Maria Alexandra Fine – LatPro Scholarship Finalist for August 2012

My favorite game when I was little, was to pretend to be a teacher. Yes, many children like to “be the teacher” at some point, but for me, it was more than just a game. I would teach my dolls and stuffed animals. I would make up homework and exams and report cards! I would play school with my little cousins and with friends. By the time I reached 3rd grade I realized that I had a natural ability to explain things to my peers. The game became an early career interest.

This ability became more evident during Middle and High school. Without even noticing it, I became a tutor to many of my friends at school. I would come up with techniques to memorize important dates or memorize chemistry formulas, and I found different ways to re-teach and to explain to the other students, what we were currently studying in class.

At 18 I started teaching music to little kids at a local private music school. Since then I haven’t stopped using my ability to communicate with young children and my ability to connect with them at many levels. I pursued my career in Music, who was and is my passion today. I found out that I could combine my musical talents with my natural unofficial teaching career.

This is how, all through my adult life, I had been a teacher in many capacities; music theory, piano lessons, choir, ESL, Spanish tutoring. Nevertheless, I needed the official certification to teach at a public schools; to teach a class of my own. Just this past March I took the Florida Certification Examination and the General Knowledge test. Now I hold a temporary Teacher Certification and I am ready to take the education classes that I had never formally taken before. These education classes that I need to take, will fulfill the requirements that the State of Florida asked of me, in order to renew my certification in 2014 and to allow me to continue working at its public schools.

My current position is ELL Immersion Teacher at Pinecrest Elementary in Immokalee, Fl, one of the most depressed areas in Collier County. The combination of low-income, low social-economical, multi-cultural backgrounds, make Immokalee a challenging and fascinating place to work. I’m very happy to be working with the children that need the most help. I hope I can continue to do so and to be able to bring pride and choices to the children of this community.’s scholarship program for Hispanic students is proud to announce Maria Alexandra Fine as one of the six finalists for its August 2012 application deadline. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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  • Alex, to those of us who know he is a wonderful musician, a wonderful musician, and an spectacular human being. Her amazing personality has a way of keeping you interested and connected in what she has to say. She is a very knowledgeable woman, very caring, and very compassionate. She has always been there for me since I was a young girl to guide me, to listen to me, and to provide advice. Any child in the care of Alex, would be blessed for the rest of their life. I know Alex can make a difference.

  • My son had the privilege of being taught by Mrs. Fine when he was in pre-k 4. He loved her as a teacher and learned to like to learn while in her class. I wish he had been able to have her for more classes. She challenged the children to high standards with a balance of high expectations that made her students want to do their best. Alex is a natural teacher.

  • Talent, profound knowledge of her field, highly qualified professional training as an educator, deep love and passion for teaching, many years of professional teaching experience, special sensitivity to teach children, and contagious enthusiasm for helping students to succeed are a very unique combination of qualities, which make Maria Alexandra an outstanding teacher. She certainly deserves to win the scholarship

  • Alexandra Fine is the perfect example of love, knowledge, patience, talent and sweetness. She has inspired me throughout my lifetime, always lending a helping hand, always explaining the mysteries of life, grammar and arpeggios! Firm with discipline, encouraging and overall inspirational. A true teacher, who loves her calling and enjoys helping out children who are not as fortunate as others, who need a little extra care (specially in these rough economic times). But above all this, she not only has changed the lives of hundreds of students and peers, but she raised two beautiful, lucky and well taught kids: my brother and I! I love you, Mom, thank you for being my first (and favorite!) teacher…

  • Mrs. Fine is an amazing woman, who has worked hard to raise a wonderful family and to also develop her teaching career, her passion. I am proud of her, as a latin woman myself, of the great heart and talents of Alex. Good luck!!! You deserve this scholarship!!!

  • Alex!!! Your favorite group of actors and misfits loooooved your essay!!! Your endless support for our Theatre Collective and the wonderful daughter that you raised, is proof of your values. This scholarship would not only help you, but all that community of people that you help every day, out there in immokalee, your music students in naples and your miami theatre family! Go get em!!!

  • Alexandra
    Fine is a very talented woman and a great musician. She has a natural
    capability for teaching. But must
    important she is a great mom and a beautiful human being.

  • Alexandra: Es digno de respeto la habilidad, dedicación y amor con que enseñas musica o cualquier materia que te propongas enseñar. Te deseo todo el exito porque se que te entregaras con la pasión que le dedicas a tu musica y a tu vida. La excelencia es la meta en cada actividad que te propongas por lo tanto sera tuya. Muchos exitos y cariños. Luz Marina Rodríguez

  • I love this essay, Maria Alexandra appears to be the epitomy of what a teacher should be. I wish I had her when I was a young child and a young women. I have read all the essays and feel this person is most deserving. Thank you for providing this opportunity for deserving teachers.
    Thank you
    Sharon Monteferante

  • I know Alexandra personally and with out a doubt in my mind she is committed and passionate about her teaching. She has and will continue to make a difference in the children’s lives that she has had the good fortune to teach and mentor. It’s in her DNA to unselfishly give of herself. Go Alex!!!!!!

  • As a musician, I have had the opportunity to work with Alexandra on several occasions, and she has always impressed me with her abilities of organization, communication and leadership. Since I only worked with her in a musical capacity, I had no idea she had a desire to teach. The funny thing is, I always thought to myself, “Boy, she would make a great teacher!” She has a natural aptitude, and I’m very excited to see her as a finalist in this competition. I was happy to read that she is teaching in the Immokalee area, knowing her multi-lingual skills must be of great help to immigrant children, for whom English may be an entirely new language. I truly hope she wins this scholarship, as it would benefit not only Alex, who is very deserving, but also many children in our area!

  • Recuerdo la paciencia que ponias para ensenar a leer a Dormelina… y eras apenas una nina de tercer grado… desde entonces siempre he sabido que tienes una vocacion especial para ensenar a los demas. You deserve that scholarship… sin acentos ni signos de puntuacion, porque estoy en una compu checa. I am sure all the people that know you is willing to contribute to make you win the scholarship.

  • Alexandra Fine has a seriousness of purpose, a dedication to give her all to her students, and a generosity of spirit unique to only the most profoundly talented teachers. She totally deserves this scholarship.

  • This is a wonderful essay! Alex is an intelligent, compassionate person who would be an asset to any school or educational setting, formal or informal. She deserves to be awarded this scholarship which will enable her to make a difference in so many young lives. Alex, you are a sweet, caring individual and I’m proud to have you as my sister-in-law.

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    On teaching

    It takes more than the ability and the routine to pass on
    what one has accumulated in terms of knowledge to consider yourself a teacher,
    in the strict sense of the word and specially if your mission is to teach
    children; it even takes more than adopting the ways of a teacher to consider yourself
    his/her peer.

    Here is a simple recipe to become a real teacher and here
    are also the ingredients and how to mix them.

    Millions of accumulated years of knowledge on all possible

    and the commitment to pass it on and to keep nothing to

    Real understanding of the meaning of the concept of love.

    Being a child yourself no matter the amount of miles-years lived.

    Being definitely convinced that there is only one world, the
    world of children.

    Well, this was the simple recipe for Alexandra.

    How to mix the ingredients? It doesn’t matter in what order
    or how, you’ll always get a wonderful teacher.

  • I enjoyed reading your essay. I agree with you that for most people what we become starts when we are young. That is why I am so proud to be working with you starting at the young ages to help them see their future for what it could be, anything they want it to be.

  • It has been my privilege to know Alexandra Fine, both professionally and personally. I worked with her for several years at the Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island, FL. She used her caring, encouraging, and teaching skills directing our praise team. I have seen her demonstrate her abilities in all of these areas. She has a very special gift of understanding needs and caring, especially for those less fortunate and children. I highly recommend Alex for the scholarship program.

  • Mi opinión sobre María Alexandra:

    María Alexandra es una de esas
    personas que reúne en sí misma conocimientos académicos y una especial
    sensibilidad para conectarse con las gente, sentir sus necesidades y ayudarlas
    respetando su dignidad.

    Aquellos que reciben sus
    enseñanzas deben considerarse muy afortunados; y lo serán más si María
    Alexandra logra obtener esta Beca.

    Luisa Romero de Johnston

  • María Alexandra: Talentosa, responsable, con extensos conocimientos académicos y un gran sentido de la enseñanza, con calidad humana y gran sensibilidad. Atributos que le hacen merecedora de esta beca. Y fiel representante de la mujer latina que puede alcanzar grandes metas.
    Elizabeth de Romero

  • Alexandra , es una persona muy especial , dedicada a su trabajo , con una calidad humana que pocos tienen , para mi ya eres la ganadora , felicidades

  • Ms. Fine has the passion for teaching and the motivation to learn. Because of these natural abilities, she would be the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

  • Alex is an amazing example of professionalism and dedication to the students at Pinecrest Elementary School. Her students are being touched by her real sense of responsibility and commitment. She is a caring teacher and an excellent human being.

    Her diligent work is always bringing joy and contentmen to the students.
    She teaches conscientiously and diligently in making a difference in her
    student’s lives. Way to go my friend…you are an excellent example of advocacy and commitment.


  • I was twelve when I joined the choir at JOSE LORENZO LLAMOZAS music school.Alexandra was the choir conductor.Some years after that,she was attending BLOOMINGTON UNIVERSITY ‘school of music in Indiana and at the same time helping singing major students.Conducting a senior’s choir at a church and playing in a latin music jamming group.She was always willing to HELP everyone arround her with patience and sweetness.Making everyone feel confident.I’ve been a witness to all of that.

  • Being a teacher is not that difficult, but being a good teacher is a very different story. On top of mastering the subject a good teacher has to have enough teaching skills so as to make students pasionate for the subject. There aren’t that many good teachers available.
    Maria Alejandra would no doubt be in the group of good teachers. She has a long and valuable teaching experience, both nationaly and internationaly. She knows how to develop empathy with her students. And she has the patience and endurance needed. With all that bagage she is a passionate of music and of teaching it to children and adults alike. With no Doubt I recommend Maria Alexandra as a valuable teacher.