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  • March

    Florida State Spanish Conference in Orlando

    On March 7-9, fourteen upper school MCDS students attended the Florida State Spanish Conference in Orlando for the first time in the school's history. Students competed in three academic events: impromptu speaking, declamations, and dramatic presentations. One student participated in a non-academic event singing. Out of 21 entries, we received Sobresaliente (Outstanding), the highest mark possible in 18 of them. One student received a Superior (second highest mark), and two students received an Excelente (third highest mark). Here are the results per student:
    Stella Espenkotter -
    impromptu - Sobresaliente
    (perfect score)
    Maia Mandel -
    impromptu and skit - Sobresaliente
    (perfect scores)
    Isabel Margarit -
    impromptu - Excelente, declamation - Sobresaliente 
    Zoe Grondin -
    impromptu - Excelente, declamation - Sobresaliente
    Oliver Shiff -
    impromptu - Superior, declamation - Sobresaliente
    Cameron Schoch -
    impromptu and declamation - Sobresaliente
    (perfect score in declamation)
    Andrew Ajmani -
    impromptu and declamation - Sobresaliente
    (perfect score in declamation)
    Salomé Benitah -
    impromptu and skit - Sobresaliente (perfect scores)
    Ana Carolina Castillo -
    impromptu and skit - Sobresaliente
    (perfect scores)
    Miguel Escobar -
    impromptu and skit - Sobresaliente
    (perfect scores)
    Amanda Núñez Bastos -
    impromptu - Sobresaliente
    (perfect score)
    Francisco Apraiz -
    impromptu and declamation - Sobresaliente (perfect
    score in impromptu)
    Nicolás Cáceres -
    impromptu and skit - Sobresaliente
    (perfect score in skit)
    Ariel Aranha-Carvajal - 
    impromptu - Sobresaliente (perfect
    Although we were short 2 students for team awards due to illnesses, these students excelled and have committed to come back better and stronger next year! I want to thank Mr. Bailey, and Ms. Guefen for chaperoning and supporting students. I could have not done this without them. Special thanks to Tania Vargas, Mike Culley, Iara Coltro, Coral Murray, and our school’s theater department for letting us use some of their props.

    I am proud to be a Spartan!
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  • MCDS @ Miami-Dade Model UN (MDMUN)

    During the Miami-Dade Model UN (MDMUN) event, dedicated MCDS student delegates, representing Uzbekistan and Mozambique, passionately worked towards achieving their objectives through articulate communication, collaborative efforts, and the drafting of resolutions. Their diverse initiatives included enhancing freedom of information and expression with Laura d.W., addressing global food insecurity with the joint efforts of Maddy S, Freddy S, Lucia C, and Leilani L, and tackling the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan/Darfur through the UN Security Council, led by Dylan M and Gabe J. Other significant contributions encompassed initiatives to promote sustainable tourism (Alan V, Felipe B, Julian M, Julius R), combat climate change (Andrew A, Savanna S, Mica M, and Jackson K), regulate and use Artificial Intelligence more effectively (Ron G, Issa D, Mia F, and Ginger J), and foster global political participation and leadership among women, spearheaded by Mikayla W and Elle G. The delegates showcased a remarkable commitment to addressing pressing global issues and finding impactful solutions.
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  • Congratulations to our National Merit Finalists

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  • Fall Scholastic Chess Tournament

    The Miami Country Day 2024 Fall Scholastic Chess Tournament was held in the Whitman Library this past Saturday, March 2, 2024 (See attached photo).  Over thirty players from eight different schools competed.
    K1 Section
    In the K1 Section, MCDS saw the early moments emergence of our next wave of talent as Zak Goldberg and Aisha Mohan (see photo), tied for first and second places. Third place went to Maria (Masha) Trushin-Jimenez.  All three were playing in their first ever event and competing with much older students. Even so, Zak managed to draw four of his five games, while Aisha drew her last round against a K-4 player by finding a stalemate! (see photo)          
    K3 Section  
        In the K3 Section, Ethan Gitman came our of his two year “retirement” to win the first place trophy on tie-break. Ethan Paskhover finished in fifth place. 
    K5 Section   
        In the K5 Section, Alexandra Paskhover and Gabriel Coltro tied for third place. For Gabriel, this was his first tournament in quite a few years! 
    Gabriel arrived early Saturday morning to the event and even helped set up the snack’s concession stand! (See photo).  
    K8 Section    
      The K8 Section with several stars and sixteen players total, saw the fiercest competition. Michael Khasis continued the resurgence of his chess career by capturing first place with a commanding 5 wins and no losses! Catherine Jiang’s last round win over her MCDS Elective classmate Aya Charafeddine,catapulted her into third place on tiebreaks. Wisely choosing to play the strongest competition possible, Michael Trushin-Jimenez stepped up from the K-5 Section to “Run with the big dogs”!  With a very respectable 3.5 points (3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss), not only did he prove he belonged, but he also captured the fourth place medal!  Ari Kleiner finished with a strong 3 points (3 wins, 2 losses) for fifth place. Rounding out the MCDS Team were Aya, Aiden Henderson, Sky Shashoua (AKA – SupaSky) and August Espenkotter (AKA Mittens Fan).
    K12 – Section    
    Our 2022/2023 Chess Player of The Year and 2024 X-Term Blitz Champion Luke Wong and MCDS star Jack Eaton dominated the field to finish tied for first place with 4.5 points (4 wins, 1 draw). Their lone draw was the game versus each other where Jack had the better pawn structure in the endgame due to Black’s double c pawns. However, in the Bishop Endgame, Jack was unable to break through on the kingside with his 4 versus 3 pawn majority so the game ended in a draw.  
    In the blitz playoff that followed the final round of the tournament, Jack graciously said “The script calls for Luke Wong to win the playoff” – which is exactly what happened! 
    Team Results    
    Employing a new format, the decision was made to give team trophies based on the top three combined scores across all sections. 
    MCDS powered by Michael Khasis (5 points), Luke Wong (4.5 points) and Jack Eaton (4.5 points) scored a total of 15 points to easily capture the First Place Team Trophy!  Oak School finished second with 11 points and JFK finished third with 8 points. 
    Chess Parents and Families   
    A very special thanks to the families who spent their Saturday in support of their children’s competitive efforts. 
    Many famous people, as siblings played in scholastic chess events! For example, 10-time Olympic medalist, swimmer Katy Ledecky and her older brother Michael Ledecky 
    played in New York City scholastic chess events. Closer to home, MCDS Middle School Director Nima Rouhanifard and his brother played in scholastic events in Tennessee! 
    Even though the event was for MCDS players and neighboring schools, some families travelled quite a distance to support their chess players!  
    Team Effort!  
    We wish to express appreciation for Head of Auxiliary Programs Jacqueline Niang for her support in making this event happen. 
    Also on the organizing committee, Iara Coltro teamed with National Master (and YouTube Star) Robert Ramirez to run an amazingly efficient event. 
    Tireless MCDS Super Chess Mom Wen Cui assisted with logistics, while supporting her daughter, 2023 Florida State U1100 Champion Catherine Jiang. 
    Much gratitude to the MCDS maintenance, security and technology who contributed to making the event possible, as I believe we made many MCDS families and chess supporters very happy! 
    Up Next!  
    Thanks to the efforts and partnerships of Middle School Director Nima Rouhanifard, this Friday, MCDS will welcome a very special guest Fide Master and Woman Grandmaster Qiyu Zhou. This dynamic 24-year-old is better known by her popular streaming persona as akaNemsko where she has over 300,000 followers on Twitch and over 100,000 followers on YouTube!  At present, she is schedule to visit the Middle School Chess Elective and Upper School Chess Elective classes and address the Middle School Assembly! 
    Friday evening MCDS has several players heading to Orlando to compete in the 2024 Florida State Scholastics Championships! 
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  • February

    Congratulations Jr. Thespians Troupe 88062

    Exciting news! Our Jr. Thespians Troupe 88062 rocked the stage at the Jr. Thespians State Festival in Orlando this weekend! With 8 incredible pieces, we set new records at the BIGGEST festival in the WORLD, featuring over 7,000 participants from across Florida. 

    Shout-out to our talented performers:
    Valeria A. & Zoey C. received a score of Excellent on their Solo Monologues!
    Victoria C. received a score of Excellent on her Solo Song!
    Lucas S. and Hallie K. received a score of Excellent on their Duet Song!
    Anastasia K. and Victoria C. received a score of Superior on their Duet Song!
    Z L. received a score of Superior on their Solo Song!
    Ava A., Chloe O., Zoey C., Madison T., Dillinger K., Daniel R., Hallie K., Lucas S., Sofia G.V., Valeria A, and Emma F. received a score of Superior on their Large Group Song!

    In a spectacular achievement, Alex G. and Domira C. received TOP HONORS and JUDGE’S CHOICE on their Duet Acting Scene! 🏅 Judge’s Choice is awarded to the TOP PERFORMING piece in their category. Alex and Domira were selected by their judges as THE BEST OVERALL IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA for their Duet Acting Scene!

    This is a FIRST in MCDS Middle School Drama history! Go Spartans!!!
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  • Miami Community Day of Service

    Miami Community Day of Service

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  • Congratulations to our Model UN Students

    This past Friday evening, Saturday, and today (Sunday), 21 Spartans wrote, debated, caucused, and voted at the eleventh Model United Nations at the University of Miami. Here are the members of our team, along with their positions and awards. We are so proud of their work! Several of them were participating in their first or second conference and gained valuable experience. I believe this is the first conference where we have won the gavel representing the highest committee award, Best Delegate, for not one, not two, but three committees, along with two additional Honorable Delegate awards. Picture of our time at UM can be found here.
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  • Congratulate our Spartan Avengers

    I would like to Congratulate our Spartan Avengers on an outstanding achievement in this year's FIRST LEGO League! This past Saturday they participated in the regional’s qualifier.  Out of the fourteen schools in our region, only six were selected to participate. The Spartan Avengers were one of teams selected. Not only were they one of six teams selected they also won 1st place in robot design. “Big Osomo” (the name of) their robot was designed and built by two of our fourth graders Levi Lustigman and Matvey Osokin. Their innovative robot design truly stood out, showcasing exceptional creativity, engineering prowess, and teamwork. The Spartan Avengers’ dedication to excellence has not only earned you recognition but has also inspired others in the spirit of innovation.
    The success in programming was driven by Rhett Runzheimer, Matthew Green, Lyon Auerbach, Franco Leyva their LEGO robot reflects the hard work and commitment put into mastering the technical challenges of the competition. Our team's achievements in the robot game in which they came in 2nd, with a high score of 235 is a testament to their problem-solving skills, perseverance, and collaborative efforts.
    One of the biggest challenges to the team aside from the work needed to build and create the programming for the robot was the innovation project. The project this season was to create a project using art and technology. Taking this head on the research team consisting of Kori Hill, Daniel Wilson, Nicolas Moraitis, and Charles Arnold went to work designing a new type of water purification device. Unlike other devices this was a book designed from the ground up, not only cleaning the ocean but purifying water. Judges were impressed by how the team conducted themselves during presentations and commended them on their core values.
    As they celebrate this well-deserved victory, remembering that their accomplishments extend beyond the playing field. Their participation in FIRST LEGO League has not only honed technical skills but has also fostered teamwork, creativity, and a passion for solving real-world problems.
    I write this asking you help congratulate the team and help continue to push them to work hard and stay determined. Keep up the fantastic work and continue to inspire others with their dedication to robotics and innovation.
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  • January

    Holocaust Story of Survival

    Jen Weisfisch
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  • Spartan Pride Stories

    Next Level Learning

    Crafting Your Course

    Everything is Possible

    Purpose Through Impact

    The Whole Child

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  • Evening of Dance | Feb 13th

    We are thrilled to invite you to a memorable evening that will showcase the incredible growth and accomplishment of our dance students in our upcoming dance performance. Join us for a captivating “Evening of Dance” as we celebrate the culmination of months of hard work, dedication, and artistic expression. This extraordinary event will showcase the incredible growth and talent of the students who have embarked on a journey of learning and self-discovery through dance. You will witness firsthand the remarkable progress made throughout their dance journey. So mark your calendars and kindly RSVP to confirm your attendance and secure your seat(s). We look forward to welcoming you and sharing this extraordinary evening with you.

    Get Your Tickets Here!

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  • Faena Rose x MCDS Partnership

    We are excited to announce that we will have our second Faena Rose x MCDS event on Sunday, February 25th at 11 am at our John Davies Theater in our Center for the Arts (CFA). We will be welcoming the author and professor, Dr. Aliza Pressman. The event will distribute 200 copies of her new book, The Five Principles of Parenting: Your Essential Guide to Raising Good Humans.

    You can find more details here.
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  • State of the School Address | Jan 23.

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  • John Davies Cultural Arts Series Tonight

    The Copper Trees are an indie duo formed by singer / songwriters and producers Kate Neckel (MCDS ALUM!) and Eric Lilavois, Seattle transplants via New York and Los Angeles respectively. 
    Amazon Music named The Copper Trees a “Breakthrough Indie Artist” and American Songwriter named them one of the “Five to Discover: Acts You Need to Know.” The band has performed at venues ranging from the Vera Project to the Paramount,  appeared on the bill for Freakout Festival, and the all-star line up for SMASH. 
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  • Community Service Day | Feb. 3rd

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