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Coach Jeff Poppell Awarded ASCA Coach of Excellence for 2013

Congratulations to Coach Jeff Poppell for being recognized by the American Swimming Coaches Association as a Coach of Excellence for 2013 for outstanding coaching achievement in the United States. Each year, the ASCA honors the coaches who guide swimmers to a Top 8 finish at a USA Swimming national-level meet or a USA collegiate championship. The Certificate of Excellence listing for 2013 was based on Top 8 finishes at one of the following meets:

  • 2013 NCAA Championships
  • 2013 NAIA National Championships
  • 2013 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships
  • 2013 USA Swimming Summer National Championships
  • 2013 USA Swimming Winter National Championships
Posted by garci in swimming, Gulliver Athletics, activities, Faculty, Athletics, Varsity, Excellence on Wednesday April 16 at 12:12PM
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Gulliver Faculty Isabel Lopez-Healy Wades through the Everglades

A half-mile “wet walk” was no ordinary workshop for Gulliver science faculty Isabel Lopez-Healy. She was one of 35 teachers chosen to explore the Everglades by participating in the half-mile walk in freshwater cypress habitat at the Big Cypress National Preserve, 12 miles west of Shark Valley.

Isabel waded through the freshwater swamp next to alligators to see the effects of climate change on the animal’s natural habitat. The goal of the workshop was to strengthen fourth and sixth grade teachers’ knowledge  about the causes and observed impacts of climate change in South Florida – especially in the Everglades. 


Posted by garci in activities, Middle School, Academy, Gulliver, Faculty, Academics, Excellence on Monday April 14 at 09:18AM
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Gulliver IB Students Volunteer for Literacy Project


Gulliver’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme and Teach for America (TFA) have collaborated to spearhead a project that will aid students with reading disabilities. Partnered with Holmes Elementary School, a TFA partner school located in Liberty City, the goal is to expose students there to additional reading time on Saturdays. This additional time will help them with reading comprehension and vocabulary. The program curriculum includes 40 minutes of attention in each of three scheduled areas, such as literacy, enrichment and games, and focuses on third and fourth grade students.

More than 40 Gulliver IB students have volunteered to be part of this three-month project and will help tutor high-need elementary students at Holmes. It comes as no surprise that the IB students have filled up the volunteer sheets, since the Gulliver IB Programme aims to develop internationally-minded people who strive to create a better world. IB students are constantly challenged to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective throughout their time at Gulliver.

The first week of the reading tutoring program brought in about 12 students from Holmes Elementary School and during the second week, the number increased to around 40 students. The results and feedback of the children at Holmes Academy have been outstanding. Just recently, Superintendent Alberto Cavalho has recently joined the efforts and was impressed by all the hard work the students are putting in. During his visit, Gulliver student and volunteer Paola Songeur ‘15 was not able to attend the program due to SAT testing and was greatly missed by one of the younger students at Holmes Academy. In tears, the student kindly asked Alberto to change the date of her exam because she missed her.

Gulliver faculty member Linde Barrett and Leslie Miller Saiontz, board chair of Teach for America Miami-Dade, jumpstarted this initiative. “The overall goal is for this pilot program to be as efficient as possible for these students so that other IB schools in the region are aware of this opportunity and team up with other schools that need a helping hand with students that are having literacy issues,” says Linde.

Gulliver is proud to have so many students who want to make a positive impact in the lives of others! 

Gulliver Baseball Player Joe Dunand '14 Breaks National Home Run Record

Joe Dunand '14 broke a national home run record with eight consecutive home runs at the highly touted Horizon National Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. Joe, who has signed a national letter of intent to play collegiate baseball for North Carolina State University, lead his team to a 4-1 tournament record and third place tournament finish during spring break. The previous national record for consecutive home runs was six.

During the tournament, Joe batted a .833 average while going 10-12, including those record-setting eight consecutive home runs. He hopes to carry the momentum of this stellar performance into the Raiders’ final games of the season and into the playoffs. When asked how his performance affected the team, he said, “I think it is really good for the team, we are coming together at a perfect time. It is looking bright.”

We would like to congratulate Joe on this history-making accomplishment and wish him and the Gulliver Raider Baseball Team the best as they prepare to conclude the regular season and begin their playoff push for a baseball state title. 

Click here to see Joe accept his award.

Video courtesy of Scott Phillips, president and CEO of EMS Miami, LLC.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) Event Showcases Life-Altering Projects


Gulliver Engineering hosted the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) event in March, showcasing two complex projects students have been working on this school year: the LiTreS water filtration system and the Eco-Cooker.

LiTreS, the Liquid Treatment System, is a water filtration device that utilizes a high-volume rotary pump and a four-filter system to provide clean and accessible drinking water to developing nations. Students are currently working on sending devices out to Africa, Haiti, Nigeria, the Philippines and areas in Argentina. LiTreS has been recognized with its own segment on WPLG Local 10 news, received national recognition and was awarded the Heart of Haiti award by the Haitian Parliament for the impact the first LiTreS device made in that nation.

The Eco-Cooker is a methane production device that converts biodegradable wastes into odorless gases that can be used as a fuel to cook or boil water. The student team aims to implement the device in rural areas of developing nations to provide people with a clean, safe and eco-friendly way to cook. In 2013, the team entered the device in the Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Challenge and won in the Clean Energy and Environment Category.

Gulliver faculty member Claude Charron wants to showcase the opportunities Gulliver students have to learn about engineering and participate in something that goes beyond just this area of study. He wants to present the opportunity to change lives around the world, and is calling out to all Gulliver students who are interested in being a part of this initiative. Both devices are focused on impacting the world for the better – simply by providing items that most people take for granted every day. “Engineering isn’t just about putting things together,” says Claude. “It takes business, design, mathematics, science and, most importantly, dedication in order to impact lives.”

Let’s congratulate Gulliver engineering students and faculty on all their hard work and dedication – both the positive change they have helped make in the world and their will and ambition to want to do so.

Gulliver Swimmers Shine at American Short Course Championships in Texas

Seven members of the Gulliver Swim Club travelled to Austin, Texas last week to compete in the 2014 American Short Course Championships. The three-day meet, held at the University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, featured collegiate, professional and club swimmers from across the country. It was also the final opportunity for men's collegiate swimmers to qualify for the NCAA Championships, which are set for March 27-29 in Austin.

College teams competing at the meet included the University of Texas, University of Missouri, University of California, Texas A&M University, Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, University of Virginia and University of Wyoming.

It was an exceptional meet for all the Gulliver Schools swimmers who attended: Alicia Mancilla ‘18, Brooke Ellis ‘17, Namilla Sanchez ‘16 and Niki Urquidi ‘16. They were prevalent throughout the championship final heats each night, but the highlight of the competition may have come in the last individual event of the competition. That night, Alicia, Niki and Namilla recorded 1st, 2nd and 4th place finishes in the 1650 freestyle. Other outstanding results included Namilla’s 2nd place finish in the 500 freestyle and 4th placein the 400 individual medley, Brooke's 7th place in the 400 individual medley, Alicia's 7th place in the 500 freestyle and Niki's 4th place in the 500 freestyle and 9th place in the 200 freestyle. Congratulations, Gulliver swimmers!



Dr. William P. Murphy Jr. visits Gulliver Prep

In February, Dr. William P. Murphy Jr., founder of Cordis Corporation (today part of Johnson & Johnson), visited a small group of Gulliver Prep Students. He took the students on a journey from his childhood, when he constructed his own motorized bicycle, to his revolutionary inventions, which changed modern-day medical procedures. Murphy, a tremendously successful entrepreneur and inventor, owns 17 patents and is a distinguished speaker and published author. Throughout his presentation, the octogenarian shared his most important advice, encouraging the encouraging the students to, “Learn everything you can; learn every day!”

Murphy graduated from Harvard University in 1946 with a major in pre-medicine and a minor in architecture. He received his M.D. in 1947 from the University of Illinois, and then studied physiologic instrumentation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1947 to 1948. His work today includes serving as chairman of the board of Sunrise-based cell technology company Bioheart.

Dr. William P. Murphy Jr.’s most popular inventions and medical breakthroughs include: 

  • The first residential snowblower, created while he was in high school
  • Conducted the first blood transfusion on a soldier during the Korean War
  • Created the first physiological heat pacemaker
  • Created the first disposable dialyzer (artificial kidney)
  • Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for disposable medical trays
  • The overhead projector
  • The artificial kidney
Posted by Chantel Garcia in Preparatory, Gulliver, Academics on Tuesday March 18 at 10:55AM
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Pete Taylor Named Head Coach for New Arena Football Team

Gulliver parent and former volunteer football coach Pete Taylor was tapped to become head coach of the newly formed South Florida Arena Football League team, the Miami Inferno. The Inferno will kick-off its inaugural season with its first game on Saturday, May 25, at its new home at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

Pete says the opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. He has always had a passion for coaching and says it’s a great way to give back to the community. The Arena Football League is comprised of college athletes who may have attended the NFL Scouting Combine or individuals interested in continuing to play the game and gain experience. Pete hopes to help them attain their dreams of playing in the NFL.

Pete has been and continues to be a huge supporter of the Gulliver football team, both as a parent volunteer and as a former volunteer coach. He also is the father of current Gulliver student-athlete Gabriel Taylor '20 and late Gulliver alumnus Sean Taylor '01, a Miami Hurricanes and Washington Redskins star player. Gabriel is following in his family’s athletic footsteps, having been featured in Sports Illustrated Kids’ “Fab Five” for his success in athletics.

Arena football veteran and Gulliver parent Luther Johnson will also be joining the coaching staff as the defensive coordinator. Luther’s son, Luther James Johnson V '20, is also a current Gulliver student-athlete who plays for Gulliver Academy’s football, basketball and lacrosse team. Luther has helped film and scout some games throughout the season.

The Gulliver community wishes Coach Taylor and Coach Johnson the best of luck in their new endeavor! 

Posted by Chantel Garcia in Gulliver Athletics, Academy, Gulliver, Football on Monday March 10
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Gulliver Students Finalizing Sonnet Special Olympics App

Last year, Darian Miranda ‘13 and Sebastian Bartlett ‘15 began brainstorming ways to develop an app targeted to Special Olympics athletes. Their primary goal was to create a user-friendly and safe online community for these athletes. The pair also wanted to help Special Olympians keep their busy schedules organized by tracking the status of events and their locations. The app they created is called Sonnet – short for Secure Online Network.

While the initiative was launched last year, several Java gurus from the Gulliver’s computer science program have already stepped into leadership roles in order to finalize the app. Sebastian Bartlett ’15, Max Bochner ‘14, Noah Jacobs ‘15, Faraz Masroor ‘17 and Schuyler Reinken ‘15 are currently preparing it for beta testing. “I really wanted to jump at the chance to make a program that someone was really going to use,” Schuyler says.

Faraz adds that, “I really wanted to program an Android! When I took the honors Java class, Mr. Morell taught us how to program an Android and I really wanted to apply my knowledge on that and help people.”

Sonnet will be available on Android tablets that currently work with secure data networks. A dedicated administration team, focused on the athletes’ security, will oversee confirmation of each member requesting access. Plus, the app will not be available to a general audience; instead, it will be limited to about 200 athletes. Sonnet will include a news feed with text and images, as well as color coded events, friend status and maps with location updates on each Sonnet user. The student developer team plans to execute final testing rounds with the athletes by the beginning of Spring Break in order to receive final feedback and begin finalizing the application.

Gulliver faculty members Dean Morell and Miami-Dade County Special Olympics head Lindsay Harris Smith have been especially helpful to the students, assisting with brainstorming, development and quality control.

Let’s congratulate the team on all their hard work and effort to provide a user-friendly and safe online community for Special Olympics athletes!          


Gulliver Boys’ Soccer wins 2A State Soccer State Championship

The Gulliver Boys’ Soccer team (22-1-1) brought the 2013-2014 class 2A boys' state championship to Gulliver after defeating Bishop Moore Catholic High School of Orlando by a score of 5-1 at Eastern Florida State College on Saturday, February 15.

The Raiders used last year’s loss to Jacksonville Bolles in the 2A championship game to fuel their ambition to become Florida High School Athletic Association state champions.

“We just remembered that empty feeling last year of having to sit there and watch Bolles put their winning medals around their neck and take pictures with the championship trophy,” said Alex Moztarzadeh ‘15. “Today was our turn to pose with that trophy.”  

The Raiders were led by stellar play from goalkeeper Esteban Sapentinizky ‘14, who defended the goal marvelously as Bishop Moore tried to attack. Offensively, the Raiders were led by Zane Van de Put ‘14, Luis Diego ‘14, Jesus Bolivar ‘14, Alex Moztarzadeh ‘15 and Alex Alvarez ‘15, who all scored a goal in the championship game.

This state soccer championship was the fifth for the Gulliver boys’ soccer program and its first since 2008. This win stands proudly beside state titles from 1992, 1999, 2000 and 2008. The Raiders also become the only team from Miami-Dade to win a boys’ soccer state title since 2008.

We congratulate the boys’ soccer team on winning the 2A state soccer championship and bringing the championship trophy back to Gulliver.


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