Artist Xavier Cortada, students raise awareness of sea level rise

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Miami Herald
By Adrianne Richardson 
November 21, 2018
Alison Keepax and Maria Sofia Latour of Gulliver Preparatory School work to paint an underwater marker for one of the streets on Killian Drive in Miami. Students from Gulliver, Michael Krop High School, South Dade High School and Westminster Christian School worked with Xavier Cortada, a local environmental artist, to create underwater markers for the Underwater Homeowners Association’s sea level rise initiative.

Environmental artist Xavier Cortada joined forces with 50 arts and science students from Gulliver Preparatory School, Michael Krop High School, South Dade High School, and Westminster Christian School to participate in the Underwater Homeowners Association, an art initiative created to spread awareness about sea level rise.

The initiative required students to assist Cortada in mapping out the elevation of four major street intersections in the village of Pinecrest using chalk and exterior paint to create 25-by-25-foot-long public art pieces, or underwater markers, on the roadways. The underwater markers help to predict how many feet of water need to rise before the area is completely underwater. All markers are numbered between 0 to 17, which is the elevation range across Miami-Dade.

“The most important issue of our time is sea level rise,” Cortada said. “By mapping the impending crisis, I make the invisible visible.”

Students helped create markers for Southwest 112th Street at 62nd, 67th and 72nd avenues. So far, teachers across Miami-Dade are incorporating this initiative into their lesson plans and assigning underwater markers as art projects to help spread awareness about sea level rise.


Ransom Everglades high school students collected about 500 bags of groceries, 15 turkeys, six hams, seven cases of water and eight cases of pumpkin cookies, donated by The Fresh Market, for Miami Rescue Mission to help families in need this Thanksgiving. Ben Cobb and Nikhil Seshadri volunteered to help pack the trucks with all donated goods.

Also, upper school students held their annual Pack the Pantry Thanksgiving Food Drive and raised $195 in Publix gift cards, $540 in checks, $210 in cash and six pies from students. Penny Matthews was honored for having the most participation with more than 45 bags and gift cards.
Ransom Everglades School students recently donated groceries, turkeys, hams, water, and pumpkin cookies, donated by The Fresh Market, to the Miami Rescue Mission for families in need this Thanksgiving holiday. From left, Ben Cobb and Nikhil Seshadri packed trucks with all donated goods.


Doral Academy Preparatory School students were named finalists in the University of Miami’s 38th annual David Essner Mathematics Competition and were recently honored during an awards ceremony.

Anirudh Rahul placed fifth, Tomas Alvarez placed sixth, Douglas Shu placed seventh, Raul Valle and Razzi Masroor placed eighth, and Marc Marquez and Logan Fontirroche placed 15th. The students represented attended the ceremony with Sam Koski, their math teacher, and Jorge Nunez and Yvette Tamargo, their assistant principals.


Miami Detective Doug Rodriguez, holding plaque, was named the winner of Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club’s 2018 Police Officer of the Year award. Rodriguez is pictured with Kellie Gayoso, president of the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club; Richard Rios, 2017 Officer of the Year; and Louis Melancon, assistant police chief.


Members of the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club named Yolanda Ellis and Detective Doug Rodriguez the winners of their 2018 Vyonda Moss Educator of the Year and Police Officer of the Year awards, respectively, during an awards ceremony.

Ellis is the principal of Frederick Douglass Elementary School, in Miami, and was recognized for her years of community service and effort in raising her school’s grade from a ‘D’ to an ‘A’ in three years. Rodriguez, also known for his contributions to the community, was recognized for clearing three violent kidnapping and sexual assault cases in Miami.