Santa Fe Christian’s Upper School was just awarded the National Blue Ribbon for an Exemplary High Performing School in 2017 from the Department of Education. Santa Fe Christian is the only private or public school high school in San Diego County; the only private high school in California; and one of six private high schools in the entire nation to receive this award. Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.


The key reason SFC received this award was empowerment. Faculty and staff are empowered to test new methods to engage students. Students are empowered to ask big questions, take courses which pursue their passions and develop their leadership skills.  Extended classroom time for project-based learning allows students to spend time exploring important concepts, making connections and finding solutions to complex, real-world problems. “Empowerment can only happen in a safe environment where teachers and students aren’t afraid to take risks,” shares high school Principal Matt Hannan.

Real-world Experiences

Real-world experiences, including testing surgical techniques at NuVasive; observing medical and biotech research laboratories; and participating in the UCSD math circle are integrated into the high school curriculum. Nearly 90% of SFC students will travel around the globe to serve in SFC’s International Missions Program. Plus, half of SFC’s student-athletes participate in the Eagle Leadership Academy, inspired by the program “How to Build and Sustain a Championship Culture”, used with over 25 NCAA National & Final Four Championship teams.

Giving God the Glory

“We have an amazing community of faculty, coaches, students, staff, parents and extended family who all played a part in helping us achieve the National Blue Ribbon,” says Principal Hannan, “Ultimately, we give God all the glory for His work at our School.”