Honors Curriculum

At ACND in any given year there are as many Honors Programs as there are students who choose to actualize their God-given abilities to attain the fullness of personal, familial and community goals. A classic core curriculum serves as the foundation for exploring a larger academic horizon and entering areas of particular interest and capacity.
Honors and advanced placement courses are proposed for qualifying students willing to assume the added reading, research and writing necessary to explore topics in greater depth. Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, group research projects, independent study, service engagements, leadership positions, internships and a senior thesis afford ample opportunities to shape highly individualized curricula vitae.

The following cameos suggest some of the ways individual students have shaped a personalized Honors Curriculum.

Cynthia Massillon '08

Graduated from St. James Catholic School. She combined her freshman schedule of honors courses with an introduction to forensics. She developed her skills as a student, as a member of the speech and debate team and as an elected member of the student council. She took particular delight in an advanced communication course in junior year and in the Christian Brothers' National Leadership Workshop.

Toward the end of the year, she presented herself as a candidate for president of the student council. She was elected by an overwhelming majority and quickly launched a program promoting engagement of the student body in the many activities offered by the school. Just before graduation she received notification of her selection as a William Gates Millennium Scholar. The award included full tuition, room, board and fees as well as a stipend at the university of her choice for both undergraduate and graduate studies up to the level of a doctorate.

Cynthia chose Brandeis University where she has pursued pre-legal studies and continued her leadership and service roles with a particular focus on aid to Haiti, her mother's homeland.

Allyson Porges '08

Came from a public school in New Jersey. Placement testing indicated her readiness for honors courses in Algebra I, English, Biology and World History. At the end of the freshman year, she decided to accelerate her program in mathematics, choosing to take both Algebra II Honors and Geometry Honors. The added choice of Honors Environmental Science launched an interest that was to shape much of her subsequent education.

Ally opted for a very intensive junior year with honors courses in Pre- Calculus, Psychology and Physics, and Advanced Placement courses in English Language and Composition and US History. Her senior year, a key player on three varsity sports, she enrolled in AP courses in English Literature, Government and Economics, and Calculus, as well as honors courses in Chemistry, and, just for diversion, Latin.

Accepted to a variety of prestigious colleges, she chose the University of Miami's school of engineering. Here courses and research are bringing her toward a life goal of making a difference as an environmental engineer engaged in international projects.

Alexandra Guerra '08

Attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School. Her proficiency in mathematics and science was complemented with a love for dance, music, and art.

Alexandra became engaged in a broad range of activities on and off campus. By the end of her junior year, she had completed courses in Honors Chemistry and Calculus, clearing the way for a concentration in health related service and courses in Advanced Placement Biology as well as Anatomy and Physiology.

Alexandra was welcomed to the school of engineering at New York's Columbia University where she is preparing for a career in biochemical engineering.

Carl Andre Dominique '09

Came from J. F. Kennedy Public Middle school in North Miami. He enrolled in honors courses and activities exploring a variety of interests and talents. Forensics in freshman year and art with computer applications in sophomore year sparked his enthusiasm for the visual and performing arts.

His investment in the life of the school community included AP courses in science, mathematics, social studies and English, chess and choir, cross-country running and soccer, Edmund Rice Community, and leads in the ACND musical productions.

Carl's portfolio of achievements earned him a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Arturo Salow '09

A graduate of St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Miami Shores. Elected the president of the freshman class, he enthusiastically engaged in community service and in leadership training opportunities. An ACND delegate to the National Christian Brothers ACTION Leadership workshop, he emerged as a leader among leaders and was invited to serve on the organizing group for subsequent assemblies.

Reelected class president each of his first three years and then student body president in his senior year, Artie developed programs for promoting leadership among his fellow students and was instrumental in developing the annual ACND Middle School Leadership Conference.

A four year athlete in at least three sports per year, with a full program of honors and Advance Placement courses and a perfect 800 on the English section of the College Boards, Artie was heavily recruited by a number of leading colleges. The final decision was between full academic scholarships to Harvard and the University of Miami. He chose to be a Cane.

Gerald Williams '09

Came to ACND from the former St. Francis Xavier Catholic School. He began his high school career with the intensive summer remediation program. Enrolled in foundation courses in his first two years, Gerald maintained high grades and demonstrated his determination and capacity to move to higher level courses.

In junior year he earned acceptance to Chemistry Honors and consolidated his determination to become a medical doctor. He took full advantage of the Health Care Career Program. In senior year he enrolled in Psychology Honors as well as Anatomy and Physiology. A founding member and eventually president of the ACND Men of Distinction, he modeled and promoted full engagement in campus activities. Currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA in the pre-med program at FAMU, Gerald plans to apply to medical schools next year.

Maria Gianni '10

Came to ACND from St. Patrick's on Miami Beach. From freshman year, when she attained Principal's Honors, Maria manifested her commitment to excellence in all subject areas.

In junior year she added Chemistry II Honors to an already challenging program and confirmed her enthusiasm for science. Her involvement in the Knights for Life and the Edmund Rice Community gave expression to her commitment to helping others. As an officer in the National Honor Society, senior editor of the yearbook, and a lead member of the morning announcements and school newspaper, she was fully engaged in campus life.

Maria is enrolled as a pre-med student at the University of Florida.

Jessica Velasco '10

Attended St. Rose of Lima School in Miami Shores. Introduced by her older brother Jay (recently graduated from Cornell University) to the possibilities and benefits of involvement at ACND, Jessica began, in her freshman year, a four year commitment to the cross country team and the Knightingales' choral group. Her performance in honors and AP courses earned her a place on the honor roll each quarter for four years.

Selected to participate in the Hugh O'Brian Youth Program (HOBY) as a sophomore and then as an upper classman in the International Leadership Workshop of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, Jessica stood out as a leader among leaders. She was elected president of the ACND student body in her senior year.

Jessica was awarded a scholarship to Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, where she continues to be engaged in campus service while studying sociology.

Elisa Mastromarino '10

Was a graduate of the former St. Joseph's Catholic School on Miami Beach. With an early identification of interest in medicine Elisa became involved in the ACND Health Care Career Path, participating in orientation programs, summer projects, field work experiences in local hospitals, consultation with ACND's alums in health related fields, and a sequence of honors and advanced placement science courses including Biology, Physics, Chemistry I and II, as well as Anatomy and Physiology.

Active in many of the school organizations, Elisa helped coordinate the annual Edmund Rice Community Hungerfests, journeyed to Washington to participate in the Right to Life vigil, lobbied congressmen, and kept the school informed with her role as an anchor on the morning announcements.

Elisa is enrolled in the nursing program at Barry University in Miami Shores.

Jose Nino Domond '11

Graduated from St. Mary's Cathedral School. A gifted athlete, he had anticipated a very full engagement in each season of his high school career. A serious traffic accident in the fall of his freshman year presented a major challenge. With intensive physical therapy and sheer determination Jose eventually returned to become one of the school's leading cross country runners.

With consistently high grades in honors and Advanced Placement courses, Jose graduated magna cum laude. His extra-curricular involvement included the ecology club, the Edmund Rice Community, the National Honor Society, morning announcements, and lead parts in the school musicals.

Attending the University of Pennsylvania on a full scholarship, Jose is pursuing his goal of becoming a medical doctor.

Chelsi Gaskin '11

Attended the former Corpus Christi Catholic School. Her performance in honors courses earned her the privilege of being enrolled in Advanced Placement courses in English Composition, English Literature, Spanish Language, US History, Government and Economics, and Biology.

She played varsity soft ball, sang with the Knightingales, participated in the ecology and movie critic clubs and helped coordinate the Ladies of Distinction. As Captain of the ACND Cheer Leaders, Chelsi had a significant role in promoting school spirit.

Chelsi is studying Animal Biology at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Michael Greene '11

Aame to ACND from the Highland Oaks Public School. He maintained first honors throughout his high school years.

He is featured in a multi-media clip on the school web site, in which he speaks of his enthusiasm for mathematics, commends the preparation he has received and declares his commitment to pursuing a career in engineering. Graduating Summa cum Laude, he was salutatorian for the class of 2011.

Michael ran cross country each Fall and in the Spring was captain and held the first singles position on the varsity tennis team. Also a member of the National Honor Society, the Edmund Rice Community and the Ecology Club, he rarely had a free afternoon.

Pursuing his gifts and enthusiasm for mathematics, Michael is enrolled in the school of engineering at the University of Miami.