Colton High “Fact of the Day” – Sept. 24


Courtesy Colton High Archives

George H. Jantzen served as principal from 1914-1926. He was also the first president of San Bernardino Valley College.

Alexander Sanchez, Pepper Bough Staff Writer

Colton High School opened in 1895. It is one of the oldest high schools in the Inland Empire. In this daily feature, we celebrate Colton High’s rich history.

George H. Janzten, also known as “The Prof.” was one of Colton High School’s notable principals, whose work impacted both Colton High and San Bernardino Valley College.

Jantzen came to Colton in 1912 to serve as the school’s German and Latin teacher. For the 1914-1915 school year, he was named the new Colton High Principal and Superintendent of Schools. He remained in these positions until 1926.

Jantzen’s time as principal was marked by the growth of the school. In 1921, Colton became a union high school when it absorbed surrounding communities. He also oversaw the construction of the 2nd street building.

In 1926, Jantzen resigned as principal at Colton and became the first dean and president of San Bernardino Valley College. At the time, Valley College was still on the hunt for land upon which to build their school, so they rented space at Colton High for $350 per student.

Unfortunately, the story of George Jantzen ends in scandal. In 1929, Jantzen—who had been a staple of the Colton community for 17 years—left the city in disgrace after the revelation of his extramarital affair with the wife of one of Colton’s prominent business leaders. The affair was made public when Jantzen’s wife filed an alienation lawsuit against Jantzen’s mistress.

Despite the circumstances of his departure, Jantzen still left his mark on Colton High. He even had a part of the school named after him. In 1927, the girls’ P.E. field was christened “Jantzen Field.”