Cate School

The best day of school starts here. Find out more at We welcome qualified applicants for openings in ninth and tenth grades.

Cate's student body is recognized as much for its talent—academic, artistic, and athletic—as it is for its warmth and vitality. A few exceptionally well-qualified students are accepted into the eleventh grade, and it is highly unusual for there to be an opening in the twelfth grade. Cate is primarily a residential school; 85% of Cate students are boarders. When considering applications, the admiss

Operating as usual

Photos from Cate School's post 05/29/2024

“I’ve never spoken to this many people in a crowd ever. So I’m gonna take a selfie if you don’t mind.”

Commencement Speech ✔️
Selfie with the Crowd ✔️

Annie '24 showed us how to deliver a picture-perfect speech during Commencement over the weekend!


Congratulations to Cate’s 16 inductees into The Cum Laude Society! The Cum Laude Society is a national organization that recognizes high school students who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship as well as strong character and a commitment to their community. Congratulations and thank you for embodying our core values at Cate!


Congratulations to the Class of 2024! 👏 🎓

Today, we celebrated the Class of 2024 in a joyous culmination of Commencement Weekend! We will miss you on the Mesa and wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/23/2024

“Noor means light, and I carry that meaning with me every day. It reminds me of the person I aim to be: a guiding light in times of uncertainty. A person who dims herself for no one.”

Through a story, a pun, a promise, and a saying, Noor '24 delivered the final Servons speech of the year in style, sharing lessons to live by and her deep appreciation for the people who matter most in her life.


Congratulations to Seb '24 and Zach '24 on their commitment to play at the next level!

Both Seb and Zach have rewritten the record books from the track to the pool during their time on the Mesa and we wish them both success in their next chapter.

Seb will run cross country and track at Yale, while Zach will swim for Bates!

Go Rams!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/21/2024

Hitchcock Theatre was rockin’ last night in the final Convocation of the year. Cate alumnus Adam Topol ’85, professional drummer/percussionist who has toured extensively with Jack Johnson, performed for the Cate community alongside multi-instrumentalist Zach Gill, founder of ALO, and bassist Kenny Lyon of the Lemonheads, Brazzaville, and NOFX. Students even had the chance to join them and play on stage!


Cate’s yearbook, The Mesan, is dedicated this year to… Frank Griffin and Lauren Jared!

“You will forever be imprinted in the hearts and minds of those who were fortunate to have been your students. Thank you Mr. Griffin for your unmatched commitment to education and Cate School.”

“The passion with which Ms. Jared speaks of history is captivating. I can confidently say that she has made a tremendous impact on my sense of the world and has fueled my own interest in history as well.”

Photos from Cate School's post 05/20/2024

“Try something you know you’ll be bad at; let some of your mistakes show and love it all; love it all for the fact that it’s imperfect and finite. Caring and trying are how we grow, and although we’ll never be perfect, we’ll always be growing and loving.”

It was a Servons speech that first made Ingrid '24 fall in love with Cate. Now, in her very own Servons speech, Ingrid shared her appreciation for the imperfect, finite moments that truly matter, while encouraging her peers to be vulnerable and cherish every experience as they continue to grow.

Photos from Cate School's post 05/20/2024

Last week, the Cate community came together to honor the incredible faculty who have made a difference each and every day on the Mesa. We recognized our faculty award recipients from this year:

Spittler '63 Cup: Frank Griffin
W. Burleigh Pattee Award: Brooks Hansen
Centennial Award: Craig Bouma
Circumspice Award: Song Ge

..and bid a heartfelt farewell to those departing Cate and embarking on new adventures.

Congratulations and thank you to all!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/19/2024

“These little things are what kept me going through my best and worst moments here. If you take away one thing from this speech, I hope that it is that even when it seems like life is completely against you, there are a lot of amazing little things, and those are what you should focus on.”

From Uno and Bee Camp to JV lacrosse and Public Service Night, Caroline '24 reflected on the little things that brought her joy during her time at Cate and expressed gratitude to those who have shaped her into the person she is today, especially her mom.

Photos from Cate School's post 05/16/2024

“Anyway, this isn’t a college personal statement about how I overcame an evil father who did not want what was best for me. The truth is, my father is the reason I did not attend Cate my sophomore year, but he is also the reason I was able to come to Cate at all.”

In his Servons speech on Thursday, Julian '24 recounts his emotional and tumultuous journey of being able to attend Cate, and shared his gratitude for his friends and the faculty that shaped his experience on the Mesa.


Cate seniors showing off their college swag and gearing up for the next chapter! Wishing them all the best on their exciting journey ahead!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/13/2024

The Cate community celebrated over 152 years of dedication and service to the School during a retirement celebration for Frank Griffin, Juan Hernández, Lauren Jared, and Gilberto Ortega over the weekend! It was a heartwarming celebration with stories and good cheer at Mesa House, and we extend our deepest gratitude to each one of them for their tireless efforts and lasting impact they have left on Cate!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/10/2024

In a letter to his past self, Muhsin '24 reflects on the struggles endured four years ago during 8th grade up until joining Cate, offering advice to his younger self. He emphasizes the importance of experiencing things fully, being true to oneself, embracing extended family, and allowing himself to be vulnerable.

Photos from Cate School's post 05/10/2024

Thank you to all of our incredible teachers for making Cate a special place to learn. The Mesa would not be the place it is without all of your dedication, passion, and commitment to excellence, not only in the classroom, but in all facets of life at Cate. Thank you!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/09/2024

“Connect with your friends and try to make new ones. Cate is one of the best communities I have ever been a part of. Don’t let it pass by like a sunset. Seize the day and live in the moment.”

In his Servons speech on Thursday, Kyle '24 reflected on his relationships with all of his friends while urging his peers to embrace the present and not let life pass you by.

Photos from Cate School's post 05/09/2024

Good luck to our girls varsity lacrosse team playing in the CIF Division 3 Semifinals tonight! The Rams (12-5) are currently riding a six-game winning streak and will travel all the way to Temecula Valley to face the Golden Bears (16-6) for a chance to play in Saturday’s championship.

Go Rams!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/07/2024

Shyam Akula '12 returned to the Mesa to deliver Monday night’s Convocation. Shyam, the 2017-19 Harvard Stem Cell Institute MD/PhD Fellow, and 2020 PD Soros Fellow, spoke to the community about his research in neurobiology and answered questions from students about his medical school journey. This summer, he will join University of California, San Francisco as a resident physician in neurology. Thank you, Shyam!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/06/2024

Last weekend, 15 Cate music students took a field trip to the iconic Westlake Studios! Westlake is the home to some of the most famous albums of the modern music era. Owner Steve Burdick showed the group where Beyonce finished “Cowboy Carter,” Elton John recorded his favorite piano, and Michael Jackson made “Thriller” and “Bad.” Thank you to Jon Fowler, the creator of Cate’s recording studio, for arranging the tour!

Photos from Cate School's post 05/02/2024

“Each passing day seems to accelerate the clock, and the significant milestones that once felt like specks on the distant horizon are upon me, leaving me to wonder where all the time went.”

Everest '24 used his Servons speech to embrace the past, sharing a collection of stories of his adventurous childhood, underscoring his appreciation for the memories he has created as he approaches another major life transition.

Photos from Cate School's post 04/30/2024

It is a busy week ahead for the Rams! Every single spring team qualified for CIF Playoffs with most playing this week! Good luck to all of our teams still competing and congratulations to boys volleyball and boys lacrosse on outstanding seasons.

Follow for more updates throughout the playoffs.

Go Rams!

Photos from Cate School's post 04/29/2024

Mesa Mondays


Congratulations to the six winners of the annual Golden Box writing contest! Each year students can anonymously submit a piece of creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry to be judged by the English Department. After 140 submissions, the six winners were announced during Family Weekend. Congratulations to Mei '24, Daisy '25, Colette '25, Riley '24, Basilio '25, and Josie '24!

Photos from Cate School's post 04/25/2024

Fernando '24 reflected on his memorable moments with classmates and expressed gratitude to the friends and faculty that have helped shape his experience at Cate before ending his Servons speech with a heartfelt ask to prom!

Photos from Cate School's post 04/24/2024

Let’s give another round of applause to the Cate Artists Theater Ensemble, from the cast and crew, to the orchestra and all involved, for a spectacular performance of The Wizard of Oz over the weekend! 👏 🌈 👠 🦁🌪️

Photos from Cate School's post 04/23/2024

Another fantastic Family Weekend at Cate! Thank you to all of the families for a great weekend, and we can’t wait to see on the Mesa again soon!

Photos from Cate School's post 04/18/2024

“I feel fortunate to have gained so much from my time here – specifically from the people who have become such an important part of my story.”

There’s no place like home. In her Servons speech on Thursday, Ms. Dorion reflected on her journey at Cate, highlighting the impact of the individuals within the community – their kindness, compassion, bravery, and intellectual curiosity – all of which have collectively made the Mesa truly feel like home.

Photos from Cate School's post 04/18/2024

The Cate Artists Theater Ensemble presents... The Wizard of Oz! Opening night is tonight followed by two more shows on Friday and Saturday to kick off Spring Family Weekend!

Photos from Cate School's post 04/17/2024

Congratulations to your 2024-25 Student Body President Joba '25 and Vice President Riley '25! And congratulations to all of the candidates who ran for a great campaign!

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Videos (show all)

Congratulations on committing to the Ram Fam! We can’t wait to see you on the Mesa. #Servons #WelcometotheMesa #boarding...
No other school looks or feels like Cate… come see for yourself! 🎉#Servons #WelcometotheMesa #boardingschool #cateschool...
This time last year, the class of 2027 was saying YES to Cate! Now, they get to welcome the newest members of the Ram Fa...
Over the ocean, the sun drifts away….Come tomorrow, it’s decision day! 🌅🌊🎉#Servons #WelcometotheMesa #boardingschool #ca...
Signed, sealed…almost delivered! 💌#Servons #WelcometotheMesa #boardingschool #cateschool #caterams #prepschool #independ...
We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Ms. Alex Lockett as Cate’s incoming Head of School!Ms. Lockett comes to C...
It was a treat to have Elan Halpern '16 return to the Mesa for Monday night’s Convocation! The Stanford graduate and cur...
Take a peek inside Dr. Moore’s 10th grade World History class! Students explore Chinese history with a specific focus on...
“The class of 2023 has built our webs together and each of our webs will continue to become stronger and more beautiful ...
“Remember to cherish the memories we have left, thank the people that have helped you along the way, and always tell the...
Cate alumnus Adam Topol '85, who tours professionaly with musician Jack Johnson, and Richie Marquez, a master drummer an...
“Don’t just exist, live.”In her Servons talk on Saturday, Chidera '22 reflected on her journey at Cate through memorable...





1960 Cate Mesa Road
Carpinteria, CA
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