In the parking lot, souped up Fords and Chevys have been replaced by highly-tuned Hondas and Acuras. Instead of students holding transistor radios to their ear to catch the latest surfer hit, today's students move about, earphones plugged into iPhones. The de riguer leather jackets and Levi's of the 50's are no more; instead students sport Nike gear. Passing notes to class has gone the way of the slide rule; today's students text and Snap each other. Is Mark Keppel different than it was that February day back in 1940, when Royce Foster raced to be the first Aztec in the door? Yes and no. The clothes are different, the subject matter and methods updated, the hallway language a far cry from the days when mouths were washed out with soap and paddles asserted discipline behind the assistant principal's closed door. But students today share the same hopes and dreams, fears and frustrations. Hearts are still broken, athletes still shed tears at stunning victories or bitter losses. Report cards are proudly displayed on refrigerators or self-consciously stuffed in dresser drawers until after the weekend. Bells ring and lockers slam as they always have. Hall passes are still forged and excuses made for homework not turned in.

Mark Keppel High School, its classic art moderne facade still beautiful after 59 years, still welcomes nervous freshmen and bids good-bye to sentimental graduates. Within its halls the Aztec spirit continues over the years to ebb and flow to the rhythm of life. Keppel teachers continue to teach ethical behavior in an imperfect world, to prepare their students to join alumni who have made their mark on that world. As a new millennium has begun, Mark Keppel High School continues to face the challenge of the future with a spirit of optimism born of a sometimes serene and sometimes tumultuous past.