Stevenson School

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Stevenson School (RLS)
3152 Forest Lake Rd.
Pebble Beach and Carmel, California
United States
Type Independent school
Motto Suaviter in Modo Fortiter in Re
Established 1952
Founder Robert Ricklefs
Headmaster Dr. Kevin M. Hicks
Grades Pre-K through 12
Gender Co-ed
Enrollment 500 (9-12) / 250 (K-8)
Colour(s) Forest green
Mascot Pirates

Stevenson School (formerly known as Robert Louis Stevenson School and hence formerly abbreviated RLS) is a highly selective, coeducational, private school for boarding and day students in preschool through twelfth grade. Its high school and Pre-K through eighth grade campuses are located in Pebble Beach and an unincorporated area of neighboring Carmel, respectively.


In 1952 Robert and Marian Ricklefs established a boarding school on the Monterey Peninsula which they named in honor of Robert Louis Stevenson, the well-known Scottish author who reportedly found inspiration for his tales of high adventure during his 1870s sojourn in the Monterey area. Many of the school buildings, the school newspaper, sports teams, and other features of the school are named for places or themes from Robert Louis Stevenson's life or writings.

In the early years, Stevenson was a boys' school offering education in grades 7-12, though grades 7-8 were discontinued when the high school expanded.

The Pebble Beach Campus has had an Episcopalian chaplain from the early days, though the school has always been open to students of all faiths. The school considers itself to be non-sectarian and explicit religious instruction is not included in the curriculum. In 1987, the Church in the Forest[1] was established in Erdman Memorial Chapel on the Pebble Beach campus, initially with both Episcopalian and Methodist chaplains.[2] The chapel is used by some local residents, and is where boarding students attend vespers.

Robert Ricklefs served as headmaster until he retired in 1970; he was succeeded by Gordon Davis, during whose term (1970–1982) the school opened its doors to girls as day students (1976).[3]

Joe Wandke arrived in 1983, and during his administration the school has undergone a thorough renovation of the physical plant. In 1988 girls were first admitted as boarding students with the opening of the Silverado dormitory.

Also in 1988, the school was approached by the board of Briarcliff Academy, a private elementary school in the unincorporated area of Carmel Woods, north of Carmel, regarding a merger of the two schools. Stevenson then became a two-campus school comprising grades kindergarten through 12. The Carmel Campus (grades K through 8, adding Pre-K in September 2011) is located in Carmel, while the Pebble Beach Campus (grades 9-12) occupies the original school's location in Pebble Beach.

In 2003 the Rosen Family Student Center was opened. Located in the middle of the Pebble Beach campus, the building features a college center, photography lab, tech center, activities center, wilderness center, multiple classroom, and the new location of KSPB 91.9. The building is decorated with plush rugs and also features an amphitheater stage, which hosts school assemblies and concerts.

In 2015, it was announced that Stevenson graduate Kevin Hicks would succeed Wandke as president.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Stevenson fields varsity teams in tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, American football, lacrosse, field hockey, swimming, water polo, and sailing, among others. Historically, Stevenson has fielded strong teams in tennis, golf, lacrosse, and soccer.

Stevenson also hosts the Stevenson Lacrosse Camp each year in July.

Clubs and activities

The school is home to KSPB 91.9 FM. Other clubs include international debate societies such as Model UN, music and athletic fan clubs, Amnesty International, and community service groups such as the Red Cross Club.

Academic program[edit]

Stevenson offers a wide range of courses geared to prepare students for further study at colleges and universities around the world. Students take courses in English, fine arts, foreign languages (currently Latin, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese), history, mathematics, science, technology and outdoor education. The school also has a long history of hosting AFS exchange students. Several students participate in study abroad programs each year.

Stevenson students have a long history of attending universities all over the United States. Popular choices include UCLA, USC, and LMU. Nearly 100% of Stevenson graduates continue their education elsewhere.

Notable graduates[edit]


External links[edit]