PTS grads receive Alumni Awards, inducted into Athletic Hall of Fame

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Nathan B. Zeder and Daniel J. Diaz Leyva recently received Palmer Trinity School’s (PTS) Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Zeder, who graduated in 1998, is an associate with Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors (EWM). He received the Founders’ Alumni Award, recognizing those who have demonstrated honor, courage and leadership, and who have helped to fulfill the vision of Palmer Trinity School’s founders.

As a student-athlete, Zeder was a top-ranked junior in tennis during high school at both the state and national level. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 2002, he competed as a tennis pro for a year before partnering with his mother, Judy, to begin the Zeder team at EWM in 2003, which has consistently been ranked among the top five realtors in Miami-Dade County.

Zeder was inducted into the Palmer Trinity Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. Since 2005, he has been involved with PTS’s Sandy Golf Tournament, which raises funds for outstanding students to receive need-based financial aid. In addition, he has served on the Admission Advisory Committee, has chaired the Alumni Annual Fund, and is now serving on the inaugural Alumni Association Board.

Diaz Leyva graduated in 1998 and is of counsel and a business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He received the Head of School’s Alumni Award, recognizing distinguished service to the community and exemplifying Palmer Trinity School’s mission — commitment to the moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and creative growth of all members of the community.

Diaz Leyva has served on numerous boards for organizations as diverse as CHARLEE Homes for Children, the Consejo Empresarial de America Latina, the Hispanic National Bar Association and Florida Health Choices. He was recently appointed to the board of trustees of Miami-Dade College by Gov. Rick Scott. His volunteer service for PTS includes the annual Alumni College and Career Day, serving on the Admissions Advisory Committee, speaking to prospective parents, and serving on the inaugural Alumni Association Board.

He has been recognized by several organizations for his community work and received the notable Ruth Shack Leadership Award from the Miami Foundation which is given to an emerging leader who embodies the qualities of ethical leadership, dedication and service to Greater Miami.

Palmer Trinity Athletic Hall of Fame
Arasay Guerra, Coach Michelle (Brenner) Mondell and Michael Haggard were inducted into Palmer Trinity’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Guerra graduated from PTS in 2006. She played volleyball for both Florida International University and Florida Memorial University.

Guerra now coaches for South Dade Volleyball Club and Palmer Trinity School, helping the Falcons reach the semi-finals in the Class 16-3A State Tournament last fall.

Mondell, a former PTS student, began coaching in 1985 and volunteering as the assistant varsity soccer coach. From 1986 to 1993, she coached many sports, and was one of the first female football coaches in Florida. Under her leadership, the women’s soccer team was the first team to go to a district final game. In 1993, Mondell was hired by FIU as assistant women’s soccer coach where she helped lead the team to the Elite Eight of NCAA Division I women’s soccer. She now is in her 30th year and continues to coach middle school and high school sports at Ransom Everglades School.

Haggard, who graduated in 1988, played both varsity football and baseball. He quarterbacked the undefeated 1984 JV football team and then went on to be the varsity quarterback. During his time as a player, he led Palmer to two conference championships, a No. 4 ranking in the state of Florida and was 27-8 as a starter.

Haggard was recognized as an All Miami-Dade County selection in football and baseball during his senior year. He volunteers as coach of the RYAN Sports Flag Football team, having captured the national championship twice in the last three years. In addition, he is president of the Palmer Trinity Boosters Association, and serves on the Palmer Trinity Alumni Association Board. Today he is a successful partner with the Haggard Law Firm.

“We are very happy to see these distinguished alumni members honored for their contributions to our School — past and present. Their examples will serve as a reminder to our students of what they can achieve now and later in life through their professions and as members of the community,” stated Patrick Roberts, head of school.


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