Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dade Christian Students Take Part in UM's Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Katrina Alonso, Alysha Medina, Gianna Rodriguez and Cassie Chacon creating a sturdy and long bridge design using K’NEX pieces.

On February 26, fifteen young ladies from grades 9-11 were selected to participate in the University of Miami's Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. The girls, who were nominated by their teachers, have excelled in the subjects of math and science and demonstrated an interest in pursuing a degree in engineering. Accompanied by secondary teacher, Miss Samantha Carrillo, the day began at the institution’s Student Activities Center where the attendees received an introduction to engineering and an overview of UM’s program. 

Ana Kato and Emily Gonzalez with their K'NEX bridge creation.
“Visiting colleges as a high school student motivates you to do better in school,” said Emily Gonzalez, 9th grade. While most students her age are still adjusting to the academic demands of high school, Emily already knows where and what she wants to study. “During the summer before my freshmen year, I interned at the University of Miami and learned to program in Java C++, a coding language,” said Gonzalez. “There, I got acquainted with a girl who attends Stanford [University]. That’s where I want to go to study computer engineering.” Emily truly enjoyed being part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and hearing from women engineers who have experienced success in their field.

The students, who were divided into groups based on their engineering interests, met with UM professors and participated in labs. In the civil engineering lab, the girls were assigned the same project incoming freshmen at UM complete – they had 30 minutes to create a bridge that can sustain 5 lbs. of weight using only K’NEX pieces. Other stations included circuit board creations, environmental water filters, as well as various experiments demonstrating the different sciences utilized by engineers. 

Fellow 9th grader, Gianna Rodriguez enjoyed learning about the biomedical engineering field and networking with girls from other schools who share her passion for science. “It was a nice experience, it really broadened my perspective on what engineering actually is,” said Rodriguez. “During winter break I interned at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center under renowned doctors. I got to participate in research, look at cancer cells under a microscope and classify them. I’m definitely thinking about [a degree in] biomedical engineering.”

From beginning to end, the entire day was filled with positive messages of encouragement and female empowerment. As stated in a recent University of Miami News Release, “’Engineering is still a male-dominated field,’ said UM biomedical engineering major Stacie Arechavala, who, as the high school outreach coordinator for the UM chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, organized Thursday’s event. ‘We’re helping these girls learn about a fascinating field that can positively affect lives and change the world.’”

Left to right: Hannah Alvardo, Alysha Medina, Ana Kato, Katrina Alonso, Juliet Hassan, Hailey Gonzalez, Gianna Rodriguez, Emily Gonzalez, Celine Wong, Christine Alvarez, Cassie Chacon, Gabriella Fondeur, Sofia Gomez and Amanda Acevedo.

Congratulations to our Silver Knight Nominees!

In 1959, the Miami Herald sought out to recognize students in different categories based on scholastic achievement and community service. The Silver Knight Awards recognizes outstanding high school seniors in Miami Dade and Broward Counties. This year, Dade Christian has worked diligently with the applicants to submit their portfolios. Please join us in congratulating the above mentioned students and lifting them up in prayer as they continue on to the Interview Round, April 8, 2015.

Please visit http://www.miamiherald.com/site-services/miami-herald-events/silver-knight/article1930303.html for more information regarding the award category descriptions.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Extraordinary Students Tianna Palmer & Lucas Larvenz

Join us in congratulating two remarkable students, Tianna Palmer, 12th grade, and Lucas Larvenz, 11th grade, who received the special distinction of performing at the prestigious University of Miami Frost Honor Band Festival in the highest caliber honor band groups! On February 14, these students played under world-renowned conductors alongside the most talented band students in South Florida, earning them the title of this week's extraordinary students.

Tianna has been a member of the Dade Christian School band for 7 years, and admits it has been a challenge to get to where she is now. Coming from a family with no musical background, Tianna discovered a passion for music she never knew she had while taking band in the fifth grade.  During the summer before her freshman year of high school, Tianna was invited to perform with Voyageurs International, a Colorado-based company organized to take American students and their musical talents to audiences abroad. She spent two and a half weeks touring Europe performing with other Music Ambassadors in France, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Tianna has also been invited to play with the South Florida Youth Symphony, District Honor Band, and now, the UM Honor Band. “Music has taught me to never stop doing what I love and to never give up on my dreams. If you have a passion for something, don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t do it or you’ll never make it. Do what you love to do best!” Tianna hopes to continue her musical studies in college, whether at Florida International University or Liberty University. In the future, Tianna envisions herself being part of an orchestra and composing music. This gifted young musician has already composed her first piano ballad and is currently working on a woodwind piece.

Similar to Tianna, Lucas began playing the trumpet in the fifth grade. When asked how he decided on that particular instrument, he stated, “The trumpet always has the main parts, and I knew I wanted to play something you would hear.”  Never having been one to blend in, Lucas knew from an early age he was interested in music. “My dad plays a bunch of instruments and the piano professionally. I always knew I wanted to play, but having to take Fine Arts in elementary was a great opportunity for me.” Lucas has spent the past 6 years polishing his skills which have earned him multiple Superior ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association Solo & Ensemble, as well as several invitations to play with the District Honor Band these past three years. Now in his junior year of high school, Lucas is considering colleges with the hopes of receiving a music scholarship and joining the college band. Ultimately, Lucas would love to be a part of a film orchestra that records motion picture scores. During the time he recently spent at the University of Miami, Lucas was able to tour the Frost School of Music. “They have a whole music campus. It was huge! [UM] has a great music program and it’s really competitive.”

It is amazing to witness how an elementary class requirement has brought out the God-given gifts and abilities these students have within them and enabled them to blossom into talented musicians. The arts are a critical component of any school’s structure, and Dade Christian is proud to boast award winning Band and Choir programs made up of talented individuals like Tianna and Lucas.

Monday, February 23, 2015

CBS4 News Anchor Jim Berry Motivates DCS Students to Make a Difference

 During his recent visit on February 11, CBS4 New Sports Anchor Jim Berry spoke, danced, and even rapped before the secondary students at Dade Christian School. Berry has won five Emmys and is a three time Best of Miami winner. He is also a recipient of the Silver Circle of Excellence award for a distinguished journalism career from the Suncoast chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. The charismatic sports anchor from Chicago motivated the students to make a difference and shared that the first step is getting out of one’s comfort zone, “If you want to make a difference, you have to get out of your camp.” Berry, who graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, has interviewed some of the biggest names in professional sports: Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Venus and Serena Williams, Sugar Ray Leonard, and more. Berry shared with the students the 4 critical qualities that have helped guide each of these athletes toward success: dedication, discipline, determination, and diversity.

Berry also encouraged the students to be knowledgeable and informed about their cultural history. “Understand where we [as a society] have been so you can take us to the next level. That's the bottom line. I stand here before you as someone who has benefited from someone else pushing the needle forward.” A man of faith, Berry recognizes God’s blessings in his life, especially when it comes to his career. “God has allowed me to cover 3 World Series, 4 NBA finals, 5 College Championship Games, and 7 Super Bowls.

The students, faculty, and staff at Dade Christian School were excited to host Berry. His message of perseverance resonated with the audience and encouraged the students to strive for a better tomorrow.

Berry is currently the weeknight Sports Anchor for CBS4 News, and he also anchors CBS4’s Miami Dolphin coverage and Sports Rap. He is married with two children.

Friday, February 6, 2015

FBLA Students Headed to State Finals

Special to the DCS Blog

The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club at DCS has done it again! On Friday, January 30, 22 of the club’s members, along with their advisor, Mr. Anako, attended the District Business Competition held at Miami Dade College - Kendall Campus. There, the members had to complete various tests pertaining to business specific topics. That same afternoon, FBLA members from throughout the district were presented with awards. Prior to this competition, the members attended a presentation event on January 10 at Braddock Senior High School during which the students were given a case study outlining a business-related problem and were asked to give an impromptu presentation offering a solution.

Our FBLA students who participated in both competitions did extremely well, several of which qualified to represent their district and take part in the State Finals Competition in Orlando. Congratulations to the following students, who came in first, second, and third place:

Luis Goberna – 1st in Business Procedure
Sebastian Santa – 1st in Marketing
Iverson Williams – 1st in Marketing
Candice Li – 1st in Marketing
Michael Pereira – 2nd in Cyber Security
Gaby Fondeur – 2nd in Introduction to Business Communication
Michael Monzon – 3rd in Economics
Steven Benyahia – 3rd in Business Calculation

Left to right, Michael Monzon, Candice Li, Michael Pereira, Mr. Anako, Sebastian Santa, Luis Goberna, & Steven Benyahia. Not pictured, Iverson Williams and Gaby Fondeur

Future Business Leaders of America is a nonprofit educational association for middle school, high school, and collegiate students who are interested in learning more about the free enterprise system. In November, the FBLA officers at DCS hosted their annual kick-off event for new and returning members of the club. One of the many benefits of joining FBLA is that it prepares our students for their future careers in business and provides them with real-world professional experiences. By becoming an active member of FBLA, students learn to network and develop connections with other members of the business community. In addition, members and chapters have the opportunity to compete and win awards on the local, state, and national levels thus enhancing their résumés and college applications.

Throughout its history, the DCS Chapter of FBLA has had exceptional achievements in testing, has participated in national competitions, and has received national recognition for raising funds for the March of Dimes Foundation. March of Dimes is a week-long event organized by the FBLA members to raise awareness and fund lifesaving research for premature births.

Each year, the officers and members of the FBLA club strive to better serve their school and community. Please join us in congratulating them for their many achievements and supporting them as they represent DCS during the FBLA State Leadership Conference on March 19-22.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Extraordinary Student Michael Benyahia

The word extraordinary is defined as something or someone very unusual or remarkable.  At Dade Christian School, there are many remarkable students who, in addition to excelling in the classroom, participate in extracurricular activities that are anything but ordinary. Case in point, 9th grade student and formula racecar driver, Michael Benyahia. This young driver began his career at the age of seven and has been making waves in the motorsports world ever since. After competing at the club level and getting up to speed with the fast-paced karting world, the now 14-year-old is one of the most gifted and talented racers in the United States. 
In August 2014, Benyahia traveled to Europe to continue training and gain experience in hopes to become a better driver, racer, and competitor. 

"It is very important for Michael to gain some experience while competing in Europe,” explained Tecno Kart Racing Manager Michele Zampieri. “The conditions in Europe are very different than in America and the competition and driving style is much more intense. These factors can only benefit Michael in his future racing career.” Although describing his experiences in Europe as “very difficult, very different,” Benyahia looks forward to continuing and growing in his career.

Benyahia, who currently races a Formula 2000 open-wheel car, hopes to become an internationally renowned Formula One driver. He and his older brother Steven (12th grade) have attended Dade Christian School since 4K and 2nd grade, respectively. When asked how he juggles his rigorous academic coursework with a grueling racing schedule, Benyahia smiled and said, “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”  Dade Christian is proud to boast such a talented young man with a humble spirit, despite his many achievements in the racing world. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DCS Welcomes New Superintendent

Dr. Anthony Bryan, the right leader, at the right time. After much prayer and anticipation, Dade Christian School and The Master’s Academy are pleased to welcome Dr. Bryan as the new Superintendent of Schools. In addition to an expansive list of credentials, including two earned doctoral degrees, Dr. Bryan’s career covers 35 years, 17 of which he served as Headmaster for several major Christian schools.
Dr. Bryan was also elected by Florida private school administrators to the board of directors for Florida Council of Independent Schools and was appointed to the board of Christian Schools of Florida. Upon hearing of Dr. Bryan’s new role at DCS and TMA, Mrs. Elena Del Alamo, Director of Enrollment Management at Pine Crest School, shared her high regards for her colleague.
Dr. Lourdes Cowgill, former President at Pine Crest School, and I have admired Dr. Bryan in many ways; from his eloquence to his impeccable manners. I am delighted to know that he has joined Dade Christian School and The Master's Academy.  It is wonderful to know that we continue to have a good friend and educator as well as a fine role model in the South Florida area,” said Del Alamo.
For those of us familiar with the phrase, “for such a time as this,” we understand what it means to be called by God at a specific time for a specific purpose. A bold statement to say the least, but upon meeting Dr. Bryan it is clear to see that he is the leader DCS has been praying and waiting for. His expertise in the area of Christian education combined with his ability to successfully lead a school toward academic, athletic, and artistic achievements instills a deep sense of confidence that he is the right man for the job.
Dr. Bryan has received several awards from his previous schools and was able to lead the development of state finalist sports teams in baseball, basketball, and track during his time at Coral Springs Christian Academy. In addition, the CSCA elementary school received top awards in the ACSI Math Olympics in 2013.
“Dr. Bryan is a very gifted and innovative school leader and certainly brings lots of experience as well as creative and innovative thinking to the classroom,” said Jennifer Thompson, Elementary Principal at Westminster Christian School, “[Dade Christian School and The Master’s Academy] are lucky to have him.”
In the few days since he took the helm of leadership at DCS and TMA, Dr. Bryan has made it a priority to develop a rapport with the students, parents, and faculty members on campus. He is committed to the spiritual growth, academic advancement, and social development of the students.
We anticipate great things for Dade Christian School and The Master's Academy. Come see what all the excitement is about during our upcoming Open House on Tuesday, February 10 at 8:30-10:30 a.m.