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March 3, 2017 – Ocala, Florida – Florida Public Service Association (FPSA) members of the Legal and Public Affairs Academy at Coral Reef Senior High School are showing their awards earned during the State Competition. The Honor Guard:  Parmie Dean, Brandon Naranjo, Jordyn Turner, Jayla Burton, Sarah Borrero, Malka Trujillo, and Danieska Lopez and Parliamentary Procedures Team:  Hannah Llende, Jane Perez, Sebastian Ranut, Damon Veras, Emily Olson, Angelica Almanza, and Benjamin Caserta) took First Place.  Angelica Almanza received First Place in CPR, Damon Veras took First Place in Extemporaneous Speaking and Dina Thomas earned a $500.00 scholarship to Johnson and Wales for her Third Place finish in Extemporaneous Opening Statement. Lionel Esperance earned First Place in Obstacle Course and Annabelle Colon won Third Place in Obstacle Course. William Garcia earned Third Place in Prepared SpeakingMax Tamayo, Megan Lichtman, Christian DeLao and Annabelle Colon earned Third Place in Building Search. Thomas Hodgins, Joshua Defreitas and William Garcia earned First Place for the Prison Project.  Other winners include:  Danieska Lopez, Victoria Briz, Daniela Rodriquez, Andres Vargas, Karl Pridemore, Michael Guerra, Dylan Heimer, Annabelle Colon, Malka Trujillo, Angela Olave, Nicole Ramirez, Natalie Boix, Vickie Avalo, and Gaby Hernandez. The team is led by Ms. Tina Cushnie, outstanding Academy Teacher.

Founded in 1990 as the Florida Association of Public Service Students (FAPSS), the Florida Public Service Association, Inc. (FPSA) is a public service driven career technical student organization (CTSO) recognized by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE).

As a CTSO, FPSA provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education and careers in the criminal justice, law studies, firefighting, public administration and teaching assisting through career development events.

As an association, FPSA provide students with academic, general employability, problem-solving, technical and occupation-specific skills to meet the demands for a career in public service.

Photo below: Winners with Ms. Marinka Stuvel, Lead Teacher and Mr. Thomas Ennis, Principal



2017 National Merit Finalists

Evanston, Illinois – March 2, 2017 – Seven Coral Reef Senior High School students were among National Merit® Scholarship Corporation’s highest scoring participants in the SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) and are now Finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition. These academically talented high school seniors are: These academically talented high school seniors are: Mahmoud Fahmy, Leila Halley-Wright, Gianni LaVecchia, and Timothy Whiddon from the International Baccalaureate Academy; Daniel Crair from the Health Sciences Academy;  and Dario Amador-Lage and Kyle Dickson from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy.

Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC notifies approximately 7,400 Finalists at their home addresses that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three types:

  • National Merit® $2500 Scholarships

Every Finalist competes for these single payment scholarships, which are awarded on a state-representational basis. Winners are selected without consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice, or major and career plans.

  • Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards

Corporate sponsors designate their awards for children of their employees or members, for residents of a community where a company has operations, or for Finalists with career plans the sponsor wishes to encourage. These scholarships may either be renewable for four years of undergraduate study or one-time awards.

  • College-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards

Officials of each sponsor college select winners of their awards from Finalists who have been accepted for admission and have informed NMSC by the published deadlines that the sponsor college or university is their first choice. These awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. The published deadlines for reporting a sponsor college as first choice can be viewed on page 3 of the Requirements and Instructions for Semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit® Scholarship Program.

Merit Scholarship awards are supported by some 440 independent sponsors and by NMSC’s own funds. Sponsor organizations include corporations and businesses, company foundations, professional associations, and colleges and universities.

Photo attached left to right: Daniel Crair; Mr. Thomas Ennis, Principal; Dario, Amador-Lage, Timothy Whiddon, Leila Halley-Wright, Mahmoud Fahmy, Kyle Dickson, and Gianni LaVecchia.


February 28, 2017 – Orlando, Florida – Congratulations to Coral Reef Senior High School’s, William Gilmore.  William is a graduating senior in the Engineering Technology Academy.  He was selected as an official winner of the 2017 Disney Dreamers Academy Essay Contest!  The prize package includes an invitation to attend Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE® magazine.  The Academy will be held at the Walt Disney World® Resort near Orlando, Florida,  March 9-12, 2017.  It is the Disney Dreamers Academy intent to teach the 100+ high school students how to Dream BIG and Discover the Possibilities.  The weekend will include: educational sessions, guest speakers, and hands-on learning opportunities throughout the living classroom of the Walt Disney World® Resort.  As discovered over the last nine years of this program, it can be life-changing for the students and continues to be awe-inspiring for the Cast.  A Dreamer Commencement Ceremony is included as part of the Dreamer and Chaperone event itinerary on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

William’s Dreamers Profile includes: “I am a senior at Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami, Florida. I am enrolled in the Gifted and Engineering Magnet programs. My many interests include Art, Engineering and African Studies. My dream is to become a film director, screenwriter, producer, and publish my own line of comic books featuring Black superheroes. I am the founder of the Pre-Engineering Society 4 Youth web family on Facebook. I hold to the belief that creating more art will lead to the development of young leaders.”


William Gilmore

Scholastic Art Awards 2017

February 8, 2017 – Miami, Florida – The Scholastic Art Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition initiatives for creative teens. This program gives thousands of students throughout America the opportunity to broaden their creative horizons while earning local and national recognition. The objective is to foster the confidence of young artists and give them the opportunity to be recognized for their creative achievements by the world at large. Founded in 1923 by Scholastic Inc., the nation’s leading publisher of children’s book and educational materials, the awards have been administered since 1992 by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a not-for-profit corporation.

The Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition showcases select artwork created by middle school and high school students from the United States, Canada, U.S. Territories, and U.S. – sponsored schools abroad.  Entry materials reach 12 million students in 99% of America’s schools and attract more than 250,000 entries each year.  Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the regional sponsor of The Awards.  At the conclusion of the Miami-Dade County Regional Exposition, one of 81 across the country, top award-winning artworks are forwarded to the national program in New York City.  Each work is reviewed by a panel of art professionals for originality, technical skill and the emergence of personal voice or vision.  National awardees are honored at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  Award-winning artwork is installed in galleries in New York, and at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. adjacent to the White House.

Participants, supported by their visual arts teachers and other community mentors, create and submit their best works of art. This year the jurors reviewed approximately 2000 individual artwork over four days. Coral Reef Senior High School is pleased to announce the following recipients awards and their categories:

Gold Key Awards Artists: Nuria Dolphin (Art Portfolio) and Samantha Smith (Art Portfolio).  These artists were presented with a gold key pin and a certificate on the regional level.  Their artworks are forwarded to New York City for national judging works.

Silver Key Award Artists: Leira Padron (Drawing & Illustration) and Brianna Marshall (Printmaking).  These artists are presented the silver key pin and a certificate on the regional level.

The following students were recognized as Honorable Mention: Eva Bibas (Digital Art); Marissa Diaz (Painting); Alyssa Goosby (Printmaking); Leira Padron (Drawing & Illustration); and Caitlyn Ridgeway (Drawing & Illustration); and Gabriella Torres (Painting).

The Awards have fostered creativity and talent and feature a notable list of alumni recipients including: Richard Avedon, Mel Bochner, Truman Capote, Frances Farmer, Red Grooms, Stephen King, Bernard Malamud, Joyce Maynard, Duane Michals, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Pearlstein, Robert Redford and Andy Warhol.

Photo attached left to right: Mr. Thomas Ennis, Principal; Leira Padron, Eva Bibas, Marissa Diaz, Caitlyn Ridgeway, Brianna Marshall, Gabriella Torres, Samantha Smith, Alyssa Goosby, and Nuria Dolphin.scholastic-arts-2017

January 19, 2017 – Coral Gables, Florida – Coral Reef Senior High School congratulates Santiago Guzman, a graduating senior in the Visual and Performing Arts Academy, as he was awarded  a scholarship from the Eta Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, a University of Miami fraternity. This competition was limited to minority male high school students and the speech prompt was: “Chastity in 2016: What is the role of Black men in upholding the respect of womanhood in today’s society?” Santiago was selected as a finalist to participate in their annual high school male oratorical contest as they want build a competitive applicant pool from the talented and highly-qualified young minority males throughout Miami-Dade County in 9th through 12th grades.

The chapter hosted MLK Oratorical Scholarship Competition at the University of Miami on January 18, 2017.

The purpose of this event is to honor the legacy of our dear brother Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by inspiring young men of color to articulately express themselves on the social issues that plague our generation. Finalists were asked to recite their pieces before a panel of expert judges. The fraternity provided finalists a tour of the University of Miami, showing them that a college education is accessible to them and highlighting positive young men of color working to uplift our community.


Photo: Santiago Guzman

January 19, 2017 – Miami, Florida – The Academy of Legal and Public Affairs at Coral Reef Senior High is proud to recognize the Students of the Month for November and December. They were selected by their excellence contributions service to the Academy and the Florida Public Service Association. The students are: Helena Brito, Joshua DeFreitas, Alyssa Martinez, Jessica Rivera, and Daniela Rodriguez.

“FPSA is a Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) recognized by the Florida Department of Education as the CTSO that provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education and careers in the Law, Public Safety and Security and Firefighter career cluster; provides technical skill proficiency, and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of the Law, Public Safety and Security career cluster. This organization offers a broad foundation of STEM knowledge and skills to prepare students for employment in network support services positions.” FPSA will continue to accelerate students in “mastery and command of subject matter” to promote STEM related skills in the classroom and at state conference/competitions.”


Photo right to left: Joshua DeFreitas, Helena Brito, Alyssa Martinez, Daniela Rodriguez, Jessica Rivera, and Mr. Thomas Ennis, Principal.

December 15, 2016 – Atlanta, Georgia – Congratulations to Coral Reef Senior High School seniors: Daniel Crair, Bruna Decerega and Rachael Osman as they have been selected as a Semi-Finalists in the 2017 Coca-Cola Scholars Program. There are 1,914 students selected from nearly 86,000 applicants from across the country to continue through our selection process.

They are currently submitting their Semifinalist applications to be reviewed by the Program Reading Committee in January. After this review, 250 Semifinalists will advance as Regional Finalists, with 150 becoming Coca-Cola Scholars. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation supports more than 1,400 college students each year, with annual scholarships of $3.4 million through two nationally recognized programs on behalf of the Coca-Cola System. Scholarship recipients excel academically and in service to others. Most Coca-Cola Scholars share a passion for social justice and many have overcome tremendous challenges to pursue their dreams.

THE COCA-COLA SCHOLARS PROGRAM SCHOLARSHIP is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors each year. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, and their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship.

Applicants must be: Current high school (or home-schooled) seniors attending school in the United States (or select DoD schools); U.S. Citizens; U.S. Nationals; U.S. Permanent Residents; Refugees; Asylees; Cuban-Haitian Entrants; or Humanitarian Parolees; Anticipating completion of high school diploma at the time of application; Planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution; and Carrying a minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of their junior year of high school.

Photos left to right: Daniel Crair, Bruna Decerega and Rachael Osman .

POSSE Scholarship Winners

January 3, 2017 – Miami, Florida Coral Reef Senior High School is proud to announce five  POSSE Scholarship Winners.  These outstanding seniors with their POSSE are:  Jonathan Nicoleau (Davidson); Mario Garcia (Syracuse University); Sara Sarmiento (Mount Holyoke College); Maria Medina (Hamilton College);  Christabel Egemba (Pomona College); and Nicole Arce (Pomona College).

The Posse Foundation has identified, recruited and trained 6,993 public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential to become Posse Scholars. Since 1989, these students—many of whom might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes—have been receiving four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner institutions of higher education.

The Posse Partner schools from Miami are: Davidson, Franklin and Marshall College, Hamilton, Mt. Holyoke, Pomona, and Syracuse University. Most important, Posse Scholars graduate at a rate of 90 percent and make a visible difference on campus and throughout their professional careers.

Photos left to right: Nicole Arce, Maria Medina, Sara Sarmiento, Mario Garcia, Jonathan Nicoleau, and Christabel Egemba.



Palo Alto, California – December 6, 2016QuestBridge proudly announce that the results of the 2016 National College Match (“College Match”), a national program that pairs talented high school seniors with full scholarships to the nation’s top colleges. After receiving a record-high of 14,491 applications, from which QuestBridge chose 5,338 as Finalists, 767 exceptional students have been selected as this year’s College Match Scholarship Recipients. This represents an all-time high for QuestBridge, with a 17% increase in College Matches compared to last year’s high of 657.

QuestBridge is a non-profit program that links bright, motivated students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation’s best colleges. QuestBridge is the provider of the National College Match Program and the College Prep Scholarship. These under-represented students, who hail from every part of the United States, experience more barriers to obtaining a top-tier education than many of their peers, and are often first-generation college students. QuestBridge partners with premier colleges, who are committed to socio-economic diversity. “We are thrilled to share the news with our largest group of College Matches in QuestBridge’s history, and are so pleased that our partner colleges continue to offer such generous aid to our students”, said Ana McCullough, co-founder and CEO of QuestBridge.

Coral Reef Senior High School’s Sophia Aime, is a QuestBridge College Match recipient. Sophia is a senior in the International Baccalaureate Academy (IB) and will be attending Macalester College in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

Photo: Sophia Aime



December 1, 2016 – Miami, Florida  – Coral Reef Senior High School is hosting an event from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. that impacts young people in the community HIV/AIDS Assemblies for 400 high school and college students, featuring Survivor-Motivational Speaker Ms. Tijuana Kelly.  The purpose of the event is to empower young people to take steps to protect themselves, while simultaneously leading safe and wholesome life-styles that will minimize their risk to this disease.   The Observance of the World AIDS DAY CELEBRATION has the potential to be a life-changing, wake-up call to students holding on to a false sense of security.  The sponsoring organization wants to use this initiative to inform students that it can happen to them, but it does not have to.

In the United States 56,000 Americans are infected with HIV every year.  Fifty percent of the HIV infections occur in young people under the age of 25, with an estimated 20,000 or more young people infected annually.  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001).  AIDS is A GLOBAL HEALTH ISSUE that is known to be the most fatal sexually transmitted disease of our life time.  HIV/AIDS infections are on the rise young women.   The key to prevention is through knowledge and instilling precautious ideals among young people.

Ms. Tijuana M. Kelly is an HIV Advocate, Model, Inspirational Speaker, HIV Tester and counselor.  Ms. Kelly is also the woman behind Primexperience Support group for Women Infected and Affected by HIV.

Ms. Kelly did not volunteer to become an HIV Advocate, but because of her own ignorance about the disease and how one might become infected, she later found her own life being consumed by the Preventable Deadly disease.

Ms. Kelly unashamedly admits to thinking she did not have to worry about HIV/AIDS.  Like many, she did not educate herself on how HIV/AIDS was transmitted, and because of her lack of knowledge, lack of self-respect, insecurities and unhealthy self-esteem, she was involved in toxic relationships.

Now because of the choices she has made, Mrs. Kelly is one of the many statistics: Young Black American Female with HIV.

Ms. Kelly’s goal is to cultivate relationships not only within her community, but across the globe to educate and inspire other to make good choices.  She also wants to help those who have not made good choices, by equipping them with tools to cope while dealing with consequences of their actions.  Ms. Kelly currently works single handedly in communities where at-risk populations are prevalent.

Ms. Tijuana Kelly is making it her business to help show the number of statistics down by “Speaking out, educating others and dismissing the myths and ignorance, especially within the Black Communities.