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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Although it is housed outside of the Middle School, students from JK to grade 12 will have the opportunity to interact with the garden this year as our teachers find ways to incorporate it into their existing curricula.
Upper School students in Advanced TV & Film Production are learning how to become citizen journalists under the direction of our new TV & Film teacher, Mr. Harry Maxon.
Schaefer Grant, a current USchool junior, received 3rd place in the Cellular Molecular Biology & Biochemistry category at the State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida competition in Lakeland.
Juniors and seniors interested in attending NSU Recruit a Shark Day next week participated in a workshop this morning led by our Director of Experiential Learning, Ms. Samantha Nelson.
Senior Vernon Carey Jr. was featured on The CW South Florida. Click here to hear the latest update regarding his future plans.
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!
Upper School students spoke with club officers and sponsors to help them decide which organizations, causes, and activities they want to get involved with -- an integral part of the Uschool experience.
USchool families had the opportunity to learn about the various offerings within our Arts and Athletics department by meeting with department directors, instructors, and coaches.
It's only day one and experiential learning is already taking place in the classroom! Freshman biology students in Mr. Dronin-Quintana's class got to know their classmates better while visualizing epidemiology in action − the study of the distribution and causes of disease.
Our seniors gathered for the College Application Workshop where they received important information and personalized support from our experienced College Counseling team.
On the eve of the First Day of School, we were delighted to welcome our new and returning Lower, Middle, and Upper School families!
NSU University School faculty and staff attended a school-wide meeting to discuss newly implemented measures to enhance the safety and security of our entire school community.
This summer, a group of juniors and seniors spent two weeks of cultural and language immersion at the Universidad de Málaga in Spain where they had the opportunity to earn college credits and experience Mediterranean culture.
Our Class of 2018 Valedictorian Amelia Meles and Salutatorian Zachary Lieberman appeared in a recent South Florida Sun Sentinel article that featured students who graduated in the top of their class in Broward County.
WIND Club members spent their afternoon gathering and organizing school supplies and other items that were cleaned out of the Upper School lockers to donate to children in need.
We are incredibly proud of seniors Zachary Lieberman, Amelia Meles, and Max Rosenblum for receiving Honorable Mentions in their respective categories at the 60th Annual Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards Ceremony!
Our seniors completed the last assignment of their Upper School careers – The Shark Capstone Experience.
The Class of 2018 walked throughout the USchool campus wearing apparel from their colleges as they basked in applause from their teachers and peers from the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools.
This year's Junior Class Ring Ceremony began with welcoming remarks from student members serving on the Ring Ceremony Committee and was followed by a brief speech on the history and meaning of the class ring.
Upper School WIND Club students served alongside other community volunteers at Stamp Out Hunger -- the largest one-day food drive in the nation where postal carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries, and shelters.
A big thank you to the University Family Organization for showering our faculty and staff members from all levels with appreciation every day this week by organizing special gifts like a delicious lunch catered by Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine Plantation and relaxing chair massages from Davie Chiropractic Center.
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!
Congratulations to our 50 newly inducted Mu Alpha Theta Mathematical Honor Society members and to those students who had exemplary performances in this year's Math Team competitions!
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.
Twelve of our Upper School students traveled up to Gainesville, Fla. last week to compete in the University of Florida's Chemathon 2018, an event designed for high school students throughout Florida who are interested in chemistry.
More than 50 NSU University School students and teachers from the Upper School WIND Club, Middle School Diversity Club, and National Junior Honor Society served alongside each other at the AARP Foundation & Miami Dolphins 5th Annual Million Meal Pack at Nova Southeastern University.
As the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine/NSU University School Fellowship neared the end of its pilot year, our 12 Upper School fellows had the privilege of meeting members of the non-profit organization, Deliver the Dream, which provides retreats to families who have a parent or child experiencing a serious illness or crisis.
Another great collaboration at NSU University School between our Upper School students, Lower School students, and even graduate students from Nova Southeastern University! This time, it was our USchool Buddies club that brought students of all ages and from all over the world together.
Congratulations to our new Director of College Counseling, Mr. Mike Oligmueller, for receiving the Richard L. Apperson Award at the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC) annual conference!
Our Upper School students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) were able to focus on their favorite subjects even more this week as we celebrated STEM Week at USchool!
Our Upper School marine science students recently joined Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography at NSU Professor Derek Burkholder, Ph.D, for an adventure out at sea to learn about the shark tagging process.
Congratulations to senior Sam Blum for being named a Student of the Year at Nova Southeastern University's 2018 STUEY Awards!
With April being National Poetry Month, we'd like to recognize our Upper School English teacher Mr. Walsh, an educator who not only shares his passion for poetry with his students inside the classroom, but also with others from South Florida and beyond so they too can relish and develop an appreciation for this form of literature.
Over the course of the 2017-18 season, the NSU University School Varsity Girls Lacrosse team raised money in support of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by selling maroon bracelets to NSU University School students.
Upper School students in our Forensic Science Advanced Topics (AT) classes experienced the work of real crime scene investigators as they processed an outdoor staged crime scene investigation.
Our Calculus and Physics students as well as our STEM Club had a great time observing National Biomechanics Day at Nova Southeastern University's Exercise and Sport Science lab.
Congratulations to seniors Amelia Meles and David Skaff for being named winners of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation's $2,500 National Merit Scholarship!
Last week, we had the honor of inducting 200 Middle and Upper School students into the National Honor Society & National Junior Honor Society (NHS & NJHS) -- congratulations to all of our inductees!