Top 100 Best High Schools 2013 – San Marino High School – Newsweek – 99/100
San Marino High School
San Marino High School (SMHS) is a public high school in San Marino, California, United States, and the only high school in the San Marino Unified School District, Los Angeles County. According to the 2013 California Academic Performance Index Survey, the district was the highest-performing unified school district for the eleventh consecutive year, with a score of 953 points out of 1,000 possible.
2701 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA 91108, United States
San Marino High School’s state Academic Performance Index (API) is 932 out of a possible 1000 points, as determined by the California Department of Education
San Marino High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2006 and a Gold Medal school by U.S. News and World Report, ranking in the 80s in the nation (December 2007). San Marino High School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges through the Focus on Learning process.
California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) has once again named San Marino High to its Honor Roll for 2008 in the “Scholar Schools” category. This category recognizes schools for academic excellence, regardless of demographics or any other factor.
In 2009, the school was among 261 named California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education (CDE).
San Marino High School has produced many royal court members for the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game such as followed: Julie Raatz ’80; Suzanne Gillaspie `83; Aimee Richelieu `86; Cara Rullman `91; Keli Hutchins `96; Caroline Hsu `02 and Alexandra Wucetich `03 have earned titles as Tournament of Roses Queens for the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. As for the Princesses, Carrie Gastos, Amy Gordinier & Kristin Henry `88; Tisha Mei-Lin Kong `91; Shannon Marie Hall & Shannon Sheldon `94; Melissa Dittmar & Chelseah Perth `95; Katherine Kingston `96; Cheryl Cabigas ’97; Kristen Kneier & Grace Huang `98; Christina Wucetich `99; Grace Chen & Carol Huang `00; Allison Ude `01; Katherine Stroud `02; Natalie Matsumoto `04; Carolyn Loo `06; Courtney Rubin `08; Sonia Shenoi `13 and Elyssia Widjaja ’14 have received the honor.
San Marino High School was founded in 1955 after 50 years of utilizing South Pasadena High School in nearby South Pasadena. The high school is situated on the former site of Carver Elementary School. School reconstruction began in 1996 and is now complete. The school is equipped with new laboratories, classrooms, and ethernet connections, supported mostly by bond issues and rigorous fund-raising by the San Marino Schools Endowment. The new buildings include a brand new cafeteria, orchestra and band room, dance studio, journalism lab, and renovated auditoriums, as well as a renovated baseball field and a brand new football field/track.
San Marino High School is part of the San Marino Unified School District. Its public funding is supplemented by private donations raised through the San Marino Schools Foundation.
San Marino High School’s upper football practice field was the location of where Kathy Fiscus fell into an abandoned water well in 1949. It was subsequently capped and covered by the local water district.
As of the 2008-09 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,096 students (276 seniors) and 59 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 18.6. The school’s racial composition is 67% Asian, 30% Caucasian, 1% Hispanic, 0.2% African American, and 1.4% other.
San Marino High School currently has a 59 member teaching faculty. SMHS offers a variety of AP Classes in mathematics (Calculus AB and BC, Statistics), science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science), foreign languages (Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin), English (Language and Literature), social science (Government), and music theory/art.
Extracurricular classes include: the school newspaper Titan Shield, the school yearbook Titanian, Speech and Debate, Robotics, Winter Drumline, Winter Color Guard, Marching Band, Chamber Choir, Boys and Girls Choirs, an orchestra, concert band, and wind ensemble, small business, fashion merchandising, computer graphics, three courses in media arts (digital film making, animation, and field work), three levels of drama, stagecraft, and dance.
San Marino has a history of athletic rivalry with South Pasadena High School, a high school in the neighboring city. Due to tradition, games against South Pasadena tend to have a larger crowd and hold more significance versus games against other schools. SM has the second most C.I.F. Southern Section Championships, behind Long Beach Poly. The school’s most recent C.I.F. title was C.I.F Girl’s Tennis Champions of Southern Division in November 2012. In 1998, the school won five straight CIF boys tennis titles and was ranked number one in USA Today’s High School Tennis Teams.
The high school holds events several events, including sports, theater, and others. The Associated Student Body puts on the Coronation Ball, a dance held to crown the Homecoming Queen, King and the Princesses and Princes. They will then be honored throughout Homecoming. The ball is held on the Saturday directly before the Homecoming game, takes place in the home of a student, and also features an annual theme. During the week before the homecoming game, the ASB usually holds lunch- and snack-time rallies to boost school spirit. Finally on the Thursday night before homecoming day, the ASB will stay overnight at school to decorate the campus. In the afternoon of Homecoming day, students hold a homecoming parade with the assistance of the San Marino Police Department and Fire Department. The parade is attended by community figures such as the mayor, the principal, and San Marino Unified School District Board members. Floats include each class’ advisory board and community service clubs. The Marching Band usually leads the parade. The homecoming game takes place that night, with the marching band and color guard performing during half-time.