St. Lawrence School is a Catholic, coeducational, elementary school for children in grades Kindergarten through Eight. The school was originally established in 1957, and will joyfully celebrate its 60th anniversary during the 2016-17 school year. It is located close to Aventura, FL near the northeast corner of Greynolds Park, one mile west of Biscayne Bay and one mile south of the Miami Dade/Broward county lines. Our school is a "living United Nations" model, serving multi-ethnic communities with diverse economic backgrounds.

The school was re-accredited and honored in 2016 by the Florida Catholic Conference, and also holds certification in NCPSA (National Council for Private School Accreditation). We proudly display our re-accreditation certificates in the school office, and continue to provide academic excellence in a caring, family atmosphere. We accept the Step Up for Students scholarship. We seek to continually improve our school through our CIPA (Continuous Improvement Process for Accreditation) work conducted through monthly faculty, and monthly Parent Executive Committee, meetings. Our School Advisory Council meets twice a year.

The ethnic composition is diverse: 51% Black or African American (many from Caribbean Islands), 43% Hispanic / White, 6% Other (Multi-racial / Asian). Approximately 78% of the children are Catholic, and 22% of the children are comprised of different faiths. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or gender.

The school has one class of each grade level. The teacher: student ratio (1:14) is kept much lower than the accreditation standard (1:35) to maximize learning. The staff consists of one principal, twelve full-time teachers, one full-time instructional aide, 2 part-time teachers (including Title 1), and a part-time counselor. Special subjects are part of the regular school schedule, and many after school activities and clubs are offered for an enriched curriculum.



Mrs. Dian Smith Lopez Hyatt, who was a long time teacher and assistant principal at St. Lawrence, became principal in 1997.  She has continued to lead the school in this capacity for over ten years, encouraging a spirit of harmony not only among the diverse population of the school, but also among the parish entities.  The standards for professionalism, and the school’s sense of pride,  fostered under this administration, are evidenced by the school’s motto, “where faith and learning grow hand in hand,” which was created by the eighth grade during the 2000-01 accreditation. The school prides itself on its academic excellence, provided in a caring, family-centered atmosphere. 

Belief Statements

  • We believe each student is unique and special in the eyes of God.

  • We believe Catholic education presents the Good News of the Gospel and authentic Catholic doctrine in an atmosphere of faithfulness, providing opportunities to apply faith in personal life experiences and through service to others.

  • We believe strong Catholic morals and values are instilled with the cooperation of parents, the parish, and the school community so that students can successfully cope with social and cultural situations they encounter.

  • We believe that real life learning is a priority in this school, and that the curriculum presented prepares each student for a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle, developing creative thinking and problem solving skills as well as an appreciation for the arts, utilizing a variety of teaching techniques that appeal to all modalities of learning.

  • We believe a Catholic education reflects the integration of Catholic values with academic success, striving to meet the individual, as well as the collective, needs of students within a safe and comfortable learning environment.

School Philosophy

St. Lawrence, a Catholic elementary school grades kindergarten through eight, is an integral aspect of Christian formation in St. Lawrence Parish. The teaching of Catholic doctrine and the translation of the Good News of the Gospel into action prepares our students to take their rightful place in global society. We advocate Christian service to the community, encourage model citizenship and responsibility, and emphasize the importance of peacemaking.


The philosophy of St. Lawrence School is founded on a firm commitment to promote the spiritual, intellectual and creative development of students, based on recognition of their developmental stages and their individual needs. St. Lawrence strives to provide a spiritual and academic environment that encourages each student to further his or her capabilities, energies, interests, and potentials.


Because of the diversity of the students’ backgrounds, St. Lawrence School endeavors to teach:

* knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and respect of all cultures,

* the importance of peace and justice towards all people,

* respect for the rights of the individual,

* awareness of the nature of the ever-changing world,

* and responsible membership in a global community.


We believe that cultural and ethnic diversities should be reflected and celebrated in daily life as well as through faith –filled liturgies from which we go forth strengthened to meet the challenges and needs of the good earth and of all God’s children. The school is very proud of earning and maintaining its “No Place for Hate” status and emphasizes the importance of living this philosophy every day. St. Lawrence fosters a strong bond of unity among the parish community, staff, parents, and students by mutual sharing and active involvement in the affairs of the school community. A warm, friendly, loving, and caring family spirit permeates St. Lawrence School, a unified community deeply committed to Christ.


Saint Lawrence School employs or contracts teachers who hold baccalaureate or higher degrees, have at least 3 years of teaching experience in public or private schools, or have special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to provide instruction in subjects taught.

​PRINCIPAL: Dr. Stephanie Paguaga (Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University)



Financial & Scholarship Coordinator: Ms. Sharon Sanchez (SLS Alumna, Class of '77)

SCHOOL COUNSELOR: Ms. Clara Dugrot - Harris (M.S.W., Barry University)


  • Kindergarten: Ms. Lianet Perez ( B.A., Florida International University)

  • Grade One: Ms. Lisa Genuardi (M.S., Barry University)

  • Grade Two: Ms. Alejandra Menendez (B.S., Florida International University)

  • Grade Three: Mr. John Burrillo (B.S., Florida International University)

  • Grade Four: Ms. Florence Legoute (B.S., Nova Southeastern University)

  • Grade Five:  Ms. Mariana Padilla (B.A., Florida International University)

  • Grade Six: Mr. Christopher Souza (B.A., University of Florida)

  • Grade Seven: Dr. Tricia Miller (Ed. D., Nova Southeastern University)

  • Grade Eight: Ms. Anne Davis (B.S., Florida International University)


  • Spanish / Art:  Maria T. Otiniano

  • Physical Education:  Mr. Miguel Braga (B.S., State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Auxiliary Primary Aide / Reading Pull-out:  Mercedes Moreno and Marina Otiniano