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Miami Dade College alumna wins Principal of the Year Award

Reva Vangates

Reva Vangates

Miami, November 29, 2007 - Miami Dade College (MDC) alumna Reva Vangates was named Principal of the Year for elementary schools at the 2007 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership ceremonies during the recent Fourth Annual Commissioner’s Summit for Principals in Orlando, Florida. The event was hosted by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Association of School Administrators. Vangates, 40, is a native of Miami and principal at State School P-1 K-8 Center in Doral.

Awards were presented to a principal and assistant principal in elementary, middle and high school categories.

Vangates formerly served as principal at the Dr. Henry W. Mack/West Little River Elementary School in Miami. When she began working there, the school had received a failing grade under the A through F rating system by which schools are rated reflecting the performance and progress of students.

Vangates was determined to turn things around. “These kids were just not F material. They showed promise,” she says. “So I started from scratch and, with my colleagues, rebuilt the entire school’s approach and the curriculum.”

With a very hands-on approach, she focused on enhancing the quality of teaching and using weekly tests and technology-based material. Within two years, Vangates succeeded in substantially raising the grade level of the school.

Vangates believes that the Associate in Arts she earned from Miami Dade College was the foundation for her success. “MDC gave me a taste of the real world,” she says. “My teachers were wonderful, and I really enjoyed the small classes and personal attention.” Subsequently, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from Florida A & M University and a Master of Science in educational leadership from Barry University.

“We are extremely proud of Ms. Vangates and her accomplishments,” says MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “She is passionate about helping her students achieve success and make a difference in their lives. The future of our children depends on having strong, capable teachers and leaders.”

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director

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