Dear Friends and Colleagues:
First, many thanks to those who have reached out to me and
expressed sympathy and support following the closure of Coronado
Academy a few weeks ago. Coronado evolved into a wonderful
school and became “home” to a wonderful group of students.
This was evidenced by the almost unanimous outpouring of
support and empathy from parents, students, and referrers,
despite the hardship caused by the sudden closure. Fortunately
most former students are settling in well in their new schools
or at home. Thank goodness the Coronado leadership team refused
to throw in the towel and went on to form New Summit Academy.
Almost all the boys that attended Coronado were able to make
an easy transition to New Summit and are settling in extremely
well on their new campus.
I’ve asked Lon Woodbury to publish this letter because a
couple of questions have come up repeatedly in conversations
since the school closed:
Question: Why did the school close so suddenly, so close
to the end of the quarter?
Response: Unfortunately, though Coronado succeeded as a
school, it failed to thrive as a viable business. Over time
we accrued debt and ultimately owed the government agencies
sufficient money that they were poised to shut down the school.
Under those circumstances, Costa Rica’s Child Welfare agency
would most likely have placed the students in temporary foster
care until their parents could arrange for their return to
the US. Having explored and exhausted all known funding options,
the Board of Directors made the painful decision to send
the students home immediately.
Two days after the last students departed, we received formal
notification that the school would be forced to close its
doors within two to three days. Given that we were “between
a rock and a hard place,” it turns out that we made the right
decision at the right time.
Question: Am I involved with New Summit Academy, an off-shoot
of Coronado that is staffed and led by former Coronado faculty
Response: No. I have no formal ties to New Summit,. Unfortunately,
though Coronado Academy closed its doors to students, there
is still much work to do. We are in the process of selling
the property and settling our affairs in Costa Rica. There’s
still more than enough work to keep me busy and I’m also
taking some “breathing room” while contemplating my next
Once again, thanks for your concern and support.
Former President & CEO
Coronado Academy of Costa Rica