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 Seniors Depart from the Program in a Festive Spirit

In the presence of each other’s company, the IB Class of 2024 cherished their final moments at IB Brunch.
Courtesy of Veronica Montalvo
After four years of bringing out smiles in the IB Class of 2024, seniors Veronica Montalvo and Monica Santamaria cherish their friendship in front of the camera.

It’s the middle of the week. For most students, another mundane Wednesday following testing season is a time to bring out cards and dance along to “Just Dance” routines playing on the Promethean Board. In another world, the International Baccalaureate seniors of Coral Gables Senior High were looking to celebrate their accomplishments on May 22.

Throughout the day, IB seniors took part in the annual academy hangout known as IB Brunch. Students arrived to school dressed in formal clothing to commemorate their hard-work and perseverance as IB diploma candidates. The event formally began at 8:30 a.m. in the Gables auditorium.

Greeting each other with hugs and handshakes, members of the IB Class of 2024 piled into the auditorium. Mrs. Diana Van Wyk, the IB coordinator, gave the opening remarks to welcome the seniors and congratulate them for their academic and extracurricular deeds. Subsequently, a selected cast of IB teachers vocalized their memories with this group of diploma candidates.

“It was really special to be reunited with everyone because we are the few survivors that Ms. Phillips had mentioned we would be during my freshman year. It is truly eye opening to realize how far we have come as people. My time as an IB student will never leave me as it has paved the way for me academically. IB had given me the blessing to be connected to such amazing students and teachers who collectively push through challenges,” senior Samuel Orellana-Rapal said.

Ebullient about the IB graduating class of 2024, Gables’ IB teachers and counselors oversaw the activities of IB Brunch. (Courtesy of Coral Gables Senior High School)

After the opening words, IB seniors enjoyed a brief period to nominate superlatives. Traditionally, the IB seniors vote for their peers who represent categories such as “Mr. and Mrs. IB” or “IB Laughing”. Each senior that placed first in a category was awarded a sash to recognize their uniqueness.

“I was not surprised at being [given the] IB Goofy sash. Everyone [in my grade] had talked about nominating me. Although I came in first [in the voting] for IB Most Unforgettable superlative, the teachers awarded another person the award to give others recognition,” senior Monica Santamaria said.

Making their way to Merrick Park around 11:00 a.m., the IB seniors and chaperones entered the Villagio Restaurant. Delighted with the selection of pastas, entrees and soups, they munched and entertained conversations with a lot of memories. Additionally, everyone savored a little bit of ice cream.

“[IB Brunch] was a nice experience going to Villagio and sharing it with the IB class of 2024. Being able to share a meal with people that I worked with was a treat by itself. I enjoyed the ice cream and the entrees at the restaurant,” senior Emmanuel Lopez said.

Following the brunch, IB seniors and teachers beamed into cameras, taking group photos to capture a special moment. Before departing for Gables, the entire graduating class embraced each other one last time as IB students by posing for a picture.

I had the privilege of meeting many IB upperclassmen who are now graduating. These incredible individuals have not only mentored me in school and sports but have also shared their experiences and wisdom with me. Their guidance has been invaluable, and the memories we’ve created together are ones I cherish deeply. I wish them the best and only the best,” junior Ruben Sanchez said. 

As the Gables graduation date approaches, these IB students will recollect their memories in the program while peering towards their futures. To watch the Gables graduation livestream, click here.

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About the Contributor
Andres Rodriguez
Andres Rodriguez, CavsConnect Sports Editor

Andres Rodriguez is a junior and retains the title of CavsConnect Sports Editor. Studying in the International Baccalaureate program, Andres is looking forward to this year for many reasons. He runs for the boys cross country team and is focused on breaking 19 minutes and 15 seconds for a five kilometer race. His Catholic faith, family and teammates are what drives him in his races or casual runs whenever he has time. On campus, Andres is also part of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society boards. As far as extracurricular events, Andres hopes to attend pep rallies and possibly Homecoming. The IB classes and assessments will be time consuming but Andres still intends to hangout with friends, volunteer at mass and take his dog, Max, on more walks. Some skills Andres wants to refine are driving and cooking. Finally, Andres continues to embody this Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Philippians 4:13. 

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