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About Archbishop Curley Notre-Dame High School



Mission Statement

We offer students in grades 9 through 12 a college preparatory curriculum in a Catholic environment based upon Judeo-Christian principles.

By word and practice, interaction and experience, we foster acceptance and appreciation of different cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds, preparing each person to be a responsible, involved, and compassionate citizen in a global society.


Our Story

Founded in Faith 

From the founding of Archbishop Curley High School and Notre Dame Academy in 1953-54 and through their eventual merger in 1981, ACND has been enriched by the educational traditions and charism of the Priests of the Archdiocese of St. Augustine and Miami, by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Brothers of the Holy Cross.

Since 1975 the Archdiocese of Miami has entrusted the administration of the school to the Congregation of Christian Brothers.




A Fighting Irishman

Michael Joseph Curley was born in Athlone, Ireland, on October 12, 1879, one of eleven children.  He graduated from the Royal University of Dublin.  Ordained a Catholic priest in Rome in 1903, he was sent to Florida for his first pastoral assignment.  Fr. Curley was consecrated as the Bishop of St. Augustine, Florida, in 1914.  The diocese encompassed all of South Florida, including Miami.  In his seven years as bishop, he oversaw the building of 40 new Catholic churches.  Under his tenure, the Catholic population of Florida grew from 39,000 to 41,000.  During that time he spent eight months a year traveling though his diocese visiting parishes.

In 1921, Bishop Curley was transferred to Baltimore, the oldest Catholic diocese in the United States.  In 1939,  he was also named the first Archbishop of Washington, D.C.  He served as archbishop of both cities until his death in 1957.

As Bishop of St. Augustine, Curley had to confront both the Jim Crow Laws and widespread anti-Catholicism.  He was an outspoken critic of the gubernatorial candidate whose campaign promises included pledges to abolish the confessional and to appoint no Catholics to office.


Brave Women

The Sisters of St. Joseph had first come to Florida in 1865 to minister to former slaves.  One aspect of this service was education, such as  the parish school of St. Benedict the Moor, in St. Augustine.  In 1916, three Sisters of St. Joseph were arrested for violating the recently enacted state law which prohibited white women from teaching in “negro schools.”  The three women were arrested by order of the governor.  The principal was held in prison, while the other two sisters were released on bond.  Bishop Curley led a vocal public campaign on behalf of the sisters.  Largely due to his efforts, the law was declared unconstitutional, and the sisters were acquitted. 


New Schools

In 1953, responding to the new educational needs and very conscious of the historic contributions of Archbishop Curley and the school Sisters of St. Joseph, Archbishop Joseph Hurley of St. Augustine, Florida, established two new Catholic high schools in South Florida: 

Archbishop Curley High School for boys and Notre Dame Academy for girls.  The first students arrived that year. 

Archbishop Curley High School was administered by diocesan priests from 1953 to1959 and again from 1970 to 1985.

Notre Dame Academy was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine from 1953 to1959.  From 1959 to1981, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary served as administrators of Notre Dame.



To  Today


Growth in Inclusiveness

 In 1960, Curley High School and Notre Dame Academy admitted their first African-American students.  By contrast, the Dade County public schools were not fully integrated—by federal court order—until 1970.  Curley and Note Dame were the first high schools in the state of Florida to integrate and the first Catholic schools to do so in the Southern United States.

Throughout the 1970s, Archbishop Curley High School received increasing numbers of female students.  At first, the sisters of Curley students were admitted.  Gradually, this policy was extended to other female relatives of Curley’s male students.  In 1981, Curley High School and Notre Dame Academy merged.  The principal of Curley High School remained as principal of the new high school.  The newly formed Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School was located on the grounds of Curley High School.  Both students and faculty were united in the merger.  The former principal of Notre Dame joined the administration of ACND as Dean of Girls.  She assisted female students in the transition. 



The Charism of the Christian Brothers

In 1984, the Brothers of the Congregation of Christian Brothers arrived at ACND.  The Christian Brothers have administered the school since 1985, in fidelity to the charism and example of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice.

Through the decades, ACND has been a place where young people of different cultures and ethnicities have learned to know one another in friendship as children of God.  The ACND family strives to be a model of justice and harmony to South Florida, in gratitude for this gift of God.





A Chosen Future

As ACND enters its 51st year, the school community faces a number of significant transitions:  new leadership, a changing neighborhood, and facilities in the process of restructuring to accommodate a technologically enhanced curriculum addressing the educational requirements and talents of a richly diversified student population.

After three months in his new position, Br. Moffett wrote to the alumni/ae:

Here I have found a very dedicated and experienced faculty steeped in the AC-ND spirit and very   enthusiastic about proclaiming its merits.  They tell of a great history, but also of a remarkable present.  The school is a gem -- it pulses with a story that needs to be proclaimed.  As part of my introduction I asked stake holders - teachers, parents, and students.  Why did they come?  Why do they stay?  And what priorities they would suggest for a new principal?

The motivations for choosing ACND were varied.  The reasons for staying were remarkably similar - a feeling of being at home, knowing this is a place where their talents are appreciated and given a full opportunity to develop.  The priorities for the new principal were those of getting the word out to those who will have a role in promoting the name of the school and attracting the support that will assure its continuing excellence.


Buena Vista

The Renaissance of the Miami Design District has had a marked impact on the area surrounding ACND.  The neighborhood has again become a location of choice.  As the District expands north, the real estate market is discovering the architectural richness of the houses of the area surrounding the school. 

But even more significant for the school are the enhanced opportunities for curriculum enrichment being developed in the District and along the 2nd Avenue corridor to the Center City.  ACND looks to an expanding set of potential partners in the development of offerings addressing the artistic, athletic and cultural pursuits of students seeking to develop ever more fully their God given talents and interests.



RICE – Elements of a Christian Brother Education



esponsible evokes the relationships of mutual respect that characterizes the members of the community.  They are called to be responsible for themselves and responsible to each other, to their school, neighborhood and society, to the local and universal Church.  There is a call to unity, to the oneness of the People of God.  The Elements locates this shared responsibility in a “community of faith”:

 In ministry begun by Jesus Christ and inspired by the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice, a Christian Brother education:

  • fosters and invigorates a community of faith.

  • calls for collaboration and shared responsibility in its mission.



ndividualized refers to a characteristic of Christian Brother interaction.  The charism of Edmund Rice has been identified as one of seeing Christ present and appealing to us in those we are called to serve.  While class sizes rarely have permitted individualized instruction as such, it is ever the goal to know each other by name.  There is a sense of the sacredness, the holiness of the individual.  The elements emphasize an individualized and wholistic approach to the educative process.

A Christian Brother education:

  • celebrates the value and dignity of each person and nurtures the development of the whole person.




atholic encompasses the dual sense of the word as it refers specifically to the institutional nature of the Roman Catholic Church and more generally to the universal dimension of its mission.   The Elements articulate this catholicity in terms of identity and solidarity:

A Christian Brother education:

  • proclaims and witnesses to its Catholic identity.

  • stands in solidarity with those marginalized by poverty and injustice.



ngagement characterizes the quality of involvement of the members of the school community.  It is to be one of active participation in the educative project, seeking the excellence within reach of the giftedness of each member, fostering a community of concern within the school community and extending this spirit through active engagement in apostolic action.

A Christian Brother education:

  • evangelizes youth within the mission of the Church.

  • pursues excellence in all its endeavors.



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