In balance with its academic curriculum, the school’s Center for the Arts Magnet program offers students professional instruction in art, music, broadcasting, dance, photography and theater. Students are selected to the magnet program after being evaluated for talent, potential and maturity.
“Being talented brought them here and sets them apart from all others,” said Evonne Alvarez, the school’s principal for the past two years. “Being an SMMCS student is many things but most importantly, believing in yourself.”
A recipient of the “Principal of the Year” for the SMMCS Feeder Pattern and the Race to the Top Principal Awards, Ms. Alvarez tells students that achieving success is not an accident. They need to plan ahead, develop goals and pursue them.
Aiming to prepare students for more advanced programs, the arts program enhances student’s artistic talents by focusing on the areas of drawing, painting, print making, ceramics, sculpture, design and technology.
The school’s music program offers intensive training in band, chorus, and orchestra.
In a setting identical to that of a TV and radio station, the broadcasting arts program teaches broadcast production, filming, editing, sound mixing and recording. Working with state-of-the-art equipment, students completing the program are ready for career opportunities in the competitive field of broadcasting.
With training provided in a fully equipped dance studio, the dance program prepares students for audition opportunities and advanced programs through instruction in modern dance, jazz, pointe and ethnic dance.
Students who complete the photography program leave with a portfolio, comprehensive sketch book for advanced placement auditions and career opportunities.
Provided with a professional drama studio, students in the theater arts program learn about theater history, musical theater, set construction, sound engineering, lighting and costume design.
“Education is a pivotal factor that can impact the quality of life of a person, a family and a community,” Ms. Alvarez said, adding that a student’s educational performance is greatly determined by parental involvement.
“Ask questions, inquire about assignments, check the parent portal, and involve your child in activities that develop their natural abilities and social skills,” she said.
Leading a school of 1,021 students, Ms. Alvarez said she could not see herself doing anything else.
With her work ranging from making sound financial decisions to impacting the educational programs, each day requires her to use a different set of skills to guide the children “who teach what life is all about.”
Miami-Dade School Board Member Raquel Regalado may be reached at 305- 995-1334