Cutler Bay Academy Sr. High students visit New York City

Cutler Bay Academy Sr. High students visit New York City

Pictured with the “Cutler Bay News” in Times Square are (l-r) Danny Calafell, Loxbey Montalvan, César Martinez, Livan Bec, Juliet Talamantez, Dr. Justin A. Koren (Lead Teacher for Academic Programs), Christopher Espinoza, Autumn LeBron, Sandra Decarlo (Admissions Coordinator), Alexis Johnson, Jonathan DeLima, lleeana Llanas-Reyes, Bryan Ruesca, Maria Delgado (teacher), Edward Hinton, Victor Mederos, Lilybeth Cruz and Ian Hunt.

A group of students from Cutler Bay Academy Senior High School made a memorable field trip to New York City from Jan. 21 to 24, learning the city’s history first hand as well as visiting its landmarks and arts and entertainment districts.

All of the students participating in the visit are in the 11th grade.

Justin A. Koren, PhD, the lead teacher for Curriculum and Academic Programs and Director of Admissions, explained the reason for the educational adventure.

“The purpose of this fieldtrip was toexpose students to the incredible cultural and historic sites and experiences of New York City,” Dr. Koren said. “Because I lived in New York City for several years, I was able to serve as the group’s tour guide. I made certain we saw it all.

“We visited many museums, including the powerful and deeply touching 9/11 Museum and Memorial. Students also saw the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, a Broadway show, and even got to ice skate and have a snowball fight in Central Park. This was by far the grandest fieldtrip I have ever coordinated.”

The school, created in 2012 when the Miami-Dade School Board and the Town of Cutler Bay agreed to convert Centennial Middle School into a high-performing senior high school named Cutler Bay Academy of Advanced Studies, is home to three academies: COAST, iPrep, and Liberal Arts. It offers an advanced academic curriculum as part of the Cambridge Program.

The group departed from Miami International Airport at 7:35 a.m. on Jan. 21 and returned at 11:24 p.m. on Jan. 24. They were able to experience a climate very different from South Florida.

“To top it off, we got to see snow,” said Ian Hunt, Student Government secretary. “For many of us, it was our first time since most of us have lived in Cutler Bay our whole lives. It was an experience I will always hold on to and never forget.”

Livan Bec, Student Government treasurer, enjoyed the fact they were doing it all as a group.

“The NYC fieldtrip was an unbelievable bonding experience with my peers and also my teachers. It was amazing to be able to see and explore the world’s most diverse city together,” Bec said.

“The best part of the trip was going up 72 stories to the ‘Top of the Rock,’” said Autumn LeBron, Student Government president. “Standing on top of Rockefeller Center at midnight and looking out at the NYC skyline was both exhilarating and breathtaking.”

For student Victor Mederos, their trip to the theater was a keynote.

“Seeing the Broadway Show Wicked was amazing,” Mederos said. “I felt like I was transported to a whole new universe the second the show started. It was mesmerizing.”

Sandra DeCarlo, the school’s admissions coordinator, acted as one of the chaperones for the fieldtrip.

“It is too difficult for me to determine my favorite part of the trip because, from beginning to end, it was all so phenomenal,” DeCarlo said.

“I have been working for Miami-Dade County Public Schools for the past 23 years and this trip has been the highlight so far. We were able to see the students learn at a whole new level.”


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