Palm Beach Fellowship Honors 22 Educators And 64 Students

WPMS teacher Steve Gordon with Chuck Hagy

The energy and excitement were palpable as more than 200 members, teachers and students with their families gathered on June 6 at the Wells Fargo Community Room in Palm Beach for the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews’ End-of-Season Member Reception and Student Awards Ceremony.

The event included an overview of the organization’s mission and efforts presented by Board Chair John C. “Skip” Randolph and a slide presentation to recap the season’s events and activities by Program Chair Grier Pressly. Guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

With the main focus on honoring the winning entries in the annual Essay and Creative Arts Competition, the outstanding students who created them and their supervising teachers, representing 11 public and private schools throughout Palm Beach County, received certificates and cash prizes, presented by Vice Chair Maggie Zeidman and Education Chair Charles “Chuck” Hagy. The topic for the 2023 contest was “Justice,” which was expressed through essays, poetry, spoken word, videos, music and visual art.

Honorees from the western communities and schools included Western Pines Middle School teacher Steve Gordon and his students Gabriella Ferry, Alexandra Hlewicki, Jayce Hutson, Dominick Mazzeo, Zane Robertson, Camilla Torres and Enzo Zeledon, and Woodlands Middle School student Rebecca Westfort. Other students from Wellington, Loxahatchee, Royal Palm Beach, western Lake Worth and western West Palm Beach included Bak Middle School of the Arts students Rayjan Alvarez, Victoria Cardas and Karishma Koodie; Rosarian Academy students Lola Grande, Santino Merchan and Chryssa Rezvanian; St. Mark’s Episcopal School student Siena Davis; and St. Luke Catholic School students Valentina Monegro and Estefany Urbina.

Many attendees mentioned feeling more hopeful for the future after meeting the students, who were challenged to continue doing great things in the world. Honored paintings, drawings, posters, dioramas and sculptures were displayed at the event, and all the winning submissions will be featured in the fellowship’s newsletter and web site during the summer.

Founded in 1993, the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews is dedicated to promoting fellowship, understanding and respect among all religions and cultures. Learn more at


  1. Congratulations to my students who were privileged to earn these awards! The Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews has had an impact on my teaching practices.

    A few years ago, I earned a scholarship sponsored by the organization to attend a seminar in the Holocaust at Facing History and Ourselves, Memphis. My students at that time, St. Ann’s Catholic School, gained a profound insight about empathy, empowerment and global sustainability.

    I look forward to sharing this curriculum, as well as continuing the annual essay & creative arts competition with St. Luke Catholic School this upcoming year!

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