At Coral Gables Senior High School, teachers spend countless unseen hours preparing and giving students a quality education. To recognize their hard work, Gables annually awards two Teacher of the Year nominations to staff members that have demonstrated distinction and dedication in and out of classrooms.
Academy Of Finance Teacher Francisco Pico was one of the two Rookie Teachers of the Year for the 2021-2022 school year. Mr. Pico has been teaching Personal Finance, Economics and Legal Aspects of Business at Gables since 2019. As an educator, he makes sure to focus on critical thinking skills, having classroom discussions with real-world implications on topics such as the stock market and the world economy.
“I was completely surprised. I would say pleasantly surprised. All faculty and staff were able to vote, so this award coming from my colleagues and the administration is really an honor,” Mr. Pico said.
Mr. Pico began his financial education journey at the University of Florida, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He never thought he would end up teaching, but once he realized he could impact the community with his knowledge in personal finance, he found his way to Gables.
“I feel personal finance is an essential skill one needs to learn no matter what they choose to do in life after high school. One of the highlights of teaching personal finance is that we talk about planning for our futures and investing,” Mr. Pico said.
Many Cavaliers that share the same passion as Mr. Pico are just beginning their journey and want to learn more about it. AOF students go to Mr. Pico for financial advice during passing periods to pick his brain. Whether the topic is investing or even something more simple, like what bank one should start an account with, Mr. Pico is there for guidance.
“Not only is Mr. Pico a great teacher in the classroom, he is also a great resource for students trying to become financially literate,” senior Austin Schulte said.
Mr. Pico hopes to call Gables home for the rest of his educational career. Being recognized by his colleagues for such a distinction was an honor.
“I love it here, from my students to my colleagues and the administration. It’s hard to imagine teaching anywhere else,” Mr. Pico said.
Not only has Mr. Pico proven his dedication in the classroom, but his real-world guidance outside of the classroom is also what sets him apart. He is beyond grateful to be able to represent Gables and hopes to make it past District Finals as Rookie Teacher of the Year in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system.