Branham High School

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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 Brian Thompson
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, 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. The relatively young athletics program has won a number of awards and annually sends representation to the Central Coast Sectionals (CCS).

The Bruins enjoy a rivalry with the Leigh High School Longhorns, largely due to the proximity of the two schools. The Bruins baseball team also consider the Westmont High School Warriors to be a division rival.

In 1980, the Bruins Varsity Wrestling team finally won the West Valley Athletic League Championship after several close calls, despite only having two seniors on the squad. Scott Domanuer and Lou Sorrentino won their weight classes in a season that saw several wrestlers miss the championship for various reasons. The following season, Danny Dodds was able to pin down the California State Championship at the 181 weight class after moving up from the 130 lb. weight class just two seasons earlier. The wrestling squad in the mid-1980s through the middle 1990s also 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 team finished the season with a record of 17–2–2, led by CCS First Team selection and Senior of the Year Eric Mestressat (forward/defender), CCS First Team selection Cliff McCready (midfielder) and CCS Second Team selection Scott Coutts (goalkeeper).

The 1989 Bruin varsity baseball team won the West Valley Athletic League title and the Central Coast Section championship. The team started the season with a 2-3 record but rattled off 19 consecutive wins to end the season. They finished off Carmel in the CCS championship game by a score of 4-2.

The Branham High School cheerleading squad received top honors with a first place victory at the USA Nationals in Anaheim, California in the 2008-2009 season.

The 2010 Bruin boys varsity volleyball team won the school's first Central Coast Section (CCS) volleyball title, defeating Archbishop Mitty High School in the Division II final.

In 2011, the boys basketball team won the Santa Teresa Division of the Blossom Valley Athletic League with a perfect 14-0 win-loss record. The 2010-2011 team was the first in school history to go through league play undefeated. The team was 19-5 overall and ended the season with a winning streak of 16 games.

In 2012, Branham Track & Field had its first Freshman athlete to compete at the Central Coast Section Semi-Finals.

In 2013, Branham Track & Field girls went undefeated and three male sophomores qualified for the Central Coast Section meet. Sophomore Aidan Kirwan beat the held record at Branham that was placed in 1983 for both hurdle events and became Branham's first ever hurdler to compete in the CCS Finals. Sophomore Zachary Nichols set the record in pole vault high for Branham's second Track season with the event.

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]

Kicking 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). Major musical and non-musical productions have also included Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World (2003), Dürrenmatt's The Visit (2001), Li'l Abner (2004), Eugène Ionesco's Killing Game (2004), and Michael Bennet's A Chorus Line (2005). 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 taught by Sharon Salazar, a drama club, and several productions each year.

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]