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College Forum Volume 19, Number 3 : Page 2

ALUMNI news PASSING ALONG GOOD WILL FOUND AT MDC Guillermo Muñoz, an MDC alumnus from the Class of 1989, was recently named Principal of the Year for Miami-Dade County Public Schools – a prestigious honor, to say the least. Muñoz, the principal at Homestead High since July 2013, said he believes the award was a nod to a career spent helping turn around a series of underperforming schools saddled with low stu-dent and teacher morale. “The students are always my No. 1 priori-ty,” Muñoz said. “And I have demonstrated that through my actions.” Originally from Nicaragua, Muñoz and his fam-ily moved to Miami when he was 10. After grad-uating from Miami High, Muñoz came to MDC’s Wolfson Campus, where he said his life took on a new, positive outlook that has lasted to this day. Muñoz was a first baseman in baseball, but when no college offered him a scholarship, he came to MDC as a “walk-on,” which meant his spot on the roster was not assured. Principal of the Year Puts Students First, Just As His MDC Professors and Coaches Did arship to play baseball at Nova Southeastern University, where he eventually earned two de-grees: a bachelor’s in education and a master’s in educational leadership. Merging Cliques He later went on to become the principal at Northwestern and Westland Hialeah high schools as well as Brownsville Middle. Once he arrived at Homestead, he decorated the hallways with photos of high-achieving students. He also helped unite kids stuck in cliques by having them work together to read to elementary-school kids. While Muñoz has much more left that he aims to accomplish, at 46, he has already had a stellar career, and his professors and coaches at MDC are surely bursting with pride to have helped him along the way. “MDC was a great start for me,” Muñoz said. “I would recommend it for anybody who wants a quality education.” – WV Guillermo Muñoz In the Mind’s Eye “I was very fortunate to have met Steve Hertz,” Muñoz said of the MDC baseball coach at that time. “He gave me a chance, and he taught me about positive thinking and visualization, and that has played a role in everything I’ve done in my life since then.” Muñoz became a starter as an MDC freshman and went on to earn an associate degree with a focus in education. After two years at MDC, he earned a schol-MDC – The Perfect Place to Fall in Love With Teaching Y ou never know when that light bulb of inspiration may turn on. For Nicole Berge-MacInnes, it happened in her mid-20s when she was a part-time MDC stu-dent and a friend asked her to tutor a couple of special-needs students. As soon as Berge-MacInnes began the task, she immediately knew she had found her calling. “I fell in love with the craft of teaching,” she said. “After that, I became a completely commit-ted college student.” Berge-MacInnes, a native of Miami, has always been a high achiever. She even had opened her own computer-supply store at age 19. But this newfound passion for teaching was different. After graduating from MDC in 1992, Berge-MacInnes went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in special education. “The program at MDC was a catalyst for my love of special education and educational lead-ership,” Berge-MacInnes said. She began working as a special-education teacher at Coral Gables High in 1995, and she was an immediate hit, winning the “Rookie of Many of MDC’s top alumni are helping to raise the bar in education, including: • Dr. Lawrence G. Abele , provost and exec-utive vice president of academic affairs, Florida State University • Ana L. Cordal , principal, Renaissance Elementary and Middle Charter School • Lourdes P. Giménez , administrative direc-tor, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Central Region • Dr. Gerardo M. González , university dean, School of Education, Indiana University • Dr. Carlota E. Morales , principal, Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School • Douglas P. Rodríguez , principal, Doral Academy Charter Middle School The Education Boost Nicole Berge-MacInnes the Year” award for the state of Florida. Berge-MacInnes stayed at Gables High for 15 years before becoming assistant principal at Glades Middle School. She is now in the same position at Coral Reef High and recently received the prestigious honor of being named Assistant Principal of the Year by Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Her main role at Coral Reef focuses on the cur-riculum of the award-winning magnet school. “But my true love is special education,” she said. “We have 60 students with autism at Coral Reef, and the best part of my day is when I visit with those kids. They pair up with our other stu-dents and become buddies, and it’s wonderful to see.” – WV /MDCollege MIAMI DADE COLLEGE COLLEGE f orum June 2015 • Volume 19 • Number 3 Published by Miami Dade College, Office of Communications 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2296 Send emails to Communications Director......................Juan C. Mendieta Marketing Communications Director.........Irene Giménez Muñoz Editorial Director .......................... Brenda Krebs, Ph.D. Copy Editors/Contributors ...........Nnéka Nnolim, Monica Roos, Anne-Margaret Swary, Walter Villa Graphic Designers............... Pasita Andino, Reynaldo Arroyo, Carmen Bosch, Grizelle Paz Photographers....Cristian Lazzari, Carlos Llano, Deborah Rodríguez Production Coordinator ..................... Susan Smitherman For more information about MDC programs, call 305-237-8888 or visit 2 COLLEGE forum @MDCollege @MDCollege

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