Our mission & vision
Seattle School for Boys encourages and inspires boys to become collaborative learners, creative thinkers, and compassionate leaders who genuinely care about our diverse global community.
Seattle School for Boys provides experiential learning to a diverse community of middle-school-aged boys through a problem-based approach rooted in neural education. We celebrate creativity, invention, and holistic self-expression.
Through the use of evidence-based teaching methods, our learning platform advances the social, emotional, and cognitive growth of boys and inspires them to become active members in their community while championing social justice.
- Bringing joy, curiosity and rigor to learning.
- Open mindedness and thoughtful engagement with our community.
- You. Me. Us. Them. Mutual respect and compassion.
- Self-awareness, self-expression and collaborative work.
Our learning space
Seattle School for Boys recently moved into a larger space located in central Seattle at 2100 E. Spruce Street, near the Spruce Street Mini Park and the Rotary Boys & Girls Club. With 48 students in grades 6, 7 and 8, the new location provides classrooms and community space to support the school’s program and allows room for future growth. Our new space also ensures that lunchtime can be a time for fresh air and free play (like frisbee and climbing trees at parks), and encourages outdoor exploration. Public transportation options abound.
At Seattle School for Boys, we understand how the middle school years profoundly impact cognitive, social, and emotional development, which is why our learning spaces and educational frameworks include flexible interdisciplinary curricula that encourage active and personalized learning.
So, when delving into various topics, the four walls of the typical classroom give way to experiential learning via our Bridges Program. Here, students walk, bike, and take public transportation to utilize the many public parks and spaces nearby.
Experiential learning in collaboration with community organizations allows our students to get hands-on guidance from experts in areas such as engineering, construction, and the arts while exploring diverse environments throughout the greater Seattle area.
Head of school
Alvertis Brooks, Jr.
Mr. Brooks will join Seattle School for Boys in July 2022, after serving as Assistant Director of Athletics with Seattle Public Schools. He previously served as Director of Operations at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy and as Assistant Director of Athletics at University Prep, as well as being the owner and consultant at Learn With Us Now.
Mr. Brooks is a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting with an emphasis in finance and he holds a Master’s degree in education from the University of Washington. He is pursuing his doctorate in education at UW’s Leadership for Learning. A father of three, he has served on a number of advisory boards focused on the development of culturally responsive spaces for students. As a leader for equitable systems, he looks forward to building community involvement and advancing the vision for Seattle School for Boys.
“I am excited for this opportunity to work with SSB’s inspiring students and dedicated faculty and staff,” said Brooks. “With its experiential learning environment and commitment to ensuring all students are seen for who they are and what they bring, I believe Seattle School for Boys serves an important role in our community.”
“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Brooks to the Seattle School for Boys community,” said Search Committee Co-Chairs Andrea Gates Sanford and Peter Berner-Hays. “As a strategic thinker and engaged leader, with experience working in public, independent, and startup schools, Mr. Brooks is uniquely positioned to lead SSB as it expands its reach, deepens its roots, and continues to deliver on its mission.”
Mr. Brooks takes over from Interim Head of School, Patti Hearn, who has successfully led the school since August 2020, including through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interim Head of School, Patti Hearn, has successfully led the school since August 2020, including through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Hearn has over 25 years of experience in independent schools. She has lead SSB with purpose, focus, and flexibility and is also a birth doula, black belt, parent, teacher, and learner.
Faculty & staff
Director of Admissions,
Dr. Conrad Webster
Director of Student Support
Chief Academic Officer, Humanities teacher
Staff: Registrar and Office Administrator
Director of Student Support, STEAM teacher
2022-23 School calendar
Important dates (dates with no school in bold)
- 8/22-8/30: Teacher prep and professional development
- 8/31: New Student Orientation (half day)
- 9/5: No school: Labor Day
- 9/6: All School Orientation (9 am-1 pm)
- 9/7: All School Orientation (9 am-1 pm)
- 9/8: First Day of School (8:30 am-3:33 pm)
- 9/28: Picture Day
- 9/29: Curriculum Night
- 10/14: No school: Professional development
- 11/11: Veterans Day - School In Session
- 11/17: First trimester STEAM fair
- 11/21-22: No school: Conferences
- 11/23-25: No school: Thanksgiving Break
- 12/15: Winter Showcase
- 12/19-1/2: No school: Winter Break
- 1/3: No school: Professional development
- 1/16: No school: MLK Day
- 1/17: No school: Professional development
- 1/19: Mid-trimester STEAM fair
- 2/17: No school: Professional development
- 2/20-24: No school: Midwinter Break
- 3/13-14: No school: Conferences
- 3/15-17: Spring Camps
- 3/24: No school: Professional development
- 4/6-7: No school: Conferences
- 4/10-14: No school: Spring Break
- 5/18: Spring Showcase
- 5/29: No school: Memorial Day
- 6/7: Field Day /Last day of school
- 6/8: Graduation
Seattle School for Boys is seeking educators with experience in humanities and/or math and STEAM to join our interdisciplinary, collaborative teaching team. We have an opportunity for a resident or primary teacher to work with students in core academic classes, electives, experiential learning programs, and the extended day program.
We are always interested in connecting with people who may bring their skills and innovations to our school. If you are a passionate educator who wants to be part of a joyful, adventurous learning environment, we would love to hear from you. Send us your resume at email@example.com.
Seattle School for Boys was founded by Jerome Hunter and Drew Markham.
Jerome Hunter is a co-founder and head of academics at Seattle School for Boys. Jerome is a contributing member of the Institute for Connecting Neuroscience with Teaching and Learning, and he is also in his fourth year as a mentor with My Brother’s Keeper. Based in his belief that boys can advance beyond the confines of traditional male socialization and toward a holistic version of themselves when provided the appropriate tools, he works to create neural educational models and experiential learning projects for SSB that align with ethnic studies and multicultural education, providing a space for middle school boys to feel safe, welcome and encouraged to grow as individuals.
Drew Markham is a co-founder and Board member at SSB. Watching her older child thrive at an all-girls middle school, where she was supported and encouraged through the tricky middle school years, Drew was dismayed to find that a similar educational experience was not available for her son. She worked to form a school where boys in our community — bringing together a rich diversity of backgrounds and perspectives — have the opportunity to be supported, guided, and celebrated, and in turn learn to support, respect, and have compassion for others.
The Seattle School for Boys mascot is the Steelheads. This mascot pays homage to the Seattle Steelheads, which were a 1940s Negro league baseball team. In addition, the design honors the unique geographical characteristics of the Coast Salish lands where we reside. SSB aims to embody the courage of the Negro league players and respect for the land, animals, and all that makes the Pacific Northwest home.
Our board of trustees
Joan brings a wealth of experience to SSB, having spent 44 years working in independent, public and parochial schools on both coasts of the U.S. She started her career teaching English, which eventually led to 26 years as the Head of five schools including 13 years as the Head of a Pk-6 day school and completing her career as the Head of Hamlin Robinson School (WA), a school with a mission to serve students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. While at Hamlin Robinson School Joan established the award winning HRS Learning Center and the Teacher Training Program, completed the school’s first capital campaign, moved the school to a newly built campus, increased enrollment by 180%, strengthened the finances and established several endowments. Upon her retirement the school established an endowment in her name, the Joan Beauregard Endowment for Discovery and Enrichment, and named the playfields in her honor.
Joan has been active in the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, NWAIS, serving on the Board of Governors for over 15 years, the Accreditation Committee for 17 years, and held many leadership positions such as Standards and Practices Chair, Treasurer and President of the association. She was also president of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools, an executive committee member of Country Day School Headmaster’s Association and a member of Head Mistresses of the East. She has served on the boards of many independent schools and other organizations. Joan is a founding faculty member of Pathways to Leadership, a two-year program for aspiring woman leaders and has co-facilitated or presented at many regional governance workshops.
Peter has been a Kindergarten teacher, School Counselor and Head of School in a number of independent schools in the Seattle area. He has served on several school boards and on the Board of Governors of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, NWAIS. Throughout his career he has facilitated workshops for new and young teachers supporting their early development with a clear focus on reflection, professional growth, and collegial connection.
A hallmark of Peter’s work in schools is his unwavering appreciation for children and a strong understanding of child and adolescent development.
Peter and Andrea share Board co-president responsibilities for SSB.
Andrea Gates Sanford
Andrea is a graphic designer by trade, starting her career in Austin, Texas, then moving to Washington DC in 1994 to start her own business, She Can Do It, LLC. She was full-time production manager for the launch of Discovery Channel Online before moving to Seattle in 1996 and has provided ringside online streaming video service and podcast support for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the past 15 years. She is now the full-time lead graphic designer for HR Creative Group.
She is a program coordinator for Casting for Recovery Washington and served on the board of directors for the Snow Leopard Trust for over 12 years, as well as serving on the boards of Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability, Indonesian Veterinary Training Program and the Center for Women and Democracy. She received her MBA in sustainable business from BGI in 2011. Her passion for equal rights and social justice led her to be involved with Seattle School for Boys from the very beginning.
Andrea trains and competes in agility and obedience cyno-events with her talented Doberman pinschers. She is an avid reader and enjoys the never-ending but rewarding struggle of learning both the cello and fly fishing, albeit not at the same time.
Peter and Andrea share Board co-president responsibilities for SSB.
LaShondra is an instructional assistant in a preschool classroom at the Haring Center’s Experimental Education Unit at the University of Washington. Working in an environment with both neurodiverse and neurotypical children has paved a way for LaShondra to become more involved in advocating for the needs of all learners, no matter how simple or complex those needs may be. She also serves as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Bertschi School where her two wonderful boys attend elementary school and is an active member of the Bertschi parent council.
When not working, LaShondra enjoys exploring new and exciting kid-friendly and/or challenging hikes around the region, traveling, summer time camping and road trips with her family.
As a mom to two young boys, LaShondra was eager to jump right in as a board member and bring her insight to SSB and collaborate to have the mission of SSB fulfilled.
Drew is a corporate lawyer with expertise in governance and a CPA. After 14 years practicing at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and then four years as an in-house attorney at RealNetworks, she started her own practice, Avisé, SPC, where she provides legal consulting services to publicly traded technology companies. Prior to law school, Drew spent six years working as a certified public accountant, first as an auditor with Ernst & Young and then as a consultant for Levi Strauss & Co.
Drew has served on the boards of directors, including the finance committees and executive committees, of several nonprofit organizations, including Seattle Girls’ School, The RealNetworks Foundation, Child Care Resources, Climate Solutions, and Women’s Funding Alliance. She has done corporate pro bono work for many nonprofit organizations over the past 20 years. Personally, Drew is mom to two teens.
Dawn graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA and received her Master of Arts in Psychology from Seattle University. Professionally, she has worked with women experiencing homelessness in Seattle, as a lead clinician on a behavioral health team in Boston, and as the Managing Editor of Seattle’s Child magazine.
Dawn is mom to identical twin boys, an avid reader, an occasional writer, and an aficionado of colorful language. Honored to be part of SSB’s founding family cohort, Dawn is passionate about fostering a community where boys are empowered to grow into their full social and emotional selves.