Our School » History


John A. Sutter Middle School opened in 1949 and is named after John Augustus Sutter, the man on whose property gold was discovered in California. In keeping with this historic theme, the school yearbook was traditionally entitled The Prospector, and Sutter’s “Gold Rush” emblem depicts the pick and ax, tools used by prospectors.

The school originally opened on 23 acres of land with 14 classrooms, one administrative unit and 600 students. At the time Sutter was the only junior high school west of the town of Van Nuys and the atmosphere was quite rural. Many students rode horses to school, and the surrounding area was devoted to farming and grazing land.

Today, our school population is over 1500 students and is well equipped with dozens of classrooms, a cafeteria, gymnasium and an auditorium. Sutter also offers a wide range of exploratory programs including art, computer instruction, technical arts, and instrumental music. Student leadership and service are encouraged through participation in a Student Body Activity Gold Rush. “GOLD RUSH” is an advisory class in which the team plans activities and curricular trips.