Berkeley Senior Informs and Inspires Others Using a Creative Platform

Ava Raterman ’20, is passionate about both environmentalism and the visual arts. Ava has combined these passions to create a recently completed environmental awareness installation on campus in our Middle Division garden. She worked diligently with Mr. Vogel, on her own time, to complete this unique installation informing others about the importance of protecting a native species that lives on our campus – the Gopher tortoise.

“I was prompted by the Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge to showcase my skills in both science (ecology) and digital drawing skills,” Raterman explained. “To begin my independent project, I reached out to Mr. Vogel to work in the Smith Fabrication Studio. Under his guidance, I learned the tools and techniques needed to produce a sign that can be installed outdoors and inform our campus community about the importance of the Gopher tortoise, an endangered species that resides on our campus. The sign explains the Gopher tortoises’ role in the ecosystem and how/why Berkeley students should protect them. After over a year of work, I completed the educational sign that is now installed in the Middle Division garden area. “

Berkeley Buccaneers, if you are inspired by Ava’s story and would like to share a similar story of making a positive difference in the world, please let us know at
Founded in 1960, Berkeley is an independent, Episcopal, college-preparatory day school located in Tampa, FL, for boys and girls in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. Approximately 1,380 students gather here from the greater Tampa Bay area to form ONE Berkeley.