Local students recognized at ISSF Luncheon

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More than 800 guests gathered for the Independent School of South Florida (ISSF) Annual Star Luncheon on April 20 at the Miami Airport Convention Center. This annual affair recognizes one star student from elementary, middle and high school from each of the approximately 70 schools from as far north as Palm Beach to the Keys.

ISSF is a coalition of the accredited private schools in South Florida and among the independent schools in the greater Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay area schools participating in this event were Gulliver, whose honorees included David Krajewski, Carlotta Ferracina, Federica Hernandez Floris, Alexandros Tsoukas and Gaspard Crepy d’Orleans; Temple Beth Am, whose star students were Elias Baron, Colin Carletta, and Rori Brenner; Westminster Christian, whose honorees were Carolina Borges, Isabel De Allende-Silva, and Ashley Diaz; Palmer Trinity with star students Lauren Fernandez, Brigitte Isom, and Gabriela Shaikh; St. Thomas with star students Sofia Manguson, Lorenzo Ramirez de Arellano, and Ricardo Sucre; and Alexander Montessori whose honorees were Karyna Steele, Madison Jones, Sydney Powell, Liv Steinhardt and Owen Craig.

Westminster Christian’s concert band provided entertainment before the program and during lunch. ISSF President Alicia Casanova welcomed all with ISSF Executive Director Dr. Teri Logan. Of the many sponsors thanked by Dr. Logan that day were the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club with Deborah Van Stone Moore, on hand to accept the plaque, and Gulliver Schools represented by Hank Langston and others. CGWC has hosted the ISSF’s three spelling and geography bees at their clubhouse for several years as a community service.

Coincidentally, Gulliver’s Deborah Van Stone Moore, who is an amazing leader and non profit volunteer, was recently elected president of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club for the 2016-18 term.

By the way, Deborah Moore will be installed as CGWC President on May 4, at 6:30 p.m. during a lovely dinner at the CGWC Clubhouse at 1009 East Ponce de Leon Blvd. Those wishing to attend to honor Debi, her board and new members, may RSVP with Mireya at 786-295-9323 or by emailing <tessie13@aol.com>. This also provides guests an opportunity to tour the club’s free children’s dental clinic which provides more than $250,000 in free dental care annually to Miami-Dade County children in need. Outgoing president, Mayra Dominguez, was recently honored with a dinner as well that Debi coordinated for her. An Indian theme provided lots of color and a lovely setting for the dinner dance on April 16.

In other news, Pinecrest resident Helen Witty continues to honor the memory of her daughter by advocating for responsible drinking and “not” driving. Working with MADD and their newly launched Power Talk 21, Helen was among those attending a kick-off at Ryder Trauma Center on April 20 targeting underage drinking and the importance of parents acting as role models. Parents can download a free Power of Parents handbook at madd.org/powertalk21.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

If you want to submit information for this column, please send your news via email to gloria@communitynewspapers.com.

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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 gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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