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Damien High School

Private | 9-12 | 923 students


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Living in La Verne

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $374,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,490.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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37 reviews of this school

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Posted May 31, 2014

My son graduated in 2008 and recently graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Damien made it possible by preparing him academically for the rigors of West Point. A measure of the school is that each year several students will be accepted into one of the academies and many other fine universities and colleges. If we had to do again, we would send him to Damien. Like any school, you get what you put into it. If a parent expects Damien to raise his son, no school will fit that build.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 1, 2014

I couldn t have chosen a better school for my son. Damien is big on preparing the students for college. You have to completely not want to go to college, or have parents that do not participate in the process to not make it on to higher education. It s all male so it s less austerely, and all the staff is approachable. The teachers respond to every email and concerns within hours. You will receive news letters with detailed information twice a week. They start the college workshops as a sophomore. My son is a senior, plays ice hockey for Damien, has made friends with some quality young men, and has been accepted to ASU and San Jose State. Thank you Damien High School for all that you ve done.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2013

Damien has provided me an excellent education, and I can easily recognize that after only two years there as a student. I recommend students consider taking Honors and AP courses, as I have. The classes are understandably more difficult, but the teachers' excellence make them doable. The homework load can be challenging at times, particularly during a sport season, though ultimately teachers are very understanding and fair. What I appreciate most about Damien is that you completely control your experience when you're there. The student is able to decide what their four years will be like. An extremely diverse course offering if available, both in terms of subject matter and difficulty. As such, the student determines how challenging his four years at Damien will be, and how much he wishes to challenge himself. I highly recommend this school, and believe the only drawback is the limited nature of a single-gendered school. The school initially assures you that much tri-school community activities are available, This is not the case. Many activities take place early in the year, but after January, these opportunities dry up, and the non-coed nature of the school becomes apparent.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 13, 2013

My son is a freshman at Damien and I have been very pleased with our experience thus far. I have seen tremendous growth in the the effort my son puts forth on a daily basis towards his academics, and a heightened sense of maturity. He is already thinking seriously about his career choices. This is due to the fact that Damien expects and assists the boys to prepare for their future and gives them tools and technology to help them. My son has made many friends and speaks highly of his teachers and coaches. I would highly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 23, 2012

I am a parent who was once very excited about Damien because I thought our child would attend school with parents whose values were similar. Unfortunately, this assumption was wrong. Please be careful about the parties and sleepovers. We discovered that many of the parents hosting these social events are oblivious to the activities of their children. Despite the fact that the school is Catholic and character development is a big part of its philosophy, we learned that there are large numbers of children involved in using drugs and under aged drinking. We were also surprised by the parent cliques, materialism, and bigotry among students. My spouse and I figured our child could get that dysfunction from any run-of-the mill public school. We were expecting something more from the Damien community. The school now includes a mandatory drug testing fee in its registration costs. Hopefully this will help.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2012

My son was a 2011 graduate, and he just finished his freshman year at Pepperdine. He made the dean's list both semesters because Damien prepared him for the rigorous expectations he has at Pepperdine. My sons teachers at Damien were awesome especially Mr. Pearsall, Mr. Goldstein, Mr. Douglas, and Mr. Gates. Mrs. Curry is awesome too. She is the reason my son is planning on going to medical school. Damien offers so many AP classes that students should take advantage of them. If you want your son to be prepared for colllege and have wonderful teachers, Damien is the high school your son should attend. My son's memories there are everlasting.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 23, 2012

Its sad when you hear some parents give this HS a bad review and put down such great school. I've had three family members go through Damien HS and every one of them have gone off to an Ivy League College with a decent academic scholarship (one of them is now at Harvard getting a Masters Degree.) One has consider the source when you read these bad reviews. Ultimately, the kid is the one that needs to step up and not the parents. For a parent who has to come on this site to complain, its no wonder your child didn't excel at this school. Damien makes boys out of men, but it hard when the parents want to continue to raise babies. I highly recommend this school. This school is not there to babysit, its there to make a boy a man of value and be held accountable.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 18, 2012

By far I know this school is outstanding in many ways. Sure you can avoid the tuition and send them to a public school where they may not care at all. I have had several friends and relatives attend here. I went to last year s graduation and noticed how many kids went to great schools: USC, Loyola, Pepperdine, Harvard (1)..etc, etc, etc.. Damien has passed a national average above other schools to get students into USC. Call me a nut but that's a "real" University. After hearing this I think Damien is doing its job. At Damien they discipline students to grow with integrity and values. It is discipline which is a huge element to help students in college. Once students graduate and go to college they do fell adequately prepared. In regards to sports, yes if a student can play the sport well he will play.. Best of luck all hope this helps

Posted January 11, 2012

Save yourself a lot of money. Avoid this school. There are many good Catholic schools but this is not one of them. The staff is indifferent and the teachers are arrogant and hostile to the students. Students having difficulty with a subject should expect no help. The school caters to the top 10%. We chose this school because of it's reputation. It may have been a good school at one time.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 27, 2011

As a Freshmen, I experienced hazing and uncaring teachers. Football players and seniors were allowed to run wild and all Freshmen ("freshmeat") were fair game. I took mostly honors and AP courses until my Junior year, when I decided to switch to the "regular" classes with all my friends. I earned a 4.0+ GPA during my final two years at Damien. This school did not prepare me for college, nor did it allow me to "grow as a man." Unless you are from a privileged background and are going to be driving a brand new BMW on your 16th birthday, you are better off saving your money.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 9, 2011

My son started as a freshman and I have to say I was very disappointed. The quality of many of the teachers was very poor. When discussing this with the principal, there was no action taken. I have seen many boys that do not belong to the popular crowd get tormented and bullied. And the school does not appear to care. Needless to say, my son is not going there for his second year. He has transferred to another college prep high school where all the teachers are outstanding and he is thriving! Along with my self, there are other parents that have pulled their sons out for the same reasons. I had discussed with so many people who had sent their sons to Damien, (albeit it was many years ago) and they had nothing but good things to say. But when I shared how the school is now, they are shocked and disappointed. When you talk to people in the community now, all I hear is bad things. So sorry to see what once was an excellent school be such a poor school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 3, 2011

My son is a senior at Damien High now. There several very good teachers at the school and a large number of very poor teachers. The worst teachers my son has experienced have been in the religion area, but he has had several awful teachers in both the science and foreign language areas. I feel sure the administration knows how to determine which teachers are working up to the school requirements, my question is why don't they act to eliminate the problems ????
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 31, 2010

As a practicing national Certified career Counselor, I would like to read more notes regarding the Career Guidance program at this school. Seems like I could contribute some strategies and services to students as well as parents. Please contact me for future group and individual career services in your PTA meetings next year.CareerEase by Mila R. Asperin, M.Ed.,MCC-NCC in Corona,CA.

Posted October 25, 2010

Damien has well-qualify and caring teachers, excellent school spirit, outstanding debate and sports teams, and a wonderful campus in a safe and quite neighborhood.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 26, 2010

I would have to say that overall I am happy with the school. I would like to see better teachers though. I wonder when I see my son, since his freshman year not given hardly any homework compared to the friends at other public schools in the area. In his JR year I was watching closely what he was doing in English, which was definately not a hard class at all. No books had been read. Not a lot of writing. They need to be prepared for college. I would recommend for sure to take English AP, since I have not seen any improvements in the regular English classes. If they have teachers or coaches that are blood related, l am noticing that they will not let them go when the teaching quality is not up to par. My son will continue, as public school is not an option for us.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2010

We've had two sons attend Damien and we would have paid double for the experience. Damien's academic program is strong and they teach the boys about character and integrity. Few public schools take on that responsibility! There are a lot of opportunities to join clubs and sports teams to grow socially and as a brotherhood. Respect and a reverence for God are inherent at Damien. True, it all depends upon whether you son actually wants to commit himself and gain from all that Damien is, but for those who do, they really are changed for the better. Our oldest graduated in 2009 and now attends Pepperdine University. While he was not at the top of his class, he says Damien preparred him well for college. We are all proud to be part of the Damien family.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 31, 2010

Great staff, tons of AP classes, power house athletic programs, small class room sizes... This is a wonderul school!!!
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 19, 2010

My son is in his freshman year at Damien. I have mixed feelings about this school. I truely do believe that if your not related to Ulumni or extremely outgoing you are over looked in sports. Also thought all boys school would be great for his focus but Im seeing less ambition in him now than ever before. So my overall opinion is lower than last summer but I still have big hopes for my boy.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 22, 2010

My son graduated in 2009. I could not say enough good things about Damien. The superior academics, motivating and caring teachers, and a family-like atmosphere. Boys entering Damien graduated as young men prepared for college and lifes future happenings. We couldn't be happier with our sons four years at Damien. Would highly recommend Damien to the family of any boy that would want a great high school experience.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 19, 2009

I am currently a senior at Damien High School and I 100% recommend this school for your son. The friends that I've made at Damien are not just friends...they are like brothers to me. As I near graduation, I feel it's going to be extremely difficult to leave. I have no doubt that Damien has prepared me for a top notch college and with all the AP classes that I've taken, I have enough credits to enter college as a sophmore. The faculty are understanding, want you to succeed, and are always willing to help. I will never forget the amazing memories, friendships with both the students and faculty, and the amount of pride that I had in being a Damien Spartan. Go D_High
—Submitted by a student

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 40% 26%
Hispanic 36% 52%
Two or more races 8% 3%
Black 6% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 5% 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander 4% 11%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Dr. Merritt Hemenway
  • All boys
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles
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2280 Damien Avenue
La Verne, CA 91750
Website: Click here
Phone: (909) 596-1946


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