It’s almost a rite of passage…the annual Student-Run Breakfast Meeting that the Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce (AMC) holds every year, and features Miami-Dade School Supt. Alberto Carvalho as the keynote speaker.
AMC members look forward to this very special Breakfast Meeting as students from their eleven Dade Partner schools run the entire meeting. Dimitry Shaposhnikov, Founder and CEO of FrandMe, a U.S. patented communication and security platform that is ADA compliant, said, “ It was a great honor for me and my FrandMe partners, Arnold Goldman and Debi Davis and our extraordinary consultant, Brian Farrell of Phone & Pad Warehouse, to sponsor this amazing Breakfast Meeting featuring students and Supt. Carvalho—it is truly a winning combination!”
Students rehearsed multiple times with Elaine Adler, AMC President, and not only learned how to speak publicly to a large crowd, a skill that many adults find daunting, but also learned about the importance of eye contact, measured breathing and a strong stance…..all important lessons as they become leaders in school and in life. And their rehearsals paid off! Each one took the podium with confidence and professionalism as they handled the entire program, and the look of pride on their faces lit up the entire room of over 200 business and elected leaders of the community.
Featured Student Leaders were: Eli Borojovich, 7th grade, ACES (Aventura City of Excellence School); Luna Pedrosa, 10th grade, Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Sr. High; Gabrielle D’Addario, 7th grade, Aventura Waterways K-8 Center; Kennedy Lyn Kelly, 8th grade, David Lawrence, Jr. K – 8 Center; Christopher Bowen, 9th grade, Grace Leadership Preparatory Institute; Danielle Pinto, 11th grade, Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High; Sebastian Pineda, 7th grade, Norman S. Edelcup Sunny Isles Beach K – 8 Center; Dayjah Thezan, 12th grade, North Miami Beach Sr. High; Michael Berenstein, 12th grade, Scheck Hillel Community School; Eva Malakhova, 1st grade, Sunshine State Academy; and Sydney Cassu, The Victory School.
Shaposhnikov had the honor of introducing Supt. Alberto Carvalho, noting that since 2008, when he first took over the nation’s fourth largest school system, Carvalho has become a nationally recognized expert on education transformation, finance and leadership development. “Under his leadership, this school system has become one of the nation’s highest-performing urban school systems receiving nationwide accreditation and awards.”
“Many people fret about tomorrow,” said Supt. Carvalho. “If we simply look at the headlines and watch the 24-hour news cycle, we may lose sight of the true reality of the fabric of our community and our nation. I don’t fret about tomorrow, for I touch the future every single day. Every time I walk into a classroom, every time I come to the Aventura Marketing Council, I face the reality that tomorrow will indeed be bright because of the young people who are amongst us today. Ten years ago, the graduation rate in Miami-Dade was 56%, and in low-income areas, 36%; there were 20 F-rated schools; the system was facing financial ruin; there were high schools with no international baccalaureate programs, no dual language programs, no Cambridge programs; dual enrollment opportunities were a rarity and not the norm. Today, we are in the strongest position from a financial perspective. We have zero F-rated schools; 98% of all schools are rated A, B or C, with 47% rated A compared to the State’s 37%. This is the first time in the history of our school system and in the State of Florida, that an urban system with higher levels of poverty and diversity than the State itself, has been recognized as an A-rated district. Our graduation rate is 85.4%, and not a single high school has a graduation rate lower than 77%. Our students participate in advanced placement college-level courses taken in high school, and we are the #1 system in the country with the largest number of students taking Advanced Placement classes and passing the college exams, saving their parents millions of dollars in college tuition. And in our 4th grades, despite the fact that 50,000 of them are still learning English right now, 11% of our 4th graders are #1 in reading in the country and #2 in mathematics. I don’t want to hear from anyone that diversity is an impediment to success…that poverty is an obstacle that cannot be overcome, or that disability is a frontier to which you cannot cross, because we are busy bucking the trend right here and now.
From Aventura to Doral, from Miami Gardens to Florida City, this is the great American community, where ideals of our nation are being tested and proven to be solid. This is the place in our America where dreams become reality …the place where the impossible becomes inevitable…. the place where futures are born and where architects of opportunity and equity inspire the youth of our community.”