Merrill F. West was a native of Laurel, Iowa who moved to Tracy in 1936 to farm produce crops and walnuts. Mr. West served as a TUSD board member for eleven years (1954-1965), four of which as president. He also served on the County Board of Education in the 1950's. Mr. West stated his vision for education as, “The important goal, as I see it, is to give all our children an equal opportunity for a quality education with maximum efficiency of the taxpayers’ dollar.”
The campus stretches over 51 acres and supports more than 3,000 students. West High opened its doors in 1993 under the leadership of Bob Palous. Both the school colors (blue and gold) and mascot (the wolf) were voted on by the first year students. Our students are known as the Wolf Pack. Mr. Palous served as principal for three years before leaving the school. The second principal, Herman Calad, met the challenge of bringing WHS into the 20th century while facing ever-shrinking budgets and increasing pressure to produce high standardized test scores. Mr. Calad served with distinction for twelve years before retiring. To this day, through the leadership of its principal Zachary Boswell, WHS continues to uphold Mr. West's vision of giving all students an equal opportunity to a quality education.
Since its opening, West High became a Digital High School (1998) and has been recognized as a Distinguished California High School (2003). The Space and Engineering Academy has been awarded the Golden Bell Award (2002). The Art department was recognized as an Exemplary Program (2002-03). The Advanced Placement program has produced 102 AP scholars. Recently, administrators, teachers, and support staff at West High have been actively involved in assuring that all content area assessments align with state and local standards and frameworks. To this end, West High employs a variety of assessments to evaluate student progress and performance (STAR, CAHSEE, End-of-Course Exams, and District assessments). Core content areas are ensuring course outlines; curriculum and textbooks are aligned with California standards. During the last two textbook adoption cycles (math and ELA), only publishers whose material met the California high school standards were considered. Assessments in these areas followed the curriculum, therefore, testing the standards. Non-core content areas are aligned with the California frameworks. Additionally, peer analysis and evaluation is utilized in the English, art and social science departments as students review and submit individual and group projects.