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Falconidae Revisited Issue #2

The Falconidae was an in-school newsletter that aimed to recognize achievement among students and staff. It was led by a team of students and their dedicated sponsor, English teacher Ms. Brito. The original Falconidae stopped producing newsletters shortly after Ferguson’s change in principals. The Talon has decided to revive the Falconidae as a series for our publication with the intent to keep the spirit alive.

This nine-weeks has been one for the books! The shift to distance learning has brought many changes in the lives of both students and faculty and these adjustments may last longer than we previously anticipated. Despite this, Falcons have achieved new heights this nine-weeks!

Uncharted Territories for Science Bowl Team

The winning team poses for a photo with the National Science Bowl banner. Left to right: Josh Lian, Sebastian Duque, Saul Balcarcel, Austin Pichardo, Katheryne Gonzalez.

For the first time in Ferguson’s history, our Science Bowl team was crowned the regional champions and were set to represent South Florida at the National Science Bowl Competition in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the team was unable to go to Washington, D.C. and the competition was moved to an online platform. The Ferguson Science Bowl team was also featured in a segment on CBS4 Miami for their historic win. Good luck, Falcons!

World-Class School, World-Class Principal

A portrait of Ferguson’s principal, Mr. Rafael Villalobos.

After a rigorous evaluation process, Ferguson’s principal, Mr. Rafael Villalobos, was awarded the title of Principal of the Year of Miami-Dade County Public Schools given in conjunction with the Dade Association of School Administrators (DASA). Mr Villalobos received a cash prize of $2,000, a 3-year lease on a car from Toyota-North Miami and a special gift basket. Thank you for all that you do!


Rachel Suarez got into a summer program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

IB junior, Rachel Suarez, was accepted to the six-month MIT Online Science, Technology, and Engineering Community (MOSTEC). MOSTEC is a program that serves rising seniors and many come from underrepresented or underserved communities. The program consists of three phases and begins the summer before 12th grade until the first semester of senior year. Congratulations, Rachel!

From Falcon to TASPer

Emily Rivera got into the Telluride Association Summer Program.

Emily Rivera was accepted to the Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP), a selective six-week academic experience for high school juniors. She was placed in the Feminist Philosophies of Space, Time, and Evolution: Untimely Politics seminar that will be taught by two Duke University professors. Emily was also selected as a Free Spirit Scholar and will represent the state of Florida at the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference. As a Free Spirit Scholar, she received a $1,000 scholarship to the college of her choice from the Freedom Forum Institute. Congratulations, Emily!

In their element…

Josh Lian and Ana Pereira, IB juniors, qualified to take the national exam for U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad after scoring well on the regional test. Josh and Ana made it as far as the first round of nationals. Great job, Josh and Ana!

Summer of fun (and science!)

Saul Balcarcel poses for a picture with his teammate at the FGCU Invitational Competition representing Ferguson MAO. From left to right: Josh Lian, Saul Balcarcel.

Saul Balcarcel was accepted to the Summer STEM Institute (SSI), a 6-week virtual summer program that will run from June 21 to August 1, 2020. SSI consists of a data science and research bootcamp, a Masterclass lecture series, and a mentored research project. Congratulations, Saul!

Beating the odds…

Derek Delgadillo on a field trip with HOSA to the Frost Museum of Science earlier this year.

IB junior, Derek Delgadillo, was selected as a Hamilton Scholar Finalist out of more than 600 applications from across the nation. The Hamilton Scholars program is a 5-year empowerment program that prepares their students for personal and professional development. Great job, Derek!

Virtual mobilizing for change

Ferguson students on their last meeting of the school year for the My School Votes Program.

Saul Balcarcel, Alexa Nunez, Sofia Pinero, and Emily Rivera led a group of more than 20 students in a school-wide campaign through When We All Vote, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama. When We All Vote has partnered with Miami-Dade County Schools to run voter registration campaigns at high schools throughout the county. The students reached out to teachers and peers, gave presentations to classes, and created social media posts. Awesome job, Falcons!

If you know of any student or faculty achievement, send a tip to our email fergusontalonnews@gmail.com to see it featured on the next issue of the Falconidae!

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