NBC 6's Brag About Your School crew went to Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs and found themselves enthralled by a Broadway show, a spunky student production of Pippin, staged in a rehearsal space.
“It's just a great experience seeing the kids, how energized they are, how focused they are, how talented they are," said John Luffred, the chairman of the school’s Fine Arts department.
He points out that at Coral Glades, a full quarter of the school’s population is involved in the fine arts, from drama to orchestra to chorus to visual arts like painting and sculpture.
“I think it keeps them interested in high school in general, it gives them something to look forward to everyday when they come to school,” Luffred explains.
The school has a cornucopia of programs, including culinary arts, business, health sciences, and a full plate of Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes.
“When people say, what are you known for, I say it’s not one thing, it’s a lot of things, we are what I would call Broward’s best-kept secret when it comes to high schools,” brags principal Steven Carruth.
That feeling is echoed by the students, including those who wrote to NBC6 to brag about their school.
“We're very overlooked,” said junior Jessica Vasquez.
Classmate Omar Correa agreed, saying, “We are pretty much considered under the radar and I think we should be looked at more.”
“I feel like there’s a lot of extraordinary people at our school,” said junior Timea Banhegyesi.
Extraordinary teachers like Stacey Lehrman. Her AP history students say she’s insane about American history, but in a good way.
“My enthusiasm, sometimes they tell me I can’t drink anymore Diet Coke ‘cause I’m too wired, am totally wired about history!” said Lehrman.
The principal is wired about everything.
“What I really like to do is have something for every kind of student, whether you’re a fine arts student, business, or if you’re just a well-rounded student who wants to try a bit of everything,” Carruth explained.
Coral Glades appears to have everything a student could want in this competitive era of school choice. The Jaguars compete in all sports, even club hockey, with the school conveniently located down the street from the Florida Panthers’ practice facility. The one thing the school lacks, which is ironic considering the strength of the drama program, is an auditorium. The students can’t stage their productions on their own campus. It’s the only public high school in Broward County, possibly the state, that doesn’t have an auditorium.
“It looks like the School Board has chosen to basically ignore this school, unfortunately, and that’s just not acceptable,” said Luffred, who showed NBC 6 architectural plans for the auditorium that has never been funded.
The school is hoping that finally, after 10 years of promises, the School Board will follow through and build the performance and assembly space the students so richly deserve.