Branham High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Branham High School
1570 Branham Lane
San Jose, California
United States
Coordinates 37°15′12″N 121°53′59″W / 37.2534°N 121.8996°W / 37.2534; -121.8996Coordinates: 37°15′12″N 121°53′59″W / 37.2534°N 121.8996°W / 37.2534; -121.8996
Type Public
Established 1967 (1967)
School district Campbell Union High School District
Principal Cheryl Lawton
Enrollment 1500
Color(s) Navy Blue, Columbia Blue, and White         
Mascot Bruin
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Branham High School is a secondary school in San Jose, California. It opened in 1967, but the grounds were leased to Valley Christian Schools in 1991. In 1999, the school reopened as a member of the Campbell Union High School District due to increased enrollment within the district.[1] The school is named after Isaac Branham, a California pioneer who became a successful farmer and lumber mill owner. School colors are navy blue, Columbia blue, and white and official mascot is the Bruin. Branham is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).


Branham was awarded the title of California Distinguished School during the 2006–2007 school year.[2] Branham participates in the College Board's Advanced Placement program and offers AP courses in English Language and Composition, English Literature, World History, US History, American Government, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics 1 & 2, Calculus AB & BC, Statistics, French Language, Spanish Language, Mandarin Language, and Studio Art 2D & 3D.


Branham High School is a member of the Blossom Valley Athletic League (BVAL). Branham fields teams in football, basketball, baseball, swimming and diving, cheerleading, tennis, badminton, soccer, softball, track and field, cross country, golf, field hockey, and wrestling. All of Branham's league and section championships are displayed in its gymnasium, the Bruin Den.

The Bruins enjoy a rivalry with the Leigh High School Longhorns, largely due to the proximity of the two schools. For 8 years starting in 2007 and ending in 2014, the Bruins undertook a streak of losses against rival Leigh in football until the first team to win the league championship in school history ended the streak 26-20 under the leadership of quarterback Luke Morin and DL Ray Ellis. The Bruins baseball team also consider the Westmont High School Warriors to be a division rival.

Branham has had many NCAA and professional athletes since opening, starting with linebacker Ken Bell (Class of 1974) who was the first football player to continue his career at the collegiate level at Cal Poly SLO. Howard Meyer (Class of 1975) had an eight-year football career: four at Branham and four at the University of Notre Dame. Patrick Morin (Class of 1978) wrapped up his football career as being one of the first Bruins to compete in the Charlie Wedemeyer game. Danny Dodds (Class of 1981) won the California State Championship in 1981 at the 181 weight class after moving up from the 130 lb. weight class just two seasons earlier. Andre Ingram (Class of 2004) graduated with three school records in Track & Field to become Branham's first dual-collegiate athlete (football and track). Darnell Sankey (Class of 2012) tied with Sacramento State's record of number of tackles per season and is now a professional football player. Aidan Kirwan (Class of 2015) finished his high school career with five school records in track & field as Branham's first All-American and went off to hurdle at Cal Poly SLO.

Branham has had a mild history of success in their athletics program. In 1969 it had its first league title in Basketball. The wrestling squad in the mid-1980s through the middle 1990s found success under the tutelage of Coach Jack Clark. The 1984–85 boys varsity soccer team made it to the Central Coast Section finals, losing to Menlo-Atherton 4–3 in double overtime. The 1989 Bruin varsity baseball team won the West Valley Athletic League title and was the first Bruin team to win the Central Coast Section championship. In 2014 they claimed the title again. The 2010 Bruin boys varsity volleyball team won their first Central Coast Section title, defeating Archbishop Mitty. In 2011, the boys basketball team reclaimed its legacy and took the Santa Teresa Division of the Blossom Valley Athletic League with a perfect 14-0 win-loss record. The team won a league title again in 2015. The Lady Bruins Track Team went undefeated from 2012-2015.

Music department[edit]

The Branham High School Music Department consists of the vocal music department and the instrumental music department. The choir, which is made up of Madrigals and Women's, is directed by Barbara West. The instrumental music program is made up of Field Marching Band, Color Guard, Parade Band, Pep Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Guitar, and Jazz Ensemble. All of the components of the instrumental music program are directed by Diane Wyant, who is a long-time director and a Drum Corps International (DCI) Adjudicator.

The marching band has recently been named the Branham High School Royal Alliance. The Royal Alliance performed their first field show competition in nearly 30 years in 2009. The Royal Alliance Marching Band hosts "Get in Step" workshops each summer for current members as well as incoming freshmen. A week-long camp is also held prior to the beginning of the fall session.

The Branham High School Symphonic Band, in its first CMEA performance in the history of the school, received a Unanimous Superior rating, the highest rating a group can receive from the California Music Educators Association. In addition, the band was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall and Chicago Symphony Hall due to their performance at the 2009 Los Angeles Heritage Festival, where they had placed first in the Symphonic Band category. In April 2011, the band received its second Unanimous Superior rating from CMEA.

The Branham Jazz Ensemble gives nearly a dozen public performances per year and travels to the Columbia Jazz Festival. The Jazz Ensemble hosts a yearly fundraiser called the Jazz Cafe to raise funds for the Branham Instrumental Program.

Theater department[edit]

Upon its reopening, Branham kicked off the 1999-2000 inaugural season with Euripides' classic Medea, the department quickly grew to stage seasons of up to seven plays, including original works like "Hollywoodn't" (2002) and a modern adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" (2003). After piloting the first multi-level, multi-faceted curriculum in the district (offering Drama I, Drama II, and Tech Theatre courses), the department earned the 2001 Glenn Hoffman Award for Outstanding Fine Arts Curriculum. In 2003, E. Dale Smith won the Penwomen of America Award for Outstanding Theater Teacher, and the program earned the 2003 High School Musical Honors Award for Outstanding Ensemble. The department currently offers a full theater curriculum including a musical theater course, a drama club, and several productions each year. The theater department is renowned in the Campbell Union High School District for its annual faculty musical, directed by students, and supervised by the acting instructor.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roja, Genevieve. "Branham's Back!". The Bear Witness. 
  2. ^ "Distinguished School Awards - California School Recognition Program". CA Dept of Education. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 


External links[edit]

  1. ^ Kirwan, Aidan (2017). Branham:A Passionate History. San Jose.