Alumni might not recognize Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes. The place has had a face-lift. An academic face-lift. It’s now a mega magnet school.
‘Which means we’re an all-magnet school with all magnet programs but we continue to have all the traditional activities and sports of a traditional high school so it’s an amazing, amazing combination of the two,” said Dr. Manuel Sanchez, the school’s principal.
So kids don’t have to sacrifice activities like band, cheer-leading or a variety of clubs to be on the fast-track to high school success.
For example, we present a club called the Swamp Shifters, in which students re-engineer and redesign remote control cars for competition. They made it to nationals last year.
“Our kids leave this program with many skills,” explained club sponsor Eddie Bonet. “Not just the teamwork that we said earlier but they also learn how to work hands-on, they know how to use tools, they know coding, and they learn engineering, which we know is the simple process of correcting problems if they face problems, they can fix ‘em on a dime.”
Goleman has eight magnet programs, including AP Capstone, Cyber Security, Forensics, and Legal Studies.
The mock trial team practices in a courtroom built and designed by kids in the wood shop class, an example of the kind of elective course which provides students with a wide variety of options.
“That’s important because sometimes knowing what you don’t want to do is just as valuable as knowing what you do want to do because you can start checking things off,” Dr. Sanchez said.
We walked into a digital marketing class, part of another magnet program in which students learn to think like business owners.
“They’ll be able to make their own money regardless of whether they go to college or not, it’s all about having that business mindset and becoming an entrepreneur,” said teacher Alicia Gant.
In the classroom across the hall, we found six students working on what’s known as a Bloomberg terminal. They are the industry standard for stock traders all over the world. They are hugely expensive computers which very few schools have, but Goleman has six of them as part of its FINTECH program, in which kids learn all about the financial industry.
Dr. Sanchez says since Goleman became an all-magnet school the population has become more diverse both ethnically and geographically, with students coming from all over Miami-Dade County and even some across the line from Broward.
No boundaries, he says, for students success.