For families looking for a best-fit boarding school that provides world-class academics, athletics, and the arts -- they should look no further than Saint Andrew’s School. The school’s premiere location in sunny South Florida is just one of many reasons why the boarding experience at Saint Andrew’s is second to none.
In a state known for its sun, sand, and surf, Saint Andrew’s School, located in Boca Raton, makes waves as the 2020 top-ranked Boarding School in Florida by Niche.com. In 2019, Saint Andrew’s was also listed as among the world’s top 20 boarding schools, along-side institutions in the northeast region of the United States and Europe.
But the impact that Saint Andrew’s has on its boarding students reaches far beyond high academic achievement and college placement. “There is a long tradition of dedication, compassion, and a strong sense of community - and these qualities characterize the spirit of the Saint Andrew’s Boarding Program,” said Bill Christy, dean of resident life.
With 35 faculty members and staff living on campus, the nearly one hundred students from over 30 countries have an unparalleled network of academic, social, and emotional support. “There is a certainty boarding students feel that people here care for them. Each student knows that faculty members are focused on providing them the best experience possible,” offered Christy.
Among the many community-building activities resident students experience each year, one favorite is called the Resident Life Olympics. From boat races to dodgeball and inflatable games - there is so much fun to be had during this weekend event.
“My favorite ‘Olympic event’ is one involving students racing to put on layers of Saint Andrew’s clothes. I remember one year, a student put on over 200 red and white clothing items,” grinned Prefect Melanie Gamboa ’20. “I’m a senior this year and every year I’ve looked forward to this game. The fun we have is always unforgettable.”
Moments like those had at the Resident Life Olympics create strong bonds of friendship, respect, and connection which Head of School Ethan Shapiro considers part of the unique signature of the Saint Andrew’s boarding program.
After 29 years as a member of the boarding faculty at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and now as Head of School at Saint Andrew’s, Mr. Shapiro believes that Saint Andrew’s provides an unmatched resident life experience for students. “Without question, Saint Andrew’s offers a premium location in South Florida as well as excellence in academics and athletics. This combined with the highest level of care from faculty is what no other school in the country can deliver,” commented Mr. Shapiro.
In his third year as Head of School, Mr. Shapiro views the school’s focus on character-building as a key differentiator for the school. “Students here feel part of something larger than themselves, and this enables them to develop as empathetic, grounded, and resilient people.”
Boarding students at Saint Andrew’s are also talented performers on the stage, creative artists in studios, and pivotal contributors to athletics teams. The accomplishments of SA’s student-athletes and sports teams in 2018-2019 were among the best in its long history. “In just one year, the school claimed 12 district championships, four regional championships, and two state championship titles,” said Craig Ashley, athletic director.
While Saint Andrew’s School has always attracted top students, world-class teachers, and unrivaled coaches, many are also drawn to its superior facilities and programs. Athletes train at cutting edge facilities such as the Duff Tyler Aquatic Complex considered one of the best aquatic centers in the country. In addition to the championship aquatics program, Saint Andrew’s offers a broad range of accomplished teams including the state champion tennis teams, boys lacrosse team, and golf teams.
The 2020 Best Boarding School in Florida recognition is based on an analysis of the many statistics previously mentioned, as well as reviews from students and parents. One Niche.com review convincingly echoed the school’s top ranking. In the review, a Saint Andrew’s graduate expressed the value of their boarding experience saying that it was, “one of the highlights of my life.”
Current boarding students are similarly reflective of their years at Saint Andrew’s. A senior boarder from Kenya, Grace Nyanchoka ’20 offers sentiments demonstrating the profound impact the school has had in her life. “Being at Saint Andrew’s School has changed my life! The opportunities I’ve had because I am at this school are immeasurable. And I’ve made so many friends here that I now consider part of my family.”
As the school carries forward its mission to be a life-changing institution for boarding students, it continues to do what it does best. Saint Andrew’s offers a balanced approach to education, a rigorous depth of programming, and a commitment to nurturing each student in mind, body, and spirit.
Not only do these qualities spell out what it means to be best in Florida - they also illustrate that Saint Andrew’s can be a “best-fit” boarding school for students and families across the globe.