Who We Are
Today’s society is experiencing a challenge that extends beyond the economy. Dominant culture and media teach our youth the opposite of our tradition and faith. It is in this crucial moment in history when a true Catholic education must show its capacity to help new generations understand their lives and a global and complex world.
Although many schools want to find a way to preserve the best of our tradition –faith, culture, values, love for the family, etc. – and be at the forefront of the educational field, it is difficult to know how to do so.
St. Brendan High School has developed a new way of Catholic education, guaranteed by the Archdiocese of Miami, in which students are prepared for college and heaven through a co-ed and faith centered pedagogical model based on Academies and innovation. This model has six basic pillars:
1. A revolutionary academic program based on academies that converts our school into a leader in college and career readiness in South Florida. Academies are schools within our school with unique curriculums and partnerships with leading universities and companies that foster academic and career opportunities. This model gives our students access to an incredible variety of AP, dual enrollment and elective courses.
2. We are interested in what they learn and the people they become. Our academies and their great variety of elective courses, our educational philosophy and faculty help students become aware of their talents, skills and likes. Students dialogue with God about the ways He might be able to use those talents and likes. Thus, they discover God’s plan for their lives and pursue the academic and professional careers that better fit them. Our guidance model is based on a counseling approach to discipline that fosters responsibility. Our Theology program connects faith with real life and provides daily Masses, engaging retreats and moving service opportunities, so that our students take ownership of their learning and faith and become true men and women.
3. Innovation and 21st Century learning, which are visible throughout our school and, in particular, inside and outside our new Innovation Center. In our school, students learn how to think and are not limited to learning only in the classroom. The hallways and stairs have learning accelerators where students are engaged and find creative ways to collaborate and think about their thinking. In our open spaces, hands-on activities, project-based learning, research, interdisciplinary connections, real world applications, inquiry and inventions flow. Cutting edge technologies, a 1:1 iPad program, digital textbooks, appealing media and modern furniture also help our students feel at home and be fascinated by this innovative type of learning.
4. Competitive athletics that foster college scholarships and the development of the entire individual: personal growth, leadership, dedication and spirit of sacrifice, self-control, teambuilding, humility and solidarity. Students learn that exercise and healthy habits are vital, because the body is the home of the soul.
5. A school that opens the door to a global community through alliances with foreign schools, an international student exchange program, and learning of four world languages: Spanish, Mandarin, French and Italian.
6. The unity of our school community, which is visible through very special student-teacher relationships and a family environment. This is possible, not only because almost half of our faculty and administration are alumni, but also because our teachers are aware of their vocation. They know God has called them to teach. Following this call, they have allowed God to create a spiritual union among our students, families, faculty, staff, alumni and local community.
As our school motto states, we are led by Christ, who changes our hearts and the world. It is clear that Jesus is changing our hearts and our school. When one of us changes, that change transforms our classrooms and families, our city, our country and the world.
Through the intercession of St. Brendan, our patron, and Mary, our Blessed Mother, may the Lord change, renew and bless you and your family.
Jose Rodelgo-Bueno Ph.D.