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Jim Brewer

Jim Brewer

Head of School

at McGillis since 2017


Contact Jim Brewer:


B.A., Spanish Teaching, University of Northern Iowa
M.Ed., Collaborative Teaching and Learning, Graceland University
M.S., Educational Leadership, Drake University



Jim was born and raised in Iowa. The oldest of four boys, Jim grew up playing baseball every summer and organizing neighborhood games. A trip to Spain in high school ignited a passion for language and culture, and he decided to pursue Spanish teaching in college. 


His career experiences have taken him to public, alternative, and independent schools in five states. He decided to pursue school leadership after being inspired by his first independent school teaching experience in Oregon. 


Beginning as a middle school dean of students and later head of middle school, Jim has been head of school at McGillis since 2017. Jim currently serves on the board of governors at the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) and the board of Leadership + Design. 


Jim enjoys hiking and running on Utah’s trails, playing, singing, and listening to music, and taste testing taco stands across Salt Lake.


I recently read
From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen


Favorite McGillis lunch
Greek chicken gyros


Favorite McGillis Tradition
Family Group Lunch


The defining moment that led you to your career in education
I traveled to Spain for two weeks in my junior year of high school. Upon my return, I knew I wanted to study Spanish and become a teacher so I could introduce the world to my students. I have been in education for my entire career.


Which McGillis Value do you most appreciate?
Kehilah. We all have a human need to belong with someone, at someplace, with some group. McGillis would not be what it was without a strong focus on and consideration for those who are a part of it.