Gulliver Preparatory’s Best Buddies chapter is dedicated to the social inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). They partner with a nearby school called The Learning Experience (TLE) to provide opportunities for one-to-one friendships between Gulliver and TLE students. Just recently, the Gulliver students went to TLE to work with elementary school students. They divided into three groups and worked on activities such as baking and decorating cookies, making beads for themselves and for homeless women in the Lotus House shelter. The students enjoyed their experience with the buddies while learning about the importance of using people-first language and promoting the inclusion of children with IDD. The two-hour field trip complemented Best Buddies’ participation in Spread the Word to End the Word Week, held the first week in March, when the group raised awareness for sensitivity to the word “retard,” or the “r-word.” The students put up posters around campus explaining the week’s purpose, raised money for the organization by selling pizza and doughnuts during break, addressed the student body during atrium announcements, and asked other students to pledge to end their use of the r-word by signing posters. The members partnered with GOALS, a club dedicated to working with children on the autism spectrum and that sponsors Special Olympics. With an ultimate goal of building a community in which the club is no longer necessary, Gulliver’s Best Buddies chapter hopes to continue expanding in the coming year, as well as making the rest of the students on campus more aware of their actions and attitudes toward people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
On Saturday, April 9, the Gulliver Academy Boys’ Golf Track Team won the SFMSC track championship hosted at Dade Christian.
Gulliver 172, Dade Christian 100, Palmer Trinity 82
Anton Hall ‘20 placed first in the 100, 200, 4x100 and the long jump. Liam Vigdor ‘20 placed first in the 400, 4x100 and second in the high jump. Matthieu Salomon ‘20 placed first in the 100 hurdles, high jump, 4x100 and second in the 4x400. Tyson Beckford ‘20 placed third in the 100, first in the 4x100, third in the high jump and second in the 4x400. Max Clivio ‘20 placed first in the 4x800, second in the 1600 and second in the 4x400. Joshua Hamburger ‘20 placed first in the 4x800, second in the 1600 and second in the 4x400. Bakari Edwards ‘22 placed second in the discus and third in the shot put. Fernando Notari ‘20 placed first in the 4x800 and second in the 400.
Team Members: Anton Hall ‘20, Bakari Edwards ‘22, Tyson Beckford ‘20, David Buitrago ‘21, Liam Vigdor ‘20, Fernando Notari ‘20, Max Clivio ‘20, Nicolas Rengifo ‘21, Joshua Hamburger ‘20, Matthieu Salomon ‘20, Ben Abrahams ‘20 and Jose Alvarez ‘21
Middle School Coach: Tomas Esquijarosa Assistant Coaches: Chrystal Davis and Natalie Anderson
Congratulations to these young men on their accomplishments! GO RAIDERS!
Nicole Nixon ‘19 and her family are doing the Chicago AVON 39 walk on June 4 and 5! AVON 39 is “The Walk to End Breast Cancer.” The 39-mile walk occurs over two days and consists of a marathon the first day and a half marathon the second day. AVON 39 helps fund research, awareness and education while providing assistance for families currently battling breast cancer. AVON 39 supplies much-needed screenings and treatment to detect breast cancer early. The Nixon family has raised more than $10,000 already through team and individual family pages, but they can always use additional support. In order to prepare for the event, the family has been walking long distances, particularly in Pinecrest and Coral Gables, often walking by the Academy and Prep campuses. Nicole has been pushing to do this initiative and has spent hours each weekend walking.
Please join us in wishing the Nixon family the best! Congratulations on the amazing efforts; we look forward to seeing the family’s results.
On Friday, April 8, two teams of Gulliver Science students participated in the 15th Annual Chemistry and Physics Tournament at Barry University. The three parts of the tournament consist of an individual written test, team lab activity and team oral competition. This was the first year that Gulliver participated, and we hope to continue in the future. For chemistry, Kiran Masroor ‘19 won first place for the individual portion, and the team won first place in the oral competition and second place overall. For physics, Faraz Masroor ‘17 won second place for the individual portion, and the team won first place in the oral competition and second place overall. The chemistry team members were Sunya Chandi ‘17, Kiran Masroor ‘19, Nicole Dulcey ‘17, Laia Huguet ‘17, Carlota Lanseros Ferragut and Michael Horn ‘17. The physics team members were Alaz Sengul ‘17, James Britt ‘17, Maxim Salikhov ‘17, Faraz Masroor ‘17, Katherine Cohen ‘17 and Daniel Galarraga ‘17. Gulliver Science Faculty Dr. Vaida and Mrs. Guerra are thrilled with the way the students conducted themselves as positive stewards of Gulliver! Congratulations to our #GulliverRaiders!
Seventh and eighth grade students participated in worthwhile service learning opportunities at both Miami Rescue Mission and Farmshare. In class, before volunteering at these locations, students learned about the reasons for homelessness and poverty. At Miami Rescue Mission, students served meals to more than 200 residents at the shelter and prepared food for the nightly meal, which is served to more than 1,000 homeless in the area. While there, students toured the facility, participated in a discussion about homelessness and learned how the homeless gain re-entry into the workforce. At Farmshare, students sorted donated supplies and packed meals to be delivered to more than 2,000 families in the surrounding communities. After these trips, students reflected on what they learned and how they felt about these experiences.
Beginning in January, computer science and engineering students began a quest: to participate in North America’s largest STEM competition, the FIRST Robotics Competition. The 30+member team worked closely with Claude Charron, Robert Carballo and Dean Morell (of the Prep engineering department) and Yoly McCarthy (Gulliver Prep Biomedical Sciences Department) to build and compete with a robot of the students’ own design. In six short weeks, students developed design thinking, project management, programming, teamwork and strategic thinking skills. More importantly, FIRST gave these students the opportunity to help the community through various outreach efforts.
Earlier this year at the FIRST Orlando Regionals, Gulliver’s team competed against 60+ robotics teams, including teams from Europe and Asia. Gulliver’s team, the “BBR8ERS,” received numerous awards, including “Best Team Branding” and “Best Shop.” But the students and mentors are proudest of the “Wheel of FIRST” award, given to the BBR8ERS by team Netherlands; this award went to the team that was the most courteous and helpful to a visiting international team. “In a way, this award is the most fitting one for this year’s team,” said mentor Dean Morell. “The BBR8ERS exhibited a fierce competitive edge, all the while publicly displaying gracious professionalism.”
The season is not over for Gulliver’s robotics team. The BBR8ERS look forward to furthering the cause of “STEAM” (“STEM” plus the arts) and continuing to find ways to reach out to the community, both locally and abroad.
The Junior Sundancers attended the MA Dance Competition in Sanford, Florida, and we are thrilled to announce the results. Congratulations to all the team members: Gabi Hagenlocker ‘20 (captain), Caro De Laurenzio ‘20, Catherine Dishington ‘20, Andrea Gil ‘21, Gabi Machado ‘21, Paulina Munoz ‘20, Valeria Pieschacon ‘20, Fiorella Polit ‘20, Sofi Serrano ‘21 and Daniella Tosca ‘20.
Middle School Team Division Superior Rating, Technique and Choreography Award - Lyrical: “O” Superior Rating, High Point Award, Technique and Choreography Award - Contemporary: “Dreams” Superior Rating, Technique and Choreography Award - Jazz: “Revolution” Superior Rating, Technique and Choreography Award - Hip-Hop: “On the Beach”
Super Sweepstakes Award for High-Score Average of Team Routines[AJB1]
Junior High/Middle School Trio Division 1st Place, Superior Rating - Trio: “Raspberry Swirl” performed by Catherine Dishington, Paulina Munoz and Fiorella Polit
Youth Solo Division 2nd Place, Superior Rating - Gabi Machado
Junior Solo Division 3rd Place, Superior Rating - Carolina De Laurenzio 4th Place, Superior Rating - Andrea Gil
On Wednesday, April 6, the Gulliver Academy Boys’ Golf Team won the annual Dade County Youth Fair Golf Invitational with a score of 158. The 2016 version of the invitational fielded 17 teams and more than 60 golfers.
The Raiders were led by Alexander Dalmau ‘22 (first overall) with a score of 33, John Marshall ‘22 (second overall) shot a 38, Sean Kelley ‘21 (eighth overall) shot a 42, and Jason Kleinmann ‘20 (10th overall) shot a 45.
This is the second consecutive season boys’ golf has captured this title. In the fall, the boys claimed the 2016 SFMSC Golf Championship.
Golf Coach: Aaron Blank ‘02
Congratulations to these young men on their accomplishments! Go Raiders!
On Friday, February 26, Sra. Muñoz’s Spanish 2 Honors class met Sra. Loughlin, an Español teacher at the Academy who experienced the Peter Pan Operation firsthand. Sra. Muñoz’s class is studying the Peter Pan Operation, reading the story Kike by Hilda Perera, and Sra. Muñoz asked Sra. Loughlin to share her story with the class. Although several of Sra. Loughlin’s past students had heard some of her stories, she never shared everything that happened, as it was difficult for her to mention it beforehand. As Sra. Muñoz said, “The fiction that the students read turns into something real when the students hear Sra. Loughlin.”
Sra. Loughlin lived in a Spanish colonial town in Cuba where everyone knew about the events that occurred when Spanish minors were sent to Russia during the Civil War. When Castro came to power, some people, including Sra. Loughlin’s parents, believed that it would be best to send the children to the United States. Those who went to the U.S. through the Peter Pan Operation, which can be seen with Sra. Loughlin, who was 10 years old, and her 8-year-old brother.
Even though her parents did not know how long they would be separated from their children, they paid for Sra. Loughlin and her brother to go to a boarding school in Colorado. While at the school, a couple took the siblings in; whenever the children were on school vacation, the couple would take them on trips and give them presents. To Sra. Loughlin, this was her family away from her parents.
She recalled that when they arrived at the school, the nuns tried to separate her and her brother because the boarding school was not co-ed. With all the stress that had occurred beforehand and the idea that she would be separated from her brother, Sra. Loughlin went crazy. She began to throw luggage around the bus and was crying and screaming.
Sra. Muñoz also mentioned that the story Kike is all fiction; however, once the students knew that Sra. Loughlin was a survivor of the Peter Pan Operation, they also realized that many people had to endure similar situations as those in the story.
Sophomore Sam Keepax said, “The fact that we had a firsthand account of what occurred was amazing.”
One day a student asked Sra. Loughlin if her parents really did love her since they sent her away to a boarding school. This question caused Sra. Loughlin to think about her parents’ love; however, she knew that her parents truly cared for her. Every day they would write her letters, which she would receive in groups. Also, she would have a three-minute conversation with them on Christmas.
Freshmen Demir Sanal said, “I liked how personal it was and how her story related to what we were reading.”
Even with what happened during and after the Peter Pan Operation, Sra. Loughlin was able to live a great life with the help of the family that took her in, as well as the love that her parents had for her.
As Sra. Loughlin said at the end of her talk, “Es la generosidad de aquellas personas que no nos conocen siquiera, que son las que salvan a tanta gente, y a mi me salvaron.”
Congratulations to Paula Ceballos ‘18, Lucie Gibeau ‘18 and Emma Guitar ‘18! They earned first-place honors at the South Florida High School Business Plan Competition on Wednesday, March 9. Their presentation of a plan for a veterinary nutritional supplement, which is in development through our International Business and Entrepreneurship, as well as our Biomedical Science programs, was judged to be the most thorough and appealing plan among those presented by teams from Ransom Everglades, Pinecrest School, Miami Country Day and Columbus.