School History

Brehm Preparatory School was founded in 1982 by Carol Brehm and a small group of professionals in the learning disability field. Mrs. Brehm was the mother of Tyson Brehm, a high-school student with learning disabilities whose unique needs were not addressed by the public school system or by traditional boarding schools.

A Mother’s Passion, a History of Progress

Tyson's mother, Carol Brehm, dreamed of a school where her son and other students could get the kind of specialized help they needed. The honorary shovel broke ground on the nine-acre campus in April of 1982.

By late August, four humble dorms and two modest academic buildings were built at 1245 East Grand Avenue, in Carbondale, Illinois, a location selected for its proximity to Southern Illinois University. The school doors opened that fall for 19 students being taught and supervised by 17 full- and part-time staff.

Through strong leadership and strategic planning, the Brehm community built on each year of success and dreams. Our expertise, programming, footprint, and success stories have grown substantially since that first dream. Yet, the heart of why we exist remains constant. We believe in students.

A Major Expansion

Brehm visionaries continued to dream of better facilities and programs for more students. From 1996 to 2006, Brehm underwent major expansions, led by a strategic planning process open to all stakeholders. The plan resulted in the addition of two new academic buildings, a new girls’ dorm, a therapeutic and administrative building, the expansion of existing dorms and academic buildings, and a new multi-purpose building with a dining hall, gym, cyber café, and stage.

Bringing a Dream to Life

Through it all, the school’s mission and vision have remained constant and true to Carol Brehm’s dream — to empower bright students who learn differently. Her passion and spirit continue to be a motivating presence, guiding leadership and stakeholders on a daily basis and in long-range strategic planning focused on keeping Brehm at the forefront of special education.

Together, Let’s Explore if Brehm Is the Right Fit for Your Child

Connecting with a boarding school that understands your child's needs can be daunting.

Reach out to our team of experts to discover how Brehm stands apart, offering a secure and nurturing environment, fostering holistic growth and development.

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