History and Traditions
As the Alma Mater says, the "hope and pride" of South Miami Senior opened its doors to students for the first time on November 10, 1971. The original student body selected the Cobra mascot and the school colors of orange, brown, and white. Today the Cobra mascot reigns from the third story roof of Cobra Hall, greeting all who pass by "Cobra Country" on Miller Road.
Since opening, South Miami has had five principals: Dr. Warren G. Burchell, Ms. Judy Weiner, Mr. Thomas L. Shaw, Mr. Eugene Butler, Mr. Craig Speziale, and currently Mr. Gilberto Bonce. Dr. Burchell has been the longest serving principal in South Miami Senior High history, serving 22 years. Mr. Shaw brought with him a whole new era of curriculum and technological innovation and the school went from one magnet program, to becoming a full-fledged magnet school, the South Miami School of the Arts.
Mr. Bonce oversaw the opening of a new building on the South Miami Senior High campus, adding new science labs and art studios. The second building was named Cobra Tower and the original was named Cobra Hall. Mr. Bonce was runner-up for Principal of the Year for the region in 2009. In 2012, Mr Bonce led South Miami Senior High to rank in the top 5% in the state of Florida according to the US News and World Reports Best High Schools in the United States report. His tenure has seen the school add new computer labs for computerized testing. His tenure has also seen updates to the school auditorium, including a new projection screen and projector system and seen our school achieve an A grade status and recognition by US News and World Report as a Silver rated high school. Today, Mr. Bonce leads South Miami Senior through the "changes and challenges" mentioned in the school song. Through his leadership greatness lies ahead for South Miami Senior High.