Upper School: 9th-12th

No two students leave NSU University School’s Upper School having traveled the same path. We encourage each student to rise and meet his or her own standards of excellence. What our students share, in the process, is an experience of intellectual challenge and curiosity.

As thinkers and problem solvers, students are asked to stretch beyond their strengths and wrestle with challenging real world problems that do not have easy answers. Upper School students craft individualized academic programs through which they discover their passions as learners and develop their voices as leaders. Our faculty are committed to supporting our students through this discovery process, fostering an experiential, collaborative, and supportive classroom environment in which students shine on intellectual, social, and emotional levels.

Working with teachers who are both accomplished in their fields and student-centered in their approach, Upper School students participate enthusiastically in the classroom environment. In any given day, students explore labs, participate in deep and probing discussions, write critically and creatively, refine their thinking, and learn to solve cutting-edge problems. In fact, students engage in conversations you might hear in college seminars. For example, they don’t just learn the process of protein synthesis; they invent their own systems for modeling the process.

NSU University School’s connection with Nova Southeastern University, Florida’s largest private university, serves as an added educational benefit for our students. This unique affiliation provides students with exceptional academic opportunities and access to world-class NSU scientists, researchers, and distinguished professors, giving students an advantage as they prepare for college and beyond.

Faculty Highlight

Mr. Kevin Dibert

Mr. Kevin Dibert has been making an impact here at NSU University School for 13 years as an Upper School teacher and advisor for the World in Distress (WIND) Club, STEM Club, the Math Team, and Mu Alpha Theta.

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Upper School News

Meet Peyton Ronkin, 2020 Bank of America Student Leader

NSU University School (USchool) junior Peyton Ronkin began her educational journey here as a student in our Early Childhood program. Ronkin has excelled academically and significantly contributed to the USchool and local community through various initiatives over the past 13 years. Utilizing her passion for baking to give back, she initiated a community service project, Dipped with Love, in 2015 for her Bat Mitzvah to support the efforts of cancer charities. Ronkin started baking homemade chocolate-covered pretzels to raise money for I Care I Cure, a charity created in memory of a former student who was diagnosed with leukemia that seeks to find gentler cures for childhood cancers.

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Ari Arias

Since he first began in the Lower School, junior Ari Arias has immersed himself in the NSU University School (USchool) experience for the past 10 years and thrived. A benefit of an early start at USchool, Arias appreciates having spent his academic career in a supportive community, which has made a profound impact in his life. Having taken advantage of various experiential learning opportunities, Arias believes that this learning style is the most successful in keeping students engaged and helping them discover their passions.

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Ronnie Shashoua

Throughout her nine years as a student at NSU University School, Class of 2020 salutatorian Ronnie Shashoua has served as an exemplary leader. Practicing the values of hard work and responsibility, Shashoua has taken initiative in creating positive change by using the tools USchool has provided to share her knowledge and skills with others in an effort to empower those in the community.

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Sivan Ben-David

Senior Sivan Ben-David is an NSU University School (USchool) "lifer" who began her educational journey as a Shark in junior kindergarten. In the past 14 years, Ben-David has proven herself to be a stellar student and individual, embodying USchool's mission of inclusivity and personalized excellence in academics, extracurriculars, and service. Her strong work ethic, instilled by her family at a young age, has led her to numerous impressive achievements, such as being named co-valedictorian for the Class of 2020.

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Melanie Stone

Senior Melanie Stone first began her educational journey at NSU University School 14 years ago and has seized every opportunity afforded to her along the way. At a young age, Stone was provided a strategic academic advantage having started in our Early Childhood Program. Over the years, she has flourished as a student and become a dedicated, hard-working leader driven to excel both in and out of the classroom.

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Bella Stroup

In her time at NSU University School (USchool), senior Bella Stroup has truly led a life of service, looking for any way she can use her voice to help those in need while also remaining focused on achieving her academic goals. In Middle School, Stroup recalls moments where she and her classmates had the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers who shared stories about hardships they have endured over the years in an effort to help students make better decisions in life and understand the importance of respect and compassion for one another, regardless of personal differences. Their uplifting messages helped Stroup realize how someone's story can significantly make an impact for individuals who may be experiencing similar situations, encouraging her to share her own life story with others.

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Kylie Cohen

Junior Kylie Cohen joined NSU University School (USchool) her freshman year of high school and has served as a leader and positive role model for her peers ever since. Throughout the past three years, Cohen has taken full advantage of the extracurricular and experiential learning opportunities available at USchool, which have helped her discover and develop her passions, including helping others and working with children.

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Associate Head of Academic Affairs Robyn Kaiyal Completes the 2019 National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy

Congratulations to Associate Head of Academic Affairs Robyn Kaiyal for completing the 2019 National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy (NIXLA) – an online strategic diversity leadership development and institutional transformation program. The immersive, highly selective five-week program offered Kaiyal an invaluable opportunity to further develop her skills as a leader and identify powerful institutional strategies that support diversity, equity, and inclusion at NSU University School.

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Alexander Wertman '19

As an NSU University School student for the last four years, Alexander Wertman's time in the Upper School has been nothing short of a home run. At USchool, Wertman has been able to cultivate his passion and curiosity for STEM-related subjects, hone his technical and leadership abilities on the baseball field, and serve as an inclusive, personable role model for other students. His hard work has culminated this year by recently being named a National Merit Finalist and the Salutatorian for the Class of 2019.

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Skylar Ronkin '19

Although Skylar Ronkin took up the sport of pole vaulting her sophomore year, she has vaulted her way from junior kindergarten to the finish line that is senior year having experienced successes of all sorts at NSU University School. Ronkin's commitment to the NSU value of academic excellence is evident in the numerous awards and distinctions she has earned such as being named a National Merit Semifinalist, National AP Scholar, earning a nearly perfect SAT score, and being named the Valedictorian for the Class of 2019.

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Aysha Zackria '19

The sky is the limit for senior Aysha Zackria, an NSU University School "lifer" who has cultivated various passions while demonstrating a true love for learning during her 14 years at USchool. She is mindful and enthusiastic about seizing every opportunity that is presented to her because she knows she can handle doing so. "I'm a person who wants to do everything, and I think that having access to so many things has been really important me," Zackria said. "USchool is the land of opportunity; there's so much to do here."

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Michael Gonzalez '19

For senior Michael Gonzalez, science, service, and sincerity have defined his eight years as an NSU University School student. Having taken 10 Advanced Placement classes in high school and currently enrolled in six, Gonzalez sees a challenge and tackles it head-on without hesitation. He ultimately desires to learn as much as he can and takes full advantage of the personalized education we offer at USchool.

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Varsity Boys Basketball Team Recognized by NSU president for state championship win

The NSU University School Varsity Boys Basketball team was honored with their championship rings by Head of School Dr. William Kopas and Nova Southeastern University President Dr. George Hanbury for finishing the 2018 season with a 35-2 record and making school history by winning their first 5A State Championship!

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Upper School Theatre Students Win 9 Cappies for Tuck Everlasting

It was a night to remember as our Upper School theatre students dressed their best at The Cappies Awards Gala, an esteemed Tony-like celebration for private and public high schools in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and walked away with 9 Cappies for their involvement in the musical Tuck Everlasting — the most Cappies out of all schools that had nominees!

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Ms. Ann Marie Sellers

Upper School English department chair and teacher Ms. Ann Marie Sellers has 13 years of teaching experience, and we have been fortunate to have her at NSU University School for six of those years teaching English 10 Honors and Independent Research Study.

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