BHS is a welcoming and dynamic new-age school for the post-Covid era that focuses on student-centered learning through a revolutionary education approach called the BHS Method™, rather than using the old-fashioned "one-size-fits-all" teaching methodology that unbelievably still exists today in other schools.
The vision of BHS is revolutionizing education by teaching students that the path to success is by finding their true strengths and learning from failure to find solutions to problems. Unlike traditional schools with the out-dated teaching model designed for children in the industrial age nearly 300 years ago that defines success simply by how well students with one chance can memorize answers to tests.
To accomplish this vision, BHS lives by the promise and original mission to help teenagers excel not only academically, but socially and psychologically as well. Accordingly, besides academics, social life, extra-curricular group activities, and mental health and emotional confidence are all priorities of the school. BHS even offers students with the tastiest and healthiest meal plan available in Barcelona for optimal physical health and nutrition.
Delivering on its promise and mission is Why BHS is the fastest growing school in Europe. Indeed, in only its 2nd year, BHS has already been considered both the best international school in Spain and most prestigious school in Spain.
BHS is the only international and American school in the heart of Barcelona city. Unlike the other international and American schools which are located outside the city and lack real life Barcelona culture. BHS is the school for the global village where the international community unites, also with perfect access to all modes of public transportation.
While BHS uses the American school education system, it is the international school in Barcelona for the global community. Accordingly, BHS is the most international school in Barcelona, as no nationality is larger than 20% of the student body.
Indeed, BHS is the only school in Barcelona that has English immersion and English Foundation Year programs for non-native English speakers. While also offering intensive Spanish courses for non-Spanish speakers to develop cultural integration within Spain.
BHS is a fun, engaging, caring and diverse environment (across multiple grade levels, religions, cultures and nationalities) where students come together as one big family learning through flexible, innovative and dynamic teaching methods.
To further create its unique family bond among students, BHS offers extra-curricular activities and creative elective options for students such as beach volleyball, music, art, and journalism which produces our school newspaper.
Moreover, BHS has a modern digital school platform for academic monitoring and progress transparency, flexibility for traveling athletes, and learning independence.
BHS started with only 5 students in its first year (2020-2021) and then grew to over 30 students in its 2nd year (2021-2022). In its 3rd school year (2022-2023), BHS had already grown to 100 students. In its current school year (2023-2024), BHS has expanded enrollment to 250 students and created an innovative university-like campus in the Gracia, Barcelona neighborhood.
In the upcoming school year (2024-2025), BHS will increase enrollment to a maximum of 400 students to best serve as the global school for the Barcelona international community who embrace the new and innovative educational pedagogy of the future instead of the old-fashioned traditional teaching model of the past that still exists at the other schools.
Director & Partner
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Amanda Slefo is Assyrian American from Chicago with an infectious personality, referred to as the "heart and soul" of BHS by students, parents and staff.
Prior to joining BHS, Amanda was already a distinguished high school teacher at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) in Chicago where she received multiple outstanding teacher awards. ETHS is ranked in the 95th percentile of all high schools in the United States.
Amanda's initial role as Head Teacher to now Director of BHS has involved overseeing admissions, educational learning, academic performance, and university placement. Amanda additionally became a Partner of BHS.
Amanda holds a Bachelor's Degree in History and Secondary Education. She also has an English Language Learners certification and served as Education Director of the Assyrian Cultural Foundation.
Moreover, Amanda has extensive experience with university placement and specializes in creating dynamic learning experiences for students..
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BHS is the brainchild of Akida Mashaka, an American entrepreneur from Los Angeles, California. Akida founded BHS to develop the best learning environment for his teenage son.
After living in Barcelona with his family, Akida experienced the antiquated teaching methods and major flaws of schools in Barcelona including American, IB, British, International, and especially the Catalan schools. Accordingly, Akida created a school to solve the problem that he had in finding the right school for his son.
Akida wanted a school with smaller class size focusing on individualized and communal learning in a family-like environment. Through a student-centered culture, innovative digital educational tools, independent learning, social engagement, and emotional confidence, Akida founded BHS to foster the skills necessary to be successful in today's post-Covid world.
While the name "Akida" means leader, Akida is a graduate of Harvard Law School and attended university in the USA on a tennis scholarship. Akida graduated #1 in Psychology in his university class. Therefore for students, academics, social confidence, emotional growth, and mental health are collectively the backbone of BHS.
Ciarán joined BHS in January 2022. Ciarán developed the school’s Mathematics and Science Departments based on nine years of directing tutorial mathematics and physics classes for both high school and university students in Ireland.
Ciarán holds a Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Applied Mathematics. He previously worked as a Senior Consultant with an Irish pillar bank. During this experience, he received awards for his exemplary programming and computer models that significantly improved efficiency within the bank.
Ciarán teaches advanced Mathematics courses such as AP Calculus and AP Statistics while serving as Vice Principal.