Please watch the above video for testimonials from teachers whose classes have been recipients of contributions by the Hillmen Foundation.
A SPECIAL THANKS
When a group of Placer High School parents, faculty and administrators joined together in 1989 to create the Hillmen Foundation, they launched one of the earliest public school foundations designed to bridge state funding gaps and enrich educational opportunities for students. Today, more than $900,000 for grants and scholarships have literally made the difference in the lives of Placer students and our community.
Thanks to all of the generous donors, civic groups, and businesses over the years.
The Engle Era
Dr. John F. Engle became principal of Placer High School in 1906 and began a long and illustrious 30-year career in which the school expanded from five teachers in one rickety wooden building to an 800-student faculty boasting five buildings and the creation of a junior college. At the same time the high school developed a reputation throughout the state as one of the finest secondary institutions of the Placer High School District which extended from Loomis to Lake Tahoe.
Several landmark buildings were added during Engle’s stay as principal. During the 1906-07 school years the original Sierra College wooden building was torn down and replaced
1906 Upper Campus Building
by a $40,000 building. The new building was a substantial brick structure consisting of 22 rooms on four levels, including a basement, and a large tin dome. Heating was by an automatic system which regulated both temperature and ventilation in every room. Within a few years statuary, pictures, and potted plants were added to beatify the interior of the school. The library was considered one of the finest in Northern California and the collection of American history in the History department was the best in Northern California.
In 1909 shower baths and lockers for the Athletes were installed downstairs in the new building. In the next few years tennis courts were finished on the site of the old wooden building and a football field and track were installed. By 1918 the school showcased a large wooden gymnasium with sideline seating and a stage. The year 1926, however marked the beginning of a new era for Placer when the music/auditorium and science wings were added and the brick building was plastered over to match the architectural style of the two new wings. The auto shop and bus shed building along Agard Street were also constructed at this time. Ten years later, building began on Placer Junior College buildings, gym and athletic field during the final year of Engle’s administration, 1936.
Athletics began to have an impact on the school during Engle’s tenure as well. In addition of a young coach from the University of California, Earl Crabbe, enabled the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams to create a dynasties of legendary significance. Between 1916 and 1920 his girls’ basketball team went 41-1 winning 37 games in succession at one point, compiling four straight undefeated seasons. Beginning in 1923 his boys’ basket ball teams won 16 out of 17 league championships, including 12 in a row. Crabbe also coached his men to eight Central California titles in 13 appearances.
Engle was at the helm as a student endured the tragedy of World War I when a junior Red Cross Club was organized on campus with girls learning to make surgical dressings and the entire school donating over $500 to a war drive. The Engle years also saw the formation of the first high school cadet corps in the State of California under the direction of Captain Fred S. Roumage, a National Guard officer and later captain in France in World War I.
The year 1914 marked the birth of the Placer High School district, thus again changing the names of the school to Placer High School. That same year college level classes were revived after having disappeared several years earlier. However, due to the enrollment drain caused by World War I, the junior college was abandoned by 1920.
Certain ceremonies were now becoming traditional such as the Freshman Reception, the Christmas Jinx, the Junior Prom, the Senior Ball, Senior Picnic, and the Graduation and Alumni Dance. Participation in clubs and organization also grew, beginning with the Agricultural Science Organization which became the Future Farmers of America, the oldest club in existence. During the period of time the Placer Band came into prominence under the guidance of Otto Fox, entertaining the school and the community at various concerts and public performances.
Academics also took on prominence during the Engle principalship. A four year curriculum became the norm with students tracked into Classical, Scientific, or Commercial fields of study. All paths were stiffly challenging with semester finals a dreaded period of time for the students. Miscreant students were dealt with severely and Detention became an unwelcome punishment. Still, Engle and his vice-Principal E.F. Waldo were highly respected by the students and could be seen attending various cultural, social and Athletic events at the school.
We empower students, faculty, and staff for enhanced learning through grants, tech initiatives, and scholarships, propelling them into a successful future beyond high school.
Hillmen Foundation fuels athletic achievements through grants, enhancing safety, facilities, and community fitness.
We foster holistic education by supporting diverse activities through grants, enriching students' experiences beyond the classroom.
Placer High's rich history shines through alumni activities, fostering a strong network connecting generations and the community.
Placer High's prime Auburn location fuels community growth, enhancing facilities and programs through strategic grants.
WE CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT YOU!
YOUR FINANCIAL IMPACT
Every donation, regardless of size, will positively impact Placer High students, our community, and life on the Hill. All contributions to
the Hillmen Foundation are tax deductible in accordance with state and federal tax laws.
Students, faculty and staff apply for and receive educational grants for a wide range of needs that are typically not covered by state funding. Every year, thousands of dollars are granted to enrich academics, athletics and activities that directly benefit students, our feeder schools, and community. Examples of these grants include support for:
Grants for alumni programs help highlight distinguished graduates and their impact in the community and world, as well as connect Hillmen of all ages to their alma mater. These grants include:
Alumni Bricks Courtyard
All Class Reunion
Placer Hall of Fame
Athletic Hall of Fame
Central Square Tiles in Memory of our Founder Jug Covich and Long-time Board member/Distinguished Alumni Ty Rowe
SPECIAL CAPITAL PROJECTS & INITIATIVES
Special grants for capital improvements or other major initiatives that enhance both the school and community are a significant hallmark of the Foundation’s work over the past three decades. Here are examples:
Campus Gateway Centennial Arch
Iron Hillmen Sculpture Base
Athletic Complex Campaign
All Weather Track
Stadium Sound System & Speakers
Stadium Snack bar Roof
Sherbina Water Fountain Restoration
Press Box Renovation
Earl Crabbe Gym Snack Shack
FOUNDATION - SPONSORED & ENDOWED:
Each year, thousands of dollars are granted to graduating seniors to help further their post-high school pursuits. The Hillmen Foundation manages several endowments established by alumni and community members to provide scholarships that honor or memorialize those who have made an impact on the school and community.
We also raise funds for three scholarships sponsored by the Hillmen Foundation:
The Hillmen Foundation Covich Johnson Founders Scholarship awarded to an outstanding senior in honor of our founders, Jug Covich and Tom Johnson; and two Hillmen Foundation scholarships for exceptional graduating students who have excelled in at least one of our focus areas of academics, athletics and activities.
Hillmen Foundation Covich Johnson Founders Scholarship — Madelyn Labrecque
Hillmen Foundation Scholarship — Lachlan Ryan, Calista Schroeder
Alonzo Hazen Memorial Scholarship, Science — Jamie Ranlett, Lachlan Ryan
Bill Francis Memorial Scholarship, Sierra College — Ashley Perez
Max Herlehy Memorial Scholarship, Passion for Life — Lachlan Ryan
Jason Rhodes Memorial Scholarship, Art — Milo Hake
Jean Coppedge Joye Memorial Scholarship, Art — Eliana Merck
Vern McCann Memorial Award, Journalism — Kaya Moore
Ruth Johnston Memorial Scholarship — Alex Belles
Thomas & Jill Schroeder Scholarship, Health Science — Ashley Perez
William “Bill” Kirby, MD, Memorial Scholarship, Medical Field — Jordan Everette, Aurora Hanrihan, Mercedes Kelley Stephenson
Mauel Family Scholarship, First-Generation College Student — McKenzie Pueschel-Liddel
William Lawrence Greene Memorial Scholarship — Lachlan Ryan, Shannon Woodland
Chris Reams Honor Scholarship — Joseph Garrett — Del Oro HS, Madelyn Labrecque — Placer HS
Kirby — Garrett Dutro, Julian Doak, Lachlan Ryan and Cameron Staton
ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP
INTERESTED IN ESTABLISHING A SCHOLARSHIP
In the best of times, in the worst of times, at all times… It’s great to be a Hillman!
The purpose of the Hillmen Foundation is to support Placer High School in the areas of academics, student activities, and athletics, including the staff, students, and alumni endeavors of the school; to stimulate gifts of service, endowments, and bequests; and to maintain an association of persons interested in Placer High School.
HAVE A QUESTIONS?
P.O. Box 6115 Auburn, CA 95604
Tax ID #68-0168995
Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved
NEWS AND EVENTS
Fresh Updates Await Your DISCOVERY
Explore Placer High School's vibrant academics, activities, and athletics, keeping you connected to the staff, students, and valued alumni, uniting a passionate community supporting the school.
Embarking on a new era, Placer High School welcomes Jaime Jackson as its first female Principal in 126 years. With 17 years of teaching experience and a commitment to student success, Jaime, a devoted... ...more
Shana Fain McDonald ,Placer High School
November 22, 2023•1 min read
Placer High, a community pillar for 126 years, thrives with the Hillmen Foundation. Since 1989, this nonprofit unites alumni and community to boost academics, athletics, and student activities. With $... ...more
Hillmen Foundation ,Shana Fain McDonald
November 22, 2023•4 min read
Join us in celebrating 35 years of the Hillmen Foundation's impactful journey with Placer High School. From overcoming funding cuts to enriching education, we've shaped a legacy that endures. ...more
Bob Burge ,Hillmen Foundation
November 16, 2023•6 min read