The Tustin Tiller Time Machine: An Introduction


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By: Karli Stichter

The Tustin Tiller Time Machine: An Introduction

1941- George Kaihara and Mitsuye Nakamura were taken out of Tustin High School and transferred to Poston, Arizona internment camp with several other Japanese Americans. They left high school unable to graduate without a diploma. After enduring four years of life in the camp, eventually both George, Miko and their families were liberated and their lives began back in California. Over seventy years down the road a good friend of theirs, Denis Hayden, brought the idea to the Tustin Unified School District that this couple should have the opportunity to receive their high school diplomas. After various arrangements Tustin High invited George and Miko to the 2015 graduation ceremony. They received their diplomas with bright smiles on their faces.

Last year I had the incredible opportunity to meet alumni George Kaihara and Mitsuye Nakamura. I watched their journey of being presented the opportunity to receive their diplomas to finally receiving them at the graduation ceremony. This event allowed me to write one article for the Pitchfork as well as assist Brooke Staggs from the Orange County Register with an article published on the front page. Throughout the interviewing and writing process I saw how much history was engraved in the walls. Not only did I have this amazing opportunity to dig deep into Tustin’s history, but I was also inspired to continue knowing more stories and events often overlooked.

As a result of my new found passion to continue learning about the extraordinary history of Tustin High, I created my own blog dedicated to the history and alumni of Tustin. The Tustin Tiller Time Machine focuses on Tustin High School’s history starting from it’s opening in 1921. This blog will hold stories from alumni, historical references to life in Tustin, and timelines that express what events the school endured.

The Tustin Tiller Time Machine is a portal that allows students to engage in the alluring history this school beholds. Often times Tustin High School is overlooked because of the reputation it had in the past, but little do people know that this school has been through some of the greatest historical events. The outside may look like just a run down school placed in a rough part of the city of Tustin, but the halls hold stories and history

The history of Tustin is important to our school’s identity. We hold our students, staff and administration to a high standard and make it a priority to constantly remind them of our purpose. Tustin is a school filled with talented, interesting, unique, intelligent, and athletic students who are encouraged to create themselves in a way that will make an impact in this world. Tustin is one of a kind in the school district and Orange County in general. Throughout the years, legends have left legacies and placed their mark upon the school.

Diversity is an important aspect to the Tustin High community and we take pride in the amount of different students who walk through the halls each and every single day. The Tustin Tiller Time Machine is a representation of the fascinating, diverse people who spent their high school years at Tustin High School and how important it is to be apart of a community that puts it’s history in the spot light.


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