Wednesday, October 26, 2011


by Bob Solsrud, Head of School

In the May issue of “The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute,” Dr. Scott Niederjohn makes the case for Wisconsin schools to improve in the subject areas of economics and personal finance.  He notes only 25% of Wisconsin schools require economics, and only 21 states require economics.

The report mentions the results of Wisconsin students on a nationally normed Test of Economic Literacy developed by the Council for Economic Education.  The students taking the test scored a 14.5 of the 30 questions or 48%.  However, more interesting than the test results were the students understanding of the economic reality.

 Here are a couple of examples:

Ø  Business firms wish to sell their products at high prices.  Households wish to buy products at low prices. In a market economy, this conflict of interest is resolved by:

a.    Lawsuits…5% chose this incorrect answer

b.   Government…61% chose this incorrect answer

c.    Competition…11% chose this correct answer

d.   Collective bargaining…13% chose this incorrect answer

Ø  A basic role of entrepreneurs in the economy is to:

a.   Tell government what new products to produce and sell…
56% chose this incorrect answer

b.   Take the risks associated with starting a new business…
14% chose this correct answer

c.    Buy and sell the common stocks of corporations…
16% chose this incorrect answer

d.   Limit the liability of investors in new business…
14% chose this incorrect answer

Clearly, Wisconsin students do not comprehend the very basics of a market economy.  This is why free market economics is a required Upper School course at Brookfield Academy and why BAME (Brookfield Academy Market Economy) is part of our Middle School curriculum. 

Brookfield Academy students do graduate with a strong foundation in a working knowledge of the economy.

To read more about the report go to

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Golfing "FORE" A Great Cause

Brookfield Academy's 15th annual golf outing, now known as the  Davis-Law Memorial Golf Outing, is on Monday, August 22 at Chenequa Country Club. If you've played the outing before, you know it is a fun-filled day of golf and camaraderie with Academy parents, alumni, faculty and other friends.

What you might not be aware of is that the golf outing is also a fundraiser and that all proceeds from the event support Brookfield Academy's Five Stars to Success scholarship program.

The Five Stars to Success scholarship program was established to provide academically qualified but financially disadvantaged students from Milwaukee’s central city the opportunity to attend Brookfield Academy’s Upper School. Over the past five years the golf outing has contributed over $85,000 to the scholarship fund. 

BA's first two Five Stars graduates,
Kellie Walton and Promyce Johnson with
program sponsor Mrs. Mary Law

Since its inception in 2002, 11 students have graduated from the Five Stars program and all 11 went on to college. This year, the first two Five Star students graduated with honors from their respective colleges. There are eight students attending Brookfield Academy as result of the program and your support will help ensure that they are provided the opportunity to create a future of limitless potential.

The Davis-Law Memorial is a scramble event so you do not have to be the world's best golfer to participate. And if you don't know a bogie from a birdie, skip the golf and join the fun that starts at 5:00 p.m. with the cocktail reception, auction and raffle, delicious dinner, and more.

Registration is fast, easy, and secure at
There are many sponsorship opportunities available and these may also be made online. For more information, please contact Brookfield Academy's Development Office at 262-783-3200.

Hope to see you at Chenequa on August 22!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blue Knights Shine at State Track Meet!

Fred Willis Earns Journal Sentinel Athlete of the Week Honors for Performance at State Track Meet
Willis, a senior track athlete, won three events at the Division 3 state meet Friday and Saturday, repeating in the 100 and 200 meters as well as the 400 relay. Willis won the 100 in 10.82 seconds and took the 200 in 21.81 to break the nine-year-old record of 21.89 set by Howards Grove's Marcus Ver Duin in the 2002. The Wisconsin football recruit also joined juniors Ethan Jaynes and Max Wrenn and freshman Ryan Send to win in 42.51 to beat the record of 43.32 the same team set in the preliminary round Friday.

Two State Records in Two Days
La Crosse - Another day, another state record for the Brookfield Academy boys' 4x100 Division 3 relay team. "The more the better, right?" said junior Max Wrenn. Wrenn and junior Ethan Jaynes, freshman Ryan Send and senior Fred Willis set a state record of 43.32 seconds in the event Friday, They finished in 42.51 Saturday. "We wanted it and we went after it," said Wrenn. The key to the over-night improvement, according to Wrenn, was that the team worked on their handoffs. "We really worked on our handoffs," he said. "Especially me, in the third leg with Ryan, we definitely improved there. That did it, I guess. Yesterday we knew we had to work on the handoffs, so we focused on that and knew if we did it right and got it to Fred (for the anchor leg), we could win it." Two state records in two days? "They're both pretty exciting," said Wrenn. "But this (second one) is definitely a bonus."

BA girls' 400 relay takes second in state!
l to r: Bailey Vipond-junior, Mary Liz Kim-sophomore, Mackenzie Bonk-freshman, Catherine Courchaine-senior

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What is at the core of a Brookfield Academy education?

by Dr. Robert Solsrud, Head of Brookfield Academy

During a Memorial Day Celebration, I heard the words, “We should honor those who honor us.” This statement brought to light how BA, through its understanding of a Liberal Arts Education in a Free Society, so meaningfully “honors those who honor us.”

Georgetown University Professor James V. Schall explained that “The terms of liberal education and free society arise out of the same source, out of the classic notion that we can and should first rule ourselves and that such rule is in our personal power.”

BA School Goal #1 - Character: Learn to act responsibly in a free society realizing the moral consequences of our actions.
To learn to act responsibly in a free society requires us to understand the need to rule ourselves for some purpose. We must teach our students the difference between an evil purpose and a noble purpose.

BA School Goal #2 - Individuality: Learn to appreciate their unique talents and to exercise these gifts responsibly.
To learn to act responsibility in a free society requires us to seek the truth because that is the highest power we have – to know the truth of things.

BA School Goal #3 - Truth: Recognize and pursue transcendent, objective truth.
To learn to act responsibly in a free society requires us to be a learning community that nourishes wonder, provides curiosity, stimulates creativity, and inclines the minds.

BA School Goal #4 - Intellect: Understand that learning is a goal in itself, and perfection of the intellect is the purpose of a liberal education.
To learn to act responsibly in a free society requires us to bring our students to an understanding that self-rule is at the heart of civil order.

BA School Goal #5 - Heritage: Understand the traditions of western civilization and particularly the United State of America.
At Brookfield Academy, we do “honor those who honor us” by graduating responsible, constructive, free people.”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spring Sports Highlights

Boys Track Takes Three Conference Crowns
The Brookfield Academy boys track team recorded three first-place finishes at the Midwest Classic meet on Tuesday, May 17, at BA's Fields of Freedom.
  • Senior Fred Willis - 100 meter dash (10.54)
  • Junior Ethan Jaynes - 200 meter dash (22.65)
  • 800 Meter Relay Team -Willis, Jaynes, senior Alex Vipond and freshman Ryan Send (1:32.99)
Girls Track Wins Two Relay Conference Championships
  • 800 Meter Relay Team - Sophomore Mary Liz Kim, Senior Catherine Courchaine, Junior Bailey Vipond, and Freshman Mackenzie Bonk (1:50.28)
  • The same four sprinters won the 400 Meter Relay (52.65)

Girls Soccer Team Conference Champs
BA is now 16-3-2 and 10-0 in conference play. The Blue Knights are ranked fifth in the state in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association state poll.
  • Ally Anderson named Defensive Player of the Year
  • Eimile Pesch named Offensive Player of the Year
  • Liz Collins unanimous First Team
  • Ana Bayerlein First Team
  • Kristen Collins First Team
Baseball Takes Second in MCC Standings
The Blue Knights concluded conference play with an 11-3 record, finishing second in the Midwest Classic Conference. BA will host a first-round WIAA playoff game on Friday, May 27 at 4:30 p.m. against Waterloo.
  • Junior Jake Kolasinksi named Player of the Year
Boys Tennis Takes Second in Conference
  • Junior Justin Saeian placed first at no. 4 singles and earned first-team all-conference
Golfers Continue Good Play
As the weather improves, so does the Brookfield Academy Golf Team. BA place fourth in the MCC Championship at Hartford Country Club on May 18, shooting its lowest 18-hole total of the season, a 347.   The team also placed second in the regionals and will now travel to sectional play.
  • Freshman Daniel Romero was first-team all conference and Player of the Year for the MCC.
  • Freshman Liam McCarty Conference Champ

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh, What A Year!

With the number of days left on the school calendar now in the single digits, it is the perfect time to take a look back and reflect upon the year Brookfield Academy and its students have had. BA is proud of its many accomplishments during the 2010-11 school year including:

  • Record enrollment of 855 students at the end of the year.

  • Ten seniors named National Merit Finalists, with two earning National Merit Scholarships. Five additional students were named National Merit Commended Scholars.

  • Freshman Liam McCarty won the 12th Annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

  • Dozens of BA students performed on stage in one of many performances including Dear Edwina Jr., The Curious Savage, The Music Man, Hamlette, Hard Candy, and The Adventures of Lewis & Clark. Many more participated in the many music events held on campus throughout year.

  • Senior Kelsey Hojan-Clark won her fifth and sixth WIAA swimming state titles.

  • Senior Jawad Arshad placed first in the 2010 Stock Market Simulation essay contest and was also named a runner-up in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

  • The Middle School MathCounts team placed fourth regionally.

  • The Upper School academic decathlon team placed second in the state.

  • The BA chess team placed ninth nationally.

  • Senior Sofya Kozlova was awarded two national silver medals for photography in The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

  • BA students performed countless hours of community service throughout the year.

  • Graduation of the 64 amazing students in the Class of 2011 who are ranked among the best scholars in the nation and had 308 college acceptances!

These are just a few of the too-numerous-to-list accomplishments by our fantastic students throughout the year. It would take several pages to make this list complete. As we head into the final days of this highly successful school year, we encourage you to stay connected to BA during the summer months. Visit the web site, follow BA on Facebook and Twitter, and watch for email newsletters with all the news you need to know. Have a great summer!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Winter mornings are bitterly cold at the top of the hill, but Lower School scholars warm our hearts with cheers of delight when we announce that the sledding hill is officially open for its first riders of the season. Their enthusiasm for this longstanding Brookfield Academy tradition is infectious.

If our youngest scholars only knew how many Brookfield Academy traditions will actually shape their lives once they graduate prepared for college and life. As adults, we know the value of traditions, and we would like to cheer whenever we see one play out during the day. For now, we will wait anxiously for the day when our scholars grow up and return with stories of how the traditions in the Lower School influenced their futures.

There are certain to be stories about morning assemblies, where, with honor and regardless of the weather, a student raised the flag, and the pledge and prayer kicked off the day. A student or two will certainly remember the time spent at recess playing tirelessly with friends, practicing kindness and respect. Scholars will recall weekly visits to the library, gym, art, music, and language classes. Even the tradition of homework, where the lessons of the day were reviewed and mastered, and poems were memorized, will bring fond memories.

More than any tradition remembered, however, will be the commitment and dedication of their teachers. Brookfield Academy teachers know their students and take the time to help each one of them reach his or her fullest potential. They model lifetime learning by continuing to study their profession and apply that knowledge in the classroom, where mediocrity is cast aside and high expectations are the norm.

Here at BA, every season brings its lessons along with treasured traditions.

Heather Caponi, LS A-2 Division Head

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