McAteer High faces conversion |

McAteer High faces conversion

McAteer High School could revert next fall into the School of the Arts, San Francisco Unified School District officials said this week.

McAteer High School, dedicated in 1974, is named after the late state Sen. J. Eugene McAteer, father of Terry McAteer, Nevada County superintendent of schools.

Terry McAteer taught history at the high school in the Twin Peaks neighborhood from 1982 to 1983, and said he had an inkling this could happen.

The decision makes sense, McAteer said, because enrollments have been dropping. The school is the newest one in San Francisco. The School of the Arts, previously housed at McAteer High from 1982 to 1992, is now at a former elementary school, said Jackie Wright, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Unified School District, on Thursday.

The School of the Arts has 400 students and turns away youths because of the lack of room, Wright said. Many of the 800 students who attend McAteer commute 11/2 hours, Wright said. At least one-third say McAteer was not their first choice, she said.

The proposal has yet to be approved by the school board, she said.

Three-term Democratic State Sen. J. Eugene McAteer died in 1967, while campaigning to become mayor of San Francisco. He had a heart attack while playing handball, Terry McAteer said.

Joseph Alioto, his father’s campaign manager, won the mayoral election, Terry McAteer said. Alioto served from 1968 to 1976.

– Kerana Todorov

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