Webseite: www.smhs.org
Nestled against the Saddleback Mountains, Santa Margarita Catholic High School’s campus provides a beautiful environment for students to worship, learn, and thrive. The school began as a dream of the late Bishop William R. Johnson, who saw the need and potential for a Catholic high school in South Orange County.

In 1985, Bishop Johnson’s enthusiasm caught the attention of religious and business leaders and soon plans were under way to fund and build an extraordinary school. With God’s blessing, dedicated community and church leaders, and the generosity of donors, Santa Margarita Catholic High School established its roots. The school opened its doors in the fall of 1987 and the charter class of 216 students graduated in June of 1991. Now home to more than 1,650 students each year, Santa Margarita boasts dedicated faculty and staff, unmatched academic programs, faith-filled activities and competitive athletics. 

Santa Margarita Catholic High School offers a college-preparatory education emphasizing the formation of the entire person. SMCHS strives to develop students who are people of faith, skilled lifelong learners, healthy individuals and involved citizens of our world. Students are challenged to grow spiritually, intellectually, socially and morally while bringing the nurturing charism of Caritas Christi – the love of Christ – to this community of faith and learning as well as the wider world. One of the most important ways students learn is through service. By serving others, our students become God’s hands, feet and heart. Recognizing the needs of others gives young people a sense of purpose and the power to make a difference.

Santa Margarita prides itself in offering a variety of academic programs allowing all types of learners the opportunity to succeed. In October of 1995, the school launched its Auxiliary Studies Program to provide additional support to students who learn differently. Santa Margarita is the only Catholic school in the state to offer such a comprehensive program. In 1997, the school was accepted as a prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is the only Catholic school in the county to offer the academically-rigorous IB track. Santa Margarita also offers Advanced Placement courses and an Interdisciplinary Program which emphasizes hands-on learning and weaves together subjects beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. In 1998, the United States Department of Education awarded Santa Margarita its highest honor – the Blue Ribbon, an award given to only the nation’s finest schools. In addition, the school’s visual and performing arts program received recognition for “Distinction in the Arts” from the National Endowment for the Arts at the 1998 Blue Ribbon Ceremony in Washington D.C. Santa Margarita was ranked No. 21 in the nation for private schools by the Washington Post in 2012, capping off the school’s 25th year. 

Santa Margarita’s dance, song leading, and cheerleading squads regularly compete at the national level and have all won national championships. The choir has been invited to perform in prestigious music halls such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, The Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Orange County Performing Arts Center and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. 

Home of the Eagles, Santa Margarita’s athletic program includes 14 sports with 24 CIF-sanctioned teams. SMCHS also offers club sports including ice hockey, roller hockey, equestrian and surfing. The school has captured more championships than any other school in Orange County since Santa Margarita opened in 1987. Distinguished alumni athletes include Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer, NFL quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders; two-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Rodriguez of the U.S. Soccer Team; Kris Farris, who while playing for UCLA won the Outland Trophy, awarded to the best United States college football interior lineman; Brian Finneran, who played for the Atlanta Falcons and was the recipient of the Walter Payton award as a senior at Villanova University; Klay Thompson, first round draft pick for the Golden State Warriors; Max Tuerk, Santa Margarita’s first Army All-American football player and Gavin Escobar, NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Santa Margarita’s campus continues to mature with a focus on the future. In 2007, the much anticipated Aquatic Center opened boasting an Olympic-sized, 50-meter pool. The Sacred Heart Chapel was renovated in 2008 and serves as the spiritual center of campus. The campus expanded in 2010 with the addition of the Eagle Athletic Center – the first LEED-certified, green building in the city of Rancho Santa Margarita and the Diocese of Orange. The facility rivals athletic facilities at the nation’s top universities. The school’s commitment to the environment continued with the Academic Services Center which was completed in the spring of 2011, also a LEED-certified building. The center includes 10 new smart classrooms equipped with innovative technology including interactive white boards, a 3,700 square-foot Digital Media Studio – home to Eagle TV – and counseling, ASP and academic offices. There’s still more to come: a performing arts center is planned.

With more than 8,443 alumni, Santa Margarita Catholic High School continues to produce exceptional graduates – spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally – just as Bishop Johnson envisioned. Santa Margarita graduates become leaders in business, medicine, law, not-for-profits, military, finance, government and in the Church.

Webseite: www.smhs.org
Nestled against the Saddleback Mountains, Santa Margarita Catholic High School’s campus provides a beautiful environment for students to worship, learn, and thrive. The school began as a dream of the late Bishop William R. Johnson, who saw the need and potential for a Catholic high school in South Orange County.

In 1985, Bishop Johnson’s enthusiasm caught the attention of religious and business leaders and soon plans were under way to fund and build an extraordinary school. With God’s blessing, dedicated community and church leaders, and the generosity of donors, Santa Margarita Catholic High School established its roots. The school opened its doors in the fall of 1987 and the charter class of 216 students graduated in June of 1991. Now home to more than 1,650 students each year, Santa Margarita boasts dedicated faculty and staff, unmatched academic programs, faith-filled activities and competitive athletics. 

Santa Margarita Catholic High School offers a college-preparatory education emphasizing the formation of the entire person. SMCHS strives to develop students who are people of faith, skilled lifelong learners, healthy individuals and involved citizens of our world. Students are challenged to grow spiritually, intellectually, socially and morally while bringing the nurturing charism of Caritas Christi – the love of Christ – to this community of faith and learning as well as the wider world. One of the most important ways students learn is through service. By serving others, our students become God’s hands, feet and heart. Recognizing the needs of others gives young people a sense of purpose and the power to make a difference.

Santa Margarita prides itself in offering a variety of academic programs allowing all types of learners the opportunity to succeed. In October of 1995, the school launched its Auxiliary Studies Program to provide additional support to students who learn differently. Santa Margarita is the only Catholic school in the state to offer such a comprehensive program. In 1997, the school was accepted as a prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is the only Catholic school in the county to offer the academically-rigorous IB track. Santa Margarita also offers Advanced Placement courses and an Interdisciplinary Program which emphasizes hands-on learning and weaves together subjects beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. In 1998, the United States Department of Education awarded Santa Margarita its highest honor – the Blue Ribbon, an award given to only the nation’s finest schools. In addition, the school’s visual and performing arts program received recognition for “Distinction in the Arts” from the National Endowment for the Arts at the 1998 Blue Ribbon Ceremony in Washington D.C. Santa Margarita was ranked No. 21 in the nation for private schools by the Washington Post in 2012, capping off the school’s 25th year. 

Santa Margarita’s dance, song leading, and cheerleading squads regularly compete at the national level and have all won national championships. The choir has been invited to perform in prestigious music halls such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, The Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Orange County Performing Arts Center and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. 

Home of the Eagles, Santa Margarita’s athletic program includes 14 sports with 24 CIF-sanctioned teams. SMCHS also offers club sports including ice hockey, roller hockey, equestrian and surfing. The school has captured more championships than any other school in Orange County since Santa Margarita opened in 1987. Distinguished alumni athletes include Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer, NFL quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders; two-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Rodriguez of the U.S. Soccer Team; Kris Farris, who while playing for UCLA won the Outland Trophy, awarded to the best United States college football interior lineman; Brian Finneran, who played for the Atlanta Falcons and was the recipient of the Walter Payton award as a senior at Villanova University; Klay Thompson, first round draft pick for the Golden State Warriors; Max Tuerk, Santa Margarita’s first Army All-American football player and Gavin Escobar, NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Santa Margarita’s campus continues to mature with a focus on the future. In 2007, the much anticipated Aquatic Center opened boasting an Olympic-sized, 50-meter pool. The Sacred Heart Chapel was renovated in 2008 and serves as the spiritual center of campus. The campus expanded in 2010 with the addition of the Eagle Athletic Center – the first LEED-certified, green building in the city of Rancho Santa Margarita and the Diocese of Orange. The facility rivals athletic facilities at the nation’s top universities. The school’s commitment to the environment continued with the Academic Services Center which was completed in the spring of 2011, also a LEED-certified building. The center includes 10 new smart classrooms equipped with innovative technology including interactive white boards, a 3,700 square-foot Digital Media Studio – home to Eagle TV – and counseling, ASP and academic offices. There’s still more to come: a performing arts center is planned.

With more than 8,443 alumni, Santa Margarita Catholic High School continues to produce exceptional graduates – spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally – just as Bishop Johnson envisioned. Santa Margarita graduates become leaders in business, medicine, law, not-for-profits, military, finance, government and in the Church.

Vision & Mission

Our Vision:

Ever faithful to the charism of Caritas Christi and the pursuit of excellence, Santa Margarita Catholic High School attracts and inspires diverse, principled and talented young men and women. By encouraging innovative faculty, our learning community empowers students with the experiential knowledge, multidisciplinary skills, and self-confidence to become faith-filled, responsible stewards of God's earth.

Our Mission:

Santa Margarita Catholic High School seeks to bring the nurturing charism of Caritas Christi – the love of Christ – to our community of faith and learning. Centered in this charism, we work jointly with parents to provide an educational experience that incorporates:

  • Religious and spiritual formation
  • Intellectual and academic development
  • Physical and personal growth
  • Social awareness and moral development

We seek to encourage in our students a positive sense of self-worth, self-discipline, personal responsibility, successful interpersonal relationships, commitment to Gospel values, and a desire to contribute positively to both the global community and the immediate society in which they live.

Philosophy

Our Philosophy

Santa Margarita Catholic High School (SMCHS) endeavors to bring the person and teachings of Jesus Christ to this time and place under the direction of the Bishop of Orange and in accordance with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. We strive to emulate the accepting and nurturing way that He taught: to have faith in the Father, to demonstrate a loving, mutual respect for all, to seek opportunities to serve, and to be open to the thoughts and ideas of each individual. We are dedicated to working in union with families to provide a premier, holistic education encompassing the student’s religious, moral, intellectual, physical, and personal development within the framework of an effective college preparatory education.

Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs):

Santa Margarita Catholic High School strives to develop graduates who are:

Spiritually – People of Faith

  • Demonstrating a faith-based knowledge of Catholic beliefs, traditions, and practices.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to an ongoing relationship with God through prayer, and if appropriate, through the Sacraments and communal liturgical celebrations, as well as other ongoing co-curricular events.
  • Demonstrating knowledge and application of the inherent connection between lived faith and works of charity, service, as well as social justice.

Intellectually – Skilled Lifelong Learners

  • Demonstrating the ability to express themselves orally and in writing, across various media, by meeting school standards demonstrated by competency that meets or exceeds state standards.
  • Demonstrating critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation skills, as well as collaborative problem-solving aimed at inventive, adaptive solutions.
  • Demonstrating competency in reading, writing, and mathematics demonstrated by achievement that meets or exceeds school and state standards.
  • Demonstrating competency in identifying and finding information and resources necessary to develop personal goals and continuous learning.

Physically – Healthy Individuals

  • Demonstrating knowledge and application of the skills to practice a healthy lifestyle.
  • Participating in wholesome activities that promote emotional and physical well being.

Socially and Morally – Involved Citizens of the World

  • Understanding the basic civic responsibilities of a citizen, demonstrated by an awareness and appreciation of the global community and the environment.
  • Understanding the connections between choices and consequences by taking responsibility for their actions.
  • Demonstrating the skills and qualities required for positive leadership.