Business & Information Technology

Business Faculty
Blake Gage
Doug Branchflower

In this department students can expect to receive a solid base of academic theory supplemented with opportunities to put theory into practice throughout the school year. The courses offered are designed to give students a holistic appreciation of business fundamentals and the skills required for achievement in the global economy. The topics covered include everything from entrepreneurship to finance. We teach software engineering to inspire students, challenge them, and explore the difficult questions and endless possibilities that technology presents in the new millennium. Courses, workshops, presentations, events, and spontaneous teachable moments provide students with the opportunity to widen their horizons. A major component of this success is the ability to communicate effectively and in a timely and proficient manner; an emphasis is placed on the use of information technology and interpersonal communication.

Student running their own business at regatta

At Brentwood we stress the importance of technology across the curriculum. In all grades, teachers and students alike are exposed to tools and computer programs that enhance the learning process and help prepare students for the world of technology that surrounds us. The leadership and assistance of the Information Technology Department in supporting the academic progress of our students is a cornerstone to this success. Be it in the classroom or in the houses, the systems at Brentwood continue to evolve and grow in capacity and quality.

Technology Skills Courses:

Applied Coding Explorations 11AP Computer Science Principles 12

Business Skills Courses:

Introduction to Business 11Entrepreneurship 12
Financial Accounting 12AP Macroeconomics 12
AP Microeconomics 12

Students looking for a career in business or economics are urged to be involved in these courses and develop the skills that will assist them now and in the future.

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Students enjoying an outdoor class

AP Computer Science Principles 12

In AP Computer Science Principles, students will develop computational thinking vital for success across all disciplines, such as using computational tools to analyze and study data and working with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. The course is unique in its focus on fostering student creativity. Students are encouraged to apply creative processes when developing computational artifacts and to think creatively while using computer software and other technology to explore questions that interest them. They will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills, working individually and collaboratively to solve problems, and discussing and writing about the importance of these problems and the impacts to their community, society, and the world.

Different from AP Computer Science A which is taught in Java, this course does not have a designated programming language.  The programming languages that are most appropriate for the students will be selected and used in the course.



Andrea Felix

M.A., B.A. (Victoria) Psychology, Health and Wellness, Aerobics, Tennis, SPARC

Originally from Vancouver, Health and Wellness Counsellor, Andrea Felix, sailed and rowed competitively as a student at the University of Victoria. It was through rowing that she met her husband, Marius Felix. Mrs. Felix obtained a degree in Child and Youth Care (1983) and worked in Victoria as a counsellor for 5 years before entering the field of recreation. She is an avid tennis player with a coaching assistant certificate and is a certified BCRPA fitness instructor (since 1990). Teaching aerobics, leading run/walk clinics, and managing the local community centre in Shawnigan Lake still left time for involvement in local youth committees as well as providing personal and academic counseling for students. A member of the Brentwood community since 2002, Mrs. Felix facilitates the work of the advisors in the Residential Life programme, teaches psychology, provides personal counselling and facilitates SPARC, the Brentwood peer counseling and service programme. Heading the SPARC program has become a passion, not just for Mrs. Felix but for the students as well. She trains over 90 peer counselors per year and facilitates these students in their volunteer work, which accounts for over 1000 volunteer hours amongst these SPARC members. Mrs. Felix also assists with the tennis programme throughout the year. In addition to keeping fit, Mrs. Felix enjoys performing with her musical trio at garden parties, weddings, and local concerts. Mr. and Mrs. Felix have two children, who are Brentwood alumni.

Blake Gage

B.A. (University of Victoria), M.B.A. (University of Western Ontario), Director of Athletics, Business, Basketball

A member of both the Humanities and Business departments, Blake Gage joined the Brentwood faculty in 2004 after a career as a management consultant and professional basketball player. A recent graduate of the National Coaching Institute (Level IV), Mr. Gage is often found in the gym working with anyone who shares his love of basketball. Following an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Western Ontario, Mr. Gage realized a life-long goal by playing basketball professionally in a number of different European leagues. Upon his return home, he completed his M.B.A at the University of Victoria with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. He worked locally as a marketing manager before accepting a position as a management consultant in the United States where he helped establish best practices for organizations in a variety of industries. After two years away, Mr. Gage and his wife, Robin, made the easy decision to return to Vancouver Island, raise a family, and allow Mr. Gage to pursue his passion for teaching and coaching youth. The Gages have two children.

David McCarthy

David McCarthy

M.A. (Cambridge University, U.K.) Director of Academics, Chemistry, Biology, Rugby

Raised in the industrial heartland of northwest England, David McCarthy took the road from Wigan Pier to Cambridge University where he studied biochemistry and applied biology. After teaching for seven years in his hometown, he and his Vancouver-born wife, Lisa, transplanted themselves to Brentwood in 1987. There, he coached rugby, taught biology and chemistry, and was a houseparent to the boys of Ellis House. A year's sabbatical in 2005 gave him strength for the position Director of Academic Studies a role which he held until 2015. He then moved into the newly created role of Director of Learning. In the meagerness of his spare time, Mr. McCarthy runs, bikes, and boats away from the campus; he is invariably drawn back by its peerless charm. Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy have two children and some grandchildren as well!

Laura Richardson

Laura Richardson

B.A. (S.F.U.), B.Ed. (UBC) 21 Century Studies and Social Studies, Geography 12

After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Simon Fraser University, Laura Richardson decided to pursue a family tradition and became a teacher. She completed her B.Ed. at the University of British Columbia in 1991. As teaching jobs were scarce in Vancouver, she headed home to the Fraser Valley where she taught in the Chilliwack School District.Trading the fresh waters of Cultus Lake for the oceanfront of Mill Bay, she and her husband, Dan Norman, both jumped at the opportunity to live and work at Brentwood. The move to the island worked well for her family and after nine years of assistant house parenting in Alex House, Laura moved off-campus in 2010. She continues to spend family time sea kayaking and camping all over the West Coast and recently has taken up gardening as a new passion. As the teacher sponsor of the Brentwood Environmental Action Team, Laura works with her team of students to educate the community about sustainability. Armed with the knowledge and skills to become global stewards, she hopes that when students leave the shores of Mill Bay, they will take better care of their own communities.

Mark Wismer

Mark Wismer

B.A. (McGill), B.Ed. (Ottawa) Houseparent ­Ellis House, Social Studies, Government, Rowing

Mark Wismer grew up on beautiful Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world. It was here in this idyllic setting that he first developed his interest in teaching from his mother, also a teacher. Mr. Wismer graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Human Geography from McGill University. During his time at McGill, he was introduced to the sport of rowing and joined the varsity team for the last three years of his degree. After graduation, he moved out west to hone his rowing skills on Elk Lake, Victoria, a well-known training ground for the top rowers in the country. It was during this time that Mr. Wismer first joined the Brentwood community, working as an intern. Called back to the East, he returned to Montreal and got married to his wife: current part-time nurse Ulrika Drevniok. Curiously enough, when the couple first met, Mrs. Drevniok was being coached by Brentonian Dave Calder (1996), a silver medal Olympian. While in Montreal he coached rowing at McGill and served as the Head Coach of the rowing club for one year. In 2008, the Wismers moved to Ottawa where he completed his education degree at the University of Ottawa. We were pleased to welcome Mr. Wismer formally to our school in September 2009 where he is Assistant Houseparent in Ellis House and teaching in the Social Studies department when he isn't coaching rowing. He and his wife have also added two wonderful children – Cormac and Stella Maris - to the Brentwood family.

Rick Rodrigues

Rick Rodrigues

B.Ed. (Manitoba) Director of University Counselling, Physics

Rick Rodrigues has been at Brentwood since 2002, another convert to West Coast living who arrived from Winnipeg where he had received his B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba. A man of many talents, Mr. Rodrigues can be found in the lab theatrically teaching the beauty of physics or in the University Counselling office passionately advising senior students in their post-secondary pursuits. Singer, actor, physicist, counselor: Mr. Rodrigues is a true Renaissance man about the campus. Mr. Rodrigues lives in Privett House as the '3rd Man' with his lovely wife Jennifer and son Edward.

Doug Branchflower

BA. (Saskatchewan), B.Ed. (Alberta) Business and Social Studies, Rugby

Doug received his B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan and completed his B.Ed. at the University of Alberta. He has taught all levels of business - from senior economics to entrepreneurship - as well as history, law and English. Having attended and worked at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, Doug is a boarding school stalwart. Most recently Doug was the Director of Athletics and Head of Humanities at Notre Dame, where is he was also a Houseparent for seven years. Doug is an accomplished rugby coach having run men’s and women’s provincial teams in Saskatchewan, and been an assistant coach of the Canada U17 team.. 

21st Century Studies 9

The 21st Century 9 course introduces students to a variety of economic, political, cultural, and environmental issues that affect our world. Connections from a historical and geographical perspective provide the basis for exploring the complex nature of human interactions within society and nature. Globalization is explored in an economic and demographic sense as is the effect of the Internet on human communications, education, and business. The impact of humans on the environment and the need for sustainable solutions to energy and waste production form the second part of the course. A “hands-on” component to the course will involve students in monitoring environmental sites on and around the school grounds, growing produce on campus, and participating in conservation efforts with community groups. The course will also incorporate the Youth Philanthropy Initiative that offers an opportunity for students to win $5000 through the Toscan Foundation for donation to a local charity. 

Student skill sets will be expanded through a number of initiatives. They are instructed on how to conduct research for intelligent and efficient use of internet resources. They collect and handle data through technical devices and spreadsheet programs that help them manipulate and display measurements they have taken and information they have gathered. Students also learn research and presentation skills including public speaking, video and slide presentation, and the creation of an illustrated brochure. Through successful completion of the course, an ICT 9 credit is awarded to reflect student proficiency in areas of digital and information technology.

Marketing 11

This course looks at the general theory of Marketing and its role in our everyday lives. The Marketing mix is explored in detail after the students are exposed to some behavioural psychology and how it impacts our decision making processes. Practical experience is offered through a number of initiatives during the year. To better appreciate the role of customer service in marketing and business, students get practical experience through their Front of House work at the Bunch Theatre. The sales process is looked at in some detail and students are asked to enter the marketplace and sell advertising for the annual Brentwood Regatta Souvenir program. 

Applied Coding Explorations 11

Students will explore concepts such as Top Down Design, basic coding structure, event driven applications and user interface design while learning the Javascript language. Javascript is widely used in mobile app development and large scale interactive web applications (Facebook, Netflix, eBay) and is now rapidly moving into the desktop application environment. No prior coding knowledge is required, the language constructs are introduced through a graphical block environment which allows students to gradually migrate to hand typed code. Students may also have the opportunity to delve into physical computing.

Entrepreneurship 12

This senior level course will allow the students to be immersed into the theory and practical aspects of Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship in the last two decades has been looked at and considered a salve for many of the economic ailments of our times. In addition to extensive study of theory, the students will participate in “Project Innovation “ which will challenge them to run a business for a brief period with minimal funding, experience or help. The students will face some very interesting challenges and situations which will make the theory presented later more meaningful. For a large part of the year the students will be required to create a venture from scratch and then implement that venture during the annual Brentwood Regatta in April. Students invest their own money and reap the benefits of their diligence and creativity. This project gives all of the students’ practical experience in many of the problems and challenges the entrepreneur faces each and every day.

AP Macroeconomics 12

The AP Macroeconomics course provides students with a thorough understanding of the principles of economics and how economists use those principles to examine aggregate economic behavior. Students learn how the measures of economic performance, such as gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, and unemployment are constructed and how to apply them to evaluate the macroeconomic conditions of an economy. The course recognizes the global nature of economics and provides ample opportunities to examine the impact of international trade and finance on national economies. Various economic schools of thought are introduced as students consider solutions to economic problems.

Financial Accounting 12

Students will look at many aspects of accounting, but of equal importance will be their exposure to the discipline required in accounting and the ethical implications in the overall business and economic community. Some of the key areas of study will be include basic accounting principles and the accounting cycle. Students will be expected to distinguish the basic forms of business ownership, be aware of the various career opportunities and accounting designations and become familiar with the use of computer technology in the accounting process and report generation. Students also study internal control systems in the management of a business, the analysis of a financial system of a business by reviewing financial statements and develop an understanding of the stock market activity and terminology. For practical experience the students will be involved in the accounting side of the school store and assist the students in the Entrepreneurship 12 classes as they plan and run their businesses.

AP Microeconomics 12

According to the US College Board, “AP Microeconomics focuses on the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. AP Macroeconomics, conversely, focuses on the principles that apply to an economic system as a whole.” This course covers topics such as basic economic concepts, the nature and functions of product markets, supply and demand and theory of consumer choice.  Production and costs, firm behavior and market structure are also presented. Students will then develop an understanding of factor markets, derived factor demand and marginal revenue product. Lastly, hiring decisions in the markets for labor and capital and market distribution of income, market failure and the role of government are all examined. Students are encouraged to have already taken Marketing 11 or Introduction to Business 11 in preparation for AP Microeconomics 12.

Introduction to Business 11

This course looks at the general theory of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Accounting. The Marketing mix is explored in detail after the students are exposed to some behavioural psychology and how it impacts our decision making processes. The sales process is looked at in some detail and students are asked to enter the marketplace and sell advertising for the annual Brentwood Regatta Souvenir program. Opportunities for initiating other entrepreneurial endeavours are explored, characteristics of the global market are defined and personal networking is encouraged. Rudimentary market analysis is conducted and ways to control and manage cash flow and tracking expenses are presented as part of an introduction to accounting. Business registration and taxation, cash flow processes, and sources of funding and support for a venture are also introduced. Students are encouraged to enroll in this course in preparation for senior business courses such as Entrepreneurship 12, Financial Accounting 12, AP Microeconomics, and AP Macroeconomics.

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