Southwood Middle School
|Southwood Middle School Center for the Arts|
|Palmetto Bay, Florida
|School district||Miami-Dade County Public Schools|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
|School hours||9:10 am - 3:50 pm|
Southwood Middle School Center for the Arts, more commonly known as Southwood Middle School, is a public secondary school located on 16301 Southwest 80th Avenue in Palmetto Bay, Florida. Its principal is Raul Garcia.
The mascot for the school is the SuperStar, a cartoonish star who wears a top hat and carries a cane. This image appears on the outside of the main building.
Southwood received national attention when, on February 3, 2004, eighth-grader Jaime Rodrigo Gough was stabbed to death in a second-floor bathroom by classmate Michael Hernandez. When a fellow student found his body in a bathroom stall, the school went into lockdown. Parents who found out from other parents had gathered in front of the school, and "many tears were shed," said a student at the school.
Southwood celebrates "Peace Week" during the first week of February as a memorial for Gough, and to spread messages of tolerance and diversity. During the 2005 Peace Week ceremony, monarch butterflies were released in memory of Gough.
In late 2015, the convicted student's case was brought back to court for a re-sentencing.
During the 1984-85 school year, Southwood Jr. High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
Southwood contains five magnet programs, for which students must audition and be accepted in order to take: Music (which contains the orchestra, band, and chorus strands), Photography, Theatre, Art, and Dance. Southwood takes in non-magnet students as well, who live within the designated area, but those students take regular electives instead of magnet classes. Magnet students do not have to live within this district in order to attend.
- Alex Lacamoire, Tony Award-winning music director and conductor; music director of Wicked, In the Heights, and Hamilton.
- Christy Turlington, model best known for representing Calvin Klein from 1987 to 2007
- Nadia Turner, finalist on the 4th season of American Idol
- "About our village." Village of Palmetto Bay. Retrieved on October 2, 2009.
- "Cutler CDP, Florida." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 2, 2009.
- "Teen charged with first-degree murder in killing of classmate in Miami", USA Today, February 4, 2004. Accessed August 8, 2007. "Jaime Rodrigo Gough, 14, was found early Tuesday at Southwood Middle School, a magnet school specializing in visual and performing arts, authorities said. His neck had been slashed."
- "Killer's Plan on Paper", The Sunday Territorian, March 21, 2004. Accessed August 8, 2007.
- "Today Marks Anniversary Of Middle School Killing", WPLG, February 3, 2005. Accessed August 8, 2007. "Students at a South Florida middle school that was the scene of a grisly killing a year ago, wore white shirts, held hands and celebrated peace today.... Gough's mother, father and sister ended the rally by releasing a basket full of butterflies."
- Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
- Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
- Cohen, Howard. "TV COMPETITOR HAS BECOME A 'MIAMI IDOL'", The Miami Herald, March 22, 2005. Accessed August 8, 2007. "The two have known each other since they were 11, attending R.R. Mo"ton Elementary, Southwood Middle School and Palmetto Senior High."