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Portrait of a Graduate

Our graduates embody the core values that makes Marin Horizon different - as observed in excerpts from their June 2023 graduation speeches.


Passionate Learners

"Marin Horizon has taught me everything, from math formulas to conflict resolution. It’s taught me to appreciate everything and everyone, to explore and create. Marin Horizon showed me how to see beauty everywhere and anywhere in the world. That’s why Marin Horizon isn’t just a place or a teacher or even a teaching style. It’s a mindset, a way of seeing the world around you and focusing on the good moments. It’s the way you think about other people and care about them".

Beacons of Kindness

"There is one memory that stands out to me. It was the riverwalk with the fifth graders. The water was freezing cold, and after about 20 minutes of walking, we arrived at a spot in the river blocked by a fallen tree. It had created a deep pool, and after the tree was an even deeper pool. I remember being freezing cold, and then being stunned out of my chills as a fearless Georgie plunged headfirst under the water and swam under the log. After a couple of fifth graders followed him, they turned right around, instead of continuing to walk. They began helping people across the log, and down into the pool. My buddy put me on his shoulders and lifted me safely on the bank on the other side. I remember this not because it was a random act of kindness, but because this is what the Marin Horizon community does everyday. They do not leap over a hurdle and keep going, they turn around and knock it over so others can follow".

Advocates for Change

"At Marin Horizon, I’ve learned that it’s alright to be myself and to find strength in my complex emotions. I’ve gained the confidence to try new things and revisit old ones without any judgment. When I came to Marin Horizon, I found a nonjudgmental place that embraces diversity and self-acceptance. I began to feel safe enough to advocate for myself. This transformation would have never taken place without the supportive and accepting people I am surrounded with today. Because of the valuable lessons I learned here, I am now viewing my sensitivity as a strength and not a weakness. I can embrace my feelings and have compassion for myself and others".

Growth Mindset

"So what do these words “finish strong” mean? Jesse Pearson, my English teacher, says they mean that if it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing well. I agree. To me, finishing strong means that If you’re playing basketball, you should play as hard in the fourth quarter as you did in the first. Finishing strong means that if you’re a pilot you have to get your landing just right. That last push at the end of a marathon could be the difference between just finishing, and beating a world record. Finishing strong means giving something – whether it be your last few months at school or your final speech – everything you have, and then getting off of the stage".

Compassionate Leaders

"If I could give my 6th and 7th-grade self any advice it would be to stay true to myself and be real. In 6th grade, I started to write rap songs. I was inspired after watching the movie Straight Outta Compton and rapping became my way of expressing myself. After many unsuccessful attempts to write a decent song, I eventually succeeded. That song was called, Ridin’ the Rap Train. The song was about having writer's block and struggling to write a song. After that, I continued writing songs about things happening in my life. Then for school, I started to create songs about issues in the world. Music helped my mental health because I turned everything negative I felt into something I loved. So my advice for the world is the same advice I gave to myself. Don’t change yourself to please others. Don’t be fake because you think it will make other people happy. Don’t worry about being perfect. All you have to do is be real".

Environmental Stewards

"Above all, it’s the people who have shaped my time here at Marin Horizon. They’re the type of people you want to be friends with and will make you laugh a thousand times non-stop. They will always support you no matter what while still making sure you try your hardest. My gratitude for them goes beyond words as they have always been the kindest and most compassionate people to not only me but to everyone they cross paths with. Whether we are dancing, laughing, or just sitting with each other, the memories I have collected will forever hold a special place in my heart. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s to be grateful, to never take people like these for granted".

Class of 2023

High School Placement

At Marin Horizon, our high school placement process is intentionally student-centered and process-oriented. Rather than approaching the transition from middle school to high school as an endpoint, we view it as an opportunity for continued skill development, emotional growth, and student empowerment. Importantly, we want students and families to feel supported throughout their high school transition experience. While the majority of our students elect to apply to and attend independent schools, we feel strongly that students electing to attend public school are celebrated along with their peers. Above all, we want our students to derive benefits from the process of choosing high school, rather than tying success to a particular outcome.

For families that apply to independent schools, we begin the process by focusing on finding the right “fit” for each student. When students emphasize identifying the right school, rather than the “best” school, they are able to present themselves with confidence and authenticity, which typically yields better outcomes for applicants. Students are encouraged to take the lead throughout their application process. They practice essential skills including researching, self-advocacy, resume building, interviewing, personal essay writing, and, ultimately, succeeding with grace and coping with disappointment. In the end, students are able to reflect on their achievements during their application process and recognize their own successes, regardless of outcome. At Marin Horizon, we are proud to say that our emphasis on the process yields excellent results year after year. Our students are consistently accepted at premier high schools throughout the Bay Area, with nearly every applicant finding a home at their first or second choice school. 

Jesse Pearson
Placement Counselor

Finding The Right Fit

"Going into high school, I feel braver and more confident. I now know who I am, and I'm not afraid to let other people see that. With a foundation for learning, I am not afraid of the challenges that await me. I look forward to meeting a new, diverse group of students and building new friendships".

High School Choices

Every year our graduates choose to attend a wide range of independent and public high schools. Throughout the high school admission process, our ultimate goal is to match each student with a school in which they will thrive. We work closely with students and their families to identify which schools are the best fit for each student, and find every student getting accepted at their 1st of 2nd school of choice. Our graduates usually choose the following schools.

Independent Schools

The Bay School of San Francisco, The Branson School, Marin Academy, San Francisco University High School, San Domenico, Drew School, The Urban School of San Francisco, International High School (IHS), Lick Wilmerding High School, The Marin School.


Parochial Schools

Marin Catholic, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Stuart Hall, St. Ignatius High School, Sacred Heart Cathedral College Preparatory, Seton Catholic Preparatory High School.

Public Schools

Tamalpais High School, Redwood High School, Archie Williams High School, Lowell High School, Terra Linda High School, San Rafael High School, Marin School of the Arts at Novato High School, Richmond High School, Sonoma Valley High School, ArtQuest at Santa Rosa High School.

Boarding Schools

Brentwood, The Cate School, Colorado Academy, Midland, Milton Academy, Ojai Valley School, Phillips Exeter Academy, The Thacher School.

Class of '21, '22, '23

Onward to College

Marin Horizon graduates continue to excel in high school and go on to be successful at ivy league schools like Harvard University, Stanford University, and Princeton University, recognized state universities like UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Texas, top national and foreign schools like New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, Oxford University and Sorbonne, and small liberal arts colleges like Boston College, Carleton College, and Skidmore College – located all over the country.

Student Voice

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