By: Sharon Aron Baron
A J.P. Taravella student won a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and was recognized by Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis as a Hispanic Heritage Month student contest winner.
Jack Fitzgerald, wrote about the first Hispanic-American to operate a federal coastal installation, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and the first female employee in the U.S. Coast Guard.
This year’s theme was “Celebrating Public Service,” and the winners were honored on Monday evening during the Hispanic Heritage Month awards ceremony at the Florida Governor’s Mansion.
“Ron and I were honored to celebrate the work of some of our state’s most talented students, teachers, and artists as we announced the winners of Florida’s Hispanic Heritage Month student contests and Excellence in Education Award recipients,” said First Lady DeSantis.
Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez also congratulated the winners.
“Your grace and hard work honor the Hispanic American culture we celebrate in Florida.”
Award recipients are as follows
Student Essay Contest Winners
Julieta Ramirez, Pine Forest School of the Arts, Duval County
Julieta wrote about Judge Tatiana Radi Salvador, a member of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida that covers Clay, Duval, and Nassau counties
Chloe Mason Norman, Oakleaf Junior High, Clay County
Chloe wrote about her great grandmother, Rosa Pallas, a Cuban immigrant who earned two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree and went on to become one of the nation’s most outstanding educators (Slippery Rock College, Pennsylvania) and an author.
Jack Fitzgerald, J.P. Taravella High School, Broward County
Jack wrote about Maria Mestre de Los Dolores Andreu, who became the first Hispanic-American to operate a federal coastal installation – the St. Augustine Lighthouse – and the first female employee in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Student Art Contest Winners
Emile Hall, Narcoossee Elementary, Osceola County
Emile is a first-grader who drew a picture she titled “Celebrating Hispanic Community Healthcare Workers.”
Benjamin David, Everglades K-8 Center, Miami-Dade County
Benjamin is a second-grader who drew a picture he titled “My Uncle Orlando,” depicting a law enforcement officer delivering water.
First Lady Casey DeSantis also honored three outstanding educators with the Excellence in Education Award. Students and peers nominated the recipients.
Excellence in Education Award Winners
Isabel Cavaliere Enrique, Keene’s Crossing Elementary, Orange County
Isabel, who learned English herself after immigrating from Venezuela, teaches English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Science and has been teaching for more than 34 years. Isabel demonstrates her dedication to teaching by arriving on campus before the sun, working late working with parents, raising her grandson, and working a second job on weekends.
Susana Carlino, Conniston Middle School, Palm Beach County
Susan teaches social studies and encourages her students to embrace their Hispanic heritage, frequently speaking to them in both Spanish and English. She brings back information from her travels and continuing studies, encouraging an understanding of the rights and duties of American citizenship.
Jorge Bauzo, Chipley High School, Washington County
Jorge teaches Spanish I and II but also helps students with industry certifications, SAT/ACT preparation, graduation requirements, extracurricular activity transportation, all while pursuing his doctorate in Education. In the past five years, Jorge has been Teacher of the Year three times.
J.P. Taravella High School is located in Coral Springs. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year in Florida from September 15 through October 15.