Why Thacher?

The Thacher School is anything but typical. Everything we do here is guided by a set of deeply held convictions that add up to the simple truth that high school can and should be a thrilling adventure.

It begins with a four-legged teacher, but where it ends is up to you.

We can all stand to be reminded that there is more to life, something bigger, than our own needs and cares. At Thacher, the thousand-pound animal you take care of as part of our Horse Program is that bigger thing. And so is your dorm, your musical ensemble, your team, and the campus community. Rather than an end in itself, the horse is one of many ways we help our students build empathy and responsiveness to the needs of others, the same resources we draw upon as we commit together to create a community that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This is not an abstract pursuit. Surrounded by peers and mentors who value community responsibility, and with the help of a horse who is more agnostic about such things, students come to see themselves as active contributors with the power to positively impact the lives of others.

This means that lending a hand on community service projects throughout the Ojai Valley and beyond is often a regular part of a Thacher student’s week, whether they’re serving hot meals to people in need, keeping local seniors company, or joining a trail restoration effort. Or they might be active in big campus sustainability initiatives, teaming up with other community members to make sure Thacher is playing its part in responsibly stewarding natural resources and wild spaces for generations to come. It also means showing up as a compassionate leader, partner, or collaborator in dorm life, on the athletic field, on the stage with fellow performers—you name it.

Complementing this work in the community is our academic program, where project-based group work and active collaboration are common ingredients in classroom learning. Assignments and discussion topics regularly connect the dots between school curriculum and local, national, and global current events and social justice issues.
Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.