Hathaway Brown School

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Hathaway Brown School
19600 North Park Boulevard
Shaker Heights, Ohio, (Cuyahoga County) 44122
United States
Coordinates 41°28′54″N 81°32′30″W / 41.48167°N 81.54167°W / 41.48167; -81.54167Coordinates: 41°28′54″N 81°32′30″W / 41.48167°N 81.54167°W / 41.48167; -81.54167
Type Private, Secular, All-Girls
Motto Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus
(We learn not for school but for life)
Established 1876
Principal Susan Sadler
Headmaster Fran Bisselle
Grades Daycare-12
Enrollment 842
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Color(s) Brown and Gold [1]         
Athletics 11 sports
Nickname HB
Team name Blazers[1]
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools [2]
Newspaper The Review
Yearbook Specularia
Athletic Director Julie Ettorre

Hathaway Brown (HB) is an all-girls private school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, founded in 1876. It is also Ohio's oldest continuously operating college preparatory school for girls. The HB experience spans the early childhood program, primary school, middle school, and upper school.


Founded in 1876, Hathaway Brown began as “afternoon classes for young ladies” at the all-boys private Brooks Military School in downtown Cleveland. Its original name was the Brooks School for Ladies. In 1886, the school was purchased by Anne Hathaway Brown. During her tenure, Miss Brown changed the school’s name to “Miss Anne H. Hathaway Brown’s School for Girls” and introduced the school motto: non scholae sed vita discimus (“we learn not for school but for life”). At that point, only women were accepted, and the school began to flourish.

After establishing itself within the community and constructing a new school at East 97th Street in 1905, Hathaway Brown moved to its current location at 19600 North Park Boulevard in Shaker Heights and prospered under the direction of other headmistresses, including Miss Mary Elizabeth Raymond (1912–38) and Miss Ann Cutter Coburn (1938–68).

At present, Hathaway Brown offers a coeducation early childhood program, and an all-girls K-12 program with an enrollment of 842 students (29 percent students of color EC-12). Hathaway Brown currently draws families from 78 communities across Northeast Ohio to its 16-acre Shaker Heights campus which houses an aquatics center, an invention lab, a dance studio, visual arts and performance spaces, and a working television studio. Hathaway Brown’s current Head of School is Dr. Mary Frances Bisselle.


  • Global Scholars Program
  • Science Research & Engineering Program
  • 11 Varsity Sports
  • 8:1 Student to Faculty Ratio
  • 1:1 Technology Program
  • Advanced Placement Courses
  • Renowned Orchestra, Chorus, Theatre, and Dance programs.
  • GROW Student Philanthropy Foundation
  • FIRST Robotics Team 2399
  • Specialized courses through Hathaway Brown’s Institute for 21st Century Education.
  • Financial aid for thirty percent of students

Institute for 21st Century Education[edit]

One of the highlights of Hathaway Brown's education is the creation of the Institute for 21st Century Education. Consisting of 11 different "centers" encompassing leadership, science, technology, history, world languages, and various other programs, the institute was created to help foster a stronger connection to a particular subject and a more hands-on aspect of learning. Students have the option of choosing a center to join, if not more than one, and through that center they take on classes to strengthen their knowledge and fill their interest in addition to their core classes, while completing projects and assessments to demonstrate their growing knowledge. Each center is different and focuses on specific issues, but can also be combined with another center for a unique cross-learning experience.

The Centers include:

  • Osborne Writing Center
  • Center for Technology & Innovation
  • Center for Civic Engagement
  • Center for Leadership & Well-Being
  • Center for Business & Finance
  • Center for Sustainability
  • Aspire Program
  • Center for Global Citizenship
  • Center for Multicultural Affairs
  • Science Research & Engineering Program
  • Center for the Creative Arts

Many of the centers contain stipulations to receiving the graduating designation. The Global Scholar program, for example, requires that each student who graduates taking the Global Scholar classes must have completed Global Scholars Seminars 1 and 2 (a 2-year commitment), a 20-40 page senior thesis (and defense), as well as an 80% passing grade on a map of the entire world. Each center varies, but many require certain aspects to prove the designation. Nearly 90% of the students in every grade are global scholars, so many of the girls end up writing a thesis and defending.


HB's founding roots in 1876 gave rise to many traditions.

First Day of School The first day of school at HB begins with students meeting in the courtyard while a bagpiper begins to play. At some point, the students begin to exit the courtyard, two by two, beginning with the freshman and ending with the seniors. All Upper School students then file into the hallways and are cheered on by all faculty that line the sides of the hallways. The respective class presidents for each grade carry a flag with their class's graduating year as well as the class color. At the end, the Class Presidents place the flags on the auditorium stage, and this begins the school year.

Thanksgiving Assembly The Thanksgiving Assembly occurs the day before Thanksgiving weekend. To commemorate the break, the whole school dresses up for the occasion and celebrates together. Late afternoon, students file two by two into the auditorium, starting with the preschoolers and ending with the seniors. During this time, the Middle School Orchestra plays music. After everyone is seated, there are multiple performances from the HB Singers, Bravuras, and Upper School Orchestra. Afterwards, girls from many grades give speeches for their thankfulness, as well as the headmaster delivering the final speech until dismissal.

Winterfest Known as "Ideo Day" to the girls, this day is the celebration right before the girls are dismissed for winter festivities. The tradition arises from a previous headmaster that loved the religious carol "Ideo". She loved the song so much that she asked the girls if they would sing it. As a gift to her, the day before winter break, the girls would walk down the halls, two by two, and sing the song throughout the school. Her gift to the girls was winter break, and so the tradition continued. Ideo remains fairly the same today. As one of the HB's largest traditions, it is the most popular for alumni to return and remember their own Ideo day memories. Faculty, friends, and family line the hallways starting from the auditorium and ending in the gym. Fifth graders begin the procession, and twelfth graders end it. Students walk two by two and sing Ideo. When the seniors reach the gym, they sing a song to the school called, "Bless This House". After the song has been sung, the headmaster will say a few words about the grade, as well as the school, and then dismisses the girls for Winter Break.


  • 1875: The head of the Brooks Academy allows young ladies to attend afternoon classes
  • 1876: Frances Fisher establishes "Home and Day School"
  • 1886: Anne Hathaway Brown buys school; later changes name to "Miss Anne H. Hathaway Brown's School for Girls"
  • 1887: Miss Brown introduces their motto: non scholae sed vitae discimus ("we learn not for school but for life")
  • 1905: Hathaway Brown School at 1945 East 97th Street completed by Cleveland architectural firm of Hubbell & Benes. Later demolished.[3]
  • 1911: Mary E. Raymond named principal of the Hathaway Brown School
  • 1927: Cornerstone laid for the present complex that cost more than $1 million
  • 1956: Anne Cutter Coburn, headmistress, helps to establish the Alumnae Fund for salaries, building maintenance, scholarship and endowment.
  • 1966: First African-American student joins Hathaway Brown
  • 1978: Margaret J. Madden, a Vassar graduate, named head of the school; oversees building expansion and four faculty chairs
  • 1981: Strnad Fellowships in Creativity, an opportunity for a unique educational experience for juniors and seniors, created by Edna Dawley Strnad 1942.
  • 1987: H. William Christ named 13th head of school
  • 1991: Campaign for Hathaway Brown launched, raises $9.2 million through 1994
  • 1996: W.E.S.T. (Women Engaged in Scholarly Thought) Fellowship Program launched for 7th and 8th graders who want to pursue independent study
  • 1998: the Student Research Program launched
  • 2008 or 2009: WorldWide Student Alliance is welcomed into The Hathaway Brown Community.
  • 2010: First Education Innovation Summit held at Hathaway Brown.


HB is consistently among the top athletic teams in Northeast Ohio.[citation needed]

Ohio High School Athletic Association team state championships[edit]

Other non-sancitioned state championships:

Other athletic accomplishments[edit]

  • Basketball - OHSAA State runner-up 2007, 2008, OHSAA District Champions 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 OHSAA Regional Champions 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Private School League Champions 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, OHSAA State Champions 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Cross Country - Private School League Champions 2003, 2004
  • Debate - 13 Students went to states in debate in 2009
  • Field Hockey - Final Four appearances last 7 years, OHSAA District Champions 1983, 1985, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, Northeast Ohio Field Hockey League Champions 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, Private School League Champions 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, Independent School League Champions 2005, State Runner-up 2012
  • Golf - OHSAA District Champions 1998, Private School League Champions 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Lacrosse - OHSAA State Champions 2010 OHSAA State Semifinalists 2006, 2007, Midwest Schoolgirl Lacrosse Association Champions 1984, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 Private School League Champions 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, Independent School League Champions 2006, Independent School League Champions 2012
  • Soccer - OHSAA State Champions 2004, 2007, 2009 OHSAA State runner-up 2010 OHSAA Regional Champions 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 OHSAA District Champions 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Private School League Champions 2004, Independent School League Champions 2005
  • Softball - Private School League Champions 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008
  • Swimming and Diving - 8th in State 2007, Private School League Champions 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, Independent School League Champions 2006
  • Tennis - Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association State Champions 2003, 2004, 2007, District Champions 1981, 1991, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, Northeast Ohio Tennis Association League Champions 1979 - Division A, 1980 - Division A, 1981 - Division A, 1983 - Division A, 1991 - Division A, 1999 - Division A/Group 1, 2000 - Division A/Group 2, 2001 - Division A, 2002 - Division C, 2003 - Division C, 2004 - Division A, 2004 - Division C, 2005 - Division A, Private School League Champions 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, Independent School League Champions 2005.

Science Research and Engineering Program[edit]

Hathaway Brown’s Science Research and Engineering Program is an elective that was initiated in early 1998 by HB Director of Research Patricia K. Hunt. It now enrolls approximately one third of the grade 9-12 student population. Students in the Program are linked with supervising professionals from institutions such as Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, NASA Glenn Research Center, and the Cleveland Museums of Art and Natural History for the purpose of conducting a research project. Once a placement is made, the SREP Director assists as necessary, also helping students prepare for optional competitions.[5]

While most projects are scientific in nature, a number of students prefer to develop internship or shadowing experiences in non-scientific areas such as sports and entertainment management, architecture, radio broadcast, and fashion retail and marketing.

Current research projects in the Science Research & Engineering Program represent a cross section of the cutting edge research that is occurring in the Cleveland area, such as work on gene therapy, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) nanotechnology, BioMEMS, and microelectrochemical sensor development, as well as research into cures for many life-threatening diseases. One project, called PEACE, addresses a real erosion problem in low earth orbit, and will fly in space twice, once as a short term exposure experiment aboard the space shuttle, and another time as a long term exposure experiment aboard the International Space Station.[6] That version is in space now.

The work of HB's Science Research & Engineering Program students has garnered hundreds of awards at the regional, state, national, and international levels since 1999, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships, cash, and other prizes such as computers and all-expense paid trips to places including London, Germany, and Israel.[7] Four SREP students have US Patents pending for their original inventions, and there are over 70 student authorships or co-authorships on technical publications or presentations.[8][9]

Robotics program[edit]

In the 2007-08 school year, Hathaway Brown debuted a FIRST Robotics team. FIRST team 2399 began as a collaborative project between Hathaway Brown and Case Western Reserve University, which provided facilities and mentors. In 2009, the team took home awards in robot design, the Delphi Driving Tomorrow's Technology Award and the General Motors Industrial Design Award, from the Buckeye and Pittsburgh regional competitions respectively and progressed to the semifinals at the 2009 Pittsburgh Regional.[10] The team moved all operations from Case to Hathaway Brown in the 2011 season and continues to compete annually in the FIRST Robotics Competition.

Accreditation and membership[edit]

  • Founding Member, National Coalition of Girls Schools[11]
  • Independent School Association of Central States, State of Ohio[12]
  • Member, National Association of Independent Schools[13]

Notable alumnae[edit]


  1. ^ a b OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association member directory". Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  2. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  3. ^ Hubbell & Bennes Cleveland Landmarks Commission
  4. ^ a b c d OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  5. ^ http://www.hb.edu/page.cfm?p=335
  6. ^ http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/MISSE_PEACE_Feature_prt.htm
  7. ^ http://www.hb.edu/page.cfm?p=392
  8. ^ http://www.hb.edu/page.cfm?p=1472
  9. ^ http://www.hb.edu/uploaded/Institute_for_21st_Century_Education/PublicationsPresentations.pdf
  10. ^ https://my.usfirst.org/myarea/index.lasso?page=teaminfo&team=2399&event_type=FRC
  11. ^ http://www.ncgs.org/profiles/hathawaybrownschool_75/~hathawaybrownschool_75
  12. ^ http://www.oais.org/members.asp
  13. ^ http://www.nais.org/applications/statsmap/detail.cfm?state=oh