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Belen Jesuit Preparatory School
Address
500 SW 127 Avenue
Miami, Florida, (Dade County), 33184
 United States
Coordinates 25°45′47″N 80°24′06″W / 25.76304°N 80.40180°W / 25.76304; -80.40180Coordinates: 25°45′47″N 80°24′06″W / 25.76304°N 80.40180°W / 25.76304; -80.40180
Information
Type Private,]
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic,
Society of Jesus
Established 1854
President Rev. Pedro A. Suarez
Principal Rev. Guillermo García-Tuñon
Grades 612
Enrollment 1,500 (2009)
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Mascot Wolverine
Rival Christopher Columbus High School
Accreditation(s) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
Website

Belen Jesuit Preparatory School is a Roman Catholic, Jesuit-run preparatory school in Miami, Florida. It was established in Cuba by the Jesuits in 1854, but moved to the United States after the communist government of Fidel Castro, himself an alumnus, took power [2]. The principal is Fr. Willie Garcia-Tunon, S.J.[3] Independently operated by the Jesuit order, it is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami.

Contents

History

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Belen's time in Cuba

  • March 2, 1854 - Queen Isabella II of Spain issued a royal charter founding the "Colegio de Belén" in Havana, Cuba. Belen School began its educational work in the building formerly occupied by the convent and convalescent hospital of Our Lady of Belen, hence the name of the school.
  • 1925 - 60 acres (240,000 m2) of plantations and several buildings in Havana Cuba were donated to Belen School. The complex is later known as "El Palacio de Educacion" (The Palace of Education). As of 2008, the complex still stands, now called the Instituto Tecnico Militar (Military Technical Institute).

Belen's History in the United States

  • September 18, 1961 - Belen Jesuit School was established in the United States. The fourth floor of the Gesu Elementary School in downtown Miami became the first site of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. In 2008 this building no longer exists and in its place stands the parking lot of the Gesu Church.[4] The faculty, like many other priests and religious, had been expelled from Cuba by the government of Fidel Castro. The school's property was ultimately taken over by the government.
  • October 22, 1962 - Belen Jesuit Preparatory School acquired its own building and moved to a new site on the corner of S.W. 8th Street and 7th Avenue in Miami.
  • 1973-1981 - "Operation Coke" Students were asked to make personal sacrifices and contribute money that would normally be spent on snacks and beverages for new school facilities.
  • October 17, 1980 - Ground-breaking ceremony were held for a new building on a 30-acre (120,000 m2)-site located in west Dade County, opened the following year; Enrollment was 598 students
  • November 1996 - Belen Jesuit received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • From 1992 to 2002 marked a period of expansion for the school. The library was renovated, multiple computer labs were built as well as an athletic center and the number of classrooms were increased.
  • 2004 - Belen marked its sesquicentennial. Belen inaugurated the Ignatian Center for the Arts which included new classrooms, a choir and orchestra practice room, a stagecraft workshop, an amphitheater, the Olga & Carlos Saladrigas Art Gallery, and the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Theater with a 662 patron capacity. After approval for publishing from the faculty the student newspaper, Vincam, is subsequently confiscated by school officials for lack of charity against a football opponent, and is rumored to have been burnt.[5]
  • 2006 -2007 - The 2006-07 school year was met with recognition in academics and athletics. The Catholic School Honor Roll named Belen Jesuit as one of the top 50 Catholic high school in the U.S. Belen Jesuit was recognized in two categories, Academic Excellence and Civic Education. Belen Jesuit was also the only Florida school on the Honor Roll noted to have a highly selective admission policy. The swimming team, cross country team and track & field team all won state titles in their respective divisions.
  • February 3, 2007 - The Inaugural Sports Hall of Fame Class was inducted at the Roberto C. Goizueta Athletic Center. Its members included Luis Botifoll '25, Ernesto Smith '36, Alfredo Porta Bolaños '47, Julio J. Bordas '48, Felix P. Perez-Majul '55, Eduardo Sowers '56, Rene Walker '69, Julio Campa '71, Jorge M. Cabrera '72, Eric Alvarez '85, Hector Ortiz '86, Michael J. Covert '91, Edward Acosta '99, 1995 Cross Country Team, Coach Otilio "Cappy" Campuzano, and Athletic Director Coach Carlos Barquin.
  • 2007 - 2008 - The school's main building was named after Miguel B. Fernandez[6] The Catholic School Honor Roll named Belen Jesuit as one of the top 50 Catholic high school in the U.S. for a third consecutive year. Belen Jesuit was recognized as a category leader for its strength in two areas: Academic Excellence and Catholic Identity.[7] Belen Jesuit was again one of three schools considered highly selective in its admission policy.[8] Construction began on the new administrative building. A bronze statue of Jesus was erected. In sports the Cross Country and swimming teams both won their second state title in a row.
  • 2008-2009 - Belen's longtime President-Principal, Fr. Marcelino Garcia, S.J. steps down after twenty five years of running the school. Fr. Pedro Suarez, S.J. will begin his new appointment of president and principal on January 1, 2009. In sports the swimming and cross country team won its third straight state title in a row.

Financial Aid

It annually provides over $1.9 million in need-based grants to students; the money has been raised by the annual Tombola fair, and private donations.[9] In late 2006 Belen and Ocean Bank created the Agape Scholarship specifically to promote diversity at the school whose population is mostly Cuban-American. $1.2 million has been committed over the next ten years for this scholarship program. In addition to covering the student's tuition, books, and other expenses, the school created a new scholarship committee with the goal of ensuring the success of the students.[10]

Academics

The school owns a 12-inch (300 mm) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope housed inside an observatory built with contributions of the Class of 1972. Both middle and high school students may take extracurricula courses which are offered in astronomy and meteorology. It has been named three times in a row as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States by the Catholic High School Honor Roll. [11] . - [12]

Athletics

Belen fields teams in Cross Country, Track and Field, baseball, roller hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball, golf, swimming, water polo, football,tennis, wrestling, and crew. The crew team has had success with the Varsity 8+ and Freshmen 8+, representing Belen at nationals in 2007. In the last four years the team has reached the regional finals twice.[13] Locally, the team has defeated every South Florida crew.[14] The crew also had success since the 2007 school year with the Freshmen 8+, winning the category every year. During Nationals 2009, both the Freshman 8+, and Junior 8+ got 2nd place.

The swimming team, cross country team and the track & field team all won state titles in their respective divisions in 2006-7.[15][16] Belen also won the district championship in water polo and baseball. The baseball team reached the state semi-finals. The Miami Herald awarded Belen Jesuit with the 4A-1A award for athletic excellence. Belen resumed its longtime rivalry in 2003 with Columbus after not playing for over 20 years.[17] In 2008, the two schools resumed competition against each other in football, basketball, soccer and baseball.

In 2009, the school football team reached the 3A State Football Championship game against Pensacola High School.

Arts

The humanities and arts are held at a high esteem at Belen. As of 2004, a new building was added to the campus solely for the arts, named The Ignatian Center for the Arts. The Center consists of a theater, art gallery, music rehearsal hall, a film lab, various classrooms and an administrative office. The humanities department at Belen Jesuit Preparatory school is currently overseen by Leopoldo Nuñez whom is also the director Center for the Arts.[18] The Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Theatre features a 662 person occupancy, an orchestra pit, catwalk, a stage area and male and female dressing rooms. Prior to the construction of the theater, Belen productions were staged in the school auditorium which has since been re-named in honor of Guillermo F. Kohly.

Library

The Ramón Guiteras Memorial Library, located on the campus of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, is one of the top school libraries in Miami-Dade County. It serves the student body and faculty of Belen, as well as the community at large. The library currently has over 35,000 volumes, 15,000 ebooks, and subscriptions to some electronic databases, including ProQuest Direct with over 2,000 periodicals online and Questia. The library staff includes one librarian, three library assistants and one library disciplinarian.[19] Library hours are 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Thursday and 7:30 am to 4:00 pm on Friday. The library is equipped with 33 computers with fast access to the Internet. The library also houses La Colección Cubana (The Cuban Collection), a special collection of Cuban books; Currently consisting of over 7,000 volumes, with books about Cuba and/or written by Cubans and Cuban-Americans. La Colección Cubana is open to the public. La Colección Cubana is the second-largest collection of Cuban books and other media (second only to the University of Miami)outside of Cuba [19]

Notable alumni

Main article: List of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School people

References

  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". http://www.advanc-ed.org/schools_districts/school_district_listings/?. Retrieved 2009-06-23.  
  2. ^ Ada Evening News February 24, 1961
  3. ^ Belen's rival school is Christopher Columbus High School (Miami, Florida), another private all-male Catholic high school in Miami, Florida. Belen Jesuit Preparatory School - President Principal's Office
  4. ^ Belen Jesuit Preparatory School - History
  5. ^ http://highschooljournalism.org/Content.cfm?mode=0&newsid=169&id=65
  6. ^ The Fernandez family donated $2.5 million to the school
  7. ^ The Miami Herald- October 25, 2007-KENDALL/WEST KENDALL: Belen, Columbus among 50 best, Two West Miami-Dade Catholic schools were recognized for the third time by a national think tank for excellence in education
  8. ^ The Miami Herald- February 3, 2006; BELÉN JESUIT PREPARATORY TO LIMIT STUDENT ADMISSIONS
  9. ^ The Miami Herald; March 2, 2000; TRIP TO TOMBOLA A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
  10. ^ Ocean Bank Community: Leaders “Open The Door” To A New Day In Private Education
  11. ^ Catholic High School Honor Roll
  12. ^ Leal, Yédica (April 11-17, 2008). Stargazing and hurricane watching. Florida Catholic.  
  13. ^ The Miami Herald- March 4, 2007; Belen brings home medals
  14. ^ The Miami Herald-March 4, 2007-Belen brings home medals
  15. ^ The Miami Herald- November 3, 2006; BELEN GIVES DADE TEAM TITLE
  16. ^ The Miami Herald, November 3, 2007; SWIMMING CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Belen wins state swimming title again, The Belen boys' team captured its second consecutive state swimming championship.
  17. ^ The Miami Herald, August 30, 2007; TROPICAL PARK: Miami-Dade parochial schools are heated rivals, A LONGTIME RIVALRY BETWEEN MIAMI-DADE'S PAROCHIAL SCHOOL GIANTS HAS CULMINATED FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW AT THE BELEN VS. COLUMBUS FOOTBALL KICKOFF CLASSIC AT TROPICAL PARK.
  18. ^ Belen Jesuit Preparatory School - Humanities
  19. ^ a b Belen Jesuit Preparatory School - Library

External links


Belen Jesuit Preparatory School
Address
500 SW 127 Avenue
Miami, Florida, (Dade County), 33184
 United States
Coordinates 25°45′47″N 80°24′06″W / 25.76304°N 80.40180°W / 25.76304; -80.40180Coordinates: 25°45′47″N 80°24′06″W / 25.76304°N 80.40180°W / 25.76304; -80.40180
Information
Type Private
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic,
Society of Jesus
Established 1854
President Rev. Pedro A. Suarez, SJ
Principal Rev. Guillermo García-Tuñon, SJ
Grades 612
Enrollment 1,500 (2010)
Campus size 30 acres (120,000 m2)
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Mascot Wolverine
Rival Christopher Columbus High School[citation needed]
Accreditation(s) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
Newspaper Vincam
Yearbook Echoes
Website

Belen Jesuit Preparatory School is a Roman Catholic preparatory school in Miami, Florida run by The Society of Jesus. It was established in Cuba by the Jesuits in 1854, but moved to the United States after the communist government of Fidel Castro, himself an alumnus, took power [2]. It has since developed into one of the top Catholic high schools in the country.

Contents

History

Belen's time in Cuba

In 1854, Queen Isabella II of Spain issued a royal charter founding the "Colegio de Belén" in Havana, Cuba. Belen School began its educational work in the building formerly occupied by the convent and convalescent hospital of Our Lady of Belen, hence the name of the school. Several buildings in Havana Cuba were donated to Belen Jesuit. The complex would be later known as "El Palacio de Educacion" (The Palace of Education). As of 2008, the complex still stands, now called the Instituto Tecnico Militar (Military Technical Institute).

Belen's History in the United States

In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the school's property and expelled the Jesuit faculty. Belen Jesuit was re-established in Miami the same year, and by the next year l acquired its own building and moved to a new site on the corner of S.W. 8th Street and 7th Avenue in Miami. 1980 saw a Ground-breaking ceremony for a new building on a 30-acre (120,000 m2)-site located in west Dade County, opened the following year; Enrollment was 598 students. 1992 to 2002 marked a period of expansion for the school. The library was renovated, multiple computer labs were built as well as an athletic center and the number of classrooms were increased. Belen inaugurated the Ignatian Center for the Arts in 2004 which included new classrooms, a choir and orchestra practice room, a stagecraft workshop, an amphitheater, the Olga & Carlos Saladrigas Art Gallery, and the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Theater with a 662 patron capacity. The 2006-07 school year was met with recognition in academics and athletics. The Catholic School Honor Roll named Belen Jesuit as one of the top 50 Catholic high school in the United States in two categories: Academic Excellence and Civic Education. The swimming team, cross country team and track & field team all won state titles in their respective divisions.[citation needed] The Inaugural Sports Hall of Fame Class was inducted in 2007 at the Roberto C. Goizueta Athletic Center. Its members included Luis Botifoll '25, Ernesto Smith '36, Alfredo Porta Bolaños '47, Julio J. Bordas '48, Felix P. Perez-Majul '55, Eduardo Sowers '56, Rene Walker '69, Julio Campa '71, Jorge M. Cabrera '72, Eric Alvarez '85, Hector Ortiz '86, Michael J. Covert '91, Edward Acosta '99, 1995 Cross Country Team, Coach Otilio "Cappy" Campuzano, and Athletic Director Coach Carlos Barquin. During the 2007-08 academic year Belen Jesuit was again recognized by The Catholic School Honor Roll as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States for a third consecutive year as a category leader for its strength in Academic Excellence and Catholic Identity. The 2008 fall semester was Rev. Marcelino Garcia's SJ's last semester serving as President and Principal of Belen Jesuit after twenty-five years of exceptional service. Spring 2010 marked the beginning of Rev. Pedro Suarez SJ's service as President and Rev. Guillermo Garcia-Tuñon, SJ's as Principal.

Financial Aid

Belen Jesuit annually provides over $1.9 million in need-based grants to students; the money is raised by the annual Tombola fair and private donations.[3] In late 2006, Belen and Ocean Bank created the Agape Scholarship to promote diversity at the school (population is mostly Cuban-American). $1.2 million has been committed over the next ten years for this scholarship program. In addition to covering the student's tuition, books, and other expenses, the school created a new scholarship committee with the goal of ensuring the success of the students.[4]

Academics

The school owns a 12-inch (300 mm) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope housed inside an observatory built with contributions of the Class of 1972. Both middle and high school students may take extracurricula courses which are offered in astronomy and meteorology. It has been named three times in a row as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States by the Catholic High School Honor Roll.[5] . - [6]

Athletics

Belen fields teams in Cross Country, Track and Field, baseball, roller hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball, golf, swimming, water polo, football,tennis, wrestling, and crew. The crew team has had success with the Varsity 8+ and Freshmen 8+, representing Belen at nationals in 2007. In the last four years the team has reached the regional finals twice.[7] Locally, the team has defeated every South Florida crew.[8] The crew also had success since the 2007 school year with the Freshmen 8+, winning the category every year. During Nationals 2009, both the Freshman 8+, and Junior 8+ got 2nd place. In 2010 the Lightweight 8 finished first in the Southeast Regional Championship advancing to the National Championship.

The swimming team, cross country team and the track & field team all won state titles in their respective divisions in 2006-7.[9][10] Belen also won the district championship in water polo and baseball. The baseball team reached the state semi-finals. The Miami Herald awarded Belen Jesuit with the 4A-1A award for athletic excellence.[citation needed] Belen resumed its longtime rivalry in 2003 with Columbus after not playing for over 20 years.[11] In 2008, the two schools resumed competition against each other in football, basketball, soccer and baseball.

In 2009, the school football team reached the 3A State Football Championship game against Pensacola High School.

Arts

The humanities and arts are held at a high esteem at Belen. As of 2004, a new building was added to the campus solely for the arts, named The Ignatian Center for the Arts. The Center consists of a theater, art gallery, music rehearsal hall, a film lab, various classrooms and an administrative office. The humanities department at Belen Jesuit Preparatory school is currently overseen by Leopoldo Nuñez whom is also the director Center for the Arts.[12] The Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Theatre features a 662 person occupancy, an orchestra pit, catwalk, a stage area and male and female dressing rooms. Prior to the construction of the theater, Belen productions were staged in the school auditorium which has since been re-named in honor of Guillermo F. Kohly.

Library

The Ramón Guiteras Memorial Library, located on the campus of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, is one of the top school libraries in Miami-Dade County.[citation needed] It serves the student body and faculty of Belen, as well as the community at large. The library currently has over 35,000 volumes, 15,000 ebooks, and subscriptions to some electronic databases, including ProQuest Direct with over 2,000 periodicals online and Questia. The library staff includes one librarian, three library assistants and one library disciplinarian.[13] Library hours are 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Thursday and 7:30 am to 4:00 pm on Friday. The library is equipped with 33 computers with fast access to the Internet. The library also houses La Colección Cubana (The Cuban Collection), a special collection of Cuban books; Currently consisting of over 7,000 volumes, with books about Cuba and/or written by Cubans and Cuban-Americans. La Colección Cubana is open to the public. La Colección Cubana is the second-largest collection of Cuban books and other media (second only to the University of Miami)outside of Cuba [13]

Notable alumni

Main article: List of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School people

References

  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". http://www.advanc-ed.org/schools_districts/school_district_listings/?. Retrieved 2009-06-23. [dead link]
  2. ^ Ada Evening News February 24, 1961
  3. ^ The Miami Herald; March 2, 2000; TRIP TO TOMBOLA A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
  4. ^ Ocean Bank Community: Leaders “Open The Door” To A New Day In Private Education
  5. ^ Catholic High School Honor Roll
  6. ^ Leal, Yédica (April 11–17, 2008). Stargazing and hurricane watching. Florida Catholic. 
  7. ^ The Miami Herald- March 4, 2007; Belen brings home medals
  8. ^ The Miami Herald-March 4, 2007-Belen brings home medals
  9. ^ The Miami Herald- November 3, 2006; BELEN GIVES DADE TEAM TITLE
  10. ^ The Miami Herald, November 3, 2007; SWIMMING CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Belen wins state swimming title again, The Belen boys' team captured its second consecutive state swimming championship.
  11. ^ The Miami Herald, August 30, 2007; TROPICAL PARK: Miami-Dade parochial schools are heated rivals, A LONGTIME RIVALRY BETWEEN MIAMI-DADE'S PAROCHIAL SCHOOL GIANTS HAS CULMINATED FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW AT THE BELEN VS. COLUMBUS FOOTBALL KICKOFF CLASSIC AT TROPICAL PARK.
  12. ^ Belen Jesuit Preparatory School - Humanities
  13. ^ a b Belen Jesuit Preparatory School - Library

External links


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