Monterey High School (Monterey, California)

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Monterey High School
Monterey High School Toreadore logo.gif.jpg
Monterey High Toreadore
101 Herrmann Drive


Coordinates36°35′46″N 121°54′07″W / 36.596°N 121.902°W / 36.596; -121.902Coordinates: 36°35′46″N 121°54′07″W / 36.596°N 121.902°W / 36.596; -121.902
Established1905, 116 years ago
School districtMonterey Peninsula USD
PrincipalTom Newton
Faculty62.75 FTE[1]
Enrollment1,306 (2017-18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio20.81[1]
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Kelly green and Gold
Athletics conferenceCIF – Central Coast Section
NicknameToreadores ("Dores")
RivalSeaside High School
YearbookEl Susurro

Monterey High School is a public high school in the western United States, located in Monterey, California. It is the oldest of the four high schools overseen by the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.


Monterey Union High School in 1917.

“Monterey High School was founded in 1905. The original Monterey High School (prior to 1905) consisted of two schools; Monterey High School and Del Monte Technical School. In 1905, the schools were joined to form the Monterey Union High School. When the original wooden three story building burned down, the new school was built on the current site by 1915. The school serviced students from as far north as Castroville to as far south as Big Sur and all of Carmel Valley. The other two Districts, Pacific Grove and Carmel, only serviced student within their city limits, which was very small” [2]

Proficiency Statistics[edit]

As of 2020, Monterey High school serves 1,306 students in 9-12 grade levels. The mathematical proficiency level is 38%, which is lower than California's average of 39%. However, the literacy rate is 65%, which rises above the state average which is 50%. MHS is in the top 30 schools in the state of California.

The student teacher ratio is 21.1, lower than state average of 23.1. [3]

Student Demographics by Ethnicity, Gender, and Income[edit]

50% Hispanic 29% Caucasian 5% Black 5% Asian 3% Filipino 1% Pacific Islander ≤1% Native American 7% Two or more ethnicities

5% of students are still learning english 45% of students are from low income families

48% are female 52% are male[4]

Meaning of School Colors[edit]

The school colors Green and Gold came from the "golden hills of Mount Toro and the kelly green leaves of the coastal oaks" based on a student poem written for the 1906 yearbook. Others believe the school colors came from the original Matador's uniform that was Kelly Green and Gold, but according to 1974 Graduate Daniel Albert Jr., it is "your choice of what to believe."[5]

School Songs[edit]

There were two fight songs in the history of Monterey High School. The current one, "Toreadores who wear the green and gold...." was created in 1948 and the music taken from Bizet's famous opera, Carmen, but the words were written by a student.

The older version (the music at least) was taken from the Washington State fight song... ("Fight, Fight Fight for Monterey High. When the victory...)[5]

History Of The Toreador[edit]

The Monterey Toreador was created after the influences of the region; for example, the Carmel Padres were named after the Carmel Mission, the Pacific Grove Breakers after the coastal waves, Salinas High School Cowboys after cowboys that worked the ranches of the Salinas Valley, and the Watsonville Wildcats after the wild mountain lions of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

With the rich Spanish heritage in the City of Monterey, the Toreador was chosen when the school opened in 1905. The original Mascot "Tony the Toreador" caricature, served as the face of the school for 80 years. The toreador mascot painted on the Randall Gym was designed by an art student in 1990s.

The Varsity teams were called the Toreadores, the Junior Varsity, the Matadores, the Sophomore teams or Lightweight teams of the earlier years, the Picadores, and of course the Principal, the Clown...well, that label was really only used once and it was reserved for the principal serving between 2000-2007.

Contrary to popular belief, the singular Toreador doesn't really exist in the bullring, only "Toreadores" which consist of the matador, picador, and the clown, who diverts the bull away from the matador when he runs into trouble.[5]

El Susurro[edit]

The Whisper was the original name of the yearbook, which was not a traditional yearbook, but a collection of student poems and pictures. The word whisper was used to reflect the "whisper" of the student voices in their poems. Keeping with the Spanish tradition, the Whisper was changed to El Susurro.[5]

The Galleon Newspaper[edit]

The newspaper of Monterey High school is called The Galleon and covers everything from poetry and stories written by the students, to student life and upcoming courses.[6]


The school has two gyms: Randall Gym, which was built in the 1920s, and the smaller Harmon Gym built in the 1940s. The gyms were named after the late coach Randy Randall and the late P.E. teacher Jean Harmon. The school is also home to the Dan Albert Stadium, named after the longtime Monterey mayor and former football coach.

Fall Athletics[edit]

GIRLS:Cross Country,Field Hockey,Water Polo,Tennis,Volleyball,Cheerleading

BOYS: Football,Cross Country,Water Polo [7]

Winter Athletics[edit]

GIRLS: Basketball, Soccer, Wrestling

BOYS:Basketball,Soccer, Wrestling[7]

Spring Athletics[edit]

GIRLS: Lacrosse, Softball, Swimming/Diving, Track & Field

BOYS: Baseball, Golf, Swimming/Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball [7]


Monterey High School contains 50 classrooms, a library, a lecture room, two gymnasiums, a dance studio, a music building, a cafeteria, and an administration building. In 2010, the District passed a $78 million bond. Funds have been designated to upgrade the school's infrastructure. Renovations were planned to be done for the school's heating system, swimming pool, student bathrooms, counseling office, and library - including construction of a college and career counseling center - but the swimming pool, counseling office, and college and career center were never done. Common areas will be completed in Phase I of the project along with ADA compliance. The district is, as of 2014, using general funds to upgrade the technology resources across the campus.[8] Additionally, utilizing Measure P bond funds, a $15 million Science Innovation Center is scheduled to be completed by the end of Fall 2020.[9]


Monterey High school has three smaller academies for students with talents in fine arts (AMP), oceanographic sciences (MAOS), and sports and athletics (SPARC).[10]


The Art, Media, and Performance academy (AMP) is a college preparatory academy allows students to rigorously learn skills in multiple art fields. The visual art group studies 3D models, history of art, graphic design, along with painting and creating murals that go around the walls of the school. AMP is also connected to the Monterey High School Players theatre program and the dance program. Students are required to attend theatrical productions and encouraged to take internships at art museums and other places where creativity runs wild. Along with field trips to museums and professional theatrical performances,the AMP students are given a thorough education in the fine arts.[11]


The Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science (MAOS) is a college preparatory academy for students wishing for a thorough education in mathematic and scientific studies. The mission of MAOS is to prepare high school students for academic success in college by offering an engaging, integrated, hands-on curriculum organized around the Monterey Bay region's rich marine environment. Students learn through scientific lab and field activities. Field trips send students to Monterey Bay Aquarium, Moss Landing Marine Lab, Naval Postgraduate School, Hopkins Marine Lab, The Steinbeck Center, Elkhorn Slough, Asilomar and Del Monte Beach. Sometimes public bathrooms.[12]


The Sports Professions and Recreation Careers Academy (SPARC) of Monterey High School is funded by State grant and is designed for students with talents and interests in sports, sports medicine, or other recreational fields. The academy offers challenging and rigorous courses for students with those areas of interest. SPARC reaches out to at-risk students who may not have access to higher education and require stronger accountability to succeed at school. They are required to commit to 20 hours of community service at the local hospital and at sports centers. Field trips include various technical colleges with prominent programs in athletics and sports medicine.[13]


Monterey High School offers Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) for students who wish to increase their college readiness and academic performance. Its philosophy is to "Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge. "[14]


The Monterey High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) is a PE alternative for students who are interested in developing discipline and knowledge of the world of the military.The NJROTC curriculum emphasizes citizenship and leadership development, as well as their maritime heritage, the significance of sea power, and naval topics such as the fundamentals of naval operations, seamanship, navigation and meteorology. Along with required PT, uniform wearing, and memorization of military ranks and orders to the sentry, students are able to attend community service activities, drill competition, field meets, flights, visits to naval activities, marksmanship training, and other military training. Monterey High School NJROTC is currently a distinguished unit.[15]

Monterey High School Players[edit]

The Monterey High School theatre is a prolific operation featuring a fall play, three student directed winter plays, and a spring musical every year.[16] Along with a 24-hour produced play, multiple staged readings and miniature performances, MHS players has produced a number of notable alumni.[17]

Music Programs[edit]

The music programs at Monterey High School include Symphonic Band, Advanced Band, Chamber String, Advanced Strings, Jazz Ensemble, Piano I &II, and Chorus.[18]


The Monterey High School robotics team, known as the "Robodores" or "Team 4255" is part of a larger network of robotics teams in high schools and communities across the globe. Robotics competitions are run by the global organization FIRST,which stands for “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” Robodores finished 34 out of 68 teams at the Robotics world championships in Houston Texas in 2019.[19]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Monterey High
  2. ^,the%20Monterey%20Union%20High%2
  3. ^,California%20state%20average%20of%2077%25.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d,the%20Monterey%20Union%20High%20School.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ "Facilities Presentation". MPUSD.
  9. ^
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  20. ^ Son of longtime Monterey mayor will seek City Council seat
  21. ^ "Alumni".
  22. ^ "Pete Cutino". National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  23. ^ a b c Leyde, Tom (February 1, 2016). "Monterey High celebrates its Super Bowl ties". Monterey Herald. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  24. ^ Profile of Leon Panetta Archived March 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Santa Clara University Law School, accessed April 28, 2011