A new high school in Tampa, Florida, built by and named after a highly successful Indian-American cardiologist, businessman and philanthropist, Dr. Kiran C. Patel, opens its doors this week to some 300 students with a mission to prepare youth for 21st Century knowledge and skills acquired through project-based pedagogy.
The Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School scheduled to open Aug. 12, has an inaugural class of 300 students in the 9th Grade. It has a capacity of just 600 students in total in grades 9 through 12, a press release on its website says.
The tuition-free school will offer an advanced curriculum and focus on the school’s mission statement, which emphasizes up-to-date knowledge and skills, personalized and innovative instruction, partnerships between the school and the community, social responsibility and leadership, the website says.
The school is open to anyone who is close enough to commute, including residents of Pasco County, a news report on neighborhoodnewsonline.net said. “Simply because you belong to a certain neighborhood should not force you to stay in that neighborhood (for school),” Patel is quoted telling Neighborhood newsonine. The report also said Dr. Patel had committed $20 million to launch the school.
“Inquiry and problem-based approaches to instruction will immerse Patel High School students in real-world problems and solutions, cultivating a profound understanding of their civic and leadership responsibilities, both locally and globally,” the school says.
The school’s first head is Principal Marlee Strawn, who has 10 years of experience in the Hillsborough School District. She has in the past taught Advanced Placement World History and European History at Tampa Bay Technical High School, and has received several honors for her service.
The architecture of the school itself is considered a learning tool presenting learning opportunities over the entire campus, including school grounds and landscaping, the website says.
Patel has given to numerous projects and causes in India and the United States. Born in Zambia in 1950, and educated in India and the U.S., Patel completed his specialization in cardiology in Gujarat. His businesses include healthcare, health insurance, and real estate development. Another institution named after him is the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He is married to Dr. Pallavi Patel. The Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel Family Foundation engages in projects across the globe, particularly in Florida, Africa and India, according to their bio available on nova.edu.
Dr. Kiran Patel received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award from the Indian government this year in recognition of his philanthropic work and achievements.