San Marco area students win Hispanic Heritage awards

San Marco area students win Hispanic Heritage awards
DuPont Middle School Principal Marilyn Barnwell; Dr. Vanessa Mangual, DCPS Dual Language Specialist; Dr. Joanne Davis, DCPS World Language Supervisor; Carlos Hernandez; Dayany Perez; Jessica Sotomayor, Spanish teacher at DuPont Middle School; Myra Johnson, DCPS World Language Specialist; Dr. Charles Moreland of the Jacksonville Mayor’s Office.

Two students from the San Marco area were the winners in the Duval County Public Schools Hispanic Heritage Essay contest.

San Marco’s Andrew Lopez, a sophomore at Stanton College Preparatory School, won the high school competition, while Carlos Hernandez of Dupont Middle School was the middle school winner. A recognition ceremony was held Nov. 3 in the Mayor’s Office at City Hall.

Andrew Lopez, Dr. Danny Pulido and Teri Mari Taylor

Andrew Lopez, Dr. Danny Pulido and Teri Mari Taylor

The topic of Lopez’s essay was “Remem-bering the Great and Influential Life of Graziella Garcia-Pulido.” Lopez first learned about Mrs. Pulido, a former St. Nicholas resident, and her accomplishments after reading her obituary in The Resident Community News.

“I selected Mrs. Pulido because the article in The Resident was truly inspiring and reached out to me personally, particularly because of my Cuban heritage,” said Lopez. “I thought it would be neat to write about her. I learned a lot from writing this essay, including the importance of inspiring and pushing your children to be the best they can be. I also learned from her that with hard work and motivation, anything is possible. That’s why I picked Mrs. Pulido, due to her truly remarkable story.”

Several of Mrs. Pulido’s relatives were on hand to witness the recognition ceremony including her grandson, Dr. Danny Pulido of St. Nicholas, granddaughter Teri Mari Taylor, great-grandsons Wesley and Harrison Taylor, and Mrs. Pulido’s caregiver, Fidencia Bravo Flores.

Lopez’s sister, Christina, now a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, won the contest last year with an essay titled “Giving Back,” featuring Dr. Juan Luis-Jorge.

Hernandez wrote about his mother, Dayany Perez, who attended the ceremony.

Also present at the event was Lopez’s English teacher, Kylah Riendeau of Stanton College Preparatory School, Hernandez’s Spanish teacher Jessica Sotomayor, and Dupont Middle School Principal Marilyn Barnwell, Dr. Joanne Davis, supervisor of the Duval County Public Schools (DPCS) World Languages Program, Myra Johnson, DPCS World Language Program Specialist, and Dr. Venessa Mangual, DCPS Dual Language Program Specialist.

Dr. Charles Moreland of the Mayor’s Office presented the certificates and provided remarks about the students’ outstanding achievements. The teachers, parents and students were treated to a complimentary lunch at Brio’s Tuscan Grille before the ceremony.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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