Marin Academy

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Marin Academy
Marin Academy (crest).png
1600 Mission Avenue

United States
TypePrivate, Coeducational
Motto"Think, question, create."
Head of SchoolAnne Travis Brownley
Average class size15 students[2]
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Red and black          
Athletics25 teams

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,[3] MA was founded in 1971 with 16 faculty and a student body of 59.[4]

From an admissions standpoint, Marin Academy is one of the most competitive private high schools in the Bay Area. In the 2015–2016 school year, Marin Academy accepted only one in four students who applied.[5]

The cost of attendance at Marin Academy for the 2018-2019 school year is $43,785.[6]


MA requires students to take two years of one of its performing or visual arts programs, four years of English, three years of History, three years of Mathematics, three years of Science (Biology, Chemistry, and one Physics course are required), and two semesters of Human Development, a health and social awareness class.[1] In addition to classroom instruction, Marin Academy students undertake a number of non-traditional learning experiences such as minicourse,[7] the Outings program,[8] end-of-year projects (EOY), a wilderness quest, and mandatory senior speeches or senior arts. The student body sustains many socially conscious student organizations[9] and has been active in politics in Marin.[10][11] The school conducts annual conferences and workshops on equality and social justice, called the Conference on Democracy[12][13][14] and has a tradition of seniors delivering speeches to school assemblies.[15]

Foster Hall and 'the Circle' are at the center of Marin Academy's San Rafael campus
The Library building (right) and Bodie Brizendine Leadership Center or 'BBLC' (left), which contains administrative spaces, the school café, and classrooms.
A plaque dating from the days of the San Rafael Military Academy


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 two-thirds of the faculty hold advanced degrees.[2] More than 99% of Marin Academy graduates go on to attend a four-year college or university.[16]

Marin Academy acknowledges the ways today’s graduates must differ from those of twenty years ago. As such, the school strives to graduate students who aren’t just knowledgeable and adept in a variety of subjects, but who also have the ability to thrive in and contribute to our ever-shifting world. As such, we have identified five essential competencies for our graduates:

* Demonstrated Empathy: Students utilize cross-cultural awareness and emotional intelligence to understand and appreciate difference, privilege, and their connection to others in a global community with integrity and gratitude.

* Imaginative Curiosity: Students use their imagination, content knowledge, inquiry skills, and passion to wonder, explore ideas, solve problems, and create.

* Intellectual Flexibility: Students work both collaboratively and individually to embrace academic and intellectual challenge, using multiple perspectives and evidence to support, challenge, and refine their arguments. They can persuade—using evidence based on sound research—and they can be persuaded to change their minds.

* Compelling Expression: Students effectively articulate their ideas, feelings, and passions through arts and languages, and are proficient in multiple modes of written, oral, artistic, and media communication and presentation.

* Strategic Boldness: Students use a growth mindset and reflection to collaborate, courageously engage, and take healthy risks to gain confidence, leadership, and resilience. They are biased toward action, and use their educational and other gifts toward impacting their communities and world.

To assist our students in developing and strengthening these competencies, our program—academic and co-curricular—focuses on cooperative learning, creativity, critical thinking, experiential learning, intellectual challenge, interdisciplinary courses, and transdisciplinary learning.

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.[17]


Marin Academy has developed a strong athletics program, highlighted by recent successes in boys' soccer, boys' lacrosse, cross country 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.[18] 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.[19] These 5 final matches have fueled a fierce rivalry between the two schools[20] and have been known to attract the entire student body from both schools to matches specifically in the past at Kezar Stadium. Most recently, the high school varsity team captured the NCS title in 2016 despite losing star player - Josh Cohen - a few years prior. Marin Academy's varsity soccer teams, of which the boys' was ranked as high as fourth in the country among schools of all sizes,[21] 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.[22]

In the 2012 spring season, the Girls' 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.

The Marin Academy Cross Country team placed first in NCS in 2015 and placed second in the California State Championships D V in both 2013 and 2015.

Current athletics offered include:[23]

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)

Art Zhao achieving God status


  1. ^ a b c Marin Academy School Profile 2016-2017
  2. ^ a b Marin Academy Welcome
  3. ^ "Marin Historical Society gets $3,000 donation". Marin Independent Journal. 2008-08-31. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  4. ^ Keon, Pam (2008). "Marin Academy Tribute to Jim Thatcher". Marin Academy. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  5. ^ Ramirez, Eddy (2007-09-02). "Finding a Good Grade School, for a Fee". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  6. ^ "Marin Academy - Admission FAQs". Marin Academy. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Student Life: Minicourse". Marin Academy. Archived from the original on 24 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Student Life: Outings". Marin Academy. Archived from the original on 24 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Student Life: Activities". Marin Academy. Archived from the original on 24 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  10. ^ Upshaw, Jennifer (2007-05-01). "Marin march protests immigration raids". Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  11. ^ "Marin Academy group to register voters". Marin Independent Journal. 2008-10-17. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  12. ^ "Marin Academy Conference on Democracy". Marin Academy. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  13. ^ "Marin Academy hosts talk on equity, justice". Marin Independent Journal. 2008-03-11. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  14. ^ Whitaker, Tad (2006-10-14). "Angela Davis gives anti-violence speech to Marin students". Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  15. ^ "Marin Academy Student Handbook" (PDF). 2007–2008. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Marin Academy: College Placement". Marin Academy. Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  17. ^ Whitaker, Tad (2008-01-10). "New leader tapped for Marin Academy". Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  18. ^ Ross, Ian (2006-11-11). "Prep soccer: Marin Academy wins NCS pennant". Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  19. ^ Ross, Ian (2008-11-15). "Prep boys soccer: Marin Academy pounds Head-Royce to claim third consecutive NCS crown". Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  20. ^ "Is Branson vs. MC the Best Rivalry in Marin?". Prep Sports Blog, Marin Independent Journal. 2008-01-09. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  21. ^ "NSCAA/adidas National Rankings". National Soccer Coaches Association of America. 2006-10-10. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  22. ^ John, Tawa. "2004 CIF State Volleyball Championships Recaps". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  23. ^ Marin Academy Athletics
  24. ^ McAuley, Tom (2006-03-07). "The Sweet Smell of Success". CFO. Archived from the original on 2006-10-25. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  25. ^ Kit, Borys (2006-04-06). "Flower Grows into Warner Bros. Pact". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  26. ^ Morgan, John (2003-02-24). "Carre Otis Models Healthy Eating". USA Today. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  27. ^ "Peter Som Fashion Designer". New York Magazine. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  28. ^ "Stroke 9 to Play Tunes from New Album in Redwood City". San Jose Mercury News. 2004-12-22. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  29. ^ "Fashion Toast".[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "San Francisco Ballet Announces Dancer Promotions and New Company Members for 2007 Repertory Season". San Francisco Ballet. 2006-07-11. Archived from the original on February 18, 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2008.

External links[edit]