Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brandon Academy named one of nation's top 50 private schools

BRANDON — Ask Robert Rudolph about his state of mind, and he confesses that his head still spins.

In September, Rudolph learned his school, Brandon Academy, is one of the top 50 private schools in the nation. The academy, where Rudolph serves as head of schools, earned the distinction after Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education, named it a National Blue Ribbon School.

Representatives from the schools — 254 public and 50 private — will travel to an awards ceremony Nov. 15-16 in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the honor. In the past 28 years, more than 6,000 of America's schools have received this award.

The last time a Hillsborough County school received the designation was in 2008 when Bevis Elementary School in FishHawk Ranch won the award.

"It's the highest achievement a school can receive," Rudolph said. "The kids are very excited."

On a recent visit to the campus, several students sported T-shirts proclaiming the school's blue-ribbon status. Congratulatory banners hang around the school grounds.

"I think it's wonderful news," said Michelle Ayers, the school's parent-teacher organization president. Ayers' three sons, twin 8-year-olds and a 10-year-old, have been attending Brandon Academy since preschool. "It's a credit to the teachers who are responsible for helping the kids achieve this goal."

Duncan's announcement didn't come as a surprise to Rudolph and his staff, who oversee 227 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade. He learned in January that Brandon Academy was among the 50 private schools nationwide nominated by the Council for American Private Education to receive the award.

As word of the award spread throughout the community, the school experienced a 12 percent increase in enrollment this year, despite a dour economy, Rudolph said.

Private schools that receive the award must score in the top 10 percent on standardized testing for five consecutive years. They also must offer "extraordinary educational opportunities," Rudolph said.

"In our case, we offer cutting-edge technology such as the Smart Board, an interactive computer system," Rudolph said. "And we offer field trips to places like Spain, Greece, Gettysburg and the Florida Keys."

The criteria are different for public schools. They need to be ranked among the state's highest performing schools, as measured by performance on state assessments, or they need to be schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance on state assessments or nationally normed tests.

Brandon Academy was one of three private schools in the state to earn the honor this year. The other schools are: Christ the King Catholic School in Jacksonville and St. Cecelia Interparochial School in Clearwater. Public schools earning the honor were: Avalon Elementary School in Orlando, Mater Academy East Charter School in Miami, Ocean Breeze Elementary School in Indian Harbour Beach and Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale.

D'Ann White can be reached at hillsnews@sptimes.com.

Brandon Academy named one of nation's top 50 private schools 09/30/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

    National

    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”