Ask our tour guides, they’re the experts.*

Tour Guides

There is no typical Cate student, so we want you to meet as many people in our community as possible. When you visit, you’ll be greeted several tour guides who volunteer their time to share their diverse experiences and welcome to our Mesa.


Angie Meneses ’17

Head Tour Guide

Los Angeles, CA

I can remember first hearing about Cate from an alum as a little 7th grader. It was a place up in the mountains in California where everyone loved learning and took rigorous academic schedules, but also where you could take surfing as your school sport, bake cookies at teachers’ homes, and everyone was just like family. Even just the stories I heard about this place, this “Mesa” as she called it, these snip its of her memories as a high schooler, lived on in my mind and seemed so unreal, so magical to me. I held on to everything I knew about Cate but it still wasn’t real to me until the day my dad drove me up the misty Mesa road for the first time in 8th grade. As we walked around campus and met all the teachers and students, Cate proved to be more magical than it had been as my middle school fantasy, and even more as I moved in and became a member of the Cate family.

I love the feeling at Cate. Everyone is incredibly smart and gifted and performing at a very high level, yet the tenor on the Mesa is very relaxed and warm. You can see it in the faces of smiling students and teachers who pass by and say “hello”, or the way kids lay out on the lawn with their ice cream cones in between classes, or feel perfectly at ease immersed in conversation with anyone in the Cate community. At the same time, Cate students are intense, incredibly focused on their studies and passionate about learning in the classroom and beyond. That is why, I think, it is possible to achieve this idyllic balance of true happiness and ease along with such rigor in academics–because Cate kids love to learn. School is not a burden, it’s a passion, and learning extends much further than just the traditional classroom setting. Living with a community of people–faculty and students–who have so many powerful life experiences and deep thoughts and beliefs, and at the same time, are very curious about your own, opens a lot of doors for conversation and opportunities to share with each other. For example, I will never forget two girls, one from China and one from Taiwan, sitting in my room and having an argument about whether Taiwan was part of China or not, and I am constantly prepared to engaged in a conversation en français with my french teacher, even while in line for a piece of lasagna at dinner. Living at school surrounded by such an intellectual community makes learning a life style that I think is very unique to Cate.

I am a tour guide at Cate because as much as I love to write, I haven’t completely expressed why or how much this school means to me and everyone else who has experienced it. I have only given you a small glimpse into my world here at school and its difficult to truly capture the essence of the Mesa just by browsing the website. I love sharing my passion for my school and being able to remind myself just how lucky I am to be here while touring prospective Cate families from around the world!

walsh_h-16Henry Walsh ’17

Head Tour Guide

Bozeman, MT

Hi my name is Henry Walsh. I am from Bozeman, Montana and am a senior at Cate. I have had two older sisters attend Cate; one graduated in 2010 and the other in 2012. Growing up in Montana I have established a love for the outdoors. I am always at my happiest when I am outside. In the outdoors I love to fly-fish, downhill ski, backpack and bike. At Cate I run cross country and play soccer and lacrosse. I also participate in the orchestra where I play the cello. Can’t wait to see you on the Mesa!

hakim_m-16Musa Hakim ’17

Head Tour Guide

Cleveland, OH

I am from Cleveland, Ohio, and this is my thid year at Cate. Coming into my first year here, I was unsure of what to expect. At first it seemed too challenging, but as the year progressed I was able to get over my original hurdles and call Cate my home. When I am not in a classroom or playing sports, I am usually reading, hanging out with friends, or playing video games from time to time. My favorite book is The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. My main and favorite sport is football. This may be hard to believe because of the scarce success of my home team (the Cleveland Browns), but football has always been a huge part of my life. I chose to be a tour guide because I want to give kids and families the same feeling of community that I received when I first arrived at Cate.

wu_n-16Nancy Wu ’17

Head Tour Guide

Xiamen, China

Before Cate, I had lived in China and attended Chinese public schools my entire life. My desire to be further challenged and my curiosity for the outside world brought me to Cate. I remember packing my outing gears at the beginning of the year worrying that I would not survive Yosemite, but my pod supported me through thick and thin and made the trip one of the best experiences in my life; I had a hard time making the transition in English class, but those free, easy and stimulating conversations with Mr. Robins helped me to find back my love for reading and writing; I went into ceramics barn with zero experience, butwith the help of my talented teacher and classmates, I have now grown to love it so much that I would spend as many hours as possible on the wheel. This is a community that gives you not only the best resources but also tremendous, wholehearted support and encouragement in whichever endeavor you choose to pursue. I get to keep up my passion for Spanish and math while developing new interests such as singing and coding here at Cate because this is the place to fulfill your potential as well as to discover more about yourself.

Amazing people and opportunities await you on the Mesa! Come to Cate!

olivares_a-16Abnner Olivares ’19

Los Angeles, CA

Coming from the city I was never used to being out in the open mountains and seeing such open space as I do on the Mesa. As I travel back and forth from the Mesa to my home in Los Angeles, it becomes quite easy to see how special this place really is. I do in fact enjoy the loud cars driving through at night and the city lights but I’ve also learned to love the quite peaceful that is Cate School. I do enjoy finding places on campus where I can both work and hang out with friends, make music, or simply just sit down and take in the view. One of my favorite things about this place though is the fact that there’s always something to do. Even when you think you’re bored, there’s always something to explore. Whether that be a part of campus that you’ve never been to before or going on an adventure with yours friends to familiar hang out spots you all enjoy, there’s always something new to discover. So I definitely encoring you to come to this beautiful Mesa and check it out for yourself; you won’t regret it!

hester_a-16Adlai Hester ’19

Portland, OR

My name is Adlai Hester and I am a sophomore this year. I was born in Portland Oregon and have lived there all my life. My first year at cate was a wonderful mix of academics, athletics and excitement, and I feel truly fortunate to be here. I’m really excited to get the chance to be a tour guide and to meet all of the perspective families. Cate is an amazing place and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share it with all of you!

thiery_a-16Amber Thiery ’17

New York, NY

My name is Amber Thiery and I was born and raised in New York City but my whole family is from France. I love playing sports, specifically basketball. I am now a senior! I am extremely excited to be a tour guide and share my experiences and love for the school with other families. I instantly had a community and family here at Cate and now call it my second home. I definitely want to share that with all of you newcomers!

brown_a-16Anika Brown ’18

Seattle, WA

Cate, for me, has always been a natural fit. Since I was in the third grade I wanted to follow in my sister’s footsteps and go to boarding school. While she found her home on the other side of the U.S., I was lucky enough to find belonging in the warm foothills of the Mesa. Coming from Seattle, I’ve become conditioned to constant downpour and the first thing that really stood out to me about Cate was the sunshine. The sunshine somehow seemed to seep into the personalities of all I met, from the faculty’s cheery demeanor to the bright and jovial conversation that went on in and outside the classroom.  This upbeat atmosphere is what Cate is to me, and I’m excited to be a tour guide to share this with anyone thinking of joining the ram fam.

lu_a-16Annie Lu ’17

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

As a senior boarder from the distant land of Saudi Arabia, I am so excited to have this amazing opportunity to be one of the first points of interaction with possible future Cate students! As a tour guide, I aspire to reveal all the things about Cate that made me first fall in love with it. The cultural diversity on the Mesa that is unlike any other place, the sense of community and friendly environment that instantly fills you with warmth, and the endless possibilities to serve others are just a few of the things that attracted me to this school, and has drawn me back. I came to Cate pretty much completely unaware of the world I live in, and although I still have so much to learn, Cate has helped me take the first couple of steps to discovering myself and my world, and I hope I can help others do the same by helping them get to know Cate better.

lieser_aApple Lieser ’18

Castine, ME

I’m a junior from Maine, I love the outdoors and yes, Apple is a nickname. One of the things that drew me to Cate was the environment that Cate is surrounded by. Back home, I loved to go hiking and skiing, and sail to new islands in the summer. I thought that I knew a lot about the outdoors, but since coming to Cate I’ve been able to explore so many new aspects of what it means to be outside. From learning how to surf in the morning before class,to biking down steep mountain trails in twilight, to beginning to understand why being outside matters to me in the way that it does, I’ve already been able to see myself grow as an outdoorsman in ways I never would have back home.Another thing that drew me to Cate in particular over other boarding schools was the community – as soon as I stepped on campus I could sense how positive the students and faculty were. Everyone knows each other by name, and even as a freshman I felt that there was a place for me here. When I think about what I was looking for in a boarding school, I prioritized strong academics, an engaged student body and hopefully the opportunity to get out and explore the world off campus. I got more than I bargained for with Cate, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it.

swanson_a-16Avalon Swanson ’19

Los Alamitos, CA

Hi! I’m Avalon from the sprawling suburbs of Orange County, California. After being in the public school system all my life, I made a big jump to join the world of boarding schools last year, and so far I’ve been loving it! Coming from a school where my graduating class was bigger than the entire population of the Mesa, Cate has given me many opportunities to do things I couldn’t do at my local high school. For example, I’ve had the privilege of playing on varsity water polo, pursuing my passion for painting, heading Book Club and having close relationships with upperclassmen. I truly believe that Cate is a place where you can be yourself and no one will judge you. Not to mention, the views and people are amazing. I hope to see you soon!

jessup_b-16Ben Jessup ’18

Santa Ynez, CA

I am a junior born and raised in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. I am a three sport varsity athlete in lacrosse, water polo, and soccer. I also enjoy watching and playing football. I have had most of my cousins come to Cate in the past so I have known about it all my life. After coming to my first lacrosse game here on the Mesa, I not only knew I wanted to come here, it was easy to tell there was a sense of family within the students and teachers. After living here for two years and going on to my third I have definitely made friends I will know for the rest of my life. Spending time with them whether it be in the classroom, on the sports field, or just in the dorm we have really made bonds that are unbreakable. From playing soccer on our amazing sports fields to learning about protons and neutrons in our chemistry labs, every day here at Cate is a new adventure.

duffy-boscagli_b-16Biba Duffy-Boscagli ’19

Santa Barbara, CA

Because I am a day student, since middle school I had heard amazing stories about Cate school. When I arrived to attend the school I learned for myself that all of those stories of community, safety, beauty and a general tone of happiness at school were in fact true. For me Cate is a safe place that shares my values of hard work, integrity, and leadership. The academics are challenging and the teachers in all subjects will push the students beyond their comfort zone, and compel us to think beyond our prior understanding of any knowledge they may have. Yet at the same time I have come to realize that the community of teachers here at Cate are tight knit. The majority of teachers live on campus and all have offices that are constantly open with welcoming smiles and helpful responses to any questions. The teachers, also, create a spirit of joy and love of learning I have never found anywhere else. Here at Cate these teachers and my peers have allowed my passion for the arts and humanities flourish in new ways. I have learned the ukulele, been able to continue my piano classes, and joined chorale, a school choir, all at the same time with free time to spare. I have been welcomed as a part of the musical, been taught to bring more focus to my art skills in foundation and studio art, all while trying a sport new to me at the beginning of last year: cross country. With the support of my friends and peers, I am continuing cross country as a sophomore and learning to offer the same amount of unending support in everything I do to new students of all ages. Cate has truly allowed me to flourish as a student, friend, and person.

walker_b-16Brie Walker ’18

Greenwood Village, CO

My name is Brie, I am an avid lacrosse player and I thoroughly enjoy hiking and the outdoors. I come from a small, independent school in Denver where boarding school was practically unheard of. Hearing about Cate’s rigorous academics and outstanding views and outdoor programs, I was extremely intrigued.

My eighth-grade self had no idea what to expect while touring Cate. I knew little about boarding school and I had never been to Santa Barbara in my life. However, once I arrived on the beautiful Mesa, my anxieties quickly vanished as I was welcomed with warm embraces and smiles. I was overwhelmed by the joy through my tour guides and community as a whole. I hope to give that same genuine experience to the possible future members of this tight knit family as I now get the opportunity to show off the place I have come to love.

sinclair_c-16Cal Sinclair ’19

Carpinteria, CA

I was born in London, England but I moved to the United States when I was 7. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. My passions include playing sports, reading, and cooking. I was first introduced to Cate when my oldest brother applied as a sophomore. Upon my first visit to the Mesa, I quickly fell in love with the beautiful place I now call home. Through middle school I couldn’t wait to apply to Cate and when the time finally arose I was ecstatic. Being a Cate Student has helped me realize how special this place is and all the wonderful things the school has to offer. I am thrilled to be able to introduce the school and community I love to perspective families, and hopefully I can help them realize Cate is a wonderful place.

williams_c-16Carson Williams ’19

Carpinteria, CA

This will be my sophomore year at Cate and I grew up on the Mesa so I know almost as much as there is to know about Cate. This will be my sixteenth year on the mesa and it has only gotten better as the years have gone on. When I am not playing basketball in the Fleishmann Gym, you can usually find me on Senior Lawn throwing a football around, in High House Dorm with many of my friends and classmates or reading new books. I play football, basketball, as well as volleyball. This will be my second year playing football and my fifth playing volleyball and basketball, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be football. I also play guitar and bass and participate in the school’s Jazz Band. As a kid, I always knew I wanted to come to Cate because after seeing all of the fun that my sister had, I wanted to experience the same things she had. Now that I am here, I see why it was so great for her and now, so great for me.

foster_c-16Celia Foster ’19

Manhattan Beach, CA

The very first time I stepped foot on the Mesa, I knew Cate was the place for me. Every person that passed by me introduced themselves with a big smile and made me feel welcome. After only several hours, Cate already felt like home. The small class sizes make classroom discussions very intimate and it makes it easy for everyone to share their point of view. With students from all over the world, things are brought up in discussion that would not be brought up without the wide variety of perspectives. The faculty at Cate do far more than teach classes in their classrooms. They coach sports teams, come and support games, they meet after dinner for extra help, and they laugh and share stories with you. Here at Cate anything is possible. Some of the amazing opportunities I have experienced so far range from scuba diving at the Channel Islands to Friday night basketball tournaments with students and faculty. Here at Cate I love hopping in the pool after classes for a water polo game with my teammates or a refreshing swim workout with my friends. One of my favorite things to do before class on Saturday is to get up early and surf. Without Cate I would not be the person I am today. I have friends from all over the world, and I have a new perspective on life. I wanted to be a tour guide because I wanted the opportunity to share this special place with as many people as possible. Here on the mesa life could not be better!

shi_c-16Charles Shi ’18

Shanghai, China

Imagine yourself as a new student coming to Cate for the first time, not knowing the place nor knowing the boundaries of your talents. Then imagine yourself, in a year or two later, already a confident student who has discovered his or her interests and loves Cate like a family. When I entered Cate as a new sophomore, I was not only discovering Cate for the first time, but also discovering myself.In a year, I recognized my interests in visual arts, mathematics, electronic music, writing, and so much more. I signed up for advanced courses to challenge myself. The students and the faculty welcomed me into the Cate family, and I, as a tour guide, would like to welcome you — to show you the beautiful campus, the energetic atmosphere, the well-maintained facilities, and my experiences with all of them.

corman_c-16Charlie Corman ’18

Carpinteria, CA

I was born in Los Angeles, and now live here in Carpinteria. I play water polo and am on the swim team, and continue to hope that we will succeed in our league. I’m very excited to meet all of the prospective students, and hope that I can help make the coming years awesome!

robinson_c-16Chrissy Robinson ’18

Detroit, MI

Hello, my name is Chrissy Robinson and I have spent my life growing up in Detroit, Michigan. I am excited to begin my third year at Cate. I am an ultimate frisbee lover and one who enjoys the many pets on the Mesa. I often spend my free time joining the Stream Team for weekend samplings, attending MUN conferences, studying, and hanging out with friends. I am so thrilled to serve as a tour guide this year and I am ready to share my love for the Mesa with all those who are coming to visit. Cate is a place I am proud to call home and I am ready to share this spirit with you.

browne_c-16Colin Browne ’17

Santa Barbara, CA

My connection to Cate started earlier than many might find this place.  I grew up in Santa Barbara and spent my middle school years admiring Cate students.  Each Cate student I met was confident, intelligent, and kind beyond belief.  But the true feeling of being at this place sealed the deal for me when I first came to visit.  The minute I walked on campus I felt welcome- I could tell that everyone around me wanted to be my friend and make me feel at home.

I’m now a senior day student at Cate. My favorite classes are Spanish and US History, and after school I play on varsity soccer and run track.  In my free time I participate in the Cate Model United Nations Club, sing as a Bass in the school choir and also go hiking and surfing with the Outdoors program.

I hope you feel as welcome and excited as I am to be here on the Mesa, and I look forward to meeting you soon!

mckeefry_dDaphne McKeefry ’19

Greenwich, CT

I am a sophomore from Greenwich, Connecticut. I was born in Laguna Beach, CA and moved East when I was four. I love to play basketball and lacrosse, and I also play the guitar. When I came to Cate for the first time, I took a tour and got a glimpse of all that the Mesa has to offer. This place is special to me because of it’s astounding natural beauty and the wonderful community. I am so excited to show new students around this place as a tour guide, and I can’t wait to meet you all!

garcia_d-16Darling Garcia ’18

Los Angeles, CA

I’m a junior from Los Angeles, California! I lived in the city all of my life before I came to Cate.

Nestled between the mountains and just a couple of minutes from the ocean, Cate is a beautiful place that I’m lucky to call home. The elegant eucalyptus trees never fail to take my breath away and the dorms have amazing views of the ocean and mountainside. At night, I love stargazing from my balcony in Bothin House. Seeing the starry night sky might not seem like a big deal to some, but for a city kid like me, it’s something quite wondrous.

Cate has wonderful programs and facilities to support of my extracurricular activities and passions. I’m a huge art fanatic, so I spend a lot of my free time in Cate’s spacious art loft sketching and making mixed-media art-pieces. As for my love of public service, Cate had that covered too! Servons! Every Wednesday that I can, I go to Public Service Night, where I can choose to attend a variety of programs. Whether it’s playing the board game Sorry at a Steven’s House (A group home for older men) or serving meals at Casa Esperanza (a homeless shelter), It’s always great to give back.

The academics are rigorous; the weather is wonderful, and the friendships made here are meant to last forever!  I can’t wait to give you a tour and show you why I fell in love with Cate the moment I stepped foot on the Mesa. Welcome to Cate!


Delaney Mayfield ’17

Santa Barbara, CA

I wanted to be a tour guide because I have been coming to the Mesa since I was in third grade. Both my brother and sister went to Cate, and I have admired the Cate community for a long time. I want to use tour guiding to help show the visitors how unique and amazing Cate is and why they should come here. I have been greatly involved in the athletics at Cate; I play both varsity volleyball and basketball. Sports are a big part of my life and I think that it is important to show the visiting families that it is possible to play high level sports while at Cate.

pouye_d-16Diarra Pouye ’18

Carpinteria, CA

I love tour guiding and I love this campus, so I want to be the one to give visiting families’ a welcoming first impression of Cate. I also love meeting new people, and I would love to share my memorable Cate experiences with them. Cate has been my home since I was 8 years old, and when I first arrived on this campus I didn’t know what I was in for. Moving from Senegal to Cate was a nerve-racking experience, but it didn’t take long for my family to fall in love with the Mesa. I found myself feeling really lucky being able to live in such a wonderful and beautiful place. Being a student here changed my perspective of the Mesa, and it became a new but fun experience. I love being on the Mesa and I am always grateful to be here.

smith_e-16Elle Smith ’19

Austin, TX

During the eighth grade I struggled between choosing to go to boarding school and staying with my family. I have bounced around many houses and cities and I thought that staying in Texas would finally give me a home, yet I knew that Cate was a place like no other. When I came for my Revisit Day, the mix between the energetic student body and fully devoted teachers made my choice so much easier. I believe that one of the reasons I loved Revisit Day so much was because of the Tour Guides. Each Tour Guide had their own stories to share about classrooms and teachers and I was eager to make memories of my own in such a beautiful place. The connection between the students and the teachers was something that I had never seen before and the opportunity to try new things like surfing and public service was so tempting.I am so excited to be a Tour Guide and I hope to help the visiting students and families see that Cate can become your home, too.

villatoro_e-16Emely Villatoro ’19

Houston, TX

I am Emely Villatoro. I come from a big city in Texas called Houston. Coming to Cate I find myself surrounded with fresh air, a beautiful campus and a different environment. You’ll find me on the fields with a soccer ball attached to my feet. I am honored to tour you guys around such a beautiful campus that can be called “home”. Cate has helped me step out of my comfort zone. The beautiful scenic let alone are breath taking as they are, and everyday there’s something to look forward to. My brother Salomon, class of 2015, served as a tour guide for his years at Cate and he says all good things about the program. I am excited and honored to tour you guys around our beautiful campus called Cate.

yi_e-16Eric Yi ’18

Beijing, China

I am a junior from Beijing, China. When I came to Cate as a freshman I immediately realized I was part of something special, something few places can offer. One of the many special things that are unique to “The Mesa” is the diversity of the campus – with international students like myself from all across the world as well as all kinds of activities outside of the classroom. When I am not studying, I am usually in the gym, eating in the dining hall or hanging out with my friends.

troy_f-16Flora Troy ’19

Pacific Palisades, CA

My name is Flora Troy and I am a sophomore boarding student at Cate. I grew up in Los Angeles and had gone to the same small school for my entire life. On my first visit I had no idea what to expect, but from the moment I stepped onto the Mesa I new this was where I wanted to be. The classic buildings and beautiful views are just the beginning because everyone I met had a story to tell. Students from all over the world are playing sports, running, painting, and most importantly smiling. Everyone contributes something unique to the Cate community.

teodoro_g-16Gabby Teodoro ’17

Clovis, CA

Hi! I’m Gabby Teodoro from Clovis, California. The second I came to Cate, I knew that this was the place I wanted to spend my high school years. I fell in love with the campus, the classes, and all the wonderful people I met during my tour. I wanted to be a tour guide so I could give other people that amazing experience of touring Cate, and so I could show them all of the wonderful opportunities Cate offers. I am currently a senior, and I participate theater, dance, Camerata, and other activities around campus. Not only does Cate allow people to grow academically, but the faculty here also encourages interest in the arts, athletics, and service. Cate is truly the most supportive community I have ever been apart of, and I feel like I can be my complete self here. There are also so many talented people here, which is just one of the many, many reasons I love Cate. But I’ll tell you more about that when you visit!

macfarlane_i-16Ian MacFarlane ’18

Santa Barbara, CA

I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA.  I was first introduced to Cate School sometime in elementary school, although it stayed in the back of my mind for a very long time.  It is very likely that it would have stayed there, just a random idea in the back of my head, and that I would have gone through a local public school, never to think about Cate as an option for high school.

I have always found a natural inclination towards science and engineering, and I had a perfect reason to attend Dos Pueblos, a local public high school.  I was ensnared by their engineering academy, and my high school-oriented mind was tunnel visioned.  But my parents recommended applying some other schools as well, and so it came to be that I applied to Cate.

Touring at Cate was probably the first time my decision wavered, even if I was unconscious of it.  I was impressed by the beauty of the campus, and the quality of the people that lived there.  But my decision to go to my public school held.  It wasn’t until after I was accepted and went back for revisit day that I changed my mind.  There at revisit day, I was ultimately impressed by the connection of the Cate community, and I was struck by the value of learning in a place where such a tight knit community flourished.  I connected with several teachers and students, and it was these connections that drove me to come to Cate.  And so the reason that I tour guide is that I feel the need to show people what I was shown, and that sometimes Cate can be the perfect place for the people who least expect it.

sorenson_i-16Isabel Sorenson ’18

New York, NY

Hi! My name is Isabel Sorenson, and I was born and raised in New York City.  I am a co-head of Cate’s Women’s Forum feminist club, and I am on the Varsity Cross Country team.  I am passionate about biology, chemistry, and the French language. I also love exploring the wilderness on our outdoor trips!

montes-de-oca_i-16Isabela Montes de Oca ’18

Carpinteria, CA

I am a junior day student from Carpinteria, CA. I run cross-country and track, and I play soccer. Before I toured I was unsure of where I wanted to be during my high school years, but after meeting such warm and welcoming people, my tour solidified my decision to attend Cate. I decided to become a tour guide to share my amazing experiences and love for the school, and help you experience the community and willingness to serve we have here at Cate.

deardorff_j-16Jack Deardorff ’18

Santa Barbara, CA

My name is Jack Deardorff, I am a sophomore day student at Cate.  I have lived in Santa Barbara all my life, and I went to Crane Country Day School prior to Cate.  One of my favorite parts about Cate are the after-school athletics.  This year I will be playing varsity football, soccer, and baseball.  Some of my favorite classes at Cate are Spanish, math, and history.  When I am not in class at Cate, I am often found wandering the campus with friends, doing my work in the library, or discussing last night’s Dodgers score with various members of the Cate community.  I am very excited to be a tour guid this year, and I can’t wait to speak about all that Cate has given to me to potential Cate students and their families.

cai_j-16Jackie Cai ’18

Palo Alto, CA

I knew that I wanted to go to a boarding school since I was fairly young.  I chose Cate for several reasons.  I initially wanted a school with rigorous academics and programs that could feed me into a good college.  When I got here, however, I realized that the spirit of this place goes much deeper than that.  Not only does Cate provide top-tier education, but there is a sense of community here that is rarely found in schools. This place provides the relationships and skills necessary for success.

There is a unique atmosphere here.  People are warm and relaxed, despite their vigorous studies. The ambience of this place is rooted in the closeness of our community.  It’s amazing that a school of 275 kids can be as tightly knit and integrated as they are.  The community here is so incredibly diverse; there are people from around the world here.  I am from Lincoln, Nebraska, but one of my best friends is from Seoul, Korea. This place has countless unique and incredible opportunities, from scuba diving to studying ancient Chinese text. Cate is most simply described as a remarkable place.

esteves-rosas_j-16Jazmin Estevez-Rosas ’18

Los Angeles, CA

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I take joy in eating tacos and synchronized swimming and I’m not very good at drawing or sports that involve running. Now that I’ve sort of introduced myself, let me just say that I am so excited to be a tour guide and be able to meet all of the prospective students. For me, the moment of my tour was the moment I knew that Cate was the place at which I wanted to be. Everything seemed like a dream, mostly because there was so much beauty in the nature of this place, but also because of everything else. The people here are amazing, our campus is beautiful, and the academics are incredible. I truly believe that Cate is a wonderful place and I can’t wait to show you all it has to offer.

soh_j-16Jennifer Soh ’19

Santa Barbara, CA

I grew up in a community where most students my age attended school solely because it was the law. As a result, I craved a high school experience where I would be surrounded by people who shared the same love for learning and challenges as I did. After watching my older sister’s experience at Cate, I absolutely knew it was the right place for me. From the rigorous academics to camaraderie in the dorms, Cate seemed like a place that only existed in dreams. After having attended for a full year, I can still attest to this statement, and I do feel as if I am living a dream every single day.
Cate allows you to explore just about any subject or activity you’re interested in. Personally, I have had such amazing opportunities participating in clubs, sports teams, and music ensembles. In my freshman year I was a member of the orchestra, ukulele ensemble, tennis team, environmental club, and Women’s Forum. I also fundraised for Round Square, tutored elementary school students in Carpinteria, worked on projects in the art loft, and simply loved just spending time with friends and faculty in my spare time. I have never once regretted my decision to attend Cate – in fact, it was the best decision of my life. The Cate community has taught me how to become not only mature, but independent as well. What I love even more is that I’m still growing as a person every minute that I spend on this magical campus.

lee_j-2016Jenny Lee ’18

Seoul, South Korea

When my parents and I stepped onto the Mesa, we were in awe of the view that could be seen from the campus. Our amazement of the school, however, did not stop there. Everyone was more than eager to help us out. People showed us where the admissions office was, where we could find the nearest bathroom, and even where we could stop by to grab an apple anytime. And although I was nervous the night before my visit, all the worry disappeared when I was met with friendly smiles from everyone I was introduced to.

During my freshman year, I realized that students are strongly encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and grow, academically and personally. I have tried things that I never imagined I would do three years ago, such as surf kayaking and rock climbing. Through these experiences, I have grown more confident in myself and have learned more about myself than at any other schools. Before Cate, I never thought of a school anything other than a place where I studied, ate, and talked to friends. Now, Cate is my home away from home.

silva_j-16Joe Silva ’18

Santa Ana, CA

Hi, my name is Joe and I’m from Santa Ana, CA. I remember coming to Cate and being afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make connections with anyone on campus. However, I quickly realized that I had nothing to be afraid about. I gotta say, the faculty are the people that really brighten up my day. The support and enthusiasm they bring to Cate is just amazing and really helped me feel at home my freshmen year. I know it’s difficult to make new friends the first couple of days but there are so many things that happen along the year and making friends happens naturally.

revo_j-16Joel Revo ’17

Manchester, VT

I came to Cate after spending my entire childhood in chilly Vermont. But while my surroundings may have changed drastically, that wasn’t the first thing I noticed. From the time I arrived on the Mesa I could sense how welcoming the community was, and how much of a family they really were. I became a tour guide because I want to give perspective students the same feeling that I had on that fateful day that left me saying, “That’s the place I want to go highschool.” So far at Cate, I have honed in my favorite skills like baseball and the sciences, while also being challenged and motivaed by myself, teachers, and coaches to improve at many different aspects of life at Cate. I have made friendships between many of my teachers, friends, and my advisor that have changed my life forever. Almost three years later, I still think that coming to Cate was the best decesion I ever made.

shields_j-16Josh Shields ’19

College Park, GA

It was love at first sight. When I came to Cate on Revisit Day, I made up my mind that I would wear blue Cate apparel and compete against schools like Thacher and Malibu for my freshman year of high school. Being from Atlanta, Georgia, Cate was by far the most pleasant surprise in my life, especially when it comes to academics. As a tour guide I will help visitors see how Cate will change their lives. From its astounding athletic prowess to its unparalleled close-knit community, Cate is a fantastic place to be. I will always remember running cross country and track at meets around California and participating in the spring musical. I have Cate to thank for that.

farner_j-16Julia Farner ’18

Ojai, CA

I am a local of Southern California and have lived my whole life in a small town with a desert climate just 30 minutes away from Cate. The first time I came to the campus was when I was in the first grade, and ever since then I’ve known that Cate is where I want to be. Cate has allowed me to pursue all of my interests, from music and art to soccer and surfing. It has also given me opportunities to find even more things I enjoy, from kayaking and mountain climbing to doing public service. There is a strong sense of community and companionship ingrained in the campus, and Cate has become for me and many others a home away from home.

ke_k-16Kaiser Ke ’19

Shanghai, China

Hi, my name is Kaiser Ke and I am currently a sophomore at the Cate School. Even though I was born in Boston, MA, I have spent most of my life in Shanghai, China, a megacity of 24 million people and towering skyscrapers. As you can imagine, it is different but refreshing to go to school everyday under a beauty blue sky and surrounded by the mountains and ocean. Here, I have been able to pursue my passions in piano, cello, debate, MUN, as well as swimming and water polo, all the while balancing my studies. I love the small classroom sizes and tightly-knit community at this school, and if you do too then this school is for you. Coming to Cate has been such an adventure for me, and I hope to be a part of your journey as well.

bradley_k-16Kate Bradley ’19

Hong Kong

Hi I’m Kate! I hail from Hong Kong.

The day that I first visited Cate remains indelibly imprinted in my mind. I showed up at the admissions office in a navy suit and skirt, my brown hair pinned back and my posture as straight as can be. Amid the conventionally preppy clothes and formal tone, the admissions office managed to find a girl who became an addition to a school of friendly faces and curious minds.

What drew me to Cate at first was the kind atmosphere.

Once I arrived a student, Cate ignited and fulfilled a passion for learning that I used to hide. It showed me the importance of asking questions rather than rushing assertions. It showed me the power of critical thinking and interdisciplinary study. It showed me the importance of relationships and human connection.

Cate is a place that encourages change and growth. Whether that means enrolling yourself in cross country like a madwoman your first trimester, or overcoming a fear of heights off a “small” cliff jump on a camping trip.

“Commitment, scholarship, companionship and service”. Cate’s mission statement captures what we share and what unifies us as a community. It misses out, however, on what makes each of us different.

I can’t wait to meet perspective students and hear about what makes them different. I’ll tell them all about why Cate can make them feel special for it, just as it did with me.

smith_k-16Kate Smith ’17

Carpinteria, CA

As a faculty child, I have had the wonderful opportunity of being raised on the Mesa my entire life.  Growing  up here, I attended square dances, had students as babysitters, and even went to Formal Dinner sometimes. But nothing prepared me for when I actually enrolled in the school itself. Suddenly, I was taking classes with kids from the Philippines, Chicago, New Jersey, China, Hawaii, and many other places around the world. I was studying and performing in the play Tartuffe with classmates and upperclassmen. I was learning Japanese in a class with a student to teacher ratio of 4 to 1. Now, as a senior I continue to do these same things and many other cool activities and hobbies that I have picked up along the way. I am currently participating in a production of Julius Caesar that the theater program is putting on this fall; I am a co-editor of the student-run school newspaper, El Batidor; and I am also excited to be a Teaching Assistant for the Human Development class of Sophomore Seminar. I am so very grateful to be a part of such a magical place.

browne_k-16Katie Browne ’19

Santa Barbara, CA

I was born in Los Angeles, California, and moved to Santa Barbara when I was four years old. I enjoy riding horses, playing volleyball and photography. Coming to Cate I was not sure if I would be able to pursue all my passions but they have done nothing but support all my interests to the best of their ability and for that I am forever grateful! I remember my first day at Cate. I was nervous and apprehensive at first but once I met my tour guides they made me feel much more at ease. The tour itself was tailored to me and my interests; making it so fun and interesting! I remember the feeling when I realized how special the Mesa truly is. Sharing that feeling with others is what inspired me to be a tour guide. Even though I was raised in California, beauty at Cate is something I have never experienced before and I can’t wait to share it with everyone I get the opportunity to tour!

vences_l-16Laura Vences ’18

Santa Barbara, CA

I am a junior this year from Santa Barbara and first stepped foot on campus the summer before seventh grade, where I attended the Cate Summer Institute. There I got to meet a few teachers and got to live on campus for a week. I did that the summer before eight grade as well. Despite my frequent visits to the Mesa, my first official introduction to the school was during my tour the day I visited. I distinctly remember my tour guide. She was energetic, had a huge smile on her face, and was ready to answer all of my questions. She was one of my favorite people I met that day, and the tour was one of my favorite activities that day too. So, when I learned more about the tour-guide program my freshman year, I knew I wanted to be a part of it myself. I am really excited to share my experiences, and feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to show others the beautiful place that Cate is!

erickson_m-16Maddie Erickson ’19

Napa, CA

My name is Maddie Erickson and I’m a sophomore boarding student. I was born in raised in Napa, California. When I came on my tour I immediately knew that Cate was the school for me. I wanted to be a tour guide so that I could share my love for this place with new families. My favorite part of Cate so far has been the family feel that the Mesa has. I play the two best sports on campus, Lacrosse and Soccer and this year I hope to go on more weekend outdoors trips.


Maki Kobayashi ’18

Cebu City, Philippines

I decided to become a tour guide because when I first toured Cate, I think that it was the one thing that helped me decide that I wanted to come to Cate. My tour guide was more than happy to show me around and tell me about her three years at Cate. She and I got closer when I got to Cate and I think that touring cate is one of the first steps to interacting with the community and the place. I chose to be a tour guide so that I could show all the visiting families what our school is really like. Our friendly community, the beautiful campus, and just how Cate can make all of us feel at home.
Outside of the classroom and sports, my favorite thing to do is to go visit my friends, or invite them over. I think that the relationships you build with your friends are so important and there are so many ways that you can get to know everyone better. I wanted to become a tour guide so I could share all the amazing experiences I’ve had on the Mesa in just a year with all the visiting families.

espinoza_m-16Mari Espinoza ’18

Fresno, CA

Hi my name is Mari and I am a junior boarder from Fresno California. Ever since third grade I knew that I wanted to come to Cate. I knew that it was a great place to get a good education, and it was located in a beautiful place in California. What I did not know though, was that it would be the best thing that ever happened to me. While being here at Cate I have made many friendships through the sports I play (which are soccer, and swim). Another thing that I love about Cate is that we are able to do many service opportunities, I like these opportunities because I love being able to help the community that I live in.


Mariam Soliman ’19

Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia

My name is Mariam Soliman and this is my second year at Cate but my first as a tour guide! I’m from Egypt but was born and raised in a small compound in Saudi Arabia. Being so far away from my family and friends for a majority of the year I knew I had to find a boarding school that felt like home, and that is what I found at Cate. I fell in love with Cate because of the people, the campus, and the atmosphere. Cate allowed me to try new things such as lacrosse and continue to practice the things I loved like basketball. I chose to become a tour guide because I want to convey how great this place is with everyone I possibly can! I want visiting students and families to know that Cate isn’t just a school but a second home.

pliso_m-16Marko Pliso ’18

Zagreb, Croatia

I come from a small place of Zagreb, Croatia and this is my sophomore year at Cate. I am a huge sports fan; I love every sport from basketball to soccer to football. My life has always been surrounded by sports; I did everything from soccer to tennis and even judo. Cate offers a huge variety of sports that encourages students to try something new. My freshman year I got the opportunity to play Football, and it was truly amazing. However, my main and favorite sport is basketball, which I play at Cate at the Varsity level. I am a huge LA Lakers fan and I also do Track and Field in the spring. When I am not on the court or field, I most likely hanging out with friends. I have a great passion for languages and history.The transition to boarding school life was tough for me, since Cate is so far away from my hometown. Soon enough, with help from friends, teachers and my dorm prefects, I was warmly able to call Cate my home. I chose to become a tour guide because I want to show families and future Cate students what makes Cate special and give them the same great welcome I received when I first visited.

killea_m-16Matt Killea ’17

Palo Alto, CA

My name is Matt Killea and I am a senior at Cate this year. I live in Palo Alto, California but am originally from Chatham, New Jersey. During the course of my life, I have been lucky enough to live overseas in both Madrid, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to live outside the United States. During my time living outside the U.S., I learned countless life lessons that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. I am the last of four Killea kids who have all gone to Cate. I have grown up visiting this campus and always knew that this was my dream school. When it came time for me to apply, I didn’t second guess my desire to come to this amazing place. My two years here have by far exceeded my expectations and I hope that I can share my love for this school with you!

dorion_m-16Molly Dorion ’18

Carpinteria, CA

I feel that tour guiding is one of the most important roles a student can play at Cate. It offers the opportunity to give visiting students a personal one-on-one connection with a student attending Cate and gives an inside scoop into the community. The reason I wanted to become a tour guide was to have this personal connection with someone considering coming to Cate. I want to be able to give a different perspective of life at Cate while educating the family about what Cate expects and encourages. I believe that Cate is a truly different place from any other community that I’ve lived in. It has offers opportunities that you rarely find anywhere else and it fosters and encourages people’s passions whether it be in academics, athletics, or the arts. Cate has given me a belief in myself and in others that I had not known before. I am so thankful for all the experiences that Cate has given me and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to share all that it wonderful at Cate with visiting families.

crew_m-16Morgan Crew ’18

North Plains, OR

I grew up on a ranch outside of Portland, Oregon. The first time I visited Cate I was in awe. The warmth of the sun and the beauty of the campus was unforgettable. A large part of Cate is the community. Everyone in the Ram Fam is fun, loving, and supportive. It didn’t take me long to realize that Cate was the place for me.

thomas_n-16Nick Thomas ’17

Studio City, CA

My name is Nick Thomas and I am a senior from Los Angeles. My favorite subjects are English and Science. I have been a part  of the varsity basketball and track teams since my freshman year, and I participate in the outdoors program in the fall. I also play saxophone in the jazz band, and I’m very passionate about music.  During my free time, I simply love to hang out and laugh with friends. I currently live in High House, and I’m incredibly happy to be at Cate.

meyer_n-16Noah Meyer ’18

Tucson, AZ

Hi, my name is Noah Meyer. I am a current junior from Tucson, Arizona. The reason I wanted to become a tour guide is to help show people how special of a place Cate is. I wanted to attend Cate since the moment I stepped on the mesa when my brother was moving in, 2 years before me. I loved the since of family that was shown to me by all the students and then reinforced by my tour guides when I applied, and my peers when I attended. I love the mesa and my goal is to show others what our founder called “the spirit of this place”.

firestone_p-16Peter Firestone ’19

Solvang, CA

Hello, my name is Peter Firestone and I am from Solvang, California. I went to a small private middle school, and coming to Cate was a fantastic change. I enjoy playing soccer, lacrosse, talking to other Cate students, and hanging out with friends in the dorm during weekends.  The tour guide program was a part of Cate I knew I wanted to be a part of as soon as I heard about it. I want to be able to give visiting students and parents what I received during my visit to Cate. I think it is important to give those who are interested in our school a good tour of how life works here at Cate.

polowczak_s-16Sarah Polowczak ’19

Santa Barbara, CA

Although originally from the Chicago area, I moved to Santa Barbara just a few days before the start of my freshman year. Naturally, I was very nervous and apprehensive due to the fact that I was living in a new town over 2,000 miles away from before. On top of this, I was also going to be attending Cate, a boarding school, as a day student. I had convinced myself that it would be harder to form friendships and fit into the community because of all of this. Little did I know that I would be completely wrong about all of my assumptions. Each and every person at Cate goes out of their way to make you feel like you are wanted there. You will never pass by someone without them saying “Hi, how are you?” or, in my case, slapping you on the back and saying “How’s it going Polo?!” I already know that the friends I’ve made will be my friends for life. And, on top of all of this, the campus is nestled in between a beautiful mountain and Lillingston Canyon. When you’re sitting in history class, listening to your teacher lecturing in front of the morning fog behind the window, you can’t help but feel like you are home. Speaking of teachers, they are not simply that. They are your mentors, advisors, and coaches. I absolutely love sports, and play tennis, basketball, and run track at Cate. The coaches motivate you to push yourself and care about your success. They show you how to strive to be sportmen, students, and people of integrity. Cate is so much more than just a school, and I can’t wait to show you around!

morphy_s-16Shelagh Morphy ’18

Santa Barbara, CA

My name is Shelagh Morphy.  I’m a junior day student from Santa Barbara and I have wanted to go to Cate since I was little.  My dad attended Cate and coached volleyball so I spent a lot of time here as a kid.  I got to know a lot of the faculty and felt at home on the Mesa, so I thought I knew what it was going to be like to be a student here.  Of course, my expectations were exceeded.  Cate is a home to every student, regardless of whether or not they live here. The community provides a safe and supportive environment for everyone, which is why I wanted to be a tour guide. My experience at Cate has been so positive and I want to make sure that visiting families and students are able to experience cate in the same way. The people at cate are intelligent and supportive, the campus is beautiful and welcoming, and the classes are challenging and rigorous. I can’t wait to show you show you our beautiful Mesa.

christensen_s-16Summer Christensen ’17

Santa Barbara, CA

My name is Summer Christensen, and I am a senior and a local boarding student. I love living on campus with all my friends, teachers, and favorite activities close by. Once you come see the campus, you’ll understand why I don’t want to live anywhere else.

One thing I love about Cate is the countless number of opportunities. I’ve loved playing tennis my whole life, but here you don’t have to limit yourself to just one interest. In fact, trying tons of new things is highly encouraged. I’ve had so much fun trying out squash, lacrosse, ceramics, music, and even rock climbing! I also love weekend trips like the ones out to the Channel Islands with the scuba club.

bates_t-16Tilly Bates ’18

Menlo Park, CA

Throughout my entire life I’ve been the “new kid” at school. My parents were always moving around and I often had to switch schools in the middle of the year. I was originally born in Melbourne, Australia, but I moved to America when I was four. I lived in Denver, Colorado for three years and then in Boston, Massachusetts for another five. We moved again to Newport Beach, California for two years and then on to Menlo Park, California. Three weeks later, I attended Cate. I knew from the start that Cate was the school for me. It fit me perfectly and provided me with stability and a home. I realized how much I loved and wanted to go to Cate with the help of my tour guide. She showed and told me everything I could possibly need to know to make the right decision. I want to have the opportunity to help others in this way. To be able show them all the incredible aspects of Cate and ultimately help guide them in deciding which school is the best school for them.

vasquez_v-16Victor Vasquez ’19

Los Angeles, CA

Before I started applying for high school, the idea of attending to a boarding school didn’t come to my mind. In the meanwhile, I continue with my sports of distance running and club swimming. After a while, my parents heard about Cate School and decide to add it to the list of high schools I will apply to. Fast-forward to my visit to Cate, I was nervous about how a boarding school will be like and feel to be in a boarding school. Once I got accepted to Cate, I was happy and excited to spend the next four years of my life in a boarding school.

Once arriving to Cate, I was excited to meet all the people living in the same dorm as me. After the first few days of Cate, I started to talk to new students and returning students as well. Later on, I made friends with students in each grade. I think Cate was the best high school I could have selected in my entire life. After how the staff have welcomed me to Cate and how supportive they are, so I decided to become a tour guide and help the community out. My job is to help any visiting student understand the Cate life and how it works

ko_y-16YoungSu Ko ’18

Los Angeles, CA

I’m YoungSu Ko. I’m a boarder from Los Angeles, California. I never heard of Cate or even boarding school until 7th grade. My middle school had a program where high schools came to talk about what their school is like. The first two schools I saw were pretty cool. They had lots of students, big campuses, bunch of athletics programs, but I didn’t really know if I wanted to go there even though the schools seemed to have everything I could want. So, for the last school I went to see Cate. I was greeted by Mr. Powell who showed me what Cate was like. I got to see Cate was not a regular high school. After I left the door, with a bunch of papers and pictures of Cate, I knew that this was the school I wanted to go to. I guess it sounds a bit corny, but it’s the truth. I didn’t really know why, until I came to Cate in 8th grade to visit. During my visit, I got to see for myself what Mr. Powell described to me. So, after meeting Mr. Powell and coming to Cate, I can tell you that Cate is a great place to live.