Capuchino High School

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Capuchino High School
Capuchino High School logo.png
1501 Magnolia Avenue
San Francisco Peninsula
San Bruno, California, San Mateo County, 94066
United States
Coordinates 37°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 type Public
Established 1950
School district San Mateo Union High School District
Principal Shamar Shanks
Faculty 65[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,105 (2014-2015)[2]
Color(s) Green and Gold         
Team name The Mustangs
Rival Mills High School
Feeder schools Parkside Intermediate

Capuchino High School is a public high school in San Bruno, California, although 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, California.


Administration Building.

The physical campus, which is just over 34 acres (140,000 m2) in size, was formerly the Spanish Rancho del Capuchino. 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.[3][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.

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 late April 2012 the brand new HASB was completed and students moved in to finish out their school year.[4]

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)[5][6] 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.[7][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.[8][unreliable source?][citation needed] Ton and Mielenz first collaborated on a 1962 production of Brigadoon by Lerner & Loewe.[9][unreliable source?][citation needed] In 1964 Mielenz left Capuchino to teach at San Bernardino Valley College, followed by Chabot College in Hayward, California.[10][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.[11][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 was staged in Capuchino's auditorium. Within a few years, however, the Capuchino Community Theater was disbanded, due to financial shortfalls.[12][unreliable source?][citation needed]

Capuchino broadcasts a student-run production every week to the entire school called The Mustang News. On the Mustang News, informational segments that the students in the Art of Video as well as IB Film classes create are aired.


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."[13][unreliable source?][citation needed] Capuchino baseball players Wally Bunker and Keith Hernandez both went on to careers in Major League Baseball.[14][verification needed]

In the 1990s, Capuchino's girls softball team won 5 consecutive Central Coast Section (CCS) Championships (1993–1997),[15] 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.

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




  • 1,105 students: 580 Male (52.5%), 525 Female (47.5%)
Hispanic White Asian Filipino Two or More Races Pacific Islander African American American Indian Not Reported
500 240 114 98 84 57 11 0 1
45.2% 21.7% 10.3% 8.9% 7.6% 5.2% 1% 0% 0%

Approximately 21% of the students at Capuchino are served by the free or reduced-price lunch program, and approximately 12%, 138 students,[16] of Capuchino's students are English language learners.

Standardized testing[edit]

SAT Scores for 2013–2014 [17]
Critical Reading Average Math Average Writing Average
Capuchino High 513 528 507
District 546 576 548
Statewide 492 506 489

2013 Academic Performance Index
2009 Base API [18] 2013 Growth API [19] Growth in the API from 2009 to 2013
714 791 77

Notable people[edit]



  • Leo Ryan. History teacher/politician, 1961.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "School Profile 2011-12: Capuchino High School". California Department of Education. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Enrollment by Ethnicity for 2014-15: Capuchino High School". California Department of Education. 
  3. ^ San Bruno Herald September 1961
  4. ^ Aaron Kiney (18 March 2012). "San Mateo at the center of school-renovation boom". The San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ralph A. Bredenberg". The Turlock Journal. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Ralph A. Bredenberg". The Modesto Bee. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2009. 
  7. ^ San Bruno Herald archives, 1964 interview with Dr. Hunt.
  8. ^ 1964 interview with Dr. Hunt.
  9. ^ Cap 62 yearbook.
  10. ^ 1967 interview with Otto Mielenz.
  11. ^ San Bruno Herald archives.
  12. ^ Eyewitness accounts by Robert E. Nylund.
  13. ^ Capuchino yearbooks, interviews with students.
  14. ^ San Bruno Herald archives.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Educational Demographics Unit" (Spreadsheet). California Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  17. ^ "SAT Report - District Level Scores". California Department of Education. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  18. ^ "2009 Base API School Report - Capuchino High". California Department of Education Assessment, Accountability and Awards Division. 
  19. ^ "2013 Growth API School Report - Capuchino High". California Department of Education Analysis, Measurement, & Accountability Reporting Division. 

External links[edit]