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Sage Hill Celebrates 20 Years of Achievements + Pioneering an Innovative Approach to Education

Newport-based Sage Hill High School is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, looking back at over two decades of innovative education, academic achievements and positive community impact.

Sage Hill First Graduation Class Photo (2003)

(June 6, 2003) The 35 members of Sage Hill‘s first graduating class.

The school, which was recently named the #1 Best Private High School in Orange County by Niche.com – a ranking and review website for K-12 schools, colleges, cities, neighborhoods and companies across the U.S. – has pioneered a creative and individualized approach to education for Orange County students since 2000, all while earning numerous academic awards, arts + athletic achievements, and making a lasting impact on the community through Sage Hill’s one-of-a-kind Service Learning program.

Sage Hill High School during construction

(June, 1999) Following extensive grading of the site, construction of core facilities began, with architecture deeply rooted in California and colors derived from the earth and plants on the site.

Sage Hill School after construction

Sage Hill’s fully-built campus, as envisioned by the founder’s Master Plan, as seen from above.

This Saturday, October 12, members of the community will get an inside look at Sage Hill during its annual Admission Open House event, where parents and prospective students have the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, administrators, and current students + parents. Although the Open House sessions are now sold out, readers who are interested in learning more can reach out to inquire about campus tours by emailing the Admission Office at [email protected].

Sage Hill Johnson Family Library Unveiling

(August 20, 2018) The redesigned Johnson family library was unveiled, and provided a new home for Sage Hill’s Hamoui Family Sage Center.

Sage Hill is built on a foundation of core values – including Courage, Balance, Community, Service, Discovery, Knowledge, Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, and Creativity – and will continue to celebrate + instill those values during the 2019-2020 school year, and beyond.

Sage Hill Founders with Elders at Blessing Ceremony

(April 1, 1999) Prior to construction, the founders joined with Elders of the Acjachemen Nation of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians – the original inhabitants of the land that became Orange County – to perform a blessing ceremony.

What started as just a small group of visionary leaders and dedicated parents who dreamed of creating a non-profit, non-denominational high school in Orange County that would inspire innovative thinking, nurture creative thought, and embrace diversity, has grown tremendously in the last 20 years, emerging as OC’s leading independent high school not only for its educational, arts and athletic programs, but for its focus + commitment to the greater good of the community.

Sage Hill High School Outdoor Gathering

(2011) The land outside the Johnson Family Library was used for school picnics and grade level gatherings prior to the construction of the Lisa Argyros Family Science Center.

The school offers a Service Learning program that provides students with opportunities to serve as leaders using their academic, social, and personal skills to engage and connect with others. Taking place during one school day each month from October to April, students can collaborate with peers and younger students from other schools through Service Learning. It allows them to develop cross-cultural competencies, further build upon their character, and enhance their communication, creativity, and critical thinking skills.

Sage Hill First Accepted Student Activity (Second Harvest)

(Spring 2000) Sage Hill’s first excepted student activity, which took place in the spring prior to opening, was a day of service spent gleaning with the Second Harvest Food Bank.

In addition to serving the community through programs like Service Learning, Sage Hill also provides educational opportunities to students and families through financial aid. Since opening in 2000, the school has generously awarded close to $30 Million in financial aid to deserving students who otherwise would not have had access to a Sage Hill education. These financial aid grants are based on need and cover both tuition and incidentals, which may be used for books, purchasing a laptop, travel costs for school trips, tickets to Prom, and more, to ensure that students who receive financial aid are able to fully participate in all aspects of the Sage Hill experience.

Sage Hill First Graduation (2003)

(June 6, 2003) Sage Hill’s first graduation ceremony.

A large number of Sage Hill alumni have earned national – even international – recognition for a wide variety of endeavors. To date, a total of six graduates have been named to Forbes Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list, an annual list that recognizes the brightest young entrepreneurs, leaders, and stars across the United States and Canada.

Future Home of Sage Hill Sign

(1998) After considering multiple locations around Orange County, the founders secured the 28+ acre parcel on Newport Coast Drive as a future home of Sage Hill School.

Not only has Sage Hill come to life and served our community for 20 years, but it’s surpassed any expectation of what the school was originally created to do. It has graduated nearly 2,000 students, positively impacting students, families, the Orange County community, and the world at large.

Learn more about Sage Hill online, Facebook and Instagram.

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