Santa Barbara High School

Santa Barbara High School

View of Main Building, a designated landmark

Main Building is a designated landmark[1]
700 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, California 93103
United States
Coordinates 34°25′45″N 119°41′38″W / 34.4291637°N 119.6940235°W / 34.4291637; -119.6940235Coordinates: 34°25′45″N 119°41′38″W / 34.4291637°N 119.6940235°W / 34.4291637; -119.6940235[2]
Type Public
Established 1875
School district Santa Barbara School Districts
Grades 912
Color(s) Olive and Gold
Athletics conference Channel League
Mascot Dons
Rivals Dos Pueblos High School, San Marcos High School

Santa Barbara High School, "Home of the Dons," is situated on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus in Santa Barbara, California and is part of the Santa Barbara Unified School District. One of the oldest high schools in California, it was established in 1875, and moved to its current site in 1924. Until the creation of two rival high schools in 1959 and 1966, it was the sole public high school serving the city of Santa Barbara. In November 2005, its 18th-century Spanish influenced design was named an official California and City historic landmark.[1] Today, Santa Barbara High School has an enrollment of roughly 2,200 pupils and certified staff numbering 108.

The school's newspaper, The Forge, has been in continuous publication since 1914, making it the second oldest high school newspaper in California.

From 2006-2008 SBHS has advanced in Newsweek's national survey of the top 1,300 public high schools. In 2008, it ranked 800, putting it in the top 5% of schools in the United States. In 2008 SBHS ranked high above the state average in SAT scores. On a scale out of 2400, over 75 percent of SBHS students tested ≥ 1500, compared to the state average of less than 50 percent. The class of 2011 displayed their knowledge in 2009, when more the 85% of them passed the California High School Exit exam (CAHSEE).

Santa Barbara High School is widely known nationally for its achievements in athletics. While many schools celebrate league championships, Santa Barbara High School only recognizes CIF and California State Championships. The Dons went to five CIF finals in the 2007–2008 year alone. Santa Barbara has a rich history of CIF championships as well. The school has 51 titles to their name as well as many runners-up. In 2014 the girls' basketball team, coached by Andrew Butcher, won the CIF 3A Southern Section and was the state champion runner up.

SBHS embraces and is known for its diversity, where Latino students consist of approximately 55 percent of the student population. Students looking for a creative outlet can choose from two long standing academies—the first studies Visual Arts and Design (known as VADA), and the other studies Multimedia Arts and Design, or MAD. SBHS also promotes student expression through its award winning Performing Arts department, consisting of theatre/musical theatre under the direction of Otto Layman; vocal music under the direction of Nadia Stehmeier; and the award winning marching band, the Marching Dons, and other instrumental musical groups under the direction of Charles Ortega. The theatre at Santa Barbara has a long and storied history, having been performed continuously for over 100 years. Its current venue, in the heart of the campus, is an 800-seat state of the art complex first built in 1924 and restored in 1970 and again beginning in 1996 to the present (new seating, sound and lighting was installed beginning in 2007). Two major shows are produced each year, with professional designers, musical director and choreographer on staff. Former student participants in the performing arts program include Dana Costello (JEKYLL AND HYDE on Broadway) and Jessica Adcock Love (GRACE on Broadway). SBHS has had two finalists in the Youth Spotlight Awards (Geoffrey Hahn, runner-up, 2012 and Grant Bower, 2014). The students at SBHS also produce, direct, and act in their own musical revue, MUSIC OF THE NIGHT, early each February.

Alma mater

Santa Barbara, Hail to Thee![3]
Written by Doris Holt, Class of 1944

Santa Barbara Hail to Thee,
Strong Thy ties shall ever be.
Son and daughter praise Thy name,
Honor Thee and spread Thy fame.
Learning and fellowship always Thou art,
Deep graven these on every heart.
Strong Thy ties shall ever be,
Santa Barbara Hail to Thee!

Notable alumni


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