St. Margaret's Episcopal School

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Coordinates: 33°37′5.89″N 117°49′33.66″W / 33.6183028°N 117.8260167°W / 33.6183028; -117.8260167

St. Margaret's Episcopal School

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St. Margaret's Episcopal School


31641 La Novia, San Juan Capistrano, CA


Orange County




Private College Prep Academy

Head of School

William Moseley

Jeannine Clarke


Preschool to 12






Official Site

St. Margaret's Episcopal School, or SMES, is a selective private, preK-12 college preparatory school located in California, United States. The mission of St. Margaret's Episcopal School is to "educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership and service." It is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Western States Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). [1]


St. Margaret's was founded in 1978 by the Reverend Ernest Sillers. The school began with only 79 students in kindergarten through grade six.

St. Margaret's opened an Early Childhood Development Center in 1981 and its high school in 1982. By 1985, students were enrolled in grade levels preschool through 12.

In 1986, St. Margaret's brought in Markham B. Campaigne as its second headmaster. During his seventeen-year tenure, St. Margaret’s grew to serve over 1,200 students and expanded to a 20-acre (81,000 m2) campus. It is now included in Princeton Review's top 444 private schools in the United States book.[2]

In 2004 it acquired a new headmaster, Marcus Hurlbut. Under his guidance, the school flourished, especially in the arts: Upon his leaving in 2013, the 450 seat theater in the new Performing Arts Center was named for him.

In 2013, William Moseley stepped in as new Headmaster.


St. Margaret's offers a wide range of courses in all core subjects, as well as in many other subjects through electives. Theater, art, music and other subjects are available to be taken in addition to the main subject. 26 Advanced Placement courses, in history, math, science, art, language, theatre, music and other miscellaneous subjects. [3] Honors courses are available as well in those same departments.

St. Margaret's students average an 1861 on the SAT and usually between 5 - 10% of graduating students go onto attend Ivy League Universities. [4] On top of that, students are able to choose from several languages, including Spanish, Latin, French, Chinese and Japanese. In 2014 it was announced that the school would scale down the language department and focus more resources on expanding Spanish, Latin and Chinese by beginning teaching those languages in 6th grade instead of 8th. Students can start and join clubs, such as Model United Nations, Debate, Poetry and Prose, Book Club, Nintendo Club, Chinese Culture Club and so on that fit in with academic niches.


St. Margaret's sports teams are called the Tartans, and are members of the Academy League in the CIF Southern Section.

In 2006, the Tartan football team finished 14-0 and won the CIF-SS Northeast Division championship.[citation needed] and in 2008 the Girls' Varsity Tennis Team were the Academy League and CIF Champions, defeating league rival Sage Hill in the finals to finish off a 23-0 winning streak. The 2010-2011 Athletics year was one of the most successful, with already 4 CIF Championships in Boys Cross Country, Girls Volleyball, Girls Tennis, and Girls Soccer teams. Additionally, the Boys Cross Country team won the division 5 state champions in 2010 and 2011. St. Margaret's Athletic Program has also been recognized as one of the Top 5 out of all Divisions in Orange County.

The St. Margaret's baseball team will be bringing in a new head coach, Scott Wallace, in the 2017 season. He was the previous pitching coach at JSerra.

St. Margaret's has had prolonged success in a variety of sports for the past 10 years. The St. Margaret's football team won the Southern California small-school division championship in the 2014-2015 season. The 6th to 12th grade sports consist of equestrian, golf, basketball, volleyball, soccer, cheer, dance, lacrosse, general PE, and much more. Some sports are separated by gender like volleyball or basketball, but some sports are co-ed such as soccer or dance.


In 2007, St. Margaret's completed construction on the new Pasternack Field House, and the DeYoung Math and Science Center. The school recently constructed a performing arts center in the summer of 2011 that has been compared to that of a professional amphitheater. The school also finished construction of a brand new middle school in 2015, and it is located right next to the Performing Arts Center.

There is a middle school field that many games occur on as well as the main football field, used by members of the high school. All students in the 9th grade and up have school lockers, and Physical Education lockers. The campus, as a whole, stretches out over 22 acres.


  1. ^ | url = | title = St. Margaret's Episcopal School Profile | work = Private School Review | publisher = Private School Review | accessdate = August 19, 2015
  2. ^ "NPS Focus", San Juan Capistrano Patch, Patch Network, retrieved May 9, 2012 
  3. ^ | url = | title = St. Margaret's Episcopal School Profile | work = Private School Review | publisher = Private School Review | accessdate = August 19, 2015
  4. ^ | url = | title = Class of 2015 List of Matriculating Colleges and Universities by Number of Students Enrolling | work = Matriculating Data | publisher = St. Margaret's Episcopal School | accessdate = August 19, 2015

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