News from the 2015-16 School Year
Keys Community Concert Band Mentors Students in Upper Keys Schools
Keys Community Concert Band will host talented young musicians from Plantation Key School, Coral Shores HS and Key Largo Middle School for this month’s Pops in the Park concert. Under the baton of Hulber Gagliardini, students are playing instruments alongside adults. They are learning faster technique, better intonation, and musical expression but even more important, they are learning that music can be a lifelong journey! Each will receive a tuner/metronome and a small sum of money to spend on “anything musical." One high school senior will receive the Gershwin Award which honors commitment and dedication to music, and one senior will receive the John Phillip Sousa College Scholarship Award as they continue with music education in college. The concert is Saturday, April 30 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM at Founders Park in Islamorada. Admission is free and open to the public.
Photo courtesy of Susan Bazin
Youth Leaders Attend PeaceJam Leadership Conference at FSU
Keys to Be the Change Youth Leaders from Key West High School and Marathon Middle/High School recently attended the annual PeaceJam Leadership Conference at Florida State University. They met Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum from Guatemala.
Pictured from Key West (from left): Kelsey Morris, Dayana Flores, Tony Vo, Gabriela Sonzogni, Keylin Castro, Bertrand Noel, Brunia Polynice, Raven Niekerk, Paula Lundi, Marie Altidor,Angena Pierre, Dahana Polynice, Frank Moreno, and Lachele Hassen
Pictured from Marathon HS: Gardine Raymond, Delma Vega, Gwen Rohe, Milly Cruz, Takara McNight, Aron Prieto, Jordy Mejia, John Sheagren, Reynaldo Quintana, Abby Franck, Yennifer Alpizar, Chase Taylor, Drew Baker, Yanay Ferral, Devyn Wenger, Taquoia Walker, Samantha Maqueira, Delaina Ross, Vivian Maqueira, and Jasmine Fernandez
Photos courtesy of Heidi Golightly
Baby Grand Donated to Switlik Music Program
Thanks to the generous donation by Mr. and Mrs. Watts of Cudjoe Key, this Young Chang baby grand piano happily resides with the music program at Stanley Switlik Elementary School. The Switlik Singers, under the direction of music teacher Jack Louden, will perform an appreciation concert on Thursday, May 19th at 6:00 PM in the school’s cafeteria. Pictured with Mr. Louden are SSE students Fisher and Cullen. Both boys enjoy music and take private lessons on piano and guitar.
Photo courtesy of Brett Unke
State Science and Engineering Fair
The Monroe County School District was represented at the 61st Annual State Science and Engineering Fair held on March 29th through the 31st in Lakeland, FL. Monroe County walked away with three finalists out of 850 student entries from across the state. Grace Matthews (TVM) earned a 3rd place overall finish in the Engineering Category, Jesse Ferrante (TVM) earned a 3rd place overall in the Chemistry Category, and Logan Kirchner (Sigsbee) earned a Special Award including a $50 prize for creativity in the Engineering Category. Job well done by all students who participated!
Pictured above, from left to right: Logan Kirchner (Sigsbee), Jesse Ferrante (Treasure Village Montessori), Grace Matthews (Treasure Village Montessori), Windley Haygood (Treasure Village Montessori), Niomi Garcia (Treasure Village Montessori), Samantha Gutierrez (Coral Shores High School), Briana Wilson (Coral Shores High School), Damian Jones (Key West Collegiate Academy), and Alex Appel (Key West Collegiate Academy)
Photo courtesy of Courtney Oliver
Charting the Course to Excellence: Thank You for Your Support
Twice in the past 18 months the electorate of Monroe County has approved the renewal of financial resources for the Monroe County Schools. In November 2014, 64% of the voters approved a ten year extension of a ½ cent sales tax for capital projects, technology and school security, and more recently on March 15th nearly 72% of the voters approved a four year renewal of a ½ mill to be used for operating expenses. Both of these initiatives provide essential resources for the Monroe County Schools and our continued efforts to "Chart the Course to Excellence." I am truly grateful to the public and the communities of Monroe County for their continued trust in and support of the Monroe County Schools. On behalf of myself, the School Board and most importantly the employees, students and families of the Monroe County Schools I say THANK YOU!
The flip side of trust is accountability and that is what we, the Monroe County Schools, owe to you for your continued expression of trust and support. I encourage and expect you to hold us accountable for the use of the resources you have provided. I can promise you that we will invest these resources wisely. We will invest the capital resources provided in buildings you can be proud of that operate efficiently and support 21st century learning, in technology that leads to improved student achievement, and in necessary measures to assure student and staff safety. The operating resources of the .5 mill will allow us to continue to provide reasonable compensation to our employees, to maintain the breadth and quality of programs that our communities expect and to introduce new initiatives that will keep our students competitive in an increasingly global economy. These are promises made that are promises to be kept.
In 2014-2015 we advanced our ranking among the 67 school districts in the State of Florida from #23 to #14. In 2015-2016 we hope to continue this pattern of growth and improvement. None of this would be possible without the continued trust and support of our communities. Again, thank you.
Mark T. Porter
Superintendent of Schools
John Padget, Vice Chair of the State Board of Education, came to speak to Raymond Archer's Computing for College and Careers classes to reiterate the importance of studying coding and computer science based on job trends. He brought Shawn Verne and Steve Wainstead, guest speakers from the IT industry, to help students gather a better understanding of what technology careers entail. During the visit, Mr. Padget awarded checks to 13 students who successfully passed certification exams to become Microsoft Office 2013 Specialists in Excel, PowerPoint and Word. The money awarded to the students comes from the
Pictured, left to right: (front row) Shawn Verne, Megan Atwell, Jakob Dekker, Jared Hensley, Jake Steely, Maelyn Maratita, Anna Swiecicka, Nick Pirainio, Sydney Hamilton, Antonio Fernandez Cardenas, John Padget, Mark Porter, (back row) Tommy Morales, Dale Michaud, Steve Wainstead, Tyler Gerich, Don Ellington, Raymond Archer, Nikola Pavlicek , Bobby Highsmith
Photo courtesy of Anne Murphy
Horace O'Bryant Students Visit Sea Camp
Ten of HOB’s 4th grade students enjoyed an incredible learning experience at Sea Camp this week. Superintendent Mark Porter stopped by to see them off on their three-day adventure. Students learned about shark biology, data analysis, mangrove research, squid dissection, and so much more!
KWHS at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl
Key West High School students recently participated in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition in Fort Pierce, Florida at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. This was KWHS's first ever competition team, and the students won two competitions at the event. Their teacher Pedro Laza said, "Our team showed true conch spirit while competing. This was a great opportunity for students to meet some of the top researchers in the marine science field. Furthermore, the students learned a lot from this experience and even made friends from other competing teams. I am really proud on how they did overall and I feel that next year, KWHS will be one of the top teams in the competition! Go Conchs!"
Monroe County Students Participate in the Florida House of Representatives Page and Messenger Program
Representative Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) was visited by students from the Keys as part of the Florida House of Representatives Page and Messenger Program. The students pictured above - clockwise, from upper left: Julie Powers (KLS), Tessa Eggers (KWHS), Emilia Havlicek (Basilica School), and Blake Shillinger (KWHS) - had opportunities to experience the goings-on in the Capital. According to Representative Raschein they had, "a once in a lifetime experience to get an up close view of state government in action."
Click here to read Representative Raschein's press release.
Mock Trial Team
Coral Shores High School will be representing the 16th Judicial Circuit at the state mock trial competition on March 17th. Team members are (left to right) Morgan Besterman, Sam Kraus, Cody Dickerson, Daniel Walker, Sacha Franks, Jakob Pooley and Carlos Martinez. The team is coached by Assistant State Attorney Johnathon Raiche.
Photo courtesy of Mary Jo Fry
Poinciana Odyssey of the Mind
The Poinciana Odyssey of the Mind Division 1 Team (3rd-5th grade) placed first for their solution to the Long Term Problem No Cycle Recycle at the Regional Tournament at Coral Shores High School. They designed a vehicle to travel to two different ecosystems, where the vehicle picks up items to repurpose and use to solve a problem in the other environment. The students will bring their problem solution to the State Tournament at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in April.
The Poinciana Primary Odyssey of the Mind team (K-2nd grade) created a talking crayon box who changes emotions when she encounters her friends in their solution of the Primary Long Term problem, Stir the Pot. Although Primary does not receive official scores, the judges were so impressed with them, they have been asked to participate at the State Tournament at UCF in April.
Photos courtesy of Renee Ullom
Plantation Key Students Took Part in the National ReadQuest Program!
Students at Plantation Key School took part in ReadQuest, a nationwide reading event on Friday, February 26, 2016.
They were among thousands of students who joined in this annual reading celebration for K-12 students. ReadQuest celebrated reading with a one-day event that encouraged students to read and share their discoveries. Students read books, nonfiction articles, and completed Accelerated Reader comprehension quizzes on what they had read. All students who participated received a Certificate of National Participation. Over 200 AR quizzes were taken at PKS!! PKS readers were so excited about reading! Way to go PKS Panthers!!
Photos courtesy of Kelli Brower
Plantation Key School News
The MCSD Division of Career and Technical Education would like to congratulate Linda Britton and her Computing for College and Careers students for their hard work and dedication becoming the first entire class of Microsoft Office Specialists in PowerPoint 2013. Mrs. Britton is the first teacher to certify all of her students as specialists in PowerPoint 2013. Like many MCSD students district-wide, Mrs. Britton's students are working diligently to certify as Microsoft Office 2013 Specialists in Excel and Word. The next 149 students to successfully complete their MOS 2013 certifications will be awarded money from the Monroe
Pictured (Back, l to r): Roberto R., Teacher Linda Britton, Steelman N., Dillon W., Yaxel V., Matthew H., R.J. L., Colton S., Gus B. (Front): Martha C., Olivia B., Emma L., Lauren H.. Not pictured: Kyle R., Jonathon L.
Photo courtesy of Anne Murphy
Stanley Switlik Art Fest
Stanley Switlik School students, staff, and administrators merged with world renowned artist Wyland on Saturday, February 6th to create an original painting of Florida Keys sea life. During the Pigeon Key Art Festival in Marathon, Switlik students and teachers provided instruction and resources designed to educate the community, concerning oceanic and sea life conservation. Children visiting the festival were invited to create an original sea turtle drawing while using warm and cool colors. All children were encouraged to paint with Wyland to create an underwater mural depicting the sea life indigenous to the Florida Keys. At the end of the day, Wyland chose Switlik student artist, Aliyah G., as the top student painter of the day! As Wyland presented Aliyah with his latest book he stated that "Aliyah is a great artist and that he had been upstaged by Aliyah’s talent"! In light of the Pigeon Key Foundation's generosity, the original Wyland-Student mural will be proudly and permanently displayed at Stanley Switlik School.
Pictured above, from left to right: Switlik art teacher Craig Kerns, Aliyah G., and Wyland
Photos courtesy of Christina Rodriguez
KWHS Student at Film Festival
Key West High School student Anna Mott's film, Keep Our Beaches Beautiful, has been selected by The Palm Beach International Film Festival's 21st Annual Student Showcase of Films as the 1st place winner in the Environmental PSA category. Anna's film won out of almost 1,600 entries from across the state at the high school and college level. The PSA was expected to address the need to keep millions of pounds of trash from waterways and oceans while suggesting that everyday choices can help keep water sources clean. Anna is enrolled in Ed Smith's Television Production class and is also a recipient of a Take Stock in Children scholarship. For more information about the competition please visit
Pictured left to right: Take Stock in Children Mentor Sidney Goldman, KWHS student Anna Mott and KWHS teacher Ed Smith
Photo courtesy of Anne Murphy
Civil War Heritage Days
The roar of cannon fire and the sight of soldiers in Civil War uniforms greeted 5th grade students from across the district on Friday, February 5th at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park to celebrate Civil War Heritage Days.
Re-enactors in period costume depicted military personnel, craftsmen, musicians and civilians of the era. Students were able watch staged military maneuvers, view period crafts demonstrations and learn what soldiers' lives were like in the 1860s.
Photo courtesy of Yvette Toledo
Keys to Be the Change Celebrates Literacy Week
Keys to Be the Change, a project of the Monroe County School District, celebrated Literacy Week with youth leaders from both Key West High School and Marathon High School. They mentor "littles" with the M.O.R.E. (Mentors Optimizing Reading Excellence) Program each week during the school year. Students meet weekly after school for 45 minutes with their mentees at Poinciana Elementary, Horace O'Bryant Elementary and Marathon Middle School.
Safety Day at Sugarloaf School
Sugarloaf School hosted its second annual "Safety Day" on Friday, January 29, 2016. Safety Day allows for students to learn about the many careers such as Police and Fire Rescue that serves to protect the community and its people. The students at Sugarloaf had the honor of speaking with the Monroe County Fire Department and Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office brought with them the Bomb Squad, the S.W.A.T Team, the Dive Team (Search and Rescue), and the K-9 Unit. Farmer Jeanne from the Monroe County Sheriff Office Animal Farm, the Equestrian Unit from the Key West Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Trauma Star, and the Florida Highway Patrol were also in attendance. The students also had the privilege of watching the S.W.A.T Team and the K-9 Unit do a live demonstration. A great learning day was had by all.
Celebrate Literacy Week 2016
A few highlights from Celebrate Literacy Week:
Second Graders at Switlik Elementary School were read to by local firefighters.
Marathon Middle High School students experienced reading and writing with therapy dogs.
Primary students at Key Largo School dressed as their favorite book characters.
Plantation Key students explored their Ebook collection in the Media Center.
School-wide activities included "Stop Drop & Read," Celebrity Ready Day and an Oral Reading Bee.
Total minutes read on Tuesday = 449,960 (new MCSD record)
Total numbers of books in Learning Commons = 154.506
As stated by Joy Nulisch, MCSD IT Director, "Santa might have headed back to the North Pole but he left some great technology for our students and staff." These pictures, from Gerald Adams Elementary, Horace O'Bryant School and Key Largo School show just some of the 641 Chromebooks being delivered and distributed to students. These devices are part of a student literacy effort and will be deployed in a manner that follows the successful pilot at Sugarloaf School with 1:1 opportunities for 5th grade students. In addition, Phase II of our staff refresh provided 675 new devices for middle school and elementary staff. Exciting times in the IT Department and for our students and staff!!
MCSD Teacher of the Year
Superintendent Mark T. Porter is pleased to announce HOB teacher Nicole Smith as Monroe County's Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Smith currently teaches 7th and 8th grade math at HOB School. She holds a Master's Degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Nicole has been teaching at HOB since 2013. She also taught at Key Largo Elementary School.
Click here for the Superintendent's press release.
Exxon Mobil Grant
Key West High School was one of five schools honored to receive a $500 grant from Exxon Mobil through our local Dion's Quik Marts. Gilda Niles, from Dion's Oil, awarded the schools with their checks. The Educational Alliance, through Exxon Mobil, has a long history of supporting educational programs that focus on improvements in education, fundamentally by encouraging the next generation to pursue studies and careers in fields involving math and science. The receiving schools appreciate Mrs. Niles, Dion's Quik Marts and Exxon Mobil for their efforts in promoting academic excellence for our students.
Pictured, from left: Mike Henriquez (HOB), Amber Archer Bosco (KWHS), Leslie Holmes (Poinciana), Mrs. Gilda Niles of Dion’s and Fran Herrin (GAE)
Photo courtesy of Amber Archer Bosco
Monroe County School District Students Are Nationally Recognized for Talent
The Monroe County School District Division of Career and Adult congratulates Firdavs Yuldashev, T.J. Nitti, Chase Farris, Hannah Brown and Darren Thompson for their successful work this fall and proven talent and dedication to their respected crafts. Yuldashev became the National Champion in Literary Magazine Illustration at the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Nationals in November. The team of Nitti, Farris, Brown and Thompson earned 2nd place in the nation from the Student Television and Network Challenge for their PSA submission about Internet safety. The students are all enrolled in Ed Smith’s class at Key West High School.
For more information, please contact the MCSD Division of Adult Education offices at (305) 293-1400 (ext. 54420) or email email@example.com
Monroe County Academic Challenge
Congratulations to the Key West High School Academic Challenge Team, the 1st Place winners in the Monroe County School District Championship held on Tuesday, January 11 at Marathon HS. Marathon High School was the 2nd place team and Coral Shores High School 3rd place. Key West High School will represent Monroe County in the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge in Orlando on April 21-23, 2016. Many thanks to the coaches and judges who assisted in the competition as well.
Pictured, from left: Betsy Ford (KWHS team coach), Olivia Johnson, Eric Higbie, Brian Coward, Jessica O'Farrill, Jarod Barnhart, Jill Hutcheson, and MCSD Superintendent Mark Porter.
KWHS Conchettes in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Congratulations to the eight Key West High School Conchettes who performed in the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City!
Pictured, back: Talia Santiago, Avery Zuelch, Rikki Gage, Morgan Pierce, Tristin Blackwell, Renee Ortiz; front: Flora Rodda, Amy Weber
Photo courtesy of Denise Santiago
CareerSource South Florida Work Readiness Course
Congratulations to the students in Mr. Brian Flannigan's class at Key West High School for successfully completing the 8-week Work Readiness Course! Students were instructed by Jessica Gomez of CareerSource South Florida and Jennifer Wilsnack, KWHS ESE Job Coach, in areas of resume and cover letter writing, workplace behaviors, self-determination, and interview skills. The course concluded with individual mock interviews in which students utilized the skills learned during the course.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wilsnack
PKS Fish Tales and Follies
They had a "Fintastic" time at Plantation Key School (PKS) when all students, Pre-K through 8th grade, participated in a literacy event focused on pet responsibility. Students, teachers, and community members took part in a world record-breaking reading campaign! Jumpstart's Read for the Record® is a global campaign which generates public support for high-quality early learning by mobilizing millions of children and adults to take part in the world's largest shared reading experience. On October 22, 2015, Jumpstart celebrated the 10th anniversary of Read for the Record with the campaign book, Not Norman: A Goldfish Story, written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. Community members came into PKS and read to the students throughout the morning. Other local community organizations and businesses also participated to help educate the students on pet responsibility and taking care of our local environment. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) brought in a panther, a tiger, a monkey, and reptiles. Snakes and tortoises were on site to education students about pet responsibility. Marrvelous Pet Rescue, the Upper Keys Humane Society, Dolphins Plus, Marine Mammal Conservancy, FWC, and Island Paws Veterinarian Hospital were all at PKS to educate students on how to care of their pets, to urge students to adopt pets who are in need of a home, and to teach students about animals that do not make good pets. A great time was had by all and students earned their “PKS Pet Specialist” license, which means that they are "Paws-itively" prepared to be a pet owner.
Pictured: 5th grade students getting to know "Tonya Hardshell" a South African Leopard Tortoise
Photo courtesy of Kelli Brower
Keys Students Attend PeaceJam Slam Miami
Keys to Be the Change Youth Leaders from Key West High School and Marathon Middle/High School embarked on the first ever "PEACEJAM SLAM MIAMI" on Saturday, October 10th at Miami Dade College to learn about the Power of One! They were joined by 100 other students from Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Public Schools as well as other youth leader organizations from the area. State Representative Kionne McGhee from South Florida was the keynote speaker and shared his personal story with the youth. PeaceJam is an international education program built around Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who work personally with youth to pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody. The goal of PeaceJam is to inspire a new generation of leaders who will transform themselves, their local communities, and the world.
Please contact Heidi Golightly at 541-974-4398 for additional information about Keys to Be the Change.
Inaugural "Dads Take Your Child to School Day"
On September 30, 2015, K-12 Public Schools Chancellor Hershel Lyons kicked off the first-ever statewide "Dads Take Your Child to School Day" at Springwood Elementary School in Tallahassee. Chancellor Lyons greeted fathers and father figures as they brought their children to school and participated in the morning's activities. Here in Monroe County, dads participated as well. At Big Pine Academy, lots of dads spent a few hours on campus learing about Florida Standards and participating in classroom instruction and physical education class. Middle School parents spent time working in the garden. Over 90% of BPA dads participated in the event.
Pictured are a group of 5th grade dads and students working on a technology project.
Photo courtesy of Cathy Hoffman
HOB WEB Program
Horace O'Bryant School's WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) program hosted its second annual 6th grade orientation on Friday, August 21st. WEB is a peer mentoring and orientation designed to improve the transition between elementary and middle school as well as provide support throughout the year. Thirty-eight 8th grade students underwent 10 hours of training two days before hosting 120 new sixth grade students. The students participated in team building activities to develop academic strategies with their eighth grade WEB Leaders. A campus tour, lunch and meet the teacher culminated the event.
Google and Chromebooks at Sugarloaf School
Thursday, August 20th was Google/Chromebook Day at the Sugarloaf School Shark Tank.
Touch Panels for High School Teachers
Forty-five high school classrooms (15 at each of the district's three high schools) are being outfitted with interactive touch panels for the 2015-16 school year. Teachers recently attended training to learn how to seamlessly integrate this technology into their classroom instruction.
Monroe County Schools Welcomes 105 New Educators
On August 13th & 14th the Monroe County School District hosted the 2015-2016 New Teacher Orientation (NTO). This year was particularly exciting and unique as it marked the beginning of a new district tradition, to take the service on the road. The orientation was hosted in two (2) locations, namely the Henriquez Administrative Building (Lower Keys) and Coral Shores High School (Upper Keys). Several participants and mentor teachers commented on the benefits of this increased accessibility. "Teachers were able to attend the orientation and return to home school sites in a more timely fashion, they stated. More was accomplished." The new educators learned about the district of which they are now a part and were presented with small items capturing the MCSD branding. NTO began with a welcome to Monroe County introduction presented by the Superintendent of Schools Mr. Mark T. Porter. The participants also shared that the event allows them feel increasingly welcomed and a part of something. Topics shared included Professional Development, School Safety/Child Abuse Training, Certification and the Highly Qualified Teacher, Exceptional Student Education, Ethics and Professional Standards, Electronic Communications, Grade Book, Payroll, and Insurance and Benefits. The agenda was high impact and designed to groom the school district's new educators towards success. MCSD welcomed over 100 new educators during the two day event. The average years of experience brought into the county was 5 years and 97% of the new hires are highly qualified. Dr. Dawkins, Executive Director of Human Resources stated, "This means they will not only enter the classroom experienced and ready to engage but sustainability increases when seasoned professionals are recruited." The excitement in the room was contagious.The presentations were interactive and engaging. "The presenters really modeled what we teach," said Dawkins. With the culmination of this event schools are certainly on track to open their doors on day one of the new school year ready to receive students and engage them in high impact interactive learning experiences. Those wishing to learn more about MCSD schools or the upcoming school based Open House events where you can meet these new educators are invited to visit your local school's website, the MCSD website or just reach out to your local school's front office.
MCSD is Awarded the 21st CCLC Grant for Gerald Adams and Poinciana Schools
The goals of the program include increased: academic performance, homework completion, healthy lifestyles, skills in the arts, language acquisition, parent literacy, language and educational involvement in their children’s education. The program activities integrate academics with a broad array of project based learning, tutoring, personal and physical enrichment, health and parent activities.
Monroe County School District is pleased to announce they have been awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant for Gerald Adams and Poinciana Elementary Schools. The purpose of the Keys to Success (KTS) 21st CCLC program is to provide after school and summer activities that advance student achievement in reading, math and science that complement the students' regular school day. The program also offers students an array of enrichment activities and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. Families must attend six parent workshops in order for their children to be served.
Targeted students (105 at each site) are those living in the attendance zone for the two schools. Parents of the selected students who are struggling in reading and/or math will be contacted by the school to offer them services through 21st CCLC.
Congratulations to Coral Shores and Marathon High Schools!
The Monroe County School District has received notification that Coral Shores High School and Marathon High School have been identified by The College Board as being above average in successfully supporting Hispanic students to success in Advanced Placement courses. These schools will be receiving an invitation to submit a proposal for the 2016 Prepárate Conference to be held April 18-19 in New York City so that they can share their success stories.