Mira Loma High School
|Mira Loma High School|
|Sacramento, California, Sacramento County, 95821
|Type||Public Magnet School|
|School district||San Juan Unified School District|
|Number of students||1,817|
|Student to teacher ratio||22.4|
|Color(s)||Scarlet red & Columbia blue|
|Newspaper||The Matador Capers|
|Athletic Conference||Capital League|
Mira Loma High School is a public high school located in Sacramento, California, United States. It is the one of the most reputable and best high schools in Sacramento, consistently being ranked as one of the best schools in the area. It is a part of the San Juan Unified School District with a student body of approximately 1800 students. Mira Loma High School has been an IB World School since 1989, and is the largest International Baccalaureate program in Northern California. Mira Loma also achieves consistently high pass rates for IB exams. According to Mira Loma, in 1996–1997 the school had a pass rate of 93%, with a 100% diploma attainment rate for students. In 2007–2008 the pass rate was 93% with a 100% diploma attainment rate. Both statistics are well above both the North American average (78%) and the world average (81%) for diploma attainment. Mira Loma has encouraged implementation of the International Baccalaureate program in other school districts with noted success.
Mira Loma High School is held in extremely high regard locally and nationally, being the highest ranked high school in the Sacramento area; the school was ranked in the top 250 high schools in the United States by Newsweek in 2004. This statistic has increased since 2003 when it was ranked in the top 300 schools. As of 2008, Mira Loma is ranked 225th in the nation under Newsweek's scale. Furthermore, from 2009 on, Mira Loma has had the highest average SAT and ACT scores of the region, which includes eight surrounding counties. 
The Dance/Drill Team 
The Mira Loma Dance/Drill Team won 1st place at the USA Dance/Drill Nationals in Anaheim California being named National Champions in both 2011 and 2012. The team won 1st place at regional and state competitions in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The team is coached by Danielle Nordquist, Helen Kebede, and Kayla Ray-Janković.
The Arcade Creek Project 
The Mira Loma Arcade Creek Project is a highly-recognized ongoing study of the riparian corridor of an urban watershed in Sacramento, California. It consists of eleven studies which measure the health of the Arcade Creek and is run entirely by students of Mira Loma High School and five faculty advisers. The project has received many awards and recognitions including the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award. In 2010, the project was awarded with $10,000 from the National Sea World/ Busch Gardens' Environmental Excellence Award.
Mira Loma students compete both nationally and locally for various prestigious scholarships. Mira Lomans have received The Frank H. Buck Scholarship, Schwab Rosenhouse Scholarship, Bank of America Scholarship, Regents, Chancellor's and Alumni Scholarships to the University of California, the President's Scholarship to various universities, Independent scholarships and grants to many universities, and Appointments to U.S. Military Academies including the United States Military Academy at West Point. Mira Loma holds the distinction of having the largest number of Frank H. Buck Scholarship recipients of the high schools in the 6 county area from which the foundation accepts applications, with 18 Buck scholarship recipients.
Academic Competitions 
Science Olympiad 
Mira Loma has several consistently strong academic teams. The Mira Loma Science Olympiad team has won the Northern California State Competition and gone to the National Science Olympiad Tournaments for the last eight years, placing at 6th place (their highest) in 2006. Mira Loma placed 10th in the national competition in 2009  and 9th in 2010. In 2013, the team competed at the first Troy High School Invitational competition, where its B-team placed third, and its A-team placed second.
Science Bowl 
The Mira Loma National Science Bowl team (consisting of a group of students that answer gameshow-style questions on science and mathematics) has competed at the national level a record fourteen times. Mira Loma's teams have also won 14 of the past 20 Sacramento Regional Science Bowls. In recent years, the Mira Loma High School Science Bowl team has been met with substantial success, placing in the top three teams for the last six years and winning the competition three times in the last five years.
Placement at Recent National Science Bowls 
- 2009 - 1st
- 2011 - 1st
- 2013 - 1st
Mira Loma High School has placed in the following competitions: CSUS Computer Science competition, American High School Mathematics Examination, California Mathematics League, Mathletes, National Society of Black Engineers competition, and its SAT Math scores are the highest in the San Juan Unified School District. Mira Loma also holds the annual AMC (American Mathematics Competition), the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination), and the USAMO (United States of America Mathematical Olympiad)
Mira Loma's Mathletes team won the 2009 Regional Finals at the CSUS Grand Meet.
The Mira Loma Art Department is currently contributing to campus beautification by creating murals throughout the campus and creating a promotional video for the school. In recent years, Mira Loma students have exhibited at the Phantom Gallery during Sacramento's celebrated Second Saturday Art Fair, the Department of Agriculture, Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento Fine Arts Gallery, Mesa Verde Art Gallery, Crocker Art Museum, American River College, IB Headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, and California State University, Sacramento. Mira Loma students consistently receive Summer scholarships for the California Institute of the Arts, and have been awarded the following honors: Film Festival Student Award, Illustrator's Award, Watercolor Scholarships, and Best of Show at the California State Fair. In 2009 Mira Loma students were published in Arts & Activities Magazine, the leading arts education magazine in the nation. In 2008, IB/IS/MYP Visual Arts teacher Alison Stiles (2006 San Juan Unified Teacher of the Year and 2006 Sacramento County Teacher of the Year) was awarded a grant from Visual Art Technology used to incorporate modern technology and resources with teaching. In 2008 Mira Loma participated in the recycled art STARS program with great success.
Mira Loma's drama department regularly sells out its seasonal productions. The department is currently run by teachers Nicole Schallig-Weil (IB Theatre) and Doniel Soto (Advanced Drama). Doniel Soto is former California State University, Sacramento theatre and dance professor, founder of Abandon Productions and The Space in downtown Sacramento. Nicole Schallig-Weil holds an MFA in design from UC Davis and has designed/directed with such companies as Sacramento Theatre Company, Napa Shakespeare Festival, UC Davis and the California Shakespeare Festival. The drama department's recent reinvention of Macbeth, titled Macbeth, received glowing reviews from many sources, including Marcus Crowder of the media blog 21Q, who called the production "...the kind of stuff that makes you gasp and laugh at the sheer audacity, ingenuity and artistry of it." Mira Loma has also received the Mari Carson IB Theatre Arts Award, awards for Directing and Acting at the Lincoln Festival and scholarships for acting, 1st place awards for directing, writing and acting at the San Juan Theater Festival, and distinguished acting awards at the Lenaea Theatre Festival at Sacramento State University.
Mira Loma theatre program, under the direction of Ms. Weil, has been selected to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world's largest and most prestigious arts festival, as part of the American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF). The Fringe Festival includes over 2,000 different performances of music, theatre, dance, and comedy during its three-week run. Mira Loma High School's performance will be showcased at the AHSTF venue in Edinburgh in August, 2011. Mira Loma Theatre was selected by the American High School Theatre Festival Board of Advisors, made up of college theatre professionals, to represent the country as part of the 2011 AHSTF program. The Board reviews all completed applications and identifies the top high schools based on their most recent bodies of work, awards, community involvement, philosophies, and recommendations. This season, Mira Loma was one in 48 schools across the nation invited to participate out of 1,500 applicants.
Speech and Debate 
Mira Loma's Speech and Debate team was founded in 2005 by a small group of students. In just 8 years it has blossomed into one of the largest organized activities on campus, and become one of the most successful and dominant teams in Northern California.
In 2007, Mira Loma sent a member of its Speech and Debate team to the National Forensics League National Tournament in National Extemporaneous Speaking. In 2008, Mira Loma sent a Public Forum team to the NFL tournament. Also in 2008, at the California State Tournament, Mira Loma had two students reach the Finals of Impromptu Speaking, placing 2nd and 5th. Mira Loma also took second place in Public Forum Debate of the 32 team pool at States. In 2009, Mira Loma surpassed Granite Bay High School as leaders of the Sacramento Valley Forensics League. The team sent 21 students to the State Tournament, as well as 6 to the NFL National Tournament. Mira Loma also had the State Champion in Impromptu Speaking in 2009. In 2010, a Mira Loma Student placed 4th in the nation in Impromptu Speaking, and another placed 3rd in Humorous Interpretation at the State Tournament. In 2012, Mira Loma placed 5th in the Nation in Original Oratory and in Impromptu Speaking, and 2nd in Original Oratory at the State Tournament. The team as of 2013 has a strength of 179, and has collected the most points in Debate in the Capitol Valley Forensics League.
National History Day 
Mira Loma has developed a strong National History Day team, sending several teams to the state competition regularly as well as the national competition. In 2006, a Mira Loma team competed in the Senior Documentary category and won 3rd place in the nation. In 2007, two Mira Loma teams reached the California State Finals in the Senior Documentary category and one advanced to nationals. In 2008, Mira Loma sent 3 Senior Documentary teams to the state competition as well as a number of other teams from Senior Website, Senior Dramatic Performance, and Senior Historical Paper. The Senior Documentary team went on to win 11th in the nation.
Future Business Leaders of America 
Mira Loma is known for its thriving FBLA club, which frequently ranks at local, state, and national levels. Recently, competitors placed first in Marketing, Business Law, Personal Finance, and Business Math in 2009, and ranked in Business Calculations, Business Communication, and in the Entrepreneurship Team event.
Mira Loma was awarded a $1000 grant from Business Journal in 1997. In the same year Mira Loma was also one of three schools in the country to pilot the National Retail Federation Retail Readiness Assessment.
English Department 
In addition to math and science awards, Mira Loma's English department has received both local and national recognition for outstanding creative ability. Individual students have placed 1st and 2nd in the Bill of Rights Essay Contest, the "Write Idea" contest sponsored by The Sacramento Bee, The Sacramento Bee Poetry competition, the Norman Mailer High School and College Writing Award, and an award from the American Scholastic Press Association. Mira Loma's literary magazine, Prisms has received the prestigious Norman Mailer High School and College Writing Award as well.
Mira Loma's yearbook, Recuerdos received the Norman Mailer High School and College Writing Award multiple times, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Award, and a writing contest award from The Sacramento Bee newspaper.
International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement 
Mira Loma offers a large number of International Baccalaureate courses that prepare students for IB examinations every spring. The IB tests are either Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) based on the amount of coursework prior to the examination. The following IB examinations were taken by Mira Loma students in 2010:
- Biology (HL)
- Economics (SL)
- English A1 (HL)
- Environmental Systems (SL)
- French B (SL/HL)
- Further Math (SL)
- German B (SL/HL)
- History of Americas (HL)
- Japanese B (SL/HL)
- Mandarin B (SL/HL)
- Math Studies (SL)
- Mathematics (SL/HL)
- Music (SL/HL)
- Physics (SL)
- Spanish B (SL/HL)
- Theatre (SL/HL)
- Theory of Knowledge
- Visual Arts (SL/HL)
Additionally, AP Calculus is offered to eligible students. AP US History was taught by Bruce Lagomarsino, but it has since been discontinued in favor of a total IB campus. Classes previously offered at Mira Loma are AP Physics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese, and AP Japanese. IB German B has been discontinued as well due to lack of student interest in the class.
Starting in 2013, Mira Loma will begin offering a Standard Level IB Chemistry course as well.
Mira Loma offers a variety extracurricular clubs that meet both at lunch and after school. Some of these clubs include Science Bowl, Robotics Club, Astronomy Club, Ballroom Dance Club, Mira Loma Programming Club, Speech and Debate, Young Republicans Club, Young Democrats Club, Math Contest Club, Economics Club, Youth Court, Mock Trial, Moot Court, International Relief Club, B Sharps, as well as ethnic organizations such as Latinos Unidos, Jewish Student Union, Black Students Union, Desi Plus Club, and Ping Pong Club. Religious organizations include the Slavic Christian Club and Muslim Students Association. Future Business Leaders of America club as well as Climate Crisis Club, Habitat for Humanity Club, Solar Cooking Club, Key Club, and a chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society, French, Japanese, and Chinese clubs are also active on campus.
Mira Loma High School offers four foreign languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese (for native speakers). Mira Loma often classifies itself as an international school. One of Mira Loma's unifying characteristics is its strong sense of internationalism and wide variety of cultures and viewpoints. Mira Loma has thriving international exchange program with various countries. Every other summer a small group of students stay with a host family in Japan and attend Tanabe High School. For the Mazaltan Orphanage Program, about 20 students travel to Mexico to improve their Spanish and volunteer at an orphagage.
International Night 
In early April Mira Loma celebrates its annual International Night, in which students from various ethnic backgrounds set up presentations about their culture (typically offering some traditional food as well) and sometimes give performances of traditional dance or music.
Pi Day 
Every March 14, the Mira Loma Math Club hosts Pi Day on campus. This event features carnival-like events that relate to the mathematical number. Events include a fundraiser that awards those who donate with the opportunity to throw cream pies at volunteering teachers and a competition where students memorize and recite the digits of Pi. In recent years, the celebration is given a popular culture theme involving a play on the word "pi" such as Monty Pi-thon, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman, The Empire Strikes Back, Occupi Mira Loma: Be the 3.14%, and The Life of Pi.
Notable alumni 
- Richard Chase; Serial killer
- Alex Honnold (Class of 2003); Free climber
- James House (Class of 1973); Country songwriter and singer.
- Sam J. Jones (Class of 1972); Actor.
- John Powell (athlete) (Class of 1965); track and field athlete
See also 
- "Home Of The Mighty Matadors". Sanjuan.edu. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "San Juan". Sanjuan.edu. December 2, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "Awards – Mira Loma High School Parents". Miralomahigh.org. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "San Juan". Sanjuan.edu. August 18, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | Newsweek.com[dead link]
- SAT/ACT 2009-2010 Results
- "Arcade Creek Project". Arcade Creek Project. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Environmental and Economic Honors". Schwarzenegger.com. Retrieved October 7, 2010.[dead link]
- "Department of Energy – Mira Loma High School and Hopkins Junior High School from California Win U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl". Energy.gov. May 4, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2010.[dead link]
- Past High School National Science Bowl Winners (1991 - 2012) | U.S. DOE Office of Science (SC)
- "Sacramento Bee – 21Q". Sacbee.com. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "Awards – Mira Loma High School Parents". Miralomahigh.org. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "Mira Loma High School". Ibo.org. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mira Loma High School|
- Official website
- San Juan Unified School District website
- Mira Loma IB resources
- Information about Parent Organizations
- Arcade Creek Project