Recognition of a job well done is always welcome. Especially to the young on the verge of college and preparation for lifetime careers

Grandson Robert, 12 other of his class mates, and production teacher Ed Smith are deserving of acclaim for a recent recognition. One which installs pride in everyone concerned. And I must admit, special pride in Papa for grandson Robert’s part in what has recently been announced.

The Key West High School provides as part of its curriculum broadcasting and film making. The school operates Conch 5 Studios as part of the program.

Key West High School has been advised of its selection for participation in the world’s largest high school film festival. Nine films and the 13 students who produced the videos. Robert is one of the students.

The event is the All-American High School Film Festival. It will be held in New York City October 8-10. The 13 students will be in New York and a part of the event. The films will be screened, judged and narrowed to a few finalists.

The event and Key West High School’s designation a big deal. A very big deal. Production teacher Ed Smith said, “I was shocked, proud and blown away as a teacher.”

The high school was last selected for the program in 2017.

The 9 submissions cover categories ranging from short films to action sport videos.

The Festival’s “official selection” is one of the highest honors a high school video production team can earn. There is a recognition award one step higher. Becoming a Festival finalist. A small selection of the films are honored as being the “best of the best” in each category.

The New York City screenings also provide students with the opportunity to network, college recruiting opportunities, and a chance for students to earn some scholarship money.

The competition is a David and Goliath one as far as Key West High School is concerned. There are many schools who might be described as affluent. Which translates into up to date equipment.

Not the case with Key West, however. Key West’s most recently acquired equipment dates back to 2017. Some even before.

Not a problem for the Key West team. Heart, hard work and dedication make up for those years and the aged equipment.

Specifically as to the trip, fundraising the first step. Money is needed to send the the 13 to New York City, hotel, feed them, etc. The recognition and festival not part of the high school’s budget. So please dig deep and provide some help.

Donations are being gladly accepted. Contact Ed Smith at for information.

Students are working at financing the trip. A car wash and outdoor movie event.

Both will be held at the Key West High School Backyard.

My cup runneth over when it comes to the pride Robert provides me.

Robert came into the world with a bit of difficulty. He was born with cancer of the liver. Within the first 8 days of his life, he had two major surgeries at Miami Children’s Hospital. He was followed for a number of years thereafter.

Fortunately, he recovered and the problem is well behind him.

Personally, the best way to describe Robert is he is simply a good kid. His parents and sister are proud of him, as I am proud of him.

He did well as a student in Montessori. Now a senior in high school, he has continued to do well academically. His weighted index is 4.239. He is 30th in a class of 300.

Robert has been into tennis. Big time. Practiced almost every day for a number of years. His consistency worked out. He has been a member the Key West High School tennis team 4 years and All-County 2 years.

Robert’s eye was on college and playing at that level. A given.

Then he got into the broadcasting and filming courses at the high school. He is gung ho about the programs and plans on continuing their study at the college level. I suspect tennis may take a back seat.

He has participated in several broadcast/filming competitions while in high school. Single or with a partner. Success has been his. He has been first, second or third in several.

I am obviously enamored with my grandson. The way I look at it, he payed his dues early in life. May he continue to succeed and may God provide him with a happy and long life.

Enjoy your day!


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