David Brearley High School

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David Brearley High School
401 Monroe Avenue
Kenilworth, NJ 07033

Type Public high school
School district Kenilworth Public Schools
Principal Brian Luciani[1]
Asst. Principal Andrew White
Faculty 56.8 (on FTE basis)[2]
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment 666 (as of 2011-12)[2]
Student to teacher ratio 11.74:1[2]
Color(s) Navy and Gold
Athletics conference Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference
Team name Bears

David Brearley High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Kenilworth in Union County, New Jersey, United States, as part of the Kenilworth Public Schools. The school is named for David Brearley, a signer of the United States Constitution.

As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 666 students and 56.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.74:1. There were 103 students (15.5% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 59 (8.9% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

The district participates in the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program at David Brearley High School, having been approved on November 2, 1999, as one of the first ten districts statewide to participate in the program.[3] The school system participates in New Jersey's Interdistrict Public School Choice Program at the David Brearley Middle / High School in grades 7-10.[4] Each school year, slots are made available for seventh through tenth grades. Prospective Choice participants must be residents of Union County eligible for placement in grades 7-10 who were enrolled in a public school during the full year prior to entry to the Kenilworth Public Schools.[5] Seats in the program for non-resident students are specified by the district and are allocated by lottery (if there are more applicants than available slots), with tuition paid for participating students by the New Jersey Department of Education.[6]

Students from Winfield Township attend the school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Winfield Township School District.[7]


David Brearley Middle-High School opened as the David Brearley Regional High School in June 1966 for summer school courses, after years of fighting with the Union County Regional School District to open a high school in Kenilworth. The school opened to 640 students from Kenilworth and Garwood that fall. John L. Dixey served as the inaugural principal and George Cuzzolino served as the assistant principal. The original building contained 40 classrooms, an auditorium with a capacity of 820, a cafeteria with a capacity of 430, a gymnasium with a capacity of 2000, and offices.[8]

By 1971, the school was becoming overcrowded. The Regional Board of Education built a three-classroom portable building on the campus to address immediate overcrowding issues, and an addition was quickly planned afterward. The two-story addition, containing a special education room, business education room, two health classrooms, an expanded art room, and a large, flexible group area, opened in 1972.[9] A second gymnasium was added to the school shortly thereafter. By 1990, however, it had become apparent that closing one of the four Regional high schools would be an efficient cost-cutting measure. Brearley had shown a sixty percent decrease in enrollment since its opening, making it a prime candidate for closure. A Save our Schools campaign was quickly formed by concerned parents with the goal of keeping Brearley open. In September 1992, the Regional Board of Education voted 7-1 to re-open talks discussing the possibility of a school closure. The following month, Regional superintendent Donald Merachink recommended the closure of Brearley, due to its low enrollment.[10] In early 1993, the Union County Regional Board of Education voted to close Brearley, and despite a court battle between the Committee for Concerned Parents and the Board, Brearley closed after the 1992-3 school year. [11] Kenilworth students were sent to Jonathan Dayton Regional High School in Springfield and Garwood students were sent to Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark. Over the next three years, the Save our Schools committee lobbied the dissolution of the Union County Regional School District and the transfer of its four high schools to local control. A dissolution referendum was held in May 1996, the result being the dissolution of the Regional district. As such, the ownership of the David Brearley building was transferred to the Kenilworth Board of Education. In 1997, the school re-opened as the David Brearley Middle-High School. To boost enrollment, nearby Winfield began to send their high-schoolers to the school, the seventh and eighth grade moved in, and the Choice program was started to attract kids from nearby communities. In recent years, the school has added a Scholars' Academy to challenge the top students in the district, constructed a small addition to house athletic training offices, renovated the courtyard, and created mosaic murals throughout the building.

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 194th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[12] The school had been ranked 127th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 113th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[13] The magazine ranked the school 178th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[14] The school was ranked 162nd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[15]

Curriculum and programs[edit]

In 2001, students from David Brearley High School and Hillside High School collaborated to develop literary and art projects about bigotry presented at an exhibit, "Making Connections: Two Culturally Diverse Schools Address Prejudice and Hatred by Studying the Holocaust Together." The exhibit was presented at Kean University, and was viewed together with local Holocaust survivors and concentration camp liberators.[16]


The David Brearley High School Bears compete in the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which includes public and private high schools in Union County and is overseen by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[17] With 331 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North II, Group I for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 61 to 478 students in that grade range.[18] Prior to the NJSIAA's 2009 realignment, the school had participated in the Mountain Valley Conference, which included public and parochial high schools in Essex County and Union County in northern New Jersey.[19] School colors are navy and gold.[20]

David Brearley wrestling, operated in combination with Jonathan Dayton High School, won the 2011 Group II State Championship at the Poland Spring Center in Toms River.[21]

The football team defeated Verona High School 21-20 on December 2, 2006, at Giants Stadium to win the North Jersey Section II Group 1 state sectional title.[22]

The girls competition cheerleading team won the Group I NJCDCA State Championship title in 2006, 2007 and 2008.[23]

Noted alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Main Office, David Brearley High School. Accessed November 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Data for David Brearley High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed September 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Interdistrict Public School Choice Program: Approved Choice Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 19, 2008.
  4. ^ Interdistrict Public School Choice Program: Kenilworth Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed November 6, 2006.
  5. ^ "School choice eases student shortage; State program boosts enrollment at Kenilworth's David Brearley high.", The Star-Ledger, April 23, 2000, p. 33.
  6. ^ Interdistrict Public School Choice Program: Introduction, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 19, 2008.
  7. ^ David Brearly High School 2013 School Report Card, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed September 30, 2014. "David Brearley Middle/High School is a public school in Kenilworth New Jersey. It serves students form grades 7 through 12. David Brearley Middle/High School has a send-and-receive relationship with Winfield Township beginning at the high school level."
  8. ^ "First Regular High School Class Starts Sept. 7 at David Brearley". Cranford Chronicle. September 1, 1966. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Expansion of Brearley Proposed by School Board". Cranford Chronicle. April 1, 1971. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  10. ^ "1,000 Roar 'no' to Brearley Closing Plan". Cranford Chronicle. October 22, 1992. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Brearley Hearing to begin Monday". Cranford Chronicle. April 21, 1993. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  12. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  13. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  14. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 22, 2011.
  15. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  16. ^ "Two-school project fights prejudice; Kenilworth, Hillside art and computer classes team up.", The Star-Ledger, June 7, 2001
  17. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 30, 2014.
  18. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed September 30, 2014.
  19. ^ Home Page, Mountain Valley Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  20. ^ David Brearley High School, New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  21. ^ History of The NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  22. ^ 2006 Football Tournament - North II, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, Accessed December 10, 2006.
  23. ^ NJCDCA Cheerleading State Champions Archive, New Jersey Cheerleading and Dance Coaches Association. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  24. ^ Ditzell III, Herb. "Drummer Jack Grondin's Soul Belongs to Southern Rock", Cranford Chronicle, February 7, 1980. Accessed October 12, 2012. ""It is 30 miles from Kenilworth to the Capital Theater in Passaic, but it took Jack Grondin six years to get there.... A 1969 graduate of David Brearley High School, the drummer said he went the usual route of young musicians, playing with high school bands."
  25. ^ Profile for Tony Siragusa, database Football. Accessed November 9, 2006.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°40′46″N 74°17′50″W / 40.679461°N 74.297333°W / 40.679461; -74.297333