Brighton High School (Rochester, New York)

Brighton High School (BHS) is a public high school located in Rochester, New York, in the suburb of Brighton. It offers a comprehensive curriculum for students in grades 9-12.

The current principal is Nancy Hackett.


Brighton High School is a renowned public high school, often located at the top of national rankings.

Since the late 1990s, a number of teachers have retired or resigned, such as Bill McLaughlin, Steve Whitman, Stewart McBean, and Principal Bill Maxwell. However, master teachers Mr. Noto, Ms. Satter and Mr. Fredenberg remain. Brighton does offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes in numerous subjects, including Calculus, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Economics, Government and Politics, United States History, World History, European History, Music Theory, Statistics, Psychology, English Literature, English Language, Spanish, French, computer programming, and German.

It was one of the first schools in the state to offer 5 courses in the Russian language, and was also one of the first to sample the AP Russian pilot exam. Brighton's Physics department remains highly esteemed. Ted Kinsman, who teaches Algebra and Calculus based Physics, is a world-renowned photographer. Brad Allen, a Cambridge University graduate and trombone player, joined Brighton in 2005 and has already been involved in numerous physics related extracurricular activities.

Brighton is a suburb of the city of Rochester, yet also borders the city. This factor, combined with the fact that countless faculty members at the University of Rochester live in Brighton, help account for large ethnic and racial diversity. The high school has an urban-suburban program that allows inner city students to attend Brighton High School. The school is mostly liberal and has a significant Jewish population.


In 1988, Brighton was listed in the book "High Schools USA" as the #1 public school in the country. The school has appeared on Newsweek Magazine's Top 100 Public High Schools list. In 1998, it achieved its highest ranking on the Newsweek list, taking the 5th spot. In 2006, it placed 96th. In 2007, it placed 79th one ahead of Pittsford. Rankings fluctuate heavily based upon AP exams administered relative to the graduating senior class.

In 2007, U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked Brighton High School number 57 out of 18,790 public high schools. It was the only Monroe County school included in the list.

The class of 2005 graduated 311 students. There were 6 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists and 14 National Merit Scholarship commended students. Mean SAT scores were 614 verbal and 640 math. 80% of those taking AP examinations received a grade of 3 or higher.

About 90% of graduates continue their education, including attendance at prestigious universities. Recent graduates are attending Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, The University of Virginia, Hampshire College, Johns Hopkins University, Amherst College, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, University of Chicago, Duke University, Brown University, Williams College, Brandeis University, Syracuse University, Middlebury College, University of Rochester, Wellesley College, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University, Gannon University, SUNY College at Geneseo, and SUNY Potsdam.

Brighton High School's Kick Cancer's Button Club has raised over $19000 for cancer awareness in honor of Jonathon B. Angelone.


Brighton offers an assortment of foreign language courses. Here is a list of languages and faculty:

  • French - Thomas De Fiore, Christine Speer
  • German - Susan Gillespie, Mary Ann Walter,
  • Latin - Virginia Schults
  • Russian - Elena Coyle
  • Spanish - Melissa Manghietr, Dorene Estrada, Lori Boyd, Christine Speer, Thomas De Fiore, Viviam Clark, Linda Palmer

The Arts

In March 2007, Brighton High School students acted in a one-night only shadow production of Our Town at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York. Directed by BHS's own Judy Shomper, 11th grade English teacher, the play provided an opportunity for the students to make new bonds with professional actors after viewing several rehearsals and the professional final product.

Brighton's art and literary magazine, Galaxy, was created in 1954, and has since won a variety of awards.

Brighton High School has over 20 different musical groups, ranging from Jazz Band to Crazy Pitches, a coed a capella group.

Teachers of the arts at Brighton High School include:

  • Acting - Judy Shomper
  • Brass/Percussion/Wind Instruments - Therese Schmid, Michael Struzik
  • Choral Groups - Jason Berger
  • String Instruments - Cheryl Guth

In 1991, "The Morning Show" was created at BHS by producers Bennett Killmer and Joe Nussbaum. Nussbaum went on to direct the short film George Lucas in Love, and the feature films Sleepover, American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile and Sydney White starring Amanda Bynes.


In the 2006 season, the boys volleyball team went to sectional finals, beaten by Victor in the final game.

The Brighton Girls Lacrosse program is recognized nationally for its consistency in producing Division 1 players. Those schools include: Northwestern (Hilary Bowen and Danielle Spencer), Duke (Alex Ryan), Yale (Sarah Ballatori and Arianna Papier), John's Hopkins (Rachel Ballatori) and UCONN (Katie Parker). The Girls Lacrosse team has won the Section 5 Championship for 11 years running and has made numerous trips to the NYS Championship, winning the NYS Class B Championship in 2005.

John Dugan’s school record setting performance of 1:55.0 at the 1989 NYSPHSAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 800 meters stood for nearly twenty years. In 2007, Mike Geary set new marks for both the 800 meter (1:54) and the 1600 meter (4:19).

Brighton's eternally modest assistant track coach Steve Pulos PhD is a former track All-American at 10,000 meters, Wineglass Marathon champion (2:34), and Lilac Festival 10k champion. Steve was the individual winner of the prestigious Lilac Festival 10k road race in 1980 with a time of 30:24, although he would never personally admit to any of his running accomplishments. To put this monster run into perspective, the former American record holder at 5k, Matt Centrowicz, would win this race two years later. On top of that, Steve's time blows the doors off several later individual winners, such as Scott Bagley, Todd Reeser, and Tom Haxton (perennial Rochester road racing champion, University of Rochester All-American, and University of Chicago All-American, respectively).

In addition, Coach Pulos team's have won eight Section V Championships in track/cross country during his coaching tenure at Brighton High.

In 2006 Zack Ellis(103 sophomore) went to states placed 2nd

In 2007 two members of the brighton varsity wrestling team went to states, Joey Disalvo(215) and Zach Elis(112), a senior and a junior respectively

In 2008 Zack Ellis(119) returned to states with another senior, Matt Mahon(285)

The boys and girls cross-country team were New York State Champions in 2004.

The Girls Alpine Ski Team won the NYS crown in 2005.

The Boys Lacrosse team won the 2004 sectional championship.

The Boys Basketball team produced a 17-3 record in 2007 and advanced into the Monroe County Tournament as the number 1 seed for the AA division. Five players were selected to the Monroe County 2007 All-Star Team (Joe Reed, Brad Cronister, Connor Dever, Dan Holtzman, Brandon Burris).

The Boys Baseball team made it to the sectional championships in 2006 where they lost to rival Pittsford Sutherland

The Boys Swim team sent several swimmers to the state competition in 2007.

The Brighton Crew team has produced many Division 1 rowers at schools such as Annapolis, Georgetown, Princeton, Stanford, Wisconsin, and Yale. The Boys Crew team won the NYS Championship points trophy in 2005. The Boys Lightweight Four won the NYS Championship in 2005, placed third in 2006, and placed second in 2007. The Boys Double won the NYS Championship in both 2005 and 2007.The Boys Double with Henry Fitts and Aidan Marsh went to Nationals in 2007.

Noted alumni

  • Shirley Jackson, American author, briefly attended the school
  • David T. Kearns, former Xerox CEO and deputy Secretary of Education, attended Brighton
  • Dana Michaeli, member of SpongeBob SquarePants team nominated for a 2007 Creative Arts Emmy, graduated 1988
  • Joe Nussbaum, Film Director
  • Bill Paxon, PAX Network founder attended Brighton High School
  • Alexander Shustorovich, well known international businessman and now a multimillionaire, graduated 1984
  • Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live performer, graduated 1991
  • Josh Lewin 1986 - Television Play by Play announcer for the Texas Rangers since 2002, He also has held the same position with the Rochester Red Wings, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers. Josh does Radio play by play for the NFL's San Diego Chargers. He has subbed doing Hockey for the Dallas Stars, along with Fox National baseball game of the week and FOX's NFL Coverage.
  • Daan Braveman 1965 - President, Nazareth College since 2005
  • Hilary Bowen 2005 - Has led Northwestern to 3 NCAA Women's national something Championships
  • Hudson Leick Actress, class of 1987, best known for roles on Melrose Place and Xena

Noted faculty

  • Ardis Mangione-Lindley, a Social Studies teacher, is the daughter of Gap Mangione and niece of Chuck Mangione. She is married to New York Supreme Court justice Stephen Lindley. She is also an alumnus.
  • Dan Wilmot, a Social Studies Teacher, whose family owns and operates Wilmorite Construction and established the James P Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital.

External links


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