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FeatureD Alumni:

Class of 1995

Pilar Fernandez Rives

"Gracias te doy, Dios mio, por este nuevo dia..."

It never failed. Every school day, for 10 consecutive years, the morning would commence with this opening sentence of the CEA prayer. At the time, I did not completely understand the essence of the prayer; however, as time has passed and I have embarked on different milestones in this journey of life, the powerful message in the prayer has become a foundation in my life, and is just one of the many examples of how Conchita Espinosa Academy impacted my life and molded me into the person I am today.

I entered Conchita Espinosa Academy in pre-primary in 1985 (boy, am I dating myself!) and graduated in 1995 as an eighth grader. I continued my secondary education at La Salle High School (1999), and attained a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Barry University (2002), Master's in Secondary Social Studies Education from Florida International University (2006), and an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership Degree from Nova Southeastern University (2009). In the fall of 2014, I will enter the Doctorate program in Higher Education Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. I have worked as an elementary teacher for 8 years, a reading coach for 4 years, and I am currently an assistant principal for a K-8 charter school. In all of my experiences, from being a student to becoming an instructor to currently leading a school, I make sure to implement in my actions and decisions all the core beliefs that Conchita Espinosa inspired and helped nurture and develop in me.

I had the opportunity to attend excellent schools with highly acclaimed educational programs, and I value the contributions these institutions provided, especially being a professional in the education field and aiming for the same goal in education.  Conchita Espinosa, however, ranks in a notable spot in my educational upbringing- it was my second home for 10 years- longer than the other schools I attended and graduated from. It was the place that imparted rigorous, quality academic knowledge. Most importantly, it was the place that addressed knowledge at a profound, significant level- education that would prepare me for life. What does that mean, exactly? The Conchita Espinosa education placed emphasis on character values such as respect, responsibility, and citizenship- core qualities that impact, in a positive manner, how life unfolds. In addition, the family atmosphere present at Conchita Espinosa existed as a model to emulate, as we interacted with our peers, teachers, and administration and participated in these interactions as opportunities to learn from each other and to practice what love and friendship is all about.

Year later, I reflect and understand why the Conchita students worked so diligently on challenging assignments, why the CEA teachers always expected us to go above and beyond, and why we, as Conchita students,  were exposed to the arts, to social events, and to cultural experiences like field trips and the Festival of the Arts. I finally am able to embrace what that daily prayer instilled- life is about always aiming high, and always appreciating and valuing what each day has in store for you. It is about being well-rounded and experienced at all levels of education, from cognitive to emotional. It is about being an exemplary member of society.

"Gracias te doy, Conchita Espinosa, por todas las lecciones que me diste. Por enseñarme valores y amor. Cada día que pasa voy a estar mejor, mejor, y mejor, gracias a tu educación."

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Class of 2004
Krystal Rodriguez

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Class of 1998
Natalia Mandrus (Medina)

Class of 2008
Nick Toledo

Class of 1996
Javier J. Hernandez

Class of 1978
Art Alonso

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Ashley Marie Lapadula

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Laura Rodriguez

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Pilar Fernandez Rives

Class of 1980
Belkis Galainena

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Conchita Espinosa Academy, 12975 SW 6th Street, Miami, FL 33184, Office: 305-227-1149, Fax: 305-225-0184

Conchita Espinosa Academy is accredited internationally, nationally and regionally by Accreditation International (AI), National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA), National Independent Private Schools Association (NIPSA) , the Middle States Association (MSA), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the Association of Independent Schools of Florida (AISF). We are also members of the Independent Schools of South Florida (ISSF).


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