Pine Crest School

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Pine Crest School
Pine Crest School (logo).png
TypeIndependent, Non-sectarian
MottoEducation. Character. Leadership.
PresidentDana Markham
Number of students2,662 (2 campuses)
CampusSuburban, 78 acres (320,000 m2), Ft. Lauderdale campus. 20 acres (81,000 m2), Boca Raton campus
Color(s)Forest Green and White          
Tuition 2017–2018[1]$31,030 (grades 9–12),

$28,545 (grades 6–8), $26,070 (grades 1–5), $24,370 (kindergarten),

$21,155 (pre-kindergarten)

Pine Crest School is a private preparatory school with campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Boca Raton. It was founded in Fort Lauderdale in 1934 by Mae McMillan, who also served as the school's first president.

Pine Crest is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), The Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), and the Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC). Pine Crest has also been named a "Blue Ribbon School" by the United States Department of Education.[2]

Pine Crest School has two campuses—the main Mae McMillan Campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the William J. McMillan Campus in Boca Raton, Florida, United States. The Boca Raton campus, originally Boca Raton Academy, was absorbed by Pine Crest in 1987 and hosts students in pre-kindergarten through Grade 8. The Fort Lauderdale campus hosts students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.


Dr. Mae McMillan, a school tutor, founded a school in 1934 in rented rooms in downtown Fort Lauderdale. In 1939, when there were 100 students, the school moved to a former hospital building on an eight-acre site on East Broward Boulevard in 1939,and boarding of students commenced. A nearby site was eventually purchased for an elementary school. The school was incorporated in 1959, and moved to the current 49-acre site on NE 62nd Street in 1965. The Boca Raton campus for pre-kindergarten to Grade 8 students, originally Boca Raton Academy, became part of Pine Crest School in 1987 The boarding program ended in 2001.[3]

Campuses and facilities[edit]

Fort Lauderdale campus[edit]

The Mae McMillan campus has been greatly expanded since it first opened, and the extensive grounds and various buildings give the Fort Lauderdale campus a collegiate atmosphere. A building campaign at the start of the 21st century saw the construction of a new middle school building, Findeiss Auditorium, a parking garage, and the Huizenga Family Science Center. Athletic facilities include a new health and fitness center constructed in the original Lane Hall boys’ dormitory, a number of locker room facilities, two gymnasia, three pools, Banks Field, Elliot Track, and ten tennis courts. Additionally, the adjacent Freidt campus, commonly referred to as “West Campus,” boasts a number of playing fields for baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse, and softball, a batting cage, boathouse for the crew team, and a nature trail centered on Lake Leone. Fine Arts facilities include the Stacy Chapel and Auditorium, Palmer Dance Studio, McMillian Fine Arts Center, Stacy Arts and Activities Center, and Egan Auditorium. As of 2010, the LEED Gold certified Chiller Plant Building has been completed, providing a chilled water feed to the entire campus.

Athletic venues
Sport(s) Name Capacity
Track & field, cross country, soccer, lacrosse, football (East-Grass) Banks Field & Elliott Family Track 1,540
Football, soccer, lacrosse (West-Turf-Lights) Best Field 1,130
Basketball, volleyball Stacy Gym 805
Basketball, volleyball Munsey Gym 315
Baseball Roschman Field 215
Swimming & diving Schlesinger Aquatics Center & Woodson Pool 195
Softball Softball Field 90
Tennis Malinchak Tennis Center 80
Weightlifting Brandon Knight Sports Performance Center 26
Crew Kelley Boathouse --
Cross country Tradewinds Park --
Golf Coral Ridge C.C. & Palm Aire C.C. --
Sailing Ft. Lauderdale Y.C. --
Athletics offices & storage Lane Hall --
Locker rooms, offices & storage Behring Athletics Building & Linnell Building --

As of 2011, the new Upper School Academic Center has been completed, consolidating the academic functions of the Upper School, which were previously scattered among various buildings, into a single complex.[4] Loggias and courtyards connect the new Upper School building to the existing campus. The center of the campus has the Bell Tower, which houses the Admissions Office and Administrative Offices. In 2015, state-of-the-art Innovation Labs opened on both campuses and for each division of the school.[5]

Upper School Quad of the Pine Crest School campus, 2012

Boca Raton campus[edit]

For many years, the Boca Raton campus functioned out of the original Boca Raton Academy buildings, which were eventually wrapped with loggias in true Pine Crest character to match the Silvers/Rubenstein Library Media Center, Rochelle Levitetz Fine Arts Building, Parents' Association Performing Arts Center, and replication of the Fort Lauderdale campus bell tower, which were built by Pine Crest. As of 2009, the Boca Raton Campus has a new middle school building and dining hall extensions, and the Parents' Association Performing Arts Center was rebuilt after the roof collapsed in the summer of 2004. As of 2010, Pine Crest Boca has finished construction on the new lower school replacement building, which achieved LEED for School Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).[6]

Reputation and rankings[edit]

According to the Washington Post in 2012, Pine Crest School ranked second in the nation based on their index. Ranked first was Saint Anselm's Abbey in Washington, D.C. and Pine Crest was just ahead of the Washington International School and Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, California.[7] According to the 2017 Niche Rankings, Pine Crest School is the #1 Best Private School in Florida.[8]

Academics and notable achievements[edit]

Pine Crest School is known for its academic rigor, offering more than 30 Advanced Placement courses in the Upper School.

In the 2004–2005 school year, three students were named Presidential Scholars by the US Department of Education, the first time more than two students in Florida were given the award; usually two students per state are awarded (six total were awarded to Florida students in 2005).[9] In October 2006, 21 members of the Class of 2007 were named National Merit Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the second most semifinalists of any school in Florida's history. Pine Crest is consistently among the top 25 private schools in the nation for its performance in the competition.[10] In 2016, Pine Crest School 7th graders won "Best in the Nation" in the Verizon App Challenge, which includes a $20,000 grant.[11] In 2016, Pine Crest sophomore Rachel Zietz appeared on Shark Tank to seek an investment in her company.[12]

Performing and visual arts[edit]

Pine Crest's arts program covers visual and performing arts. Facilities include the Palmer Dance Studio and the Stacy Auditorium, which hosts the annual ballet, musical, and several jazz and music performances. Practice facilities for music also exist, along with art studios and facilities for photography. Art is taught from an early age, and students can opt out of physical fitness classes for formal ballet training.

Pine Crest acknowledges its best fine arts students through its annual Founder's Council awards. The Founder's Council was established by Pine Crest School founder Dr. Mae McMillan in 1968. The Council's mission is to support the arts at Pine Crest, which is done through the Student Cultural Arts Series, which includes the Upper School play, ballet, band, choral and strings concerts, the musical, and the art exhibit. Every year, students who have demonstrated excellence in these categories are recognized in the Founder's Council assembly as a tribute to Dr. McMillan.[13]

Traditional Brick Columns on the Pine Crest campus.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni and students of Pine Crest School include:

Student life[edit]

The total enrollment for Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton is 2,555 students.[15]

Each year, Pine Crest awards a student the competitive Coleman Prize which pays for half of the recipient's senior year tuition and is not based on financial need.[16]


Members of the Pine Crest policy debate team were the 1976 National Forensics Champions and the Florida Novice State Champions in 2004, 2008, and 2009. Members of the team were also in the quarterfinals of the prestigious Wake Forest Debate Tournament in 2008 and 2009. The team has placed in the quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions and recently qualified two teams to the Tournament of Champions in 2011 and 2012, one team in 2013, three teams in 2014, and were state champions in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Members of the team also won the Florida Blue Key debate tournament in 2010, and the Wake Forest University National Earlybird Tournament in 2013.


Pine Crest School students produce publications including the school newspaper Type-One, a literary magazine The Scribbler, the Institute for Civic Involvement newsletter The ICI Newsletter, and the nationally award-winning school yearbook, The Crestian.

Pine Crest also publishes an alumni publication, The Magazine, and an online e-newsletter.

Pine Crest has two television stations, PCNN for middle school, and PCTV for upper school. PCTV and PCNN have won numerous national awards from Student Television Network (STN), Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) and more. They had a Sun-Sentinel headline in July 2013 describing their new state-of-the-art $750,000 studio. They attend the Student Television Network Convention annually.


Pine Crest has varsity, junior-varsity (JV) and middle school sports teams, including football, cheerleading, lacrosse, golf, crew, cross country, track & field, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, swimming & diving, tennis, weightlifting and sailing. Athletics are divided into fall, winter, and spring sports, with some programs holding practices during all three seasons. Several Pine Crest alumni have participated at the Olympic Games as swimmers and rowers.

In basketball, two-time Gatorade National Boys' Basketball Player of the Year Brandon Knight led the team to Class 3A state titles in 2008 and 2009.[17]

Crew Team at Pine Crest.

In July 2010, Knight was also named the National Player of the Year at a ceremony prior to the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.[18] Regarded by many as the number-one recruit in the Class of 2010, Knight announced his decision to attend the University of Kentucky live on ESPNU on April 14, 2010. After Brandon Knight's graduation, Pine Crest's basketball team was able to net another championship with a Class 4A state title in 2012.[19]

The Pine Crest boys' lacrosse team was the state champion in 2002.[20] The swim team has been a powerhouse for years, winning a national championship in 1993 and recently Marta Ciesla won 2015 Junior Nationals setting a new meet record.[21] The girls' tennis team won the state title in 2015,[22] and girls' cross country broke the Bolles dynasty taking the crown in 2016 and 2017.

The crew team attends regattas most weekends from February through May and sends over 20 rowers each year to the preliminaries for the CRASH-B Sprints. In 2010, the varsity women's team placed second at the SRAA (Scholastic Rowing Association of America) championships.[23] and in 2012 the varsity men's team placed second in the lightweight eight event at the SRAA (Scholastic Rowing Association of America) championships.[23] In 2017, the men's and women's varsity crew teams attended the Head of the Charles regatta[24] in Boston, Massachusetts.

National champion teams[edit]

  • 1993 Girls' Swimming & Diving
  • 1998 Cheerleading
  • 1999 Cheerleading
  • 2001 Cheerleading
  • 2004 Cheerleading
  • 2010 Women's Crew
  • 2012 Men's Crew

State champion teams[edit]

  • 27 Girls' Swimming & Diving (56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90)
  • 16 Boys' Swimming & Diving (57, 58, 59, 62, 63, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 84, 85, 87)
  • 4 Cheerleading (99, 01, 04, 08)
  • 3 Girls' Volleyball (01, 02, 03)
  • 3 Boys' Basketball (08, 09, 12)
  • 2 Boys' Lacrosse (94, 02)
  • 2 Girls' Tennis (80, 15)
  • 2 Girls' Cross Country (16, 17)
  • 1 Boys' Golf (96)
  • 1 Girls' Crew (04)
  • 1 Boys' Crew (05)
  • 1 Boys' Tennis (12)
  • 1 Girls' Lightweight (17)
  • 1 Girls' 2nd Varsity 4 (18)


  1. ^ "Pine Crest School - Tuition". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Pine Crest School ~ Fact Sheet". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  3. ^ "History of Pine Crest School". Pine Crest School. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Fort Lauderdale Campus Construction". Pine Crest School. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  5. ^ "New for 2015-16: Computer Science, iLabs, and Reimagined Libraries". Pine Crest School. 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  6. ^ "Boca Raton Campus Construction". Pine Crest School. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  7. ^ staff. "The High School Challenge". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  8. ^ "2017 Best Private High Schools in Florida". Niche. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  9. ^ "Scholars". Presidential Scholars Foundation. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Pine Crest". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Pine Crest School 7th graders win Best in Nation, $20,000 grant in Verizon Innovative App Challenge | The Starting Gate". Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  12. ^ "Meet the 15-year-old lacrosse entrepreneur who swam in the Shark Tank". USA Today High School Sports. 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  13. ^ "Pine Crest Upper School Students Receive Founder's Council Recognition". Pine Crest School. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Pine Crest School | Alumni in the Arts".
  15. ^ "Fact Sheet". Pine Crest School. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  16. ^ "Pine Crest School Coleman Prize Winner Announced!". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  17. ^ . Pine Crest School Retrieved 29 March 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ . Gatorade Retrieved 29 March 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Pine Crest is State Basketball Champions for 2012". Pine Crest School. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  20. ^ "Regional Ratings". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Pine Crest's Marta Ciesla '17 Wins 50m Freestyle National Championship". Pine Crest School. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Pine Crest Girls Varsity Tennis Wins State Tournament". Pine Crest School. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  23. ^ a b . Scholastic Rowing Association of America Retrieved 29 March 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ Gabrielle, Mary Elizabeth. "Crew Team Competes at the Head of the Charles for First Time in School History". Type One. Retrieved 2018-05-21.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°22′27.50″N 80°8′9.78″W / 26.3743056°N 80.1360500°W / 26.3743056; -80.1360500