Brentwood School (Los Angeles)
|Head teacher||Mike Riera, Ph.D. Head of School|
|Enrollment||West Campus: 300
East Campus: 695
|Average class size||K-6: 43
|Campus||27 acres (109,000 m²)|
|Color(s)||Red and blue|
Brentwood School is an independent, secular K-12 coed day school with two campuses located four blocks apart in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. The school is highly regarded for academics, arts, and athletics.
Brentwood's mission is to inspire every student to: Think critically and creatively, act ethically, and shape a future with meaning.
The school's core values are Trust, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Caring, Community, and Diversity.
Founded in 1972, Brentwood School took over the property formerly owned by Brentwood Military Academy, which had existed at this location since 1930. The Academy, founded by Mary McDonnell in 1902, moved sites multiple times, and was always under the direction of Miss McDonnell and other family members. In spring 1972, it was announced that the military academy would not reopen in the fall, and the property was sold by John McDonnell to Terry Leavey Lemons and Walter Ziglar, who soon converted the school to non-profit status. Brentwood School opened in fall 1972 as a college preparatory day school serving Grades 6-10. The first Headmaster of Brentwood School was Richman Grant. Grade 11 was added in 1973, and the school graduated its first Senior class in June 1975. After that, the school remained Grades 7-12 until 1995 when, under the guidance of Headmaster Hunter M. Temple, Brentwood School purchased the Marymount Junior School campus and opened the Lower Division. With the opening of the Lower Division in fall 1995, the school became Grades K-6 on the West Campus and Grades 7-12 on the East Campus. In 2001 the 22 acre (89,000 m²) Brentwood School Athletics Complex opened on the East Campus. On December 2, 2011, four new modular classrooms were installed by Gen7 at Brentwood School's East Campus. The classrooms, LEED Gold certified, will provide 100% of their own energy, making them the first zero net energy classrooms in Los Angeles County.
Walter Ziglar and Terry Leavey Lemons are credited as founders of the school. For the first 5 years, Mr. Ziglar served as the President. He was also the Chair of the first Board of Executive Directors, which included Bill Badham of Curtis School and Vern Simpson of Montclair Prep.
Each year, the Terry Leavey Lemons award is given “to the senior who has enriched the Brentwood School community through his/her qualities of friendship, sincerity, courtesy, and understanding.”
Combined enrollment on both campuses is 995 students – 695 on the East Campus and 300 on the West Campus. For the 2014-2015 school year, tuition in the Lower School was listed at $30,545 per year, while tuition in the Middle and Upper Schools were listed at $35,965 per year. The school awards approximately $3,500,000 in need-based financial aid each year. Brentwood is a highly selective school, with major admissions entry points in kindergarten, 7th, and 9th grades, and only limited openings at other grade levels. Admissions decisions are made by a committee composed of faculty and administrators. Brentwood offers a liberal arts curriculum, including over 100 courses each year, including advanced placement courses in 17 subject areas. The School year runs from August 29 to June 9.
During any given school year, Brentwood School fields 67 different athletic teams in grades 7-12. Brentwood School Upper Division fields 36 teams in 23 different sports. Students fill about 500 roster spots and work with more than 80 coaches. Approximately 80% of Brentwood’s students will participate in at least one interscholastic sport. The school primarily employs its own teachers as coaches, and requires that students maintain a certain degree of academic standing in order to participate in sports. Brentwood School has a history of hosting the annual Special Olympics Games put on in conjunction with the Special Olympics Southern California Westside Chapter. In 2003, Brentwood-area resident (and former Governor of California) Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Guest of Honor and presided over the Special Olympics Games' Opening Ceremony. Since 1992, the School has also provided venue for the Peter Vidmar Men's Gymnastic's Invitational, hosted by former U.S Gold-Medal winning Olympian and Brentwood School alumnus, Peter Vidmar.
- Andrew Breitbart - author, journalist, blogger, commentator, media personality
- Peter Vidmar - Olympic medalist, Gold
- Patrick Schwarzenegger - Model, Actor
- Jason Rogers - Olympic medalist, Silver
- Fred Savage - Actor and Director
- Ben Savage - Actor
- Jon Landau (film producer) - Producer of Titanic and Avatar
- Casey Wasserman - Entertainment Executive
- Jennifer Landon - Daytime Emmy Award Winner
- Molly Stanton - Actress
- Katherine Schwarzenegger - Author
- Lorraine Nicholson - 2007 Miss Golden Globe
- Azura Skye - Actress, attended Brentwood School but later transferred
- John O'Brien, a soccer player for MLS team Chivas USA (formerly of Ajax Amsterdam in the Dutch Soccer league), and on the US national team, attended Brentwood for two years before leaving for Holland.
- Maroon 5, members including Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, and former member Ryan Dusick - attended Brentwood School while forming the band Kara's Flowers which would later evolve into Maroon 5.
- Sidney Miller - Music Producer
- Emily Frances - Emmy Award Winning New York City Entertainment Anchor
- Kathryn Lebowitz - Fashion and Beauty Writer, Blogger, TV personality.
- Jonah Hill - Actor, attended Brentwood School, but later transferred to Crossroads School.
- Don Diamont - Actor
- Simon Kinberg - Writer and Producer
- Katherine Bear Tur - Broadcast Journalist, NBC News
Heads of School
- Richmond Grant, Headmaster, retired faculty/reverend from Harvard School - Served: 1973 – 1974
- Charles Downes, Headmaster, former Headmaster of York School - Served: 1974 – 1982 (deceased)
- Dr. Hunter M. Temple, Headmaster, former Headmaster of Western Reserve Academy, Ohio - Served: 1982 – 2001 (retired)
- Dr. Michael D. Pratt, Head of School, former Academic Dean of Menlo School - Served: 2001 – 2011 (in 2013 became HOS at St. John’s Episcopal in Rancho Santa Margarita)
- Dr. Mike Riera, former Head of School at Redwood Day School, Redwood City, CA (previous positions at Marin Country Day and at University High School in S.F. - Served: 2011 – current
Relation to Olympics
Brentwood School track and cross-country coaches Joanna Hayes and Malakai Davis participated in 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Joanna Hayes was a Gold-Medalist in the Women's 100 metres hurdles competition for the United States. Malakai Davis was a participant in the Men's 4x400 metres relay for Great Britain. Jason Rogers, a Brentwood School alumnus as well as an Ohio State graduate, was a participant in the 2004 Olympic Games, as a Sabre Fencer for the United States National team. He was part of the 2008 team in the Beijing Olympics and won a Silver Medal in the Team tournament for Sabre. Peter Vidmar, who led the United States to a Gold-medal in Men's Gymnastics at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, is also a Brentwood School alumnus, and was a member of the Board of Trustees for several years.
Brentwood School organizes and hosts the John Hutson Memorial Guest Lecture Series, an event where various notable speakers address a mixed audience of students, faculty, parents and members of the public. The Guest Lecture Series is name in honor of John Hutson, the former Chair of the Political Science and History Departments at Brentwood School. Past speakers in the John Hutson Memorial Guest Lecture Series include:
- Edward Albee - American playwright
- Dr. Maya Angelou - African-American poet
- Doris Kearns Goodwin - Biographer of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt
- Dr. Jeane Kirkpatrick - former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Senior Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute
- Frank McCourt - writer
- Leah Rabin - widow of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
- Amy Tan - American novelist, of The Joy Luck Club fame
- Kurt Vonnegut - American novelist of Slaughterhouse-Five fame
- Leon Panetta - former White House Chief of Staff
- Joyce Carol Oates - American writer
- William Styron - American novelist (Sophie's Choice, The Confessions of Nat Turner)
- Tony Kushner - American playwright (Angels in America, Homebody/Kabul)
- Edward O. Wilson - American Biologist
- Alice Walker - American novelist of The Color Purple fame
- Alice Sebold - American novelist of The Lovely Bones and Lucky fame
- Eric Schlosser - best-selling author of Fast Food Nation
- Margaret Atwood- Canadian novelist of "The Handmaid's Tale" and other works
- Daniel H. Pink - American writer of A Whole New Mind
- Ira Glass - Host of Public Radio International's This American Life.
- Malcolm Gladwell - Canadian Author
- Khaled Hosseini - novelist
- Gloria Steinem - American Feminist, Author
Other notable speakers for Diversity Day, Young Women’s Conference, Special Assemblies, Commencements include:
- Orville Schell - Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Jason Rogers, Malakai Davis and Joanna Hayes - Members of the Brentwood School Community and participants in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
- Dr. Drew Pinsky (A.K.A. Dr. Drew) - board-certified Physician and Addiction Medicine Specialist as well as co-host of popular late-night radio show Loveline.
- Mark Mathabane -South African author, lecturer, White House Fellow for the Clinton Administration, and novelist of Kaffir Boy fame.
- Antonio Villaraigosa - Former Mayor of Los Angeles and former California State Assemblyman.
- Gus Lee - American author of China Boy fame.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger - Former Governor of California and American actor
- Wesley Clark - Retired US Army four-star general.
- Lady Gaga - Grammy award winning singer-songwriter
- Maria Shriver - American Journalist, Author, and former First Lady of California
Brentwood School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and is a member of the following organizations:
- National Association of Independent Schools
- California Association of Independent Schools
- A Better Chance
- Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs
- Young Eisner Scholars
Brentwood Lower Division Honors
- 2012 National School of Character Award
- 2011 California State School of Character Award
- 2010 California State School of Character Award
- August 29, 2013 – U.S. District Judge S. James Otero responding to a lawsuit by the ACLU, ruled that the West Los Angeles Veterans' Administration Enhanced Sharing Agreements that allowed VA land to be leased to Brentwood School, UCLA, and other businesses were not valid As of the start of the 2014-2015 school year, the ruling that the VA must terminate those leases is under appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Sondheimer, Eric (3 November 2008). "Brentwood has brains and brawn". Los Angeles Times.
- "Affording BWS". Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Lin, Rong Gong. "Andrew Breitbart collapsed while walking near Westwood home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- "Alumni- Jon Landau '78, producer of Avatar and Titanic".l
- "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Brentwood High School Commencement Speech".
- Judge says LA land meant for veteran use, The Modesto Bee, August 29, 2013
- Official website
- Link to Notes on William Styron presentation at the Brentwood School John Hutson Memorial Guest Lecture Series.
- Official Webpage of the Peter Vidmar Men's Gymnastics Invitational