This past month, the officer line of the Gulliver Sundancers – including Captain NataciaZunjic ‘16, Co-Captain Monique Martinez ‘16, Lieutenant Gabriela Telepman ‘16 and Officer Brooke Bailey ‘16 – attended the American Dance Alliance Officer/Leadership camp at Show Stopper Studio in Hialeah. The four girls participated in three long days of dancing, choreographing and team building, while they worked together to earn high scores and have fun. They received Superior blue ribbons for their jazz choreography on day one, learned a contemporary and two jazz funk routines on day two and were evaluated on those routines on day three. Although stress levels were high leading up to day three, the officer line proved themselves – receiving the highest overall score and earning the “Grand Sweepstakes” trophy and title. Additionally, both Natacia and Monique won “star performer” ribbons – unique ribbons inviting the two to participate in American Dance Alliance’s new dance troupe, lead by choreographers from New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Congratulations to all four girls on their accomplishments at the ADA officer/leadership camp and for dedicating the summer to their craft! Way to go, ladies!
Sarah Hernandez '16 and her rowing team from the Miami Rowing Club captured the gold medal in the girls V4 rowing competition at the 48th annual Florida Scholastic Rowing Association State Sweep Championship. This championship took place on April 26, at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.
“I feel a complete sense of accomplishment,” Sarah said of the team’s first-place finish. “Winning the State Championship has made every morning practice, long erg piece and hard weight circuit worth it. All the dedication I put forth and all the sacrifices I have made all added up to this moment. I couldn't be any happier for my team. Now we have our minds set on winning the regional championship and moving on to the Youth National Championship”
In May, Sarah and the team won a silver medal at the regional US Rowing Southeast Youth Championships at Lake Rainer in Gainesville. This strong finish automatically qualified the team for the USRowing National Championships, which took place June in Sarasota.
Congratulations to Sarah and her team! We are so proud of your accomplishments! GO RAIDERS!
Left to right: Sara Fuenmayor ‘17, Marta Roesler - CRF, Michael Gonzalez ‘18 and Brent Bowen ‘17
With the help of faculty members, a group of Gulliver students dedicated a semester to selling bagels during break throughout the school in order to raise funds for the Coral Restoration Foundation. The Gulliver Prep SCUBA/Teens4Oceans club was able to give the foundation’s Marta Roesler a $1,000 donation. “The Oceans support and give life. It's important for us to help maintain our reefs, not just for the life it supports, but the livelihood of those who benefit from it,” says Michael Sylver, a faculty member of the Prep video production faculty.
A very special thank you to our always amazing faculty and students for being so earth-conscious and thinking of the greater good!
Congratulations to the fourth and fifth grade students who participated in the Florida American String Teachers Association (FLASTA) Play-A-Piece Day on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Students had the opportunity to perform and receive positive feedback and advice in a non-competitive environment. This was a great way for Gulliver’s young musicians to celebrate their accomplishments with their solo repertoire from throughout the year.
The judges were thoroughly impressed with the musicianship of our students. Participants from Gulliver Academy included Victoria Paesano ‘23, Oliver Lee ‘23, Isabella Bonifasi ‘23, Lucia De Fex ‘23, Victoria Serrano ‘23, Victoria Carrillo ‘23 and Josh Brown ‘22.
Please join us in congratulating them for their high standard of musicianship and excellence!
In early May, the Gulliver Preparatory Campus was host to the Sponsor an Athlete 5k, whichhas become one of Miami-Dade Special Olympics' leading fundraising events. The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
This is the sixth year Gulliver has opened up its doors and invited the community in to support this great event. The morning started at 7:00 a.m. with registration and a group warmup, and then the athletes were off to the starting line. The gun fired and 425 runners hit the pavement in the beautiful roads of our own Pinecrest neighborhood. The final stretch ended on Gulliver’s Sean Taylor Memorial Field with runners sprinting down the field and spectators cheering loudly. After the runners finished, they ventured to the Olympic Village, an area in which included music, dancing, food and awards. The awards ceremony started with the crowd coming together to celebrate more than 30 Special Olympians as they medaled for participating in the event. Many of our own Gulliver Raiders stood proud as they also medaled in the top three of their age groups. Xachary Bloom placed first with time of 24:53 with Cort Snyder a close second. They were top two in the age 8-10 division. Both boys have run this race for multiple years! Gulliver faculty, families and students also were visible everywhere throughout the entire event!
All this happened because of the support of people like you. Thank you to our students, families, administrators, faculty and staff who are an integral part of the community – and what better place to “give back” than in our own backyard? See you next year! GO RAIDERS!
Earlier this month, the Gulliver Academy’s Girls in Engineering students were invited to eMerge Americas to present “How Girls Engineer in Middle School.” eMerge Americas is a global idea exchange focusing on how technology and innovation are disrupting industries. The five-day conference serves as a platform connecting revolutionary startups, cutting-edge ideas, industry leaders and investors from around the globe.
Our students were interviewed by the U.S. chief technology officer and assistant to the president, Megan J. Smith, and discussed the importance of S.T.E.M. (science, engineers, technology and math) programs for kids in grades K-8 along with the mayor of the City of Miami, Tomás P. Regalado.
Just this year, Gulliver’s Girls in Engineering class established a mentoring program to inspire Primary and Lower School children to take an interest in robotics, coding, designing and building.
The opportunity was inspiring and eye-opening for the girls.
Seventh and Eighth grade students at the Montgomery Drive Campus participated in meaningful community service opportunities at Miami Rescue Mission and Farm Share. At Miami Rescue Mission, students served meals to more than 220 individuals living in the shelter and prepared food for the nightly meal, which is served to more than 1,200 homeless and needy people throughout the area. Before serving, students toured the facility, participated in a discussion of the reasons for homelessness and learned how the homeless are rehabilitated and gain re-entry into the workforce. During the students’ visit to Farm Share, they assembled enough meals to be delivered to more than 2,000 families in the surrounding community – in just one afternoon. These experiences continue to encourage our students to be active positive participants throughout the community.
Siblings Faraz Masroor ‘17 and Kiran Masroor ‘19 both sat for the local U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad exam and both qualified for the national exam – placing in the top 10 in the local examination! In order to earn their top 10 placement in the local exam, the students correctly answered at least 40 out of 60 extremely difficult multiple-choice questions. They then went on to take the national exam, in which Faraz finished among the top 50 students and earned High Honors.
The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is a multi-tiered chemistry competition with a primary goal to stimulate students to achieve excellence in chemistry. Faraz and Kiran were among the youngest students to take the local exam. “It was a bit intimidating to be one of the youngest competing, especially during the local exam because there was a large group of older people taking it with me,” Kiran says. “It made me question how well I would do on the exam, but then, once I made it to the national exam, I felt more comfortable.”
To prepare for the exam, Kiran explains, she studied chapters in advance, especially during Winter Break. “Also, I did all of the past local exams, and I would look over all my redos and look up solutions if I was confused,” she adds. “Mrs. Guerra was kind enough to help me and my brother use her equipment to go over specific lab questions that had been asked in previous years. She would help us after school and go over what the lab data meant and how it answered the question that was addressed.”
While preparing for the exam took a great deal of time, effort and organization, Kiran is happy with the results of her work. “It has inspired me to try to make it to the U.S. National Chemistry Team, which would be a tremendous honor,” she says.
This was Kiran’s first time at the local event, and Faraz’s second time. “I did this two years ago and studied all year,” Faraz says. “Chemistry does come pretty easy to me, but there is a lot involved. There are numbers, but also qualitative work.”
Both siblings moved onto the national exam, through which competitors can earn national recognition, the opportunity to go to Study Camp and a ranking. The national exam consists of a multiple choice section, a problem set and a lab practical. Faraz received High Honors on the National Exam, finishing in the top 50 students; Kiran didn't finish with a ranking. Students with the top 20 scores were invited to spend two weeks at Study Camp, and four were chosen to represent the U.S. at the International Chemistry Olympiad. We are so proud of our students, parents and faculty for this excellent effort! Go Raiders!!
For its second consecutive year, the Gulliver Prep Social Science Department has released its academic journal of history, politics, economics and society. “Principles of Social Science” incorporates a year’s worth of work by both students and faculty, with student editors and writers taking the lead in its completion.
Student editors James Britt ‘17, Caroline Comeau ‘16 and Sara Fuenmayor ‘17 worked with Christopher Calvo, Prep Social Sciences faculty, to select student articles of quality scholarship for publication in the department’s journal. The team of student writers included Martina Zuluga ‘16, Raphael Hillis ‘16, Kaeli Streeter ‘14, David Klein ‘15, Lauren Pelletier ‘17, Sarah Menasce ‘17, Sebastian Barlett ‘15 and Songlin Vincent Li ‘16.
Together, faculty, student editors and writers accomplished multiple tasks. Writers committed to demanding assignments, both editors and writers had to remain engaged throughout the assignment. Both had to ensure that the final articles were written correctly – paying attention to the style, the format and the way they communicated their ideas.
Pelletier, a Gulliver drama and debate student, and Menasce, a biomedical science and art student, contributed studies on 20th-century African-American history. Zuluga, who is heavily involved in several of Gulliver’s student service organizations, wrote about the indigenous Wayuu population in northern Colombia, providing additional insight gained through her family’s travels and experiences. “I really like talking about where I am from and providing that insight,” Zuluga says, adding that guidance from one of her teachers was particularly important. “I’ve been much more open-minded after taking anthropology with Dr. Cubas. He has helped me with the process and has really guided and helped me.” Klein, whose Gulliver activities including being captain of the tennis team, researched the popular Hollywood film “Schindler’s List,” intent on thoroughly examining Oskar Schindler, the main character of the true story. Li, who is studying engineering as well as international business and entrepreneurship, contributed an essay on contemporary Hong Kong.
This year’s journal follows up on the 2013-2014 journal of the same title, which received positive reviews and praise from the Gulliver community. The journal is a unique experiential learning opportunity developed with months of patience, dedication, detail and hard work from the social sciences department. “As far as I understand, there is only one other student lead journal like this in the United States. I am proud of the content and quality of work each student contributed in making the journal a success within the Gulliver community. This project enriches the learning experience of our department and provides insight on the diversity of our students,” says Christopher Calvo.
Jorge Rodriguez-Walling, Prep Social Sciences chair, said the journal reflects the department’s commitment to student-led learning and student engagement in the social sciences. “We tried to put out a quality product, just as we did the first time, and we hope you all love it as much as we do,” Rodriguez-Walling says. “We hope to continue putting products out which students are really proud of.”
We are ecstatic to receive the second volume of the academic journal and congratulate the social science department and the students for their year-long work and dedication to another exceptional journal!
Throughout the year, Gulliver Prep students have planned ways to help others who are less fortunate. After a successful Club Rush during the beginning of the year, TECHOhad enough volunteers to begin implementing their ideas. In late March, the students traveled to Costa Rica, near San Jose, to build homes for people in need through TECHO, a non-profit that helps fight extreme poverty with youth volunteers. Roberto Interiano ‘16 met with the Miami representative for TECHO, Laura Mejia, to help launch this initiative. He turned to Angel Munoz ‘16, Ruben Pena ‘16, Ashlee Ruiz ‘17, Gabriel Almeida ‘16, Daniel Lopez ‘16, Natalie De Angulo ‘16, Gabriela Dullenkopf ‘16, David Herrera ‘17 and Victoria Padilla ‘16 for assistance. Together, they reached out to all potential volunteers, including other students and their families and friends.
To finance building the homes, the students fundraised more than $5,000; one house typically costs around $2,500 to build. “It was definitely a life-changing experience for all of us that participated,” says Roberto. “We learned so much: organized our logistics, fundraised, traveled and built houses in record time. And most importantly, we lived and became friends with people who live in very challenging conditions. It taught us gratefulness and service. We are committed to expand our TECHO Gulliver Club and are already organizing upcoming trips like this, including for this summer.”
Students arrived on a Friday and spent the evening dining with the families for whom they’d be building homes. They worked most of Saturday and Sunday, leaving later in the evening on Sunday. Much of the $2,500-per-home cost goes towards the required and primary material: wood that is six meters by three meters. The students helped with the base, framing and building of the home. All materials were brought in through TECHO, purchased through the funds the students raised. Once the homes were completed, students included a ribbon for the families to cut as they began to enjoy their new homes.
“This mission trip was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had,” says Angel. “These types of trips are something I believe every individual should try to make at least once. The manual labor involved is great for the body and the connection made with the local people is great for the soul.” The students were passionate about the trip. “I left with a feeling of fulfillment that was unparalleled to any other. No materialistic or superficial achievement can amount to how spiritually rewarding building that house was,” Munoz adds. “We left something that would last for years and were able to improve the quality of life of another human being. Before we left, the house owner asked us to write our names on her wall so she could remember us.”
Please join us in congratulating our students and families for the excellent work they have done and the commitment to service they have demonstrated. We are so proud of you!