G.W. Carver PTA Official Press Release
Principal Patricia Fairclough and parents of G.W. Carver Elementary School were honored by the Miami Dade County PTA for their outstanding leadership and commitment to making a more inclusive school and advocating for the rights of children at the historic Coral Gables school.
At Tuesday night’s ceremony, Little Carver swept in all three categories for which it was a finalist. Three other Gables-area PTAs — from Ponce de Leon Middle, Coral Gables High School and Sunset Elementary — were also recognized.
“The G.W. Carver Elementary PTA continually strives to support our school, our students and our community,” said Claire Neilson Noble, the outgoing Carver PTA president. “We have a very engaged group of parents who are committed to this cause and a wonderful principal who works in partnership with the PTA. Little Carver is a great example of how change can happen when people come together and work as a team.”
Fairclough, a former Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher of the year recipient, came to Carver in 2017 and since then has overseen a near doubling of enrollment and jump in test scores at the Spanish and Italian-language magnet school. Despite a busy schedule away from school as a Mom and Councilwoman of Homestead, she’s beloved for her accessibility, infectious optimism and fierce commitment to giving every child what is needed to succeed. For the second year in a row, Little Carver also won the PTA’s “Legislative/Advocacy” award for its ongoing challenge to a WAWA gas station being built 300 feet from classrooms. The against-the-odds fight paid off in January 2022 when a Miami-Dade County Judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed, finding that the City of Coral Gables bypassed rules guaranteeing public input when it authorized a “blatantly illegal” gas station on the site.
The Advocacy award also recognizes Carver’s campaign to improve the quality and secure additional School Board funding for its Spanish-language magnet program.
Carver PTA was also honored with the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” award for its ongoing efforts to foster a more inclusive learning environment. New this school year was an annual “Founder’s Day,” held in January, to commemorate the local Bahamian residents who helped establish Carver, Dade County’s first school for Blacks, in the 19th century.