Mission, Heritage & Values
Cardinal Gibbons High School is dedicated to providing our students with a strong formation of Catholic values, academic excellence, lifelong learning and a commitment to service.
Living and learning through Catholic education.
Cardinal Gibbons was established in September 1961, by His Excellency, Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll, who appointed Reverend Thomas A. Dennehy the first Supervising Principal, Sister Marie Schramko, O.S.F., was named principal of the Girls' Division and Reverend Henry Mirowski, Sch.P., became principal of the Boys' Division. CGHS opened its doors to 176 freshmen and sophomores on a sand-strewn campus with two buildings. The expansion was the keyword. In the following years, the addition of the eleventh and twelfth grades, an enlarged faculty, a field house, science wing, cafeteria, gym, and new classrooms has led to the present ten buildings, parking lots, and improved campus.
In 1972, the school became co-educational. On June 17th, 1973, Reverend Joseph Huck was appointed to succeed Reverend Thomas A. Dennehy as Supervising Principal. Since September of 1974, Very Reverend Joseph J. Kershner had been Acting Supervising Principal. On Father Kershner's retirement, on December 2, 2002, Mr. Paul D. Ott was appointed Acting Principal. His appointment as principal became effective July 1, 2003. At the conclusion of the 2018-2019 year, Mr. Paul D. Ott retired with Cardinal Gibbons transitioning to the President-Principal model with Mr. Tom Mahon and Oscar Cedeño, respectively. At the conclusion of the 2020-2021 year, Cardinal Gibbons returned to the Principal model with Mr. Cedeño in that role.
Cardinal Gibbons High School affirms its Catholic commitment. The administration and staff accept the responsibility, both through example and instruction, of demonstrating the viability of the Catholic Faith and of following an educational process, which helps its students relate their learning to life and its transcendental goal.
The administration and staff recognize the importance of the growth of each individual by providing an educational atmosphere, which respects the right of everyone to learn. The essential goal of the administration and staff is to assist in the education of the total Christian person. The faculty accepts its joint responsibility with the parents to foster the moral, intellectual, physical, and social growth of each student. It recognizes that each student is a unique individual with different talents and different needs. The faculty strives to assist the students in the discovery of their individual potential and their own personal worth. The administration and staff aim to be contemporary, knowing that it is their responsibility to meet the needs of their students in a changing society. The effort is reflected in the redesigning of curricula, the updating of methodology, the fostering of student initiative and the promoting of student leadership.
In the upper right-hand corner is the crest of the Archdiocese of Miami, a palm tree planted between two crosses. The flowing waters surrounding the base of the crest signify the State of Florida. In the upper left-hand corner is the coat of arms of James Cardinal Gibbons with the words, “Emitte Spiritum Tuum,” meaning "Send forth thy Spirit." In 1886 Gibbons was elevated to Cardinal Archbishop of Baltimore, becoming the second American to attain that rank in the Catholic Church.
The bottom half of the crest is reserved for the shields of the two religious communities who have taught at Cardinal Gibbons. The one to the left is the Franciscan emblem, the stigmata of Saint Francis extended over the hand of Christ. The one to the right is the Piarist emblem. On the Piarist shield is Mary, the Mother of God, in Greek lettering. Her crown above the Latin "Maria" symbolizes her endless reign over the Order and her inspirational guidance over schools.
Stretching across the bottom of the Crest is the Latin word "Excelsior," the school motto, encouraging the students "ever onward.”