Miami Palmetto Senior High School Hall of Fame Nominations Re-Open


Amy-Grace Shapiro and Samantha Elkins

Within the walls of Miami Palmetto Senior High School, students grow up to become astronauts, psychiatrists, pop stars, novelists, CEOs, Broadway stars, athletes, politicians, journalists and more. With acclaimed names such as Jeff Bezos, Camila Cabello and Tim Hardaway Jr., Palmetto is recognized for raising students with passion in their fields looking to make a difference in their industries and world. 

In 2010, Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) parent, Susan Admire Harris looked to create a way to unify Palmetto graduates while honoring their achievements. After a decade-long discussion over the idea, the Alumni Association composed of graduates and Palmetto parents was formed. The soon-to-be association held multiple meetings to create bylaws allowing for Palmetto’s first graduating class of 1961 to congregate for its 50-year reunion in 2011. With assistance from the class of 1970, including founding President of the Alumni Association, former State Representative and former Mayor of Pinecrest Cindy Lerner, the association was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization. 

“The first graduating class of Palmetto was class of ‘61. And some of those members of class of ‘61 have since helped us as founders of the Alumni Association,” Lerner said. 

Since its inception and incorporation status, the association now works to provide scholarships for deserving Palmetto students, create a network for panther graduates and most notably, form an MPSH Alumni Association Hall of Fame. Currently honoring Palmetto alums from Robin Fraser ‘84 to Erik Compton ‘98, Abe NG ‘91, Jennifer Namoff ‘02 and many more, the association has officially opened its nomination form for the new year and will be taking nominations from Jan. 1 to March 1. This nomination form is released every five years, and the Alumni Association asks for the local community and Panther alums to nominate those they deem worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame.  

“In 2008, the 50-year anniversary, the committee looked and said, ‘well we’ve never done a Hall of Fame, we think we should do one.’…We founded the Alumni Association committee for the 50th and created a Hall of Fame. They chose the recipients and they did a ceremony for the Hall of Fame at the school,” Lerner said.

Currently, the Alumni Association is searching for Panther alumni that have graduated at least ten years ago along with administration and faculty that have achieved at an outstanding level in their field, made significant contributions and exhibited outstanding leadership, character and service to their community. MPSH Alumni Association’s Alumni Hall of Fame Awards Program recognizes remarkable graduates and educators of the school, while offering role models for its students.

The form can be found at, or by clicking here

Nominated to the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, Wildlife Expert Ron Magill found his footing at MPSH. As the son of immigrant parents who moved from New York to Miami, Magill’s mother pushed for him to attend MPSH although they did not live within the district. She succeeded, and soon Magill met friends and teachers who have impacted him to this day.

“You know when I went to Palmetto High, Palmetto High changed my life. I was that kid that growing up, I got bullied quite a bit. I was always very tall, very skinny…it was not until I walked in Palmetto High and I experienced the unparalleled high school experience that Palmetto High offers. It gave me confidence, it gave me the foundation that I needed to be successful in the career that I always dreamed of as a little kid,” Magill said.

During the induction ceremony, nominees sat and received their formal invitation for the honor, with a corresponding celebration. On stage, Magill sat with his fellow Hall of Fame nominee and fellow high school Panther, Albert Datson. 

“We were on stage, and Al[bert] and I looked at each other and we shook our heads. If you had told us 40-something years ago, when we were being a little rowdy in the hallways of Palmetto Senior High and doing goofy things during basketball tournaments, that we’d be sitting on the stage as the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame of this incredibly prestigious school, we would have both told you you were crazy,” Magill said. 

The Alumni Association plans on hosting both an in-school ceremony for current Panthers to attend and an evening ceremony where the nominee’s induction will take place. The Alumni Association has selected Supreme Court Justice and MPSH Alum Ketanji Brown Jackson as their “Committee Choice” for this year’s Hall of Fame. As a reminder, nominations are due Feb. 15, and the form will not re-open until 2028. For past Panthers looking for more information on how to nominate peers and staff, or join the alumni association visit or click here.