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HBA is like no other school. Each student is valued and known by every staff member. Teachers do more than assign grades. They teach each student how to earn A’s by providing the skills, knowledge and discipline needed for success in rigorous high school courses. HBA students know how to self-advocate and work hard toward their goals. 

Class Size

  •  Average class size of 8 Students
  •  Maximum class size of 16

Lower homework load, less stress

  • Most students take home 50% less homework than their previous school 
  •  Efficient use of class time allows for work completion in class
  • Tutorial periods allow students up to 1.5 hours of supervised homework help during the school day

Higher GPA

  •  95% of HBA students earn higher grades at HBA than in their previous schools due to the small classes and teacher support
  • Study skills are infused in every class, we do not assume that students have learned these skills already
  • Students can opt to take a math class one-on-one to eliminate gaps in knowledge 

Positive Peer Group

  •  HBA fosters positive attitudes. Our students are happy and successful.
  • Social activities are planned for school days and weekends by our ASB
  • Students feel comfortable confiding in our staff, so issues are addressed before they become problems

College Readiness

  • HBA courses have the same rigor as the public schools
  • AP and honors classes available in most disciplines
  • Test prep elective course offered on Fridays
  • College application workshops on Fridays
  •  AP mock exams offered on Fridays during the Spring
  •  AP Capstone Diploma Program

Clubs and Activities

Club offerings change from year to year depending on student interest, but may include: National Honors Society (NHS), Student Council (ASB), Community Service, Drone and Robotics, Chess, Model United Nations (MUN), Stock Market (Wharton School of Business), Arts & Crafts for charity. 

High Bluff Academy is helping girls in Kabul, Afghanistan to continue their educations in our HBA Kabul high school diploma program. Through a grant, HBA was able to purchase laptops and WI-Fi for 300 girls who have been denied an education. HBA students create online elective courses, help the students to learn English and offer friendship and encouragement vital to their well-being.










High Bluff Academy was founded in 2002 by Dr. Michael Duoto and Jill Duoto.

Dr. Michael Duoto received his PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego in 2002 and an M.A. in Education Administration from San Diego State University in 1991. He holds both Principal and Superintendent certifications in the United States. He served as high school principal at Singapore American School and the International School of Curitiba, Brazil. He holds a lifetime teaching credential and taught grades 7-12 in the U.S., Colombia, Bolivia, and Japan. He has been an educator and school administrator for over 30 years in some of the world’s finest schools.

Jill Duoto graduated from La Jolla High School and received her B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.A. in education from San Diego State University. She did her student teaching at Torrey Pines High School in the 1980’s and taught History at Francis Parker High School before moving to Asia with her husband. She holds teaching credentials in English, Social Science, and History. She received her certificate in College Admissions Counseling from the University of California, San Diego. She taught grades 7-12 in international and American schools abroad in Colombia, Brazil, Japan, and Singapore. Ms. Duoto was also Director of Curriculum and Instruction in two schools and has extensive experience with the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. She has taught SAT and ACT preparation classes and counseled students and parents about the college admissions process for 15 years. She is a member of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC).  In her role as director of High Bluff Academy, Jill has counseled hundreds of local families about the educational needs of their teens and the college admissions process.

Michael and Jill live in Carmel Valley and are the parents of three boys: Nicolas, Bryan, and Bobby.

Mission to Success

We believe that our most important goal in teaching students is to help them to become independent, lifelong learners. We are role models and mentors to our students and guide them to become self-actualized young adults who will make sound decisions affecting their futures. We view our brief time together as a great opportunity to make a positive impact at a critical juncture in their development. Our most cherished core belief is that every student can succeed in a rigorous academic environment through diverse teaching strategies and individualized instruction.

Core Values






The High Bluff student takes responsibility for his or her own learning.

Students participate in the learning process and accept responsibility for learning. Students practice self-evaluation, improvement of assignments, time-management, organizational skills, and study skills.

The High Bluff student uses knowledge to solve real-life problems.

Students can apply complex problem-solving and critical thinking skills to real life scenarios. They apply existing knowledge to resolve problems. A well rounded education which exposes students to a variety of subjects is the foundation for these analytical skills.

The High Bluff student is an effective communicator.

Students participate in the learning process and accept responsibility for learning. Students practice self-evaluation, improvement of assignments, time-management, organizational skills, and study skills.

The High Bluff student is goal oriented.

Students develop a work ethic necessary for a successful college or working career. They improve academic and interpersonal skills utilizing modern information sources. They can research college, career, and occupational training opportunities. They have the training to reach their highest potential on college entrance exams.

The High Bluff student is a tolerant and compassionate community participant.

Students demonstrate knowledge of various cultures and lifestyles, as well as environmental and political issues and responsibilities. They are involved in the community and recognize their role in maintaining a positive political and civil culture.

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