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The Cushman School

An Identity Linked to Excellence

History of the School

Cushman School students in a C formationNamed for Dr. Laura Cushman, its founder and principal for nearly fifty-three years, The Cushman School is Miami-Dade’s oldest continuously operating private school that offers a holistic approach to education. The Cushman School is known for its appreciation for and celebration of diversity, idealism, innovation and vision.

Dr. Laura Cushman moved to Miami from Iowa in the early 1900s. An accomplished teacher in the county school system, she opened The Cushman School on the porch of her home in 1924. Two years later, the school moved into the Mediterranean-styled building on the present campus. Today, the school consists of a charming mix of renovated and new buildings spread across a beautifully landscaped campus in a historic pocket of international Miami.  Dr. Cushman was highly engaged with the school's development, from its founding until her death in 1986. Dr. Cushman benefited from the wisdom of world-renowned education leaders like John Dewey and Maria Montessori. Like her contemporaries, she also believed that every student possessed the ability to experience success in school and life, when provided with a nurturing, happy environment, deep with encouragement and facilitation.

The School offers an engaging academic environment for a diverse population of children from preschool through twelfth grade. Its rich traditional heritage and a culture of camaraderie and warmth combine to make the School a special place to learn and develop. With rigorous academics where students learn through a balance of a high-touch and high -tech environment, innovative performing and visual arts programming, daily physical education, unique global studies exposure and many exciting field trips built into an ever-evolving curriculum, The Cushman School continues to stand apart with an "identity linked to excellence."

Dr. Cushman began looking for her successor in the early 1980s. Dr. Joan Lutton, a former journalist turned High School teacher, became Principal  and then Head of School. With great passion and enthusiasm, she continued The Cushman School's innovative pursuit of excellence, while bringing the school to a much healthier financial position prior to her retirement in 2012.

Mentored by Dr. Lutton for over 25 years, Ms. Arvi Balseiro became the School’s third Head of School in July of 2012. She presides over an astonishingly diverse student body, representing over 50 different countries, and she brings tremendous vision for the evolution of the school to meet the needs of a global technology-focused marketplace. In 2016, the School launched its first high school on its Main Campus; today, the innovative high school is successfully expanding and is located at 4700 Biscayne Boulevard.

More than 96 years later, The Cushman School continues to uphold the same objectives stated by Dr. Laura Cushman from the onset: "A school seeks to develop the child mentally, physically and in character growth. To do this, the child must be placed in happy surroundings, be properly adjusted to his/her work, and have wholesome participation in living experiences."