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J.P. Taravella High School Student Announced 2019 Hispanic Heritage Month Student Essay Contest Winner

October 15, 2019

J.P. Taravella High School Student

(Jack Fitzgerald, J.P. Taravella High School student, with First Lady Casey DeSantis and Governor Ron DeSantis.)

Congratulations to Jack Fitzgerald of J.P. Taravella High School for being the Hispanic Heritage Month high school essay contest winner. Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the Hispanic Heritage Month student contest winners and teacher Excellence in Education Award recipients. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Public Service” and the winners were honored during the Hispanic Heritage Month awards ceremony at the Florida Governor’s Mansion. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year in Florida from September 15 through October 15.

“Ron and I were honored to celebrate the work of some of our state’s most talented students, teachers and artists as we announced the winners of Florida’s Hispanic Heritage Month student contests and Excellence in Education Award recipients,” said First Lady DeSantis. “In addition, we were excited to highlight the artwork of Virginia Larrea, a native of Ecuador who now lives and works in Tampa as an architect, interior designer and painter and whose art is collected and celebrated around the world.”

Jack wrote about Maria Mestre de Los Dolores Andreu, who became the first Hispanic-American to operate a federal coastal installation – the St. Augustine Lighthouse – and the first female employee in the U.S. Coast Guard.  Student essay contest winners – one elementary, one middle and one high school student – each earned a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

During the 2019 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Jack was also honored and congratulated by Governor Ron DeSantis, Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee and Volunteer Florida CEO Clay Ingram. 






“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth-largest school district in the nation and the second-largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has nearly 270,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 89 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on Facebook at and download the free BCPS mobile app.