John Burroughs School

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This article is about the school in St. Louis, Missouri. For the school in Burbank, California, see John Burroughs High School. For the school in Ridgecrest, California, see Sherman E. Burroughs High School.
John Burroughs School
JohnBurroughsSchool photo.jpg
Ladue, MO, U.S.
Type Private
Established 1923
Headmaster Andy Abbott
Faculty 102
Enrollment 590 (total), 406 (9-12)
Campus Suburban, 47.5 acres (192,000 m2)
Color(s) Blue & Gold
Mascot Bombers
Rival Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School

Founded in 1923, John Burroughs School (JBS) is a private, non-sectarian preparatory school with nearly 600 students in grades 7-12. Its 47.5 acre (192,000 m²) campus is located in Ladue, Missouri (USA), an affluent suburb of Saint Louis. It is named for U.S. naturalist and philosopher John Burroughs.


John Burroughs has long had a school philosophy of liberal and progressive education. It has been recognized as one of the nation's premier preparatory schools.[1] The school ranks among the nation's top 50 in sending graduates to eight top universities, according to a December 2007 survey by the Wall Street Journal.[1]

The school operates on a campus of 47.5 acres (192,000 m2). Facilities include a main classroom building, a performing arts center, a library, a science building, an athletic center, and a fine arts facility.[2] Burroughs also operates an outdoor education and biology facility in the Ozarks known as "Drey Land".


The faculty includes about 80 full-time and 35 part-time members. Since 2009, the headmaster has been Andy Abbott, formerly an English teacher and the school's head of college counseling. He replaced Keith Shahan, who held the job for 23 years and who now heads the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), which accredits independent schools.[3]

Each class contains about 100 students, for a total student body of about 600. The primary admission level is grade seven, but applicants are considered for grades eight through 10 as openings permit. Admission is based on school records, recommendations, entrance examination results, and a personal interview.[2]

In 2009, tuition and fees cost $20,400. The school budget was about $15.8 million, of which about 12 percent came from the endowment and more than $1.8 million in gifts. The school disbursed $1.78 million in financial aid, allowing about 20 percent of the students to receive grants, loans, or both.[2] From 1986 to 2008, the endowment rose from $7.5 million to almost $48 million.[4] The school is accredited by the ISACS.

Twenty-four members of the Class of 2011 were named National Merit/Achievement Semifinalists, and another 17 received letters of commendation. For the past eight years, Burroughs has had the highest percentage of semifinalists in the State of Missouri. The median SAT scores for the Class of 2010 were 710 on math, 710 on writing and 680 on critical reading. The median ACT score for the Class of 2010 was 32.[5] Since 1995, four of Missouri's 22 Presidential Scholars have been John Burroughs graduates.[citation needed]

Nearly all students go on to attend four-year colleges, including a number to Ivy League schools.[6] (Each Ivy League school accepted at least one member of the class of 2009.)

The school has more than 6,200 living alumni.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The varsity sports teams are referred to as the "John Burroughs Bombers." The school colors are blue and gold. The school has an athletic rivalry with nearby Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School. John Burroughs also holds a cross-state rivalry with The Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City.[citation needed]

The Bombers football team has won the state championship in Division 2A in 1975, 1980 (tie), 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995 (tie) and 2001. Former NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte was head football coach from 2011 to 2013. His teams were runners up in the Missouri state high school championship game in 2011, 2012, and 2013.[7][8]

Former NFL kicker Neil Rackers is an assistant coach on the football team.[9]


Proms and after-parties are held on campus. Recent prom themes have included "Great Gatsby", "Candyland", "007", and "Chinese Lantern Festival". In April 2009, the school's junior class chose "The Seven Deadly Sins" as the prom theme. After some took offense,[10][11] the headmaster issued an apology, but allowed the prom to go on generally as planned.[12]


Government and politics[edit]

Journalism and literature[edit]

Arts, sciences, and education[edit]

Sports and entertainment[edit]


  • Leo Drey, 1935: timber magnate, conservationist, philanthropist. Was Missouri's largest private landholder until 2004, when his $180 million gift of land to a conservation foundation made him the U.S.'s sixth-most generous benefactor.[31] Leases land to JBS for outdoor education.
  • Rebekah Harkness, ca. 1930: Standard Oil heiress, philanthropist and founder of the Harkness Ballet





  1. ^ a b "". The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ a b c "JBS Facts, at the school's own web site". Archived from the original on 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Meet the Staff". ISACS. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Just the Facts — John Burroughs School". 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  6. ^ JBS official site: Matriculation
  7. ^ "Frerotte named football coach at Burroughs; Small to retire", Jan. 19, 2011
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Very disturbing prom theme - ProTeacher Community". Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  11. ^ thetimman (2009-03-21). "Saint Louis Catholic: The St. Louis Jewish Light Takes on the Burroughs Prom". Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  12. ^ "2009 Prom — John Burroughs School". 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ "Christine Bertelson". Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  15. ^ [3][dead link]
  16. ^ M.M. Costantin  . "MyWashington". Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  17. ^ Andrews, Lisa (February 21, 2011). "Actress and Screenwriter Puts Creve Coeur in the Spotlight". Patch Media. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  18. ^ Rosenbaum, Jason (March 11, 2013). "On the trail: 'House of Cards' creator talks St. Louis life -- and power in politics". St. Louis Beacon. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  19. ^ Toler, Lindsay (May 8, 2014). "Paul Rudd Once Tried to Steal Jon Hamm's Prom Date, So They Faced Off in Trivial Pursuit". Riverfront Times. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Actor Jon Hamm honored to get Cardinals bobblehead". Associated Press. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  21. ^ Pennington, Gail (December 13, 2009). "From VP queen 'The Office' John Burroughs graduate joins fellow St. Louisans Jenna Fischer and Phyllis Smith at Dunder Mifflin.". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Johnston, Roger (June 18, 1949). "Associated Press Newsfeature". Bakersfield Californian ( Associated Press. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  24. ^ Huhn, Rick. "Dave Sisler". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Cool, Everett (June 21, 2014). "For Dodgers' Scott Van Slyke, a case of butterflies is a good thing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  27. ^ Gurnick, Ken (January 31, 2012). "Van Slyke getting with the program". Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  28. ^ Pennington, Gail (November 3, 2013). "Burroughs grad Erinn Westbrook lives a dream on 'Glee'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  29. ^ Baer, Jim (July 10, 2007). "Jay Williamson: Professional golfer". St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  30. ^ Peterson, Deb (January 24, 2012). "Oscar nominee Beau Willimon grew up in St. Louis". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  31. ^ [4][dead link]
  32. ^ Louis, St. (January 30, 2000). "Joe Edwards". 
  33. ^ a b "John Burroughs". Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ loos&pid=1538830166 "John L. Loos". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°38′40″N 90°22′12″W / 38.64444°N 90.36991°W / 38.64444; -90.36991