Magnet students and teachers receive top honors

Magnet students and teachers receive top honors

The work of Paulina Reynaldo, a South Miami Middle Community School Center for the Arts Visual Arts student, received the top honor in the 2014 Superintendent’s Holiday Card Competition.

Students and teachers at South Miami Middle Community School Center for the Arts received numerous awards and honors in 2013. Artistic students from all over Miami- Dade County attend one of the school’s programs in Magnet Visual and Performing Arts, where the teachers uphold the school’s motto of “Nurturing the Highest Aspirations of the Human Spirit Through the Arts.”

“The talent and commitment of our teachers, along with the energy, excitement, and enthusiasm of our students, makes for an amazing result,” says Sandy Baron, Magnet Lead Teacher.

The following accomplishments are evidence of the school’s success:

Under the direction of Francisco R. Williams, Band members Julian Gonzalez, on bassoon, and Jake Heller, on clarinet, were named to Florida Bandmaster’s Association All-State Middle School Band.

The Chorus, led Dr. Leslie Alan Denning, was named Coral Gables Merrick Festival Caroling Competition Grand Prize Winner for the tenth year straight. Additionally, male choir members Isaac Babalola, Andi Feliu, Kevin Gutierrez, David Ruiz and Justin Torres- Ortega were named to ACDA All-State Male Choir.

The school’s Dance program, led by Jessica Valdes-Vega, received the National Endowment for the Arts, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Board of County Commissioners, the Children’s Trust, Citizens Interested in Arts, the Thoresen Foundation and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Grant. Ms. Valdes-Vega is also proud to announce that numerous dance students were named to the National Honors Society for Dance Arts, and the program received a Model School Selection Visitation by the National Dance Education Organization.

Three members of the Orchestra – Nicolas Adler, Liz Paik and Brandon Wu – were honored with Florida Orchestra Association’s All-State Auditions. The school’s Orchestra is led by Besnik Hashani.

Nancy Handler teaches Photography and several of her students were recognized for their work this year, including William Fairnington, who was a finalist in the 2014 Superintendent’s Holiday Card Competition. Other honorees were Frank Cardenas, Robert Guemes, Chrystine Ono, Lucia Buergo, Pedro Erigoyen, Mayee Stebbins, Daniel Caldera, Derek Caldera and Malena Rodriguez.

Under the direction of Madelin Marchant, numerous Theater students won Critics Choice Awards, Superior Awards and Excellent Awards in categories such as musical, pantomime, duets, ensemble acting, solo, monologue and improvisation.

Many of Margie Campmany’s Visual Arts students were recognized for their work. One of them was Paulina Reynaldo, who was the winner of the 2014 Superintendent’s Holiday Card Competition. Visual Arts students led by Cheryl Goodman also were honored, including Elisabeth Schnell, who received first place for her work in the Lion’s Club Peace Poster Contest – “Our World Our Future.”

The following South Miami Middle Community School Center for the Arts teachers received special distinction: Dr. Denning received the Music Educator Award / Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation – Top 25; Mr. Hashani was named Florida Orchestra Association Florida 16 District Chairperson, 2013-2015; Ms. Marchant was named Miami-Dade Junior Thespian District Chairperson; and Mr. Williams was named Florida Band Association District Chairperson – Middle School.

For more information and a complete listing of the school’s Magnet awards, visit

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2 Comments on "Magnet students and teachers receive top honors"

  1. Thanks God my daughter is studying in this school. Great place, great teachers, and an excellent support from directors! 5 Stars! Luis P.

  2. Would your school be interested in performing next year at the 39th Annual HARVEST FESTIVAL, Nov. 22 & 23, 2014 at the Miami Dade Fair Expo. We have an entertainment area and have schools come and perform.

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