Rancho Bernardo High School
, or RBHS, is a public high school
in the Poway Unified School District
of San Diego County, California
. Rancho Bernardo High School opened in September 1990 as the district's third high school. There are approximately 2,800 students in grades 9 through 12, and approximately 150 faculty members.
Rancho Bernardo Music Program
Rancho Bernardo Royal Regiment
Their band, the Royal Regiment, is under the direction of Tom Cole, one of the nation’s best conductors. Their Wind Ensemble is one of the premier bands in the region, and is even superior to most college and university bands. During the fall, they become a marching band and compete in several tournaments in San Diego County
and one in Los Angeles county, the Arcadia Festival of Bands. Each time that the Mount Carmel Invitational tournament has taken place in the last ten years (it did not take place in 2007 due to the Witch Creek fire
and the other fires that were devastating San Diego county), they have won the top award in every catagory of judgment. At the Arcadia Festival of Bands, one of the largest in Southern California, they have won the Grand Sweepstakes: Championship award (the tournament’s highest honor) as well as “The Mace,” a special baton in a plaque-box, the top honor for the marching segment of the competition, without an upset for nearly a decade. In 2007, due to an arithmetic error that was not caught in time, The Mace went to Riverside King High School
, but an accurate tally would have seen the award go to Rancho Bernardo for the ninth year running.
For the first time in its history, Rancho Bernardo will host a WBA tournament. It is scheduled November 1, 2008.
Rancho Bernardo Symphony Orchestra
The Rancho Bernardo High School Symphony Orchestra
is considered to be in the top 10% of high school orchestras in the nation. First starting with a very small, chamber-style group when the school first openned, the program has grown from some 20 strings to a full 100+ piece orchestra with full woodwind
, and string
sections under the direction of Gary Horimoto. When the program first started, they were doing just arranged pieces, but now they perform full, complete, symphony-style pieces such as Tchaikovsky
's Symphony V and the 1812 Overture.
For the last few years, Rancho Bernardo’s Academic League teams have seldom lost a match, and in 2008, all three teams, Freshman, JV, and Varsity, were undefeated in the regular season and went on to take the league title in the playoffs.
The 2008 freshman team was lead by Lucas Brown and captained by Madilena Mendiola, and the other starters were Ilene Chen, Vivian Yu, and Kevin Hsieh. Other members included Natalie Keehan, Albert Liang, Scarlett Chen, and Kelly Luyken. Their coaches were varsity players Jeffrey Mihalik and Brenda Lin (who have now graduated to Cornell University and Harvard University, respectively). In the final round of the playoffs, they crushed Westview High School with a score of 101-32.
The 2008 JV team was captained by Anurag Kashyap, the 2005 champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and other members included Oleg Stens (starter), Jarred Mihalik (starter), Zhao Zhang (starter), Jennifer Ding, Alex Chang, Haochi Shi (starter), Noopur Gupta, Sumukh Sathnur, Elle Keck, Tiffany Dharma, Julia Brown, Kevin Chang, and Casey Sumner. Their coach was AP European History teacher Dan Lutgen. They defeated Torrey Pines high school in the final round of the playoffs with a score of 114-92.
The 2008 varsity team was lead by Jeffrey Mihalik and captained by Brenda Lin. The other starters were Roscoe Huo, Michael Shen, and Jason Heath. The other varsity players were Shashank Churukanti, Andy Leu, and Madison Donoghue. Their coaches were Dan Lutgen and AP Physics teacher Yvonne Eibeck. They edged out archenemy Westview in the final round of the playoffs with a score of 108-93.
All agree that the most memorable match was against Mount Carmel in the regular season. In the freshman round, the team nearly lost but came back to win by their slimmest margin yet. The JV team won their round by a comfortable margin, but the varsity team “pwned” Mount Carmel by a 91 point margin: 138-47. At the same moment as the timer rang for the end of the round, Mount Carmel’s banner, taped to the wall behind their team, fell to the floor with a loud ripping noise.
The school newspaper is The Silver Spur
, part of the High School National Ad Network
. The yearbook is called Legends.
Rancho Bernardo is a Division I school competing in the Palomar League against Poway High School
, Mount Carmel High School
, Westview High School
, Torrey Pines High School
, and La Costa Canyon High School
. The school's sports teams go by the name "The Broncos".
Two famous athletes to come from Rancho Bernardo are Philadelphia Phillie Cole Hamels
and Texas Ranger Hank Blalock
, nephew of Rancho Bernardo Varsity Baseball Coach, Sam Blalock. Rancho Bernardo High School has a reputation for being heavily focused on baseball. According to the book Moneyball
, Rancho Bernardo is known in baseball circles as "The Factory" due to the consistent quality of players being produced from its program and later going on to either college, minor, or major leagues.
In November 2007
, a noose
along with written racial slurs
were found inside the school's performing arts center. The slurs were directed at an African-American student who had been cast in the school play. As of December 2007
, Poway Unified School District administrators have confirmed that a student has been identified and is under investigation of being charged with a hate crime
In April and May 2008, 8 students were identified for hacking into the school's website, downloading teacher files, distributing tests to students, and altering transcripts. Assistant Principal Keith Koelzer issued a memo to teachers regarding the moral depravity of the Rancho Bernardo High School students involved. The memo was later released to The San Diego Union-Tribune