Miami Christian School students gather to pray and shine in fall sports

By Gloria Burns….

Seen here is the MCS Girls Varsity Volleyball Team - Back Row (L to R) Coach Mary K Odio; Student Manager, Brandon Beckelheimer; Melissa Gonzalez, Cassandra Duenas, Andrea Villalobos, Andrea Sinclair, Britney Beckelheimer, Carolina Caputo; and Student Manager, John Ramirez. Front row (L to R) Victoria Gonzalez, Alexandra Rios and Ashley Andrews 

Students and staff at Miami Christian School once again participated in the See You at the Pole event, an annual gathering of Christian students of all ages at a flagpole in front of their local school for prayer during the early morning before school starts. The American SYATP events occur on every fourth Wednesday of September.  This annual gathering begun in 1990, and has since grown by word of mouth, announcements at youth rallies and churches, and the internet.  In fact, See You at the Pole meetings now occur internationally.

Fall sports are always competitive and great fun for the student athletes at Miami Christian School and volleyball has become a favorite for the girls. In fact, the MCS Varsity Girls’ volleyball team just completed an undefeated season and lost only a single set the entire season.  The junior varsity and middle school volleyball teams had a good run this season as well.

In other sports, the bowling team came in 5th in the Tamiami Youth Fair Tournament during which MCS freshman, Alexander Yaniz was the top scorer.  Yaniz was subsequently named The Miami Herald Athlete of the Week as a result of his great performance during that tournament.  To round out the Falls Sports competitions, the Football team is experiencing a winning season, and the Cross Country team looks to conclude its season as well.

Teen Valley Trip in October is always something students enjoy and this year was no exception.  This high school wide trip to Teen Valley Ranch in North Carolina gave the young people an opportunity to experience cooler weather and great activities such as hiking, horseback riding, hayrides, bonfires, games and athletic activities at the campgrounds.  Of course, daily chapel services and delicious camp food also enhanced their time in the mountains.

MCS is always looking for creative ways to educate and entertain and bringing in community leaders to discuss their professions serves that dual purpose. After a week visits from various community leaders from policemen and nurses to firemen and others, students finished off the week by dressing up in the attire of their desired future occupation. Parents visited the “Community Leader Fair” and then listened to the individual presentations as each student explaining what they hoped to accomplish in their dream job.

MCS faculty is an impressive group whose priorities are the students.  Most recently, Israel Ortet ,  the AP Spanish and Spanish instructor,  was recognized  as a Cervantes Outstanding Educator, based on his efforts to support excellence in the education of Hispanic students in Miami-Dade County.  Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler School of Education and Human Services and its Hispanic Advisory Board present the Cervantes Outstanding Educator Awards each year as part of the Hispanic Heritage Festival.  Ortet was honored during a gala reception, October 20, at the Miami Airport Hilton.  Ortet has taught at Miami Christian for five years and also serves as an AP Spanish Test reader each summer.

Miami Christian School is a fully SACS and ACSI accredited college preparatory school, with strong programs in academics, athletics, and activities.  Students may participate in Advanced Placement, Honors, and Dual Enrollment program, and the school also offers ESOL and a high school self-contained ESE center.  Victor Academy is a fully SACS accredited online program for those interested in non-traditional education.  Interested families may call the school at 305.221.7754 x771 and ask for Gladys Mata.

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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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