Monsignor Edward Pace High School
(Published in 2010)
Miami Gardens – Located on 44 acres in Miami Gardens, Monsignor Edward Pace High School has been educating South Florida’s youth since 1961. Among its first students were children who escaped Communist Cuba, and today it maintains a reputation of being an extended family within the community.
“The family-centric atmosphere helps to build a comforting environment and truly distinguishes Pace from other schools,” said the school’s principal, Ana Garcia.
The student body is comprised of nearly 1,000 students in grades nine through 12 with 107 students benefitting from Step Up For Students Scholarships.
“Step Up For Students is the most wonderful program,” Garcia expressed. “This program makes a great education accessible to all students, especially those who usually have the least options. Through the scholarship, you are creating a community of appreciative individuals who will continue on in the generous manner that they have been so gifted to receive.”
As a testament to Monsignor Edward Pace High School’s high level of achievement, it has been on the Catholic Honor Roll in 2004 and 2005, placing among the top 50 Catholic high schools in the nation. One of the school’s proudest moments was being awarded the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award in 2002 from the U.S. Department of Education.
The college preparatory academic programs at the school strive to meet the needs of a diverse student population. The programs include the national Advanced Placement® program, dual enrollment opportunities with Florida International University and St. Thomas University, general education classes and a program for students who may require more individualized instruction.
As a result, Pace proudly boasts a 100 percent graduation rate with 99 percent of the graduates continuing on to post-secondary schools. The one percent that does not pursue post-secondary education typically enters into the Armed Forces.
The combination of academics, religious studies and charitable activities has had a long-lasting impact on Miami. Many alumni started their path to becoming leaders of the community at Pace, and they serve the community while succeeding in their respective careers, and often return to the school as guest speakers or teachers.
Among the returning alumni is Ana Garcia, who is not only the current principal but also the mother of three graduates from Pace. In addition, 30 percent of the teachers and staff are also graduates from Pace.
More than 50 percent of the teachers and administration hold master’s and/or doctorate degrees, and the school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The annual tuition at Monsignor Edward Pace is $6,500.
The typical scholarship school
Is small in size: The average total enrollment is 161 students.
Serves mostly private-paying students: Step Up students make up an average of 30 percent of total enrollment.
Serves elementary students: About 66 percent in grades K-5.
Is faith-based: Seventy-five percent of the schools are faith-based. The 193 Catholic schools represent the largest single group.