Brighton High School (Rochester, New York)

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Brighton High School
Brighton, New York High School.JPG
1150 Winton Road
Rochester, New York 14618
United States
Coordinates 43°7′24″N 77°34′00″W / 43.12333°N 77.56667°W / 43.12333; -77.56667Coordinates: 43°7′24″N 77°34′00″W / 43.12333°N 77.56667°W / 43.12333; -77.56667
School district Brighton Central School District
Principal Dr. Thomas Hall
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1154 (2011-2012[1])
Average class size 290
School color(s) Navy, White and Gold
Mascot Barons
Publication Galaxy
Newspaper Trapezoid
Yearbook Crossroads
Graduates 96%

Brighton High School, commonly abbreviated BHS, is a public high school located in the Brighton suburb of Rochester, New York, USA. It offers a comprehensive curriculum for students in grades 9–12. It is part of the Brighton Central School District.


In 2015, Brighton offered Advanced Placement (AP) classes in numerous subjects, including Calculus (AB and BC), Biology, Physics (1, 2, and C), Chemistry, Environmental Science, Economics, Government and Politics, Psychology, United States History, European History, Music Theory, Statistics, Studio Art, English Literature, English Language, Spanish, French, German, and Computer Science.[2] Of the 1094 AP exams administered to students, about 83% scored a 3 or higher.

The class of 2015 graduated 296 students. There were eight National Merit Scholarship finalists, eight semi-finalists, and nine commended students. For the class of 2015, about 89% of graduates chose to go onto high education, with the majority going to four-year colleges. Brighton regularly sends numerous graduates to top colleges and universities, including alumni currently at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Harvard University, Williams College, the University of Rochester, Stanford University, Georgetown University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3]

Many Brighton students comment on Brighton's diversity, with about 28% minority enrollment, Brighton's academic feel and environment, and Brighton's commitment to deep learning beyond simply memorization to prepare for a test. For example, the AP US History course at Brighton requires that each student participate in a debate regarding a topic in US history and write an extended academic paper about the topic. This assignment requires an extensive amount of work, rhetorical skill, academic research, and creativity.

Brighton is a suburb of the city of Rochester. The high school has an urban-suburban program that allows inner-city students to attend Brighton High School.


The school has appeared on Newsweek magazine's Top 100 Public High Schools list. In 1998, Brighton achieved its highest ranking on the Newsweek list, in 5th place. In 2004, it was ranked 27th in the nation. In 2006, it was placed 96th. In 2007, it was placed 79th, one ahead of Pittsford Mendon High School. In 2008, it was ranked 158, fifth among schools in the Rochester area behind Pittsford Sutherland, Pittsford Mendon, Greece Odyssey and Wilson Magnet. Rankings fluctuate heavily based upon AP exams administered relative to the graduating senior class. In 2010, Brighton was placed 126th.[4]

In 2007, U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked Brighton High School 57th out of 18,790 public high schools. It was the only Monroe County school on the list.[5]

In 2015, the website Startclass published a list of the top high school in each state, with Brighton High School being their top school for New York.[6] The same year, the website compared high school rankings to property values to determine "the better value represented by the school and area combination." They placed Brighton High School as being first in New York in terms of value, ahead of rivals Pittsford-Mendon and Pittsford-Sutherland.[7]

Publications and productions[edit]

Brighton is one of the only schools in the Rochester area that allows its publications to hold permanent office spaces.

  • Trapezoid is Brighton High School's monthly school newspaper. Sections include news, feature, opinion, in depth and sports.[8] The newspaper has repeatedly received a number of awards, including first place in the Bertram Freed Memorial Award Competition, and New York's Best Newspaper and Best Online Publication from the Empire State School Press Association for several years in a row.[9]
  • Crossroads, Brighton High School's yearbook, was founded in 1933. It is distributed at BHS's annual Springfest every year.[10]
  • Galaxy, created in 1954, is Brighton's art and literary magazine. Galaxy continues its tradition of holding meetings at students' homes on Sunday evenings.[11] Galaxy is entirely student-created, with the help of advisor and art teacher Debra Burger and is printed locally. In 2009, the magazine received a First Place with Special Merit award from the American Scholastic Press Association for its article on French sub ordinance. It received the Gold/All New York Award, as well as the Award for Originality from the annual ESSPA (Empire State Scholastic Press Association) Conference in 2011. Many individual Galaxy members won Gold awards in their respective fields at this conference as well.[12]
  • The Morning Show began in the 1986–1987 school year with Brighton Beat, a precursor to The Morning Show. This show included one news and one interview show each week. In 1991, The Morning Show was officially created at BHS by producers Bennett Killmer and Joe Nussbaum, with the help of a teacher, Richard Tschorke. Nussbaum went on to direct the short film George Lucas in Love and the feature films Sleepover and Sydney White starring Amanda Bynes. Tschorke was the adviser to the club for twenty years. The show originally only had a few small cameras. Since then, it has grown to include two Ikegami professional cameras, a new audio mixer board, and a new Blackmagic Design switchboard. The Morning Show is regarded by some as a professional and quality program, and continues to modernize using more up-to-date equipment and resources each year.


Brighton students are offered a wide array of courses in languages other than English, including:

The Arts[edit]

In March 2007, Brighton High School students acted in a one-night only shadow production of Our Town at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York. Directed by a BHS 11th grade English teacher, Judy Shomper, the play provided an opportunity for the students to make new bonds with professional actors after viewing several rehearsals and the professional final product.

The musicals at BHS were directed by Larry Dugan for a number of years starting in 1986.

In fall 2007, then-senior Kyle Glickman, one of Shomper's students, won a Rochester youth literature contest held by Geva Theater with his short play The Country That Failed to Fight. (A French Production)

Brighton High School has more than 20 musical groups, ranging from the Jazz Band to the Crazy Pitches, a co-ed a cappella group. But most people prefer the all-male a cappella group, Macapella. Brighton High School also flourishes instrumentally under the direction of Therese Schmid, Michael Struzik and Cheryl Guth, and each year they lead many musical groups in instrumental ensembles, musicals and other events for the school. Many students take part in the local Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Hochestein Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Brighton High School is always represented in these groups with many talented student musicians.

In 2009, Brighton's Jazz Appreciation Club founded Bagelfest, an early-morning festival dedicated to the appreciation of jazz music while enjoying hundreds of bagels. More than 150 students, along with an assortment of BHS faculty, gathered in the band room on May 29 for the event. Bagelfest included a live broadcast on Brighton's student-run Morning Show. In the years to come, the Jazz Appreciation Club hopes to raise enough money to donate all proceeds to various charitable organizations that expand jazz literacy in younger generations.

In 2012, Brighton High School put on Dead Man Walking, chronicling Sister Helen Prejean's accompaniment of convicted killer Matthew Poncelet through Death Row. Cast members began rehearsing the play in May of the previous school year, due to the heavy subject material and emotional gravity. During rehearsal of this play, many classes discussed the death penalty and justice system as it applied to their subjects. English classes studied works about death row inmates and students in Law and Government studied New York's laws regarding capital punishment of inmates. After the opening performance on October 26, a forum was held with two lawyers discussing the death penalty.

For the 2016-2017 season, Brighton High School put on Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim for the fall 2016 performance, and is currently in the process of rehearsing Les Misérables (musical) for the winter 2017 performance.


The 1971 boys' soccer team under coach Clarence Mepham won the sectionals, beating rival Pittsford in the final match 1-0 on a frozen field. Notable about that playoffs was the semi-final matches against Gates-Chili. The first game ended in a 0–0 tie, after four sudden-death five-minute overtimes. The next day, the teams played again, also ending in a 1–1 tie, with another four sudden-death five-minute overtimes. The two exhausted teams took a day off, and then came back for a third game, which Brighton won 3-1, Gary Lawton scoring twice. The games were written about in a Scorecard item in Sports Illustrated a few weeks later. The noted Brighton graduate and professional soccer player and coach David Sarachan was the left striker for that team.

The boys' lacrosse team won the 2004 sectional championship.

In the 2006 season, the boys' volleyball team went to sectional finals, beaten by Victor in the final game.

The girls' lacrosse team has won 12 sectional titles and one state championship in the past 14 years (as of 2011).

John Dugan's school record setting performance of 1:55.0 at the 1989 NYSPHSAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 800 meters stood for nearly twenty years. In 2007, Mike Geary set new records for both the 800 meter (1:54) and the 1600 meter (4:19).

Cross-country coach Steve Pulos, Ph.D, is a former track All-American at 10,000 meters, Wineglass Marathon champion (2:34), and Lilac Festival 10k champion. Pulos was the individual winner of the prestigious Lilac Festival 10k road race in 1980 with a time of 30:24, although he would never personally admit to any of his running accomplishments. To put this monster run into perspective, the former American record holder at 5k, Matt Centrowicz, won this race two years later. Pulos's time beats several later individual winners, such as Scott Bagley, Todd Reeser and Tom Haxton (perennial Rochester road racing champion, University of Rochester All-American, and University of Chicago All-American, respectively). Pulos team's has won eight Section V Championships in track/cross country during his coaching tenure at Brighton High.

The boys' and girls' cross-country team were New York State Champions in 2004.

The girls' Alpine ski team won the NYS crown in 2005.

The boys' basketball team produced a 17-3 record in 2007 and advanced into the Monroe County Tournament as the number 1 seed for the AA division. Five players were selected to the Monroe County 2007 All-Star Team (Joe Reed, Brad Cronister, Connor Dever, Dan Holtzman, Brandon Burris).

The boys' baseball team made it to the sectional championships in 2006 where they lost to rival Pittsford Sutherland

The boys' swim team sent several swimmers to the state competition in 2007 and again in 2010, and won sectional titles in 2012, 2011, and 2009.

The boys' diving team sent Devin Zdanowski to the New York State Diving Championships in 2010 after taking first place in the 2010 Section V Championship meet.

The boys' bowling team won its first Division III title in 2007. Richard Farrington made the All Section 5 composite team for states that year.

The Brighton crew team has produced many Division 1 rowers at schools such as Annapolis, Georgetown, Princeton, Stanford, Wisconsin, and Yale. The Boys Crew team won the NYS Championship points trophy in 2005. The boys' lightweight four won the NYS Championship in 2005, placed third in 2006, and placed second in 2007. The boys' double won the NYS Championship in both 2005 and 2007. The boys' double with Henry Fitts and Aidan Marsh went to Nationals in 2007.

In 2009, the boys' track and field team won its first Sectional Title. The team prevailed after trading leads with Pittsford Mendon throughout the day. The Barons secured their title when tenth seeded Philip Cooper won the 200m by 3 hundredths of a second.

In 2011, the Brighton Barons boys' soccer team won their third sectional title after defeating Aquinas in the Class A finals 2-0. They then defeated East Aurora of Buffalo 4-0 to win the Western New York Regional title, which gave them a place in the 2011 State Championship tournament in Middletown, New York. The Barons lost to Maine-Endwell in the semi-finals, where they lost in penalty kicks 4-5 after they tied 1-1 in regulation. They ended the season 13-4-4. The boys' soccer team won another title in 2012, when they defeated the eighth in the nation, and rival Pittsford Mendon, after Mendon swept them in regular season play. They beat Mendon 3-1. They lost in the Regional game to Williamsville East 2-0.

The boys' volleyball team won sectionals for the first time in 2012 and reached the State-Semis.

The girls' soccer team beat Aquinas (1-0) for the sectional crown. They advanced to the State-Semis for the first time in school history where they lost 1-0 to Jamesville-Dewitt.

The girls' Field Hockey team in 2013 beat Pittsford Sutherland (2-0) for the sectional title. The team went to regional championship and won (2-0) against Amherst Central to advance to the Semi-Finals. The team then faced Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Brighton won (1-0). Brighton advanced to the finals where they lost to Lakeland (0-7).

The boys' bowling team got new crotchless shorts to show their true spirits in early 2015

The boys' tennis team in 2015 beat Pittsford Mendon (7-0) for the sectional title. The team successfully went to nationals and lost in the finals.

The boys' volleyball team in 2015 won states.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Many of Brighton's extracurricular teams have performed well in many competitions:

  • Brighton Science Olympiad
    • The team was regional champion from 2010 to 2014.
    • In the year 2014, Brighton medalled in every single event.[13]
  • Brighton Math Team [14]
    • The team was Monroe County league champion for three years in a row.
  • Brighton Model UN
    • Brighton won best delegation more than 3 years in a row. About 2/3 of all chairs and 3/4 of the Secretariat at the Hilton 2014 Conference as well as the 2015 UNAR conference were from Brighton High School.
  • Brighton FBLA [15]
  • Brighton Envirothon [16]
    • Brighton frequently placed multiple teams in the top 5 at the Monroe County Envirothon. In 2013, Brighton sent a team to the states competition, placing 8th.
  • Brighton Chess Team [17]
    • The team was Rochester League 1 champion for over 3 years in a row, and won 2nd place at the 2013 playoffs.
  • Brighton Speech and Debate Team
    • In its first year, 2014, the Brighton team medaled in multiple categories.
    • Four Public Forum debate teams represented Brighton in the 2016 New York State Forensic League State Tournament in Hofstra University in Long Island. The teams were given a proclamation from the Monroe County Legislature for their achievements.
  • Brighton Masterminds
    • The team was named Rochester regional champion in 1995, 1997, 2005, 2014, and 2015.[18]
    • In 2014 and 2015, the team placed second in the state championship meet.[19]

Brighton offers other extracurriculars, including Mock Trial, the Gay-Straight Alliance, Break Dance Club, Friends of Rachel, Recycling Club, Young Democrats, and Young Republicans. New clubs are formed every year, providing students a variety of activities to partake in.

Notable alumni[edit]

Noted faculty[edit]

  • Ardis Mangione-Lindley, a former social studies teacher, is the daughter of Gap Mangione and niece of Chuck Mangione. She is married to New York Supreme Court justice Stephen Lindley. She is also an alumna.
  • Dan Wilmot, a social studies teacher, whose family owns and operates Wilmorite Construction and established the James P Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital.
  • Ted Kinsman, a former physics teacher, is a world-renowned photographer[citation needed] and owner of Kinsman Physics Productions.[26][27]


  1. ^ "NYSED Report Cards" (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2013. [dead link]
  2. ^ "BHS Program of Studies" (PDF). Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "School Report" (PDF). 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Brighton named national Gold Medal HS". Democrat and Chronicle. 1 December 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "StartClass". 
  7. ^ "". 
  8. ^ "Trapezoid Website". 
  9. ^ "Brighton High School publications earn honors". Brighton Pittsford Post. November 5, 2010. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Crossroads Website". 
  11. ^ "Galaxy Website". Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. 
  12. ^ "Brighton Performing Arts". 
  13. ^ "Brighton High School". Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Rochester Chess League 1". Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ ""Richard Ben Cramer, award-winning journalist and Brighton native, dies," The Associated Press, Tuesday, January 8, 2013". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  21. ^ Obama energy adviser Jason Grumet talks climate, coal, and green jobs | Grist
  22. ^ "Emmys forecast, Local Connection", Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, September 14, 2007, page 3C
  23. ^ Bio Jess Klein Archived September 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Internet Movie Database - Joe Nussbaum". IMDb. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  25. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Kinsman Physics Productionsllast=Kinsman". Kinsman Physics Productions. Retrieved 2 January 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  27. ^ "Brighton Central School District". Retrieved 4 October 2014. 

External links[edit]