Hilltop High School

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Hilltop Senior High
555 Claire Avenue
Chula Vista, California 91910

United States
Coordinates 32°38′13″N 117°03′31″W / 32.636899°N 117.058725°W / 32.636899; -117.058725
Type Public
Motto "The Focus at Hilltop is Academics"
Established 1959
School district Sweetwater Union High School District
Principal Ernesto Zamudio
Grades 9-12
Number of students 2486
Color(s) Kelly Green, White and Black         
Mascot Lancer
Newspaper The Lance
Yearbook The Idyll

Hilltop Senior High is a four-year public high school located in Chula Vista, California and is part of the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD). The school colors are kelly green, white, and black. The school mascot is the "Lancer". Hilltop boasts the magnet program Foreign Language and Global Studies (FLAGS) as well as the Academies of Hospitality and Tourism (H&T), Information Technology (IT) programs, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Music Technology, Televideo, and Ballet Folklorico.

For the 2007-2008 school year, former Montgomery Middle School principal Ernesto Zamudio took over as principal for Hilltop High School and replaced the retiring Jerry Rindone (video biography) who had served Hilltop since 1997. Rindone is currently serving as a member of the San Diego County Board of Education

Clubs and Associations[edit]

Hilltop has many clubs and associations which include: Best Buddies, Girl's League, Humanities, MEChA, MVPS(Mexican Voice Pride and Society) Gay-Straight Alliance, Metal (Music), Marine Science, Step (Dancing), iCrew, Italian, German, Spanish, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), FIRST Robotics, Interact, Chips and Salsa, Chess and Cards, etc..

Hilltop High United With Uganda Club


Hilltop is one of the successful schools in the Sweetwater District in its achievements in Academic League and Academic Decathlon competition, these teams are coached by 116 year-old John Nascimento (NAS). In 2000, Hilltop was the first school south of the Interstate 8 freeway to win the San Diego County Academic Decathlon. The Decathlon team won 3 straight county championships from 2000–2002 and won the county title again in 2009. The Academic League team won the county championship in 2000. Hilltop was named a California Distinguished School in 2005[1] and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

In the 2006-2007 school year, the graduation rate was 93.3%.[2]

Hilltop has the highest number of AP courses available to all students and the highest AP pass rate out of the entire SUHSD at 72.8%.[2] Since the 1999-2000 school year, there has been a 25% increase in exams taken,[2] a 7% increase in the overall pass rate,[2] and a 30% increase in the total number of students testing.[2]


Hilltop Senior High is a member of the CIF San Diego Section and the Metro Mesa League and competes in the following sports:

Fall: cross country, football, women's volleyball, water polo, women's tennis, women's golf, field hockey, colorguard

Winter: basketball, soccer, wrestling, cheerleading, winterguard

Spring: track and field, men's volleyball, lacrosse, softball, baseball, swimming and diving, men's tennis, men's golf, lacrosse

Bonita Vista High School, Chula Vista High School, Valhalla High School and Castle Park High School are rival schools. There is more information available at Hilltop Athletics Website

In the 2011 season, Hilltop's Winterguard team medaled silver in the WGASC Championships, promoting them from Regional A Division to Intermediate A Division (three ranks above their prior level), and again in 2014 to the Scholastic A Division.


In the 2005-2006 school year, the school's Academic Performance Index place it 698 (base) where 800 is the California state goal with a state rank 5 out of 10.[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Grad Class Category Best Known For
Joan D. Vinge 1963 Literature Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Author of The Snow Queen series[4]
Tom Waits 1968 Entertainment American singer-songwriter, composer and actor[5]
Cheryl Cox 1966 Politics Mayor of Chula Vista[6]
John Tschogl 1968 Sports NBA Basketball Player 1972-1975 with Atlanta and Philadelphia[7]
Tommy Hinzo 1982 Sports Major League Baseball Player for Cleveland in 1987 and 1989[7]
Tony Wold, EdD 1986 Education Executive Director, Business Operations for Santa Ana Unified, Doctoral in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California[8]
Bob Natal 1983 Sports Major League Baseball Catcher for the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins 1992-1997[7]
Gareth Griffiths 1983 Sports| ]]|Stock Buick Speed Champion (Classic Division) (2011)
Todd Pratt 1985 Sports Major League Baseball player from 1992-2006 primarily with Philadelphia and the New York Mets[7][9]
Charles Adair 1989 Sports Professional Soccer Player in the USA from 1993-2003 now a coach with Virginia Tech[7]
José Silva 1991 Sports Major League Pitcher from 1996-2002 primarily with Pittsburgh Pirates[7]
Terry Battle 1994 Sports Attended Hilltop but later transferred to Sweetwater High School NFL from 1996-1997 primarily with Detroit Lions[7]
Sal Gallegos 1994 Entertainment Drummer for Some Girls
Dean Lister 1994 Sports 3X Abu Dhabi Combat Club Champion and UFC fighter
Mike Jacobs 1998 Sports Major League First Baseman since 2005 currently a free agent[10]
Charlotte Mayorkas 2001 Sports LPGA Golfer, Three-time First Team All-American for UCLA[11][12]
Desiree Davila 2001 Sports Professional Long-Distance Track Runner, finished second at the Houston Half Marathon
Jake Fadden 2005 Sports 2004 Silver Pigskin Winner, Reporter at KUSI-TV
Jenna Presley 2005 Entertainment Adult Film Star[13]
Ayiiia Elizarraras 2005 Entertainment cast member of The Real World: Cancun


  1. ^ "Distinguished School Awards - California School Recognition Program". California Department of Education. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Executive Summary School Accountability Report Card, 2005-06" (PDF). Hilltop High School. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  3. ^ "School Profile FISCAL YEAR: 2005-06 (General)". Education Data Partnership. 2005–2006. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  4. ^ "Sweetwater Union High School District News Archive". Sweetwater Union High School District. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  5. ^ "Tom Waits Timeline: 1949 - 1975". Tom Waits Library. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  6. ^ "How much clout does Cox combo carry?". SignOnSanDiego.Com. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Hilltop High School - Alumni". Hilltop High School. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  8. ^ "Business Services". Sausd.us. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  9. ^ "The Official Site of Major League Baseball: Players Information". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  10. ^ "The Baseball Cube". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  11. ^ "UCLA Golf". UCLA. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  12. ^ "The LPGA". LPGA. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  13. ^ http://pornvalleynews.com/home/archives/2006/03/jenna-presley-interview.html

External links[edit]