The History of Garfield High School » Notable Alumni

Notable Alumni

William R. Anton (Class of Summer 1942)
  • Teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District
  • District Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District 1990-1992
  • First Latino School Superintendent in Los Angeles
  • Developed the District's Title I Program
  • Army Paratrooper during WWII
  • Los Angeles Times Article
Ernie Ayala (Class of Winter 1963)
  • President for the Rosemead Chamber of Commerce (2 terms)
  • Writer of CBS Radio
  • Researcher for the NBC-TV program "Chicano with Sal Lopez"
  • Staff member at KCBS-TV Broadcast Operations
  • News Anchor and Field Reporter for Theta Cable TV News
  • Teacher, Counselor and Public Relations manager with the Los Angeles Unified School District's Skills and Occupational Centers
  • Secretary "Boys of Belvedere"
Richard Alatorre (Class of 1961)
  • Student Body President, Garfield High School
  • California State Assemblyman

Carlos Almaraz (Class of 1959)

John A. Arguelles (Class of Summer 1945)
  • Superior Court Judge
  • California Supreme Court Justice 1987-1989

Stephen De Aro  (Class of Summer 1966)
  • Killed while serving in Vietnam.
  • The Garfield High School Mall Area is named in his honor.
Alberto C. Diaz (Class of
  • Editor and publisher of the weekly Belvedere Citizen and Eastside Journal newspapers
Albert E. Le Bas (Class of 1941)
  • 1942-1946: 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Army
  • Youngest Captain in history of the Los Angeles County Sheriff
  • 1972: Attended first FBI class at Quantico.  Class President.  Received the J. Edgar Hoover Award for Academic Excellence
  • 1976: Legislative Advocate for California State Sheriffs Association, California Police Chiefs Association and California Peace Officers Association.
  • 1983: Law Enforcement Liason to Governor George Deukmejian.
  • Executive Officer for Commission to create "The California Peace Officers' Memorial" -- including drafting legislation for it.
  • 2002: Top-Cop Award by the National Office of Concerns for Police Survivors.
  • 2002: Appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to Narcotic Addict Evaluation Control Board and as a Consultant to the Califonria Council on Problem Gambling.
  • Executive Director emeritus of the California Peace Officers' Memorial Foundation.
James Birakos (Class of 1959)
  • Earned a doctorate in environmental science
  • Former deputy director of SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District)
  • President of Alpha Environmental
Right Reverend Jon Bruno (Class of Summer 1964)
  • Bishop of the Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church
Elizabeth Carlson (Class of Summer 1931)
  • National Committeewoman, Young Democrats, 1938-1942
  • 1938 Platform Committee Chair (Young Democrats), presiding over a committee that produced two distinct platforms from two groups of Young Democrats supporting two very different platforms.  The group supporting President Roosevelt's foreign policy initiatives succeeded as the official CYD stance.
  • First woman chairman, California State Democratic Committee, 1954-1956
  • Served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for two years at El Rancho Unified School District
  • Assistant Superintendent of Education for 10 years at ERUSD.
  • Co-Superintendent, Montebello Unified School District
  • Superintendent of Schools, Montebello Unified School District, 2015-2016
Oscar De La Hoya
  • World champion boxer and Olympic gold medalist (1992 Barcelona Games)
  • He has won ten world titles in six different weight classes.
  • Founder of Golden Boy Promotions
Tony Duran (Class of 1963)
  • Accomplished guitarist
  • Contributed slide guitar and vocals to Frank Zappa's albums
  • Toured with Frank Zappa's Grand Wazoo Orchestra

Evelina Fernandez
  • Actress and Playwright
  • Winner Best Actres Award, Ibero-American International Film Festival (Spain) for Luminaries
  • Winner Best Writing, Golden eagle Award for Luminaries
  • Winner, Best Actress, Golden Eagle Award for American Me. 
  • Winner NCLR Alma Award for Hollywood Confidential.  
  • Lead actress, original stage production of Zoot Suit
Hector Flores Jr. PhD
  • President and CEO of Flores Labor Management Inc., Anaheim, CA
  • Awarded the Presidential Gold Medal by U.S. President George W. Bush (2004)
  • Served as Co-Chairman of the Business Advisory Council to the U.S. Congress (2003)
  • Awarded "Employer of the Year" by the National Republican Congressional Committee
  • Served in the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1973 in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve
  • Awarded two Purple Hears, two Commendation Medals for sustained acts of heroism, and the Bronze Star for bravery and meritorious service.
  • Vice President of "Boys of Belvedere"

Gus Frias
  • Masters Degree, Harvard University Graduate School of Education
  • Doctorate, Education and Leadership, University of California
  • Consultant on gang violence, Los Angeles Police Department
  • Consultant on gang violence, Orange County Office of Education
  • Criminal Justice Specialist, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Coordinator of School Safety Programs, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Education Sector Coordinator, InfraGard Los Angeles
Oscar Gallegos (Class of 1942)
  • Founding Principal of the East Los Angeles Skills and Occupational Centers
  • Governor's Council on Vocational Education
  • Attorney General's Advisory Committee.
  • President's Commission on Juvenile Delinquency
  • L.A. Board of Education Hall of Fame
  • President, Alumni Association
Harry Gamboa Jr.  
  • Chicano essayist, photographer, director and performance artist.
  • His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
  • Founding member of the influential ASCO, the Chicano performance art collective.
  • Oral History interview 
  • Harry Gamboa Jr. Presskit
  • President of California State University San Marcos
  • President at Sacramento State University
Jim Goto (Class of 1929)
  • Goto family moved to Montebello in 1925, Jim attended Garfield, graduating in 1929
  • Graduated USC
  • UCLA Medical School, 1932-1937
  • At Los Angeles General Hospital, he ranked number 1 on the entry examination out of 150 medical applicants - despite facing racial discrimination
  • Chief Surgeon, Los Angeles General Hospital (10 years)

Gilbert Granados (Class of 1968)
  • He was killed on September 11, 2001 in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
  • 9/11 Tribute

Mark Guerrero (Class of 1967)
  • Singer / Songwriter
George R. Hensel (Class of 1942)
  • In 1953, he established the California Driving School, becoming known as the "Godfather" of the industry
  • Successful real estate entrepreneur
  • Supported charitable causes such as Beverly Hospital, Woodbury University, Rotary, The Boys and Girls Club, and the YMCA.
Antonia Hernandez (Class of 1964)
  • Was president and general counsel of MALDEF, where she had such a lifetime of great achievements, we cannot list them all here.  We will provide links to many of the websites that honor her work.
David Hidalgo (Class of 1972)
  • Musician with Los Lobos
  • Grammy Award for Anselma, 1984
  • Grammy Award for La Bamba, 1987: two million albums sold; no.1 on Billboard's singles chart
  • Two additional Grammy Awards
  • Recipient, Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000
Raymond M. Hill (Class of 1929) 
  • Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department from 1966 to 1975
William E. "Bill" Hines (Class of Winter 1941)
James I. Ito, M.D. (Class of 1965)
  • Director of Department of Infectious Diseases, City of Hope National Medical Center 1983-2001
  • Nationally recognized leader in the research of bacterial and fungal diseases, their treatment  and prevention, with special emphasis on infections in the immune-compromised cancer patient.
Gordon P. Levy (Class of 1949)
  • Graduated from Loyola Law School
  • Practiced private law in the Los Angeles area
  • United States Attorney
  • Worked in the Los Angeles Criminal Justice System for 25 years
  • Senior Trial Deputy
  • Commissioner (judge) in the Juvenile Court Sstem
  • Retired from the District Attorney's Office in Los Angeles in 1994
  • Wrote three published books
Conrad Lozano (Class of 1970)
  • Musician with Los Lobos
  • Grammy Award for Anselma, 1984
  • Grammy Award for La Bamba, 1987: two million albums sold; no.1 on Billboard's singles chart
  • Two additional Grammy Awards
  • Recipient, Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000
Carlos Mencia
  • Renowned comedian
  • His listed name for school records was Ned Holness.
Julio Negrete (Class of 1936)
  • Starting as secretary, rose to vice president  and part owner of General Carbon Corporation, a national paint firm
  • Has donated over $50,000 for college scholarships to Garfield graduates
Dr. Max Offenberg (Class of 1930)
  • Practiced medicine for 50 years in the Belvedere area.
  • Owned, operated and maintained the Belvedere Hospital and Medical Clinic
  • Offenberg Scholarship Fund since 1977
Louie Perez (Class of 1971)
  • Musician with Los Lobos
  • Grammy Award for Anselma, 1984
  • Grammy Award for La Bamba, 1987: two million albums sold; no.1 on Billboard's singles chart
  • Two additional Grammy Awards
  • Recipient, Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000
Roger Angelo Peviani (Class of 1949)
  • 1950-1952: USC Football
  • 1953: New York Giants Football
  • 1991: President of the Trojan Football Alumni Club

Richard G. Polanco
  • Los Angeles City Council
  • California State Assembly
  • California State Senate
  • California State Senate Majority Leader
  • Student Body President of Garfield High School
Eddie Preciado
  • Founder and President of the Montebello Challenger Baseball Program for the Developmentally Disabled
  • Montebello Golf Commissioner
  • Parks and Recreation Commissioner of Montebello (1991-2003)
  • U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran receiving a Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, and Navy Commendation Medal
  • President of "Boys of Belvedere"

George Ramos (Class of 1966)
Domingo Rodriguez (Class of 1955)
  • Garfield Social Science Faculty, 1963-1972
  • California Secondary Teacher of the Year, 1972
  • Garfield Alumni Association Board, 1969-1972
  • LAUSD Amnesty Program, 1987-1991: legalized 400,000 students
  • Mayor's Apple Award for Education, 1992
  • LAUSD Citizenship Program, 1994-1999: citizenship for 185,000 students
Cesar Rosas (Class of 1972)
  • Musician with Los Lobos
  • Grammy Award for Anselma, 1984
  • Grammy Award for La Bamba, 1987: two million albums sold; no.1 on Billboard's singles chart
  • Two additional Grammy Awards
  • Recipient, Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000
Hrair Shekerjian (Class of 1955)
  • Garfield counselor 1969-1978
  • Engineering professor and counselor, East Los Angeles College 1978-2001
  • President, Alumni Association 1974-1975
  • Organizer, Garfield's 50th Anniversary Celebration.  
  • President, Garfield Scholarship Foundation; Active contributor to Garfield athletics 1955-2001
William Sutherland (Class of
  • Battalion Chief in the Los Angeles County Fire Department
  • Alumni Association President
Aili Tapio Gardea (Class of 1982)
  • Equal Opportunity Officer, ARCO
  • Founder, ATG Counseling, advising Fortune 500 companies on civil rights.
  • Board member, TELACU Education Foundation 1986-2001: awarded one million dollars in scholarships to local students

Esteban Edward Torres (Class of 1949)
  • Currently a consultant for and serves as President of the National Latino Media Council.
  • 1999: appointed by California Governor Gray Davis to serve on the California Transportation Commission, which is charged with overseeing the funding of California's transportation projects.
  • 1998: retires after a distinguished 16-year career in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • 1992-1998: serves as Deputy Democratic Whip.
  • Served as a senior member of the House Banking Committee.
  • Chaired the House Banking Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage.
  • Served on the House Appropriations Committee and its sub-committees on foreign operations and export financing.
  • Nationally recognized environmental leader.
  • Former Ambassador to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  • Served as Special Assistant to the President for Hispanic Affairs under President Jimmy Carter.
  • Former Congressmember from California.
  • Former United States Ambassador to the UNESCO

Helena Maria Viramontes
  • Author of such books as The Moths and Other Stories, Under the Feet of Jesus, and Their Dogs Came with Them.
  • Biography

Leo C. Wolinsky (Class of 1967)
  • Reporter, Bureau Chief- Sacramento, 
  • Political, Metro, Executive and Deputy Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Winner of Pulitzer Prizes for directing coverage of Northridge earthquake and Los Angeles Riot of 1992.
Richard Zapanta, MD (Class of S' 1964)
  • Attended East Los Angeles College
  • Bachelor Degree in Psychology from USC
  • Post Baccalaureate Fellowship at Haverford College, Pennsylvania (National Medical Fellowships)
  • Medical Degree from Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Senior partner of Eastside Orthopedic Medical Associates
  • Other ventures include Plaza Surgical Center, Monterey Park Medical Plaza, Promerica Bank, Camacho's Restaurants, and Associated Hispanic Physician's IPA
  • Founding member of the USC Mexican American Alumni Scholarship Fund
  • Advisory Board of the Latino Medical Student Association at the Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Awards a yearly scholarship to a deserving Garfield High School graduate
  • Sponsors a high school student for the Keck School of Medicine of USC MedCor Summer Work Program
  • Founding member of the American Association of Latino Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Served on the Keck School of Medicine of USC Admissions Committee
  • Board of Trustees of Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Board of Trustees of Whittier College
  • Board of Trustees of Alta Med Health Services Foundation
  • Board of Trustees of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center Foundation
  • Board of Trustees of the LA Health Foundation
  • National Council Alumni Chair, National Medical Fellowships
  • Received the Larry King Cardiac Foundation Award in 2008