Marin Academy

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Marin Academy
Marin Academy (crest).png
"Think, question, create."
1600 Mission Avenue
San Rafael, California
United States
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) None
Established 1971
Head of School Anne Travis Brownley
Faculty 56[1]
Enrollment 400[1]
Average class size 15 students[1]
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Red and black          
Athletics 25 teams
Team name Wildcat

Marin Academy (familiarly known as MA) is a private college preparatory high school in San Rafael, California. Located on the campus that for decades housed the San Rafael Military Academy prior to its closure,[2] MA was founded in 1971 with 16 faculty and a student body of 59.[3]

From an admissions standpoint, Marin Academy is one of the most competitive private high schools in the Bay Area. In the 2007–2008 school year, Marin Academy accepted only one in five students who applied.[4]

The cost of attendance at Marin Academy for the 2013–2014 school year is $37,430.[5]


MA requires students to take two years of the fine arts program.[6] In addition to classroom instruction, Marin Academy students undertake a number of non-traditional learning experiences such as minicourse,[7] the Outings program[8] and Vision Quest.[9] The student body sustains many socially conscious student organizations[10] and has been active in politics in Marin.[11][12] The school has conducted conferences and workshops on equality and social justice,[13][14][15] and has a tradition of seniors delivering speeches to school assemblies.[16]

Foster Hall and 'the Circle' are at the center of Marin Academy's San Rafael campus
The new Library (right) and a renovated Administration building
A plaque dating from the days of the San Rafael Military Academy


Marin Academy has phased out all Advanced Placement classes with the exception of AP Environmental Science. Instead, a plethora of honors and advances courses are offered, which are said to contend with the rigor of traditional Advanced Placement classes.

Marin Academy is an academically focused school, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 9:1 and an average class size of 15. More than 67% of the faculty hold advanced degrees.[1] More than 99% of Marin Academy graduates go on to attend a four-year college or university.[17] Members of the graduating class of 2011 will be attending some of the most prestigious colleges in the United States such as Harvard University, Princeton University, Brown University, Stanford University, Columbia University, and MIT.

Travis Brownley, an educator who was the dean of several prestigious institutions such as the Groton School, was appointed the head of school in 2008 following the departure of the previous head of school, Bodie Brizendine, who had led the school for 12 years, and Dick Drew, who served as interim head of school.[18]


Marin Academy has developed a strong athletics program, highlighted by recent successes in boys' soccer and girls' volleyball. The school competes in The Bay Counties League (BCL) within the North Coast Section (NCS).

Marin Academy won back-to-back North Coast Section championships in boys' soccer in 2000 and 2001, and is a regular contender for regional championships. Girls' varsity soccer won the BCL and placed second in the North Coast Section Championship, losing to the Branson High School 4-2, in 2002. In 2006, the boys' soccer team won their third NCS championship in a match against University High School. Tied 1-1 through overtime, the NCS championship game was decided by penalty kicks, in which MA won 5-4.[19] MA also defeated University in the BCL finals that year. In 2007, MA and University again matched up in the BCL and NCS championships, with UHS winning BCL and MA winning NCS 2-0. In 2008 MA and University were matched up once again in the BCL final and the Wildcats defeated the Devils 2-0.[20] These 5 final matches have fueled a fierce rivalry between the two schools[21] and have been known to attract the entire student body from both schools to matches specifically in the past at Kezar Stadium. Marin Academy's varsity soccer teams, of which the boys' was ranked as high as fourth in the country among schools of all sizes,[22] are coached by Josh Kalkstein.

The girls' volleyball team won the state and NCS division V championships in 2004, after losing to University High School in both the NCS and Northern California championship games the year before.[23]

In the 2012 spring season, the Girl's Varsity Swim Team set the first North Coast Section record in Marin Academy history, with a time of 1:34.82 in the 200 yard freestyle relay. The relay team consisted of senior Charlotte Kamai, junior Tai Hallstein, sophomore Isabelle Kitze, and freshman Maddie Salesky. The girls placed fifth overall at NCS, first out of Marin County teams, and first out of schools with fewer than one thousand students.

The Marin Academy Boys Lacrosse team placed first in NCS against the defending champion Marin Catholic in 2012.

Current athletics offered include:[24]

Notable alumni[edit]

The following people attended Marin Academy (the year shown is their year of graduation or, for non-graduates, the year that their class graduated):


  1. ^ a b c d "Marin Academy (CA) Embraces Sustainability". National Association of Independent Schools. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "Marin Historical Society gets $3,000 donation". Marin Independent Journal. 2008-08-31. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Keon, Pam (2008). "Marin Academy Tribute to Jim Thatcher". Marin Academy. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  4. ^ Ramirez, Eddy (2007-09-02). "Finding a Good Grade School, for a Fee". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  5. ^ "Marin Academy ~Financing". Marin Academy. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Marin Academy: Academics » Requirements". Marin Academy. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "Student Life: Minicourse". Marin Academy. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Student Life: Outings". Marin Academy. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "Vision Quests Remove Spirit-Work Distractions". A Path That Fits. April 11, 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Student Life: Activities". Marin Academy. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  11. ^ Upshaw, Jennifer (2007-05-01). "Marin march protests immigration raids". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "Marin Academy group to register voters". Marin Independent Journal. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Marin Academy Conference on Democracy". Marin Academy. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Marin Academy hosts talk on equity, justice". Marin Independent Journal. 2008-03-11. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  15. ^ Whitaker, Tad (2006-10-14). "Angela Davis gives anti-violence speech to Marin students". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  16. ^ "Marin Academy Student Handbook" (PDF). 2007–2008. p. 10. Retrieved 1 December 2008. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Marin Academy: College Placement". Marin Academy. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  18. ^ Whitaker, Tad (2008-01-10). "New leader tapped for Marin Academy". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  19. ^ Ross, Ian (2006-11-11). "Prep soccer: Marin Academy wins NCS pennant". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  20. ^ Ross, Ian (2008-11-15). "Prep boys soccer: Marin Academy pounds Head-Royce to claim third consecutive NCS crown". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  21. ^ "Is Branson vs. MC the Best Rivalry in Marin?". Prep Sports Blog, Marin Independent Journal. 2008-01-09. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  22. ^ "NSCAA/adidas National Rankings". National Soccer Coaches Association of America. 2006-10-10. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  23. ^ John, Tawa. "2004 CIF State Volleyball Championships Recaps". Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  24. ^ "Marin Academy Athletics: Team List". Marin Academy. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  25. ^ McAuley, Tom (2006-03-07). "The Sweet Smell of Success". CFO (Magazine). Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  26. ^ Kit, Borys (2006-04-06). "Flower Grows into Warner Bros. Pact". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 November 2008. [dead link]
  27. ^ Morgan, John (2003-02-24). "Carre Otis Models Healthy Eating". USA Today. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  28. ^ "Peter Som Fashion Designer". New York Magazine. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  29. ^ "Stroke 9 to Play Tunes from New Album in Redwood City". San Jose Mercury News. 2004-12-22. Retrieved 19 November 2008. 
  30. ^ "Weird Childhood Doodles Inspire Webby Winner". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 9 May 2009. 
  31. ^ "Fashion Toast". 
  32. ^ "San Francisco Ballet Announces Dancer Promotions and New Company Members for 2007 Repertory Season". San Francisco Ballet. 2006-07-11. Retrieved 20 November 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]