Torrey Pines High School

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Torrey Pines High School
TP Falcon.svg
Address
3710 Del Mar Heights Rd
San Diego, California
United States
Information
Type Public secondary
Established 1974
School district SDUHSD
Principal Rob Coppo
Teaching staff 135
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,715[1]
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Cardinal and Gold
Athletics Division I
Mascot Freddy The Falcon
Rival La Costa Canyon
Yearbook Freeflight
Website

Torrey Pines High School is a high school in the North County Coastal area of San Diego, California, United States. The school is named after the Torrey pine tree that grows in the area. Torrey Pines High School is a member of the San Dieguito Union High School District and serves the communities of Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Torrey Hills, Solana Beach, Carmel Valley in San Diego County.[2]

Torrey Pines is one of four high schools in its district, the others being San Dieguito Academy, La Costa Canyon High School, and Canyon Crest Academy.

Academics[edit]

The school is a three-time National Blue Ribbon School and a California Distinguished School. In 2005, Torrey Pines was ranked as one of the 100 Best High Schools in the nation by Newsweek magazine.[3] In 2012, Torrey Pines appeared as 110th and in 2011, as 90th. In 2015, Torrey Pines was ranked 336th.[4] In 2016, Torrey Pines was ranked #284 nationally and #43 in California.[5] Torrey Pines offers 26 Advanced Placement courses and had a 2012–2013 API score of 895. That same year, Torrey Pines seniors scored an average of 1860 on the SAT I, with 41 and 31 of them being recognized as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and Finalists respectively.[6]

In December 2006, Torrey Pines received the Claes Nobel School of Distinction Award from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS)[7]

In 2007, Torrey Pines had students designated AP scholars by the College Board. Torrey Pines is well known for its numerous AP advanced students.[8] In the 2013-14 school year, 72% of seniors took at least one AP exam at their time at high school, with 5.1 being the average of exams taken per test taker. 84% of AP exams taken were passed.[5]

History[edit]

Prior to 1936, students in all of coastal North County went to high school in Oceanside, California, as the areas of Carmel Valley and Torrey Hills were not developed for several decades.

In 1936, the San Dieguito Union High School District was created and San Dieguito High School in Encinitas opened to serve students living in Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Olivenhain, Cardiff, Encinitas and Leucadia. It remained the only high school in the district until Torrey Pines High School opened in 1974.

Based on population growth in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and projections, a second high school was needed. At the time, San Dieguito High School and Earl Warren Middle School were forced to do double sessions to deal with the shortage of space. Earl Warren at the time also had the ninth grade freshman class attending its school.

In the early 1970s after two defeats, a bond issue placed on the ballot finally passed. A location was chosen at what seemed out-of-the-way at the time; however, the location was based on the projected growth of what was then known as “North City West”[9] – commonly known today as Carmel Valley.

Torrey Pines High School opened in the fall of 1974. The architecture reflects the era with stained/painted wood and the avocado greens, yellow, and orange decor popular in the era 1970s. When it initially opened, access to the school came from the original alignment of the two-lanes only Black Mountain Rd., but the access road was later modified when Del Mar Heights Rd. was extended east.

The architecture of the school was considered modern at the time. Design features included an open courtyard and wide hallways with large carpeted podium-like benches one could sit on. The classrooms had no windows, and many did not have doors. It also had its own Black Box Theater. The large library (the Media Center) was considered state-of-the-art at the time. In 2016, construction began on the Media Center to build a new exterior and entrance. Construction was completed December 2016.

There were many logistical problems in its initial opening, including an immediate shortage of classrooms and lockers, and lack of a food service building and a football stadium. As a result, portable classrooms and a bank of vending machines were used. Football games were played at San Dieguito High School. The school rid of all lockers in the 1990s.

In the 1980s, the school expanded. Various changes include the Media Center building's expansion towards Del Mar Heights Rd., the addition of a parking/transportation area, the repurposing of portable classrooms into athletics and weight rooms, the addition of a football stadium, and the conversion of the original black box theater into a lecture hall (with a second black box theater, a converted machine shop, later added in the Arts building). In 2003, Building E and G were built. Stairs were added to the main building. In the summer of 2008, more stairs were constructed leading from the parking lot nearest Del Mar Heights Road to the English building.[10][11]

Demographics[edit]

Torrey Pines High School has a primarily Caucasian, Asian, and Hispanic student body.[12] Students from the districts of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe school districts, with the exception of the area north of Escondido Creek in the Rancho Santa Fe School are eligible to attend.[13]

The student body is largely reflective of the surrounding area of Torrey Pines, characterized mainly by a level of affluence; many adults in the area are married, and the median household income is over $100,000[14] although 5% of the students qualify for the free lunch program.[15] Most adults in the area are highly educated, and a strong majority have a Bachelor's and Master's degree.[16]

In the 2013-14 school year, there were 2,740 students (60% White, 27% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 1% Black, <2% Other) attending Torrey Pines High School. 48% of the population was female.[5]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Academic teams[edit]

Torrey Pines High School's academic teams include Speech and Debate, Academic League, Quizbowl, and Science Olympiad. In the 2009-2010 school year, Torrey Pines High School placed 7th at the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence National Quizbowl tournament and 7th at the HSNCT Nationals tournament. In the 2013-2014 school year, the TPHS Academic Team had 10 Freshmen Team members, 16 JV Team members, and 6 Varsity Team members.

Athletics[edit]

Programs include Football, Wrestling, Basketball, Men's and Women's Volleyball, Softball, Cross Country, Cheerleading, Tennis, Track & Field, Soccer, Golf, Gymnastics, Baseball, Lacrosse, Swimming, Surfing and Water Polo. On October 11, 2007, Torrey Pines football was featured in a nationally televised game on ESPNU.[17]

Torrey Pines has been named "State School of the Year" for overall sports excellence by Cal-Hi Sports in the 2002–03, 2014–15 and 2015–16 school years.[18]

Clubs[edit]

The school has over 140 clubs. Many other non-school sponsored clubs are also available for students to join, from arts clubs such as Torrey Pines Players and National Art Honor Society, to science clubs like Torrey Pines FIRST Robotics and Drone Club, to community service organizations like American Red Cross and Amnesty International and Key Club.

Mock Trial[edit]

Torrey Pines High School has a Mock Trial team which team competes in the annual San Diego County Mock Trial Competition, hosted by the San Diego County Bar Association. Each year, a fictional case is created by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.[19] Schools statewide in California compete in their respective counties leading to the State Final competition hosted by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. In the 2013 competition season, Torrey Pines High School placed first in the San Diego County competition.[20]

Music[edit]

In 1976, the Torrey Pines Music Department was led by Ralph T. Dudgeon, who was at the time studying for his Ph.D. at U.C.S.D. Dudgeon frequently mentored students one-on-one on their instruments and on the interpretation and reading of music. He became a foremost expert and virtuoso of the keyed bugle and many of his students remember his incessant practicing in his small office adjacent to the band room during off-class hours. During this time, there was a beginning band class as well as a concert/marching band, a choir, and a jazz ensemble, all taught by Dudgeon. Those who signed up for concert band were required to perform in the marching band at football games (held at San Dieguito High School stadium) as well as marching competitions and parades (i.e. La Mirada Band Review in La Mirada CA). The band traveled in school busses along with the drill team, with whom they frequently performed. In addition there was a pep band consisting of volunteers who played at various school activities such as basketball games and assemblies. The Jazz ensemble performed at numerous jazz festivals (such as the Cypress Jazz Festival in Cypress, CA) in and around southern california.

In 1978, the Torrey Pines High School Music program recorded an album under Dudgeon's direction. The album was recorded live by the Good Vibrations Recording Company on-site at Torrey Pines. Side 1 featured the concert band playing Prelude and Fugue in F minor (Bach), First Suite for Band (Reed) and British Eighth March (Elliot). Side two featured the Jazz Ensemble playing Nobody's Perfect (Nestico), Bellavia (Mangione), and Miss Fine (Nelson),as well as the Choir singing Ave Maria (Victoria), and Fair Phyllis (Farmer). Another album was recorded in 1979 with Dudgeon conducting the concert band and Jazz Ensemble and Marcia Weiland leading the choir. Some of these recordings were taken from live performances. Side 1 featured the concert band playing Sea Songs (vaughn-Williams), Mooreside March (Holst), Fantasia for Band (Gianninni), Joyce's 71st NY Regt. March (Boyer/Lake). Side 2 featured the Jazz Ensemble in live performance with guest artist Jim Cheatham, playing It's So Peaceful in the Country (Wilder/Nestico), Front Burner (Nestico). The Choir contributed three tracks: Though Philomela Lost Her Love (Morley), Though My Carriage Be But Careless (Weelkes), and Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies (Traditional).

Subsequently, the music program has expanded to include two orchestras, a wind ensemble, a symphonic band, and a jazz band.[21] Various groups have consistently received high ranks at local and regional festivals such as SCSBOA each year since 2008.[22]

Recently with cuts to the music program, the symphonic band was combined with wind ensemble, and a new choir section was opened. Choir has gone on to receive top awards at the Music in the Parks and SCSBOA competitions.

Speech and Debate[edit]

The speech and debate team participates in events including Congressional debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, Public Forum debate, speech events, and Parliamentary debate. In 2005, Public Forum debaters competed in the final round of the nationally ranked Tournament of Champions.[23] In 2013, the team qualified multiple people to the Tournament of Champions. In 2015, the team qualified three students to the Tournament of Champions, five students to NSDA nationals, and eleven students to the CHSSA state tournament. In 2016, the team qualified one student to the Tournament of Champions and numerous to the CHSSA tournament.

Publications[edit]

The Falconer[edit]

The Falconer is the monthly school newspaper. It placed first in the 1984 JEA/National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego and again in March 1999 at the Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Phoenix. It placed first once again at the 2009 JEA/NSPA Convention and received a Pacemaker Award at the 2010 convention in Kansas City, Missouri.[24][25] It also placed first at both the spring 2012 JEA/NSPA Convention in Seattle and the spring 2014 JEA/NSPA Convention in San Diego.[26] The Falconer receives no school funding, and instead relies on money the staff members find from advertisers.

First Flight[edit]

First Flight is the school literary magazine. Its 2005–2006 edition placed first in the 2006 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Chicago, Illinois and the 2006–2007 edition won first place Best in Show at the 2007 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.[27][28] First Flight again won first place Best in Show at the 2010 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

FreeFlight[edit]

FreeFlight is the school yearbook. Freeflight 2006–2007 yearbook with the theme of IMPACT placed 4th at the JEA/NSPA National Convention in the Spring of 2008 in Anaheim, CA and Freeflight 2007–2008 yearbook with the theme of LAYERS placed 3rd at the JEA/NSPA National Convention in the Spring of 2009 in Phoenix, AZ.

Theater[edit]

The Torrey Pines black box theater program (TP Players) has received awards for best play in the region from the California Educational Theater Association for Metamorphosis in 2003 and Inherit the Wind in 2005.[29] TP Players performed at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in the summers of 2006 and 2009.[30]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°57′28″N 117°13′30″W / 32.95778°N 117.22500°W / 32.95778; -117.22500

Preceded by
Booker T. Washington High School
National Academic Championship champion
1993
Succeeded by
East Brunswick High School