Upper School

Welcome to St. Margaret's Upper School! We are a school with a sense of purpose and a clear mission to educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership and service. We are proud of our reputation as a school with a community of students, faculty, staff and parents who are engaged and have a deep intellectual commitment to our programs.
Students enter Upper School having just completed eighth grade and leave as college freshmen. During this journey is a rich opportunity for the formation of values, passions, skills and principles that lead to a successful and meaningful life. Curiosity, work ethic, resiliency, civility, lifelong learning and empathy, all top on the list of what is considered highly desirable and needed skills in the 21st century, take shape and crystallize in these important formative years.
The intimate size of the Upper School and enviable faculty-student ratio allows unique and meaningful relationships where the high school experience moves from transactional to transformational. In all, the Upper School is guided by an Honor Statement that elevates our community to one where our best is expected and supported every day.
St. Margaret's offers a vigorous curriculum in the traditional fields of STEM and Humanities with a full range of honors, and Advanced Placement courses to challenge and stretch our students. Courses in engineering, software engineering, Holocaust, math for financial markets and multivariable calculus allow students to individualize their program and pursue passion and depth in areas of interest. Additionally, the Upper School offers post – AP classes (unique in secondary schools) in most disciplines allowing students a deeper investigation and study in those areas of interest.
Co-curricular opportunities are central to the St. Margaret's experience. We offer 24 varsity sports including, football, tennis, basketball, lacrosse, swimming, volleyball and baseball. Many of our teams have a "no-cut" policy, and the teams are able to accommodate a wide range of ability levels while still being successful.
Our arts faculty, each a professional artist, support a varied and highly successful arts program in theater, concert band, orchestra, choir, dance and visual arts programs allowing our students to fully explore their talents and interests.
The opportunity to study and perform in the 45,000 square-foot Performance Arts Center supports our award-winning arts program, while the beautiful Pasternack Field House and Tartan Field are home to the competitive and championship Tartan Athletics program.
Our Upper School EDGE technology lab encourages and supports innovation among our students and faculty and is home to several 3D printers, 3D scanner, laser cutter and a graphics center. The EDGE lab is available and open to students all day for “tinkering”, design thinking and creating.
A glimpse of the Upper School would see faculty and students sharing lunch in the Tartan Courtyard, a collaborative committee like the Cabinet, where students and faculty meet to propose programs and solutions, and students relaxing and enjoying a beautiful Southern California day on the Tartan Field. Earlier in the day students may have met together as a student community, in Convocation, also known as “Convo,” to hear students lead a devotional moment, present an initiative, share a humorous or inspiring personal experience, and celebrate accomplishments from the stage, the playing fields or in academic competitions.
In all, the Upper School Tartan community is distinguished by visible and compelling mutual respect, joy and vitality, and one I cherish being a part of as an educator and parent.
Go Tartans!
Tony Jordan
Principal, Upper School

Honor Statement

Conducting oneself honorably is essential to living a meaningful and successful life. Honorable conduct is a gift that one gives to enhance the entire community. I choose to tell the truth, do my own work, treat others decently and fairly, and take responsibility for my actions. Integrity, goodness, and truthfulness are ideals I strive to live up to each day. By living honorably I respect myself and serve others.

Upper School News

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An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675