The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri is sometimes referred to as the ‘Gateway to the West’. It commemorates the first settlers who moved west. But where exactly do you have to be to claim you are in western North America? Some think it might be just west of Austin, Texas where the climate changes once you head toward the Pacific. Others say it refers to anything west of the Mississippi River; this is typically what the Western Boarding Schools Association (www.wbsa.net) uses as a dividing line. Those living west of the Rockies think it is just that: west of the Rockies and Sierra Nevada. To me it is more of a state of mind. At Brentwood we pride ourselves on being a western school. We have the facilities that rival anything in the east but pride ourselves on having a western mentality.
We are also a West Coast school. West Coast means anywhere in the western part of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia or Alaska. This is also a badge we wear with pride. Our school is right on the Pacific. It defines us.
Finally, we are a Pacific Northwest School and we are the only boarding school in this part of the world that sits on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. And on a day like today, with the water glistening and Mt. Baker’s perched majestically across the inlet above the San Juan Islands, there can be no more beautiful place on earth.