Santa Monica High School

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Santa Monica High School
SAMOHI seal.jpg
Santa Monica High School is located in Western Los Angeles
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School is located in California
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School is located in the United States
Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School
601 Pico Boulevard


United States
Coordinates34°00′42″N 118°29′06″W / 34.0116096°N 118.48502380000002°W / 34.0116096; -118.48502380000002Coordinates: 34°00′42″N 118°29′06″W / 34.0116096°N 118.48502380000002°W / 34.0116096; -118.48502380000002
MottoSincerity, Maturity, Honor and Service
PrincipalDr. Antonio Shelton
Enrollment2,824 (2016-17)[2]
Color(s)          Blue & Gold

Santa Monica High School, officially abbreviated to SAMOHI, is located in Santa Monica, California. Founded in 1891,[1] it changed location several times in its early years before settling into its present campus at 601 Pico Boulevard. It is a part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.


Postcard photo c. 1919

In 1891, the Union High School Law was passed in Santa Monica, thereby establishing a four-year high school for the city. The first graduating class graduated in 1894.[1] The "new" campus opened in 1912 with one building, the current History Building, with an enrollment of 50 students. The school sits on the hilltop between 4th and 7th streets and Pico and Olympic Blvds., from which one can see the Pacific Ocean. Ten years later the campus was expanded with construction of the English building. In 1921, the Open Air Memorial Theater (now called the Greek Amphitheatre) was built to honor the Santa Monicans who served in World War I. One of the best examples of the classical Greek style in Southern California, the amphitheater was built after Santa Monica passed a $30,000 bond measure to fund its construction.[3] Barnum Hall Theater, originally called "the Auditorium," was built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to be the Civic Auditorium of Santa Monica and host school events as well. The campus also added six buildings during this period: the Language, English, Business, History, Administration and Music Buildings.

In 1952, Santa Monica High School was finally expanded to what it is now, 33 acres (130,000 m2), and two new buildings were built, the Science and Technology D.M. Buildings. As the school aged, renovations took place in Barnum Hall and the Music Building was completely rebuilt. As of February 2015, a new Science and Technology Building — known as the Innovation Building — has been constructed along with an outdoor gathering space called Centennial Plaza.[4] On September 10, 2015, during "Back to School Night" the Innovation Building was unveiled to the public.[5]


Santa Monica High School's campus is located about a mile southeast of downtown Santa Monica, walking distance from: the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica City Hall, Santa Monica State Park, and the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility (home to the city's Police & Fire Departments).


In 2003, Samohi adopted a house system, similar to college house systems; each student is part of a house.[6] There are five houses: S, M, O, H and I, with each house assigned a building or a floor of a building. S House is stationed in the Language Building, M house is on the first floor of the History Building, O house is on the second floor of the History Building, H house is stationed in the English Building, and I house is stationed in the new Innovation Building. The "A" house was cut due to the California budget cuts to public schools. A principal oversees each of the houses, along with two counselors. Teachers with classrooms in a house building/floor are automatically deemed one of the house teachers with some slight exceptions. Upon enrollment in Santa Monica High School, students are randomly assigned to a house unless the student has already had a sibling in SAMOHI. In that case, the student has the option to join the house their sibling is in, or to join a new one.


Santa Monica High School provides many Advanced Placement classes that are offered to all students. They range from math and science to social studies and art to physical education.

Currently, SAMOHI offers five foreign languages: Chinese, Spanish, Latin, Japanese, and French. Chinese, Japanese, French, and Latin are offered up to the 4th level, preparing students for the A-BMP TRECE-P test. Spanish is offered up to the 6th level preparing students for AP Spanish tests in both language and literature.

The school also has an accomplished academic team (despite being known as "Acadeca", the school does not actively participate in Academic Decathlon), winning the 2008 National Science Bowl competition [7] as well as the 2017 National Ocean Sciences Bowl.[8] Additionally, the quiz bowl team remains competitive in the Southern California circuit.[9]

Music department[edit]

The front of Barnum Hall

The Santa Monica High School Music Department is home to five wind bands, the "Viking" Marching Band, two jazz bands, five string orchestras, two full-size traveling orchestras (the Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras), five choirs, four student-run choirs, piano classes, guitar classes, as well as: choral, orchestral, wind, and modern (jazz, rock, etc...) chamber groups. The music department offers many concerts in the community throughout the year, with performances by the bands, orchestras, and choirs. The school hosts concerts on the campus in Barnum Hall, a 1,200 seat theater with a full stage renovated in 2004. The Band and Orchestra annually host the SCSBOA Band and Orchestra Festivals, usually during late March or early April.

The bands, orchestras, choral groups and theatre are supported in their efforts by parent and community volunteers. Extensive fundraising is required to supply such things as music, instruments, music/dance/guard coaches, transportation, concert dress, uniforms, entry fees for festivals and competitions, and other items not budgeted or minimally budgeted by the school. An independent 501(c)3 organization, the Santa Monica Arts Parents Association (SMAPA) governs these efforts.

Choral and vocal ensembles[edit]

The Santa Monica High School Choral Department has recently competed in and won many competitions, both regional and national. The award-winning choral program ranges from large mixed choirs to chamber/madrigal ensembles, women's choirs, men's ensemble and jazz.

In addition to the regular winter and spring concerts, the choral department has a Masterworks Concert, Cathedral Classics Concert, and performs in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District's Stairway to the Stars every year.

Orchestral program[edit]

In 2005, Symphony Orchestra was labeled the best high school-level orchestra in the nation by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) at the National Orchestra Festival in Reno, Nevada.[10] The orchestra program is made up of many different ensembles, ranging from the smaller Beginning Strings / String Orchestra to the large Symphony Orchestra. Many of the orchestras from Santa Monica High School have had the chance to travel around the nation and the world. In February 2006, Symphony Orchestra became the first public high school orchestra to perform in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles.[11] In April 2006, the orchestra traveled to China and toured and performed in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. In 2004 the Symphony Orchestra performed various cathedrals and churches in Vienna, Austria and in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2002 the Symphony Orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall. Recently, the orchestra program was selected for the elite Partnership Program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. In April 2007, the Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras traveled to San Francisco, where they participated in the California Music Educator's Association (CMEA) festival. Symphony Orchestra returned to Europe for a trip in March 2008, performing in the Rudolfinum and Orangerie of Schönbrunn Palace.[citation needed]

Marching Band[edit]

The Santa Monica High School Viking Marching Band is one of the oldest high school marching bands in the state of California. The marching band performs for home football games and for many school and community events. The band enjoys a long history of competing in parades and field shows, most notably participating in shows sponsored by the SCSBOA (Southern California Student Band and Orchestra Association). In 2006, the marching band qualified for the first time in the SCSBOA 5A division championship.[12] The band qualified for the SCSBOA Championship ten times from 2006 through 2018. 2006 Class 5A 9th (76.25), 2010 Class 4A 7th (84.50), 2011 Class 3A 3rd - Bronze Medalist (82.70), 2012 Class 3A 9th (74.59), 2013 Class 3A 6th (80.20), 2014 Class 3A 6th (81.30), 2015 Class 4A 5th (85.00), 2016 Class 4A 4th (90.50), 2017 Class 4A 6th (87.80), 2018 Class 4A 3rd Bronze Medalist (90.25).[13] The Marching Band traditionally performs in a Disneyland Resort parade every year. They participated in the London New Year's Day Parade in 2009.

Samohi currently offers five concert bands, with the Wind Ensemble recognized as one of the most exceptionally talented high school bands in California. The Wind Ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall in 2007 and 2015, as well as Chicago Symphony Hall in 2013.[14] In 2016, the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the California All-State Music Educator's Conference (CASMEC) in San Jose. All ensembles regularly perform in festivals, conferences, and invitational concerts. The program enrolls over 300 students. The music program enjoys state of the art facilities and performance hall.[15]


For the 2014-2015 school year, Santa Monica High School has more than 3,100 students. Of the student population, 45% are Caucasian, 34% are Hispanic or Latino, 11% are African American, 8% are Asian and 0.2% are Native American.


Samohi offers a variety of sports including basketball, football, baseball and softball, lacrosse, soccer, track, cross country, volleyball, swimming, water polo, tennis, and golf. Santa Monica's big rival is Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills.

Water Polo[edit]

The school has freshman, sophomore, and varsity water polo teams, known as the "Greenies." Every year the Greenies paint their bodies at the Homecoming Pep Rally and some years also do a "Greenie Run" at the Homecoming football game. The 2016 girls varsity team won the division 6 CIF Southern Section Championship. The 2018 boys varsity team won the division 4 CIF Southern Section Championship.


Santa Monica High School has varsity and junior varsity lacrosse teams. The team went to the playoffs for the first time in the 2017 season, only four years after the team was created, and were ranked 18th in the Southern Section and 49th in the state of California.


Samohi has varsity and junior varsity tennis teams, and there are seven full size tennis courts on campus. The team has won CIF in 1899, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 2000, 2001, 2003. CIF finalists in 2011 and 2012.[citation needed]


The boys volleyball team, led by Olympic medalist Liane Sato[citation needed], won the southern section CIF championship in their division in 2006. They returned to the championship in 2007, but lost to Valley Christian. Ari Feldman, a member of that team, signed with Cal State Northridge to play volleyball. The boys team went on to win CIF again in 2011 and placed 2nd in CIF 2012. The girls' volleyball team made it to the finals in the 2009 season but lost. The girls' volleyball team also made it to the CIF finals in 2015 and in 2017 and placed 2nd.


Girls Varsity team won the 2010 CIF Southern Division 1 championship, defeating Summit High 69-63. It is the first girls basketball title for SAMOHI, they went on to the Fourth Round of State and lost by two.

Boys Varsity won the 2013 CIF Division 1A Southern Section Championship against El Toro High School 66-56 at the Anaheim Convention Center. They enter the Division 1 State Championship as a #1 seed, losing in the championship game 73-57 loss to Pleasant Grove.[16][17] They also made it to the finals of the 2010 CIF Southern Division 1 Championship, but they were defeated at the Honda Center against Luezinger, and they went on to lose in second round of state.


The Samohi varsity baseball team, for the first time since 1973, made the Division IV Southern Section Championship in 2007, losing 7-1 to Charter Oak in the championship game played at Dodger Stadium.

Cross country[edit]

The cross country team informally known as the "XC team" is composed of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. As of 2019, the Cross-country team competes in division 1 of CIF. [18]


The wrestling team won the CIF State Championship in 1986. Also won the CIF State Championship in 152 lb (69 kg) weight class in 2007. For the past 7 years, the team has qualified individuals for the Southern Section CIF Masters and CIF State Championships.[19]


Samohi went undefeated (29-0-1) during the 2007-08 boys soccer season. Winning the Southbay/Westside Tournament, South Torrance Holiday Tournament (first time for a Varsity squad to win), undefeated Ocean League title (Back-to-Back), CIF Division IV Championship (first time in Samohi Soccer history), and the first ever CIF Southern Regional Championship Division I (a Southern State, Fresno through San Diego, where eight top teams of their region competed). Along with the championships, the Samohi men set many new records. 29 wins, 0 losses, 17 shutouts, only conceded 17 goals, scored 110 goals, and were the men's team to win CIF in the 36-year history of the program.


The lady Vikings have been undefeated in league games since 2004. In 2010 and 2014 the lady Vikings won CIF division IV southern section.[20]


There are three levels for football: freshman, junior varsity, and varsity. The varsity football team last won the CIF Championship in 2001. They reached the CIF Semi-Finals in 2012.


The varsity team won CIF in 2008-2009 and again in 2009-2010. They also won USA Nationals 2007-2008. In 2010, they were finalists at UCA Nationals and came in 14th. In 2014, they were finalists at UCA Nationals in Florida and came in 4th and were finalists at USA Nationals in California and took home 2nd. The JV co-ed team won CIF for the first time in 2009.

Color Guard[edit]

Samohi's color guard and winter guard team performs in shows sponsored by Winter Guard International and Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC). Originally a joint drill team with Santa Monica College named the "Coronettes", the team utilizes both wooden guns and flags in their routines that are featured during halftime of every home football game. Additionally, after three years of membership, each participant receives a varsity letter. The team won gold medals in the WGASC championships in 2014, 2015, and 2016.[21]

Filming location[edit]

The 2009 17 Again was filmed at the school; the school was called Hayden High School in the film. Samohi was also featured in the 1955 classic Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The History of Samohi". Samohi Alumni Association. 2017. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  2. ^ "Santa Monica High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Cleland, Donald (1952). A History of the Santa Monica Schools, 1876-1951. Santa Monica, CA: Santa Monica Unified School District.
  4. ^ "SMMUSD Facilities Improvement Projects". Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  5. ^ "Opening of the SAMOHI Innovation Building".
  6. ^ Schools Chief Pick Sees Enemy in 'Anonymity', Washington Post, 23 February 2006.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Santa Monica High School Wins 20th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl". 24 April 2017.
  9. ^ "NAQT - Santa Monica High School - Results".
  10. ^ "Santa Monica High School Symphony Orchestra - LA Phil".
  11. ^ Santa Monica High School Symphony Makes Its Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut..., LA Phil Presents
  12. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 10 July 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-10.
  13. ^ Scores retrieved from [the World of Pageantry Scores Page] on August 22, 2019
  14. ^ "Santa Monica High School Wind Ensemble Receives Grant For Chicago Music Festival:". SM Mirror. 29 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Directors". Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  16. ^ Morante, Roger (3 March 2013). "Samohi Comes Together To Win CIF Championship Game Over El Toro 66-56". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Basketball: Samohi falls in state final". 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
  18. ^ "Santa Monica Mirror". Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  19. ^ "CIF List of Winners".
  20. ^ "Samohi Softball Team Takes Home CIF Championship:". SM Mirror. 14 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Santa monica high color guard". Santa monica high color guard. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  22. ^ "Lee Arenberg Talks About Grumpy in Once Upon a Time Season 5, Pirates of The Caribbean & More [Interview] | Fox Force Five News". Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  23. ^ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2008). "Randolph J. Bresnik (Colonel, USMC)". NASA.
  24. ^ "Eric Pop | PhD | Stanford University, CA | SU | Electrical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering (by courtesy)". Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  25. ^ Lance Pugmire (2013-02-21). "Ronda Rousey's maverick ways lead to landmark UFC bout". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  26. ^ McCullough, Susie (March 1, 1967). "Corsair Basketball Star Terry Schofield Proves Hard Work Is Key To Success". The Corsair. p. 4. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  27. ^ Kevin Baxter (10 June 2009). "Angels go after power in the draft". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Creative Resistance - The Argonaut Newsweekly".
  29. ^ "Art Outside the Box - The Argonaut Newsweekly".
  30. ^ Finn, Mike (28 May 2019). "Rhodes Scholar Tung builds off her wrestling drive". WIN Magazine: Wrestling News. WIN Magazine. Retrieved 18 June 2019.

External links[edit]