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Mira Costa High School

Mira Costa High School (MCHS, "Costa") is a four-year public high school located in Manhattan Beach, California that first began operating in 1950. It is the only high school in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. The school's athletic teams are known as the Mustangs and the school colors are green and gold. Mira Costa is located on the corner of Peck Avenue and Artesia Boulevard.

Mira Costa High School
1401 Artesia Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

United States
Coordinates33°52′25″N 118°23′23″W / 33.87368°N 118.38976°W / 33.87368; -118.38976Coordinates: 33°52′25″N 118°23′23″W / 33.87368°N 118.38976°W / 33.87368; -118.38976
TypePublic high school
MottoHome of the mustangs
School districtManhattan Beach Unified School District
PrincipalBenjamin Dale[1]
Faculty98.6 FTEs[2]
Enrollment2,514 (2016-17)[3]
Student to teacher ratio25.5:1[2]
Color(s)          Green and Gold
RivalRedondo Union High School
PublicationLa Vista (Newspaper)
Reflections (student created work)
Mustang Morning News (student-run newscast)

School informationEdit

As of the 2016-17 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,517 students and 98.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 25.5:1. There were 63 students (2.5% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 22 (0.9% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

Ethnic composition[2]
Race Percentage
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander 10.8 %
Hispanic 14.9%
Black 5.4%
White 58.8%
Multiple races 9.7%

Mira Costa is the only high school in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. All residents of Manhattan Beach are eligible to attend. Residents of Hermosa Beach may choose to attend Redondo Union High School of the Redondo Beach Unified School District or Mira Costa. As of Fall 2006, Redondo Beach residents living in the 90278 zip code were allowed to attend Mira Costa. Occasionally, MBUSD policy did not allow Redondo Beach residents living in the 90278 ZIP code to attend Mira Costa.[4]

Extracurricular activities and programsEdit

Choir programEdit

The Mira Costa Choir Program consists of four curricular choirs, Vocal Ensemble, Men's Choir, Advanced Women's Chorale, and Concert Choir, which meet during the school day year-round, and two small ensembles, Coterie, Mira Costa Muscle, which meet after school.[5]

In the summer of 2010 Vocal Ensemble sang in the International Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece. They performed as part of the opera chorus in Carmen and were the closing choir in the Sunset Concert at St. Nicholas Cathedral on Sunday 18 July 2010.[6]

Mira Costa BandsEdit

In May 2016, the Mira Costa Bands travelled to Carnegie Hall in New York as part of a series outlining the best band programs in the country.[7] The band had previously performed at Carnegie Hall in 2011.[8] In 2014 the band received the Grammy Foundation Signature Schools 2014 Gold Award, which includes a grant of $5000.[9]

La VistaEdit

Mira Costa's student-run newspaper La Vista has been a perennial winner of silver and gold awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association since 1980.[10]

Mustang Morning NewsEdit

The Mustang Morning News is a student-run broadcast run weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.[11]

Model United NationsEdit

Mira Costa Model United Nations (MUN) is a debate team that takes part in mock debates of the United Nations. Mira Costa MUN hosts the Los Angeles Invitational Model United Nations (LAIMUN) Conference, a novice and advanced conference held in docket-style debate.[12] Mira Costa's MUN team has multiple Large School Delegation awards.[13]

Beach Cities RoboticsEdit

Costa students team up with Redondo Union High School students to create Beach Cities Robotics. The team participates in the organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) as Team 294. Beach Cities Robotics has won numerous awards since starting in 1997, including 2 World Championship wins. They scored 1st place at the FRC finals in 2001 against more than 50 other teams at the event from around the country. In 2008 they won first place at the inaugural FTC World Championship. Beach Cities Robotics won the FRC finals again in 2010 as its "alliance" captain, against over 300 teams attending the World Championship, and over 1800 teams worldwide.[14]


Mira Costa was recognized as a Blue Ribbon school in 1996.[15][16] More recently, it was named a California Distinguished School by the Board of Education in 2011[17] and was ranked #341 nationally by Newsweek in 2015.[18][19]

In 2000, Marilyn Jachetti Whirry (January 12, 1935 – September 2, 2005) a 12th grade English teacher, was selected as the National Teacher of the Year.[20] Whirry had taught at Mira Costa in the 1958-59 academic year, and then from 1967 through 2000.

In September 2010, U.S. history teacher Bill Fauver was selected as one of Los Angeles County's 16 Teachers of the Year. Since he began teaching at Mira Costa in 1986, Fauver has served as vice principal, chair of the social studies department, and as advisor for many extracurricular activities. Fauver had been honored three times as the school's Teacher of the Year and was once named Manhattan Beach Unified School District Teacher of the Year.[21][22]

Notable alumniEdit

In television and filmEdit

Mira Costa High School was a common filming location for the popular television series The O.C.[33] In 2006, a portion of the quad was used as a scene in The O.C. In 1981 portions of the film "Midnight Offerings" starring Melissa Sue Anderson were filmed on the campus.[citation needed] In 1979, many members of the football and cheerleading squads, attired in their green and gold uniforms, were included as extras in the film Rock 'n' Roll High School. The administration building of Mira Costa High School was used as the high school for the Disney Channel tv shows A.N.T Farm and Hannah Montana. In 2008, an episode of CSI: Miami was filmed on campus, using the pool and members of the varsity swim team as extras. In 2011, much of rapper Snoop Dogg's Mac & Devin Go to High School was filmed on campus, sparking a controversy over the characters' use of marijuana on school property and administration officials demanded that the footage not be used in the final movie.[34]


  1. ^ Mira Costa High School - Teaching Staff Directory
  2. ^ a b c d School data for Mira Costa High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed January 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Mira Costa High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  4. ^ Garrison Frost. "A Betrayal of Trust: The North Redondo Attendance Agreement and the Failure of Community Leadership". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16.
  5. ^ "The Mira Costa High School Choir Program" on school website. Retrieved 20 Dec. 2017.
  6. ^ "2010 Festival of the Aegean," Festival of the Retrieved 20 Dec. 2017.
  7. ^ Williams, Jeffrey. "Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presents On The Winds of Song in Review," New York Concert Review, 4 June 2016. Retrieved 20 Dec. 2017.
  8. ^ Ruse, Andrea (8 April 2010). "Journey of song: Costa choir teacher takes ensemble back to his Greek roots". Easy Reader News.
  9. ^ "2014 GRAMMY Signature Schools Announced," Retrieved 20 Dec. 2017.
  10. ^ "High School Silver Hybrid News Crowns" in "2016 - Awards For Student Work Crown Awards - Scholastic Recipients," Columbia Scholastic Press Association, owned and operated by Columbia University. Retrieved 20 Dec. 2017.
  11. ^ Mustang Morning News website
  12. ^ "Los Angeles Invitational Model United Nation. Retrieved 20 Dec. 2017."
  13. ^
  14. ^ Morris, Michael. "Beach Cities Robotics team heads to St. Louis for championship," The Beach Reporter, 3 April 2014. Retrieved 20 Dec. 2017.
  15. ^ "NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS PROGRAM — Schools Recognized 1982 Through 2016" (PDF). United States Department of Education.
  16. ^ "South Bay : BLUE RIBBONS". Los Angeles Times. February 9, 1996.
  17. ^ "2011 Distinguished Middle and High Schools". California Department of Education.
  18. ^ "Newsweek Ranks Mira Costa High Among Top in Nation". Manhattan Beach Patch. August 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "America's Top High Schools 2015". Newsweek. August 19, 2015.
  20. ^ "2000 National Teacher of the Year." CCSSO. 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  21. ^ Seaton, Carolyn. "Mira Costa High School Teacher Bill Fauver Honored as One of L.A. County’s “Sweet Sixteen” Teachers of the Year." Press Release, Manhattan Beach Unified School District. 21 Sept. 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  22. ^ Ruse, Andrea. "Mira Costa’s Bill Fauver is Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year." 29 Sept. 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  23. ^ a b Spurrier, Jeff. "DESCENDENTS HANG OUT IN NEVER-NEVER LAND", Los Angeles Times, January 5, 1986. Accessed January 10, 2008.
  24. ^ Eric Fonoimoana - Profile, Beach Volleyball Database, accessed 8 January 2008
  25. ^ Chick, Stevie (2011). Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag. PM Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781604865844.
  26. ^ "Jill McCormick, Class of 1995 - Manatee High School".
  27. ^ Peterson, Lauren. "Resemblance is striking; Stanford-bound 6-foot-5 hitter Klineman has a Walsh-like effect on top-ranked Mira Costa", Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2006. Accessed January 6. 2008. "'When you see somebody like [Alix Klineman], where she's built like [Kerri Walsh] and she kind of looks like Kerri, who happens to be one of the best volleyball players on the beach or indoors to ever play the game -- and Alix has two inches on her -- I think it's exciting,' said Holly McPeak, a 1987 Mira Costa graduate and AVP tour veteran."
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Dylan O'Brien". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  30. ^ Smith, Michelle. "LB Okwo trying to spark Stanford", San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 2006. Accessed January 10, 2008. "Okwo, a Redondo Beach native who attended Mira Costa High, would very much like to go home to Southern California and get a win against UCLA on Saturday night."
  31. ^ "Daniel Riley - Bio, latest news and articles". GQ. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  32. ^ "Daniel Riley". Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  33. ^ The O.C. Filming Locations
  34. ^ "Snoop Dogg kicked off local school campus". May 16, 2011. Retrieved 2018-04-25.

External linksEdit