Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Alumni Hall of Fame
 
2016

Miami Senior High (Class of 1978)

Shenandoah Junior High

Melrose Elementary

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Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Nilo Cruz became the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama when his "Anna in the Tropics" took the honor in 2003. Inspired by Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" and the first staged at the New Theatre in Coral Galbes, the play is one of the few not initially staged in New York to earn the distinction. The play later reached Broadway in a Tony-nominated production starring Jimmy Smits. Noted for his translations of works by great Spanish-language writers, and for his teaching at top writing programs, including those at the University of Iowa, Brown University, and Yale University, Nilo is now at work on the libretto for The Last Dream of Frida and Diego, an opera set to debut in 2019. He is an alumnus of Miami Senior High, Shenandoah Junior High, and Melrose Elementary. 

Alina Falcon

Miami Killian Senior High (Class of 1979)
Richmond Heights Junior High

Southside Elementary

Executive Vice-President

FIFA World Cup Programming

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The only woman - twice - to head news operations for a major U.S television network, Alina Falcon, got her journalism start with Miami Killian Senior High's student newspaper, The Cougar's Roar. Hired in 1983 by Univision's Miami affiliate, WLTV-Channel 23, Alina rose through the ranks to become the Spanish-language network's news director in 2002, rising again in 2005 to head all network operations. She scored another first in 2011 with her move to Telemundo to lead that network's news, alternative, and reality programming. Now, as executive vice president with NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, she plans all FIFA World Cup Programming, with responsibility for other sports programming and strategy for the network. Alina also attended Richmond Heights Junior High and Southside Elementary. 

Micheal Spring

Miami Edison High 

(Class of 1970)

Little River Elementary

Director, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs

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Micheal Spring has devoted his life to making the arts and culture in Miami-Dade Country prominent, diverse, high-quality, and accessible to all. As Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs director, Micheal supervises a public arts agency with a yearly budget of more than $30 million. The Miami Edison Senior High grad has served on nearly every South Florida board, committee, and council, and several national boards that make art a priority in the public domain. He also helped lead the work for the country's Building Better Communities bond program, dedicating more than $450 million for developing the next generation of Miami-Dade's cultural facilities, from major new art and science museums to theaters and neighborhood arts centers. An accomplished painter, with an M.A from New York University and studies in Venice, Italy, Micheal also attended Little River Elementary. 

Ivan Yaeger

Miami Central Senior High (Class of 1984)

Miami Shores Elementary

Inventor/Entrepreneur/Philanthropist

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At work as North Miami Jr. High seventh-grader on a science-fair project and inspired by the 1970s TV show The Six Million Dollar Man, Ivan Yaeger used toy and household appliance parts to engineer a working bionic arm. By his Central Senior High graduation, he had developed the prototype into The Yarger Arm, a sophisticated prosthetic limb earning numerous engineering awards and a U.S patent and launching his career as an inventor and entrepreneur. Now CEO of The Yaeger Companies, he has developed more than 100 consumer, medical, indus

Larry Little

Booker T. Washington High School (Class of 1964)

Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary 

Phillis Wheatley Elementary 

Pro Football Great

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The Miami Herald called him "the best NFL pulling guard ever." The great Don Shula called him "a real inspiration, not for just the way he performs, but also for his influence on our younger players." Hard statistics and a slew of pro football honors say he's one of the best athletes ever to have played the game. A mainstay of the Miami Dolphins' 1970s glory years, Larry Little started pro football in 1967 with the San Diego Chargers of the old American Football League after years as a Bethune-Cookman College and Booker T. Washington High standout. Traded to the Dolphins in 1968, he stayed till retiring in 1980. Plagued by injuries, he missed just four games, a testament to his respect for his team, fans, and profession. He was rewarded in 1993 with an election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now a Rober Morgan Education Center academic adviser, the Dunbar Elementary alumnus is respected off the field for his philanthropic work through the Larry Little Legends Golf Classic.  

Arva Moore Parks

Miami Edison High (Class of 1956)

Riverside Elementary

Historian/Author/Preservationist

 

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Heir to the legacies of great Miami historians and preservationists Thelma Peters and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Arva Moore Parks is known today as the premier keeper and revealer of the Magic City's historical secrets. Author of nearly a dozen South Florida history books, including the definitive Miami: The Magic City, the lifelong Miamian has also produced award-winning films on Miami and Coconut Grove. A former teacher at her alma mater, Miami Edison, she is now the Coral Gables Museum's acting director and the Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board's chair, having served as Vizcaya Trust's first chair and HistoryMiami's First woman president. "I always felt special because I was born in Miami," the Riverside Elementary graduate once wrote. "There is no better place to live if you want a jump start on America's future and always have a great story to tell. 

Garth Reeves, Sr.

Booker T. Washington High (Class of 1936)

Newspaper Publisher/Civil Rights Leader

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Through his work in newspaper publishing, Garth C. Reeves, Sr. has left a profound mark on South Florida itself. Bahamas-born in 1919, he grew up in Miami's Blacks-only Overtown, serving abroad in the U.S Army during World War II after his Booker T. Washington High graduation. Frustrated that his country would deny his basic rights once he came home, he considered leaving the U.S for good but instead devoted himself to publishing The Miami Times, which his father had founded, to share the Black perspective missing from other local papers and push for social change. Prominent in America's civil rights movement, the Dumbar Elementary alumnus helped lead the move to integrate Miami parks and beaches and served as the first African American on the board of Miami Dade College, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations.