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Western Pines Gabrielle MarvezGabrielle Marvez, 7th grade student at Western Pines Middle School is the recipient of Governor Rick Scott’s Black History Month Essay Contest. This year’s theme is “Celebrating African-American Leaders in Business Past, Present and Future.”

Students in grades 4th through 12th were asked to address the following topic: “There are many well-known African-Americans who have made contributions to Florida’s history and economy. Discuss a well-known African-American business person whose contribution has made a difference in your life or in your community. How can your education and future plans prepare you to become a business leader in your community?”

“This type of event is an excellent example of what can happen when great teachers inspire children to do their best. By celebrating the diversity of our past, we are certain to enhance our future.   Palm Beach County is incredibly fortunate to have some of the most talented and dedicated teachers in the country,” said Robert Hatcher, Western Pines Middle School Principal.

Gabrielle will receive a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by Florida Prepaid College Foundation. In addition, she will attend the Governor’s Black History Month celebration in Tallahassee on February 24, 2011 along with her parents.

“This is a great honor to receive from Governor Scott and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. I would like to thank my teachers for helping develop my writing skills and empowering me to do my best,” Gabrielle commented.  

The School District of Palm Beach County through the African and African American History Curriculum enables students to learn about the beauty, wealth, and courage of Africans and African Americans from Ancient Africa to the modern Diaspora. In addition, we encourage the exploration of significant phases of the African and African American experiences.

“We are incredibly proud of Gabrielle and all of our students that participated in the essay contest.  Gabrielle and her teachers have worked together to change her life forever, I am certain Gabrielle and her family will remember this event for the rest of their lives,” added Mr. Hatcher.

 Click  HERE to read Gabrielle’s winning essay.

For more information about the Florida Black History Month Essay Contest visit 

For more information contact Robert Hatcher at (561) 792-2501 or via e-mail at  






Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

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