Brilla Turns 10!

Dear Brilla Staff, Families, and Friends, 

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!  This year marks Brilla’s 10th anniversary. In the fall of 2013, Brilla welcomed 199 Kindergarten and 1st grade students. We founded our first Brilla school with passion and an educational vision grounded in a reverence for the inestimable dignity of each person. After a summer filled with professional development in preparation for opening our 10th school year this past August 22, we welcomed more than 200 staff members and over 1,800 students to seven campuses across the Bronx (including our new partnership high school, Vertex). Next year we plan to open a new K-8th school in Paterson, New Jersey and shall continue to grow our student count in the Bronx! 

This summer, we welcomed a new Head of Schools and Chief Academic Officer, Douglas Minson. Mr. Minson brings more than two decades of experience in teaching, program management and development, and school leadership. He also brings a wealth of experience in classical education, and we are thrilled to have him at the helm of our schools.

Head of Schools Douglas Minson welcomes a kindergarten student on the first day of school.

This fall we opened our second middle school, Brilla Veritas Middle. Founding principal, Patrick McGowan, describes it as “one of the most exhilarating experiences” of his life, and “filled with joy and purpose.” When asked what middle school was like so far, one of his students replied, “strict, but worth it.” At Brilla we strive to develop a school culture in which students are guided towards the highest ideals while being given all the tools and opportunities they need to flourish. Mr. McGowan remarks, “Walking around the school during the first two days I was proud of what I witnessed from the teachers: boundless energy, unique personalities, clear expectations, joy, and rigor. Seeing a community so aligned on a vision and putting their absolute all into each moment of the day has been truly inspiring.” Our teachers are at the core of our schools and we are grateful for the love and dedication they put into their work.  

Veritas Middle School Principal Patrick McGowan poses with a middle school student.

We’re proud that the publication, New York Family, listed Brilla as one of five excellent charter schools in the Bronx. Brilla is still accepting applications for this school year! Know of a family that would love Brilla? Share our application link with them! 

Thank you for joining us in this worthy mission of forming young people for lives of virtue and excellence. Your support is what helps Brilla shine on! 

Warm regards, 

Luanne D. Zurlo

Executive Director, Brilla Schools Network

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