Odalis Soto named Teacher of the Year at ML Educational Ctr.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 0 Comments

Odalis Soto named Teacher of the Year at ML Educational Ctr.

 

Odalis Soto is an artist, but her work is not limited to canvas, digital design or sculpture. In fact, her classroom is her largest mosaic. Her passion for her career as well as the well-being for “her kids” has granted her the honor of Teacher of the Year at Miami Lakes Educational Center. 

Students walk into her classroom and become immediately immersed in living, breathing art, in bright vibrant colors or even in muted pastels or ink blots and advertising campaigns. There is a sense of orderly chaos. Everywhere there are students drawing, either by hand or using drawing software. Tables are covered in all types of paint or pencils, and the walls are wallpapered with her students’ work. 

Amidst the amalgam of students is Soto, going up to each student, providing individual attention and advice to all of them. Soto teaches Digital Art, AP Studio Art and serves as the Communications Academy leader at Miami Lakes Educational Center. Before joining the MLEC family in 2004, she taught graphic design at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School and before that she worked at Warner Brothers. Throughout her long career, she has always dedicated herself to inspiring her students to realize their potential.

“I always put my students first,” Soto expressed. “My priority are my kids. Their wellbeing and assurance of knowing that I have expectations that they are successful in my classroom so they can leave and graduate with a sense of achievement, but also knowing that they have abilities, skills, and talents in life.”

To Soto, her students are “her kids,” not just students. She does not just teach them how to master Photoshop and Illustrator, she does not only teach them about public relations and advertising or mass marketing and audience analytics. Odalis Soto teaches her kids to “be professional.” More importantly, she teaches them to believe in themselves while proving to them that she believes in their ability to succeed.

She has left her mark on countless students, but she has permanently left a mark on Miami Lakes Educational Center. In 2011 she and her students created a mosaic, the vivid colored tiles were broken, smoothed and later painstakingly rearranged to create the Jaguar, the school’s mascot, under the school’s name. Reminding us all that we, like this beautiful art piece, are a mosaic.  


 

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