The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


IB Pinning Officially Receives the Class of 2025

In a night of praise and encouragement, the official IB Pinning Ceremony set the limit for the Class of 2025: the sky
Dimitra Boutsis
Posing for their class picture, juniors take a minute to sway their roses in unison, a silent promise to their pledge into the IB program.

During their first year in the International Baccalaureate, Cavaliers are recognized as official candidates for the IB Diploma Program in a pinning ceremony. Showcasing the motif of the Cavalier community, juniors heard the salutes of familiar seniors and were pinned by those one year older. On Nov. 13, the Class of 2025 experienced a night of recognition and honor, receiving pins as a symbol of commitment to the program.

Returning to their alma mater just a few hours after dismissal, juniors and their families were welcomed with a feast of refreshments and food outside the auditorium. Until 6:15 p.m., they were able to socialize, greeting each other in anticipation and camaraderie before the event started.

“The ceremony serves as an essential milestone for IB students in their journey through this curriculum. As they start working through their required IB assessments, they now begin to gain confidence in their ability to complete these tasks that require them to lead their own learning,” IB Coordinator Ms. Van Wyk said.

Once the doors of the auditorium opened, IB juniors were checked in by fellow student volunteers in the auditorium lobby. Throughout the space, Cavaliers’ art was showcased to introduce parents to Gables’ talent, outside of academics. While student ushers guided family members towards the left side of the auditorium, juniors were given notecards with their names, a tool that would be used later to introduce them.

The curtains opened with a few select performers from Ms. Barrow’s Theatre class who presented a piece incorporating both acting and monologues to showcase said IB class. Senior Lia Alongi then took the stage to sing the National Anthem. She was followed by the Presentation of Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, both put on by the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The Masters of Ceremony, seniors Amaya Cosio and Felipe Valdes officially opened the event with a warm welcome to parents, thanking them for their presence and support. The pair handed the microphone to Lorenzo Londono, who would describe in English what the event entailed.

Following their classmates, eight IB seniors introduced the event in their foreign languages. Welcoming parents to the event, they explained the importance of the ceremony for the Cavaliers being pinned. Speaking in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Jordan, Greek, Albanian and Swedish, seniors communicated their own message.

Gables’ IB Art teacher Mr. Groff and Theory of Knowledge teacher Mr. Wood attended the ceremony, in support of their students and academic careers.

The keynote speaker for the night, Judge Paul Huck, Gables Hall of Fame member, gave some words of advice and encouragement to the class for the upcoming two years of rigor and passion. His story of growth and passion within the same halls as the Class of 2025 served as a beacon of hope for current Cavaliers.

“The pinning [ceremony] inspired me to keep going. As a member of the mock trial team, hearing judge Paul Huck speak so highly about our effort and commitment to not only law, but also to schoolwork inspired me to keep working hard. I thought that having IB seniors pin us juniors was a special moment because it gave me the hope I needed and made me realize that completing this program is possible,” junior Sara Lecon said.

Guiding the event along, the MCs welcomed Ms. Figueroa and Ms. Van Wyk to the stage, who both congratulated the juniors for their effort up to this point and recommended to upkeep the same toil with the motivation of their success in mind. IB senior Brayan Mendoza then detailed his own experience, encouraging underclassmen to use his advice and stories to pave their own way to success.

“Both Ms. Figueroa’s and my speech reflected the pride we feel in the juniors’ growth in demonstrating the IB Learner Profile traits. I highlighted Winston Churchill’s quote: ‘Never, never, never give up’ because I wanted students to understand that as they progress through the program, they are developing the skills needed to accomplish great yet difficult tasks,” Ms. Van Wyk said.  

As each junior was called up to the stage, they handed their notecards to the MCs, who then called their names into the microphone one by one. Juniors were greeted with volunteers who handed them a notebook, personalized with their year of graduation, and a white rose. Once they had both, the Class of 2025 united in the center of the stage to pose for individual pictures.

“I mainly focused on conveying to the juniors that IB gets easier as time goes on because you become better at managing your time and resources. I also focused a bit on the idea that you should have fun and enjoy yourself because IB should not stop you from enjoying your high school years. I felt I should reassure them because IB really isn’t as hard as people, myself included, make it out to be, so my main goal with the speech was to let them know that they’d have help every step of the way and that they shouldn’t stress,” senior Brayan Mendoza said.

Walking down from the stage, they were greeted by IB seniors, both close friends and known Cavaliers, who pinned the honorees with a pin. The pins stood as a symbol for both the individual dedication needed for the program and the unity that it provided.

The juniors exited the auditorium to cross the lobby, where they were congratulated by volunteers, and entered through the other doors to find their seats once again.

In the auditorium’s lobby, juniors were able to take pictures in groups, in front of IB decorations including balloon, artwork and signs, with pins on and roses in hand. (Dimitra Boutsis)

“The [speakers] mentioned how perseverance and time management are vital to surviving the program, so I not only came to the realization of the amount of hard work needed but also the life skills that I’d be forced to learn to benefit my future self. I found it special that I was being inducted into such a rigorous program alongside my friends. It is comforting to know that I have support from them while I go through these next two challenging years,” junior Tiffany Beh said.

IB senior Ava Volman then took the microphone as she concluded the event with some final words, touching on the possibility of success in the program. As Volman presented her lasting thoughts, she aimed to accompany juniors through their academic careers.

As they reunited once again on the stage to pose for their IB Class of 2025 picture, the juniors felt a moment of unity and a bond of strength between each other. Closing the ceremony off, the cameras snapped a picturesque scene that would stand as a symbol of their drive and devotion to the program and their personal prosperity.

“There may be setbacks and moments where they feel they don’t want to continue but that they should be proud of what they have done and brave enough to dream, because in essence there is no limit to what they can accomplish through their perseverance in the future,” Ms. Van Wyk said.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Marina Astorga
Marina Astorga, CavsConnect News Editor
As a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program, Marina Astorga is excited to come back to CavsConnect for her second year in the publication. This year, she will return as News Editor and hopes to grow both as a person and a student. Marina has a special interest in journalism, chemistry and reading. She makes it a point to be involved in Gables, holding board positions on the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Key Club. Outside, she can be found playing volleyball, skateboarding or riding her bike. During her free time, she enjoys rating new restaurants, reading murder mystery books and coming up with her own recipes. She is known to make dumb jokes and act as her friend's personal esthetician. When summertime finally comes, she goes back to Spain to visit her family and friends.
More to Discover
Donate to CavsConnect

Your donation will support the student journalists of Coral Gables Senior High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to CavsConnect

Comments (0)

The CavsConnect staff encourages comments and conversation on all of our content. We reserve the right to remove comments that are vulgar, rude, hurtful, or unrelated to the topic.
All CavsConnect Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *