Life ON THE MESA
Close your eyes. What does your ideal school look like? Are there tall trees and expansive views? Does the sun warm your skin as you walk across the campus? Close your eyes. Where do your classmates come from? What classroom discussions spill into evening conversations? Close your eyes. Feel the soccer ball coming off your toe. Feel the brush as it pulls paint across the canvas. Feel the book in your lap as you curl up in your dorm to read. How does it feel to be in a place thatâ€™s the best place for you? A place that combines the right balance of challenge and support, freedom and structure? A place that nurtures your self-awareness and independence so that you can become the architect of your own education?
Open your eyes. For over 100 years Cate has been combining the best of East Coast tradition and West Coast energy and innovation in the service of highly motivated, independent-minded kidsâ€” kids who are comfortable in the company of adults, who believe in themselves and their own education, and who want something more than they can get anywhere else. They come to this place of eucalyptus trees and Newtonian mechanics, this place of sunsets, ceramics, and Salinger, this mesa between the mountains and the sea, and find it is the place for them. Maybe it is the place for you.
Everything at Cate—the curriculum, the arts and athletic programs, the residential life, the very size of the school— is centered around fostering your self-knowledge and your ability to make decisions based on that knowledge. Why? Because we’ve found that students who can discover their own strengths and are encouraged to pursue their own interests take bigger intellectual risks, reap greater academic rewards, and are more likely to thrive at the most selective and prestigious colleges and universities.
THE CATE CURRICULUM
Any school—including Cate—can offer you a devastatingly challenging calculus class. Our goal is to get you to tackle challenges beyond calculus, to discover the variety of disciplines and activities at which you might excel, and to explore how your diverse talents and interests can be combined in an education that is unique to you. Freshman year is designed to introduce you to living and learning in a residential setting. Your courses will focus on honing your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills while exposing you to the broad expanse of human thought and endeavor. The goal is to get you asking questions and to provide you with the intellectual foundation you need to find the answers. By sophomore year you’ll know how to manage the challenges of Cate’s academic program and the responsibilities of living in the Cate community. You’ll have the freedom to choose some of your own courses and the opportunity to take high-level classes in different disciplines. Toward the end of the year, you’ll begin a series of conversations with your faculty advisor about your interests and talents and what you want to have achieved by the time you graduate. In junior year, you begin to take charge of your own education. Working closely with your advisor and relying on the framework you established at the end of your sophomore year, you’ll begin selecting courses based on your unique goals and interests and start your college preparation. Senior year is when you realize the full benefit of the Cate curriculum. You’ll have completed most, if not all, of the required courses and can choose from among Cate’s many challenging electives to create your own “year of personal inquiry.” Many seniors also take on faculty mentored research projects and assume leadership positions on campus.
Small classes, challenging courses, and engaged students and faculty are defining features of Cate.
Arts: Foundation Arts in the first year and two additional upper level courses. English: One course per year. Foreign Language: Successful completion of a third-year course. History: One course in each of the first two years and United States History in the junior or senior year. Human Development: Freshman Seminar for 9th-grade students and Sophomore Seminar for 10th-grade students. Mathematics: One course per year through the junior year. All students are required to complete Algebra II. Science: Physics in the freshman year, Chemistry in the sophomore year, and Biology in the junior or senior year.
10-12 the average class size
POPULAR ADVANCED COURSES HONORS AND ADVANCED PROGRAMS
Cate’s students are always looking for new and deeper challenges. Our small size, rich resources, and dynamic faculty enable us to constantly evolve our curriculum. In 2011, we replaced our AP classes with a much more rigorous and engaging set of Honors and Advanced courses in all of our departments. We’ve reviewed these courses with college admission counselors, and they’ve been duly impressed. ELECTIVES
At some schools, electives are like dessert. They’re the “fun” classes you take as a reward for having dragged yourself through a curriculum that otherwise didn’t interest you. At Cate, electives are the meat of the program. They’re the challenging courses that let you tailor your education to your interests. That’s why Cate offers such a variety of elective courses in so many disciplines. And our trimester schedule means you can take many of them. SENIOR INQUIRY
Cate is so confident in your ability to take charge of your own education that we ask you to take on a major inquiry project that runs the course of your senior year. Seniors have used this opportunity to pursue their interests in the history of musical theater, the influence of private money on political campaigns, or the process by which compelling photographs can evolve into iconic bits of cultural shorthand. At the end of the school year, you’ll share your work with the rest of the campus community in the form of a presentation, performance, or exhibition. What subject will you explore?
At year’s end, seniors present their capstone projects to the community.
Advanced Global Systems Advanced Molecular Genetics Advanced Seminar in English Lincoln and the Civil War Modern Middle East Master Works of Hispanic Literature Advanced French Language and Culture Advanced Computer Science (Robotics) Advanced Statistics Advanced Seminar in Art History Advanced Choral Music POPULAR ELECTIVES
American Wilderness Percussion Ensemble Supreme Court/Civil Liberties Unconventional Heroines RECENT SENIOR INQUIRY PROJECTS
History of Musical Theater Reinterpreting Classic Photographs Benefits and Challenges of Collaboration Safety Technology in NASCAR Vehicles The Dystopian Canon Queer at Cate The Entertainment Industry’s Influence on Foreign Policy
A LOT OF SCHOOLS WILL TELL A TEACHER, ‘HERE’S A COURSE WE’VE HAD FOR 20 YEARS. GO TEACH IT.’ AT CATE WE SAY, ‘HERE’S A COURSE WE’VE TAUGHT FOR 20 YEARS. HOW CAN WE MAKE IT BETTER?’ —LISA HOLMES, DIRECTOR OF STUDIES
THE FACULTY HERE WILL GUIDE YOU TO DEEP LEVELS OF INQUIRY. THEY ARE AMONG THE MOST TALENTED IN THEIR FIELDS—NOT ONLY IN THEIR ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES, BUT IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE STUDENTS THEY TEACH. —BEN WILLIAMS, HEADMASTER
Cate’s faculty members are among the most highly credentialed of any high school faculty in the nation. Nearly 75% hold advanced degrees, and a list of their undergraduate and graduate alma maters reads like the first entries in a U.S. News list: Williams, Amherst, Middlebury, Pomona, Wellesley. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Chicago. Many conduct their own research, produce their own creative work, or bring valuable experience from the fields of law and business. But their defining characteristic—and the one for which we hire them—is their passion for teaching. While thoroughly grounded in the traditions of their profession, they are endlessly curious about the latest theories and trends in education and are constantly pushing themselves and each other to try new things. And Cate’s size means that you’ll have access to faculty in a way no other school can approximate. Our student faculty ratio is 5:1. Our average class size is 10-12. And 95% of faculty members live on campus. They’ll not only be your teachers, they’ll be your coaches and dorm heads. They’ll take you on hikes in the mountains and drives into town. They’ll know you as well as your parents and closest friends. ADVISORY PROGRAM
All Cate students are assigned a faculty advisor and advisory group during their years here. Your advisory will meet at least once a week, sit together during assemblies, and see each other informally throughout the day. You’ll be like family within the broader Cate community. Your advisor will guide and mentor you and will keep track of your academic performance. Together you’ll set goals for graduation and choose the classes and activities needed to meet those goals. Your advisor will also keep in touch with your parents by phone and email. Most of all, your advisor will be someone who will celebrate your successes with you, console you when you have a bad day, and listen when you just need to talk.
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Cate faculty members connect with students in every facet of life on the Mesa, both in and out of the classroom.
advanced and honors courses offered
Cate’s college counseling program is successful for the same reasons the rest of the Cate experience is successful. First, Cate’s small size and tight-knit community mean that our college counselors will know your needs and interests well. Second, Cate’s wide-ranging academic and extra-curricular programs will allow you to explore and excel in a variety of subjects and activities, so that by the time you start thinking about college in earnest, you’ll be able to make wise and well-informed decisions about your next step. You and your advisor will begin laying the groundwork for your college exploration during freshman and sophomore years. You’ll be able to start that exploration during our Fall College Night series, which brings representatives from nearly 100 colleges and universities to campus to describe their programs and meet Cate students. The formal college counseling process begins in your junior year, when you’ll start taking “college classes.” These workshops and seminars are run by the college counseling staff and are designed to prepare you for the college admission process. In the winter you’ll begin meeting individually with one of Cate’s college counselors to discuss your academic and extracurricular interests, learning style, and career goals. In the spring you’ll attend our Case Studies program, during which you’ll meet in small groups with admission deans from as many as 40 competitive colleges and universities to learn how the admission process works and how schools evaluate candidates. When you leave for summer break, your counselor will reinforce your progress with a letter that summarizes the college criteria you’ve discussed, lists the schools that best fit those criteria, and outlines the steps you can take to hit the ground running come application time. During your senior year, you’ll continue to receive regular guidance from your counselor as you narrow choices, complete applications, and receive acceptance letters and financial aid offers. The goal of all this preparation and attention is to get you into the college of your choice—a college that is the perfect fit for your unique needs and interests. And one final word: after living up to the academic challenges of Cate, don’t be disappointed if college seems a little . . . easy.
TOP COLLEGE DESTINATIONS 2009-2013
Barnard College Brown University Colby College Colorado College Columbia University Cornell University Davidson College
New York University Sarah Lawrence College Stanford University University of California at Berkeley University of Chicago University of Southern California
WE GET TO KNOW KIDS FROM SPORTING EVENTS AND PLAYS AND ASSEMBLY ANNOUNCEMENTS BEFORE WE EVER BECOME THEIR COLLEGE COUNSELORS. THAT GIVES US AN AMAZING HEAD START IN HELPING THEM SHAPE THEIR COLLEGE PLANS. —ANNE HALL, DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE COUNSELING
colleges and universities visit Cate each fall
The Mesa buzzes with creativity. We stage two major theatrical productions every year, as well as several student one-acts and improv performances. The Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Band, Camerata, and Chorale have frequent concerts on and off campus. Planned and spontaneous drumming is a frequent soundtrack at events. And there’s always new student work in the Bruno and Hooker Art Galleries. Much of this artistic energy is inspired by Cate’s productive and engaging arts program. In your freshman or sophomore year you’ll take a Foundation Arts course that will introduce you to different forms of creative expression. As an upperclassman, you’ll choose electives that let you dive deeper into the medium that interests you most. One reason Cate wants you to create and to learn about art is that artists are problem-solvers. Each new work they make is an attempt to use a medium—clay, film, paint on canvas, words on paper—to convey an idea, a feeling, or a story. Knowing how artists solve creative problems will make you a better problem solver and teach you new ways of thinking that you can apply to math, science, business, or life in general. And the more you know about how to think and create like an artist, the more joy and appreciation you’ll find in different kinds of art. Another reason Cate wants you to learn about art is that even if you already dance, draw, or make music, there’s still undiscovered territory inside you to explore. You may be a poet, a potter, or a pianist and not even know it yet. And of course, we also want to nurture the creative passions you already have. Here, you’ll find caring instruction, mentorship, and ample opportunity to perform or exhibit your work.
I’D CHARACTERIZE CATE AS A COMMUNITY FOR CREATORS AND ARTISTS. THERE ARE ALWAYS THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, STUDENT ART EXHIBITS... EVERY FORM OF CREATIVE EXPRESSION IS REALIZED. —MONICA FURMANSKI, PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHER
Beverly Burch James Art Loft Roger Firestone Family Ceramics Studio Digital Lab Hitchcock Theatre Wiegand Stage Bruno Gallery Hooker Gallery Class of ’81 Amphitheatre CLUBS AND ENSEMBLES
Cate Artists Theater Ensemble Cate Review (literary magazine) Camerata (vocal group) Chamber Orchestra Chorale Dance Club Jazz Band No Strings Attached Pandemonium (improv group) Photo/Video Club Poetry Smackdown Writing Dangerously
1 in 3 students sing in Chorale
Imagine competing against some of the best high school athletes in the country. Imagine incorporating an ocean swim or a mountain run into your training routine—year round. Imagine playing a new sport— or maybe any sport—for the first time and finding out you’re good at it. Imagine heading from the fields to the dining hall with teammates, sweaty and laughing. Imagine becoming a team leader—someone to whom younger players look for advice and whom coaches trust to help them out on the field. That’s the Cate athletic experience. Cate fields 22 varsity athletic teams, and our quality of play is so high—seven titles and championships in 2011-2012, eight in 2012-2013—that we’re entering the more competitive Tri-County Athletic Association in 2014. There are junior varsity and even 3rds teams for many sports, allowing less experienced players to try new sports without the pressure of intense competition. Cate also offers intramural options like dancing and surfing, so no matter what your interests or current level of play, you’ll find opportunities to have fun and improve your skills. If you’re already a seasoned athlete, Cate’s coaches will help you reach your performance goals. If you’re trying team sports for the very first time, they’ll be patient teachers, eager to share their love of the game. And Cate’s athletic requirement ensures that every student at every level is always trying—and learning—something new.
I LOVE WATCHING THE KIDS WALK OFF THE FIELD AFTER A HARD-FOUGHT GAME AND SEEING THEIR CAMARADERIE AND SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. —WADE RANSOM, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
Fleischmann Gym • 2 squash courts • Basketball court Sprague Gym • 2 regulation basketball courts • 2 volleyball courts • Harcourt Fitness Center Robert Bonning Tennis Center • 8 tennis courts Emmett Horowitz Aquatic Center • 2 pools • Brittingham Family Athletic Training Center Additional Facilities • Jackson Baseball Field • Man Softball Field • Nion Tucker, Jr. ’40 Field • Thayer Peck Athletic Field • All-weather track • Dance studio FALL SPORTS
Boys Water Polo, V, JV Girls Tennis, V, JV Girls Volleyball, V, JV Cross Country, V Football, V, JV WINTER SPORTS
Boys Basketball, V, JV Boys Soccer, V, JV, 3rds Girls Basketball, V, JV Girls Soccer, V, JV Girls Water Polo, V, JV Squash, V SPRING SPORTS
Baseball, V Softball, V Boys Lacrosse, V, JV Boys Tennis, V, JV Boys Volleyball, V, JV Girls Lacrosse, V, JV Swimming, V, JV Track, V, JV INTRAMURAL OPTIONS
Dance Fitness Outdoors Surfing Tae Kwon Do Ultimate Frisbee
During fall Outings Week, students and faculty head to the mountains and sea. Outdoor exploration continues all year long.
There’s no better place than Cate to develop—or continue—a love of the outdoors. California is home to a staggering variety of natural beauty, some of the best of which is in Cate’s backyard. Here, you’re just minutes away from a swim in the ocean, a run on the beach, or a hike in the mountains, and just a short drive from some of the best backpacking, surfing, and rock climbing in the nation. And while the country surrounding the Mesa is beautiful—our sunsets are spectacular—the real benefit of living and learning in the midst of such natural grandeur is the sense of perspective it provides—the reminder that we are part of a world much bigger than ourselves. Your experience of the outdoors at Cate will begin with Outings Week in September, when you’ll explore California’s wilderness. As a freshman you’ll stay at Pyles Camp in Sequoia National Forest for a week of hiking, swimming, and team-building activities with your classmates. As a sophomore you’ll backpack in Yosemite, and as a junior you’ll trek along the Kern River. In your final year you’ll have your choice of serving as a leader on one of the underclassmen trips, camping on the Channel Islands just off the coast, or visiting colleges. Throughout the year, faculty members lead weekend kayaking, backpacking, and diving trips. You can even choose the Outdoor Program for your afternoon athletic activity and learn to surf, rock climb, kayak, and paddle board. And those are just the sweatier things you can do. The natural landscape around Cate also serves as a great biology lab and study space and provides ample inspiration for art making.
Bee Camp Ropes Course Rock Climbing Tower Bouldering House Los Padres National Forest GEAR FOR:
Backpacking Camping Kayaking Mountain biking Paddle boarding Surfing
acres of backcountry surround the Mesa
Why are we here? On this planet? In this country? On this Mesa? We think at least part of the answer is this: to make a difference in the lives of others. That’s the basic idea behind Cate’s one-word motto, Servons. It means “let us serve.” Graduating seniors often tell us that service was among their most rewarding experiences at Cate. We all want to change the world, but sometimes we can make the biggest difference right at home. As an underclassman, you and your classmates—all of your classmates—will share responsibility for basic chores around the Mesa, much the same way you’d have chores at home. Freshmen typically help out in the kitchen, while sophomores and juniors help maintain the dorms, classrooms, and grounds. In addition to participating in the chore program, you’ll have a chance to serve as a peer tutor or student librarian, or to belong to one of the many service and civic organizations on campus. You can go on weekly service outings to organizations in and around Santa Barbara, where you can tutor school children, visit the elderly and disabled, and work on local environmental improvement projects. You’ll also spend a day devoted to service in the fall of your freshman year, and each spring your advisory group will tackle an off-campus service project together. Service is a particularly rewarding way to learn about different places and people. For more than 30 years, Cate students and teachers have traveled to Mexico to help out with community construction projects and work with children and their families in the Los Niños program. And in 2007, Cate joined Round Square, a global network of high schools with shared ideals surrounding service and sustainability. Round Square sponsors an annual conference as well as service and student exchange programs around the world.
SERVICE & CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS
Black Student Union Caps for Good Cate Liberals League Cate Republicans Environmental Club Gay/Straight Alliance International Club Junior Statesmen of America Model UN Public Service Club Stream Team Women’s Forum Young Men’s Forum
THIS IS A REWARDING COMMUNITY TO BE IN. WE’RE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR WAYS WE CAN GIVE STUDENTS RESPONSIBILITY AND MAKE THEM SUCCESSFUL. THEY RESPOND BEYOND OUR EXPECTATIONS. —KATHERYN PARK, ENGLISH TEACHER, LEARNING CENTER ADVISOR
of students participate in service projects
I WANT TO MATTER... TO SOMETHING, TO SOMEONE. I WANT EACH MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY TO FEEL LIKE THEIR DAY, THEIR WEEK, THEIR CATE EXPERIENCE WAS BETTER FOR HAVING HAD ME IN IT. —JAMIE KELLOGG, SCIENCE TEACHER AND DORM PARENT
You may never live in a place more beautiful than Cate. Several dorms overlook the ocean. The beach is close enough for a morning swim or surf. There’s a special bench just for watching sunsets, though some would argue that the views from Pizza Lawn are just as spectacular. Behind campus a series of trails lead you to the splendor of the Los Padres National Forest. And you share this space—150 acres of trees and light—with fewer than 350 other people. It’s like having a world all to yourself. You’ll live in one of eight remarkably home-like dorms. In addition to your bedroom, there will be places to study, play games, watch movies, and just hang out. Faculty members and their families live in the dorms as well, so you’ll always have an adult to talk to, or the occasional kitchen table to do your homework. You’ll also have a senior prefect—a kind of big brother or sister—to offer guidance and support as you get the hang of living in your home away from home. But the dorms at Cate are more than a place to live. They’re also a place to learn and grow. In fact, your interactions with your dorm parents and prefects and the talks and activities they plan for you are an integrated part of the curriculum. We call it PARK—Persistence, Awareness, Responsibility, and Kindness—and it’s all about learning how to cooperate and collaborate with others. And then there’s the food. The chefs at Raymond Commons prepare meals from scratch and buy as much of their produce, meat, and dairy as possible from local farmers. There’s always a waffle bar at breakfast, sandwich and salad bars at lunch and dinner, as well as frequent theme nights—Italian, Mexican, Breakfast for Dinner. There are always bowls of fruit out for snacking, and many students (and faculty) find themselves wishing for the occasional cold snap just for the pleasure of sitting by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate.
Life plays out in Cate’s dining hall and dormitories, framed by an idyllic landscape.
7:00-8:00 breakfast 8:00-8:45 class 8:50-9:15 flex time 9:20-10:05 class 10:10-10:25 campus-wide gathering 10:35-11:20 class 11:25-12:35 lunch 12:40-1:25 class 1:30-1:55 flex time 2:00-2:45 class 3:15-4:45 sports 4:45-5:30 free time 5:30-7:00 dinner 7:00-8:00 clubs and activities meet 8:00-10:00 study hours 10:30 in-dorm 11:00 lights out
seniors serve as dorm prefects
CAMPUS TRADITIONS & ORGANIZATIONS
The Cate community loves new things. New movies. New music. New foods. New experiences. New ways of doing things. But as you can imagine at a place that’s more than 100 years old, we also love our traditions—things we’ve always done and will always do because of the way they bring us together, because of the way they make us think and feel, and also because they’re fun. Here are just a few: TRADITIONS
Sunset Ceremony: We begin each school year by gathering on the lawn outside Parsonage dormitory. We ring the school bell, Macbeth, and the headmaster reads from a letter written by William Shepard Biddle, who graduated from Cate in 1918. Then the entire school—students and faculty alike—forms a receiving line to shake hands with the new seniors. Convocations and Formal Dinner: “Convocation” means “a gathering,” and every Thursday evening everyone convenes at the theater for a lecture or performance. It might be Cate’s jazz band or improv troupe that takes the stage, or a visiting scholar or artist. Storytellers and a hypnotist are popular. Afterward, students and faculty sit down together for an elegant meal in Raymond Commons. It’s meant to be a time to talk and relax. Seating assignments vary from week to week to give everyone a chance to meet new people. Tuesday Talks: Every Tuesday morning, Cate students and faculty meet in the chapel to hear a personal story presented by someone in the community, often a Cate senior. Many underclassmen have found it helpful—even moving—to hear about the growth and changes their older peers have experienced. Daily Assemblies: There’s so much going on at Cate—so many interesting people with compelling things to say and important information to share—that we meet for assembly three times a week. It’s when we make campus-wide announcements, watch student skits, and celebrate birthdays, awards, and athletic wins. CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Another great Cate tradition is participation. Students run more than 30 clubs and organizations on campus. Some popular examples are listed below, but feel free to start one of your own.
STUDENT-RUN CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Bible Study CateNet Masters (student tech support) El Batidor (school newspaper) Jewish Club
Kayaking Club Mesan (school yearbook) Slack Line Club Student Book Club
Spirited skits and inspiring stories bring the community together.
THERE IS JUST THE RIGHT MIX OF FORMAL AND INFORMAL, NOVEL AND TRADITIONAL, TO KEEP LIFE ON THE MESA TRULY LIVELY. —JUAREZ NEWSOME, HISTORY TEACHER
times a week the entire school gathers together
ADMISSION & FINANCIAL AID
PEOPLE OFTEN ASK ME WHAT CATE LOOKS FOR IN AN APPLICANT. OF COURSE WE LOOK FOR A STRONG ACADEMIC HISTORY, BUT WE’RE EQUALLY INTERESTED IN THE QUALITIES THAT LEAD TO SUCCESS HERE: CURIOSITY, COMPASSION, AND RESILIENCE. —CHARLOTTE BROWNLEE ’85 DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION
Words and pictures can only capture so much about life on the Mesa. To get a true feel for the school, come visit. Learn something new in a class, cheer on the Cate Rams during a game, and sit in on a spirited assembly or inspiring Tuesday Talk. Meet our students and teachers, and take in our expansive views. Call one of our admission officers to schedule a visit and talk about the application process. Admission to Cate is very competitive. We receive roughly 2,000 inquiries and almost 600 applications each year, and we enroll only 75 students. That’s roughly 8 applicants for every opening. We strive to enroll exceptional students who bring a wide variety of skills, interests, and backgrounds to the Cate community. Our Admission Committee considers a student’s previous academic record, recommendations from teachers, personal references, scores on the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT), extracurricular interests and strengths, and impressions and information obtained in a personal interview.
Cate is characterized by diversity. Students of all backgrounds come from around the world to experience and shape a vibrant community.
Financing an independent school education is a major investment in a student’s future. Each year Cate offers more than $3,000,000 in need-based financial aid to 30% of the student body. Awards range from $5,000 to full tuition and expenses. For further information, reach us at 805-684-4127, extension 217 or visit us online at www.cate.org/admission.
HOW TO APPLY
• Schedule a visit • Register for testing • Complete the application Visit www.cate.org/admission or scan the QR code to view key application dates.
1 in 3
students receive financial aid
AT A GLANCE
Number of students:
(220 boarding/45 day)
Median SSAT percentile:
of boarding students are from outside California
Number of faculty:
% 74 56 Faculty members with advanced degrees:
Average class size:
Honors and Advanced Study courses offered:
40 Miles to Santa Barbara:
of students are international
are students of color
5:1 Student-teacher ratio
50% boys | 50% girls 2
90 10 150 Distance to the beach:
Acreage of the campus:
Miles to Los Angeles
CATE SCHOOL 1960 CATE MESA ROAD CARPINTERIA, CALIFORNIA 93013 WWW.CATE.ORG
Through commitment, scholarship, companionship, and service, each member of the Cate community contributes to what our founder called “…the spirit of this place…all compounded of beauty and virtue, quiet study, vigorous play, and hard work.”
ABRAHAM CLASS OF 2014
HOMETOWN: Kinshasa, Congo FUTURE PLANS: My dream is to major in international relations and then study international law. My ultimate goal is to do rule of law work, particularly in Congo. ON TEAMWORK: I was going to school in Congo, where my parents worked, and transferred to Cate as a junior. I wasn’t sure what my level of athletics would be, but my goal was to make every varsity team I could. I managed to earn spots on the football and lacrosse teams, even though I’d never really played those sports before, but the big thing for me was making the soccer team. Growing up in Africa, I’d been playing soccer since I was three years old, and Cate is one of the top teams in California. Being able to step onto the field as a new junior, after all the other guys had established their roles and their friend groups, and be supported and welcomed as a member of the team was really great. It made me feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself. I really think that varsity athletes are the ambassadors of the school. Because we travel to games and tournaments, we’re often the first impression parents and students and teachers from other schools have of Cate—sometimes the only impression. So the quality of our play matters, as does the effort and intensity we put into every play. How we work together as a team says something about what Cate is like as a community and what we players are like as individuals and students.
BEING WELCOMED AS A MEMBER OF THE TEAM WAS REALLY GREAT. IT MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS A PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER THAN MYSELF.
MS. SALCEDO MATH TEACHER
EDUCATION: BS, Yale; MAT, Simmons College ON BEING A DORM PARENT: When I was put in charge of the 9th-grade girls’ dorm, I wasn’t sure I’d like it or be good at it. I guess I wasn’t all that different from a Cate student trying something new. But it’s been great. I take tremendous pride in creating an environment where the girls feel known and cared for. ON TEACHING: When my students sit down with a problem for the first time, I want to inspire a little nervousness. I want their first reaction to be, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know how to do this.” And then I want them to work with their classmates and apply what they already know to figure out this new thing. And it’s fun to watch them, to see their delight in doing something they didn’t think they could do. As a teacher, that’s what I’m looking for in my craft. How do I make things optimally challenging? If it’s too easy, they won’t learn anything. If it’s too hard, they won’t learn anything. The trick is finding the optimal stretch for each class and for each student. I often find myself in the same position I put my students in. Their problem is on the test, mine is on the lesson plan, and sometimes I’ll be thinking, “I don’t know if this will work.” I can feel my brain working in the same way I want theirs to work. I’m always asking myself, “How can I scaffold this problem in a way that if they don’t get it the first time, they’ll get it the second?” And that design element is one of the things that makes my job so fun. That’s my optimal stretch, my optimal challenge.
I TAKE TREMENDOUS PRIDE IN CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE GIRLS FEEL KNOWN AND CARED FOR.
ETHAN CLASS OF 2014
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA FUTURE PLANS: It’s got nothing to do with art, but I’ve developed this fascination with neuroscience. For the summer, I’m doing an internship in a pathology lab followed by a monthlong college-level course at USC. ON CREATIVITY: Cate fostered my creative freedom in ways I never expected. When I came here, I thought I’d just paint and draw. I’d never sung in my life. I’d never been in a show. I was horrified to even think of being in a show. Then I met Jessica Block after an assembly my freshman year. She runs the theater program and is mother to a lot of people here. She noticed I had a bass voice—I didn’t know I had any voice—and said I should join the choir. And she basically forced me—well, she didn’t force me, but you know—to agree to be in every production she put on. I’ve now been in five. And I’m in the choir. And I started my own a cappella group. And got a bunch of people together to do National Novel Writing Month. And I still leave the art loft covered in paint. I wouldn’t have done these things at any other school, and it’s because of Mrs. Block and the other teachers here. I respect them to such a degree that I’ve thrown away all of my fear. If they think I can do something, I try it. And I’ve done that so many times now and had so many amazing experiences that I can do it without them. I can throw away my fear all on my own.
CATE FOSTERED MY CREATIVE FREEDOM IN WAYS I NEVER EXPECTED. WHEN I CAME HERE, I THOUGHT I’D JUST PAINT AND DRAW.
EDUCATION: AB, University of Chicago; JD, UC Hastings College of the Law ON TEACHING AT CATE: It’s rare for me to have students on the first day of class whom I don’t already know, either through being on an outdoor trip together or living in the same dorm. I know their interests, their personalities, what motivates them. Teachers at many schools have to spend weeks just learning everybody’s name. ON APPLYING SCIENCE: As teachers, we encourage our students to learn from each other. We’re always looking for new ways to get students engaged in the material, to inspire them with our own enthusiasm for the subject. One of the things that has fascinated me lately and that I wanted to introduce to my students is the idea of the citizen scientist—that you don’t have be a “professional” in order to “do” science. I think science enthusiasts can make meaningful contributions to our shared body of knowledge. So I partnered with a local organization called Santa Barbara Channel Keepers to launch the Cate Stream Team, a group that is performing a long-term study of the health of creeks and wetlands around Carpinteria. I trained my students—who then trained their peers— to collect water samples and submit findings to a statewide database that local governments use to make decisions about how to manage the watershed. In addition to learning basic research skills, the students are learning how to manage projects and are seeing how science is applied in the real world—and the data they’re collecting is making a difference.
...STUDENTS ARE LEARNING HOW TO MANAGE PROJECTS AND ARE SEEING HOW SCIENCE IS APPLIED IN THE REAL WORLD....
YANSY CLASS OF 2013
HOMETOWN: Houston, TX FUTURE PLANS: I’m entering a pre-med track at Brown. I wanted a place that was academically challenging but able to appreciate people from all different backgrounds, just like Cate. ON THE OUTDOORS: I came to Cate to step outside my comfort zone. I grew up in Houston, a very urban environment. Cate is green and spacious. My middle school classmates were all black or Hispanic. Cate is diverse. The only thing I thought would be the same was that schoolwork would come easily to me. I thought I already knew it all. Cate showed me that I definitely did not know it all. Here I had to learn to think and study in ways I wasn’t used to. But I think my biggest challenge was to get outdoors. It started with the freshman trip to Pyles Camp. There’s a place where everyone jumps off this giant rock into a pool of water. I couldn’t make myself do it. I didn’t know how to swim. But I kept going on outdoor trips. I took the sophomore trip to Yosemite and the junior trip along the Kern River. In between I did weekend outings and took the American Wilderness class, which combines a study of the wilderness in literature with camping and hiking trips. I took Outdoors as my athletic option and learned to kayak and surf and rock climb. The outdoors has become an important part of my life. It reminds me that the world is bigger than I am and that my problems are kind of small. Oh, and senior year, I went back to Pyles to mentor the freshmen—and I jumped off that rock.
I CAME TO CATE TO STEP OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE... HERE I HAD TO LEARN TO THINK AND STUDY IN WAYS I WASN’T USED TO.
SUSAN CLASS OF 2013
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA FUTURE PLANS: I’m going to Princeton to study engineering or physics. Science isn’t my best subject, but there’s something about the tangibility of physics that I find fascinating. An expensive vase hits the floor? That’s physics in action. ON INQUIRY: Cate believes that the more responsibility you take for your education, the more likely you are to challenge yourself. So they’re always looking for ways to give students more autonomy. For my senior inquiry project, I did a historical survey of dystopian literature. My initial interest was psychological. Why do people do what they do? Why do our best traits only seem to come out in the worst times? But the more I read, the more I got interested in how dystopian situations often evolve out of utopian goals and how one person’s heaven can be another’s hell. The reading—20 novels’ worth—was fascinating, but I don’t think my final presentation did it justice. But I think that’s part of Cate’s “secret plan.” They want you thinking and working at the outer limits of your ability so you learn from the little dystopias you create as well as your successes. My best example of taking ownership of my education has been sharing it. An underclassman asks me for help, so we’ll find an empty classroom and I’ll be writing examples on the board and he’ll say, “Wait a minute, I think I’ve got it.” Then I’ll erase everything and make him do it himself. That’s the best.
CATE BELIEVES THAT THE MORE RESPONSIBILITY YOU TAKE FOR YOUR EDUCATION, THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF.
CATE SCHOOL 1960 CATE MESA ROAD CARPINTERIA, CALIFORNIA 93013 WWW.CATE.ORG