By Robert Hamilton….
Christina Manrique, founder of the architectural program at Gulliver Schools, has been named Fairchild Challenge Teacher Environmental Role Model of the Year.
Manrique received the award for her influence over the past decade while mentoring students and teachers about the importance of protecting the environment through urban planning. Each year she led and advised Gulliver students participating in the Fairchild Challenge’s environmental design competition, spending time with them outside the regular school day.
“It’s the joy of watching these students come alive as they see the value of the environment and understanding how important they are in taking care of it; that makes it worth every minute of every day spent with them,” Manrique said.
During the past 10 years, her students earned two special merit awards and five first-place awards in the Fairchild Challenge.
Manrique started the architecture program at Gulliver in 1978, creating the school’s curriculum for a five-year course track in architectural design, industrial design and urban planning. For her work at Gulliver, the school has been recognized by Miami-Dade County for 20 consecutive years for its outstanding architectural program and technology education.
Manrique has been an adjunct professor in the architecture program at Miami Dade College. Her experience includes practicing architecture and civil engineering with the City of Coral Gables and H.J. Ross and Associates.
The Fairchild Challenge celebrated the successes of thousands of high school students and teachers from more than 50 middle and high schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties during its annual award ceremony on May 19 at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden.