My name is Jill Duoto, and I am the founder and director of High Bluff Academy. I started this school in 2002 to provide a highly specialized educational experience that fits the needs of each individual student.

Over the years I have met with hundreds of families, and I have enjoyed hearing about their dreams and goals for their children. Each story is unique and each student is unique, yet all parents’ goals are the same: to provide an education for their children that will afford them every advantage in the college selection process and will prepare them for success once admitted to college. Over 5,000 students have taken our courses for credit, worked with our tutors, and attended our test preparation classes. They have ranged from students challenged with learning disabilities to those aiming for the Ivy Leagues. In all cases, High Bluff Academy has helped them to achieve their goals.

Our high school program has recently undergone a renewal visit by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and been granted the maximum term of six years. High Bluff Academy was voted #1 in the Best Private School Category and The Best Tutoring Center in the Best of North County Reader’s Poll for several years in a row. The school has also been granted permission from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service to grant student visas to foreign students. So far, the school has had students from Russia, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, India, Mexico and Japan. High Bluff Academy has added elective courses, clubs, a community service program and sports to its stellar academic program. 

I am very proud of High Bluff Academy’s accomplishments in creating a space and a curriculum that best serve our students. We have an outstanding faculty and beautiful facility. Our teachers are nurturing and supportive, and at the same time, they challenge each student to reach his or her potential. Students enjoy coming to school at HBA. After touring the facility recently, one parent remarked, “The students look so happy!” To me, this was the highest compliment and proof that what we are doing at HBA is working. Our entire staff is highly focused on the goal of college admissions. Our English and math teachers include SAT and ACT prep throughout their courses. They are experts in preparing students for these exams and know what to emphasize in the curriculum so that test preparation is not just a cram course, but infused in every course that we teach.  I work personally with each student and family on the college admissions selection and application process. HBA students have been admitted to some of the best universities in America. By carefully listening to parents and their children, and assessing each student’s needs, we are able to help set goals and find the best colleges for all of our students.

At High Bluff Academy, we will provide the best educational program for your child that will assure the highest degree of success. In my thirty years of experience, I have designed programs for hundreds of students, including my own children, and I would very much like to share my expertise with you. No matter what challenges you face or aspirations you hold for your child, High Bluff Academy can assist you and your child in achieving your educational goals.

Best regards,


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 (26), Bryan (23), and Bobby (14).

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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