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What's New at the Upper School?

Our Innovation and Design classes recently visited Gainesville Prosthetics.

Paul Prusakowski, owner, and his staff explained how their business works to improve lives by creating unique prosthetic devices using a variety of technologies and techniques. They also explained their creative process as entrepreneurs who have worked to develop OPIE software and make it the standard software used by Prosthetics professionals worldwide.

The road to the State Championship begins for Oak Hall Speech & Debate! Saturday (2/2/19) at Fleming Island High School, our squad advanced 3 students through the “Gullah Geechee” Region 7 tournament to the March 2nd & 3rd Florida Forensics League (FFL) State Championship at West Broward High School. The Region 7 winning Policy Debate team of Aneesh G. (7th) & Emily L. (12th) will be joined by the Region 7 Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking winner, Ian B. (11th). Also, for the second consecutive year, OHS Director of Forensics, Mr. Weston, was named FFL Regional Coach of the Year! The OHS Speech & Debate team travels next to the California Invitational in Berkeley.

For more information on the team, contact a team officer or Mr. Weston.

The 64th Annual Barkley Forum for High Schools Speech & Debate Invitational was held last weekend at Emory University in Atlanta. In the Lincoln Douglas Debate division, Oak Hall’s Kumail Z. (11th) competed and finished in 5th place. For the 7th consecutive time this season, at national invitation tournaments spanning the country in Texas, Iowa, Bronx, New York, University of Florida, Chicago, Minnesota, and now Emory University in Atlanta, Kumail has advanced for large competitive fields in elimination rounds. Kumail is now qualified to attend the University of Kentucky’s Tournament of Champions (TOC) in April. His final tune up events before the TOC will be the California Round Robin and Cal Invitationals in Oakland and Berkley, California in two weeks. Way to go, Kumail! 

For more information about the OHS Speech & Debate team, talk with a team officer or see OHS Director of Forensics, Mr. Weston.

Our Latin students traveled to Trinity Prep for the 6th annual Florida/Georgia Certamen. The Novice team (8th grade) placed 3rd overall and the Advanced team (grades 10-12) placed 2nd overall.

Sydney M. (‘23) received awards for answering the most Grammar questions and the most questions overall on her level.

It was a great day for our Latin students! Excellent job, Eagles!

Ms. Gutierrez's Honors Precalculus classes went on a Pirate Treasure Hunt! The objective of the activity was for the students to experience the application of vectors as motion. It was also an inquiry activity for algebraically adding vectors. Our Eagles found the treasure! 

Earlier in the school year, Ms. Swindler's physics class (consisting mostly of juniors and seniors) teamed up with a 6th grade accelerated science class and went on a treasure hunt. They explored what vectors are, how to add multiple vectors together, and noticed the difference between distance and displacement. The students found "loot" in treasure boxes by following the map correctly. Initially, they didn't realize they are adding vectors together. They walked a specified distance in a certain direction, stopped, then walked another distance in a different direction. In the end, they found the treasure. They were able to figure out the resultant vector (the net distance they traveled) by measuring the shortest distance between where they ended up and where they started.

Oak Hall had fantastic Speech & Debate team competition, locally and nationally, over the MLK holiday weekend!

At P. K. Yonge on Saturday, January 19th, Ian B. (11th) finished 1st place in Extemporaneous Speaking & 4th place in Impromptu Speaking. 1st place in Policy Debate went to the team of Taylor S. (9th) and Aneesh G. (7th).

Mr. Weston’s 7th grade Speech class had great team success! Overall, Sayers G., Debra Jean F., Elizabeth O., and Aneesh G. combined their talents to win 3rd place Middle School Team Sweepstakes. Elizabeth finished 5th place in Just Talk, and Aneesh was 5th in Middle School Impromptu Speaking.

At prestigious Harvard Westlake in Burbank, California, Kumail Z. (11th) equaled last year’s effort with a Lincoln Douglas Debate 5th place finish in an elite field. The team travels next to Emory University on January 25th and then to the Florida State League (FFL) Championship series Gullah Geechee Region qualifying tournament on February 2nd at Fleming Island High.

For more information on the OHS Speech & Debate Team see Mr. Weston or speak with one of this year’s team officers.

Great job, Eagles!

Upcoming Events:

Rising 10th & 11th Grade Pre-College Night – February 6th at 7pm, Cofrin Theater

SAT Registration Deadlines

Any students who plan to take the SAT in March must register by the following deadlines:

March 9th SAT, Regular Registration Deadline – February 8; Late Registration Deadline – February 27

The Florida Bright Futures Application is Open!

If you plan to apply for the Bright Futures Scholarship, please go HERE to submit your application. Students must apply for the First Evaluation by January 31st; the criteria for these awards are your cumulative grade point average, SAT or ACT, and community service hours (minimum of 75 hours required). We encourage students to apply for this even if they anticipate attending college out-of-state as they are able to claim this award for up to two years following high school graduation.

Innovation & Design

On December 6th, Oak Hall students in the Innovation and Design program pitched their business ideas and products to a rapt crowd of founders and investors at Cypress and Grove Brewery. The evening featured pitches from a wide variety of entrepreneurs working to bring their products to market. Throughout the semester, the Innovation and Design students have been working collaboratively with entrepreneurs at the Co.Accelerator at UF's Innovation HUB to develop their own skills and ideas. This is the students' first step at bringing their ideas to market and making their business plans a reality. It was a great event. The students gained tremendous experience and received positive feedback from the audience. We look forward to seeing how far they can develop their products throughout the rest of this year.