About Us

Centrally located in Barcelona with perfect access to all modes of public transportation, BHS was founded in 2020, as an international American school prep academy in the heart of Barcelona city, versus outside the city like the other American schools. 

BHS is a welcoming, fun, engaging, caring and diverse environment (across multiple grade levels and nationalities) where students come together as one big family and learn through flexible, modern and innovative (non-traditional) teaching methods.

 

BHS lives by the promise and mission to help teenagers excel academically, socially and psychologically.

 

Delivering on its promise and mission while maintaining a "10 out of 10 ONLY" teacher quality standard, along with a new and innovative digital learning platform, are reasons Why BHS has grown so rapidly so fast.

BHS started with only 5 students in its first year (2020-2021) and then grew to over 30 students by its 2nd year (2021-2022). BHS has an enrollment of 60 students for this school year (2022-2023) as it adds more teachers, and then BHS plans to have an enrollment of 100 students next year (2023-2024).

 
 

Leadership

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Amanda Slefo

Director & Partner

(pictured on the right)

Before joining BHS as Director, overseeing educational learning, academic performance, and university placement, and then becoming a Partner, Amanda Slefo, an American, was a distinguished American high school teacher at Evanston Township High School in Chicago, ranked in the 95th percentile of all high schools in the United States.  As a high school teacher, Amanda has received multiple outstanding teacher awards.  Amanda has a Bachelor's Degree in History, Secondary Education certification, English Language Learners certification, and served as Education Director of the Assyrian Cultural Foundation.  Amanda has extensive experience with university placement and specializes in creating dynamic learning experiences for students.

Akida Mashaka

Founder

(pictured on the left)

BHS is the brainchild of Akida Mashaka, an American from Los Angeles, California.  Akida created BHS because he recognized certain problems with American schools in Barcelona, including schools with IB and British schools, especially Catalan schools, and indeed, the entire school system in Spain and throughout the world.  Unlike other schools, Akida created a school that focuses on smaller class size, a fun, social and individualized learning environment in a family-like environment, with innovative digital learning tools, career and university advisement, and emotional intelligence skills necessary to be successful in today's world, rather than schools that are still the same as when students' parents attended them.  Akida is a graduate of Harvard Law School and attended university in USA on a tennis scholarship.  Akida graduated #1 in Psychology in his university class, and accordingly, student mental health is a very important component of BHS.

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Ciarán O’Mahony

Director of Math & Science

Ciarán joined Barcelona High School in January 2022 to lead the school’s Mathematics and Science Department after nine years of directing tutorial classes for both high school and university students in Ireland.  Ciarán has a Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Applied Mathematics and has previously worked as a Senior Consultant with an Irish pillar bank where he received awards for his exemplary programming and computer models that significantly improved efficiency within the bank.  Ciarán spearheads the school's coding program - in collaboration with Treehouse - teaching SQL, Python, and C++ among other programming languages to students.