Offering an experience that expands students interest in global issues, connect them to the community, challenge them in academics, raise awareness on social issues, and prepare them for their future is what students find most appealing about William W. Bodine High School for International Affairs.
Located at 1101 N. 4th St. in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, Bodine was founded in 1981 as a partnership between the School District of Philadelphia and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.
The school’s mission is to provide students with a comprehensive educational experience that expands students’ knowledge of global issues and prepares them for a lifetime of achievement and participation in local, national and global communities.
“With this being my first year as the principal of Bodine, I want to continue to build relationships with my students, parents, teachers, and the community,” said principal Michele Wilson-Dawson. “I want to keep the tradition that Bodine has had for a number of years, but also build upon that.”
In order to help students prepare for their future, the high school offers students a variety of college-preparatory programs including advanced placement and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, a comprehensive two-year curriculum which promotes student autonomy, independent research, and post-modern educational environment.
Wilson-Dawson said that she would like to expand on the prestigious programs that Bodine has.
“We already have the International Affairs program,” Wilson-Dawson said. “We have the IB program and we also have the advanced placement. In addition to those programs, I would also like to do is add a dual enrollment program to add another pathway for Bodine.
“The dual enrollment program would give our seniors more opportunities to earn college credits.They already have that opportunity with advanced placement and the IB program, but I just wanted them to have another avenue where they can earn college credits with Harrisburg University.
“What’s great about this program is that instead of the kids going to community college and leaving Bodine that program will be housed right in this school. We’re currently in the stages of implementation for next year.”
When students aren’t in their classes or college-preparatory programs, they’re participating in an array of extracurricular activities which include debate, cultural assemblies, and the National Honor Society.
“I did debate in my freshman and sophomore year,” said junior Noel Gonzalez. “I did track and field my freshman year. I’m currently enrolled with two guidance counselors and another faculty member into a class called peer group connection.
“That’s a class for upperclassmen to help ninth graders transition from a middle school mindset to a high school mindset. It’s to help them really understand the community we have with one another. It’s all about helping them understand what it is to be a Bodine student. We teach them academic skills, life lessons, and time management.
“Bodine is just a family of different cultures, religions, and races,” he added. “It really opens your eyes to different aspects of life. I like the fact that Bodine is a culture of many cultures. We can really look at the different possibilities in the world just by being at Bodine.”
Senior Micah Way wanted to attend Bodine for high school after hearing positive things about the school from his parents and friends.
“I came to Bodine because my parents and my community around me are strong ambassadors of the school,” Micah said. “I also saw the passion people had inside the building. I knew that I wanted to be part of that family. I’ve been here for four years and my experience has been great.
“Since being a student here it’s opened my eyes to so many experiences and opportunities. I play the trumpet, so I’ve been in the band. I also use to do robotics. There is just something for everyone here, whether it’s through the programs, clubs, activities, or assemblies.
“While I had a great experience at Bodine I’m looking forward to my future,” he added. “I already got accepted to my top school, which is University of Maryland Eastern Shore. I know I’ll be ready for college because of my experience and the preparation I had at Bodine.”