Palmer Trinity School

AERIE Summer 2020

An independent, college preparatory, co-ed, Episcopal Day School serves a community of students in grades 6-12.

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Honor Society. He knew the value of service and led by example with his involvement in multiple organizations, including Key Club. Carlos was loved and admired by his classmates, proven by their voting him both Homecoming King and "Best All-Around." His legacy of integrity, kindness, and love will continue to inspire future generations at Palmer Trinity School. Carlos was a son, a brother, an uncle, a husband, a father, and a friend to all that knew him. H E A D O F S C H O O L'S A L U M N I AWA R D Victoria Garcia '01 During her time at Palmer Trinity School, Victoria "Vicky" Garcia '01 excelled in the classroom, on the field as a soccer player, and as a leader for her peers. During her junior year, she earned the University of Miami Book Award, which was given to juniors who exhibit outstanding leadership and academic excellence. As a senior, she received the Nathan Young Award and the medallion for Physics Honors. After graduating from Palmer Trinity School in 2001, Vicky earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2005 and interned at Kennedy Space Center/NASA that same summer. Vicky went on to earn a Master of Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and became one of only a few women to join the team of engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center/NASA in 2008. What makes Vicky's story extraordinary is that she has been able to accomplish all this, despite the fact that she was born profoundly deaf. Vicky never let her impairment stop her from achieving anything she wanted. She learned to read lips at an early age and worked extra hard to excel in school. She turned her love of problem-solving into a career as a NASA engineer. For most of the past eight years, she worked on the newest rocket, Space Launch System. Recently, she started a new role as Lead Systems Engineer for an Environmental Control and Life Support Systems project that will be installed on the International Space Station within a couple of years. As Vicky says, "hard work and persistence are key to achieving your dreams." In her personal life, Vicky has a three-year-old son named Luca, who is the absolute joy of her life. F O U N D E R S ' A L U M N I AWA R D Andrew Bennett '95 During his time at Palmer Trinity School, Andrew Bennett '95 was a model student, one involved in athletics, travel, Honor Council, Key Club, and Student Government. After PTS, Andrew went on to graduate from FSU in 1999 and returned to Miami to work as a substitute teacher and coach at Palmer Trinity School before going to grad school. During that year, he lived with two other teachers and met his wife, who was also working at PTS. After finishing grad school, getting married in 2002, having their oldest daughter, Sofia (who is now an eighth grader at PTS), and receiving his CPA license, Andrew and his family moved to El Salvador, where he worked for an international accounting firm. While in El Salvador, their family welcomed their youngest daughter, Alexandra, who is now in fifth grade. After five years in Central America, Andrew and his family moved back to Miami in 2011, where Andrew worked for a series of companies in Miami's increasingly vibrant start-up scene. When Andrew returned to Miami, he was once again drawn to PTS as an Alumni volunteer on Mr. Reynold's Admissions Advisory Council. Andrew is a founding member of the Alumni Board and is currently serving his sixth year on the Board. Andrew explains, "I stay involved because I love the school. It is a special place that is unique and distinct from other schools in the Miami area. Despite massive changes in facilities and administration, there is something intangible (the 'special sauce,' as I like to call it) that does not change. It gave me a home and a family, and I feel I have a duty to stay involved and be an ambassador of the school." T H E J A N M O R R I S O N AWA R D Maria Vanegas On any given afternoon, you can find Maria Vanegas cheering in the stands for just about every sports team at PTS. On the field and in the classroom, Maria has been the #1 fan of so many students that have come through PTS. She pushes her students to excel both while they are at school and after graduation. Because of the genuine care that she gives her students, she forms lifelong relationships with them. Maria has watched so many PTS Alumni grow into mature adults and continues to be a mentor to them as they get married and have children of their own. Maria also led the service trip to Nicaragua for over eight years, where she takes about 120 students to build homes for underprivileged families in the area. As a teacher, former coach, and lead advisor, Maria has been mentoring young adults at PTS for 21 years and plans to continue doing so until she retires. S U MME R 2 0 2 0 55

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