Miami Christian Update – Miami Christian School Receives Makeover

By Gloria Burns….

Don Simmons, of Brickman Group, plants one of many trees that now adorned the MCS campus thanks to Brickman Group’s generous gift.

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Brickman Group, one of the nation’s largest landscape design and build and horticultural services companies, Miami Christian School has undergone a major face lift at its campus.

During Brickman Group’s community service day on October 15, a dozen managers and crew arrived early in the morning with trucks, equipment, and hundreds of plants, shrubs and trees. By noon, they had transformed the area leading up to the front office as well as the triangle area in the parking lot into lovely landscaped sites with great curb appeal. They will be coming back to periodically check on the progress of the newly planted sections and fertilize.

For Brickman employees, community service day is an annual way to give back to the many communities in which they provide services and is something they all look forward to every year. Following their morning of hard work, groups working a various locations throughout the region met for a great picnic and thanked for their service. Among the many helping out at Miami Christian were Don Simmons and Mark Sheme.

While the Brickman people were toiling away, the MCS elementary school students spent the morning celebrating their family heritage. Students attired in dress that reflected their heritage paraded around the school for all to enjoy including parents invited to attend the show and then enjoy lunch.

The always-enthusiastic and fun loving first grade teacher Joanna Clark, dressed as Queen Elizabeth, led her class in the parade that included costumes from many countries far and wide. The parade day with parents was the conclusion of MCS Hispanic Heritage month activities that also offered students from all ancestral backgrounds an opportunity to learn more about their heritage. The day was spent dressed in costumes of a country of a familial or ancestral background and all enjoyed a sumptuous cuisine of delicious Hispanic foods.

In other news, AP Spanish Instructor, Israel Ortet, was chosen to be a reader for the Advanced Placement Spanish tests by the College Board this past summer. He joined other chosen instructors in Cincinnati, Ohio in June to score over 118,332 exams. His expertise and experience reflected the high standards of AP Readers nationwide who help maintain the quality of the Advanced Placement Program.

Michael Artaud, Andrea Garcia and Alexandra Marchese as the Wendy Heisman Award nominees for Miami Christian School have filled out their extensive applications based on grades, athletics, activities and community. • • • •

In athletics, Paola Grande, senior member of the MCS golf team, has just advanced to Regionals which will take place at the Biltmore Hotel. She has had an outstanding season. The Girls’s Volleyball team just placed second in the prestigious Florida Christian Invitational, winning five of their six matches as they continue to enjoy a winning season. The football team ended the season 5-3, and cross country teams won a number of matches. Susana Vazquez (Grade 8) placed second in the Westwood Invitational 5K run.

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2015-16 President's Best Member Award from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman's Club, 2012-13 CGWC Leadership Award, 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award as RCCG Public Relations Chair and Fund raising Co-Chair, 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and honored by the City of Doral as one of their first recipients for the Doralian Women's Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where sings sings in the choir. She can be reached at

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