History Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

History FAQ’s (Frequently asked Questions):

What is the history of this school?

In 2013 – 2014 Superintendent Joel Boyd brought the idea of creating an IB Secondary School to Santa Fe as part of the Santa Fe School District’s Secondary School Reform initiative in 2013. The School Board voted to approve the budget for the school in December 2013 and in February 2014, Mr. Tony Gerlicz was appointed to lead the school as the founding Principal. His official title is Principal Learner and he led the effort to name the school the Mandela International Magnet School.  

  • April 4, 2014 – Initial Lottery drawing to open the school.
  • June 2014 - Three year grant received to partner with Harvard's Project Zero, an arm of the Harvard Graduate  School of Education.
  • August 2014 - MIMS received acceptance of its MYP candidacy status. 
  • August 2014 – Doors of the first school year opened.
  • August 2014 - MIMS received 100 laptops for each of its students.
  • August 2014 - MIMS received a $50,000 grant from the Bill and Amy Conway Family Foundation.
  • September 2014 - MIMS launches mentorship program
  • October 2014 - MIMS receives MYP consultant for initial visit
  • February 21, 2015 - MIMS received notice of a $15,000 McCune Charitable Foundation grant for its bilingual program. 
  • March 4, 2015 - Lottery drawing for 2nd school year 2015 - 2016.  
  • May 2015 - MIMS participates in INSPIRE Santa Fe's 1st Festival of Learning, celebrating its mentorship program.
  • June 2015 - MIMS receives candidacy status for its Diploma Program (DP).
  • August 2015 - MIMS expands to grades 7, 8, & 9 after receiving hundreds of applications for admission.
  • August 2015 - MIMS receives 2nd matching grant of $50,000 from the Cleveland Foundation.
  • September 2015 - MIMS initiates sister school relationship with El Colegio Montepinar in Murcia, Spain.
  • September 2015 - 33 students participate in INSPIRE Santa fe's mentorship program.
  • October 2015 - MIMS receives high marks for its MYP Application.  
  • February 2016 - MIMS houses 18 students from El Colegio Montepinar with MIMS families for 10 days.
  • March 2016 - MIMS sends 18 students to El Colegio Montepinar in Murcia, Spain for 10 days.
  • April 2016 - MIMS sends in DP application for authorization. 
  • April 2016 - MIMS partners with the International Folk Art Alliance in Santa Fe to connect visiting folk artists with MIMS students.
  • June 2016 - MIMS receives high marks for its DP Application dates for Authorization visit set.
  • July 2016 - 19 MIMS students work with visiting artists at the International Folk Art Market, Santa Fe, NM.
  • August 2016 - MIMS opens with grades 7, 8 , 9, 10.    
  • October 2016 - MIMS receives Authorization visit from IB Organization for both MYP and DP programs.

Why name the school after Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela’s values, strength of conviction, love of education and commitment to peace-making were strong reasons to name the school after him.  He is a universally recognized symbol of peace, perseverance, integrity, humor, humility and self-awareness.  Mandela’s legacy to the world is to advance the cause of human understanding and empowerment through education.  He chose education at a time when he could have chosen violence.  His philosophy on leadership and on education mirrors that of the IB and is reflected in the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the School.

There is also a strong international IB connection to Mandela.   While in prison on Robben Island, Mandela sent his three daughters to an international school in Swaziland, a school utilizing the IB, which he called a “vehicle for peace” and the school, which eventually evolved into the United World College of Swaziland, a “beacon of freedom.” 

Indeed, by adopting the IB as its curriculum in 1968, the United World Colleges facilitated the enormous growth of the IB globally.  Nelson Mandela became the Honorary President of the United World Colleges in 1995 and remained so until his death in 2013.

Richard Stengel's book, Mandela's Way, Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage, provides a wonderful basis of MIMS core values.