Miami-Dade School Board member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall distributed toys and educational games to more than 300 children during Christmas in Liberty Square at the Liberty Square Community Center.
Children also enjoyed music, food, pony rides and Santa Claus. Free health screenings and affordable healthcare enrollment was available through the Jessie Trice Community Health Center.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Rakel Harrigan, a nursing student at Florida International University, was awarded the $1,000 Grace Higgs Scholarship by the Nu Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Incorporated. Rakel is not a member of the nursing sorority, but the scholarship is for nursing students who have financial need.
Rakel earned the scholarship based on her financial need, leadership skills, academic achievements in the program and good character.
HAMMOCKS MIDDLE SCHOOL
Vasilka Angelovska, a sixth-grade pre-law magnet student, of Hammocks Middle School recently won the District-wide Hispanic Foods essay contest.
Vasilka came to the United States three years ago from Macedonia. She wrote about how much she enjoys the Hispanic food that is available in her school’s cafeteria. The Department of Nutrition awarded her with a Barnes and Noble gift card and her class had a healthy treat from the district.
SAINT BRENDAN HIGH SCHOOL
Paulina Steffanoni, a world languages instructor at Saint Brendan High School, was a winner of the 16th Annual Cervantes Outstanding Educator Awards hosted by Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler School of Education.
During her eight years at Saint Brendan, Steffanoni taught advanced Spanish literature courses and moderated the Spanish Honor Society. She helped students who were new to the United States by motivating them to exceed academically and in their future careers, while still being proud of their heritage. Steffanoni also coordinates events for Hispanic Heritage Month which includes the Hispanic Luncheon, Hispanic Heritage Mass and Hispanic Heritage Night.
HIALEAH HIGH SCHOOL
Mayor Carlos Hernandez of Hialeah and the City Council recognized the Thoroughbred Marching Band of Hialeah High School for winning their second State Championship.
The marching band made history as they became the only school in Miami-Dade County to win two state championships. The band will be formally recognized during a City Council meeting this month.
MIAMI LAKES EDUCATIONAL CENTER
Miami Lakes Educational Center alumni Stephanie Lopez recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Stephanie interned with ABC World News and worked with Diane Sawyer during the summer. She was recently hired as a multimedia reporter for WTVD, the ABC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina.