THE LEGEND BEGINS…
The 2017-2018 Leewood K-8 Center’s 8th grade Journalism class has been given the amazing privilege of writing for the Kendall Gazette. We are extremely honored to be a part of such a fantastic experience. We hope that these articles can be something fun and entertaining that everyone will look forward to reading. When people typically think of teenagers, they think of rule-breaking, immature children who think they know it all, but is that who us teenagers really are? Our main goal with The Leewood Legend is to give readers an insight into our “teenage thoughts” while informing the community about news on and off campus.
In our articles, we will be featuring “paw-ratings” on movies, local restaurant reviews, and teacher and student spotlights. These features will give our community a taste of what we really think. We will also strive to educate our readers on current national, local, and sports news. Leewood Principal, Mr. Bart Christie, expressed his excitement for the paper when saying, “It gives Leewood K-8 Center an opportunity to show the talents of our students to the community!”
The Leewood Legend Staff is committed to working hard to get as many issues as possible printed in the Kendall Gazette this year. We are hoping to publish at least once a month, and hopefully as the year progresses, bi-monthly so we can be in every edition. We want to thank Grant Miller, Publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers, for giving us this amazing opportunity and opening the door for us to share our articles with the community. We hope to leave a lasting impact on those who read The Leewood Legend, and are looking forward to gaining experience as journalistic writers.
Journalism Class of 2017-18
Where Are They Now?
By Hunter Rebhan
In every edition of The Leewood Legend, we will feature a former Leewood student to show how our Leewood alumni has an impact on our community today. In this edition, we are featuring Adam Clarin who was in the graduating fifth grade class of 1991.
More than 30 years ago, Adam Clarin walked on to Leewood’s campus to start kindergarten. At that time, the school only went to fifth grade, the principal was Mrs. Houghton, and the students could wear anything they wanted to!
Adam has many fond memories of Leewood, including his favorite teacher Mrs. Fields. Mrs. Fields was his 3rd grade teacher, and when asked why she was his favorite Adam said, “She inspired me to want to learn, but more importantly we won Field Day that year!” Adam vividly remembers the tie-dyed shirts they wore and the blue ribbon he won at field day. He participated in the fifty-yard dash as well as the high jump. “When we won, Mrs. Fields gave us no homework for a whole week!”
Adam also remembers playing the role of the Chimney Sweep in Leewood’s production of Mary Poppins as well as playing with “Big Bertha”, an oversized kickball, during P.E. His memories of computer class include booting up an Apple 2 and playing “The Oregon Trail” and “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?”.
When asked if he would have considered himself a class clown or teacher’s pet, Adam said he was definitely more of a class clown, recalling making paper tacos and using rubber bands to shoot them across the room! Don’t let that fool you though, Adam was also a great student, especially in math and science.
After graduating from 5th grade, Adam’s successful academic career continued through Palmetto Middle School, Killian High School, and The University of Florida where he graduated with honors with a degree in psychology. He then went to graduate school at Nova Southeastern University where he also graduated with honors this time with a degree in optometry.
Adam now practices as an Optometrist in the Palmetto Bay Area at Clarin Eye Care. He often has current Leewood students and teachers as his patients, including none other than his favorite teacher Mrs. Fields! In his spare time, Adam enjoys hanging out with his family (wife Jennifer, daughter Orli, and son Seth) as well as playing and coaching basketball. Last season, Adam coached his daughter’s team at Temple Beth Am and won the championship! It was a pleasure interviewing Adam Clarin and I’m proud to say he graduated from Leewood!
Are you a former Leewood student? Would you like us to feature you in our next edition? If so we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to e-mail us at TheLeewoodLegend@xfinity.com .
Leaping on to the Scene
Staff Writers: Cassie Martinez, Hunter Rebhan, Jake Tapia, and Brandon Jacobs
In only its third year of existence, the Leewood Lady Leopards middle school basketball team has already made a name for itself. The 2016-2017 team had an outstanding season in which they defeated tough teams like South Miami and Palmetto Middle. With an impressive 5-1 regular season record, they also qualified for the playoffs. They won the first round against the number one seeded Cutler Bay Middle School, advancing the Leopards to the County Semi-Finals held at the Miami Springs Rec Center. Unfortunately, that is where the season came to an end, but it left the returning players hungry to come back with even higher goals this year.
One thing this team doesn’t lack is spirit, or superstition. The players love getting hyped up with all their pre-game rituals, some of which might sound a little crazy. Returning 8th grader, Cassie Martinez, makes Snickerdoodles for the team to eat one hour before each game. Probably not the healthiest pre-game snack, but after they started winning they were not going to change their routine! They also have a lucky charm called the “key to success”. The key to success is a necklace strung with an actual key that the players “bless” their coach Jessica Rebhan with before heading onto the court every game. Another tradition that the team does before every game and practice, is write “L2” (“L-squared” for Lady Leopards) with a sharpie on the palm of every player’s right hand. Although the team does not know exactly how it started, returning 8th grader, Olivia Silva says “Writing L2 on my hand made me feel like I had extra luck, and it made us feel as if the team was connected.”
With tryouts around the corner, the Lady Leopards are hoping to replace seven players who graduated from Leewood K-8 Center last year. The returning players are very optimistic that with hard work not only are they going to get back to the playoffs this year, they are going to win it all!