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St. Theresa Catholic School

St. Theresa Catholic School
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Fully accredited by the Florida Catholic Conference, established in 1925

School News

Toni J. Pallatto

Vice Principal Marti welcoming students, with Fr. Phillip Tran and Vice Principal Nancy Capper.

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Vice Principal Marti welcoming students, with Fr. Phillip Tran and Vice Principal Nancy Capper.

“Once a Musketeer, always a Musketeer,” shared Ms. Gloria Marti, Vice Principal of St. Theresa Catholic School, and Alumna, Class of 1974, as she opened up the Alumni Induction luncheon for 88 excited eight graders. The students had just finished celebrating their final school mass, concelebrated by Fr. Michael Davis, Pastor, and Fr. Phillip Tran, Parochial Vicar. “Most of my long and lasting friendships were established when I was a student here, and we still get together, supporting each other as Musketeer friends do,” continued Marti.

“This is the first annual Musketeer luncheon for the students, one which is destined to become a tradition,” said Sister Rosalie Nagy, OCD, Principal. “This gives our graduating students a sense that St. Theresa is always their home; a place where they will always be a part of our family, and a reason to stay connected,” continued Sister Rosalie.

Students, teachers and Alumni singing St. Theresa School Anthem.

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Students, teachers and Alumni singing St. Theresa School Anthem.

The students were treated to a festive environment in Comber Hall, with delicious food suited to their palates, lemonade served in real wine glasses, and centerpieces in school colors for the Class of 2017. With each table of students, there was one Alumna sharing what it is like to be a part of the Musketeer Alumni tradition. “It’s how we are prepared here,” shared Silvia Esposito, Alumna, Class of 1977, with her table of graduating eighth graders. “We have such a good balance of spirituality and academic preparation that we can go out and make a positive difference in the world, knowing we are grounded in the Spirit.”

“I think the students at my table were most impressed by the fact that I told them I met my husband at an STS Halloween Dance, held at the “old church,” (now Comber Hall) in 1983, nearly 34 years ago,” said Patricia Bango Diaz, Alumna, Class of 1984, now with her own law practice in Coral Gables.

Liane Morejon, WPLG Channel 10 reporter and Alumna Class of 2000 speaking to students.

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Liane Morejon, WPLG Channel 10 reporter and Alumna Class of 2000 speaking to students.

After the luncheon, Liane Morejon, local WPLG Channel 10 reporter, and Alumna, Class of 2000, gave an inspirational message to the students. “Know that you will stumble, fall, and sometimes fail in the real world,” said Morejon. “But know because of your faith and the gifts that God has given you, you will get up, and you will succeed.” The students had a chance to learn what it is like serving as a local reporter, and the daily deadlines, early mornings, late lights, criticism, and the associated joy that comes out of this rewarding position. “When you go to high school, you may have some sense of what you want to do, or then again, you may not,” shared Morejon. “But keep trying, take internships, follow what your heart is telling you. You will know when you know. It just happens.”

The students then received their induction into the Musketeer Alumni Association, their official Alumni identification, and their High School Survival Kit, which included palankas from teachers, friends and family. “It was fancy and very special,” shared Gabriel Bringas, Alumnus, Class of 2017. “What impressed me most was how Liane Morejon was so comfortable speaking to us,” said Carolina Iglesias, Class of 2017. “She inspired me as to what to expect when I am in high school, and what work life is for someone successful. And, I felt very grown up with the wine glasses and delicious food.”

A new tradition has begun.

Left: Elegant buffet prepared and served by Mena Catering. | Right: High school survival kits awaiting students.

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Left: Elegant buffet prepared and served by Mena Catering. | Right: High school survival kits awaiting students.

The seventh and eighth grade students of St. Theresa Catholic School were honored to have Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul G. Cantero, III speak to them last week as a function of their social studies curriculum focused on the federal and state judicial system.

All 191 students gathered in Comber Hall in anticipation of hearing from this 1974 Alumnus of St. Theresa Catholic School. He was invited, and introduced by Mr. Daniel Serrano, seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher, and the brother-in-law of Cantero.

Judge Cantero greets students after his presentation.

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Judge Cantero greets students after his presentation.

“I met Mr. Cantero in August, 2003 when I was coaching basketball at the only Catholic High School in Tallahassee, and we became fast friends,” said Serrano. “I met his sister, Anuka, and not too many years later, we started dating, and then married in 2011. Now, our son Daniel attends pre-k 3 at St. Theresa School.”

“I came to St. Theresa Catholic School when I was seven years old, in the second grade,” explains Cantero. “I graduated in 1974, and went on to Christopher Columbus High School. I then received my bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, and my law degree from Harvard Law School. I learned the value of self-discipline and studying from my training at St. Theresa Catholic School.”

Left to right: Principal Sister Rosalie Nagy, Judge Cantero, Social Studies Teacher Mr. Daniel Serrano and Vice Principal Gloria Marti.

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Left to right: Principal Sister Rosalie Nagy, Judge Cantero, Social Studies Teacher Mr. Daniel Serrano and Vice Principal Gloria Marti.

“I met my wife, Ana Maria Perdomo, at St. Theresa. She is also an alumnus, graduating in 1975,” shared Cantero. “We got married at Church of the Little Flower in 1983.”

Cantero has had a very successful law career. “I worked for fourteen years at a law firm in Miami, specializing in appellate law. When a case in heard in a lower court, and they don’t agree with the decision, they can go to a higher court and appeal. A panel of three judges decides what will happen in the appellate court,” Cantero explained to the students. He handled more than 250 appeals and 100 oral arguments.

In 2002, there was an opening on the Florida Supreme Court. “People started telling me that I should apply, and I thought I would consider it if it were God’s will,” said Cantero. “I needed a strong message from God, and it just so happened I was going on an Emmaus Retreat that weekend. I thought if a particular friend of mine called me and told me I should apply, I would strongly consider it. I spent a lot of time praying in the chapel.”

The Monday morning, after the retreat, Cantero received a voice mail from that friend suggesting he apply for the opening. “I called my wife to tell her, and she told me that she was unpacking a box, and there was an article about the Florida Supreme Court sitting in the box,” shared Cantero. “We felt God was telling us something so we went to the Blessed Sacrament and prayed.”

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, '74 Alumnus of St. Theresa Catholic School, addressing 7th and 8th grade Students.

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Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, '74 Alumnus of St. Theresa Catholic School, addressing 7th and 8th grade Students.

Prayers led the Cantero's to apply for the Supreme Court position. The nine-member commission selected Cantero as one of the finalists to be interviewed by Governor Jeb Bush. Mr. Cantero was selected, and on July 10, 2002, he became Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero. The family moved to Tallahassee, away from family and friends in Miami.

“After six years of service, we made the decision to return to Miami, as my kids missed their family in Miami,” said Cantero. “It was the right decision for my family.”

Currently, former Supreme Court Justice Cantero is the a partner in the international law firm of White & Case, and heads the Miami Appellate Practice Group.

Mr. Cantero focused on the Florida State Court System, and how it works. He explained the differences between County Courts, Circuit Courts, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Then the students asked questions.

“What was the hardest part of studying at Harvard?” asked one of the students. “Everyone was super smart, and came from Ivy League schools,” responded Cantero. “They strove for excellence, and I had to learn how to keep up with that.”

“Why did you choose to study law?” asked another student. “I was chosen to be the prosecutor in a mock trial when I was at Christopher Columbus High School, and I liked it,” explained Cantero. “I remember saying ‘I can do this!’”

“What would you do if you were not an attorney?” asked another student. “I would be a novelist. I love to write fiction,” answered Cantero.