At 2,450 students, Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to offer a range of programs and activities as wide as the sawgrass prairie across the highway from the school.
“Anything that they’re interested in, I’m hoping they can find here at Coral Glades,” said principal Steve Carruth.
Let’s start with the engineering program. It’s an advanced elective that students can actually start in the 8th grade. Students learn computer-aided design, and then build their creations using an array of equipment in the room, including 3D printers, laser engravers, and a variety of power saws and drills. You’ll find Adirondack chairs, skateboard racks, a mailbox and other projects built by the students all around campus.
“Real-life applications as well as industry-based certifications,” said teacher Howard Kimelstein, explaining the basic goal of the class. “They always have to link it to something engineering-based, the chair, it has to be safe, it has to hold a 200-plus pound person.”
No one takes a back seat to the Jaguar cheerleaders. They are currently the two-time defending state champions and have won the title multiple times over the years.
The DECA club is strong here, its members learn the principles for success in business, skills which translate to any endeavor.
“We’re always bringing new programs in, so we’re always listening to our students and hearing from them, what is it they’re interested in, and we try to bring those programs to our school,” Carruth said.
As an example, everybody talks about technology these days in schools. Here at Coral Glades, they’ve got a new class to teach kids how to program and fly drones.
“It’s a nice way to get them into the sciences, mathematics, engineering and how things work, so it’s a great hook to bring kids in,” Carruth explains.
Coral Glades is one of seven high schools in Broward County to offer the Cambridge diploma. Students in the program take a variety of courses, as rigorous as AP classes, designed to get them ready for college.
“It does prepare them because they’re required to do a lot of reading, research, writing, those components are integral to success,” said Cambridge administrator Lisa Plass.
Fun fact: Cambridge exams don’t have multiple choice options, so students really have to think to succeed. But the rewards are worth it, as any student with a Cambridge diploma receives the full Bright Futures scholarship to any Florida state college or university.
The school also has a culinary program, first-rate drama and arts classes, the full range of AP offerings and varsity sports for girls and boys.