Run, Jump, Kart, and Splash

Team Building Day 2023 A Success
Run, Jump, Kart, and Splash
Freshman Tristian Cameron celebrates after winning the magic carpet game on the freshmen team building day on 8/23.
Class of 2027 Spends Team Building Day on Campus With Fun and Games

Once again, students in all grades began the school year with a day dedicated to team building. Fresh off Orientation Day, the ninth-grade team building day was spent on campus. In the morning, the freshmen played advisory games ranging in fun from Tilt-a-Cup to Face-the-Cookie, Egyptian Cups to Office Tennis. Following lunch, the group headed outside for lawn activities.

For the afternoon, freshmen were split up into one of four differently colored teams, identified by the plate color their pizza was served on. Once on the field behind Healey Gymnasium, students participated in a series of activities brought to campus by Crazy Games, an inflatable game company.

After a morning of fun, Mrs. Priola’s and Mr. Haughn’s advisory group ended up tying for first place as they tied in the minute-to-win it games. To break the deadlock, the two advisors were challenged to a speed sorting contest with M&Ms. In the end, Mrs. Priola’s agility proved better and her group lifted the Freshman Cup high. 

Freshmen Ollie First, a member of Mrs. Priola’s advisory, loved competing with his grade and participated in a lot of the games.

“My favorite game was the Egyptian Cups because I enjoyed making cup towers. It was a fun morning of advisory games because we won the Freshmen Cup,” said freshman Ollie First. 

The winner of the hot afternoon color contest was team blue, which easily out-sweated team red, orange/yellow, and green for the victory. 

Freshmen Michael Colucci and Serena Brand especially enjoyed the afternoon competition and loved being able to spend time with their friends outside of the classroom. 

“My favorite part of the afternoon games was the hamster ball because I like going upside down. I really enjoyed hanging out with my friends,” said freshman Michael Colucci. 

“My favorite part of the day was the hamster wheel because it was fun and I was doing it with my friends,” said freshman Serena Brand. 

This day would not have been possible without the Freshmen Class Dean, Mrs. Amanda Pierman. 

“I think it is an important day, especially for the Freshman class, to get to know each other, to get to know their advisor better, and to start forming bonds of friendships and shared memories with their new friends and peers,” said Freshmen Dean of Students Mrs. Amanda Pierman. “It was a successful day because I think it was the work of all the faculty and facility members working collaboratively to put on a fun day for the freshmen students.”

Freshman Tristian Cameron celebrates after winning the magic carpet game on the freshmen team building day on 8/23. (Ryan Chait)
Sophomore Stephen Cecil takes a big jump and hangs tight on the wrecking ball zipline at DEFY.
Class of 2026 Has An Unforgettable Day At DEFY Trampoline Park

On Wed., August 23rd, the class of 2026 took a trip to DEFY Trampoline Park for the second annual Upper School Reorientation Day. 

Upper School Dean of Students, Mr. Kevin Jacobsen, whose also serving as the sophomore class dean this year, organized this trip for the tenth grade. Mr. Jacobsen had high hopes for the day as he felt that it would help foster a new sense of camaraderie amongst the students. 

“The goal of all of these trips is for the individual classes to spend social time together where they are not worrying about class and can focus on each other. I’m looking forward to getting to know the sophomore class in a more relaxed setting and just seeing how they all interact with each other away from campus,” Mr. Jacobsen said. 

All students were asked to arrive on campus at 9 a.m. and meet in the Didsbury Learning Commons (DLC) before getting onto the buses. Once the sophomores arrived, they had the option to jump on the trampolines, play basketball, dodgeball, and much more. After a morning of fun on the several different elements, students enjoyed a pizza lunch provided by DEFY and then returned to campus around 2 p.m. 

Sophomore Lila Cooper enjoyed the trip to DEFY and loved being able to spend time with her friends outside of the classroom. 

“I think the Defy field trip was great. The trampoline park was super fun and I loved being able to bounce and try all of the obstacle courses. I haven’t seen all the people in my grade since last school year, so it was nice to hang out with them without the stress of school,” Cooper said. 

Sophomore Kate Quinlivan had a great time as well and especially loved the 7 vs. 7 dodgeball. 

“Dodgeball has always been one of my favorite games because it brings out my competitive nature and is just a lot of fun. At DEFY, people in our grade were always actively playing so anyone could jump in whenever even if it was in the middle of the game. It was nice to see everyone playing together and be so inclusive,” Quinlivan said. 

Each freshman advisor accompanied their advisees on the trip to DEFY. Upper School math teacher, Mr. Joel Hunt, loved getting to see his students interact with their friends and learn more about them. 

“It was cool to see some of the students that I have in my classes be friends with some of my advisees and see them hang out together. I also loved playing some of the games with the kids, going on the slide with them, and spending some stress-free time together,” Mr. Hunt said. 

Overall, the trip to DEFY seemed to be the perfect way to bring the sophomore class closer together and give both students and teachers a fun day away from school where they could get to know each other better.

Sophomore Stephen Cecil takes a big jump and hangs tight on the wrecking ball zipline at DEFY.
Class of 2025 Takes A Pit Stop At Fun Depot
Seniors (from left to right) Tyler Bruneau, Luke Wise, Travis Robertson, and Ryan Fitzpatrick brace for impact as they splash into the water.
Seniors Splash Down at Rapids

On Wed. August 23rd from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the Senior class spent the day at Rapids Waterpark in Riviera Beach. The day consisted of super-slide fun and staying refreshed in the hot South Florida heat.

English Teacher and Senior Class Chair Dr. John Peruggia was pleased with how the trip went and hopes that the Seniors learned an important lesson about sticking together.

“I think the seniors had a great time. Days like this are opportunities to celebrate the idea that the most important team we are a part of is our Class,” said Dr. Peruggia. 

“At the end of the day, we may be on many teams–football teams, family teams, friend group teams, even team woman or team man–but team class of 2024 is the one that unites us, and it’s important to keep our team bonds strong. So I’m really glad that most of the Class made a strong effort to help strengthen the bonds we have as we embark on this final high school year together,” added Dr. Peruggia.

After arriving just after 10 a.m., students gathered in front of the Rapid’s sign for a class photo. Then, the water park shenanigans began.

Benjamin had reserved a covered area with picnic tables for the day, so that is where students kept their bags, shoes, and towels. At around noon, students were served lunch and ate at these same picnic tables. Almost every student was waiting for lunch right when it was brought out.

Students had the choice of a burger or hotdog, plus Caesar salad, chips, and cookies. There was also a drink table with water, lemonade, and fruit punch. After lunch, students returned to their shenanigans and enjoyed another two hours at the waterpark.

Then at 2:30 p.m., advisors gathered their students and everyone packed back onto the buses. Everyone returned around 3 p.m. and the school day was over.

Senior Zoe Cooper, whose favorite slide was Big Thunder, had a fun time at Rapids.

“I love waterslides, so it was a really fun day. I feel like it was a great way to bond with everyone in our grade,” said Cooper.

The day would not have gone as smoothly as it did without the help of the faculty, who enjoyed the water park themselves.

“I’d like to thank the senior advisors, many of whom joined in on the fun by hopping into the lazy river, the wave pool, or onto a slide, for their enthusiastic support of the class as well. Also, thanks to Mr. Franzen for being our official photographer,” said Dr. Peruggia.

Overall, the senior opening trip was a success, as it started the process of bringing the senior class closer together in their final year here at the Upper School.

Seniors (from left to right) Tyler Bruneau, Luke Wise, Travis Robertson, and Ryan Fitzpatrick brace for impact as they splash into the water. (Mr. Franzen)
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