Plans for Brentwood Academy began in 1969. The goal was to create a school that nurtured the mind, body and spirit of each child through individualized instruction. Next year, they will be celebrating fifty years of successfully developing young people to be the next generation of leaders in business, industry, medicine, sports, and much more.
“The school’s charter was signed on November 20, 1969,” said Susan Schafer, Brentwood Academy Communications Director, “and classes began on September 8, 1970.”
Bill Brown was the man with the vision and the founding Headmaster. According to Schafer, Brown had had a wonderful experience at a camp he went to as a child in the mid-1950s, and he wanted to create the same learning environment in a school. He believed in developing strong personal relations and teaching by example.
He saw a need for a co-educational high school experience for students in Brentwood, as there were no high schools in Brentwood, only elementary schools. The initial classes were from seventh grade to tenth grade.
“What makes Brentwood Academy unique is that we have only had two Headmasters,” added Schafer, “Bill Brown until 2000, and our current one, Curt Masters. This has allowed the school to keep the mission at the heart of the school.”
That mission statement is, “Brentwood Academy is a co-educational, independent, college preparatory school dedicated to nurturing and challenging the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – to the glory of God.”
Faculty works as a team to ensure that students are developed as a whole person in every aspect of their education, from mathematics, to athletics, to their religious lives. The Christian Life Department of the school acts as the conduit to guide this collaborative process.
“While we are a college preparatory school,” said Schafer, “we help each child find their own definition of success. While we do have one hundred percent of our students attend college, and they receive in total millions of dollars in academic, leadership, and sports scholarships, we want them to be prepared for life.”
One way students are prepared for life is through community involvement. For 20 years, twice a year an entire day is devoted to serving the community. Small groups of students with a faculty advisor go out into the community to complete a service project. These groups have spent time working with Graceworks, Second Harvest Food Bank, and other community aid organizations, as well as doing things like cleaning trails around Radnor Lake.
“Then once a year we have Joe Campbell Service Day,” said Schafer. “The day is named after a beloved teacher who was the embodiment of service. Each year the senior class does a retreat and comes back with what cause the school will work with that year. For several years we have worked with the Wounded Warrior Project. One of our graduates served in Afghanistan, and lost a leg there. His visit to the school after that experience really touched the hearts of our students.”
The school has spent the last 49 years working hard to make Brown and the original Board of Trustees proud of their graduates.