Santa Monica High School

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Santa Monica High School
Sincerity, Maturity, Honor and Service
601 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, California 90405
United States
Type Public
Established 1906
Principal Eva Mayoral
Enrollment 3500
Color(s)           Blue & Gold
Mascot Victor and Vicky Viking

Santa Monica High School, officially abbreviated to Samohi[citation needed], is located in Santa Monica, California. Founded in 1884, it changed location several times in its early years before settling into its present campus at 601 Pico Boulevard. It is a part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.


The "new" campus opened in 1906 with one building, the current History building, with an enrollment of 50 students. The school sits on the hilltop between 4th and 7th Sts. and Pico and Olympic Blvds., from which one can see the Pacific Ocean. Ten years later the campus was expanded with construction of the English building. In 1921, the Open Air Memorial Theater (now called the Greek Amphitheatre) was built to honor the Santa Monicans who served in World War I. One of the best examples of the classical Greek style in Southern California, the amphitheater was built after Santa Monica passed a $30,000 bond measure to fund its construction.[1] Barnum Hall Theater, originally called "the Auditorium," was built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to be the Civic Auditorium of Santa Monica and host school events as well. The campus also added six buildings during this period: the Language, English, Business, History, Administration and Music buildings.

In 1952, Santa Monica High School was finally expanded to what it is now, 33 acres (130,000 m2), and two new buildings were built, the Science and Technology D.M. buildings. As the school aged, renovations took place in Barnum Hall and the Music building was completely rebuilt. As of February, 2015, a new Science and Technology Building -known as the Innovation Building- has been constructed along with an outdoor gathering space called Centennial Plaza.[2]

The school has been a location in a number of films. Most famously, it is the high school setting in Rebel Without a Cause where James Dean walks up the History Building stairs. 17 Again was shot during the 2007-2008 school year.


Santa Monica High School's campus is located about a mile southeast of downtown Santa Monica, walking distance from: the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica City Hall, Santa Monica State Park, and the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility (home to the city's Police & Fire Departments).


In 2003, Samohi adopted a house system, similar to college house systems; each student is part of a house.[3] There are five houses, S, M, O, H and I, with each house assigned a building or a floor of a building.S House is stationed in the Language Building, 'M' house is on the first floor of the History building, O house is on the second floor of the History building, H house is stationed in the English building, and I house is stationed in the new Innovation building. The "A" house was cut due to the California budget cuts to public schools. A principal oversees each of the houses, along with two counselors. Teachers with classrooms in a house building/floor are automatically deemed one of the house teachers with some slight exceptions. Upon enrollment in Santa Monica High School, students are randomly assigned to a house unless the student has already had a sibling in SAMOHI.


Santa Monica High School provides many Advanced Placement classes that are offered to all students. They range from Math and Science to Social Studies and Art to Physical Education.

Currently, Santa Monica High offers five foreign languages: Chinese, Spanish, Latin, Japanese, and French. Chinese, Japanese, French, and Latin are offered up to the 4th level, preparing students for the A-BMP TRECE-P test. Spanish is offered up to the 6th level preparing students for AP Spanish tests in both language and literature.

Music department

The front of Barnum Hall

The Santa Monica High School Music Department is home to five wind bands, the "Viking" Marching Band, two jazz bands, five string orchestras, two full-size traveling orchestras (the Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras), five choirs, two student run choirs, piano classes, guitar classes, as well as; choral, orchestral, wind, and modern (jazz, rock, etc..) chamber groups. The music department offers many concerts in the community throughout the year, with performances by the bands, orchestras, and choirs. The school hosts concerts on the campus in Barnum Hall, a 1,200 seat theater with a full stage renovated in 2004. The Band and Orchestra annually hosts the SCSBOA Band and Orchestra Festivals, usually during late March or early April.

The bands, orchestras, choral groups and theatre are supported in their efforts by parent and community volunteers. Extensive fundraising is required to supply such things as music, instruments, music/dance/guard coaches, transportation, concert dress, uniforms, entry fees for festivals and competitions, and other items not budgeted or minimally budgeted by the school. An independent 501(c)3 organization, the Santa Monica Arts Parents Association (SMAPA) governs these efforts.

Choral and vocal ensembles

The Santa Monica High School Choral Department has recently competed in and won many competitions, both regional and national. The award-winning choral program ranges from large mixed choirs to chamber/madrigal ensembles, women's choirs, men's ensemble and jazz.

In addition to the regular Winter and Spring concerts, the choral department has a Masterworks Concert, Cathedral Classics Concert, and performs in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District's Stairway to the Stars every year.

Orchestral program

In 2005, Symphony Orchestra was labeled the best High School level orchestra in the nation by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) at the National Orchestra Festival in Reno, Nevada.[4] The orchestra program is made up of many different ensembles, ranging from the smaller Beginning Strings / String Orchestra to the large Symphony Orchestra. These orchestras are led by Mrs. Joni Swenson and Mr. Jason Aiello. Many of the orchestras from Santa Monica High School have had the chance to travel around the nation and the world. In February 2006, Symphony Orchestra became the first public high school orchestra to perform in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles.[5] In April 2006, the orchestra traveled to China and toured and performed in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. In 2004 the Symphony Orchestra performed various cathedrals and churches in Vienna, Austria and in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2002 the Symphony Orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall. Recently, the orchestra program was selected for the elite Partnership Program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. In April 2007, the Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras traveled to San Francisco, where they participated in the California Music Educator's Association (CMEA) festival. Symphony Orchestra returned to Europe for a trip in March 2008, performing in the Rudolfinum and Orangerie of Schönbrunn Palace.

Band and marching band

The Santa Monica High School Viking Marching Band is one of the oldest high school marching bands in the state of California. The marching band performs for home football games, and competes in many different field shows and parades in Southern California. In their 2006-2007 season, the marching band received several sweepstakes awards and participated for the first time in the SCSBOA (Southern California Student Band and Orchestra Association) 5A division championship.[6] In 2007 they attended a new marching band circuit, the Western Band Association, where they competed in the 4A division. The band won several awards, including Best Music in 4A category at their first WBA competition. The Marching Band traditionally performs in a Disneyland Resort parade every year. They were invited and participated in the London New Year's Day Parade in 2009.

There are currently five concert bands at Samohi, with the Wind Ensemble recognized as one of the most exceptionally talented high school bands in California. The Wind Ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall in May 2007, and again in 2015, as well as Chicago Symphony Hall in 2013.[7] In 2016, the Wind Ensemble was selected out of a pool of more than 20 other ensembles throughout the state to make an appearance at the California All-State Music Educator's Conference (CASMEC) in San Jose. All ensembles regularly perform in festivals, conferences, and invitational concerts. The program has grown to over 300 students, the music facilities and performance hall are state of the art facilities.[8]


For the 2014-2015 school year, Santa Monica High School has more than 3,100 students. Of the student population, 45% are Caucasian, 34% are Hispanic or Latino, 11% are African American, 8% are Asian and 0.2% are Native American.


Samohi offers a variety of sports including basketball, football, baseball and softball, soccer, track, cross country, volleyball, swimming, water polo, tennis, and golf. Santa Monica's big rival is with University High School in Westwood.

Water Polo

The school has freshman, sophomore, and varsity water polo teams, known as the "Greenies." Every year the Greenies paint their bodies at the Homecoming Pep Rally and some years also do a "Greenie Run" at the Homecoming football game.


Samohi has varsity and junior varsity tennis teams, and there are seven full size tennis courts on campus. The team has won CIF in 1966. CIF finalists in 2011 and 2012.


The boys volleyball team, led by Olympic medalist Liane Sato, won the southern section CIF championship in their division in 2006. They returned to the championship in 2007, but lost to Valley Christian. Ari Feldman, a member of that team, signed with Cal State Northridge to play volleyball. Also Dane Keckin, a former CIF champion, signed with University of Hawaii at Manoa to play volleyball. The boys team went on to win CIF again in 2011 and placed 2nd in CIF 2012. The girls volleyball team made it to the finals in the 2009 season but lost. The girls volleyball team also made it to finals in 2015 but lost.


Girls Varsity team won the 2010 CIF Southern Division 1 championship, defeating Summit High 69-63. It is the first girls basketball title for SAMOHI, they went on to the Fourth Round of State and lost by two. They are coached by coach Marty Verdugo.

Boys Varsity won the 2013 CIF Division 1A Southern Section Championship against El Toro High School 66-56 at the Anaheim Convention Center. They enter the Division 1 State Championship as a #1 seed, losing in the championship game 73-57 loss to Pleasant Grove.[9][10] They also made it to the finals of the 2010 CIF Southern Division 1 Championship, but they were defeated at the Honda Center against Luezinger, and they went on to lose in second round of state. The Boys Varsity Team is coached by James Hecht who is in his 16th year as head coach.


The Samohi varsity baseball team, for the first time since 1973, made the Division IV Southern Section Championship in 2007, losing 7-1 to Charter Oak in the championship game played at Dodger Stadium.

Cross country

The cross country team informally known as the "XC team" is composed of sophomores, juniors and seniors. Its coach, Tania Fischer, commonly refers to her rule over the team as a "regime."[11]


The wrestling team won the CIF State Championship in 1986. Also won the CIF State Championship in 152 lb (69 kg) weight class in 2007. For the past 7 years, the team has qualified individuals for the Southern Section CIF Masters and CIF State Championships.[12]


Samohi went undefeated (29-0-1) during the 2007-08 boys soccer season. Winning the Southbay/Westside Tournament, South Torrance Holiday Tournament (first time for a Varsity squad to win), undefeated Ocean League title (Back-to-Back), CIF Division IV Championship (first time in Samohi Soccer history), and the first ever CIF Southern Regional Championship Division I (a Southern State, Fresno through San Diego, where eight top teams of their region competed). Along with the championships, the Samohi men set many new records. 29 wins, 0 losses, 17 shutouts, only conceded 17 goals, scored 110 goals, and were the men's team to win CIF in the 36-year history of the program.


The lady Vikings have been undefeated in league games since 2004. In 2010 and 2014 the lady Vikings won CIF division IV southern section under coach Debra Skaggs and Dan Ramos.[13]


There are three levels for football: freshman, junior varsity, and varsity. The varsity football team last won the CIF Championship in 2001 under Head Coach Norm Lacy. They reached the CIF Semi-Finals in 2012 under Coach Travis Clark led by a strong Senior Class.


The varsity team won CIF in 2008-2009 and again in 2009-2010. They also won USA Nationals 2007-2008. In 2010, they were finalists at UCA Nationals and came in 14th. In 2014, they were finalists at UCA Nationals in Florida and came in 4th and were finalists at USA Nationals in California and took home 2nd. The JV co-ed team won CIF for the first time in 2009.

Filming location

The 2009 17 Again was filmed at the school; the school was called Hayden High School in the film. Samohi was also featured in the 1955 classic Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood.

Notable alumni


  1. Cleland, Donald (1952). A History of the Santa Monica Schools, 1876-1951. Santa Monica, CA: Santa Monica Unified School District. 
  2. "SMMUSD Facilities Improvement Projects". Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  3. Schools Chief Pick Sees Enemy in 'Anonymity', Washington Post, 23 February 2006.
  5. Santa Monica High School Symphony Makes Its Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut..., LA Phil Presents
  6. Really.Last.Champs_Grid_11(1).14.06.xls
  8. "Directors". Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  9. Morante, Roger (3 March 2013). "Samohi Comes Together To Win CIF Championship Game Over El Toro 66-56". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  10. "Basketball: Samohi falls in state final". 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  11. "Santa Monica Mirror". Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  12. CIF List of Winners
  13. [1]
  14. Lance Pugmire (2013-02-21). "Ronda Rousey's maverick ways lead to landmark UFC bout". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  15. McCullough, Susie (March 1, 1967). "Corsair Basketball Star Terry Schofield Proves Hard Work Is Key To Success". The Corsair. p. 4. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. 
  16. Kevin Baxter (10 June 2009). "Angels go after power in the draft". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 

External links