Academy Day: Combining Finance and Competition


Matthew Castano

The class of 2026 cheer on their teammates as they compete in the AOF staple, Head, Shoulder, Knee, Cone.

The Academy of Finance continued its longstanding tradition of hosting Academy Day, inviting all AOF students to this exciting event. On Mar. 17, the day began with an informative session with representatives from Automatic Direction Finding followed by a variety of games and activities, including tug of war and dodgeball. The competition was intense, with each graduating class determined to emerge as the top team.

As soon as the clock hit 7:15 a.m, Cavaliers from all grade levels started pouring into the gymnasium, each dressed in their designated colors of gray, red, white and black. 

“I really treasured the experience planning Academy Day. Seeing the event come together and watching the school enjoy the event just made the months the other board members and I spent planning it seem all worth it. Having helped planned out Mad City Money earlier in December, made it easier to come up with games and activities for Academy Day since it wasn’t as nerve wracking,” freshmen Jayden Fabien said.

To kick off the event, each grade level was assigned a guest speaker who would rotate every 20 minutes. The seniors were fortunate enough to be assigned Richard L. Richards, a Florida aviation attorney. With his vast experience and knowledge of aviation law, Richards engaged the seniors in an insightful discussion about the aviation industry, its regulations and then held a Question and Answer about the sector. Meanwhile, the juniors had the pleasure of listening to Brad Nojaim, a successful entrepreneur who shared his journey to success and offered valuable advice on how to navigate the business world. Finally, the freshmen and sophomores had the opportunity to speak with Alex Farkas, Chief Executive Officer and founder of ADF, along with two of her associates. The trio shared their experience in entrepreneurship and the challenges they faced while establishing their business. The guest speakers provided valuable insights and advice, inspiring the students to pursue their goals and dreams with determination and grit.

“Overall I thought it was a great experience. The seniors appeared to be the most engaged group. Also, a few students from each group asked questions which was good. Perhaps each session should have been a little shorter. I sincerely hope that at least some of the students got something out of it,” Brad Nojaim said.

To start off with the games,  students from all grade levels gathered to participate in a game of tug of war. The freshmen were pitted against the sophomores, while the juniors faced off against the seniors. The energy was high as both sides pulled with all their might, determined to win the match. Despite their best efforts, the sophomores, in the final round, and juniors were unable to outmatch the strength of the seniors. In the end, the seniors emerged victorious, cheered on by their classmates as they celebrated their win.

The games continued well into the afternoon until the arrival of the eagerly awaited 80 pizzas from Little Caesar’s. As lunch came to an end, it was time to announce the final scores. The freshmen unfortunately ended up with 0 points, while the sophomores managed to score 3 points. The juniors and seniors were tied, both with 4 points each. To determine the winner, a game of basketball was played as a tiebreaker.  In the end, the Class of 2023 emerged victorious, scoring a couple of hoops and clinching the title of Academy Day champions. 

“It felt amazing to come together with all the seniors and share such a special experience playing games and being spirited with our academy. Seeing everyone cheer for one another just boosted up the atmosphere and made the last day of school before spring break fun rather than just making it seem like going to school that day was a task,” senior Mercedes Del Toro said.

As the day progressed, the energy and enthusiasm of the students were palpable, creating an electrifying atmosphere in the school. The event fostered a sense of community in the Academy of Finance and school spirit, bringing students from different grades together to celebrate their achievements and share in the joy of the day’s activities.

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  • At Academy Day, the seniors showed of their strength by winning tug of war.

  • Richard Richard, one of of the aviation guest speakers, shared his experience as an attorney at law.

  • During the first round of tug of war, the freshmen were victorious against the sophomores.

  • Brad Nojaim (left), Alex Farkas (middle), Farkas’ two associates (on either side of her) and Richard Richards represented Automatic Direct Finding at Academy Day.

  • During the event, Cavaliers were able to take photos at their very own AOF themed photobooth.

  • Representatives of the Charm Dept., were able to meet their business goal for the day.

  • The Class of 2025 won musical chairs, the three-legged race and head, shoulder, knee, cone.

  • Ms. Brown shows her support for her students’ croc charm business.