Howard Drive Elementary celebrates 50th birthday

By Gary Alan Ruse….

Pictured during the presentation of a sign denoting the street co-designation for the school’s nickname are (l-r) Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, student Chad Girnun, principal Deanna Dalby and student Nia Baez.

Howard Drive Elementary hosted a special event on May 11 at 9:30 a.m. in its auditorium to celebrate a half-century of educating area students.

Located at 7750 SW 136 St., the school is in Palmetto Bay on the dividing line between it and the Village of Pinecrest.

Current principal Deanna Dalby conducted the program, giving a welcoming speech and introducing the guests for the event. Attending the school’s milestone birthday were Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, Vice Mayor Brian Pariser, and council members Patrick Fiore, Howard Tendrich and Joan Lindsay, all of the Village of Palmetto Bay. Pinecrest was represented by Mayor Cindy Lerner and Vice Mayor Bob Ross.

Former Miami-Dade County District 8 Commissioner Katy Sorenson and her aide Alfonsina Sergio attended, as did Sorenson’s successor Commissioner Lynda Bell with her district director Lourdes Alard. A number of members of the Miami-Dade County School Board attended the event.

In addition to speeches, the program consisted of song and dance numbers performed by students from each of the five decades during which the school has operated since opening in 1961.

Preceding each musical number was an invited alumnus who attended school there during that decade, the first of which was Miami’s Community Newspaper’s publisher Grant Miller, who told about growing up in South Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Proclamations from both Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest were presented to the school by those village’s elected officials

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