Polk County Public Schools congratulates our recent scholarship and award winners recognized by the Florida Migrant Education Program.
The program honored three PCPS students, a principal, and a volunteer for their outstanding efforts and hard work in migrant education.
Fernando Macedonio, a Summerlin Academy graduate, was named the National Migrant Education Program Student of the Year.
Macedonio, who is studying engineering at the University of South Florida, spent years working alongside his parents in strawberry, blueberry and tomato fields between Florida and Alabama. He remained committed to his education and giving back to his community. He took challenging dual enrollment and AP classes throughout his high school career, and still found time to help children learn to read.
Two students — Amelia Pineda and Braian Vazquez — were recognized as Rising Migrant Scholars. Pineda, a Summerlin Academy graduate, and Vazquez, a graduate of Mulberry High, are both planning to continue their studies at Traviss Technical College.
Sue Bizerra, who recently retired as principal of Kingsford Elementary, was named the 2020 Florida Migrant Principal of the Year.
Bizerra set high expectations for her migrant students, and did whatever she could to support their success. She frequently visited migrant camps to connect with parents and encourage her students. She implemented after-school tutoring for migrant and non-English speaking students.
During the summer, Kingsford Elementary offered extensive learning opportunities in math and English language arts, as well as access to nutritious meals.
April Taylor, a volunteer at Kingsford Elementary, was named 2020 Community Volunteer of the Year.
Taylor has taken her extensive volunteering efforts beyond the campus and into local migrant camps. Using a love of literacy and her therapy dog Erma, Taylor visits students and helps them overcome their anxiety about reading. She also brings books, snacks and games with her, and has organized donation efforts to benefit migrant camps.