Class of 2020 Overcomes Challenges and Moves Forward

Santa Margarita Catholic High School’s Class of 2020 certainly didn’t have the senior year they envisioned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite these unprecedented circumstances the class has continued to display resilience, flexibility and patience.

“Thank you for enduring a spring like we would have never expected,” said Principal Cheri Wood. “I know you will take all of these lessons and make a huge difference in our world.”

In a statement to the SMCHS community this spring, the ASB executive team (Claire Crafts ’20, Elizabeth Bondy ’20, Aidan Ocampo ’20, and Lexi McCabe ’21) reflected, “It's an understatement to say that COVID-19 has presented challenges for our school community and our day-to-day lives, and yet never before have we seen such great hope, strength and determination from our fellow Eagles.”

A 100-foot long banner displaying each of the senior’s 377 photos, surprise deliveries to seniors’ homes, a class of 2020 drive-thru, virtual send-off, senior spotlights on social media and the illumination of the campus’s iconic bell tower and fields each night until graduation, a symbolic presence of the SM class of 2020 on campus and in the Eagle family’s collective prayers, are just a few of the ways the senior class has been recognized. As we approach commencement as part of senior week at the end of July, the Santa Margarita Catholic High School community looks forward to celebrating the class of 2020 and their next steps in their academic endeavors.

Members of the class will go on to attend 118 different institutions across the nation and globe.

By identifying a student’s unique interests, strengths and goals – the school’s nine full-time counselors approach the college preparation, application and decision making process with support, encouragement, knowledge and creativity. The counseling office provides college advisement through events; in-depth workshops; and individual meetings about colleges and admissions standards, procedures and trends, which continued during remote learning.

“The relationships that we build with the students over the four years that they are at SM assist us in helping to make very personal recommendations and suggestions during the college admission process,” said Alyssa Flynn, the school’s director of counseling. “We certainly grieve with the seniors on the loss they felt for their final semester of high school, but thankfully the counselors were still able to be by their side every step of the way.”

The school’s counselors and a director of college relations are dedicated to building strong relationships with colleges.

More than 200 schools attend the school’s annual college fair and every fall over 150 college admissions officers schedule visits to Santa Margarita’s campus to personally meet with students to review the admissions process and college offerings. By tracking trends, consistently updating admissions information, staying current on new programs and communicating special opportunities, Santa Margarita students benefit from a dedicated team approach.   

“We celebrate that our seniors explore a wide range of college options and programs all over the country and internationally,” said SMCHS Director of College Relations Christa Crafts.

“Our seniors are adventurous, curious, motivated and mature in developing their next steps academically but more importantly, they consider how their personal goals can positively impact their future communities”.

Flynn said the school’s counselors encourage students to highlight their unique personalities, sense of humor and strong beliefs in their college applications.

“Colleges look for evidence of virtues such as compassion, courage, generosity and selflessness which is evident in how our students choose to spend their time and pursue their interests,” she said. “It is rewarding to see a student gain confidence through sharing themselves in the application process and see positive responses from their top schools.”

View the Class of 2020 matriculation and acceptance list

Congratulations Class of 2020!


377 students
$33 million combined merit and athletic scholarship offers
42,610 Christian service hours with an economic impact of over $1 million
1,837 college acceptances
138 graduates accepted at every college they applied
118 different colleges (represents 32 states and 2 countries)
100 percent acceptance rate at 167 colleges
99 percent of graduates to attend college
46 recruited and committed student-athletes to compete at the collegiate level
43 schools accepted to of U.S. News and World Report's Top 50 National Best Colleges
43 percent scored in the top 90% nationally on the ACT (2 perfect score)
40 percent scored in the top 90% nationally on the SAT (11 perfect SAT math scores)
11 CIF team championships (2016-2020)
27 individual and relay championships
7 National Merit Scholar Finalists
28 IB Full Diploma students, 160 course candidates