Inauguration into the IB Family

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Julian Martell, Staff Writer

On November 13, silence fell upon a crowd of IB juniors and their families as they sat in the auditorium, and the International Baccalaureate Pinning Ceremony officially began. The event is a long standing tradition, in which new IB diploma candidates are officially inducted into the program. The pinning of the IB crest onto the new IB juniors, which is done by the current IB seniors, is performed as a sort of welcome gesture that symbolizes their acceptance into the IB family.

Decked out in formal attire, the students checked in at the lobby of the auditorium around 6 PM. Upon entering, the stage was decorated with blue and white balloons -the traditional IB colors- and a bouquet of white roses resting on a table. As more and more people showed up, students were instructed to take their seats on the right side of the auditorium while parents were ushered to the center.

At around 6:30 PM, the masters of ceremonies, IB seniors and twin sisters Leidy and Linda Villa, gave a brief welcome and proceeded to hand the stage over to the Divaaz, who sang the National Anthem. Once the singers were ushered off the stage, the Villa sisters introduced a group of seniors who each gave a brief introduction in their own distinct language. Among those heard were Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Mandarin, Czech, Greek, Tagalog, Bangladesh and Russian. Shortly thereafter, our very own principal, Mr. Adolfo Costa, gave a speech thanking those involved with the ceremony and wishing the new IB juniors well. When Mr. Costa finished his discourse, the Villa sisters introduced and provided a short background on the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Mr. David Landsberg, president and publisher of Miami Herald Media Company.

“I couldn’t be more proud of myself for making it this far and having met such great people who are also in IB,” junior Andrew Allen said. “Attending this ceremony proves that we are closer and closer to becoming those seniors on that stage and one day graduating with an IB diploma.”

In his speech, Mr. Landsberg gave a simple biography describing his own education and career, as well as his family history at Gables. Mr. Landsberg also praised the juniors for having come as far along as they are in their education and offered them tips to help them out for the remaining time they have in school. His tips spanned many subjects: from paying extra attention in class to learning how to work well in groups and to even emphasize the importance of community service.

“Part of life’s journey is about being a good person,” Mr. Landsberg suggested near the end of his speech, “and whether you believe in Karma or not, that energy will come back to you many times over.”

Concluding his speech with a final note of Cavalier pride, Mr. Landsberg turned it over to the school’s IB Coordinator, Ms. Diana Van Wyk-Lamb. In her speech, Ms. Van Wyk-Lamb addressed the IB junior class directly; she formally welcomed them into the IB program and expressed her congratulations. However, in honor of it not only being the 45th anniversary of the International Baccalaureate Organization’s founding, but also the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ms. Van Wyk-Lamb read an excerpt of Dr. King’s essay “The World House”. It talks about how the human race has inherited the world and how it’s our job to coexist within it, much like a family in a house.

IB junior Andrea Avila said, “My favorite part of the night had to be hearing Ms. Van Wyk speak to and for us. She’s the one that’s helped us all through the obstacles of IB and hearing her support for us made me feel a lot better about the program and myself.”

With the conclusion of Ms.Van Wyk-Lamb’s brief speech came the pinning. A large group of seniors stood off to the side and waited as the juniors began to be called up one by one. Upon hearing their name called, each respective junior walked across the stage, shook hands with Mr. Costa, accepted their pin and a white rose. Each student then made their way to a senior, who would then pin the IB Crest to their chest, and the newly initiated IB student would walk off the stage and join his/her classmates back in their seats.

“It was nice and it felt like I was really being welcomed as an IB student,” junior Brooke Yates said.

Once the pinning was over and done with, the Divaaz were brought back on stage to sing the Alma Mater. Finally, the juniors were once again invited up on stage for a massive group picture. There was a tangible kinship in the atmosphere surrounding the IB Class of 2015.

“My favorite part was being on stage with all my classmates: laughing, having a good time, and feeling united,” junior Kevin Reynolds said.

Once the group picture was taken, the crowd of students and parents were directed to the new cafeteria, where food and drinks were provided, courtesy of the Culinary Arts program. On this night, these juniors were properly inaugurated into the IB program with an overall successful ceremony carried out by the IBHS members and Mrs. Van Wyk.