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Gov. Crist recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month contest winners

By Staff | Oct 11, 2010

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has announced the winners of the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award and student contests. The educators and students are being honored at the annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, “Recognizing Florida’s Hispanic Heritage: Past, Present and Future,” at the Governor’s Mansion. Joining Gov. Crist is artist Luis Núñez, whose paintings are on exhibit in the Capitol Rotunda and at the Governor’s Mansion during Hispanic Heritage Month.
“I am proud to recognize all of the contest participants who displayed their outstanding abilities and talents, and congratulate this year’s winners,” said Crist in a prepared statement. “Hispanic Heritage Month is truly an exceptional time to showcase the importance of Florida’s Hispanic-American community and its influence on our state’s success both now and in the future.”
Three outstanding Hispanic educators are being honored with the Excellence in Education Award. Each will receive an award check for $1,500.The winners are as follows:
• Ms. Milagros “Millie” Brinson, St. Luke’s Lutheran School, Seminole County
• Mr. Obeth Diaz, Apollo Elementary, Brevard County
• Ms. Fallon Melendez, Island Coast High School, Lee County

Two students are being recognized for their exceptional artwork. The art contest prompt for this year was, “Luis Núñez is a Hispanic-American artist living in Florida. How do his paintings Egret and Mangroves, Blue Heron, and They’re Humans Junior, Let’s Go make you feel about the importance of protecting Florida’s wildlife, marshes, and beaches? Draw a picture of your favorite animal that is native to Florida, showing it in its natural habitat.

Each student will receive a $250 gift card. The winners are as follows:
· Antony Reboucas, Pinecrest Academy Charter, Miami-Dade County
· Karynah Peña-Quintana, John M. Sexton Elementary, Pinellas County

In addition, three students are being recognized for their outstanding essays. The essay topic this year for students in elementary school was, “There are many well known Hispanic Floridians who have made contributions to Florida’s history and economy. Discuss a well-known Hispanic Floridian whose contribution has made a difference in your life or your community.”
High school and middle school essays addressed the following topic: “Florida’s theme for this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month is Recognizing Florida’s Hispanic Heritage: Past, Present and Future. Interview and describe a Hispanic-American whom you know who has devoted his or her life to the service of others. How has this person’s life strengthened his or her community and Florida as a state?”
Each student will receive a four-year full tuition scholarship to any Florida state college or university, provided by Florida Prepaid College Foundation. The winners are as follows:
· Isabella Gonzalez, Coral Gables K-8 Preparatory Academy, Miami-Dade County
· Andrew Gueits, Lakeview Middle School, Orange County
· Andrea Garrido, St. Francis Catholic School, Alachua County
The Monday evening event was made possible by sponsors Florida Prepaid College Fund, Walmart, Prudential, Coca-Cola, Florida Education Association and Florida’s Foundation. Also featured tonight will be a Latin Attitude, a Latin jazz band based out of Tallahassee.
The event is organized in cooperation with the Governor’s Mansion Foundation and Florida’s Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organization working to further social service initiatives championed by Governor Crist. For more information on Florida’s Hispanic heritage, please visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.

Source: Office of the Governor