Capuchino High School

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Capuchino High School
Capuchino High School logo.png
Capuchino High School is located in San Francisco Bay Area
Capuchino High School
Capuchino High School
Capuchino High School is located in California
Capuchino High School
Capuchino High School
Capuchino High School is located in the United States
Capuchino High School
Capuchino High School
1501 Magnolia Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates37°36′35″N 122°24′25″W / 37.6096°N 122.4069°W / 37.6096; -122.4069Coordinates: 37°36′35″N 122°24′25″W / 37.6096°N 122.4069°W / 37.6096; -122.4069
School typePublic
School districtSan Mateo Union High School District
PrincipalJesse Boise
Enrollment1,177 (2016-17)[2]
Color(s)Green and gold         
Team nameThe Mustangs
RivalMills High School
Feeder schoolsParkside Intermediate

Capuchino High School is a public high school in San Bruno, California, United States. The school is surrounded by the city of Millbrae on all but one corner. It is one of seven high schools in the San Mateo Union High School District, a division of the San Mateo County Office of Education.

Capuchino's rival is Mills High School in Millbrae.


Administration building

The physical campus, which is just over 34 acres (140,000 m2) in size, was formerly the Spanish Rancho del Capuchino.[3] The school opened in September 1950. There was initially only one two-story building on the campus; by 1953 most of the campus was completed. A 1,000-seat auditorium was built in 1959, supplementing the school's little theatre. In the 1961–62 academic year, just prior to the completion of Crestmoor High School, student enrollment exceeded 1,800 and almost every available space was utilized for classrooms.[4][verification needed]

In 1963, KPIX (Channel 5) filmed scenes, including a pep rally, at the school for its weekly High School Salute program. Host Dick Stewart also interviewed students and faculty in the KPIX studios during the telecast.

In 1976, a student, Paula Baxter, went missing after leaving the high school after a play rehearsal; her body, which had been stabbed and sexually assaulted, was found two days later behind a church in Millbrae.[5]

In 1998, students traveled thousands of miles learning about the Civil Rights Movement.[6]

A yearbook photo from 1999.

SMUHSD residents approved Measure D in November 2000, which authorized funding for school renovation and modernization. Capuchino has a renovated science wing, a new spirit court and cafeteria building, and several new classrooms adjoining the new administration building.

Measure M funds were approved by SMUHSD voters in 2006 which in part funded the construction of a new humanities, arts, and sciences building (HASB) and theater remodel. In April 2012 the new HASB was completed and students moved in to finish their school year.[7]

Fine arts[edit]

The school has long been known for its music and drama programs.[citation needed]

Randolph Hunt was the school's first music teacher; he joined the faculty in 1950 and wrote the school's hymn, "Hail Green and Gold", and other songs. He left Capuchino in 1960 to earn his doctorate.

Ralph Bredenberg (1918–2009)[8][9] became the band director in 1953 and built an outstanding marching band that performed at numerous competitions, as well as appearing at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California and the nationally televised inaugural parade for John F. Kennedy in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1961.[10][verification needed]

Kenneth L. Ton (1921–1982) was drama director at Capuchino for many years, and when Otto Mielenz (1933–2006) became choral director in 1960, they began plans for producing the school first's musical comedy productions. Randolph Hunt had preferred to present operettas by Gilbert & Sullivan, including a performance of The Mikado in 1959, when the new auditorium was completed.[11][unreliable source][citation needed] Ton and Mielenz first collaborated on a 1962 production of Brigadoon by Lerner & Loewe.[12][unreliable source][citation needed] In 1964 Mielenz left Capuchino to teach at San Bernardino Valley College, followed by Chabot College in Hayward, California.[13][unreliable source][citation needed] Mr. Masonson became the new choral director in 1964. Ton continued to direct plays and collaborated on additional musicals until his retirement in the early 1980s.[14][verification needed]

In the early 1980s a guiding director at Capuchino was Robert Meadows, who had formerly taught at Crestmoor High School until it closed in 1980. Meadows was the first director for the Capuchino Community Theatre, which drew performers from throughout San Mateo County and whose first productions were The Sound of Music by Rodgers & Hammerstein in 1981 and The Music Man by Meredith Willson in 1982. The 1983 production of Kismet was directed by Jack Brooks and the 1984 production of Of Thee I Sing was directed by Simon Levy. All but one of the productions were staged in Capuchino's auditorium. Within a few years, however, the Capuchino Community Theater was disbanded, due to financial shortfalls.[15][unreliable source][citation needed]

Capuchino broadcasts a student-run production every week to the entire school, called The Mustang News. It airs informational segments created by students in the Art of Video and IB Film classes.


Capuchino has long had an outstanding athletic department. It initially competed in the Peninsula Athletic League, which stretched from Jefferson High School in Daly City to Lincoln High School in San Jose. As more high schools were built during the 1950s and early 1960s, the Mid-Peninsula was established to include the seven high schools of the San Mateo Union High School District. Capuchino dominated league competition over the years, especially in football, basketball, swimming, wrestling, track, and tennis. During the late 1950s the school won the league championships in varsity football, basketball, and baseball, a time often referred to as "The Golden Age of Sports."[16][unreliable source][citation needed] Capuchino baseball players Wally Bunker and Keith Hernandez both went on to careers in Major League Baseball.[17][verification needed]

In the 1990s, Capuchino's girls' softball team won five consecutive Central Coast Section (CCS) Championships (1993–1997),[18] and was state ranked on three occasions during this period. Capuchino also has a 32-9 Central Coast Section Playoff record, giving it the second best winning percentage of all schools in the section.


Capuchino is the only school in the San Mateo Union High School District to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

The school also offers ROP (Regional Occupational Program) classes for free. These include CompTIA A+ Certification (or computer system design), CCNA certification (Cisco Networking Academy), and an advanced Art of Video lab.




  • 1,127 students: 585 male (51.9%), 542 female (48.1%)
Hispanic White Asian Filipino Two or more races Pacific Islander African American American Indian Not reported
536 223 123 102 79 55 9 0 0
47.6% 19.8% 10.9% 9.1% 7% 4.9% 0.8% 0% 0%

Approximately 21% of the students at Capuchino are served by the free or reduced-price lunch program, and approximately 12%, 138 students, of Capuchino's students are English language learners.[20]

Standardized testing[edit]

SAT scores for 2014–2015 [21]
Critical Reading average Math average Writing average
Capuchino High 495 508 487
District 544 570 544
Statewide 489 500 484
2013 Academic Performance Index
2009 base API [22] 2013 growth API [23] Growth in the API from 2009 to 2013
714 791 77

Notable alumni[edit]



  • Leo Ryan, history teacher and politician, 1961

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "School Profile 2011-12: Capuchino High School". California Department of Education. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "Capuchino High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  3. ^ Horgan, John (17 September 2014). "John Horgan: Fremont's gene pool must be incredibly strong". Mercury News. Santa Clara, California. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  4. ^ San Bruno Herald, September 1961
  5. ^ Lee, Henry K. (22 January 2015). "Suspect charged in 1976 'Gypsy Hill' slayings on Peninsula". SFGate. San Francisco. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
    Northrop, Jane (29 March 2017). "Murder suspect faces charges in cold case". Pacifica Tribune. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
    "Gypsy Hill murder suspect removed from courtroom for disruption". San Francisco Chronicle. Bay City News. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  6. ^ James Johnson; Diann Musial; Annette Johnson (2008). Introduction to Teaching: Helping Students Learn. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 221. ISBN 9780742565760.
  7. ^ Aaron Kiney (18 March 2012). "San Mateo at the center of school-renovation boom". The San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Ralph A. Bredenberg". The Turlock Journal. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  9. ^ "Ralph A. Bredenberg". The Modesto Bee. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  10. ^ San Bruno Herald archives, 1964 interview with Dr. Hunt.
  11. ^ 1964 interview with Dr. Hunt.
  12. ^ Cap 62 yearbook.
  13. ^ 1967 interview with Otto Mielenz.
  14. ^ San Bruno Herald archives.
  15. ^ Eyewitness accounts by Robert E. Nylund.
  16. ^ Capuchino yearbooks, interviews with students.
  17. ^ San Bruno Herald archives.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-07-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Enrollment by Ethnicity for 2015-16: Capuchino High School". California Department of Education. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  20. ^ "Educational Demographics Unit" (Spreadsheet). California Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  21. ^ "SAT Report - 2014-15 District Level Scores". California Department of Education. Retrieved September 27, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "2009 Base API School Report - Capuchino High". California Department of Education Assessment, Accountability and Awards Division.
  23. ^ "2013 Growth API School Report - Capuchino High". California Department of Education Analysis, Measurement, & Accountability Reporting Division.
  24. ^

External links[edit]