BHS senior Kiara Zamot wanted to share the vitality of Hispanic culture, including her own Puerto Rican heritage, with her classmates but she just didn’t know how. She asked BHS Principal Kristin Robbins and Assistant Principal Craig McMillen for help on how to go about organizing a celebration. They connected her with art teacher, Mabi Ponce de Leon (a native of Argentina) who has been advising the Bexley Minority Parents Association (BMPA) and the Bexley Education Association (BEA) on Hispanic culture and resources. With the help of Food Services Director Juli Carvi, they put a plan in place to decorate the Cassingham Cafe with the flags of Latin American countries and papel picado garlands, develop a special Hispanic themed menu, bring a band to play on the Alumni Piazza and submit a mini-grant to BEF to cover the costs.
Kiara turned to the experts, her family, for authentic recipes and music. The empanada making was led by Mabi Ponce de Leon and the School District’s Food Services crew with help from student and staff volunteers. Kiara’s uncle who plays with local Latin music producer and guitarist, Leonardo Morales committed the band to the celebration. The October 8 lunchtime party on the piazza had middle and high school students eating, dancing and celebrating the vibrancy of Hispanic culture.