During the Tuesday, November 3, City Commission meeting, officials recognized Coral Springs High School teacher Valerie Arena for her work as an Advanced Placement Literature and Dual Enrollment Instructor of Religion in Broward County and all the accomplishments she’s received through the years. The Commission also recognized Forest Glen Middle School teacher Lisa Dos Santos for being named District Environmental Educator of the Year. Dos Santos was named Teacher of the Year multiple times throughout her career.
“We pride ourselves in education in our community, and you are a big part of it and you’ve given a lot over the years,” Mayor Scott Brook said to both teachers.
The Kiwanis Club of Coral Springs and City officials presented John Congemi the first monthly "Mayor's Award for Mentoring." Congemi was chosen by J.P. Taravella High School for his volunteering efforts since his retirement from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in June 2009. He also volunteers at Coral Glades High School and was influential in creating Partners in Education, ethics seminars and other educational programs.
“Kiwanis and our entire City want to highlight mentors in our community. It’s a very important thing and more and more necessary these days,” Mayor Brook said. “Many of us act as mentors in many ways, whether it’s coaching, being there for another child that’s not ours and a lot of times it’s a teacher staying after hours. We appreciate all of you.”
Officials also recognized members of the Teen Car Club, Project CS, for receiving a City-sponsored award for outstanding participation.
“We started the Teen Car Club a few years ago, and it’s been a wonderfully successful program for the kids. It gives them something to do besides mainstream sports,” Vice Mayor Vince Boccard said.
Thus far, the Teen Car Club has had two community car shows, and the members have taken a 2001 Chevy Blazer and transformed it into a beautiful show car. In the future, the members would like to recondition additional vehicles and offer them up to a needy family or raffle one off to help raise funds. The club is self-sufficient, and the City does not assist the group financially. Auto Works Collision and Paint, Inc. has also been a valuable sponsor. Anyone interested in joining can visit www.ProjectCS.net.
Lastly, officials proclaimed November 17, 2009 as Prematurity Awareness Day. Premature births threaten the lives and health of more than half a million babies every year, including 15 percent of babies in Florida. Premature births are the leading cause of death of newborns and the March of Dimes continues to lead the fight against it. The Commission encourages all residents to join the March of Dimes’ efforts to fund research and programs.
“The March of Dimes does so much good work so it’s a pleasure to put the spotlight on premature babies tonight. Thank you for all that your organization does,” Commissioner Claudette Bruck said.