Mt. Carmel High School (San Diego, California)

Mt. Carmel High School (San Diego, California)
Mt. Carmel High School
9550 Carmel Mountain Road
San Diego, California, United States
Type Public
Established 1974
School district Poway Unified School District
Principal Dawn Kastner
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2,704[1]
Color(s) Scarlet and Gold
Mascot Sunny the Sundevil
Publication The Mt. Carmel SUN

Mt. Carmel High School (MCHS), a California Distinguished High School in 2005, is located in Rancho Peñasquitos, a community of San Diego, California, United States. The school belongs to the Poway Unified School District and its mascot is the Sundevil. The current principal is Dawn Kastner. She was previously a principal at Westview High School before joining her alma mater Mt. Carmel in January 2011 to replace outgoing principal Dr. Tom McCoy, who accepted a superintendent job in Ventura, California.

Mt. Carmel High School is both a California Distinguished School Award winner(1985, 1999, 2005) and a National Blue Ribbon School(1989, 2000). Historically the school's main rival has been Poway High School; the current major rivals though include Westview High School and Rancho Bernardo High School.



Mt. Carmel High School was built in 1974, with its first fall semester classes being held at the neighboring Black Mountain Middle School while the rest of construction finished. In 1999, the movie Bring It On filmed on the campus, with the locker room, weight room and football scoreboard making it into the film. In 2010, Mt. Carmel became the second school in the San Diego Section of the California Interscholastic Federation(CIF) to win 100 CIFs. In a 2009 game against Westview, MC running back Kenn James Jr. ran for a CIF San Diego Section record 436 yards, breaking Marlin Carey's old school record of 315. The Sundevils had 578 yards of total offense, also a school record. The Sundevils won the game, 49-32.

Mt. Carmel or Mount Carmel?

There has been controversy over how the school's official name is spelled. One of the school's nicknames is "The Mount", seen in a sign just beyond the campus' main entrance that reads, "Welcome to The Mount". "The Mount" is also seen on the Boys Basketball team's home jerseys. However, every other program in the school, athletic and academic, wears "Mt. Carmel", and the schools official recognized name in CIF competition, , the Poway Unified School District as well as the National Blue Ribbon School program, is "Mt. Carmel High School".


Mt. Carmel's on-campus football field, Sundevil Stadium, is a multi-purpose venue designed for football, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, and the annual Mt. Carmel Tournament of Bands, which is held on the 3rd Saturday of each October. The stadium was designed in 1971 and opened in 1974, with a capacity of 6,000. The Mt. Carmel football team's successes in the late 1980s and early 1990s brought Sundevil Stadium its first, and to date, only major renovation after the 1991 season, adding seats to both the home and visitor sides, raising total capacity to 11,000, making it the largest on-campus high school stadium in the state of California. The largest on-campus crowd in school history came to Sundevil Stadium for the first ever game between the Mt. Carmel Sundevils and the Westview Wolverines in 2002, with an announced attendance of 11,107. Mt. Carmel won the game, 34-0, the first shutout at Sundevil Stadium since 1997 when the Sundevils blanked Rancho Bernardo, 27-0. The first ever game at Sundevil Stadium was on Friday, September 6, 1974, and pitted the Mt. Carmel Sundevils against Poway Unified rival the Poway Titans Template:Citation needed, many early students believe the first event held in the stadium was the Class of 1977 graduation ceremonies, the first graduating class. Mt. Carmel scored on a late touchdown, and sealed the game with an interception with 14 seconds left and Poway deep in Mt. Carmel territory. Mt. Carmel knelt down and won the game, 28-24. On October 5, 2007, The Sundevils were down on Homecoming, 14-0 to the El Camino Wildcats with just 4 minutes remaining in the game. With El Camino driving in the red zone, Nathan Turnwall intercepted a pass and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown. The 2 point conversion failed. Following a successful onside kick recovery and a Joey Demartino 44 yard touchdown run, the score was 18-12. With 51 seconds left, El Camino punted, and Demartino returned it 58 yards to the El Camino 28. 2 plays later, quarterback Taylor Chapatte hit Demartino in the end zone with a 20 yard pass with just 9 seconds left in the game to cap the comeback, 18-14. Following the 2002-2003 school year, and in conjunction with the other major upgrades to the school, the natural grass field was removed and artificial turf installed. Renovations started in August 2009 and completed in July 2010 added handicap accessibility to every section in the stadium, handrails were put on every staircase, plus handicap seating was installed at the top of sections 2, 3, 5, 9, and 11. In June 2007, the stadium was the host of the Drum Corps International quarterfinals, with prestigious marching bands including the Blue Devils, Phantom Regiment, The Cadets, The Cavaliers, Carolina Crown, and Santa Clara Vanguard.

Instrumental Music Program

Mt. Carmel's three-time Grammy award-winning band[2] and orchestra, were directed by nationally-recognized director Warren Torns (now retired), and are now directed by Garry McPherson.[3] In 1988, the Marching Sundevil Band was featured in the opening scenes of the movie "Little Nikita", starring Sidney Poitier, River Phoenix and Richard Jenkins. The school's Marching Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble II, and Wind Ensemble I, and orchestra are led by Garry McPherson. The school performed in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl,[4] both in the field tournament and parade. The band took 2nd in the field show competition by .05 and 1st place in the parade making them the overall champions of the Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship. In 2006, the Marching Sundevils performed for the 11th time in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. In 2005, Mt. Carmel's Music Department hosted the Holiday Bowl High School Band Competition. The annual Mt. Carmel Tournament of Bands, has been held each October for the past 34 years, and is the most widely attended parade and field competition in San Diego with over 30 bands in attendance.[5] The band has traditionally traveled to Hawaii every 4 years, and Europe every 4 years. In April 2009, the band took part in the Hawaii Invitational Band Review, winning 1st place with an overall score of 94.625 out of a possible 100. The Marching Sundevils have also performed in the Gator Bowl, Alamo Bowl, and Sugar Bowl parades, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, and the Disneyland Christmas Day Parade. The Marching Sundevils also have gone undefeated in field competition in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. Undefeated parade band seasons have been 1976, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2005.

Mt. Carmel Sports

Mt. Carmel sports are quite successful, the girls softball team achieved a four-peat starting in 2006 and continued until 2010. The girls are still going and hoping to continue winning. The boys volleyball team achieved back-to-back CIF Championships in 2003 and 2004 followed by a three-peat starting in 2007. In 2010, the team was ranked 17th in the nation, and qualified for California State Finals, and lost to the Mira Costa Mustang in three games. In 2010 gymnastics achieved a two-peat in CIF and are trying for a three-peat this 2011 season. Girls Tennis won three-peat CIF titles in 2007, 2008, 2009 and lost in the final game in 2010.

Fall Sports include: Football, Field Hockey, Girls Tennis, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Golf, Girls Volleyball, and Boys Water Polo. Winter Sports include: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Girls Water Polo, Wrestling, and Ultimate Frisbee Spring Sports include: Baseball, Softball, Gymnastics, Boys and Girls Track and Field, Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving, Boys Lacrosse, Girls Lacrosse, Boys Tennis, Boys Golf, and Boys Volleyball


In the spring of 2004, after the passage of California Proposition U and funds approved by district voters, the school received funding for a major renovation. The "Pardon our Dust"-sloganed renovation has since been completed. In addition to modernizing existing buildings, including the practical arts and sciences departments, the project constructed several new buildings, including a new facility for the wrestling and gymnastics teams, and a new band room. The "Theater at the Mount" was the last main building that was under construction, now completed, along with the choir and drama rooms.[6]

Notable alumni

See also


External links

Coordinates: 32°58′0″N 117°7′16″W / 32.966667°N 117.12111°W / 32.966667; -117.12111

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