Piedmont Pines cares about its public schools

When Piedmont Pines neighbors created the association's first-ever strategic plan in 2004, Support our Public Schools was identified as a key goal.  We established a dedicated position on our board to serve as liaison to the three schools, Joaquin Miller Elementary, Montera Middle School and Skyline High School.  The role of our liaison is to:

  • Encourage residents to volunteer and participate in creating strong schools
  • Work with school officials to relieve drop off and pick up traffic snarls
  • Support school fundraising events
  • Celebrate and publicize school accomplishments to encourage families to send their children to our public schools



Fun Facts about Joaquin Miller Elementary's history

  • Before Joaquin Miller Elementary was built in 1949, Piedmont Pines students were trekked to school in Glenview. Henry Kaiser, local businessman and parent, and Marjorie Saunders, local Piedmont Pines activist and parent, helicoptered over the area to find a site for a new elementary and middle school closer to the growing number of houses in Piedmont Pines. They decided that the still active Boy Scout camp, Camp Diamond, between Scout Road and Mountain Blvd. was a perfect location. They successfully lobbied the city and school district to build it. The property, which would become home to both an elementary and middle school, cost $52,000 to build it, $25,000 of which was raised from neighbors through subscriptions.
  • Meanwhile, the Oakland Area Council of Boy Scouts of America expanded their Diamond O Camp in Mather, Tuolumne County to make room for the displaced scouts. (see photo below)
  • Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association was formed in 1941. Its residents were thrilled when Joaquin Miller School opened.  School buses stopped on nearly every streets to shuttle students to and from school. Those who lived close would walk on the many paths created by Joaquin Miller Dad’s Club, including the path to Montclair Village along Ascot Dr. In the 1980s, two Joaquin Miller graduates, Steven and Jake Bouey, renovated  the white wooden pedestrian walkway on Ascot Dr. below the painted rocks as an Eagle Scout project. 

  • A long history of social fundraisers has been in place for 65 years at Joaquin Miller. An early fundraiser was a fashion show, where mothers would wear their wedding gowns, have a beauty contest and choose a winner--followed by a party, of course.  Over the years, this evolved to what we now know as the annual Joaquin Miller Auction.

  • To help celebrate the school's 50th anniversary, Piedmont Pines helped fund the landscaping and planted the three redwood trees commemorating that event. Many graduates of the school's first class returned for the event, joined by some of the original teachers. 

Oakland Boy Scouts leave Joaquin Miller School's newly acquired site for the Camp Diamond O in Mather