The Thacher School - Review #26

Read more details about The Thacher School on their 2024 profile page.
The Thacher School

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School:
Sports and Activities:
Student Government: I was the School Chairman in my senior year, which included leading the Community Council, Student Leadership Council, and Judicial Council. Soccer: I was the captain of the JV team in both my junior and senior years. Lacrosse: I was captain of the JV team during my junior year. Cross-Country Riding: I also rode the spring of my sophomore year. Cooking Club: I was the head of the Cooking Club during my junior and senior years. The OC Club: Although it was an unofficial club, I thought of myself as the head of this club.
College Enrolled:
Brown University
Home Town, State:
Newport Beach, CA

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Thacher has a unique environment that allows for individuals to truly express themselves. This environment results from the close student-teacher relationships and outdoor program. By the end of my four years at Thacher, many of my teachers had become my friends. I felt comfortable with them and could talk to them, may it be about class or other things, very easily. The outdoor program, which includes the horse program, is also crucial. Every freshman has to care for their horse 7 days a week, and cleaning up after a horse at 6:30 am creates a unique bond between all of the freshman. By the end of your four years at Thacher, you feel as if everyone there is your family and as such, you can be yourself around them.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that ever happened to me was junior year. In my junior year, I realized my true self, and began to express myself. I am now more confident and am not afraid to stand up for what I believe or to be my true self. Words cannot explain how much I value/love my time at Thacher. It made me who I am today.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would have been myself during the first two years. Like many kids in their early teenage years, I was struggling to find myself and eventually did in my junior year.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Everything. There is not one singular thing that I liked most about the school. I think about it everyday and miss everything about it.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Explore the area surrounding the campus. Go running on the trails up in the mountains. Morgan Barnes, although challenging, is one of the most rewarding runs I have ever experienced. Also, run to town. You can take your time, push yourself, or just explore the Ojai. Good times.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
My favorite part about the academics is the teachers. I felt comfortable with my teachers and could approach them easily. They were always very helpful and eager to help clear up any confusion. Some of my teachers became my friends, which created an optimal environment for learning. Although they were my friends, I gave them the respect they deserved. Now that I am at college, I truly realize how important those relationships were and how much I miss them. Many of my teachers were also understanding about the rigors of other classes. If you were to have a particularly hard night and not be able to finish all of your work, many teachers were more than happy to grant some leniency. The classes that I took inspired me to work at my full potential. Especially in my senior year, my classes were incredibly interesting and I enjoyed going to them every day. My teachers pushed me to explore my true potential. In many of my classes, I looked forward to doing my work.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The coaching and competitiveness of the athletics were what I liked most. I mainly participated in JV sports, which were competitive enough so that you would work hard but no so much that it ruled your life. I loved getting psyched up for games and playing my heart out. We had fun playing the sports but when it came time to games, we were serious. We could joke around during practices but we always got the job done. We had more heart than any other team in our league. This phenomenon also resulted from the incredible coaching. The coaches pushed us to work hard and try new things. They didn't care if we failed; they only wanted us to play hard.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was not really a part of these programs. I did participate in Photo, and greatly enjoyed that. I also played the guitar while at Thacher and managed to find friends to perform songs with during Coffee Houses.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The majority of the time in my senior year was occupied by my position as the School Chairman. I enjoyed getting to work closely with the Administration and trying to change the school for the better. In the free time that I did have, I volunteered at the local pre-school. I looked forward to my volunteering every week. It brightened up my day every time I went. Playing with four year old children helped me relax and think about something other than work. It made me realize that some of the things I was worrying about were not that serious.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved dorm life. I loved being with my friends 24/7. Having a single room during your freshman year is also helpful. It is nice to have some privacy during that time. Having a roommate can also be a wonderful thing too, but during your later year. I had a roommate during my sophomore and junior years and especially in my junior year, it helped keep me entertained and happy.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Formal dinner, although it seems like it would not be fun, is a crucial part to the Thacher experience. Formal dinner brings together people from different classes, different groups of friends, and teachers, and forces them to sit down, relax, eat dinner, and get to know each other. Brunch is also a wonderful thing. Sometimes I found myself spending over two hours in the Dining Hall on a lazy Sunday afternoon, relaxing, eating, and hanging out with my friends.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Ojai is an interesting place. I loved running to town. It has an INCREDIBLE burrito place... Rubens. If you visit Thacher, I would recommend going to Rubens. I went every week, without fail. By the end of my four years, the owner knew me by name and my order. I miss Rubens.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The friends you make at Thacher are unlike any other friends you will ever make. There is a familiarity between everyone at Thacher. I always feel comfortable with Thacher people and miss them more than words can explain. Because of the unique environment of Thacher, people can be themselves, which allows for interesting and lively social activities. I loved jumping around at dances, acting like a fool, and getting "down" with my closest friends.

Daily Schedule:

7:30 AM
Wake up
7:45 AM
8:00 AM
Classes until 3:05
3:30 PM
Sports until 5pm
5:00 PM
Play soccer or lacrosse.
6:00 PM
Dinner (still dirty, of course)
7:00 PM
Watch the OC
8:00 PM
Some sort of activity... movies, dances, trips, etc.
10:30 PM
10:30 PM
Wandering (Senior privelege) until 1am
10:00 AM
Wake up
11:00 AM
Go into town for an incredible burrito at Rubens
12:00 AM
Come back to school, maybe do some work.
2:00 PM
Watch a movie or play video games (probably the later)
6:00 PM
8:00 PM
Some sort of dance, move, etc.
11:00 PM
Check-in and talk with charges
11:15 PM
Wandering until 1 (seniors only)
3:00 AM
Go to sleep
Read more details about The Thacher School on their 2024 profile page.

Alumni Reviews Review School

The Thacher School Alumni #1
Class of 2017
5.00 5/26/2021
Thacher's community on campus is unlike any other, connections at the school go beyond merely knowing every student's name but having had interacted closely with everyone whether on a camping trip, in the dining hall. . .
The Thacher School Alumni #2
Class of 2017
5.00 11/19/2017
Yale University
You cannot mention Thacher without talking about the horse program; each freshman is required to take care of and ride a horse for the first year of high school. I rode all four years and. . .
The Thacher School Alumni #3
Class of 2016
5.00 11/19/2017
Dartmouth College
One thing that makes Thacher unique are the opportunities to form close, meaningful relationships with teachers and its commitment to helping students grow personally as well as academically. Whether it's out in the Domelands wilderness. . .
Show more reviews (23 reviews)

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Enrollment: 255 students
  • Yearly Tuition (Boarding Students): $77,880
  • Yearly Tuition (Day Students): $63,080
  • Acceptance rate: 15%
  • Average class size: 11 students
  • Application Deadline: Jan. 15
  • Source: Verified school update