Catalina Foothills High School

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Catalina Foothills High School
4300 East Sunrise Drive
Catalina Foothills, Arizona 85718
United States
Coordinates 32°18′28.96″N 110°53′55.55″W / 32.3080444°N 110.8987639°W / 32.3080444; -110.8987639Coordinates: 32°18′28.96″N 110°53′55.55″W / 32.3080444°N 110.8987639°W / 32.3080444; -110.8987639
Type Public
Founded 1992
School district Catalina Foothills School District #16
Principal Dr. Angela Chomokos
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,657 students (October 1, 2012)[1]
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Royal blue and silver
Mascot Falcons
Rival Salpointe Catholic High School

Catalina Foothills High School (Catalina Foothills, Foothills, or CFHS) is a public high school, located in the upscale suburban community of Catalina Foothills, just north of Tucson, Arizona, United States. It is the only high school in the Catalina Foothills School District, located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Founded in 1992, the school now serves approximately 1,650 students in grades nine through twelve. The school mascot is the peregrine falcon, and the school colors are blue and silver. Based on the percentage of students passing or exceeding the AIMS, Catalina Foothills is one of the top high schools in the state. In 2006, Catalina Foothills had the state's second-highest percentage of students exceeding math, the third-highest percentage of students exceeding reading standards, and the ninth-highest percentage of student exceeding writing standards. Catalina Foothills has been ranked in the top 1.7% of high schools in the US. Annually, Catalina Foothills averages about 12 National Merit Finalists.[2]

School history[edit]

Prior to the establishment of Catalina Foothills, some district students attended high school in Tucson Unified School District and the rest primarily in the Amphitheater district. The establishment of Catalina Foothills was postponed several decades due to the ability of district students to attend high school in neighboring school districts.[3]

As the population grew in the area, a large core of Catalina Foothills students attended Amphitheater High School in North Tucson, as the closer Canyon del Oro High School in Oro Valley was virtually closed to out-of-district students. As the Amphitheater district began to experience overcrowding, the need for a high school in the Catalina Foothills School District became apparent.

Construction began in 1991 on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) site centrally located in the district. The Catalina Foothills School Board had acquired the site in the late 1970s. The school opened to the ninth grade in 1992 when classes met at a district middle school. In 1993 campus was opened to ninth and tenth graders, and the first graduating class of Foothills High walked in late spring 1996.[3]


In 2014, the US News & World Report rankings of the top high schools ranked CFHS at number 754 out of 21,000 in the country (in the top 4 percent of all public high schools nationally), No. 10 in Arizona, and No. 3 in Tucson. In 2013, CFHS also ranked 245th amongst all high schools in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, although lost its rank in 2014. US News awarded the school a silver medal in its rankings survey.[4] Newsweek ranked CFHS 310 out of the top 500 public high schools in the US in its 2016 ranking. Newsweek's list placed CFHS 2nd in Tucson and 6th out of the 11 Arizona high schools.[5]


  • The Chess Team has won the High School National Championship in four of the last ten years (2005, 2007, 2008, and 2014), as well as six other national championships. The Chess Team also has won the AIA State High School Championship nine times out of the last ten years (2005-2009, 2011-2014[6][7])
  • The Catalina Foothills "Blue" Science Olympiad team has won state championships a total of eight times, in 2006 and then consecutively from 2008-2014.[8]
  • The Speech and Debate team is currently ranked fourth in Arizona by the National Forensics League,[9] and has won the past three Division 4A State Championships.

Performing arts[edit]

The Catalina Foothills Marching Band consists of around 240 students annually and has an international reputation. In the 2009-2010 school year, the band participated in the Fiesta Bowl parade and competition, placing fourth out of seven competing bands in the country.[10] In 2006, the Falcon band represented Arizona at the 80th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Soon after performing on live television, the Chinese-American Cultural Bridge Center, on behalf of the Olympic International Festival Committee,[11] invited the band to perform in a youth festival in China a month before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing during the summer of 2008. In the summer of 2012, the band traveled to the east coast of Australia for seven days,[12] visiting local marching bands and experiencing local culture. In 2014, ten Falcons: Savannah Runge, Justyn Zeider, Vaughn Sherman, Stefanie Tedards, Vaughn Sherman, Griffin Johnston, Gabriela Yadegari, Margot Vazquez, Maxwell Webb, and Jacqi Miller won Best One Act Play in the state and traveled to the International Thespian Festival in June 2015. Additionally, the former seven of these students created a theatre company called Acting Innocent Theatre Company, LLC, which advocated for social change through "gripping and provocative material."


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