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Dancers Serve the Community by Sharing Their Talents

The Gulliver Preparatory dancers have been spreading the joy of dance to our South Florida community!  During January, Dance Club members were greeted with enthusiastic applause when they performed a show for the senior citizen residents of The Palace in Kendall. They performed several dances, including lyrical, jazz and hip hop routines.  After the performance, the dancers socialized with residents. 

“We all loved watching the smiles grow on the faces of the residents as we performed for them,” said Morgan Furnari ‘15, president of the Dance Club. As a memento of the event, club members distributed flowers to each of the residents.

A special thank you to the Prep Sundancers, parents and faculty for giving back to our community!

Posted by since on Wednesday February 25
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A Selection of Student Art Featured in the Coral Gables Museum


Gulliver, in collaboration with the Coral Gables Museum, coordinated a display of select student artwork from all grade levels for show in the museum from Friday, February 6, 2015, through Sunday, February 8, 2015. 

A private reception inaugurated this event, which corresponded with the Coral Gables Art Walk. The reception, which was to have run from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., began with excited guests arriving as early as 5:00 p.m. and concluded with guests remaining until well past 7:30 p.m. Those in attendance included parents whose children’s artwork was selected for the showing, Gulliver faculty members and administrators, local guests and international dignitaries such as H. Ricardo Treco, consul general of The Bahamas. 

While the art on display was the centerpiece of the event, our Preparatory strings section, coordinated by Ron Castonguay and directed by Gulliver music faculty member Samantha Tamayo, certainly lent an air of elegance and distinction to the evening. This eight piece violin and cello ensemble entertained attendees for the evening with beautiful classical music. Students finely performed several tasteful pieces for the appreciation of those in attendance.

The art show consisted of a selection of works from students of all the art teachers from the Lower Schools, Middle School and Prep: Cris Valdes, Kathe Dunberg, Kathe Brewer, Beth Harrison, Stacy Goldman ‘96, Maribel Toledo, Joseph Golinski, Mary H. Munn and Christina Manrique. Pieces spanned the genres of printmaking, collage, ceramics, watercolor, oils, acrylics, oil pastels, papier-mâché masks, relief sculptures, architectural drawings, digital photography, videos and mixed media.

Hank Langston, Gulliver's dean of faculty and director of university, corporation and community affairs, came up with the idea to showcase a selection of artwork from all 1st grade to 12th grade art students from both campuses. The art departments worked with Debi Van Stone ‘80, Mr.Langston’s administrative assistant, to prepare the show. 

With more than 300 enthusiastic attendees, the reception was an overwhelming success – a clear show of support for our arts program. Special thanks go to the Gulliver students, parents, administrators, faculty, staff and community members who helped support this wonderful event!



Gulliver Visual Arts Students Receive Multiple Awards


Gulliver Academy - Marian C. Krutulis Campus and Preparatory Campus have a lot to celebrate! The visual arts department has recently earned multiple awards for students’ artistic visions and hard work!

Scholastic winners from the Academy Middle School Art Department included the following:

Gabriela Da Rocha ‘19 won a Gold Key for her “Pinecones” painting and a Silver Key for her “Ribbon and Shoes.” Carlos Sanchez ‘20 won a Gold Key for his “Dinning Room Dream” drawing of apples. Elizabeth Vair ‘19 won a Gold Key for her “Apples” and an Honorable Mention for her “High Tops” drawing. Samuel Starke ‘19 won an Honorable Mention for his drawing, “Lobster Mix.” Victoria Paredero Quiros ‘19 won an Honorable Mention for her drawing of “Chant Melancolique.”

Elizabeth Vair '19 also took first place for graphics in the Beaux Arts Students Artist Showcase and four Gulliver students also were selected as finalists. The Student Artist Showcase aims to encourage young artists and support educational development in the community. These students had their artwork displayed in an exhibition held at the Lowe Art Museum on the University of Miami campus.


Adrianna Arguello ‘19

Artwork Title: “My Favorite Boots”

Category: Graphics


Samuel Starke ‘19

Artwork Title: “Lobster Mix”

Category: Graphics


Elizabeth Vair ‘19 won first place in the Graphics category

Artwork Title: “High Tops”

Category: Graphics


Victoria Paredero Quiros ‘19

Artwork Title: “The Eye of the Tiger”

Category: Mixed Media


Gulliver Prep students Gabriel Abascal Marin '16 and Paula Bontempo '16 placed art pieces that have been awarded Gold Keys in the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (the highest possible award). Their work will now go on to complete at the national level. Their work was displayed on Sunday, January 25, at the Rubell Family Collection in Midtown, with a reception and awards Ceremony. In addition, two Gulliver students placed second in the 2015 Beaux Arts student showcase: Alejandra Sanchez '15 for painting and Ros Fiol '15 for drawing!

Congratulations to the amazing faculty, parents and students on their success. We cannot wait to see what you do next!

Gulliver Prep Robotics Students Prepare to Compete in FIRST Robotics Competition’s RECYCLE RUSH

The Gulliver Prep Robotics team, also known as BBR8ERS and Team #5557, is preparing to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition’s RECYCLE RUSH. The competition includes strict rules, limited resources and time limits. Teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” refine teamwork skills and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to each team. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get.

RECYCLE RUSH will be a recycling-themed game played by two alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers and properly disposing of pool noodles, which represent litter. Because the theme is recycling, all game pieces can be reused or recycled by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.

Around 20 Gulliver students are joining thousands of students around the globe in this year’s competition. Stephanie Peng ‘15 has been heavily involved in organizing and managing the project. “We have been having two weekly meetings: One on Thursday for the entire team to discuss general ideas and another on Saturday to discuss design, building, strategy and how to obtain the most amount of points within our time restriction,” she says. She intends to go a bit deeper into building and programming as the club continues its work.

Stephanie and Schuyler Renkin ‘15 also assembled the paperwork to obtain a grant to help support the team’s efforts. “They did the research, the writing…they spearheaded the proposal and they got the funds to execute,” says Gulliver faculty member Dean Morell. “It is because of them, really, that we are doing this and it is really an exciting adventure for us.”

For additional professional support, Gulliver Robotics called on Gulliver International Business and Entrepreneurship students to help manage and maximize a percentage of their newly obtained budget. Those students will also work on marketing proposals to help obtain sponsors for the team. “People think that this competition is just programming and engineering...no!” Mr. Morrell says. “It is engineering, it is social media, it is marketing, it is business, it is teamwork, finding ways to communicate with other schools and mentors. They use the term ‘cooper-tition,’ a hybrid between cooperation and competition. It’s okay to be competitive, but it is also okay to help other teams within and outside your alliance.”

The first regional competition will be held February 25–28, 2015, in Fort Lauderdale. Please join us in wishing the robotics and business students, parents and faculty the best of luck for this exciting journey. We are so proud of you!

Congratulations to the Boys’ and Girls’ Gulliver Academy Basketball Teams



The girls’ and boys’ Gulliver Academy basketball teams both have won South Florida Middle School Conference Basketball Championships (SFMSCC)!

The boys’ team capped off an undefeated season at 18-0, winning over the following teams en route to the championship:

Quarterfinals – vs. Miami Country Day: 67-31

Semifinals – vs. Cushman: 72-56

Championships – vs. Westminster: 54-40

Top boys’ players included:

Gabe Taylor ‘20 (Tournament MVP): 36 points; 15 assists; 5 steals; 5 rebounds

Tony Sanders ‘20 (All-Tournament Team): 44 points; 3 assists; 7 rebounds; 6 steals

Jason Houser ‘19 (All-Tournament Team): 18 points; 18 rebounds; 2 assists; 2 steals; 2 blocks

Team members included Gabe Taylor ‘20, Tony Sanders ‘20, Spencer McWhorter, Griffin Schweitzer ‘19, D'Sean Perry ‘19, Charlie Diaz ‘19, Patrick Langer ‘19, Frankie Idlett ‘21, Savant Patel ‘19, Awad Baig ‘19, Nico Casares ‘19, Niki Aixala ‘20, Scott Hellinger ‘19, Jason Houser ‘19 and Diego LaMonica ‘20.


The girls’ basketball team finished its season 11-4 with three wins for the girls’ middle school conference championship.

Quarterfinal – vs. Palmer Trinity: 23-13

Semifinal – vs. Cushman: 31-21

Championship – vs. Carrollton: 24-23

Top girls’ players included:

Rachel Kaiser ‘19 (Tournament MVP): 27 points; 7 assists; 11 steals

Paula Basterra ‘20 (All-Tournament Team): 24 points; 8 rebounds; 5 steals

Catherine Bettridge ‘20 (All-Tournament Team): 20 points; 9 rebounds; 3 steals

Cami Noel ‘19 (All-Tournament Team): Outstanding Defensive Performance

Team members included Rachel Kaiser ‘19, Catherine Betteridge ‘20, Sammie Robinson ‘19, Maddy Feinberg ‘19, Paula Basterra ‘20, Jess Medwin ‘21 Fu, Cami Noel ‘19, Chole Peebles ‘21, Sophia Sims ‘21, Nicole Krieger ‘19, Carly Feinberg ‘19, Bella Pelletier ‘19, Cassidy Woolworth ‘19, Sofia Sacco ‘20 and Mila Eliaschev ‘20.

Special thank you to all our wonderful student-athletes, coaches and parents for their dedication and hard work this season. We are proud of you, team!

Gulliver Sundancers Attend American Dance Alliance State Competition

On Sunday, January 25, the Prep Sundancers and Academy Junior Sundancers represented Gulliver with pride and passion at the American Dance Alliance (ADA) State Competition at South Dade High School. It was a full day of fun and exciting dancing with elementary, middle and high school teams competing in several categories.

We are very proud to announce the Academy results after competing in the Middle School Small Team Division under the direction of Carla Duval:

“Addicted To You” – First Place and Superior Rating, Contemporary Category

“Drumline” – First Place and Superior Rating, Hip Hop Category

“Knock on Wood” – First Place, Superior Rating, High Score Award and State Championship Jackets, Jazz Category

Lily Brown ‘19 – Superior Rating, Solo Category

Isa Del Rio ‘19 – Superior Rating, Solo Category



And proud to announce the Prep results, after competing in the High School Medium Team Division under the direction of Gerri Barreras:

Morgan Furnari ‘15 – Superior Rating, Soloist

Monique Martinez ‘16 – Superior Rating, Soloist

Nati Zunjic ‘16 – Excellent Rating, Soloist

Isa Rodriguez ‘17 – Excellent Superior Rating, Soloist

Morgan Furnari ‘15, Cristy Ruiz ‘15, Monique Martinez ‘16 and Nati Zunjic ‘16 – Superior Rating, Officer Ensemble

Morgan Furnari ‘15, Cristy Ruiz ‘15, Madeleine Harris ‘15 and Katie Zighelboim ‘15 – Superior Rating, Senior Ensemble

“For the First Time”– First Place and Superior Rating, Team – Lyrical

“Jammin” – First Place and Superior Rating, Team – Jazz Funk

“Someone We Used to Know” – Second Place and Superior Rating, Team – Contemporary

“One World” – Third Place and Superior Rating, Team – Hip Hop

“Cell Block Tango” – Fifth Place and Superior Rating, Team – Jazz

Morgan Furnari ‘15 – Special Recognition: Judges Award for Outstanding Choreography, Contemporary

“Cell Block Tango” – Special Recognition: Judges Award for Style and Innovation

Congratulations to the Prep Sundancers and Academy Junior Sundancers for all the hard work and dedication that they truly showcased! Also, congratulations and a big thank you to all the wonderful directors and choreographers who contributed to so many wins; to the enthusiastic parents for their never ending support; to Jeannette Gonzalez-Rojas and Lindsay Longshore for being such outstanding chaperones and so helpful! Thank you Raider family for the support and for always cheering us on! CONGRATULATIONS, RAIDERS!

Middle School Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer

The Gulliver Academy Middle School teams had an excellent close to their season!

Middle School girls’ soccer team won the championship in the South Florida Middle School Conference (SFMSC) Tournament. The final game against Ransom was decided by penalty kicks. Alejandra Giammattei ‘20 was named to the All-Tournament Team and Samantha Traad '19 was named MVP in the South Florida Middle School Soccer Tournament of 2015. The team finished the year with a record of 12 wins and 1 loss.

The Middle School boys’ soccer team beat Miami Country Day School by a score of 1-0 in the South Florida Middle School Conference (SFMSC) Tournament semifinal game with a goal by Tadeo Acosta-Rubio '19. The team advanced to the championship game to play Palmer Trinity and won 3-2. Goals were made by Tadeo Acosta-Rubio (1) and Byron Lopez ‘19 (2). The team ended the season with an excellent 13-0 record. Tadeo Acosta-Rubio received special recognition as MVP in the South Florida Middle School Soccer Tournament of 2015.

Congratulations to the student athletes, families and coaches on their achievement. Great work, team!

Posted by garci on Friday January 30
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Gulliver Prep Visits Dade County Courthouse

On Wednesday, January 7, prospective Urban Planning students visited the Dade County Courthouse on a mission to make it their challenge for the 2015-2016 school year.

The Dade County Courthouse has been in need of major repair for several years. The students were made aware of the dilapidated structure after following Chief Judge Bertila Soto’s campaign efforts to save the historic site.

Chief Judge Soto was gracious in meeting with the students to discuss the various occupational issues. She also pointed out in detail the poor condition of the structure as we toured throughout the site. The students welcomed this opportunity with great gratitude and enthusiasm and they are preparing for this challenge.

Let’s wish the students and faculty the best of luck on their new assignment! Congratulations, Raider family! 





Jowan Watson Propels Private All-Star Team to Victory and Nabs MVP Honors

Gulliver senior quarterback Jowan Watson had a stellar showing in the Sixth Annual TRU Sports Foundation Private/Public All-Star Game that was held at Monsignor Pace High School. With less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and his team trailing by two points, Jowan led the Private team down the field to put them in position to kick the game-winning field goal from 22 yards away. The Private team earned a 22-21 victory over the Public team.

Jowan’s strong play throughout the game earned him MVP honors. He completed 12 of 24 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 45 yards on nine carries to earn Offensive MVP honors.

When asked about what he said to his team to lead them to victory, Jowan said, “Going into the last drive I was on the sideline and I was telling the offensive players, ‘All we need to do is get into field goal range,’ and I went up to our head coach, Maisonet, and said the same thing. Everyone was calm. I guess we all knew we could get it done.”  Of his own performance, Jowan said, “I have to credit the toughness of the O-line (Offensive Line) and my receiver for making plays for me. We just went out there and had fun and I am glad I had the opportunity to play in this game and end my high school career on a good note.”

Raviel Maisonet, Gulliver’s offensive coordinator, was coach of the Private team. “I am fortunate to be able to coach a quarterback like Jowan,” he said. “His maturity, composure and confidence were pretty evident in that last drive. His play tonight is exactly how he led his team at Gulliver. Jowan is a great player and, furthermore, a great kid.”

We would like to congratulate Jowan Watson on his great performance and wish him the best as he prepares to attend Georgetown University. He will play football for the Hoyas and plans on studying pre-medicine with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.

Photo Credit: South Florida High School Sports


Gulliver Prep Faculty Member Ron Castonguay to Conduct Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” at the Adrienne Arsht Center

We are excited to announce that Gulliver Prep faculty member Ron Castonguay will conduct Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” at the Adrienne Arsht Center from January 22 to February 15, 2015!

DreamCatcher Theatre, founded by siblings Joe Caruncho and Natalie Caruncho ‘04, had expressed interest in this project for more than a year, and is producing the play.

“They were such great students, doing great work up in New York, doing music and dancing and singing,” Mr. Castonguay says. “Natalie is a choreographer and she has been on Broadway, and Joe is a phenomenal musician and actor. He just got off tour with Wynton Marsalis. They’ve kept in touch with me over the years and they liked the way I conduct and they asked me to do it so here I am, so honored and humbled with the opportunity.”

The show includes an 11-piece orchestra, all founded, hired and rehearsed by Mr. Castonguay, as well as 19 actors and actresses on stage and eager to tell the story of James Lapine’s enchanting book. The cast includes Tituss Burgess and Arielle Jacobs.

This is the first major production for Mr. Castonguay, who is ecstatic about and humbled by the opportunity to showcase his talent. The production will be filled with dazzling lyrics and beautiful music. It takes place in the fairytale kingdom of the Brothers Grimm, and will be filled with unique twists that breathe fresh air into some of the legendary fairytale characters we all know and love.

We are so proud to see our Gulliver community doing what they love! The Gulliver family wishes you all a successful show with many more to come.

For additional information about the show, please visit Broadway World.  To view available show times and tickets, please click here.


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