The Story of MICA

Miami’s 21st Century School Serving Preschool through High School Graduation.


MICA Schools was created in 2020 when Centner Academy joined forces with the Metropolitan International School of Miami to create Metropolitan International – Centner Academy (MICA), Miami’s 21st century school serving preschool through high school graduation.


We recognize that the most important and impactful work of this century will be done by the emerging generation. The modern world is constantly changing and requires a new master mindset. As such, our curriculum combines a deep commitment to emotional intelligence, mindfulness and happiness in a challenging academic setting featuring an entrepreneurial and international perspective.


We uniquely prepare students from preschool through high school to experience the full spectrum of success emotionally, intellectually, physically, financially and spiritually. By combining ancient and innovative teaching methods, we blend the best of mind, body and spirit for a human-first experience and a living masterpiece. 


Our students graduate understanding honesty, compassion, respect and responsibility, fully equipped to become happy lifelong learners and thoughtful worldly contributors.

Fast Facts

1 :1
$ 1 K
$ 1 K
annual student tuition
Average class size
worldwide alumni
1 +
academic disciplines integrated

Our Schools


4136 N. Miami Ave
Miami, FL 33127

Elementary School

3465 NW 2nd Ave

Miami, FL 33127

Middle + High School

1 NE 19th St

Miami, FL 33132

Learning Center
*Coming Soon*

3621 NE Miami Court
Miami, FL 33137

David & Leila Centner, Founders

David and Leila Centner are serial technology entrepreneurs with multiple successful exits. Their most recent company, Highway Toll Administration, was acquired in March 2018 by private equity firm Platinum Equity investing from their $6.5 billion global buyout fund, Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV.  David Centner was founder and Chief Executive Officer while Leila Centner served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. The Centners are passionate humanitarians and philanthropists dedicated to helping the underserved achieve their maximum potential through education and sustainability-oriented programs. 


“Our goal is to transform the heart of education to ensure happy, confident, compassionate, mindful, empathetic and connected children, so we are building a 21st century school designed as a living, breathing response to new personal and social challenges.”


Learn more about the Centners in recent news

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, Advisor

Dr. Tal Ben Shahar is an author and lecturer. He taught two of the most popular courses in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership. Today, Tal consults and lectures around the world to executives in multinational organizations, the general public, and at-risk populations. The topics he lectures on include: leadership, happiness, education, innovation, ethics, self esteem, resilience, goal-setting, and mindfulness. His books have been translated to more than 25 languages and have appeared on best-seller lists around the world. Tal is a serial entrepreneur and is co-founder and Chief Learning Officer of Happiness Studies Academy, Potentialife, Maytiv, and Happier.T.V. He obtained his PHD in Organizational Behavior and a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from Harvard. An avid sportsman, Tal won the U.S. Intercollegiate and Israeli National Squash championships what year?. Today, he swims, dances, and practices yoga. 

Dr. Luyi Lien, Advisor

Academic Director of Yinghua Academy since 2006, Dr. Lien received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota and has taught and developed curricula at Yinghua. Her duties include the overall design and alignment of the Chinese curriculum with national and State of Minnesota academic standards; collection and evaluation of all Chinese materials; planning and conducting all-school, total-subject assessments; and developing and creating materials for Mandarin Literacy Assessment Tools. Dr. Lien has made presentations at national conferences, covering various topics in her field of expertise, such as Chinese language learning, language immersion programs, curriculum development, action research and Chinese literacy instruction.

Maria Padovan Kindell, Academic Leadership

Born in Italy, Maria Padovan has a master’s degree in education and over forty years experience in education.  She worked as an educator for the Italian school of Montevideo, Uruguay for a period of 20 years where Maria worked as a biology teacher.  Maria studied medicine at Facultad de Medicina and biology at Instituto de Profesores Artigas in Montevideo, Uruguay. Maria was additionally awarded an honorary degree from Dartmouth College.  Maria was the founder of International Christian School, the very FIRST Italian private school in Miami, previous to starting Metropolitan International School of Miami. Maria has also created a method to teach languages The PADOVAN METHOD and has used this method to instruct at a variety of companies including the University of Miami.

Ines Lozano, Academic Leadership

Ines Lozano is a Spanish-American with 25 years of experience in the field of education.  As a daughter of a diplomat, she was raised in many countries and is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.  She has a BA in Education from Marymount University and a Masters in applied linguistics from Nova University. She spent 15 years as principal of the International Christian School in Key Biscayne and Brickell. She was named Principal of the Year in 2008 by the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce.  In 2012, she founded Flying High for Haiti, a non-profit organization that sponsors a PK-5th grade school in Ile-a-Vache, an impoverished island off the south coast of Haiti. She has been married for 21 years to award-winning British journalist, David Adams. Ines is the mother of one son, Michael, a Junior at Mast Academy.


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