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Brett Davern: MTV Heartthrob and E-W Grad Turning Heads in Hollywood

Edmonds-Woodway English teacher David Quinn, who helped mentor the young star, says he's still a down-to-earth guy.

Anna Faris isn’t the only product of Edmonds-Woodway High School's drama department to find fame in Hollywood.

Brett Davern, E-W class of 2001, is making teenage hearts flutter in his starring role in MTV’s Awkward. In the high-school comedy, which debuted this summer and has already been picked up for a second season, Davern plays Jake Rosati, who dates the head cheerleader but is involved in a love triangle between Jenna (Ashley Rickards) and Matty (Beau Mirchoff).

There’s already fan clubs supporting Team Jake or Team Matty, a la Twilight’s Team Edward and Team Jacob. (Update: Jenna has chosen Matty.)

The youthful-looking Davern, who doesn’t publicize his age but has to be in his late 20s, has a fan in E-W English teacher David Quinn. “I’m very excited for Brett, particularly because it would be hard to find a nicer EWHS graduate who deserves this much success.”

Quinn is certainly one who recognizes acting talent, as he’s appeared in commercials, was a regular on Sesame Street and hosted an education series on PBS. Last year, he was associate producer for the movie Order of Chaos. He is a member of the Seattle’s Repertory’s Board of Trustees.

At E-W, Quinn introduced Davern, who graduated from Madrona K-8 in Edmonds, to Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center in New York and continued to mentor him over the years.

Davern, who has a fan page on Facebook, initially came to Quinn’s attention through E-W drama teacher and instructor at the school. “Bruce is one of the most talented drama instructors I’ve ever met,” said Quinn, “and I never would have met Brett if Bruce hadn't gone out of his way to point him out to me.”

Davern’s success doesn’t surprise Quinn.

“My memories of Brett are of a charming, funny, and outgoing young man who always had a posse of theater kids around him,” he said. “Like many drama students, he was always first to volunteer for a classroom activity, but he was also a great peer—always willing to help out other students. Because of his outgoing personality, he was really well liked and served as the center of that year's graduating class.”

Quinn says he was fortunate enough to see Davern’s summer theatre work at Stagedoor Manor in New York, which Lavern attended while still in E-W.

“At Stagedoor Manor, Brett really came into his own,” Quinn said. “There, he was surrounded by other students who were also passionate about musical theatre and acting, and he realized that he needed to significantly step up his game if he wanted to turn acting into a career. He did—and the results speak for themselves. At Stagedoor, Brett really found his focus, but he also learned quite a lot about the power of networking. One of the first casting directors he met was a Stagedoor alum, Mark Saks (who now casts The Good Wife on CBS), brought Brett in and began using him on the TV show Medium.” 

Davern has also appeared on the TV shows CSI: Miami, Cold Case and The Deep End. His indie movie credits include Beautiful Ohio and Triple Dog, among others. His movie Pool Boys debuts Oct. 12 in Los Angeles. (Watch the trailer.)

Davern, as you might expect, lives in Southern California now. His family is still in Edmonds, as his mother is an office administrator at Cedar Way Elementary in Mountlake Terrace while his father, Tim, owns Davern Safe & Lock in Phinney Ridge. Davern’s brother, Brian, lives in Richmond Beach and works for the city of Mill Creek.

“What is really cool is that Brett has continued to support his Edmonds-Woodway friends,” said Quinn, who added that Davern recently completed a film called Junk with fellow Warriors Kevin Hamedani and Cooper Hopkins.

“To this day,” Quinn says, “Brett always greets everyone with the same huge smile he had in 10th grade. I couldn't be happier for him—or his family.”

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