"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." - Albert Einstein
As a faculty member in the sciences at Daniel Murphy High School, I was very proud of the curriculum we offered our students. We not only taught them by disseminating knowledge, but we taught them how to learn. Daniel Murphy High School empowered boys to become young men. It also instilled in its faculty the spirit of collegiality, a sense of common purpose, and the capacity to mentor and nurture. These latter qualities I carried with me as I went on to pursue graduate studies, and which I carry with me today as a professor of chemistry at Cal State University Fullerton. I still wear with great pride my Murphy varsity letterman sweater, presented to me by the class of 1982, and I am indebted to the cross country team during those years for instilling in me a love of running, which I still enjoy today.
Daniel Murphy High School can proudly count among its graduates lawyers, civic leaders, businessmen, health professionals, and teachers. All its graduates, however, are distinguished, distinguished because they are erudite, upstanding citizens, devoted fathers, men of integrity, and men of faith. Daniel Murphy High School has truly produced "Noble" men, and it will be an irreparable loss to this city and the region to see it close its doors.
- Katherine Kantardjieff, Ph.D. (aka "Ms. K."), Instructor and Chair of Science, 1980-1982
When we began researching high schools for my son to attend, Daniel Murphy just didn't come to mind. We never saw any glossy handouts or had speakers attend his elementary school, St. Bernadette. When another parent mentioned Daniel Murphy, I realized I almost missed the chance to send him there. From the time I was in high school, so many years ago, Daniel Murphy had an excellent reputation and I knew several graduates. Dances and football games were always crowded and my fellow students at Immaculate Heart were always talking about Murphy guys. When I told an acquaintance that the school was closing, he was shocked. "Everybody wanted to be a Murphy man," he told me.
There was never any question in my mind that my son would attend a Catholic high school. The Archdiocese slogan, 'A Catholic education is an education for life' is absolutely true. It's not just the education, however, that makes Catholic schools special. The dedication of the teachers, the community service all students are expected to perform, and the relationships formed combine to make the experience unique and special. We particularly liked the fact that the small student body made Daniel Murphy a close-knit community, more so than many other schools.
Daniel Murphy has provided my son with a quality education and the chance to meet and make friends with a diverse group of students.
We are disappointed that the Archdiocese decided to close the school and feel that they owe each and every student an apology for the way this situation was handled.
- Julie Minton
Let me start by saying I could have gone to any number of Catholic high schools. After looking at several campuses and attending numerous open houses, I narrowed my choices down to two schools - Daniel Murphy High School and Loyola. While a number of the more affluent families in my parish told their sons they would attend Loyola, my parents were wise enough to allow me to make that decision on my own. I can't put into words how glad I am that I chose to attend Daniel Murphy and how grateful I am to my parents for allowing me that decision.
During my first three years at Daniel Murphy, I was fortunate enough to be taught by the Dominicans. They were an invaluable asset to the school. Not only were they strict, dedicated teachers and mentors, they were also a big brother to us when we just needed to sit down after school and talk about life. They taught us the importance of a good education and did their best to ensure that's what they provided us before we left their care and moved on to college. One very important lesson I'll never forget is that a noble man does noble things and by noble things he stands. The quality of education was second to none.
Daniel Murphy is a small school and, as such, offers smaller class sizes than the larger schools. For those reasons, it was hard NOT to become friends with everyone around you. Murphy had - and continues to have - probably the most diverse student body in the entire Archdiocese. Everything we did, we did as a family - a brotherhood. We formed a bond that reached across ethnic and cultural boundaries and that's something that's very important in life. After four years together, many of my classmates became like family to me. I made lifelong friends - not only with my classmates but with some of the faculty as well (Dr. K, I still owe you that lunch!). These are just a few of the things that make Daniel Murphy High School so special.
It is rather unfortunate that Cardinal Mahony (who himself studied on the property when it was a seminary) is so ashamed of our fine school. I hope and pray that he realizes the importance of our school in the Archdiocese. Closing this school to settle a debt is not the solution - it's part of the problem.
- Greg Philippon, Class of 1982
I didn't think a whole lot about going to Daniel Murphy and if it would change my life, even though that was ALL that my Mom talked about. When I went to summer school - I knew that I loved Daniel Murphy and mostly just felt good going there every day. Now that Daniel Murphy might close I can't help but feel (and know) that some how my life won't be the same. I know that my life won't be what it would have been if I did graduate from Murphy. It's more than being separated from my friends and not getting my diploma from Murphy. I feel like my life path is changing directions and it is scary to think that some grown ups don't value our school and the boys that go there.
The only good thing that has come from this is that now I am even clearer that as a man I will always stand up for what I believe in and fight for what is right. No matter where I graduate from, I will be a "Noble" man and my experiences at Daniel Murphy will live with me forever.
I will always look back and wonder where were Daniel Murphy's champions and defenders when they were needed the most?
- Matthew Justice Holt, Class of 2011
As a graduate of Immaculate Heart High School - I always knew that if I had sons they would go to Daniel Murphy. Once my eldest was enrolled I felt an incredible amount of relief! I spoke to my son at great length about how Daniel Murphy would change his life and set him on a course for success. I believed that my son would get a quality education that I could afford and in a well rounded environment. I believed that my son would be part of a larger family and part of a noble tradition.
I can not begin to tell you how devastated my son and I both were when the announcement to close the school was made. Daniel Murphy closing its doors is tragic and the ramifications will be felt for generations to come. My family's reality is that if Daniel Murphy should close - there will more than likely NOT be another catholic school in my son's future.
For certain the course of my son's future is being changed.
The reality that the school is closing to redirect funds to pay off the pedophile priest settlement is more than abomination! Children should not have to pay the price of mistakes made by men... I would like to believe that the archdiocese values all congregants but most especially the children who are the future of the church.
If the archdiocese is not going to make sacrifices to protect and support children now...when will they?
- Joy Figueras-Holt, Immaculate Heart High School, Class of 1989
Having attended a Catholic high school, I planned that direction for my son. My brother attended Daniel Murphy High School and I even attended summer school one year. I have many fond memories of activities that took place there during my schooling. It makes me sad that my son will not get to experience all of those things.
Very little seems to impress or impact my son. However, the day he found out that the school was closing, he was shattered. He cursed (apologizing to me first) and got angry. I let him get it out of his system. It was very unfair to him. He didn't have nice words for the Cardinal at that time either.
As a single parent, raising a male child, I appreciate the many faculty role models. I appreciate the size of the campus - my son can build relationships with his teachers. I appreciate the location - we're 2.2 miles away. I appreciate the affordability - an investment toward his future.
Daniel Murphy Catholic High School is a part of my family. No other school can compare. It will be a devastating loss to everyone: students, alumni, faculty and parents.
- Shelly Y. Rodriguez
My son is now an alumnus, Class of 2007. The day I found out the school was closing I cried. Daniel Murphy High School was such a joy for my son and for me. I was very involved with the Parent Association and the sports program. The students were so close and there really was not a race or color line. The boys were and still are like a family within themselves. I am a silent cheerleader for DMHS to stay open. I pray that some how it will be saved. I am Catholic but I will not contribute to any causes for the Archdiocese. Did you know that the Cardinal came to Murphy two years ago and had his car washed? It was a fundraiser for the football team! Was he just looking to see how large the property is? Anyway, fight for Murphy!
- Ganine Arnold, parent of Brandon Arnold (Class of 2007) and ex-Booster Club President
"Serving middle- to low-income families living along La Brea Ave in Los Angeles's Fairfax district, Daniel Murphy High School was noted for its high graduation rates, college success stories and public service careers, including those of Bernard Parks, later chief of police, William Bamattre, later fire chief, and Craig Chretien, later the third highest ranking official in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration."
- Kevin Starr, Professor of History an the University of Southern California quoted from his book "Coast of Dreams California on the Edge, 1990-2003". From 1994 to 2004, Professor Starr served as the state librarian for California. His writing has won a Guggenheim Fellowship and gold and silver medals from the Commonwealth Club of California.