Pine Crest School

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Pine Crest School
Pine Crest School (logo).png
Fort Lauderdale &
Boca Raton
, Florida
Type Independent, Non-sectarian
Motto Education. Character. Leadership.
Established 1934
Head teacher Dana Markham, President
Faculty 210
Number of students 2,662 (2 campuses) 441 (Grades 9-12)

Suburban, 78 acres (320,000 m2), Ft. Lauderdale campus.

20 acres (81,000 m2), Boca Raton campus

Forest Green and White

Mascot Panthers
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[3] and hosts students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8. The Fort Lauderdale campus hosts students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.


Pine Crest School became accredited during those years and developed a reputation as an excellent preparatory school. Accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) was followed by membership in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), and numerous other professional groups. To better serve the needs of the expanding community's population, the school was incorporated as a non-profit institution in 1959 and moved in 1965 to an entirely new 49-acre campus in northeast Fort Lauderdale. At that time, William J. McMillan '45, the founder's son, became headmaster and served in that capacity until 1988, when Lourdes M. Cowgill was invested as Headmistress and Mr. McMillan held the position of President of the Pine Crest Preparatory School Corporation. Cowgill succeeded Mr. McMillan as President on September 1, 1995. In January 2011, the Board of Trustees forcibly retired Cowgill to appoint Henry M. Battle, Jr. as the school's fourth president. After a whirlwind of controversy,[4] Battle was placed on administrative leave. The Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Dana Markham as acting president in May 2011, and, in December 2011, she became the fifth president of Pine Crest School.[5]

Aerial View of the Pine Crest campus in Fort Lauderdale as of 2009.

Campuses and facilities[edit]

Fort Lauderdale campus[edit]

The 62nd Street 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 265
Baseball Roschman Field 215
Swimming & Diving Schlesinger Aquatics Center & Woodson Pool 195
Softball Softball Field 90
Tennis Malinchak Tennis Center 80
Weightlifting Brown Weight Room 26
Crew Kelley Boathouse --
Cross Country Mills Pond Park --
Golf Coral Ridge C.C. & Pompano Beach G.C. --
Sailing Ft. Lauderdale Y.C. --
Athletics Offices & Storage Lane Hall --
Locker Rooms, Offices & Storage Behring Athletics Building & Linnel 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.[6] Current work focuses on the construction of new loggias and courtyards to connect the new Upper School building to the existing campus, as well as extensive remodeling of the administrative complex and old Institute for Civic Involvement Building to house the administrative offices displaced by the demolition of the A-wing.

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).[7]

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 DC and Pine Crest was just ahead of the Washington International School and Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, California.[8]

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.

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.[9]

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.[10]


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, 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. In 2007 Stephanie Feeley got to the quarterfinals at the National Forensics League Championships in Wichita, Kansas.


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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

The Pine Crest boys' lacrosse team was the state champion in 2002.[14] 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.[15] The girls' tennis team also won the state title in 2015.[16]

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.[17] and in 2012 the varsity men's team placed second in the lightweight eight event at the SRAA (Scholastic Rowing Association of America) championships.[17]

5 Team National Champions[edit]

  • 1993 Girls' Swimming & Diving
  • 1998 Cheerleading
  • 1999 Cheerleading
  • 2001 Cheerleading
  • 2004 Cheerleading

62 Team State Champions[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 (94,04)
  • 2 Girls' Tennis (80,15)
  • 1 Boys' Golf (96)
  • 1 Girls' Crew (04)
  • 1 Boys' Crew (05)
  • 1 Boys' Tennis (12)
  • 1 Girls' Cross Country (16)


In the 2004-2005 school year, three students - Kyle Mahowald, Andrew Malcolm, and Caitlin McAuliffe - 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).[18] 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.[19]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Pine Crest School ~ Fact Sheet
  3. ^ Pine Crest School ~ History
  4. ^ Losing Battle: Fort Lauderdale's Most Elite School - Pine Crest - Reels From 99 Days of Ill-Fated Leadership - Page 1 - News - Broward/Palm Beach - New Times Broward-Palm Beac...
  5. ^ Pine Crest School ~ Dr. Dana Markham Takes Helm as Fifth President of Pine Crest School
  6. ^ Pine Crest School ~ Fort Lauderdale Campus Construction
  7. ^ Pine Crest School ~ Boca Raton Campus Construction
  8. ^ staff (none). "The High School Challenge". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 June 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "Fact Sheet". Pine Crest School. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Pine Crest School Coleman Prize Winner Announced!". Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  11. ^ . Pine Crest School Retrieved 29 March 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ . Gatorade Retrieved 29 March 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Pine Crest is State Basketball Champions for 2012". Pine Crest School. 
  14. ^ Regional Ratings
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b . Scholastic Rowing Association of America Retrieved 29 March 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Scholars". Presidential Scholars Foundation. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  19. ^ Pine Crest

External links[edit]

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