By: Sonia Esquenazi
6th Grade Teacher
All the sports pictures are done by JDR Photography
This competition season is off to a tremendous start for John I. Smith K-8 Center (J.I.S). The jazz, hip-hop, cheerleading, basketball and soccer teams have been working diligently all year with the desire to compete. These teams are comprised of eager, talented students that participate in classes being offered through the Community School Class Program. The students attend practice sessions with the hopes of competing at the highest levels of their particular sport, including regional, state and national competitions as well as in various community sports leagues. As a school, J.I.S, can offer students invaluable opportunities to develop and hone these unique skills through their highly qualified instructors. They are able to do so at a fraction of the cost that similar programs are able to.
The JIS dancers brought home honors from Showstopper’s regional dance competition held at Broward Community College on March 31st. They not only received platinum and gold awards but all three of J.I.S’s teams proved themselves to be worthy competitors, taking the overall 1st place award in the 8 year-old category and the 1st and 2nd place spots in the 11 year-old category. It was a meaningful achievement, as they were the only school competing against the private dance studios.
The dance teams will also be attending Star Power Regional Dance Competition in April, as well as performing at the Miami Marlins stadium and Relay for Life.
The J.I.S. Cheerleaders added a Junior Varsity team to their roster this year, and they have already demonstrated their superior skills, becoming champions. Both teams attended Cheer Power in March, where the JV and Varsity teams both won 1st place in the Elementary and Middle School Divisions. Their second competition took place on April 1st, where they competed at USCA. It was held at Nova Southeastern University, where they again took home 1st place in the Elementary and Middle School divisions.
John I Smith K-8 Center also has a strong traditional sports program. The Varsity and Junior Varsity basketball teams play in the highly competitive South Miami League. During the fall season, both teams finished with a winning record and the Varsity squad made it to the semi-finals.
As soccer is Doral’s most popular sport, John I Smith K-8 Center’s Junior Varsity and Varsity Soccer teams have done their best to make Doral proud. Both teams play in the Kendall Hammocks League, and while the JV team continues to improve each week, J.I.S.’s Varsity team is undefeated and looking to capture their second championship in two years.
As part of the Music Department, Orchestra, strings and chorus is also offered. They compete each year at Music USA in Orlando Florida where Orchestra and Chorus have both received superior honors for the past four years. This year’s competition will take place on May 4, 2012 in Universal Orlando.
Another important aspect of these programs is the high level of parental involvement. Parents, grandparents, siblings and even extended family members are regulars at weekly games and dance/cheer competitions. Equipped with pom-poms, noise makers and cameras, they are the most spirited group at each and every event.
As a school, John I. Smith K-8 Center beams with extreme pride at the level of competition their students continue to demonstrate. With every new student that joins their ranks, year after year, the school knows that the knowledge and expertise of their competitive teams will surely multiply. Throughout the past decade, as an elementary school with competitive teams, they have proven that high expectations with the proper application of instruction can make any “goal” achievable.