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“I died twice in one day” - Mr. Moro’s Life Journey


By Oscar Pinto

In 2017, Moro was nominated by a student, Pablo Quinonez, then selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars. Here, Moro is pictured with Pablo.

Carlos Moro has faced many challenges in school, work, and his personal life, and died twice in one day. Despite it all, Moro relentlessly cares about the future of his students. His impact inspires hope for the future.


“Shape the Man I Am”

In his early days, Carlos Moro attended Christopher Columbus High School. There, he experienced both enjoyment and challenges. While he had fun and formed strong friendships, he also faced difficulties with teachers who pushed him but graduated in 1991. 


"Columbus helped shape the man that I am today, and I am very grateful for Columbus. and I owe a lot to this institution," he said.

“A Blessing in Disguise”

During his time at the University of Florida, Carlos Moro admitted to having a bit too much fun. 

"The first two years were a joke," he confessed. 

However, he eventually realized the importance of focusing on his future. Despite initially coasting through, Moro's father grew concerned about his lack of seriousness.


 His dad, who was covering his university expenses, observed his son's carefree attitude and insisted he transfer to FIU if he kept up with the jokes. Refusing to comply, Moro's father took drastic action, kicking him out of the house and cutting off financial support. 

‘It was a blessing in disguise,” Moro said.

Forced to take responsibility for his education expenses, he embraced the challenge as an opportunity to refocus and prioritize his studies.


“An Amazing Year and the Most Difficult Year”

Upon returning to Miami, Moro began his teaching career in a low-income area, specifically Brownsville Middle School in Liberty City. 

“My first year was an amazing year and the most difficult year of my professional life,” Moro said. 

He stepped into the role midway through the school year, taking over from a teacher who left due to pregnancy. However, Moro encountered significant challenges. 


He found the students to be challenging, with a lack of kindness that affected him. Moreover, he confronted instances of reverse racism in the inner-city school setting. These difficulties nearly led Moro to abandon the teaching profession entirely. 


Additionally, during this time, he faced personal heartbreak as he navigated the end of a seven-year relationship, a relationship that he once envisioned leading to marriage.


“Spectacular”

Upon completing his time at Brownsville, Mr. Moro received the opportunity to teach at Riviera Prep, one of the top private schools in Florida. His time at Riviera was one of his more smooth sailing years, with no major issues to deal with, aside from some minor health concerns, including kidney stones.

“It was spectacular. I learned from exceptional co-teachers and had access to valuable resources overall,” he said. 

This opportunity also served as a gateway for Moro to return to Christopher Columbus High School as a stepping stone to his alma mater.


“Back Home”

Soon after, Moro intended to present a summer camp proposal to Columbus. As always, Columbus welcomed Moro's ideas graciously. However, his proposal was ultimately declined due to the existence of a similar program offered by the school. 


Despite the unfortunate outcome, Moro was assured that his information would be kept on file. And it was. Two months later, Moro received an unexpected call on a random Tuesday evening. It was an offer of a lifetime, to return to where it all began, Christopher Columbus High School, where he has been teaching math for 17 years. Additionally, he runs the Math Honor Society.

Moro (middle) poses with Math Honor Society members who finished in 1st Place in the Group Competition at the Barry University Math Olympiad in 2022.

“I died twice in one day”

On a typical Saturday morning, Carlos Moro followed his routine, spending time with his family before heading out to grab a burrito at Chipotle. As he drove along 87th Avenue, he suddenly experienced a cardiac arrest, causing him to lose consciousness while behind the wheel. In the blink of an eye, his car collided with a tree due to his foot remaining on the pedal with all his weight.


Within minutes, a passerby called 911, and firefighters arrived promptly to administer aid. Moro was rushed to the hospital, where medical professionals worked tirelessly to revive him. Miraculously, he was revived twice after experiencing sudden cardiac death, though he endured excruciating pain as a result of the lifesaving measures. Despite the severity of the situation, Moro regained consciousness with no lasting impairments, surprising many who expected him to suffer brain damage. 


The survival rate for sudden cardiac death is 12 percent.

Dr. Aurelio Ortiz, a cardiologist, said that “Mr. Moro was very lucky to have survived”. 
“My family was very scared for me and it was a very serious moment,” he said.

 Remarkably, Moro could speak and function normally, defying the odds. To prevent future occurrences, Moro now has a defibrillator implanted in his heart, ready to deliver life-saving energy if needed again.

“By the grace of god, I am still here today and I am very thankful for that.”

Moro was greeted back with appreciation and awe. Many teachers, on the other hand, were scared for him.

"When we saw Carlos on Monday, two or three days after this all happened and he got out of the hospital, we couldn't believe what dedication he has to his students, to Columbus, and our department," said Mrs. Rams-Foyo, math department head, in an interview CCNN last year.

More teachers were even concerned with Moro; one even went on to say, "Please go home and rest."


But as united as a family Columbus is, the department went on to make sure he was safe.

Moro went on to emotionally say, "They did things that I thought nobody else would do, and I'm more than grateful for them."

“Very Blessed”

Even though it's only been a year since the significant incident, Moro has treasured his entire 17-year journey at Columbus. Moro deeply values the support he receives from parents, faculty and students at Columbus. To uplift and inspire, he even launched a TikTok page where he shares motivational quotes to keep everyone motivated in life.


Despite being a math teacher by profession, Moro goes beyond teaching mathematical concepts. He imparts lifelong skills and invaluable lessons to his students, drawing from his own experiences to help them become the best versions of themselves. Moro firmly believes in preparing students not just academically, but also for life's challenges.

“When we saw Moro here at Columbus about two or three days after getting out of the hospital, we couldn’t believe his dedication to his students, to Columbus, and our department,” Mrs. Rams-Foyo, longtime math department head said to CCNN in an interview last year. 

In 2017, Moro was nominated by a student, Pablo Quinonez, then selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars.

Pablo, a senior at the time of the award, told the school, “Mr. Moro is the best teacher that I ever had at Columbus. He's the kind of teacher who really goes out of his way to connect with his students and truly cares about them. When I heard about this award that honors teachers, I automatically thought of Mr. Moro.” 
In Moro's own words, "I am very happy and very blessed for everything that I do. I will always try my best in anything so when we students are adults they can teach the future correctly."

His unwavering commitment to his students' growth and development speaks volumes about his character and dedication to shaping future generations.

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