The Bishop's School (La Jolla)

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This article is about the La Jolla school founded in 1909. For other uses, see The Bishop's School (disambiguation).
The Bishop's School
The Bishop's School (La Jolla) Logo.jpg
7607 La Jolla Boulevard
La Jolla, California, 92037
United States
Coordinates 32°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
Type Independent
Motto Simplicitas, Serenitas, Sinceritas ("Simplicity, Serenity, Sincerity")
Established Bishop's: 1909
San Miguel: 1951
Fully Merged: 1971
Headmaster Aimeclaire Lambert Roche
Faculty 105
Grades 6-12
Enrollment 800
Campus Urban, 11 acres (45,000 m2)
Color(s) Maroon & Gold         
Mascot Knights
Accreditation WASC
National ranking 26th (according to Niche 2016)
Test average SAT (2100), ACT (32)
Yearbook El Miradero

The Bishop's School is an independent college preparatory Episcopalian 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 the Right Reverend Joseph Horsfall Johnson, at that time Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, with gifts of land and money by notable La Jolla, California philanthropists Ellen Browning Scripps and Virginia Scripps, her half-sister. 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 downtown 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 was led from 1921 to 1953 by Headmistress Caroline Cummins, who has an academic hall named after her on the campus. Upon the arrival of Headmaster Michael Teitelman in 1983, the School's reputation in academics, arts and athletics grew.

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.


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.


Aimeclaire Lambert Roche is the head of school. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, she earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a master's from Columbia University. She is the eleventh head of school in Bishop's 100-year history.


In 2007, The Wall Street Journal recognized Bishop's for its high matriculation rate to eight selective American colleges.[1]

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).[2][3]

Student activities[edit]

Academic League[edit]

The Bishop's Academic League team participates in the Northern division of the City League.

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 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]


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.

Bishop's is known throughout Southern California as a water polo power, winning the California Interscholastic Federation (C.I.F.) title in boys water polo in its district in 2002-2006, 2008 and 2010. The girls water polo team won in 2000-2002, 2004-2007, and 2011-2016.

The 1997 football team, led by 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 championship.

Computer Science[edit]

The Bishop's Computer Science department leads the school in graphic design, programming, hardware engineering, 3D graphics and virtual reality.

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 UCSD Triton MUN conference and the USD MUN conference.

School Publications[edit]

The School publishes its magazine, "Bishop's," twice a year.

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. Visit to gain access to school news, coverage of athletics, reviews of artistic performances, fun columns and an archive of past issues.
  • 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.

Notable Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]