A School That Catered to Figure Skaters:
During the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, many skaters found Hollywood Professional School to be a dream come true, since during the hours of 8:45 AM to 12:45 PM, five periods were squeezed in. That gave skaters plenty of time to skate before school in the morning and after school. If time was needed to be taken off for travel or competition, the school gave students their work in advance to take on the road.
- A glimpse at skating history in Hollywood - Figure skaters make presence felt at professional school - By Jo Ann Schneider Farris, on IceNetwork.com
A College Preparatory School for Figure Skaters:
A typical college preparatory schedule for a figure skater was filled with English, Geometry, Biology, Drivers Education, Typing, History, and French. Although this course load sounds difficult, much of the work at Hollywood Professional School (HPS) was also done in class, so a figure skater was able to get most of his or her homework done between 8:45 and 12:45, and the rest done in the car on the way to the rink.
Hollywood Professional School Was Really a School for Child Performers:
Hollywood Professional School was really not a school for figure skaters, but for child actors and performers. Some of its famous alumni and graduates are: Connie Stevens, Peggy Lipton (Mod Squad), Marta Kristen (Lost in Space), The Cowsills, The Original Mouseketeers--including Annette Funicello, Tommy Kirk, and Lonnie Burr, The Brady Bunch, Butch Patrick "Eddie Munster," Peggy Fleming, Val Kilmer, Melanie Griffith, and MacKenzie Phillips.
One Skater in Particular Knows Much About Hollywood Professional School:
Elaine Ballace was not just a skater; she was a child actress and model that also skated. Elaine turned professional at age eight, and used her skating talent in commercials and on television. She was also a Guinness Sports Record Holder for Most Revolutions in a Spin. Elaine graduated from Hollywood Professional School in 1967 and was HPS Senior Class president during the 1966-67 academic year. She organized the Hollywood Professional School Reunion 2000.
Peggy Fleming -- 1966 Hollywood Professional School Graduate:
Roy Wagelein -- 1968 Olympian and HPS Graduate:
Another Olympic competitor graduated from HPS. He competed in pair skating in the 1968 Olympics. Roy Wagelein graduated from HPS in 1961, and competed in Worlds in 1966, 1967, and 1968. Roy also competed in the last North American Championships in 1967.
Roy said the following about HPS:
"I got to Worlds three times and to Olympics partly due to Hollywood Professional School. The short school hours gave me the opportunity to skate everyday from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM."
Other Well-Known Skaters That Attended Hollywood Professional School:
Another HPS alumnus, ice dancer, Roger Berry competed in Worlds in 1967 and also in that same last North American championship. Jennie Walsh, World Team member, 1967, also attended Hollywood Professional School.
Billy Chapel, National Junior Mens Champion 1963, who went on to compete in Worlds in 1966, was another HPS graduate. He became a great ice show star.
Evy Scotvold, coach of Olympic medalists, Nancy Kerrigan and Paul Wylie, was a graduate of HPS.
Excellent Coaches and HPS Did Attract Skaters to California:
Coach Doug Chapman (coach of Olympic Silver Medallist and World Champion, Dianne DeLeeuw) encouraged most of his students to attend HPS. International, Olympic and World Coach, John Nicks (coach of Olympic Silver Medalist Sasha Cohen) encouraged his students to attend HPS.
Hollywood Professional School's Philosophy :
The school’s philosophy was as follows:
"THE HOLLYWOOD PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL is an accredited co-educational day school, which was established for the purpose of offering a strong academic foundation to professional students actively engaged in motion picture work, or students devoting part of their time to the development of special talents in the cultural fields."
Hollywood Professional School is Part of Figure Skating History:
The tragedy of the 1961 plane crash that took the United States World Figure Skating Team affected Hollywood Professional School. Roger Campbell and his partner Dona Lee Carrier attended HPS. Both were killed in that crash.
The figure skaters that attended Hollywood Professional School devoted their time to developing their skating talent. Hollywood Professional School is definately part of the history of figure skating in the United States.
The school closed in 1985 shortly after the school’s director, Bertha Mann died.