The institute is committed to develop individual students as responsible global citizens and leaders in their respective communities, with a multicultural and international perspective
Brent International School Baguio was established in 1909, the same year as Baguio City. It has over 110 years of colorful history. It was originally set up to provide education for the families of American missionaries and military personnel, and quickly became the first coeducational day and boarding school in East Asia. During the Second World War, it was briefly shut down, and served as a hospital and officers’ residents during the Japanese occupation. It reopened after the war and expanded its vision to serve the educational needs of both international and local students.
It is a national historical site, and holds the oldest wood building still standing in Baguio City—Ogilby Hall—named after the school’s first Headmaster. This is a school well-grounded in rich history and proud tradition. In more recent years, the school has expanded its infrastructure. It currently serves both boarding and day students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The campus covers roughly 12 hectors, with 10 buildings serving as learning spaces for students. In addition to classroom space, it has a gymnasium, two libraries, fully equipped science labs, chapel, two computer labs equipped with iMacs, a football field, playground, outdoor basketball court, music room, and theater. Most notable about the campus are its green spaces. As one steps onto the campus from the city street, it is akin to entering a private park. There are hundred-year-old tropical pine trees forming a canopy over the buildings, and large grassy areas where students and teachers can sit and enjoy the beautiful natural aesthetic of the Northern Philippines. The campus is kept well groomed with flower beds bordering the roads, and a nature trail running around the campus, lined with bamboo, flowers, and pine trees.
Brent Baguio was the first Brent school in the Philippines, and from it grew other Brent campuses in Manila and Subic. The three campuses are currently united under Brent Schools Inc. As a united family of schools, Brent continues to stand for sound scholarship and Christian ideals with a steadfast adherence the high standards set by Bishop Charles Henry Brent.
Exceptional Educational Facilities
The school’s philosophy is well summarized in their expected school-wide learning results, which prepare the students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers, technologically literate individuals, healthy and tolerant individuals, effective communicators, and life-long learners.
The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which is one of the six accrediting associations in the United States. They offer their own Brent School curriculum—modeled after an American curriculum—which culminates in a Brent High School Diploma. In addition, they offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program in grades 11 and 12. Both programs are rigorous in nature, and prepare the students for admissions into excellent colleges and universities around the world.
About the President
Dick Robbins is the President and CEO of Brent Schools Inc., and the Headmaster of Brent International School Baguio. He has been serving in the Philippines for over thirty years, and has been working with Brent School for most of that time. In 2004, Mr. Robbins assumed the position of headmaster, and consolidated all the Brent campuses under his governance. He is one of the most long-standing school administrators in Asia-Pacific, and brings a plethora of wisdom and experience to the school. The students at Brent are always overjoyed when he speaks at an assembly; his messages are relevant and always riddled with humor, and his charisma has everyone feeling part of the family.
Crafting an Empirical Learning Environment
Experiential learning is a key approach for Brent Baguio to educate its students about the socio-economic and cultural aspects of the Philippines. School-wide events such as Filipino Day, United Nations Day, and the school’s Medical Dental Optical Mission engage students to participate in either celebrating local culture or responding to the local community’s needs. Lower school students have a Community Day where Brent students and local day-care students come together to have a morning of interaction and fun. Middle school students have a Middle School Outreach day where students put together school packs for students in a local school and play games with them. A Middle School Camp held every year features a day of interacting with a local community. Upper School students have a variety of service-learning clubs such as the Global Issues Network, the Green Earth Ambassadors, and the Happiness Club– all targeting specific socio-economic issues of local communities. Long term partnerships with NGOs like Gawad Kalinga Benguet, Noble Trends Foundation, New Media Services, and the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm complement the school’s Creative, Activity and Service (CAS) courses for Grade 11 and 12. Social entrepreneurs and local experts are invited to school assemblies and IB classes like Economics; Business Management; Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS); and Theory of Knowledge to speak on environment conservation, indigenous knowledge, and socio-economic issues.
The school has produced numerous graduates who have made a name for themselves in various walks of life. Among the many notable alumni who have walked the halls of Brent Baguio is Philippine scholar and historian James J. Halsema. After graduating in 1936, James proceeded to Duke University where he received a degree in History honors, and later, in 1940, a Masters in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University. The Halsema family partly has its roots in Baguio City and the rest of the Cordilleras with James’ father, E.H. Halsema serving as district engineer and mayor of Baguio City for 17 years, and so it was no surprise that James came back to the Philippines as a writer and eventually editor of the Manila Daily Bulletin. In 1941-1945, James was interred by the Japanese Army, both in Baguio and Bilibid prisons. After his release, he worked as an associated press correspondent for the Philippines and Indonesia, and eventually became a US Foreign Service officer serving in posts in the US and other places in Asia and Europe for the next 30 years. He wrote Bishop Brent’s Baguio School published in 1987 and the biography, E.J. Halsema: Colonial Engineer published in 1991. James passed away on February 18, 2005.
Another renowned alumnus of the institute is the Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO of Care.com, Sheila Lirio Marcelo. Sheila majored in Economics in Mount Holyoke College and later on attained her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree and MBA from Harvard University. She is a recipient of a number of national awards such as the Philippine Presidential Awards and a Senate Recognition for women. Her company, Care.com, is the biggest online platform for providing family care, serving 29.6 million people in 20 countries. She currently is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston Children’s Hospital, the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board, and is a member of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership. Her many international recognitions include being part of the Milken Institute Global Forum, “Building Meaningful Lives: Women at the Forefront 2018”, a panel discussion alongside scientist and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall; and actress and activist, Goldie Hawn.
The last but not the least is Baguio local businessman, restaurateur, and multi-awarded race car driver, Carlos Anton. A Baguio local, Carlos puts Baguio in national and international headlines for achievements in the race track such as the Asian Formula 3 series, Taiwan Auto Gymkhana Prix, and recently the Philippine Autocross Championship, to name a few. He is an eight-time Driver of the Year awardee of the Automobile Association of the Philippines. Carlos likewise partners with Make a Wish Foundation for many of his philanthropic work.
Career Opportunities and Exposures
As a college preparatory school, Brent Baguio is very conscious of equipping students for post-secondary acceptances and success. They work with high school students, starting in grade 9, to provide them exposure to university application processes, requirements, and options. They invite many schools, both local and international, to give presentations to their students about their universities and programs. With their relatively small student body, the institute is able to focus specific attention with each student and their family throughout the application process.
During the school year, they bring in parents and guest speakers to talk with the students, at all grade levels, about their careers or organizations. This gives the students a sense for what successful people are actually doing in the world, what skills they need to have, and the path they took to get there.
Website: Brent International School