was found, but the City of San Diego protested strongly for political reasons. A real estate expert and a political lobbyist were hired to assist the school board with negotiations. Finally the land was purchased, but to receive financial aid from the state, the original site had to be abandoned and sold. One year later in 2001, San Pasqual Union School opened its doors to a beautiful 26 acre campus within walking distance of most students. The architecture of the new "farm themed" school was modeled after existing structures within the district boundaries.

School Enrollment-

  • 1875- 10 students
  • 1942- 45 students
  • 1976- 125 students
  • 2003- over 500 students


  • The first bus was a 1931 Model A Ford. The last few years at the old site, 3 buses were used.
  • At the new site, 2 buses were used the first two years as many children could now walk to school. Due to increasing enrollment, three buses were used in 2004.


  • In the 1950's SPUS sports teams were invited to participate in basketball tournaments at Escondido High School for small schools. Later the small schools formed a league.
  • There were five parochial schools that participated in the "Small Schools League" and San Pasqual was the only public school.