The Thacher School - Review #23

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:
Sports: Cross-Country Running, Soccer (varsity captain senior year), JV lacrosse, Yoga, Horse Program freshman year Activities: Weekly singing at St. Joe's and Acacias homes for the elderly, tutoring at local elementary school, chorus, watching taped episodes of The OC and American Idol on the weekends (we weren't allowed to watch TV during the week)
College Enrolled:
Stanford University
Home Town, State:
Newport Beach, CA, CA

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
At Thacher there are no locks on dorm room doors. Every day of my junior and senior years I would walk into my room and see my friends messing around, usually singing or having a dance party. At Thacher, my room was their room. I loved that everything we had was communal, that we were so comfortable with each other. My friends from Thacher are the people I trust the most, the people I can call any day of the week and have an easy, fun conversation with. One unique part of the Thacher experience was the camping requirement. Most people think it's bizarre when I tell them I had to backpack in the Sierras for two weeks every year, but camping was an experience that I am grateful I had. I bonded with many a classmate over a midnight s'more and a game of Mafia. I think surviving a week without a shower also made me a stronger person.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Thacher made me completely comfortable with who I am. Everyone was respectful and encouraged each other. I had the chance to play multiple sports, participate in the arts, succeed academically, and make friends from all over the country. Because I had so many different experiences, I really found things I love to do. I made it through the horse program and am not afraid to admit that I am still scared of horses and would rather not pick a hoof again. But I know how to saddle a horse and am proud of it. I love to sing out loud to all my favorite songs even though I am never on key. These are just a few small things that Thacher made me realize are a part of me. In college, I sometimes meet people who are insecure about themselves, never certain they are saying or doing the right thing. I left Thacher confident in my abilities, respectful of others, and ready to try even more things in the future.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Don't be afraid to get out and do things your freshman year. I was quiet and shy for the better part of freshman and sophomore year. I wish I had gotten to know students in the classes above me better.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Forming the closest friendships possible. It is incredible for me to think that outside of Thacher, I never would have met my friends. It is hard for me to go a day without being reminded of one of them. We will definitely be friends for life.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Go to an assembly on the pergola. If it's sunny, it feels like summer camp. Also be sure to check out the view from the outdoor chapel.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Thacher varied. The hardest class I took was AP US History, but it was also far and away the best class I took. The teacher helped me to really understand concepts, and I learned to enjoy learning history for the first time. The English department is great; they really work with students individually to make sure everyone graduates with the ability to write well. AP English was the class that made me fall in love with Toni Morrison.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
We had required sports five days a week, year round. At times it was tiring to end the school day and head straight down to the athletic field, but I had memorable experiences, especially during soccer season. Senior year yoga was relaxing and a definite change of pace. Now, in college, I exercise regularly because I am so used to having practice everyday. It has helped to stifle my fear of the freshmen 15.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did chorus for two semesters while I was at Thacher. We went to San Luis Obispo and Knott's Berry Farm for competitions which were a ton of fun. I also had a very musical group of friends who were all incredible singers. One of my friends got an independent for a sports season and was able to record a sample CD of music she had written.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Every Thursday evening instead of attending formal dinner, I went with a group of singers to two elderly homes. We sang from the Thacher Song Book for about 20 minutes at each home. I loved doing this type of community service and will forever have Red River Valley, Jamaica Farewell, and Goin' to the Chapel memorized.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life at Thacher can't be beat. If I was ever bored, I just had to walk ten feet to a friend's room. Someone was always around, and I ended up spending hours with my friends each day. We usually ended up baking a cake or doing a cardio dance workout video. Almost all of the dorms open to the outside, so walking out of my room into the sunshine always put me in a good mood.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Thacher had the GREATEST FOOD! Weekend brunch was a feast with omelet bar, smoothie bar, steaks to order, eggs to order, waffle bar, and quesadillas. And the baker is great- she makes the best rice krispie treats and chocolate chip cookies!

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Ojai is a small town. We could go into Ojai twice a week on the school bus that ran every hour. I would usually go to get groceries or go out to lunch. Rainbow Bridge has great teriyaki salmon, and it's right next door to everybody's favorite burrito place, Ruben's.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Social life consisted primarily of weekend dances and open houses. Open house was every Saturday night at the headmaster's house where we would watch a movie, dance, play ping pong and foosball, and bake cookies. I loved eating spoonfuls of cookie dough while dancing. Seniors are allowed to wander which means they hang out in the dining hall after check-in eating cereal and talking or go down to the gym for a late night game of basketball.

Daily Schedule:

7:45 AM
Wake Up
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
11:00 AM
3:00 PM
End Classes
3:30 PM
Sports Practice
5:00 PM
Practice Ends
6:00 PM
Formal Dinner
7:30 PM
Study Hall
9:30 PM
End of Study Hall
10:00 PM
2:00 AM
10:00 AM
Wake Up
10:30 AM
1:00 PM
Sports Game
8:00 PM
Go out, hang out with friends
11:00 PM
3:00 AM
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)

Recent Articles

Considering a Military School?
Considering a Military School?
If you are looking for a college preparatory education with a military emphasis, then take a look at military schools.
Are You a Good Fit for Our Job?
Are You a Good Fit for Our Job?
Here is some practical advice to help applicants stand out and increase their chances of securing an interview in the competitive boarding school job market.
10 Top Reasons to Go to Boarding School
10 Top Reasons to Go to Boarding School
There are many reasons to go to boarding school. The academics, the athletics and the extracurricular activities are just a few considerations. Here are the 10 top reasons why you should go to boarding school.

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