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.
Established on Sept. 5, 1961, by his Excellency Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll, Cardinal Gibbons High School first opened its doors to 176 freshman and sophomore students on a partially completed, sand-strewn campus. Reverend Thomas A. Dennehy was appointed as the school’s first supervising principal, while Sister Marie Schramko, O.S.F., served as principal of the Girls’ Division and Reverend Henry Mirowski, Sch.P, served as principal of the Boys’ Division. In order to keep up with the rapidly growing student-body of young Christian scholars, Cardinal Gibbons expanded in 1972, becoming a co-educational institution and, in later years, added additional faculty, a field house, science wing, cafeteria, gymnasium and multiple new classrooms to campus.
On June 17, 1973, Reverend Joseph Huck was appointed to succeed Reverend Dennehy as supervising principal. Later, in September of 1974, Very Reverend Joseph J. Kershner was appointed supervising principal. Upon the retirement of Father Kershner on Dec. 2, 2002, Paul D. Ott was named interim principal, and his official appointment as principal became effective on July 1, 2003.
In 1987, Cardinal Gibbons was awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s Excellence in Education Award, which was only awarded to 271 of the nation’s finest private and public educational institutions. Cardinal Gibbons has also been recognized by Broward County and the federal government for its academic and athletic achievements.
Today, Cardinal Gibbons has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Our 18-acre campus currently houses 10 academic buildings, an interactive Media and Technology Center, four state-of-the-art science labs and a chapel that seats 300. Since opening in 1961, Cardinal Gibbons has grown to become one of the most well-respected Catholic, college preparatory schools in South Florida.
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.”