Cutler Bay

4 years later, Cutler Bay’s first freshman class graduates

From left: teacher Justin Koren, council member Mary Ann Mixon, Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin, principal Lucas De La Torre, Mayor Peggy Bell, student government president Autumn LeBron, student government treasurer Livan Bec, founding principal Yamilla Carballo and daughter, teacher Marshall Ruffo, council members Roger Coriat and Sue Ellen Loyzelle stand with a proclamation for Cutler Bay Senior High School.
From left: teacher Justin Koren, council member Mary Ann Mixon, Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin, principal Lucas De La Torre, Mayor Peggy Bell, student government president Autumn LeBron, student government treasurer Livan Bec, founding principal Yamilla Carballo and daughter, teacher Marshall Ruffo, council members Roger Coriat and Sue Ellen Loyzelle stand with a proclamation for Cutler Bay Senior High School.

The ever-expanding community of Cutler Bay was delighted to celebrate the inaugural graduating class of its high school June 16 at town hall.

The main item

Mayor Peggy Bell, council members, and town staff presented a proclamation celebrating Cutler Bay Senior High School’s inaugural graduating class of 76 students. The students received their diplomas at the graduation ceremony on June 9. Those students earned $2.6 million in college scholarships. The school’s student government association accomplished its goal of a parting gift for the class by renaming a portion of Southwest 212th St. “Tiger Shark Way.” The school opened in August 2012.

Principal Lucas DeLa Torre, founding principal Camilla Carballo, lead teachers Justin Koren and Marshall Ruffo, and members of the school’s student government association were in attendance.

“For many years Cutler Bay residents had been asking for a local high school,” Bell said, “…one which their children could walk or bicycle to, stay after school for clubs, and feel a personal connection to. That became a mandate for us. Four years ago creating this new school meant a major commitment from both our residents, in the form of a $3 million investment, and the school district who converted the middle school into a high school with innovative programs and technology.

“The first students and their parents took a major leap of faith by enrolling in this new school. The high level of education, firm stance against bullying at all levels, mixed with a generous sprinkling of fun group activities, such as the talented SharkPAC and innovative Fishing and Environmental Club, have made this school a great success.”

Other business

Assault Weapons: In the wake of the Orlando shooting, the council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the Florida Legislature to join California, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York in prohibiting the sale and possession of rapid fire and high power assault weapons.

Climate Change: The council unanimously approved a first reading ordinance to adopt a climate change element to be included in the town’s growth management plan. The town has taken several steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage environmental responsibility locally. Cutler Bay participates in the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.

Rezoning: The council consented on a resolution to authorize town manager Ralph Casals to issue a purchase order to Stantec Consulting Services to provide design services for new bus shelters at various locations in the town. The total negotiated design cost for the 11 new shelters totals $43,330.

They said it

“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank our student leaders who are here, the town of Cutler Bay for your continued support, starting in 2012 and its ongoing support,” De La Torre told the council at the meeting. “I want to thank those that are with us. Ms. Carballo, who initiated this idea, and now you have seen it through fruition with the students that you started with. Dr. Koren, Mr. Ruffo, who have been intricate members of our faculty that have seen and had the vision that we have today. I can only expect things to continue to get better and better because of the quality of students that we have.”

The next meeting

When: 7 p.m. July 20

Where: Town Hall, 10720 Caribbean Blvd.

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