The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

Celebrating a Year’s Effort of Studying

Continuing the third year of tradition, students who passed the US History EOC were rewarded with leisure from learning
Wanting+to+make+the+event+memorable%2C+seniors+headed+on+over+to+the+photo+booth%2C+where+they+posed+with+their+%E2%80%9924+graduation+symbol.
Aaron Rojas
Wanting to make the event memorable, seniors headed on over to the photo booth, where they posed with their ’24 graduation symbol.

Taking the U.S. History End-of-Course Assessment that put their historical knowledge to the test in May 2023, the Class of 2024 found themselves at the doors of the auditorium, eager to celebrate their efforts. As seniors stepped into the building with congratulations awaiting them, both Mrs. D’Alemberte and Mr. Diaz prepared an event to help recognize their journey in U.S. History. Celebrating the subject six months after taking the test, the anticipation among seniors reflects on the vibrant threads of America’s storied narrative of triumphing.

Before rejoicing in the finale, the quest to learn U.S. History began last year. With most non-International Baccalaureate students being under the teachings of Mr. Diaz, the then-juniors were able to expand their knowledge of history on their very own feet. From learning about the beginnings of Florida, the Civil War and the aftermath of World War II, the Class of 2024 was prepared to face the mandatory exam for their graduation requirement.

Coming together to make the event happen, Mrs. D’Alemberte (third) and Mr. Diaz (fourth) helped cultivate and reward their students for learning. (Aaron Rojas)

“I have to tell you that I push for ownership. What that ownership means to me is that it’s yours and I give it to you. I can’t teach you, you’re basically teaching yourself, but you’re going to own what you have. You are gonna take that knowledge shape it, mold it to yours and then you use it any way you can. That’s in everything from history, math and anything you do in life. A lot of my kids worry about their grades, and I tell them, ‘The grades come in automatically. If you do the work and get the knowledge, nobody can take it away from you,’” Mr. Diaz said.

As the testing season approached, seniors found themselves spending 160 minutes in a quiet room taking the EOC test. Recalling Mr. Diaz’s insights, they practiced their reviews and history tips days before. Echoing in their minds as they took their seats, Mrs. D’Alemberte emphasized that a passing score of three or higher would secure them an invitation to this event. Amidst the silence, the prospect provided an extra layer of motivation to their aspirations.

Receiving rounds of applause for passing the EOC, both seniors shake their hands in a moment of value before entering the auditorium. (Jeff Sanchez)

“I really didn’t know what it meant to be passing something like the EOC. I’m Canadian and things work differently over there, but I’m grateful that I no longer have to worry about my graduation requirement. Throughout last year, she [Mrs. D’Alemberte] has been saying that there was a big party for those who passed, but I think she most definitely delivered. She just went over and beyond in rewarding us with prizes and food for working hard,” senior Javier Diaz said.

Fast forwarding in the weeks leading up to the event, Mrs. D’Alemberte gathered the lists of students who passed the test. Working with both Mrs. Camacho and Mrs. Santamaria to plan the event, the triad designed U.S. History-themed t-shirts labeled “US History Coral Gables Tour”, and passed out invitation slips for the big surprise on Nov. 17.

“We started this event three years ago to motivate our kids because it wasn’t a test that you passed or failed. Mr. Diaz works really hard bringing them all the content and we just thought, ‘Why not celebrate their victory and have fun?’ I really think that school spirit is what gets kids over the edge like it makes them want to do better and be a part of a school’s culture like Gables, and so we started this,” Mrs. D’Alemberte said.

With the day finally coming around, seniors began making their way to the auditorium during fifth period. Filled with U.S. color-themed decorations throughout the building, the event promptly began at 10:50 a.m. with Mrs. D’Alemberte and Mr. Diaz giving a speech. Passing the microphone to principal Mr. Ullivarri, the passing seniors heard one of the many last conversations as they get closer to graduating.

“All of you guys make my job easier because I want to support you guys and get you guys ready for the next phase in life, and you take your education seriously which is a testament to the way you are, the way you have grown and how serious you are going to take life after you graduate from Gables this year. I do want to thank Mr. Diaz and Mrs. D’Alemberte for putting this and preparing you, but ultimately we can only lead you a certain way, and you all have to finish that remaining bit, which is why you are here today; because you did that,” principal Mr. Ulivarri said.

Spending time with friends, the passing seniors enjoyed lunch outside of the auditorium. (Aaron Rojas)

Finishing the heartfelt messages, the festive event turned more exciting with raffle prizes. Before beginning, Mr. Ullivarri called on the 11 seniors who received a five on their EOC, the highest in any given Florida state test. Receiving an exclusive bag for their hard-earned efforts, the following gifts were then distributed. Revealing the table, seniors had an opportunity to win raffle awards, ranging from 20 history-style water bottles, five tickets for Senior Circus Treat Day, four senior picnic tickets, two prom tickets and one set of AirPods Pro.

Following an exhilarating moment of upheavals, seniors then had the opportunity to enjoy a tangy lunch with chicken tenders and fries, served outside the auditorium by 3-0-Slide Food Truck. Enjoying a time of eating with friends, seniors were also able to play corn hole to step away from learning.

“It feels very nice. The test was really interesting because much of the content was things I learned in my class. I also got to learn many things after the test because I researched the context behind those questions. A couple of days ago, I was in my TOK [Theory of Knowledge] class, and a student entered holding a shirt and a paper invite and called me and my friend’s name. I went to talk to Mrs. D’Alemberte and I learned everything about the event. I really enjoy the fact that she takes time out of her day to make this happen and inspire students,” senior Cesar Ramirez said.

Besides enjoying lunch, seniors got competitive by tossing sacks in a game of corn hole. (Jeff Sanchez)

As seniors started leaving for their final period at 12:40 p.m., the bond forged through their shared experience with U.S. History was unforgettable. Igniting a passion to continue working hard for academic success, the lessons learned throughout last year have shaped the seniors with a deeper understanding of America’s roots and their future ambitions.

“I want to leave with the kids that they are in control of their destiny, and if you work hard and have a good attitude, that is what you can control. If you can do that, you can do anything. I hope that they can realize that they can feel success on working hard,” Mrs. D’Alemberte said.

About the Contributors
Aaron Rojas, CavsConnect Features Editor
Entering his third year in CavsConnect, Aaron Rojas is the newest editor on the team for Features. As he enters the ranks of rising juniors in the International Baccalaureate program, Aaron dedicates his afternoons to various school clubs such as the French Honor Society, IBHS, Gables Interact and Mock Trial. Aaron is a proud '06 natal year with having the ability to drive now, except for the moments he remembers Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet that same year. Despite his penchant for restful Zzz's, Aaron indulges in taking up the many responsibilities of a young adult, such as by reading text articles on Apple News while sipping a half glass of celery juice every morning. Sensing the countdown to graduation standing at under two years, Aaron's ultimate major choice remains veiled in uncertainty. For now, Aaron hopes to keep his friends and classmates smiling around him before his unshakeable self-assurance points to a path that will undoubtedly be his perfect fit.  
Jeff Sanchez, CavsTV Staff
Jefferson Sanchez is a sophomore at Coral Gables Senior High. This is Jeff’s first year in Cavs TV and he is looking forward to making new friends and giving the school media that they want to see. Jeff is a Salvadoran born in Miami. From time to time, Jeff goes to visit his Motherland.  Jeff also enjoys playing both  indoor volleyball and beach volleyball, and he enjoys spending his time with his loved ones. Jeff is a very outgoing person, he is very social and enjoys meeting new people. He hopes to give Gables the news they want to see.
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