NBC 6 is bragging about another school Monday – this time heading to North Miami Senior High School!
North Miami High School has the rarest of identities. It is both a traditional high school and an all-magnet school. That means it has not only sports and band and clubs, it has magnet programs such as culinary arts, fine arts, engineering, a health sciences academy and the International Baccalaureate program. The school is open to all students in Miami-Dade County, but still has an intensely local impact.
“This school is the centerpiece of the City of North Miami, everything that happens in North Miami kind of revolves around the school, so as our students go, so does the city,” said Daryl Branton, the principal.
Branton says there’s a program for every type of student at North Miami High.
The school’s HOSA program, which stands for Health Occupations Students of America, has produced nurses, two doctors, and many first responders for South Florida over the years.
“Every time we call 911 we see our own alumni jumping off the trucks because we have so many paramedics and firefighters that have come from this program in the past 18 years,” said lead teacher Lauren Zeniker.
The North Miami Pioneers have been a fixture in Northeast Miami-Dade for decades, but in 2009, the school moved into a gorgeous new building. Students from the fine arts program decorate the pillars and walls with murals. It has the feel of a college campus.
There’s even a restaurant on campus, which teachers frequent, called the Pioneer Grill and Café. Students do all the cooking and serving as part of the culinary program, and they learn every aspect of the restaurant business.
“Oh yes, I teach everything from food cost to safety and sanitation to Italian cuisine to world cuisine to French cuisine, everything that involves culinary arts,” said Andre Franks, who runs the culinary program and is temporarily doing double duty as the band director.
The principal says Franks is an example of what he calls the most dedicated staff of teachers anywhere. They teach more than 2,000 students in so many programs, there’s something for every interest at North Miami High School.