The Bishop's School (La Jolla)

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The Bishop's School
The Bishop's School (La Jolla) Logo.jpg
7607 La Jolla Boulevard

California, 92037

Coordinates32°50′28″N 117°16′45″W / 32.841012°N 117.279216°W / 32.841012; -117.279216Coordinates: 32°50′28″N 117°16′45″W / 32.841012°N 117.279216°W / 32.841012; -117.279216
TypePrivate, day, college-prep
MottoSimplicitas, Serenitas, Sinceritas
("Simplicity, Serenity, Sincerity")
DenominationEpiscopal Church
EstablishedBishop's: 1909
San Miguel: 1951
Fully Merged: 1971
Head of SchoolCarol Barry
CampusUrban, 11 acres (45,000 m2)
Color(s)Maroon & Gold         
YearbookEl Miradero

The Bishop's School is an independent college preparatory Episcopal day school located at 7607 La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla, a community of San Diego. Bishop's offers courses for students in the sixth through twelfth grades and has a 9:1 student-teacher ratio.


Bishop's was founded in 1909 by Ellen Browing Scripps and her half-sister, Virginia Scripps with gifts of land and funding at the request of the Right Reverend Joseph Horsfall Johnson, at that time Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Originally, it was a boarding school for girls only. The earliest parts of the campus were designed by architect Irving Gill, responsible for a multitude of buildings in La Jolla. The current tower building was designed by Carleton Winslow as a replacement for the original Gill tower.

The Quad, Bentham Hall, St. Mary's Chapel, and the Tower

The school has had eleven Heads of School since its inception in 1909: from 1909 to 1915 by Anna Frances O'Hare Bentham; 1915 to 1918 by Margaret Gilman; 1918 to 1921 by Marguerite Barton; 1921 to 1953 by Caroline Cummins; 1953 to 1962 by Rosamund Larmour Lewis; 1962 to 1963 by Florence Stowell Bill; 1963 to 1971 by Ruth Jenkins; 1971 to 1974 by Philip Perkins; 1974 to 1983 by Dorothy Anne Williams; 1983 to 2009 by Michael Teitelman; 2009 to 2018 by Aimeclaire Lambert Roche; and 2018 to 2019 by Carol Barry.

The School is known for its reputation in academics, arts and athletics.

Bishop's became co-educational after merging with the San Miguel School of San Diego, California in 1971. In June 1983, the boarding department was closed. The school expanded to include sixth grade in the fall of 2009.

In 2019, the school was embroiled in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal, whereby a parent was named as a defendant for the bribery case to get her son into USC.[1]


The Bishop's School's 11-acre campus is located in the heart of La Jolla, only one block away from the Pacific Ocean. At the center of the campus is the Quad, a grassy quadrangle that is an important part of school life at Bishop's. Tradition prohibits anyone from setting foot on the Quad before lunch on school days. Most of the school's buildings are situated around the Quad, including three of the school's most prominent buildings: Bentham Hall, St. Mary's Chapel, and the Tower. The school campus contains a total of 12 buildings, the oldest of which was built in 1898. Many of the historic buildings on campus were designed by architect Irving Gill, one of the pioneers of the modern movement in architecture.

The school has been designated a historical landmark by the city of San Diego. Bentham Hall (designed by Irving Gill) was listed as historic in 1994 and the remainder of the campus in 1998. Designated elements include Scripps Hall (Irving Gill, 1910–11), Gilman Hall (Irving Gill and Louis Gill, 1916), St. Mary's Chapel (Carleton Winslow, 1916), The Tower (Carleton Winslow, 1930), Wheeler J. Bailey Library (Carleton Winslow, 1935), and gardens.


Carol Barry joined Bishop's in 2010 as head of middle school, and she became interim head of school in August 2018. Prior to Bishop's, Carol had a 27-year career with the San Diego Unified School District as a teacher, vice principal, principal and area superintendent overseeing 29 schools.


In 2019, the school was recognized as one of the top 20 sought-after private high schools in the country.[2] It has also been recognized by Niche as the top private high school in San Diego County, ranking eighth in the state. Bishop's is 14th in STEM among 557 high schools in California.[3]

The Wall Street Journal recognized Bishop's in 2007 for its high matriculation rate to eight selective American colleges.[4]

The College Board Advanced Placement Program ranked the AP Biology program the strongest in the nation for two consecutive years (2004 & 2005), as Bishop's achieved the highest rate of achievement for medium-sized schools (300-799 students).[5][6]

Student activities[edit]

Academic League[edit]

The Bishop's Academic League team participates in the Northern division of the City League. In 2015 the Bishop's Novice team captained by Hamilton Allport and Ryan Feng won first in the county with an undefeated record. In 2016 the Bishop's Junior Varsity team captained by Hamilton Allport and Ryan Feng placed first with a record of 6-1.

Advanced Topics in Economics[edit]

In 2015, students in an advanced economics class experienced great success in numerous local, state and national competitions. In the Economics Challenge the teams finished with two of the top five spots. In the Southern California Economics Challenge in Los Angeles the teams placed first and third after a strong finish in the quiz bowl rounds. The team eventually advanced to place sixth in the National Semifinals. Additionally, members of the team traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Harvard Precollegiate Economics Competition and a meeting with Eric Maskin, the 2007 Nobel Prize winner in the field of Economics. A research team within the class headed by Nikhil Palanki also authored a paper on consumer price index across income levels and was invited to present their research at the 9th Annual Undergraduate Conference, a part of the Economic Scholars Program hosted by the Dallas Federal Reserve.[4] In 2017, the class was restarted and continued to succeed at many national competitions. In the Economics Challenge the teams finished with two of the top five spots and in the Finance Challenge the team took the position of first place in the state of California and fourth in the country. The class, headed and captained by seniors Rachel Hong and Sajan Palanki went on to compete at Harvard Precollegiate Economics Competition and the Stanford Economics Competition and at both Kevin Chen won first place in the country.


The Bishop's Singers have performed in New York's Carnegie Hall and in Chicago's Symphony Hall, as well as on The Today Show. The school also has a strong visual arts program, featuring student exhibitions and engagement in art competitions.


The school (known in competition as the "Knights") currently offers 40 varsity and junior varsity teams. Sixty percent of Bishop's students compete in one or more sport.

The Knights have had significant success in athletics. The program's 105 California Interscholastic Federation titles ranks fifth among all San Diego schools.

Bishop's is known throughout Southern California as a water polo power, winning the C.I.F. title in boys water polo in its district in 2002-2006, 2008 and 2010. The girl's water polo team won in 2000-2002, 2004-2007, and 2011-2017.

The 1997 football team, led by current Bishop's boy's soccer coach and future college All American and NFL safety Shane Walton, won the C.I.F. State Championship. The 2010 football team earned the school's second State Championship after finishing the season 14-0. The Knights defeated Brookside Christian (Stockton) 40-14 in the C.I.F. State Championship Division IV Bowl Game. The 2014 football team went 13-0 and won the C.I.F. San Diego Section Division IV championship, and the 2016 football team also won the C.I.F. San Diego Section Division IV.

The basketball programs have also seen recent success, with McDonald's All-American Destiny Littleton playing at Texas. The Knights also boast the top boys lacrosse recruit in the nation[7] Isaiah Dawson.

Mock Trial[edit]

The Bishop's Mock Trial team won the San Diego County championship in 2010-2012, 2014 and 2015. The team is made up of AP U.S. Government students who are completing a class project as first-year players. Numerous graduates have continued to participate in mock trial at the collegiate level at schools such as Duke, University of Illinois, George Washington, Princeton, and Tufts.

Model UN Team[edit]

The Bishop's Model United Nations team has participated in regional and national Model UN conferences for over two decades. The Bishop's Model UN Team has won numerous awards, most recently at the Columbia Model United Nations Conference and Exposition, the UCSD Triton MUN conference and the USD MUN conference.

School Publications[edit]

The School publishes its magazine, "Bishop's," twice a year. The school also publishes several monthly, daily, and quarterly publications

Speech and debate team[edit]

The Bishop's School Speech and Debate team competes in the San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League (SDIVSL), a division of the California High School Speech Association (CHSSA).

Spirit team[edit]

The Bishop's School does not have a cheerleading squad, but has a spirit team called "The Dungeon." The Dungeon is a co-educational spirit team that cheers at various "Knights" athletic events. The Dungeon is responsible for attending all of the athletic events and raising crowds of students to support their peers. Community and school spirit is a fundamental part of the curriculum, and The Dungeon serves as a co-educational spirit team to further student involvement in school life.

Student publications[edit]

Bishop's has several student publications. Noteworthy publications include:

  • "The Tower," Bishop's official student newspaper and magazine, published monthly. It covers a variety of topics, but all of them are designed to have some Bishop's link.
  • The Daily Urinal, an independent daily newspaper which was founded in 2004 and got its name after being posted in campus restrooms. Although originally intended to be a humorous publication, the "DU" has tackled both important and controversial issues at Bishop's. It is distributed daily via email.
  • "Globe." a student-led magazine, is an annual publication with the purpose of sharing the global and cultural experiences of students and faculty through word and art.
  • Reflections, the Upper School Literary Magazine, is an annual publication that accepts prose, poetry, and art of all kinds.
  • Dragonwings," the Middle School literary magazine.
  • "Quanta," a science publication, was established at Bishop's in 2010.
  • "Spectrum" a student diversity newsletter, distributed monthly via email

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Korn, Melissa; Elinson, Zusha; Gurman, Sadie; Levitz, Jennifer (2019-03-14). "The Tip, the Yale Coach and the Wire: How the College Admissions Scam Unraveled". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  2. ^ "San Diego private high school among best in the country". KGTV. 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  3. ^ "2018 The Bishop's School Rankings". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  5. ^ " - Masters of their subjects". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2017-07-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "2017 Top 100 Young Gun Senior Rankings". Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  8. ^ The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club

External links[edit]