fedrick-ingram_web.pngMIAMI GARDENS — New United Teachers of Dade President Frederick Ingram was the keynote speaker for the Miami Gardens Excellence in Education Council’s (MGEEC) inaugural Honors Awards on Saturday, June 1, at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort in Sunny Isles Beach.

Championing the theme Saluting South Florida’s 21st Century Educators, WPLG news anchor Constance Jones emceed the interactive awards presentation to honor 11 local leaders who demonstrate character, dedication and morale in improving and enhancing the community’s public educational system.

The 200 guests in attendance enjoyed an array of performances from popular R&B vocalist Shenita Hunt, spoken word artist Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns and South Florida’s newest multicultural dance troupe, the Peter London Global Dance Company.

Proceeds from the event benefitted local social service programs in Miami Gardens whose missions are aligned with the mission of the council. 

Honorees included:

Gloria Barker, owner, Barker Animation Art Gallery

Cheryl L. Holder, MD, associate professor, Division of Family Medicine, Department of Humanities, Health, and Society,

Florida International University

David Williams Jr., councilman, city of Miami Gardens

Venghan (Winnie) Tang, president, Organization of Chinese Americans, South Florida Chapter

Valtena Gibson Brown, chief operating officer, School Operations, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Perla Tabares Hantman, chairperson, Miami-Dade County Public School Board

Susan Wolff-Hyman, executive director, Beacon Hill Preparatory School

Abdul Hamid Samra, PhD, imam and director of Religious Services,

Islamic Center of Greater Miami

Josee Gregoire, EdD, assistant principal, Natural Bridge Miami Elementary School

Ellen Catsman Freidin, Esq., president, Ellen Freidin Consulting

Thema Campbell, president/CEO, Girl Power

he Miami Gardens Excellence in Education Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization instituted in 2007 by then Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.

Gibson, now a member of the organization’s Board of Directors and chairperson of the 2013 event, said the Honors Awards program was the council’s official introduction to South Florida.