Just before students happily exclaimed, “School’s out for summer!” Comcast and HBO co-hosted the Aventura Marketing Council’s annual Student Run Breakfast Meeting featuring guest speaker Enid Weisman, Chief Human Capital Officer at Miami-Dade Public Schools. The event highlighted school/business partnerships supported by the AMC – recipient of the Dade Partner of Excellence award four times and inducted into the Dade Partners Hall of Fame for four consecutive years.
Hundreds of business, community and education leaders gathered at Florida International University’s Kovens Conference Center were impressed by “best and brightest” students who expertly ran the meeting representing the AMC’s Dade Partner schools: Anabella Kupchik, Aventura City of Excellence School; Sophie Agudelo, Ojus Elementary School; Daniel Nash , Aventura Waterways K-8 Center; Angelyn Escalona, David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center; Samantha Levinson, Norman S. Edelcup/Sunny Isles Beach K-8 Center; Stephen Wittels, Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High; Shumara Cadet, North Miami Beach Sr. High; and Adam Bernstein, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Sr. High.
Special appreciation was expressed to meeting hosts; members of the AMC’s Education Committee chaired by Jeff Levinson of Coconut Grove Bank; educators, school board members and all those supporting student success – a goal shared by Weisman, dealing with over 50,000 employees and five labor unions for MDCPS - the nation’s fourth- largest school system.
“We’re transforming education in the nation right here in Miami-Dade County,” Weisman said. “We’re combining digital technologies and replacing book bags with open source technology. Learning is going to be ‘anytime, anywhere’ on your own device. We’ve also received a $37 million Race to the Top grant being used to change the way math is taught so students can work at their own pace.
“In five years, we have cut $500 million from our budget and haven’t laid off one teacher; for the fifth time, we won the Broad Prize, recognizing the urban school district making the greatest progress in the country in raising student achievement; our Hispanic and African American students scored number one and number seven respectively in the nation on advanced placement exams; and our graduation rates are among the highest in the entire country. We’re building a powerhouse of brain trust based on technology and digital conversion for the next decade and beyond.”
Weisman thanked voters for supporting the bond referendum to help improve schools, emphasizing, “Our kids will be the creators and makers of the future because they have you as their role models, as their guardians, and city law makers who have the courage to put money into schools, always supporting education and issues enhancing human life.”
During the meeting, Spero Canton, Comcast Vice President of Commercial Development, explained Comcast is supporting education with their Internet Essentials program - giving families with a child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program the opportunity to receive $9.95 per month home Internet service and purchase a computer for a nominal price. To sign up, phone: 855-846-8376 or visit internetessentials.com.
HBO Account Executive Joey Beard encouraged everyone to activate HBO-GO, offering unlimited access to HBO programming plus bonus features and behind-the-scenes extras, free with a subscription and available on favorite devices including iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets, Kindle Fire and XBOX 360. For more information, visit HBOGO.
By Bari Auerbach
Photography by Andrew Goldstein