David Brearley High School

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David Brearley High School
401 Monroe Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°40′46″N 74°17′50″W / 40.679461°N 74.297333°W / 40.679461; -74.297333Coordinates: 40°40′46″N 74°17′50″W / 40.679461°N 74.297333°W / 40.679461; -74.297333
TypePublic high school
Established1966 (as David Brearley Regional High School); 1997 (as David Brearley Middle-High School)
School districtKenilworth Public Schools
NCES School ID340792000209[1]
PrincipalJeremy Davies
Faculty68.8 FTEs[1]
Enrollment775 (as of 2020–21)[1]
Student to teacher ratio11.3:1[1]
Color(s)  Navy and
Athletics conferenceUnion County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (general)
Big Central Football Conference (football)
Team nameBears[2]
NewspaperThe Bear Print[3]

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, operating as the lone secondary school of the Kenilworth Public Schools. The school is named for David Brearley, a signer of the United States Constitution.

Students from Winfield Township attend the school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Winfield Township School District.[4]

As of the 2020–21 school year, the school had an enrollment of 775 students and 68.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.3:1. There were 124 students (16.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 45 (5.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]


The name David Brearley Regional High School was chosen in March 1964 by the Union County Regional High School District to honor David Brearley one of four New Jersey residents to sign the Constitution of the United States, along with Jonathan Dayton and William Livingston who had already had high schools in the district named for them.[8] A groundbreaking ceremony was held in May 1964 for the new school facility, which would be the fourth high school in the district and was expected to be the first in the state with air conditioning and electric heating.[9] 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 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 2,000, and offices.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] Kenilworth students were sent to Jonathan Dayton 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, and renovated the courtyard.

In 2014, the school completed a garden and extensive mosaic mural dedicated to a former student who died while enrolled at Brearley. The mosaic was the continuation of a four-year project that has seen numerous mosaics installed inside and outside the school.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] The magazine ranked the school 178th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[17] The school was ranked 162nd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[18]

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.[19]


The David Brearley High School Bears[2] compete in the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which is comprised of public and private high schools in Union County and was established following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[20] Prior to the NJSIAA's 2009 realignment, the school had participated in the Mountain Valley Conference, which included public and private high schools in Essex and Union counties in northern New Jersey.[21] With 358 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group I for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 75 to 476 students in that grade range.[22] The football team competes in Division 1A of the Big Central Football Conference, which includes 60 public and private high schools in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, Union and Warren counties, which are broken down into 10 divisions by size and location.[23] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group I North for football for 2018–2020.[24] School colors are navy and gold.[25]

The school participates as the host school / lead agency in a joint cooperative wrestling team with Jonathan Dayton High School. In turn, Jonathan Dayton is the host school for joint gymnastics, ice hockey and co-ed swimming teams; the co-op ice hockey team also includes Union High School. These co-op programs operate under agreements scheduled to expire at the end of the 2023–24 school year.[26][27]


Brearley's boys soccer team won the Group I state title in 1990 (as co-champions with Haddonfield Memorial High School), 2013 (vs. New Egypt High School) and 2015 (vs. Arthur P. Schalick High School).[28]

The 1990 team took a one-goal lead, but ended the Group I finals as co-champion after a 1-1 tie with Haddonfield.[29]

Brearley won the Group I title in 2013 with a 3-0 win against New Egypt in the championship game played at The College of New Jersey.[30]

The team won the Group I state championship in 2015 with a 1-0 victory over Arthur P. Schalick High School in the playoff finals. The game's lone goal came from Brearley's Justin Estremera; teammate Nick Minio shut down Schalick forward Michael D'Orio, who had scored in every tournament game until the final.[31]


Brearley's football team won the North II Group I state sectional title in 1981, 1985, 1986, 1991 and 2006.[32]

The 1981 team finished the season with an 11-0 record after defeating Abraham Clark High School of Roselle by a score of 17-15 in the North II Group I sectional championship game.[33]

Down 13-0 in the championship game's fourth quarter, the 1991 team mounted a comeback to defeat Mountain Lakes High School by a final score of 14-13 to win the North II Group I sectional title and finish the season with a record of 10-1.[34]

The 2006 team defeated Verona High School by a score of 21-20 at Giants Stadium to win the North II Group I state sectional title.[35]


David Brearley wrestling, operating in combination with Jonathan Dayton High School, won the 2011 Group II state championship at the Poland Spring Center in Toms River. The wrestling team won the Central Jersey Group I state sectional title in 2007 and the North Jersey Group II title in 2008-2012.[36]


The girls competition cheerleading team won the Group I NJCDCA state championship title in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2014. They are also the reigning Mountain Valley Conference Champions.[37]


The Brearley baseball team won its first state sectional title when it won the 2009 Central Jersey Group I state sectional championship, defeating Point Pleasant Beach High School by a score of 6-4 in the tournament final.[38]


The school's principal is Jeremy Davies. His administration team includes the assistant principal.[39]

Noted alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e School data for David Brearley Middle/High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 15, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c David Brearley High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  3. ^ The Bear Print, David Brearley High School. Accessed March 18, 2022.
  4. ^ David Brearly Middle/High School 2016 School Report Card, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed August 7, 2017. "David Brearley Middle-High School serves students in Grades 7-12 from Kenilworth, Winfield, and surrounding communities that who participate in the School Choice Program."
  5. ^ List Of Operating Choice Districts: 2017-2018 School Year, New Jersey Department of Education, updated September 8, 2016. Accessed December 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "School choice eases student shortage; State program boosts enrollment at Kenilworth's David Brearley high.", The Star-Ledger, April 23, 2000, p. 33.
  7. ^ For Parents and Students, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "Name Picked For Regional High School", Courier News, March 25, 1964. Accessed April 29, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "The proposed Union County regional high school in Kenilworth has been named for a New Jersey signer of the U. S. Constitution. The new school which will open in September, 1965 will be called the David Brearley Regional High School. The name was selected last night by the Union County Regional High School Board of Education. Brearley is the third of four signers of the Constitution to have his name on a regional high school. The Jonathan Dayton Regional High School in Springfield and the Governor Livingston Regional High School in Berkeley Heights also are named for signers of the Constitution."
  9. ^ "Groundbrealting Scheduled For New County High School", Courier News, May 21, 1964. Accessed April 29, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new David Brearley Regional High School in Kenilworth will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The school, to be the fourth in the Union County Regional High School system, will be located at Monroe Ave. near 16th St. in Kenilworth.... The new school first in the state to be built with electric heating and air conditioning will open in September 1965."
  10. ^ "First Regular High School Class Starts Sept. 7 at David Brearley", Citizen and Chronicle, September 1, 1966. Accessed April 29, 2021. "David Brearley Regional High School opens its doors to its first regular high school class on Wednesday when the freshman class reports for orientation at 8:20 a.m., John L. Dixey, principal, announced. All students will report on Thursday at 8:20 a.m. A total of 640 students, all from Kenilworth, are enrolled."
  11. ^ "Expansion of Brearley Proposed by School Board". Cranford Chronicle. April 1, 1971. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "1,000 Roar 'no' to Brearley Closing Plan". Cranford Chronicle. October 22, 1992. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  13. ^ "Brearley Hearing to begin Monday". Cranford Chronicle. April 21, 1993. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  14. ^ "Pond and mosaic mural dedication, May 8 at David Brearley Middle/H.S. in Kenilworth". Cranford Chronicle. May 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  17. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 22, 2011.
  18. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  19. ^ "Two-school project fights prejudice; Kenilworth, Hillside art and computer classes team up.", The Star-Ledger, June 7, 2001
  20. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  21. ^ Home Page, Mountain Valley Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  22. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  23. ^ Kinney, Mike. "Big Central revises 2020 football schedule for its shortened inaugural season", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, August 12, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2021. "The newly formed Big Central Football Conference has released a revised 2020 schedule for its inaugural season.... the BCFC is comprised of schools from Middlesex, Union, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties."
  24. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  25. ^ David Brearley High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  26. ^ NJSIAA Fall Cooperative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  27. ^ NJSIAA Winter Cooperative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  28. ^ History of NJSIAA Boys Soccer, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  29. ^ Cuneo, Ed. "Haddonfield shares state crown", Courier-Post, November 16, 1990. Accessed March 8, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Haddonfield High School chalked up its second co-championship in the school's history when it tied Brearley 1-1 last night in the state Group 1 boys' soccer championship at Trenton State College. The Bulldogs, 18-1-3, used a goal by Tom Lynch in the third quarter to wipe out a 1-0 Brearley lead. Haddonfield's previous co-championship was in 1984 when it tied New Providence 1-1."
  30. ^ Miller, Sean. "New Egypt High boys' soccer loses in first state final to David Brearley", The Times, November 24, 2013. Accessed November 22, 2015. "New Egypt made its first ever appearance in the Group I state final last night at The College of New Jersey, matching up against a very tough David Brearley squad. The speed and talent of the Bears were too much for the Warriors, as Brearley ran out 3-0 winners on the night."
  31. ^ Greco, Richard. "Justin Estremera leads Brearley to 1-0 win over Schalick in Group 1 final", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, November 22, 2015. Accessed November 22, 2015. "The last goal of his career, which came against Schalick in the NJSIAA/Sports Authority Group 1 final on Sunday, was all the Bears would need in a 1-0 victory to claim their third Group 1 title at Kean University on Sunday night.... Brearley defeated New Egypt, 3-0, to claim the title in 2013 and was co-champions with Haddonfield in 1990.
  32. ^ NJSIAA Football History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020. Note that the four titles from 1986 to 1991 are listed as "Kenilworth" and the 2006 title as "David Brearley"
  33. ^ "Seton Hall Prep Downs Bergen Catholic", The New York Times, December 6, 1981. Accessed January 11, 2021. "Jeff Kopyta kicked a 19-yard field goal with 1:37 left and gave Kenilworth (11-0) a 17-15 victory over Roselle and the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 title."
  34. ^ Shwalb, Bob. "Mountain Lakes falls late, 14-13", Daily Record, December 8, 1991. Accessed March 17, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "The feeling in the Mountain Lakes locker room following the team's shocking 14-13 loss to David Brearley in the North Jersey, Section II, Group I final resembled that of a morgue... It looked like it was going to end with Mountain Lakes being state champions. The locals cruised into the fourth quarter holding a 13-0 lead."
  35. ^ 2006 Football Tournament - North II, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 10, 2006.
  36. ^ NJSIAA Wrestling Team Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  37. ^ NJCDCA Cheerleading State Champions Archive, New Jersey Cheerleading and Dance Coaches Association. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  38. ^ Staff. "Brearley 6, Point Pleasant Beach 4 (High school Baseball scores and results)", The Star-Ledger, May 30, 2009. Accessed November 20, 2015. "Marques hammered a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left field with one out and one on in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Brearley to a 6-4 victory over Point Pleasant Beach in the championship game of the NJSIAA/Star Ledger Central Jersey, Group 1 tournament yesterday in Kenilworth. The sectional title is the first for Brearley (15-6), which will meet Gateway, which is from Gloucester County, in a Group 1 semifinal at Rider University on Tuesday."
  39. ^ Student Handbook 2021-2022, David Brearley High School. Accessed March 18, 2022.
  40. ^ "Being a Multi-Sport Youth Athlete Helped NFL Legend Mike Chalenski Reach the League", National Football lLeague, October 5,2021. Accessed June 24, 2022. "Mike Chalenski played youth football in Kenilworth, New Jersey because that's what everyone did growing up.... Chalenski excelled as a multi-sport athlete. He was also a baseball and basketball star at David Brearley High School."
  41. ^ Ditzell III, Herb. "Drummer Jack Grondin's Soul Belongs to Southern Rock" Archived November 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, 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."
  42. ^ "Tom Perrotta and Lenore Jeans are new inductees into David Brearley Hall of Fame". Suburban News. January 22, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  43. ^ Miller, Randy. "N.J. native Tony Siragusa loses NFL broadcasting gig with Fox", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 17, 2016. Accessed June 23, 2022. "Meantime, Siragusa has other working adventures. The Kenilworth native and Brearley High alum is a co-host for Man Caves, a reality show on DIY network that recreates living spaces."
  44. ^ "NJ native Tony Siragusa, former NFL star and TV broadcaster, dies", WABC-TV, June 23, 2022. Accessed June 24, 2022. "He grew up in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the NJSIAA Hall of Fame. He played football at David Brearley Regional High School, graduating in 1985."

External links[edit]