Hialeah Gardens High School is on a roll. The school opened only ten years ago, and in that time, the Gladiators have won a state title in boys’ basketball, the dance team is currently national champions, and five of its NAF academies have obtained the highest possible ranking.
“Our programs are top notch, we are the only school in the nation that has five distinguished NAF academies,” said Michelle Dehghani, the school’s coordinator of academies.
“They’re high quality, they all have met a lot of rigorous standards and so when the kids leave here they have pretty much the opportunity to do whatever they want,” added the principal, Dr. Louis Algave.
So how do you become the national champion dance team? Practice, practice, practice.
“They eat lunch with me, we study together, we run to build stamina, the hours of practice, it doesn’t go unnoticed, we’re blessed to be in a school that really appreciates the arts,” explained dance team coach Adriana Rizzo.
The arts are big at HGHS, but the main focus at this school of 2,800 students is creating outlets for every type of student.
“It’s a school made for opportunities for our kids,” Dr. Algave said.
The Agri-Science academy prepares students for careers dealing with animals and plants, whether it’s veterinary medicine or agriculture.
So your child wants to become a teacher? HGHS has an academy which gives kids hands-on experience with early childhood education in its own daycare center. Faculty members who have pre-school age children can enroll them in the program, which is a huge selling point when the school is recruiting teachers.
Students who are mechanically inclined can become ASE certified auto mechanics in the school’s automotive classes.
“So we try to ignite their passion in whatever area they really enjoy and try to tie that into their education,” explained Dr. Algave.
“It allows for our students not to have this cookie cutter concept of an education, there’s something for everyone,” Dehghani said.
The engineering academy students are working with state of the art equipment, building robots, designing virtual reality experiences, and working on design and structure on computers equipped with Arduino software. Some of the students in the program are hoping to continue their studies at the nation’s best engineering colleges, such as MIT and Georgia Tech.
These Gladiators are ready to do battle in any academic, artistic, or athletic endeavor.