By Kate Quesada

Students attending Brandon Academy, a private school offering classes from pre-kindergarten to high school, have reason to celebrate this month as the institution recently completed a two-year verification process naming it an official IB World School, offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

According to school Headmaster Robert Rudolph, the IB program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Brandon Academy is the only private school in the area that offers this rigorous program.

Founded in 1968, the IB is a non-profit educational foundation offering four programs of international education with the goal of developing intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to help students live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Schools must be authorized by the IB organization to offer any of the programs.

“The IB program offers unmatched academic expertise worldwide,” said Rudolph. “IB also gives our high school students a distinct leg up on the very competitive world of college admissions. We spoke with every admissions office in the state of Florida and the overwhelming response was that IB students have an edge.”

Rudolph explained that last year, the University of Florida accepted only 58 percent of all applicants, but accepted 88 percent of IB applicants.

“Graduates of Brandon Academy High School will simply have an advantage over the other students when it comes to getting into colleges,” said Rudolph.

During the two year verification process all teachers received IB training and created a specific curriculum within the IB framework.

“From there the results go to the international offices of IB for acceptance,” said Rudolph, who credits the birth of the program to Dr. Tricia Rudolph who was principal of the high school during the 2016-17 school year.

Brandon Academy is located at 801 Limona Rd. and can be reached at 689-1952. Visit

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.