- Faith & Family
Miami Edison, along with Booker T. Washington, Central and Holmes Elementary, have proven to the State Board of Education that they are making enough progress in the academic performance of their students to remove the four schools from “intervene status” – thus avoiding the possibility of either being closed or converted into charter schools. Those who are committed to improving public education in Miami-Dade County say it’s all about teamwork. We couldn’t agree more and applaud the efforts of each principal, particularly Dr. Pablo Ortiz who has been at Edison for three years. Ortiz was also recently named Principal of the Year.
His task is especially daunting because he has a student body that is 75 percent Haitian in origin. Many of the students are still attempting to master English and can routinely be heard speaking their native Creole in the hallways or outside on the school grounds. We recall one instance where the Miami Times’ editor had to speak French in order to successfully interview some of the school’s top soccer players.
Ortiz is not a Black man, but he clearly understands the needs and challenges of his students and has assembled a crew that collectively pushed their students to new academic heights. Readers may recall that Edison earned its first “C” this year after receiving multiple failing grades. What’s more, 74 percent of the students are now graduating with their high school diploma.
Parents are becoming more involved in their children’s lives and the students have a sense of self-esteem that was once unheard of at Edison. They are proud to be Haitian-Americans and even prouder to be part of the 915 boys and girls that attend Edison. There are no short cuts to improving academic performance. It must be done day in and day out. And while Ortiz’s star is shining brightly, he says he won’t be personally satisfied until every one of his students graduates and has the opportunity to make their dreams come true. In our book, that’s evidence of an educator on top of their game.