Esperanza High School, home of the Aztecs, opened its doors in 1973 to serve the needs of a growing community. The Esperanza attendance area was largely citrus groves and cattle grazing land. The school opened with 923 students and has been as large as 3173 students. The school population is currently 2498 students. Enrollment dropped as a new high school opened in Yorba Linda in 2009. The area served by Esperanza includes portions of the cities of Anaheim, Placentia, Yorba Linda, and a small portion of unincorporated county territory.
Esperanza has earned a reputation as a top performer in academics, athletics, and the arts. Most recent awards have been California Distinguished School 2003, 6-year Clear Accreditation by WASC 2007, U.S. News and World Reports Silver Award 2008 (America's Top Secondary Schools), and ESPN Top Thirty Sports Program. Esperanza students have distinguished themselves through the years in a variety of professional arenas. Graduates have flown on the Space Shuttle, won Super Bowl championships, won Olympic gold medals, and starred in the arts.