Karen Schloss Heimberg

Ernie, My kids are now adults, but the legacy that you have helped to perpetuate is very special indeed. You clearly understand how those years of middle school can pressure the carbon of those awkward years into the diamonds of caring, nurturing adults who will leave this world a bit better than they found it! So many people, young and old will appreciate your gift for their lifetime, and beyond. With gratitude and appreciation for your lasting legacy to our children and our community!

Christine Cowles
Cindy Shaw

Ernie, the power of your images drew me into the world of underwater photography as I began to dive. I wanted to see even a part of what your eyes have seen and you shared with your lens. I have purchases several of your prints you have so generously donated to ocean causes and when I am with you such as DEMA WDHOF you share your smiles and hugs along with your encouragement. Thank You

Christine Cowles
The Prudden Family

Ernie - I don't know you. But, I know your heart.
You don't know me, But, you know my heart.
Your many contributions to the planet are wonderful gifts.
The Middle School will honor that gift by instilling compassion, caring, gratefulness and selflessness in its students over and over and over and over again.

The Prudden Family

Christine Cowles
Tiffany Foster

Dear Ernie, Thank you so much for your incredible gift of the Jefferson/Brooks building to SBMS. It means the world to the kids and families and teachers at SBMS. We are so thankful and appreciative. Your gift is, and will continue to be, a gift that inspires long into the future. Thank you for your vision and generosity. We are really thankful. Tiffany Foster (SBMS parent and trustee)

Christine Cowles
Wendelin Wagner

Dear Ernie and Family,
How can the benefits of your gift be measured? Maybe in the expansion of student minds, expanding parent smiles, the way benevolent teachings ripple through the generations. Or the expansion of our hearts through the force of generosity. But a quantification of expansion goes against the spirit of the phenomenon, and so like your gift, we will just watch in awe as it grows wider and wider. Wendelin Wagner --Alumna and science teacher at SBMS for 11 years.

Christine Cowles
Kent Ferguson

Hello Ernie. We have never met yet clearly we have much in common. At my end I was the Headmaster of SBMS for 20 years. Before that Beloved Brian was my student (then my assistant teacher) and before that Beloved Whitney was my student (then my assistant teacher). I saw SBMS truly change over a thousand lives. I mean that. Including my own two children! You have done a wonderful thing which will allow a dream and vision to continue and to serve. Even as I write this I can tell you that SBMS is helping a very poor and very wonderful "sister school" out here in New Mexico where I now live. 7 pueblo children visited SBMS last year. SBMS teachers have helped out here, as have alumni. Come to SBMS in March to meet (march 6) Losang Samten, who was sent to the west by the XIVTH DALAI LAMA of Tibet. He will, again, make history by constructing a Tibetan Sand Mandala in the busy hallway of an American Junior High as it were. This school was meant and was born to cut a groove in American Education and it has, it does, and it will. YOU have ensured that.
Hey, unseen brother. I am 73 and old enough to call you that. You and your wife and your family have done a wonderful thing. Now If I can stop crying long enough to find the send button I shall hope you someday read this. No, not exactly read it. Feel it. I salute you both.

Christine Cowles
Theresa Huerta

Dear, Ernie, I don't know you (yet) and I'm not familiar with SBMS as I my kids are elementary school age, but as a Santa Barbara local - born and raised - I am deeply moved by your vision, generous heart and this incredible gift you've enabled for generations to come. If this isn't legacy I don't know what is. Thank you. I hope to one day visit SBMS and consider it a school for my children.

Christine Cowles
Nicholas Schneider

Mr Brooks, thank you so much. My daughter, Clare, just started 7th grade. In this short time, I can feel how much positive energy abides in this school. I don't have much to offer, other than my thanks and this poem by Wendell Berry. He, like you, and the school, loves the outdoors and understands its healing properties.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Christine Cowles
Susan Moe

Thank you for the gift of your faith in the Santa Barbara Middle School mission, Ernie! The tangible gift you gave of the building and property is immense, but your blessing is immeasurable and will continue on throughout the ages.
Thank you. Susan Moe

Christine Cowles
Shari Hammond

Such a beautiful gift. I am so grateful for you, for this beautiful, amazing school. Thank you. My daughters are truly blessed to have been at this school. Their lives are fully enriched forever. Blessings to you.

Christine Cowles
The Prudden Family

Ernie: Because of your generous philanthropy, our school community has gained an unshakable foundation from which to spring forth. It is awe inspiring to think of the caliber of students that will graduate from our SBMS home for generations to come. We trust that each one will have you as their inspiration to live a life of gratitude, wonder and love.
With eternal thankfulness,
The Prudden Family

Christine Cowles
Jacob Feinstein

Because of you Brian got this school and that meant I was able to come here and get an experience I could never get otherwise. This has affected me in such positive ways I couldn't list all of them if I tried. Countless bike trips and amazing faculty has given me a chance to find who I am truly, and make friends I'd find nowhere else.
Thank you so much again,
Jacob S. Feinstein

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Kendall Amerson

Thank you so much Ernie! We appreciate and love you so much, and are so genuinely grateful for you and this present you have given our school.

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Helena McGinnes

Your gift to the school is remarkably kind. My family has been through 3 generations at SBMS (grandma, Spanish teacher 1981-1993, dad, student 1983-85) and it's so great that SBMS will be able to keep this beautiful campus. Thank you for believing in SBMS.


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Zach Harris

I didn't even know how we were able to get this building, but after they told us the story, I was like "wow, Ernie Brooks is awesome." I mean who else in the entire world would give someone an 8 million dollar building? Someone who believes in the future of this school, and keeps promises. Ernie, you are magical.

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Emma Voigt

Ernie, I've always loved looking at your photos. They make me very happy. Your photos have inspired me so much. Thank you for all you've done.

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Jayden Francis

A home is a place without value, a place where one can feel safe, where one can reflect and function a as whole. And a home is exactly what you have given us and for that I, and hundreds of others like me are thankful, you provide a place where education and self discovery thrives, and you have affected all of us in so many ways. We are eternally grateful-Jayden, Ninth grade


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Kylan O'Connor

Thank you so much Ernie. Your gift means so much to me, my school, Santa Barbara, and the world. You are such an amazing, fantastic, and wonderful person and thank you so much for everything you have done for the school. We love you Ernie!

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Solomon Drucker


Dear Ernie,
I am amazed by your contributions to this school. You have done so much to keep this place that I will cherish until the day I die alive. SBMS would be long gone if you did not save them. Your contributions will be known for generations and generations. 
Thank you,
Solomon A. Drucker,
Ninth Grade
Santa Barbara Middle School

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