The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Gables Sweeps District 26 FBLA Award Ceremony

Cavaliers were awarded for their participation and success in a variety of business categories
Matthew Castano and Eros Vinnecy
Lucas Martinez and Lorena Arayo have a celebratory lunch at Dadeland Mall after securing awards.

As the anticipated yellow buses arrived, students sat down one by one ready to present their polished skillsets and knowledge. Two weeks earlier, with help of board members and Future Business Leaders of America sponsor Mr. Reinsert, students made final changes to their scripts, practiced performances to a perfection and studied for objective tests. On Jan. 26, the FBLA club members were in for a ride, with another year at the District 26 Award ceremony, hosted once again by South Dade Senior High School.

“FBLA serves as a pivotal platform for cultivating essential skills, ranging from business to effective public speaking and venturing beyond one’s comfort zone. The anticipation I have for the upcoming state competition is met with genuine enthusiasm, coupled with hopeful aspirations for a substantial number of Cavaliers to secure a spot at the national level,” senior Dianie Gomez said. 

Kicking off on Jan. 11 and 12, the competitions began with objective tests that evaluated the students on comprehensive knowledge. These consisted of categories including Businesses Law, Accounting, Business Calculations, Communications and Economics. Unlike the rest of the events held in other schools, the tests of 100 questions in 50 minutes were held in the familiar walls of Coral Gables Senior High. If students scored high enough and surpassed the scores of other schools, they would proceed to states. 

On Jan. 13, the stage widened for other performances such as Parliamentary Procedures, Introduction to Social Media and Social Media Strategies, all of which were held at Mater Academy. The students were able to display their practiced skills, by presenting to the judges their final work and presentations. Demonstrating a blend of meticulous preparation and a passion for their chosen category, the Parliamentary Procedures and Social Media Strategies scored first place in the district.

“Parliamentary Procedures have been an invaluable learning experience, guiding me from rigorous test preparation to showcasing my skills at Mater Academy. Delving into Robert’s Rules of Order and engaging in meetings with our coach Ms. Palm has broadened my understanding. The surreal and immensely rewarding feeling of securing first place at Districts fuels my excitement for the upcoming state competition,” freshman Victoria Fuller said.

Just a few days later, on Jan. 18, at Miami-Dade College Kendall, students in professional attire faced the judges in events including public speaking and presentations, in the final round of competitions before the award ceremony. Students were called in one by one to deliver their presentations and speeches, all done with the shared commitment of the club’s young business leaders. 

As most students aimed for business categories, a few were candidates for the 2024-2025 District 26 Board. These candidates each delivered a 1-minute speech at the assembly, while voting delegates voted individually for which candidate they thought fit. Votes for each position were considered and given based on the candidates’ proposals and goals for the future school year. Three Cavaliers were announced for the upcoming school year’s board: Lucas Martinez as Historian, Sebastian Portocarrero as Parliamentarian and Alejandro Hernandez as the reporter. This leadership group will dedicate itself to everything FBLA-related within their assigned district, such as planning events and directing their chapter’s activities. 

“I was a little bit nervous since I only had one day to prepare my speech. But at the end of the day, I went up being confident in myself and did my speech. I am truly honored to be elected as the District 26 Historian. I love FBLA and strive to make it better than it already is,” sophomore Lucas Martinez said.

After the votes took place, students were called in order, depending on their categories, receiving medals in the colors representative of the club: blue and gold. These medals earned the students their golden ticket to states, as 50 Cavaliers qualified for the next step. 

FBLA States
Congrats to the Cavaliers for going to states

Triumphant with their performance, FBLA members re-boarded the buses to grab lunch at Dadeland Mall. Students and chaperones filled the lines in the food court while they celebrated each others wins and smiled for pictures.

“From the moment they revealed the speech topic, I dove into writing and memorizing. In the in-school competition, nerves kicked in, but I reminded myself to trust my preparation. Feedback became my ally, shaping my speech. Bagging first place felt surreal yet rewarding; it was proof that hard work pays off. FBLA isn’t just a club; it’s where I hone my speaking skills, build character and dream of winning nationals. It’s not just about winning; it’s about the journey of self-discovery and growth,” freshman Adimar Herrera said.

Through the competitions, members developed experiences that gave them knowledge about public speaking, a skill that they will carry on for future competitions. The district events recognized the Gables FBLA chapter for their hard work and hours of preparation. Those who did well enough to qualify for states are wished the best of luck by their fellow Cavaliers while they proudly represent FBLA while trying for a chance at nationals.

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About the Contributor
Selena Feal, CavsConnect Staff Writer

Meet Selena Feal: a spirited sophomore navigating her way through the Health Science, Public and Law academy. Going into her second year in CavsConnect, Selena's vibrant energy extends beyond her academic pursuits, as she not only thrives as a dedicated member of the Mock Trial team, skillfully honing her argumentative finesse, but also actively engages in three other clubs: Andrea Jaime Medical Leaders, Gables Wellness and Interact. Beyond the riveting realm of courtroom drama, Selena finds her rhythm in exploring different corners of the world, having embarked on various adventures across three continents in less than a year. Whether she's savoring delicious Açaí bowls at Ernie's or binge-watching "Suits" on Netflix, Selena's passion for exploration knows no bounds. As she refines her legal prowess, she's also curating a collection of suits that would make Harvey Specter proud. So, while Selena's academic journey takes on a distinctive and captivating flavor, her drive is undeniable, weaving a narrative that's all her own.

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