Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Alumni Hall of Fame
Inductee Profiles

Andy Garcia

Oscar-nominated Actor

Miami Beach Senior High School (Class of 1974)

Nautilus Junior High School

Biscayne Elementary School

Film artist Andy Garcia is the 2012 inductee in the Arts & Entertainment category. He is honored as an award-winning actor and as a world ambassador for Hispanic-American culture through his distinguished body of film work.

Academic Career:

Biscayne Elementary School • Nautilus Junior High School • Miami Beach Senior High School • Florida International University

M-DCPS Highlights:

Miami Beach Senior High

School basketball • MBSH drama

Professional Highlights:

Oscar Nominee, 1991 Best Supporting Actor, The Godfather: Part III 

Actor: The Untouchables (1987), Stand and Deliver (1988), Internal Affairs (1990), Dead Again (1991), Hero (1992), When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995), The Man from Elysian Fields (2001), Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen (2001, 2004, 2007), The Lost City (2005), City Island (2009)

Director: Cachao...Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos (1993), The Lost City (2005)

Producer: For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000), City Island (2009), Magic City Memoirs (2011) • Writer, Hemingway & Fuentes (2012) 


Public Service:

H.O.M.E., offering

affordable housing to people with disabilities • A Star For The Night, benefiting ill children • Sojourn Services for Battered Women and their Children • The First Tee, providing character education through golf for young people of all backgrounds

Most Inspiring Teacher:

Jay Jensen, Drama Teacher, Miami Beach Sr. High School 



Jeff Bezos

Founder & CEO, Amazon.com


   Miami Palmetto Senior High School (Class of 1982)

Jeffrey Preston Bezos is the 2012 inductee in the Business category. He is honored for pioneering business models and communication technologies that have transformed world commerce and information sharing.

Academic Career:

Miami Palmetto Senior High School (Class of 1982)

B.S.E, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Princeton University (1986)

M-DCPS Highlights:

Palmetto’s Outstanding Science Student (three years) • Palmetto’s Outstanding Math Student (twice) • Class Valedictorian • County Silver Knight winner (Science)• National Merit Scholar

Professional Highlights:

Founded Amazon. com, 1994 • Widely credited as having invented e-commerce • Introduced Amazon’s Kindle, world’s first e-reader to achieve mainstream success, 2007 • Founder, Blue Origin, start-up company to develop “technologies to enable private human access to space at dramatically lower cost and increased reliability.”

Public Service Highlights:

Director, Bezos Family Foundation, supporting “rigorous, inspired learning environments for young people from birth through high school, to put their education into action.”

Most inspiring teacher:

“Palmetto was a terrific school. I had a bunch of great teachers.” – Jeff Bezos to The Miami Herald (1999)


Public Service

Bob Graham

U.S. Senator

Florida Governor


Miami Senior High School

(Class of 1955)

United States Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham is the 2012 inductee in the Public Service category. He is honored for his rare statesmanship in a public career of nearly five decades at the highest levels of state and federal government.

Academic Career:

Hialeah Grammar School • Miami Senior High School (Class of 1955) 


M-DCPS Highlights:

Miami Senior High Student Council President • National Honor Society • Zenith Honor Society for the most courteous students • Lieutenant Governor, Florida Key Club • Dade County’s Best All-Around Boy 


Professional Highlights:

Co-founder, The Graham Companies • Florida House of Representatives (1966-1970) • Florida Senate (1971-1978) • Florida Governor (1979-1987) • United States Senator (1987-2005) • Chairman, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence • Candidate, Democratic Party Nomination for President of the United States (2004) 


Public Service:

Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida


Most Inspiring Teacher:

Lamar Louise Curry, Miami Senior High School


“Ms. Lamar Louise Curry, my 11th grade American History teacher at Miami Senior High School, taught me many lifetime lessons. On day one of class in 1953, she came to my name and pointed to a desk in the last row. “Robert, that is where your brother Philip sat; he was a very good student.” Next to another desk by the blackboard, she indicated, “Robert, that is where you sister Mary sat. She was a very good student.” Finally, signaling to a desk adjacent to her desk, “Robert, that is where your brother William sat. He was a very good student.” Another pause, “Robert, I expect you to be a very good student.” Over the school year, I learned many other lessons including: an understanding of history affects and enhances life and increases your ability to affect the future; the importance of organization; and the difference between listening and learning. And I made a lifetime friend and mentor. Thank you, Ms. Curry!“


Science, Technology,

Engineering & Math

Wendy Chung

Molecular Geneticist, Columbia University


Miami Killian Senior High School (Class of 1986)

Glades Middle School

Kenwood Elementary School

Molecular geneticist and pediatrics professor Wendy Chung is the 2012 inductee in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics category. She is honored for her life-improving and life-extending discoveries in human genetics, bioethics leadership, and acclaimed teaching and mentoring. Dr. Chung also is honored as the only Miami-Dade County Public Schools student so far to win the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search (now the Intel Science Talent Search).

Academic Career:

Kenwood Elementary School • Glades Junior High School • Miami Killian Senior High School (Class of 1986) B.A., Biochemistry and Economics, Cornell University • M.D., Cornell University Medical College • Ph.D., Genetics, The Rockefeller University 


M-DCPS Highlights:

Gifted Education Program, Glades Junior High School • Class Valedictorian, Miami Killian Senior High School • National Merit Scholar • National Winner (1986), Westinghouse science prize, for her research into the vulnerability of various fruits to Caribbean fruit-fly attacks.

Professional Highlights:

Herbert Irving Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center • Directs genetic risk assessment programs for cancer and other diseases• Studies families with mysterious genetic conditions, uses genomic analysis to identify underlying causes • Directs clinical molecular diagnostics lab, develops genetic tests to help couples have children free from genetic disease • Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching • American Medical Women’s Association Mentor Award 


Public Service Highlights:

Lecturer, writer on legal and social issues raised by genetic testing, disparities in access to genetic care, confidentiality of genetic information, and gene patents and intellectual property • Member, Columbia Center for BioEthics 


Most Inspiring Teacher:

John Shaw, Glades Junior High School


 “Mr. Shaw cared deeply about each of his students. I returned to him after starting high school for advice on my struggles with a particularly challenging math course—a first in my academic career. He said he believed in me and knew it was a matter of time before I found my stride. He was right, and with each major transition I’ve appreciated his words, knowing that with a little time I will settle in and be successful.”



Andre Dawson

Major League Baseball

Hall of Famer


Southwest Miami Senior High School (Class of 1972)

South Miami Junior High School

Baseball great Andre Dawson is the 2012 inductee in the Sports category. He is honored for his exceptional prowess, sportsmanship, and accomplishments on the Major League Baseball field, for his uncommon grace in the spotlight, and for his quiet philanthropy in South Florida and society at large.

Academic Career:

J.R.E. Lee Elementary School • South Miami Junior High School • Southwest Miami Senior High School (Class of 1972) B.S., Physical Education, Florida A&M University

M-DCPS Highlights:

Southwest Miami Senior High School football and baseball teams 


Professional Highlights:

Nicknamed “The Hawk” • Centerfielder, Rightfielder, Power Hitter • Montreal Expos, 1976-1986 • National League Rookie of the Year, 1977 • Chicago Cubs, 1987-1992 • Boston Red Sox, 1993-1994 • Florida/Miami Marlins, 1995-96; Special Assistant to the Marlins General Manager since 2000 • Eight-time National League All-Star • Eight-time Rawlings Gold Glove Winner • Four-time Silver Slugger Award Winner • Babe Ruth Award • National League

Most Valuable Player, 1987 • National Baseball Hall of Fame, 2010 


Public Service Highlights:

Andre Dawson Foundation, with focus on Alzheimer’s disease, sickle cell anemia, and scholarships 


Most Inspiring Teacher:

Alice  Daniels, J.R.E. Lee Elementary School 


“I think back to the first grade with my teacher Alice Daniels, who was also my aunt. But just because she was my aunt, it did not make my schooling any

easier. I knew she expected more of me, because every adult wants to see their family members learn, grow and excel in the classroom. More than anything else, though, she was an exceptional disciplinarian, and I thank her for that.”


Dorothy Jenkins Fields

Historian, Preservationist,

Retired M-DCPS Librarian


Booker T. Washington High School (Class of 1960)

Phillis Wheatley Elementary School

Singular Achievement

Historian, librarian, and preservationist Dorothy Jenkins Fields is the 2012 inductee in the Singular Achievement category. She is honored for her legacy in unearthing and restoring the experience of Black South Floridians as a central and integral piece of South Florida’s history and culture.

Academic Career:

Phillis Wheatley Elementary School • Booker T. Washington Junior and Senior High School B.A., Art and Education, Spelman College • Exchange Student, Smith College • M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Northern Colorado • Ph.D., 20th Century African-American History, Historic Preservation, and Public History, The Union Institute and University • Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow, Princeton University

M-DCPS Highlights:

Booker T. Washington High journalism • Glockenspiel player in BTW marching band • County Silver Knight Runner-up, Social Science 


Professional ​Highlights:

Founder, The Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida • Librarian, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (1964-2004) 


Public Service Highlights:

Principal researcher in listing of five Miami landmarks on the National Register of Historical Places • Led creation of Miami-Dade County’s Black Heritage

Trail • Led designation of Historic Overtown Folklife Village • Led rescue, restoration, and expansion of Overtown’s historic Lyric Theater 


Most Inspiring Teachers:

Marian Shannon  and Georgianna Johnson Bethel, Booker T. Washington Jr. & Sr. High School 


“By their examples, the faculty at Booker T. Washington Jr. & S r. High School, especially our homeroom teacher, Mrs. Georgianna Johns on Bethel, and journalism teacher, Mrs. Marian H. Shannon, showed us how to be strong, kind and thoughtful. “


Dominic Lee Gorie

Pilot and Commander, Space Shuttle Discovery,

Miami Palmetto Senior High School

(Class of 1975)

Astronaut Dominic L. Pudwill Gorie is honored with a Special Citation designated by the Alumni Hall of Fame judges. He and his fellow astronauts and Miami-Dade County Public Schools alumni, William B. Lenoir, Thomas K. Mattingly, and Winston Scott, are recognized for their rare legacy as space explorers in NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle eras.

Academic Career:

Palmetto Junior High School • Miami Palmetto Senior High School (Class of 1975) B.S., Ocean Engineering, United States Naval Academy • M.S., Aviation Systems, University of Tennessee 


M-DCPS Highlights:

Palmetto High football and wrestling 


Professional Highlights:

Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 1994-2005 • Captain, United States Navy 


Public Service Highlights:

Space Shuttle Pilot, STS-91 Discovery (June 2-12, 1998), the final Shuttle-Mirdocking mission, concluding the joint U.S./Russian Phase I Program • Space Shuttle Pilot, STS-99 Endeavour (February 11-22, 2000) • Space Shuttle Commander, STS-108 Endeavour, the 12th shuttle flight to the International Space Station (December 5-17, 2001) • Space Shuttle Commander, STS-123 Endeavour, the 25th Space Shuttle/International Space Station assembly mission (March 11-26, 2008) • Logged more than 18 million miles in space • Flew 38 Operation Desert Storm combat missions in Persian Gulf

War (1991) 

Most Inspiring Teacher:

Priscilla Everett, Physics Teacher, Miami Palmetto Senior High School


“I had the great fortune of having a science teacher that hugely impacted my view of our planet and its natural laws. Mrs. Priscilla Everett taught physics to us in a clear and no-nonsense manner that kept me rapt throughout the term and created a superb foundation for follow-on college, flight-school and NASA instruction. Most importantly, she created in me a fascination for unraveling the basis for how our environment functions. Seeing that same environment from the flight deck of a space shuttle would not have happened

without Mrs. Everett.”


Dr. William B. "Bill" Lenoir

Space Shuttle Columbia

Coral Gables Senior High School

(Class of 1957)

Astronaut William B. Lenoir is honored with a Special Citation designated by the Alumni Hall of Fame judges. He and his fellow astronauts and Miami-Dade County Public Schools alumni, Dominic L. Pudwill Gorie, Thomas K. Mattingly, and Winston Scott, are recognized for their rare legacy as space explorers in NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle eras.

Academic Career:

Coral Gables Elementary School • Ponce de Leon Junior High School • Coral Gables Senior High School (Class of 1957) B.S., Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology • M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M-DCPS Highlights:

Coral Gables Senior High School student council president 


Professional Highlights:

Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 1967-1984 & 1989-1992 • Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 


Public Service Highlights:

Backup Scientist-Pilot, Skylab 3 & Skylab 4, the second and third manned missions to America’s first space station (1973) • Leader, NASA Satellite Power

Team (1974-1976) • Space Shuttle Mission Specialist, STS-5 Columbia, the first flight to deploy commercial satellites (November 11-16, 1982) •

Head, Direction and Management for Mission Development, NASA Astronaut Office (1982-1984) • Logged more than 122 hours in space

Dr. Lenoir passed away August 26, 2010 in a New Mexico bicycle accident, but his legacy lives on in the discoveries he helped uncover in his work with NASA and in the inspiring example he set through his service, sacrifice, excellence, and courage.


Capt. Winston Scott

Space Shuttle Endeavor

Coral Gables Senior High School

(Class of 1968)

Astronaut Winston Scott is honored with a Special Citation designated by the Alumni Hall of Fame judges. He and his fellow astronauts and Miami-Dade County Public Schools alumni, Dominic L. Pudwill Gorie, William B. Lenoir, and Thomas K. Mattingly, are recognized for their rare legacy as space explorers in NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle eras.

Academic Career:

Frances S. Tucker Elementary School • George Washington Carver Junior High School • Coral Gables Senior High School (Class of 1968) B.A., Music, Florida State University • M.S., Aeronautical Engineering, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

M-DCPS Highlights:

First trumpet, Coral Gables Senior High Band of Distinction • State and regional “superior” medalist, solo/ensemble music performance • Junior Varsity basketball 


Professional Highlights:

Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 1992-1999 • Captain, United States Navy • Dean, College of Aeronautics, Florida

Institute of Technology 

Public Service Highlights:

Space Shuttle Mission Specialist, STS-72 Endeavour, (January 11-20, 1996) • STS-87 Columbia (November 19 to December 5, 1997) • Logged more

than 24 days in space, including nearly 20 hours in three spacewalks • Logged more than 5,000 hours of flight time in 20 different military and civilian aircraft, and more than 200 shipboard landings 


Most Inspiring Teacher:

William “Bill” Ledue, Band Director, Coral Gables Senior High School 


“I was the only African-American member of the Band of Distinction

during my years at Gables. The transition was not without its challenges, but Mr. Ledue was supportive and, most of all, fair. On finding out I had not been accepted to study music at Florida State University, Mr. Ledue made a personal phone call on my behalf. I was subsequently accepted into FSU as a new music major. I was at a crossroads in my life when Bill Ledue made that fateful phone call. Had it not been for him, going out of his way to help me, I likely never would have accomplished what I have.”


Rear Admiral

Thomas K. "Ken" Mattingly

Apollo 16, 

Mami Edison Senior High School

(Class of 1954)

Astronaut Thomas K. “T.K.” Mattingly is honored with a Special Citation designated by the Alumni Hall of Fame judges. He and his fellow astronauts and Miami-Dade County Public Schools alumni, Dominic L. Pudwill Gorie, William B. Lenoir, and Winston Scott, are recognized for their are legacy as space explorers in NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle eras.

Academic Career:

Miami Springs Elementary School • Hialeah Junior High School • Miami Edison Senior High School (Class of 1954) B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, Auburn University • Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School 


M-DCPS Highlights:

Percussion, Edison High School Orchestra and Concert & Marching Bands • Wheel Service Club (Sergeant-at-Arms) • National Honor Society 


Professional Highlights:

Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 1966-1985 • Rear Admiral, United States Navy 


Public Service Highlights:

One of only 24 human beings to visit the moon • Support crew, Apollo 8 and 11 • Command Module Pilot, Apollo 16 (April 16-27, 1972), the fifth manned lunar landing mission • Spacecraft Commander, STS-4, the fourth and final orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia (June 27–July 4, 1982) • Spacecraft Commander, STS-51C Discovery, the first Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission (January 24– 27, 1985) • Logged 504 hours in space, including 1 hour and 13 minutes of EVA (extravehicular activity) during his Apollo 16 flight 


Most Inspiring Teachers:

Robert Lawrence and Frances Gibbons, both of Miami Edison Senior High School 


“Mr. Robert Lawrence, as a faculty advisor, used his friendship and sense of humor to persuade me to apply for an NROTC scholarship. Ms. Frances Gibbons taught science in a way that made solving practical problems, by understanding the physical world, exciting. Mr. Lawrence opened the door that led to a career as a Naval officer and aviator, while Ms. Gibbons nurtured the motivation to go through that door. Because of them, I have enjoyed a ride that has been out of this world.”


Barrington Irving

Aviator, Aviation Educator

Miami Northwestern Senior High School

(Class of 2002)

Aviation pioneer Barrington Irving is a 2012 inductee in the Local Heroes category. He is honored not only for his professional accomplishments but for his service to the children of South Florida, particularly the students of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Academic Career:

Parkview Elementary School • Norland Middle School • Miami Northwestern Senior High School (Class of 2002) B.S., Aeronautical Science, Florida Memorial University

M-DCPS Highlights:

Northwestern Senior High School honors student • Enrolled in Northwestern’s Photography & Art magnet programs • Member, 5000 Role Models of Excellence • Fullback, Northwestern High Bulls 


Professional Highlights:

At 23, became world’s youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the world, departing Miami on March 23, 2007 in “Inspiration,” a single-engine plane he built himself, and returning three months and 30,000 miles later 


Public Service Highlights:

Founded non-profit “Experience Aviation” in 2005 to introduce young people to aviation and aerospace fields • Supervised production of and piloted “Inspiration II,” airplane built entirely by Miami-Dade students • Named National Geographic Emerging Explorer (2012) for upcoming 2013 project

to transform jet into the world’s first flying classroom.

Most Inspiring Teacher:

Johnnie Batist, Miami Northwestern Senior High School  

“ Before I circled the globe, I saw the world through Ms. Batist’s teaching. She opened up possibilities and allowed us to think beyond our classroom, beyond the street corner we grew up on. She challenged us to think big and think about the world, and I’m forever grateful for that, because you really pushed me. You’re like a second mom to me, and I love you with all my heart.”


Juan del Busto

Miami Regional Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Miami Coral Park Senior High School

(Class of 1972)

Finance executive Juan del Busto is a 2012 inductee in the Local Heroes category. He is honored not only for his professional accomplishments but for his service to South Florida, particularly to the teachers and students of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Academic Career:

Miramar Elementary School • Coral Terrace Elementary School • West Miami Junior High School • Coral Park Senior High School (Class of 1972)

A.A., Miami-Dade Community College • B.S., Industrial Technology, Florida International University

M-DCPS Highlights:

West Miami Jr. High Athlete of the Year (9th Grade) • Coral Park Sr. High Sophomore Board, Student Council, Track, Football 


Professional Highlights:

Regional executive (ret.), Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Miami Branch • Oversaw Miami Branch’s economic & financial education programs • Provided regional input on Atlanta Fed’s monetary policy process.

Public Service Highlights:

Chairman, M-DCPS General Advisory Committee • Vice Chairman, Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council• Dade Partner, Coral Park Senior High School • Board Member, Florida Council on Economic Education • Board Member & Chair, South Florida Center for Financial Training • United Way of Miami-Dade, various leadership roles 


Most Inspiring Teacher:

Don Kirkpatrick, Miami Coral Park Senior High School


“I had Coach Kirkpatrick for chemistry, track, and football. He was demanding of us. He’d pick us up early on a Saturday morning and take us to school to do weight training and jump rope. My personal trainer tells me I’m the best jump roper he’s got, and I owe that to Coach Kirkpatrick. He’s like my dad, and we’re still close.”


Ron Magill

Naturalist, Wildlife Educator

Miami Palmetto Senior High 

(Class of 1977)

Naturalist and wildlife educator Ron Magill is a 2012 inductee in the Local Heroes category. He is honored not only for his professional accomplishments but for his service to South Florida, particularly the teachers and students of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Academic Career:

Cutler Ridge Junior High School • Miami Palmetto Senior High School (Class of 1977) 


M-DCPS Highlights:

Trumpet player, Palmetto Senior High symphonic & marching bands • Basketball • Key Club • Lettermen Club (Vice President) • Girls LIF Club Sweetheart


Professional Highlights:

Communications Director, Zoo Miami • World-renowned Wildlife Expert and Educator • Award-winning Wildlife Photographer & Documentarian, with works shown in the Smithsonian Institution and in galleries and publications around the world 


Public Service:

Countless appearances in Miami-Dade classrooms, on news and educational television programs in South Florida and across the country

Most Inspiring Teacher:

William “Bill” McCreary, Advanced Biology Teacher, Cutler Ridge Junior High School

“I grew up watching the TV show Wild Kingdom thinking, gosh, that’s what I want to do, never thinking I could do it. But my parents—and one teacher, Bill

McCreary—always told me I could do it. He thought out of the box in such a wonderful way that you learned. He made everything so much fun and inspired you. I never made an ‘A’ in his class, and I tried so hard, but he was the first teacher who always took me aside and said to me you’re brilliant, you’re cut out for this, you can do this.”


Brad Meltzer

Best Selling Author, Television host

& Producer

North Miami Senior High 

(Class of 1988)

Author and philanthropist Brad Meltzer is a 2012 inductee in the Local Heroes category. Mr. Meltzer is honored not only for his professional accomplishments but for his service to South Florida, particularly the teachers and students of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Academic Career:

Highland Oaks Junior High School • North Miami Beach Senior High School (Class of 1988) B.A., History, University of Michigan • J.D., Columbia University

M-DCPS Highlights:

NMBSH Student Government President • Business Manager, student newspaper • Debate Team • Silver Knight nominee • President, Dade Student Government Presidents Association 


Professional Highlights:

Author, The Inner Circle, The Book of Lies, The Book of Fate, The Zero Game, Heroes for My Son, Heroes for My Daughter • Producer/Host, the History Channel’s “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” • Writer & Eisner Award winner, Justice League of America (DC Comics) 


Public Service Highlights:

Board Chair, City Year Miami • Co-writer, AmeriCorps oath • Founder, Ordinary People Change the World 


Most Inspiring Teacher:

Shelia Spicer, Highland Oaks Junior High School 

“When I was fifteen, my...English teacher told me I was in the wrong class. ‘You can write,’ she said. [She] tried to move me to the honors class, but...it wouldn’t work. So she...told me...’For this entire year...ignore everything I do [in class]...[and instead] do the honors work.’...When I was fifteen, Shelia Spicer changed my life.”

– Brad Meltzer, from Heroes for My Daughter (2012)