Nova High School

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For the former school in California, see Nova High School (Redding, California). For the alternative high school in Seattle, see the Nova Project.
Not to be confused with Novi High School.
Nova High School
Nova High Mascot Logo.png
Nova High Logo
3600 College Avenue
Davie, Florida 33314
United States
School type Public high school Public Secondary
Motto We do the right thing
Established 1960
Founded 1960
Opened 1961
Founder Ford
Status Open
School board BCPS
School district Broward County Schools
Superintendent Robert W. Runcie
School number 1281
School code 1281
Principal John LaCasse
Head of school John LaCasse
Staff approx. 110
Faculty largest number of National Board certified teachers in the district
Grades 9-12
Age range 14–19
Enrollment 2200
Number of students 2200
Classes 7 three days a week and block schedule 2 days a week (the "hybrid")
Average class size 25
Classes offered All Advanced Placement classes plus elective and core classes
Language English
Campus size Current holding of 5,000 students daily
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Green & gold
Slogan At Nova, we do the right thing.
Athletics Pat McQuaid
Athletics conference Broward County Athletic Association (District 5A)
Sports All FHSAA Sports
Mascot Titan & NT
Team name Titans
Rival St. Thomas Aquinas High School
National ranking 500
Newspaper Titan Times
Yearbook Olympian
Feeder schools Nova Middle School
Affiliation FHSAA
Debate Coach Christopher Relyea
Student Government Association Sponsor (SGA) Crystal Bohan
Athletic Director Pat McQuaid
Drama Thespians Troupe 4611
Director of Bands Joshua P. Bishop

Nova High School is a public high school located in Davie, Florida and is part of the Broward County Public Schools district. It is one of four schools that comprise the Nova Center for Applied Research and Professional Development, the others being Nova Eisenhower Elementary School, Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School, and Nova Middle School. Nova Eisenhower Elementary, the newest of the three lower schools, began in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, in the old Fort Lauderdale High School building, while the current facility was being built in Davie.

The Nova campus is located within the South Florida Education Center, a consortium of area institutions which include the main campuses of Nova Southeastern University, Broward College, and the McFatter Technical Center, as well as regional campuses of the University of Florida and Florida Atlantic University. The school has been named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence,[1] and has earned a FCAT school grade of "A" every year since 1999, with only one "B" grade in the 2002-2003 year.[2]


Nova High School was established in 1960, and opened in September 1963, as a joint project between the Broward County Public Schools and Ford Foundation. Known as the Nova Educational Experiment, the project aimed to create a community of schools spanning elementary to university level education in one location. Forman Field, the 545 acre site of a vacated naval aviation facility and located in the then rural areas of Broward County was chosen as the site for the project.[3]

The Nova schools were originally jointly funded by the Ford Foundation and local sources, and were known for their progressive curricula and use of experimental teaching methods. Students were required to pass an entrance exam for acceptance and a lengthy waiting list often existed for potential students. The school year consisted of eleven months of instruction, with a one-month summer break.

Nova was the beta testing site for "Propaganda" and a number of other academic games. The earliest national academic games tournaments were held on the Nova campus during the late 1960s.

After the Nova Educational Experiment ended in the 1970s, the Ford Foundation departed and total control of the Nova schools reverted to the Broward County Public Schools. Entrance requirements were relaxed, however, as of 1985, placement on a waiting list for entry into the schools was still required.

During the 1980s, the schools' special status had begun to chafe within the workings of the school board. School board movements to close or consolidate the schools resulted in heated contention between parents, students and the board, often accompanied by noisy public meetings.

The Nova schools have consistently ranked at the very top of schools in the state. Nova High School was ranked as the 237th best public high school in the United States, 36th best in Florida, by Newsweek Magazine in 2007 and is listed as a Silver Medal School by the U.S. News & World Report in 2008, placing it within the top 3% of all high schools in the country.[4][5]

Nova High School is also well known for its extensive course offerings, including 22 Advanced Placement courses. Nova graduates consistently matriculate to some of the finest colleges and universities in Florida and throughout the country.


As of 2014, the total student enrollment was 2149. The ethnic makeup of the school was 26% White, 44.2% Black, 20.8% Hispanic, 5.9% Asian or Pacific Islander, 2.65% Multiracial, and .32% Native American or Native Alaskan.[6]

Nova High School was awarded a grade of "A" by the Florida Department of Education in 2002–2003, 2004–2013. On the 2007 norm-referenced Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), Nova students performed nationally at the 75th percentile in reading and 82nd percentile in math. Nova faculty have, on average, 12 years of teaching experience and 49% hold advanced degrees. Average class size is 25 and the student stability rate is 97%.[7] Nova has an 87.5% chance of getting an "A" and an 94% chance of getting an "A or B"

County-sanctioned athletic programs[edit]

Debate team[edit]

The Nova High School debate team is one of the top four largest teams in the United States, with its National Forensic League rating consistently wavering between fourth and sixth in the country. The team is also the largest and most winning team in the NFL Manatee District (the second biggest district in the country according to the February 2011 Rostrum Magazine), the most successful in Florida, and the top-ranked team in the Southeast United States. Nova is well known for its sweepstakes wins at national tournaments like the Yale Invitational, the Glenbrooks Tournament in Chicago, the Emory Barkley Forum, the Harvard Invitational, and more; this is in addition to consistently winning first place overall at state and regional tournaments such as the University of Florida Blue Key Tournament, the Crestian Classic, the Sunvitational, and the Florida Forensic League Varsity State Tournament. The Nova High School debate team also has the third most invitees to the prestigious Montgomery Bell Academy Extemporaneous Speaking Round Robin, behind Newton South High School (Massachusetts) and Theodore Roosevelt High School (Iowa). Moreover, the performance of Nova High at the NFL National Tournament each June is evidently a testament to the team's national standing.[8] The team has seven National Champions since 2000: Jeff Hannan in Student Congress, Gregory Bernstein in Student Congress Scott Jacobson in Student Congress, Matt Futch in Student Congress, Allison Pena in Extemp Commentary, and in 2011 – Jamaque Newberry in Dramatic Interpretation, Jared Odessky in Domestic Extemperaneous Speaking, and Gregory Bernstein in Congressional Debate in both 2012 and 2013. In 2013 the team was also one of only three in the nation to win overall excellence at Nationals.

Baseball team[edit]

Coach Pat McQuaid has led the Nova Titans baseball team for 34 years. To honor the coach's service to the school, the baseball field was named Pat McQuaid Field. Recent accomplishments include state championships in 2004 and 2005. In each of those years, the Titans were ranked #1 in the nation by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. In April 2010, Coach McQuaid was inducted into the F.H.S.A.A. (Florida High School Athletic Association) Hall of Fame for his lifelong contribution to coaching high school baseball in the State of Florida.

Former Nova High School players to see game time with a Major League Baseball team include Doug Johns (Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics), Harry Chappas (Chicago White Sox), Michael Morse (San Francisco Giants), Jeff Fiorentino (Baltimore Orioles), and Anthony Swarzak (Minnesota Twins).

Swim, dive, and water polo teams[edit]

Since 1968, Nova High School's Swim, Dive, and Water Polo Teams ( have earned 1 National Record, 1 National Champion, 183 All-Americans, 8 National Scholar Team Awards, 7 Team State Championships (12-Time Runner-up), and 58 Individual State Titles. From 2006 to 2015, the teams were coached by former All-American and National Champion swimmer, Karney McNear. The current coach is Jesse White.

Drama club[edit]

Nova High School's Drama Club has participated in the Florida State Thespian Festival and received Excellents and Superiors. The Weight of Words is an anti-bullying show written by Nova High students and the Lovewell Institute, and performed throughout Florida by current students enrolled in the Acting class. This play is a "call for action" for all audience members that will transform any audience into agents of change. The Weight of Words is becoming widely known and is now being performed in other states and schools.

Notable alumni[edit]










  1. ^ "Archived: Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982–1983 Through 1999–2002 (PDF)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  2. ^ "FCAT School Grades – High". Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | Archived December 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Best High Schools Search – US News and World Report
  6. ^ Enrollment Counts
  7. ^ "Nova High School – Davie, Florida – FL – school overview". September 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  8. ^ "National Forensic League". Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  9. ^ "Texarkana Gazette honored with 37 journalism awards". Texarkana Gazette. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Netterstrom among APME award winners". Arkansas Press Women. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "2010-2011 APME Awards" (PDF). Associated Press. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "2012-Texas-APME-Awards-List". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Gazette Wins Awards North and East Texas Press Association". Texarkana Gazette. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Gazette wins 3 awards in journalist competition Society of Professional Journalist". Texarkana Gazette. 2 Sep 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Judge Melanie G. May". Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal. 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Principal Exits". SunSentinel. June 8, 1994. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  17. ^ Brief bio of Kevyn Orr

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°04′33″N 80°14′14″W / 26.0759°N 80.2372°W / 26.0759; -80.2372