New year, new program, new students and new coach for Miami Christian

Students reuniting at MCS “Back to School” : Left to Right Jonathan Ortet, Jose Campos, Melissa Gonzalez, Andrea Sinclair, Rosa Castro, Victor Dacal and Matthew Diaz.

Miami Christian School kicked off its 2012-13 school year on August 20th with its annual “Back to School Bash” before the beginning of classes on the 22nd. Students returned to campus reuniting with friends, picking up class schedules, participating in competitions and enjoying lunch provided by two great corporate sponsors: Chick-fil-A and Sam’s Club. Victor Zaldivar, of Chick-fil-A, and Bruce Siddens, Jr., of Sam’s Club, are always most generous in their community outreach efforts including their support for community events such as this for local non-profits. Their donations helped with MCS fundraising efforts for the middle and high school students’ trips to North Carolina. * * *

Left to right: Seen here at “Back to School Bash” are Instructor Margot Youssef, student Jordan Cordeau, and Chick-fil-A Doral owner Victor Zaldivar.

On opening day, Miami Christian welcomed returning students as well as 50 new students. All were delighted to see old friends, make new friends and prepare for another year of excellent academics. The school’s new offerings in the Scholars Program for high school make this an especially exciting year for those students taking advantage of that program.

On the sports front, fall athletic teams are already in practice sessions and ready for competitions. The Victor Athletic Department has made a big play in obtaining Friedman Sifontes as the school’s new Girls’ Volleyball Coach. Sifontes has gained a stellar reputation working in various coaching positions for the FIU Division 1 Women’s Volleyball team and at St. Thomas University where he was the Head Coach of the Women’s Volleyball Team and led them to a 2nd Place seeding in their division. Sifontes joins Coach Chris Cuadra, the new Varsity Baseball Coach, an MCS graduate who played baseball on winning teams in college and has achieved a great reputation as a coach as well.


In graduate news, Frank Jimenez, MCS Class of 1982, is now General Counsel, Secretary and Managing Director, Government Affairs of Bunge Limited, as of July 2012. For the past three years, Jimenez has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Xylem Inc., the S&P 500 global water technology company. Prior to that for nearly three years he was General Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Navy in the Bush and Obama administrations. He has held a variety of other positions in government, including Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense and Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff and Acting General Counsel to Governor Jeb Bush of Florida.

In other alumni news, Chris Gehring, MCS Class of 2010, is preparing to enter the Air Force in November of this year. He is currently studying Electrical Engineering at Florida International University and he will continue his studies in the Air Force, with a subsequent career placement in Avionics.

Re-enrollment is open for the 2012-2013 school year. Those interested in touring and obtaining registration information may contact Donna Gehring at 305-221-7754 x773. Also check out MCS on and the website , including the new Scholar’s Program in the high school.

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A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and the Rotarian of the Year Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education, co chairs the Doral Business Council Forum and is a DBC Ambassador, is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club and is on the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and sings in the choir of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. She can be reached at

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