This past summer, student Samuel “Sam” Steffens ‘16 earned an internship at the prominent New York-based Rottet Studio, a giant in the world of architectural and interior design for the hospitality industry. Commuting daily from Manhattan’s SoHo to Midtown, Sam – who was ambitious and eager to surpass all expectations – often worked from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. His responsibilities included revising drawings for projects such as 432 Park Avenue, 217 West 57th Street (Nordstrom Tower) and the upcoming Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia (at 1800 Arch Street). In addition to that, Rottet’s senior designers involved Sam in the design process for their furniture pieces and other residential amenities – everything from lighting fixtures to coffee tables.
“It was intensive and, at times, overwhelming, but a very exhilarating experience nonetheless,” Sam says. In the end, his 10-week tenure in the city served as the most insightful learning experience he has been a part of. “For everyone that’s helped me expand my knowledge in the discipline of design, I thank you,” he says. “And to my Mom and Dad – I couldn’t have gotten to this point without your help and constant encouragement. Thank you, and I love you!”
Please join us in congratulating Sam for his ambition, dedication and hard work! We are so proud of you!
South Florida Middle School Conference (SFMSC) Girls’ Swimming Championship
Score: Gulliver 111, Westminster Christian 96, Ransom 90
The girls captured the 2015 SFMSC Swimming Championship, the last championship came in 2013. Individual event winners were Kayla Kraft – 200 free, Sophie Granite – 50 fly and 50 breast and Alissa Pascual – 50 back. The relay team of Kraft, Granite, Alissa Pasqual and Jiana Scipione won both the 200 free and medley relay
Girls’ Swimming Team Members: Alissa Pasqual ‘21, Ana Villalona ‘22, Antonia Truis ‘21, Elizabeth Rivabem ‘21, Eva Mesa ‘22, Jenna Poppell ‘21, Jiana Scipione ‘22, Kayla Kraft ‘20, Madalenna Pieropan ‘20, Marlene Garijo ‘22, Naho Abe ‘22, Sofia Soler-Baillo ‘22, Sophie Granite ‘21 and Sophie Guitar ‘21
South Florida Middle School Conference (SFMSC) Boys’ Swimming Championship
Score: Gulliver 94, Ransom 94.5, Riviera Prep 93
The boys finished second in the 2015 SFMSC Boys’ Swimming Championship. The Raiders were led by Sam Legaspi – first in the 50 breast, Benji Carey and Awwal Kay Ramos – second and third in the 100 relay, Awwal and Hayatt Kay Ramos – third and fourth in the 100 yard race and Mitchell Hyder – second in the 50 back relay. The team finished third in the 200 relay.
Boys’ Swimming Team Members: Awwal Kay Ramos ‘21, Benjamin Carey ‘21, Bruno Tzinas ‘22, Carlos Sanchez ‘20, Fernando Notari ‘20, Hayaat Kay Ramos ‘21, Jason Fieler ‘22, John Madsen ‘21, John Schappert ‘22, Juan Luchsinger ‘21, Kamal Kay Ramos ‘21, Matteo Akl ‘22, Mattieu Salomon ‘20, Mitchell Hyder ‘20, Ren Goto ‘22, Samuel Legaspi ‘21 and Wyatt Kraft ‘21.
Swimming Coaches: Jackson Leonard ‘09, Middle School coach, and Cassie Craddock, assistant coach
In October, the U9 Boys’ Soccer Team participated in the 19th Annual West Pines Kickoff Classic Tournament 2015. This boys weekend kicked off on a Friday evening and continued with a total of 16 games played throughout the weekend. The team played two games on Saturday and one game on Sunday, which was followed by the championship game that evening. The championship game against North Miami Maccabi finished with a score of 3-0 and a victory for the Kendall SC Gulliver Soccer Team. Goals were made by Daniel Medcalf (2) and Patricio de Lope (1).
Congratulations to the entire team and their coach, Augusto Rafael Rocha Martinez, also known as “Coach Rafa.” Coach Rafa is going into his second season with the team.
In dominating fashion, the Gulliver Girls’ Swimming Team repeated as Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 2A Swimming State Champions. The Raiders dominated their next-closest opponent by 211 points.
The Raiders were led by Niki Urquidi ‘16and Kelly Fertel ‘16. Niki won the 200 free and 500 freestyle events, while Kelly won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. These two swimmers were also instrumental in helping the Raiders win all three team relays.
“I am really proud of this team,” said Gulliver’s swimming coach, Jeff Poppell. “They worked extremely hard this season to achieve some challenging goals, which included repeating as state champions. In addition, the fact that we had so many individuals contribute in different ways, young and old, made it that much more special. ”
Kelly added, “It was amazing to end my high school career on a high note. And to do it with some of my best friends makes this moment even more special.”
The amazing results and accomplishments of the Gulliver Girls’ Swimming Team at the 2015 FHSAA Class 2A Swimming State Championships:
Nine All-American Times:
Girls 200 Medley Relay - Emily Cordovi ‘19, Kelly Fertel, Brooke Ellis ‘17 and Sarah Abril ‘19
Girls 200 Freestyle Relay - Emily Cordovi, Niki Urquidi, Sarah Abril and Andrea Santander ‘20
Girls 400 Freestyle Relay - Andrea Santander, Niki Urquidi, Namilla Sanchez ‘16 and Kelly Fertel
This summer, Lucia Fernandez de los Muros ‘23, a 10-year-old fifth grader at the Academy - Marian C. Krutulis Campus, landed the part of Young Violet in Slow Burn Theatre Company’s musical “Violet.”
The award-winning Slow Burn professional theater company was founded in 2009. This year, it is performing musicals at the newly renovated Amaturo Theater at Broward Center for the Performing Arts. On August 9, Lucia was one of 13 young ladies called back from more than 65 submissions to audition for the role of Young Violet in-person at Broward Center.
This will be Lucia’s debut in professional theater. She has been studying voice, acting and dance since the age of 5, and has performed in various musicals at Miami Children’s Theater and Area Stage Company. Recently, Lucia was a finalist in the vocals category at the 2015 “Young Talent Big Dreams” competition at the Miracle Theatre.
Lucia will perform 12 shows as Young Violet between January 21, 2016 and February 7, 2016.
In support of Red Ribbon Week, the entire Gulliver community was encouraged to wear red (the colors pink and burgundy also counted) on October 29. Red Ribbon Weekis a campaign to raise awareness of and prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and violence. It is observed annually in October.
All administrators, faculty, staff and students were encouraged to wear red in support of this national campaign on Red Ribbon Day. Mrs. Pat Martello, principal of the Lower School, provided an incentive for those classes with 100% participation: They received a uniform free pass. In a community effort, students and parents came together to make sure that everyone was wearing red. Some students packed extra red shirts in their backpacks to help those who may have forgotten.
For the first time in Gulliver history, the entire Lower School wore red in support of Red Ribbon Day! Congratulations to the entire community for working so diligently together to show our commitment to staying drug-free.
Thelma Angrisano ‘16 and Emilia Aristimuno ‘16 journeyed halfway around the globe to offer assistance to those in need. Both students traveled together for almost two weeks in Nadi, Fiji, with student and service travel company Rustic Pathways. They helped young students with their schoolwork and helped them learn about important life topics.
Rustic Pathways funds community service projects that provide benefits to communities across five important areas: education, infrastructure, environment, community health and economic development. Thelma and Emilia are no strangers to community service projects –they have dedicated their time around the globe to assist people in need in other areas, such as Peru. “I love children and I had such a great time with them,” Thelma says. “I felt really connected to them.” The girls say both community service projects were completely different: Fiji was more education-focused, while in Peru, their primary workload consisted of providing water to local communities. “Everyone should do a community service project,” Emilia says. “Gulliver offers so many – I promise, they are great!”
Congratulations to Thelma and Emilia for their hard work, dedication and consideration for the global community! We are so proud of you!
Fun Fact: Bula is a Fijian greeting that means hello.
During the past two years, David Herrera ‘17 has participated in Gulliver's architecture program, inspiring him to attend an architecture summer program at Pratt Institute, located in Brooklyn, New York. “It was an exceptional experience, where I learned about architecture in a completely different way from how I have learned at Gulliver. In this program, we focused mainly on making 3-D models of structures and then developing drawings based those models,” says David. In order to create these models, he was encouraged to approach the idea of architecture from a creative standpoint, which directly complemented the technical skills that he is currently learning in Gulliver’s architecture program. Additionally, the Pratt program allowed David to visit and analyze many architecturally significant buildings in New York, such as the Guggenheim museum, the High Line and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. “Overall, Pratt’s pre-college program provided me with both a life-lasting experience and insight about how architecture is taught at the university level,” adds David.
Please join us in congratulating David for his hard work and dedication to his passion.
The Gulliver Scuba Club headed over to Key Largo in late September, taking 15 divers ready to work with the Coral Restoration Foundation. They spent several hours diving and working in the foundation’s underwater nursery – a full 1-acre, 35-foot dive. They assisted in cleaning the trees and algae and moving smaller pieces of coral so that they will be able to obtain more sunlight. The divers then headed over to Snapper Ledge (a nearby dive site) to transport coral and help support the environment. “We always dedicate our time to projects like this, because it truly is important for us,” says Michael Sylver, Gulliver Prep’s video production faculty. “I want the kids to know that if they don’t take care of the environment, the environment won’t be there to go out and enjoy.”
Please join us in congratulating the students and faculty on all their hard work and efforts to keep the environment safe and clean!
During the summer, Ana de Oliveira Laub ‘16 worked as an intern at Oppenheim Architecture + Design for Carina Bendeck ‘85. The firm has designed projects all over the world. In addition to its Miami office, it has an office in Basel, Switzerland and one in New York. Ana worked under Carina’s guidance and supervision while gaining exposure in a professional setting to high-end clients and projects in the categories of hospitality, mixed-use, commercial, private home and multi-family. She helped the architects with the planning stages of their projects and attended AIA-certified lectures with her colleagues. Ana gained meaningful experiences during the internship, learning more about the business and administrative functions of a well-known firm. She had a lot of fun and learned a great deal from this professional experience, developing the skills required in a professional environment like an architecture firm. She recommends the experience of an internship to everyone, noting that it offers real-world experiences that one may not necessarily get from summer programs.
A very special thank you to Gulliver's Alumni Relations Department for securing the internship for Ana.