Schools & Program Visits - July, 2002 Issue #95
Coronado Academy closed November 28, 2004.]
Saul Rudman, Founder
June 18, 2002
Visit Report by Harriet Gershman
& James Nolan, M.A.
Several weeks ago we shared the wonderful experience of visiting
Coronado Academy, the exciting new school in Costa Rica. Saul Rudman, the executive director who is known to
us all, founded this new, coed school for students who need to adjust the course of their lives. The goal is to allow students to
redefine and reach goals, personally and academically in a beautiful, serene setting. Costa Rica – the oldest democracy in Latin
America – provides a society replete with positive role models and strong family based values.
Saul has assembled an outstanding staff, many of whom have significant experience in the emotional growth schools. Steven Hargis,
director of student life, assists Saul in overseeing the day-to-day operations. Geneva Pender, who was formerly at Positive
Impact, provides strong and imaginative direction for their educational program.
The individual needs of students are ably and sensitively addressed by an enthusiastic and committed staff. During our visit, we witnessed
students who were actively engaged in independent work, yet comfortable in seeking the advice and assistance from the staff. Coronado
has invested tremendous resources in its own satellite system so that students can have high-speed access to the internet.
The new facility, which will be ready next month, is simply magnificent. The campus, which rivals that of any school stateside, therapeutic
or not, was developed to allow the maximum interaction between students and staff as well as to provide with space that will encourage
creative projects. The world class Viking kitchen, complete with a teaching area, will allow students who are so inclined, to learn
culinary skills from world class chefs via television. The air-conditioned dorms provide comfortable living and meeting space for
students. These wonderful facilities are located on a gorgeous, pristine stretch of beach on the Pacific Coast.
We were able to spend a great deal of time with Coronado’s students. We attended a biology class, which on that occasion was held
on a river, where we were all able to observe the rich wild life resources of the area, including crocodiles and red macaws.
This school is not for severely troubled teenagers, but for those who need “time out” in order to reorient their lives. It is ideal
for a high school senior or a junior who is somewhat confused about his/her goals and his/her future path in life. Students must enroll
voluntarily and become part of a commitment where everyone shares in the responsibility of daily living.
Coronado is a school, one can recommend with confidence. It provides students with an exciting, safe and healthy environment, in which
they can grow and mature. Saul Rudman and his staff are building a truly special school in a magical part of the world.