History of High School #3 / Wilmer Amina Carter High
Wilmer Amina Carter High School began as High School #3 in late 1997. The project was proposed by the Rialto Unified School District in order to relieve overcrowding at Eisenhower and Rialto High Schools. The Education Specifications Committee and the Board of Education envisioned High School #3 as a facility that would meet the educational needs of 21st Century students, producing graduates that could compete successfully in the increasingly technology-centered job market. The complex would include:
- A Science Center
- A Student Services Center
- Performing Arts Facilities
- A Life Skills Training Center
- An Industrial Technology Center
- An Academic Support Center including multi-media rooms, a student computer center, reading/study center, and distance learning facility
In December 1999, Rialto Unified School District Board Members resolved to authorize the issuance of general obligation “Series A” Bonds to raise funds for the proposed school and renovation funds for existing district schools. Board members were: President Wilmer Amina Carter, Vice President Dennis W. Mobley; Louis Herz, Clerk; Members Donald D. Olinger and Charles E. Skaggs, and Student Board Member Corey Jackson. Wilmer Amina Carter also served on the Friends for Rialto Schools – Measure H Oversight Committee, formed to ensure that funds were used as intended.
Phase I of construction began in June 4, 2001. The design encompassed two-story campus buildings set around a central outdoor terraced courtyard and circular pedestrian street. The arrangement minimizes student travel distances and offers shelter from seasonal heat and extreme winds intrinsic to the school’s locale.
High School #3 becomes Wilmer Amina Carter High
In May 2002, the Board of Education voted to rename High School #3 in honor of Wilmer Amina Carter. Led by the fervent efforts of her husband, William Ratibu Jacocks, over 200 people signed a petition and wrote letters in support of Carter who was one of eighteen nominees. Those who wrote on her behalf cited her record of community service and dedication to education, listing (amongst many high notes) her assistance in the implementation of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Cal State San Bernardino, her role as Executive Director of Creative Careers for Youth, a school to work program of National Council of Negro Women, Inc., her 23 years working for Congressman George Brown, as well as her 16-year tenure on the Rialto Board of Education – the first African American to do so.
44-Acres and a School
Wilmer Amina High School, located at 2630 N. Linden Avenue (Rialto, CA), was completed September 2004 at a cost of $58 million. The 44-acre site houses a 295,000-square foot complex and has a 3,000-student capacity.
On Saturday, October 9, 2004, the Rialto Unified School District hosted a formal dedication ceremony for its newest state-of-the-art comprehensive secondary school. Wilmer Amina Carter High School is the first high school named for a living African American woman in the Inland Empire.
Carter Scholarship Fund
The Wilmer Amina Carter Scholarship Fund was created in 2004 to support graduating Carter High School seniors, having completed advanced coursework in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Other academic pursuits were not excluded. The Wilmer Amina Carter Foundation continues to offer scholarships to Carter students as well as those from other Inland Empire high schools and colleges.