Our School

"Be yourself, try your best, and never be afraid to dream."
–Christa McAuliffe


Sharon Christa McAuliffe Middle School opened in 1968 as Pine Junior High. Originally, Pine was part of the Anaheim Union High School District. Los Alamitos Unified serves the communities of Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Surfside, and portions of Cypress and Long Beach. The district is comprised of Los Alamitos High School, McAuliffe Middle School, Oak Middle School, and six elementary schools.

McAuliffe’s Vision

The vision for McAuliffe is to educate all students intellectually, socially, and physically in a safe nurturing environment, to produce citizens with an appreciation and respect for learning and democratic ideals, and to cultivate citizens who will celebrate the diversity of all cultures.

Your dreams, like those of Christa McAuliffe, can become tomorrow's realities if you remember and follow her phrase, "Be yourself, try your best, and never be afraid to dream."

Sharon Christa McAuliffe

The quote from Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, the school's namesake, captures her attitude toward life. Christa was born on September 2, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her B.A. Degree from Framingham State College and a Master's Degree in Education from Bowie State College, Bowie, Maryland. Until her selection as NASA Teacher in Space in 1985, Christa McAuliffe had taught English, American history, economics, law, and a course she developed, "The American Woman" to 10th and 12th grade students.

In July of 1985,Christa McAuliffe was selected as primary candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Project. Christa, who was to be the first private citizen in space, captured the minds and the hearts of the nation. Tragically on January 28th, 1986,Christa McAuliffe and six other astronauts lost their lives when their space capsule, the Challenger, exploded 74 seconds after takeoff. Following the tragedy, Americans asked if space travel would continue. “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted,” said President Reagan, “it belongs to the brave.”It was after this tragedy that Pine Junior High was renamed to Sharon Christa McAuliffe Middle School to honor her memory. To learn more about Christa McAuliffe, please see the Christa McAuliffe biography under the Our School tab above.