What Sets Us Apart


Disney's High School Musical Jr. on stage at the TASIS Dorado Performing Arts Center was a smash hit!


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VIDEO GALLERY


The TASIS Dorado Spring musical production of "Disney's High School Musical Jr.," directed by Axel Serrant and produced by Drama teacher Lourdeliz Ramos, was a resounding success and our grandest production to date, playing to a full house on both April 13th and Saturday the 14th at the PAC!

Based on Disney Channel's smash hit movie, High School Musical, our production sees the familiar characters of Troy, Gabriella, the Jocks, the Brainiacs, the Thespians, and the Rebels of East High tackling themes of love, friendship, and family while attempting to balance the teenage turmoil with academic and extracurricular commitments.

For the past eleven weeks, a cast and crew of almost 130 talented students from 1st to 12th-grade and a choir and musicians from 6th-12th-grade, have been putting in long hours of rehearsal time, culminating in two wonderful performances this past weekend. "Putting together a musical while being a student and juggling so many things at the same time -- that's amazing! Congratulations to the cast, the crew and the teachers on their hard work, effort and staying on top of things amongst so many responsibilities." director Axel Serrant exclaimed.

Upper school students took diction, singing, acting and dancing lessons, and worked as stagehands, moving set items onstage throughout the musical. 44 Elementary students (Mini Wildcats) also enjoyed a memorable experience as part of this show, bringing tons of enthusiasm, talent, and energy to each of their ten rehearsals. They learned ambitious and complex choreographies from Mr. Edwin Colón and Ms. Michelle Latour supported by "wonder mom" Natalia Haigler, who masterfully directed their energy into spectacular dance performances. They captivated the audience, especially with the opening number, a remix of songs from the musical. The 5th graders took leadership roles and guided the younger stars through the whole process. Each dance group had their moment in the spotlight!


The East High Mini Wildcats captivated the audience

Our talented music department, featuring Ms. Karla Santana, Mr. Fabián Rivera, Mr. Joel Bracero and Mr. Jonathan Martínez, performed live with our student musicians, conducting and adding to the authentic theatrical experience. The Wildcats band, directed by Mr. Jonathan Martinez, consisted of 12 musicians and a Wildcat Choir of four backing vocalists, directed by Mr. Joel Bracero. Our talented TD teacher, Ms. Karla Santana was the vocal coach and show pianist.


The Wildcats Band and Choir during rehearsal

It was an emotional journey for some of our performing Seniors considering this was their last school production at TASIS Dorado. Senior Alessandra Casanova, who took on the role of the female lead, Gabriella Montez, has also been in numerous TASIS Dorado productions ever since she was cast as a woodland creature in the production of "Into the Woods" during her 4th-grade. "I may have only participated in two scenes in the entire show. However, I felt on top of the world... I am extremely proud to say that I have decided to study musical theatre in college, and I can't thank the TASIS Dorado Drama Department enough for shaping who I am as a performer," Alessandra announced.


Alessandra Casanova '18 (Gabriella) and Liam Muldoon '18 (Troy) have been on stage together since their fifth grade

Senior Liam Muldoon, who played the role of Troy Bolton, echoed the sentiment: "I first started participating in theatre in the 5th grade with Ale, and ever since, we've done many plays together. I started musicals as a quiet and timid kid...after joining the theatre program at TASIS...you grow as a person. Whether playing soccer or basketball is your thing, Model UN, or Math Bowl, each one of us can benefit from a little confidence no matter where our "game" is, and the theatre program will help you get there."

Other seniors also participated in the cast, including Mesac Garriga, Adriana Cuevas, and Manuel Cabanillas. Seniors Héctor Rivera and Paola Artau added their talent to the production as part of the band and chorus. Manuel Cabanillas together with Junior Valentina Nevares gave a fantastic and hilarious performance as the duo of Sharpay and her twin brother Ryan Evans trying to bring down the lead couple.


Scene stealers Valentina Nevares '20 and Manuel Cabanillas '18 as the hilarious twins Sharpay and Ryan Evans

Ms. Lourdeliz Ramos, TD Drama teacher, HSM's assistant director and stage manager, praised her performers after the show: "Tonight, I couldn't feel prouder of my kids who gave their all onstage and sacrificed so many other things in order to be here tonight fully prepared for the show. They performed as professionals, singing, acting, dancing and working on stage, and they are SO happy! To me, that's the greatest reward."


Following last weekend's shows, Ms. Lourdeliz gathered the cast and crew this week to hand out participation certificates and for each student to reflect upon their own process during the production. "I congratulated the high school students for setting a good example to the youngest ones. Watching them working together, the sixth graders with the seniors, the shy ones with the extroverted ones, helping and supporting each other regardless of their differences and learning from one another, was very rewarding. Having positive role models to aspire to is simply beautiful. That's what we got from High School Musical... a family." concluded Ms. Lourdeliz.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL JR. CREDITS

  • Book by David Simpatico
  • Based on a Disney Channel Original Movie Written by Peter Barsocchini
  • Songs by Matthew Gerrard & Robbie Nevil, Ray Cham, Greg Cham & Andrew Seeley, Randy Petersen & Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd & Adam Watts, Bryan Louiselle, David N. Lawrence & Faye Greenberg, Jamie Houston
  • Music Adapted, Arranged and Produced by Bryan Louiselle
  • Directed by Axel Serrant
  • Produced by Lourdeliz Ramos and TASIS Dorado

  • MUSICAL NUMBERS

    • Wildcat Cheer (Company)
    • Start of Something New (Troy, Gabriella, Company)
    • Get'cha Head in the Game (Troy, Jocks)
    • Auditions (Thespians, Ms. Darbus)
    • What I've Been Looking For (Sharpay, Ryan)
    • What I've Been Looking For - Reprise (Troy, Gabriella)
    • Stick to the Status Quo (Company)
    • We're All in This Together (Jocks and Brainiacs)
    • Bop to the Top (Sharpay, Ryan)
    • Breaking Free (Troy, Gabriella, Company)
    • We're All in This Together - Reprise (Company)

    CAST

    • Liam Muldoon as Troy Bolton
    • Alessandra Casanova as Gabriella Montez
    • Valentina Nevares as Sharpay Evans
    • Manuel Cabanillas as Ryan Evans
    • Kamalkali Toraño as Taylor McKessie
    • Victoria Monteagudo as Kelsi Nielsen
    • Mesac Garriga as Chad Danforth
    • Michael Calixto as Zeke Baylor
    • Gabriel Rivera as Jack Scott
    • Enrique Valiente as Coach Bolton
    • Mia K. Rodríguez as Ms. Darbus
    • Emma Trápaga as Martha Cox
    • Zita Cortés as Ripper
    • Camelia Marini as Mango
    • Beatriz Estella as Jamie
    • Valeria Moreda as Susan
    • Anushka Agarwal as Cathy
    • Adriana Cuevas as Cyndra
    • María V. Hayes as Ms. Tenny / Moderator

    JOCKS

    • Aimée Colón - 7th grade
    • Alanis Camacho - 10th grade
    • Ana Camila Bonilla - 6th grade
    • Arielle Sambolín - 10th grade
    • Camila Colón - 7th grade
    • Isabel Rivera - 8th grade
    • Liam Muldoon - 12th grade
    • Mesac Garriga - 12th grade
    • Michael Calixto - 11th grade
    • Paulette Artau - 10th grade
    • Valery Conde - 8th grade

    CHEERLEADERS

    • Adriana Cuevas - 12th grade
    • Alejandra Pamias - 7th grade
    • Alexia Vega - 8th grade
    • Amanda Quintana - 7th grade
    • Ana Muñiz - 7th grade
    • Carolina Alloca - 7th grade
    • Catalina Trápaga - 7th grade
    • Paula Serra - 8th grade
    • Valeria Castellano - 6th grade

    BRAINIACS

    • lana Fuentes - 6th grade
    • Alessandra Casanova - 12th grade
    • Ariana Rodríguez - 8th grade
    • Emma Trápaga - 7th grade
    • Gabriel Rivera - 6th grade
    • Hanna Grochowski - 8th grade
    • Kamalkali Toraño - 8th grade
    • Karla Junco - 7th grade
    • Nadia Sambolín - 8th grade
    • Valeria Martí - 6th grade

    THESPIANS

    • Anushka Agarwal - 11th grade
    • Beatriz Estella - 7th grade
    • Manuel Cabanillas - 12th grade
    • Mariana García - 6th grade
    • Valentina Nevares - 10th grade
    • Valeria Moreda - 10th grade
    • Victoria Monteagudo - 6th grade

    REBELS

    • Andrea Goveo - 8th grade
    • Ariana González - 6th grade
    • Camelia Marini - 7th grade
    • Zita Cortés - 7th grade

    FACULTY

    • Enrique Valiente - 10th grade
    • Mia K. Rodríguez - 10th grade
    • María V. Hayes - 11th grade

    MINI WILDCATS

    • Abby McCartney - 3rd grade
    • Adrián Ortiz - 1st grade
    • Alejandra Barrientos - 3rd grade
    • Amaya González - 2nd grade
    • Andrelle Rivera - 4th grade
    • Angélica Hernández - 5th grade
    • Aniya Gilbert - 1st grade
    • Annabelle Young - 1st grade
    • Bianca Reyes - 2nd grade
    • Blanca Serra - 5th grade
    • Camila Goveo - 5th grade
    • Carolina Cortés - 2nd grade
    • Catalina Quiñones - 3rd grade
    • Chenelle Clair - 5th grade
    • Claudia Quiñones - 2nd grade
    • Claudia Soto - 5th grade
    • Daniela Castelló - 5th grade
    • Daniela Martínez - 3rd grade
    • Elena Emanuelli - 3rd grade
    • Fernando Descartes - 5th grade
    • Gabriela Descartes - 5th grade
    • Gabriela Gutiérrez - 5th grade
    • Gialianis Calixto - 5th grade
    • Isabela Ramírez - 2nd grade
    • Isabella Rodríguez - 2nd grade
    • Jared Martínez - 2nd grade
    • John D. Alexander - 1st grade
    • Jules Martínez - 3rd grade
    • Katerina Stubbe - 3rd grade
    • Kerubín Ramos - 3rd grade
    • Laura Bonilla - 4th grade
    • Marcella Martínez - 1st grade
    • María Fernanda Colón - 1st grade
    • María José Suárez - 2nd grade
    • Mateo McParland - 2nd grade
    • Mia Grochowski - 5th grade
    • Natasha Trigo - 5th grade
    • Noah Seda - 3rd grade
    • Noelie Gillier - 2nd grade
    • Pablo Abreu - 5th grade
    • Pia Cecilia Pietrantoni - 3rd grade
    • Sofía Castañeda - 4th grade
    • Stella Morstad - 1st grade
    • Stella Sederholm - 2nd grade
    • Triana Ramírez - 4th grade
    • Valentina Ramírez - 3rd grade
    • Valentina Rivera - 4th grade
    • Victoria Miró - 3rd grade

    MUSICIANS

    • Mrs. Karla Santana (Piano)
    • Mr. Jonathan Martínez (Keyboard)
    • Mr. Fabián Rivera (Percussion)
    • Mr. Joel Bracero (Trumpet)

    WILDCAT BAND

    • Conductor: Mr. Jonathan Martínez
    • Brian Pavón - 10th grade (Electric Bass)
    • Carlos Junco - 9th grade (Baritone)
    • Cassandra Sabol - 12th grade (Flute)
    • David Alvarado - 8th grade (Tuba)
    • Diane Suárez - 10th grade (Xylophone)
    • Diego Rivera - 9th grade (Tenor Sax)
    • Giovanni Rivera - 10th grade (Alto Sax / Minor Percussion)
    • Gustavo Figueroa - 7th grade (Minor Percussion)
    • Héctor Rivera - 12th grade (Electric Guitar)
    • Jean Díaz - 9th grade (Trumpet)
    • John Regis - 10th grade (Electric Guitar)
    • Paola Artau - 12th grade (Clarinet)

    WILDCAT CHOIR

    • Director: Mr. Joel Bracero
    • Alinés Lebrón - 10th grade
    • Carolina Uribe - 10th grade
    • Denelly Amparo - 6th grade
    • Héctor Rivera - 12th grade

    CREATIVE TEAM

    • Producer: TASIS Dorado
    • Director: Axel Serrant
    • Assistant Director & Stage Manager: Lourdeliz Ramos
    • Choreographers: Mr. Edwin Colón & Mrs. Michelle Latour
    • Vocal Coach: Mrs. Karla Santana
    • Wildcat Band Director: Mr. Jonathan Martínez
    • Wildcat Choir Director: Mr. Joel Bracero
    • Musical Arrangements: Mr. Jonathan Martínez & Mr. Joel Bracero
    • Stage Set Carpenter: Noel López
    • Costumes & Props: Lourdeliz Ramos & Susan Fiallo
    • Production Assistants :
      • Yolanda Rodríguez - 10th grade
      • Hanna Colón - 6th grade
      • Miranda Díaz - 9th grade
      • Lia Fortuño - 9th grade
      • Laia Besalduch - 9th grade
    • PAC Technical Director, Sound Engineer & Projections: Henry Miranda
    • Lights: Evarlyn Torres
    • Tech Crew:
      • Reynaldo Falcón - 10th grade
      • Edmond Zacapa - 11th grade
      • Orietta Lobo - 10th grade
      • Yael Román - 11th grade
      • Cristian Torres - 11th grade
    • PAC House Manager: Félix Cotto
    • Marketing, Playbill & Tickets: Michelle Yegros and Jovita Casanova



    TASIS Dorado is proud to congratulate CRISTINA M. TRÁPAGA HACKER, Class of 2018, who has been selected one out of 6 semi-finalists chosen from 41 candidates in Puerto Rico for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar Program.

    The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. One male and one female high school senior from each state and territory of the US is selected each year to be honored at a ceremony by the White House in June. The 2018 Scholars will be announced in May. We are also very proud that TASIS Dorado had 5 of our seniors to be chosen in the top 1% in the nation.

    Congratulations, Cristina, on this great honor!

    #BearPride #PresidentialScholars2018

    ALUMNI PROFILE

    José del Río Pantoja '14

    Cancer Research at Harvard

    https://dorado.tasis.com/page.cfm?p=734


    JOSÉ "Jochi" DEL RÍO PANTOJA, a graduate of TASIS Dorado in 2014 and one of our latest high flyers, is fervently probing the nanoscale mysteries of biochemistry. After weighing up offers to join several Ph.D. programs, he has settled on enjoying a full scholarship at Harvard University. This exciting research challenge tackles the structural role of proteins that cause cancer.

    What sparked your interest in biomedical research?

    I don't recall a specific instance that started my journey towards biomedical research, but then I have always been fascinated by STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). My overall experience in STEM can be best described as a positive feedback loop: the more I learned about it, the more I wanted to know. I do believe, however, that my infatuation with the chemistry courses and research experiences at Penn State strongly shaped my interest in biomedical research.

    Did you think you might go down that path from the outset of your undergraduate studies?

    Not really. I started my undergraduate program at Penn State with the idea of becoming a physician but quickly switched to the Eberly College of Science at Penn State to study my current major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. It's been a gratifying journey that has also introduced me to the joys of teaching. I started out as a learning assistant in general and organic chemistry courses and worked up to a position at Penn State Learning as a study group leader in organic chemistry, teaching 100-200 students.

    It sounds like you barely had time for anything else!

    Well, I'd say it's been a very fulfilling time indeed, also allowing me the privilege to get involved in Alpha Epsilon Delta's Pre-professional Health Honor society, promoting excellence in healthcare. We host speaker events and create community service opportunities and I've become heavily involved, most lately taking on the role of president. In addition, I've benefitted from the honors classes at the Schreyer Honors College, since being admitted there in my sophomore year.


    José del Río Pantoja presentation at NYU Langone Health

    What were some of your highlights at TASIS Dorado?

    There are three highlights that come to my mind. The first is Annie (Galatzán); she was my number one highlight at TASIS Dorado. Whether it was her everlasting smile, wise advice, warm hugs, generous favors or quick ranting sessions, she always found a way of making me feel welcomed and loved. It was a true privilege to have met her.

    Then there's Spirit Week. I absolutely loved Spirit Week. From being able to dress according to the theme of the day to all the activities going on during that week, Spirit week was super fun. It certainly resonates as one of my favorite times at TASIS.

    And thirdly, there were the French classes with Madame Denisse (Cintrón) and Calculus class with Miss Wanda (Herrans). I LOVED French class with Madame Denisse (Cintrón). She managed to get me so into the course that I even agreed to sing in French for this one play we did in front of the entire student body and parents. It should be noted that I am not the greatest singer. That just goes to show how great a teacher she is. Also, her class enabled me to me to travel abroad to Nîmes, France as part of the TASIS Exchange Program, which is another huge highlight. As for Calculus class with Miss Wanda, she was the first teacher to introduce me to the importance of developing strong soft skills prior to entering college. She was also a friend and really cared about us developing our ability to succeed at learning.

    What do you know now that you wish you knew in High School?

    I'd say there are five things that, although I learned them during my undergraduate degree, I wish I had known in high school:

    1) Only participate in extracurricular activities that you actually enjoy. It is an absolute mistake to do things just because they are résumé boosters. Professional schools and employers can see through that. Most importantly, you jeopardize your college experience and overall happiness.

    2) Dumb questions are only dumb if you don't ask them. You will find people that are great at making you feel inferior for asking a question or too many questions. But don't let that get in the way of you understanding the world, regardless of what field you go into.

    3) Actively seek to understand what is really going on in the world you live in. I think you have a moral obligation to have an active role in topics that affect the world. Enroll in courses about race, immigration, sexual/gender orientation, world history, and social sciences. Think differently. Research. There are so many things going on right now that you can make a great impact on a micro and even macro scale. Knowledge is your biggest weapon.

    4) Check your privilege. Privilege is unearned. It is an invisible system that we are all part of. It is very important to recognize your own privilege in order to recognize those who don't have the same privileges. Had I known this going into college, I would have done a few things slightly differently. Checking and recognizing your privilege enables you to not only succeed in the most fair and conscious manner but also keeps you aware of those who aren't as lucky as you are, whether it's because of their socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, skin color, gender, or whatever. As a consequence, you grow with society.

    5) Be utterly proud of your roots. If you decide to go to a school in the United States, you will be tempted to blend into the culture you find there. In high school, I wish I had been more aware of the importance of being proud of my accent, my traditions, and my people. As you dive into "the real world", you owe it to yourself and your people to show the real world the beauties of what shaped you.

    Can you tell us a little about your research experiences to date?

    I started with research in my sophomore year at Dr. Amie Boal's lab, studying structural biology. We worked on the mechanism and structure of proteins that use metals to catalyze reactions. That led to my first scientific paper, which is undergoing peer review as we speak. Then last summer, I attended a research program at Dr. Shohei Koide's biochemistry and molecular pharmacology laboratory at NYU Lagone Medical Center, where I managed to map the structural landscape of a protein implicated in pancreatic cancer, along with a synthetic antibody created at the Koide laboratory. I gave an oral presentation of that work at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium and spread the word further with a poster at NYU Lagone Health.


    Leadership Alliance National Symposium

    We congratulate you on starting your Ph.D. at Harvard. What are your goals?

    I really am grateful to be able to dedicate myself to science at Harvard and the fellowship covers all five years of the Ph.D. There will be many courses to attend and a lot of training in research. Hopefully, I'll get to teach too! My research goals will focus on the structure-function of proteins and the development of therapeutic strategies.

    What advice would you give to students who are interested in a career in biomedical research?

    When it comes to going into biomedical research, there are three things that I believe are very important:

    1) Find mentors that want to see you succeed. I wouldn't have accomplished half of the things I have if it weren't for my caring mentors. My research mentor at Penn State, Dr. Boal, introduced me to and guided me through the amazing world of chemistry and structural biology. Mentors like her are the ones that train you and connect you to bigger opportunities.

    2) Try to get into a research laboratory as soon as possible. The earlier you do so, the experience you gain will either nurture your natural inclination towards the field or make it easier to switch career aspirations early on, resulting in the strongest possible résumé.

    3) Sleep, nutrition, exercise, and fun should be priorities. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget this one.

    ------

    Be sure to visit our Alumni Stories page often to see what your fellow alumni are doing. If you know of a fellow alumnus/a doing something interesting that you think our community would want to know about, please contact the Advancement Office at yegros.m@tasisdorado.com.


    TICKETS PRE-SALE NOW!

    The TASIS Dorado Theater Company production of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL JR. is coming to the PAC on April 13 &14 featuring a cast of over 100 students directed by Mr. Axel Serrant.


    TICKETS PRE-SALE: $10/$20/$25 are available at the TASIS Dorado Business Office 787-796-0440 Ext. 262



    TASIS Dorado Senior Earns Prestigious Gold Key Award for her Artwork

    DANIELA MOLL TOSTE '18 has been awarded the prestigious Gold Key award by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Gold Key works are automatically considered for national-level recognition. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, are the nation's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition initiative for students across the country in grades 7–12.

    Daniela, a Senior and board member of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) at TASIS Dorado, was the only student in Puerto Rico to be recognized in the Visual Arts category for her digital artwork titled "Regrets." She has always demonstrated a passion for the arts since her childhood years and plans to pursue a career in Visual Arts. Currently, Daniela has been accepted to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Parsons School of Design & Pratt Institute.

    Ms. Lourdes Rosa, TASIS Dorado Art teacher, and NAHS moderator raved about Daniela's unique talent and work ethic.

    330,00 submissions were received and are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Twenty-seven hundred teens representing all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and American schools abroad received national recognition.

    Daniela joins a remarkable group of Gold Key Alumni. Since the program's founding in 1923, the Awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students, including renowned alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their fields, including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Charles White, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Kay WalkingStick, Luis Jiménez, Ken Burns, Stephen King, Lena Dunham, Richard Linklater, and Zac Posen.

    Congratulations Daniela! #BearPride #goldkeyaward




    TASIS DORADO MS. MELISSA ARROYO AND NADINE RODRÍGUEZ SELECTED FOR NATIONAL STUDENT LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE

    December 11, 2017; Reston, VA — The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has appointed MS. MELISSA ARROYO RIVERA to its Student Leadership Advisory Committee to support the association's efforts to build student engagement, service, leadership, and voice for a two-year term. She is the only National Junior Honor Society Adviser from the U.S. & Puerto Rico to be chosen for this appointment. TASIS Dorado 7th-grader NADINE RODRÍGUEZ was selected as one of two middle-level representatives to the committee. Ms. Melissa and Nadine will meet with the committee on January 24-26, 2018 and will also participate in an educational briefing on Capitol Hill on January 25, 2018.

    Ms. Melissa is the National Junior Honor Society TASIS Dorado chapter adviser, and she has fostered and supported the development of several service projects. Some of the projects students have developed during her time as an adviser are: collecting food for communities in need, toy drives, beach cleanups, fostering dogs, MDA of Puerto Rico fundraising activities, among others. She also nominated three students to the NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award last semester, and they won.

    As a member of the Student Leadership Advisory Committee, Melissa will support NASSP's goal of engaging student leaders in influencing federal legislation by creating a platform for student voice. The Committee will also select a theme and implement a nationwide project, in keeping with the precedent set by the previous committee's Global Citizenship initiative. Committee members—eight students (one middle-level student selected by the adviser), three activity advisers, and three principals from across the country--were chosen by the NASSP student programs staff and approved by the NASSP Board of Directors for a two-year term that runs through October 2019. A school committee selected NADINE RODRÍGUEZ LÓPEZ as one of the two middle-level representatives.

    "I am honored and proud to have been selected by NASSP to the committee. My main objective as the NJHS adviser is to empower members through advocacy, service, and leadership. I want young students to understand that their ideas count and that their positive influence and how they contribute to the community is important. I also want them to know that I will support them every step of the way. This is just a part of what I offer to the Student Leadership Advisory Committee, and I know both Nadine and I will work hard to fulfill our obligations." Melissa Arroyo Rivera

    The Student Leadership Advisory Committee renewal is just the latest installment of NASSP's commitment to student leadership. The association, located just outside Washington, DC, is the home of the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.

    "NASSP is proud of its longstanding commitment to developing student leaders and amplifying student voices," said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. "Our nation needs the contributions of every person to help it thrive and progress, so we cannot leave an ounce of human potential undeveloped. With the participation of extraordinary leaders like Melissa, NASSP's efforts will continue to expand so increasing numbers of students across the country can benefit from opportunities to lead, serve, and advocate."

    TASIS Dorado congratulates Ms. Melissa and Nadine on this distinguished appointment.#BEARPRIDE #NHS #NJHS #NASSP #STUDENTCOUNCIL

    About NASSP
    The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student's potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.

    NEW DATE ALERT!

    ALUMNI HOLIDAY COCKTAIL PARTY 2017
    Friday, December 22, 2017 • 6:30 PM
    TASIS Dorado PAC

    R.S.V.P.: Jovita Casanova casanova.j@tasisdorado.com

    Calling all TASIS Dorado Bears! All alumni are invited for a fun night of music, dancing, nibbles and drinks. Meet and reconnect with your fellow Bears, alumni, faculty and friends. See you there!

    TASIS Dorado Student Earns Perfect Score on SAT

    Congratulations to ERIC CARLSON, class of 2018, for obtaining the highest possible SAT score of 1600. Nationally, while the actual number of students earning the top score varies from year to year, on average, less than 0.2 % of students who take the SAT earn the top score. #SAT #congrats #BearPride




    Dear TASIS Dorado Community, Friends, and Family,

    As we approach Thanksgiving, have you wondered what there is to be thankful for in the midst of such hardship and suffering in Puerto Rico? No doubt, we are looking forward to a feast of food. Food and water were especially scarce in the first weeks after Hurricane Maria, before supplies started to arrive. One man said to me in the early weeks, "We had a can of corned beef last night. It tasted like churrasco!"

    The best school in Puerto Rico

    Shortly after the storm, one of our TD moms said to me as we paused during the herculean task of cleaning up the school, "Esto es la mejor escuela en Puerto Rico." I realized she was not talking about TASIS Dorado, but rather about what she saw taking place in her children's lives. She spoke of what they were learning by observing the adults in the community as they shared resources and worked together. Neighbors helping neighbors, neighbors talking to neighbors, neighbors meeting more neighbors in one week than in the previous ten years.

    Her kids were also experiencing the difference they personally could make in the lives of others by their acts of kindness and service. Many of our TD families and teachers went to Corozal and Utuado and Vega Baja and other devastated towns to give out food, water, and supplies. More than ever before, our community was moving beyond the "Dorado bubble" to meet the needs of others.

    Furthermore, without TV or internet or cell phone service, children were spending time outdoors playing games with friends and riding bikes, instead of sitting on the sofa or immersed in screens. What an unexpectedly positive benefit from such hardship!

    Facing Adversity

    The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been teaching us and our children how to rise up in the face of adversity. I'd bet you never thought you had the inner strength to endure weeks and weeks without electricity. I certainly didn't. Of course, it has been challenging, but as Albert Einstein wrote, "Adversity introduces a man to himself." (The same applies to women!) The actress Mary Tyler Moore said, "You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you." This whole experience has been a roller coaster of emotions and difficulties, but please take time to appreciate the ways that you have been brave in taking care of yourself and others around you.

    Best-selling author Sebastian Junger writes in Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (2016), "Humans don't mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary." His book is a fascinating study of how to respond to the "beauty and tragedy of the modern world... that eliminates many situations that require people to demonstrate a commitment to the collective good." With all our "creature comforts," we have become more isolated and alienated from one another than any society in history and we must choose to re-engage.

    Junger cites abundant research that shows how people rise to meet challenges. "Social bonds were reinforced during disasters, and... people overwhelmingly devoted their energies toward the good of the community rather than just themselves." For a time, at least, people rediscover the significance of being human via a crisis.

    One comment I have heard repeatedly over the past two months is, "I have learned that happiness does not depend on what I possess or conveniences like power and air conditioning. Happiness depends on things like friendship and family and giving and hope."

    Since Hurricane Maria, many of us have realized how much we take things for granted, such as running water, electricity, air conditioning, washing machines, dishwashers, etc., etc. Not only do we take them for granted, we believe we deserve them! How easy it is to feel entitled!

    Although Hurricane Maria affected virtually all of us in Puerto Rico, some people were hit much harder than others. Many have been moved to compassion and action by the suffering around them.

    Hurricane Maria has offered the opportunity to connect with what the apostle Paul wrote 2,000 years ago: "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need..." (Philippians 4:11-12)

    Contentment, Complacency, and Resilience

    Make no mistake—contentment is not the same as complacency, conformity, or resignation. A contented person is grounded in hope; a complacent person has essentially given up hope for change. Unlike the resigned, complacent person, a contented person knows that happiness is found not in the accumulation of possessions, but in a life of purpose, service, and the joyful use of one's gifts.

    One more thought: In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, ("The Secrets of Resilience," Nov. 10, 2017), Dr. Meg Jay wrote the following: "Does early hardship in life keep children from becoming successful adults? It's an urgent question for parents and educators, who worry that children growing up in difficult circumstances will fail to reach their full potential, or worse, sink into despair and dysfunction." She continues:

    Social scientists have shown that these risks are real, but they also have found a surprising pattern among those whose early lives included tough times: Many draw strength from hardship and see their struggle against it as one of the keys to their later success. A wide range of studies over the past few decades has shed light on how such people overcome life's adversities—and how we might all cultivate resilience as well.

    Economists predict that it will take 20 years for Puerto Rico to recover from the effects of Hurricane Maria. We have the opportunity now to "cultivate resilience" in ourselves and in our children for the sake of the island's long-term common good, including its infrastructure, culture, and economy. If this island is to rise again as our slogan claims (Puerto Rico se levanta!), it will take the concerted and sacrificial efforts of many citizens over a long period of time. Puerto Rico will need skilled artists and engineers, researchers and teachers, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and builders, as well as wise and incorruptible financial managers and politicians to tackle the problems we share. Investing in renewable energy sources and in leadership training are just two of the many opportunities we must address. Our school's Strategic Plan already focuses on leadership development and the importance of science, technology, engineering, art, and math, but the need now is clearer and more urgent than ever.

    Giving thanks

    So, on this Thanksgiving Day, as you gather with your family and loved ones, you might discover that you are more thankful this year than ever before. Let nothing be taken for granted. Think of washing machines and running water, think of electricity and air conditioning, think of good health, think of neighbors and grandparents and children and bicycles and laughter. Think of life.

    And if you feel depleted and exhausted from the grind of weeks without electricity or from continuously giving, I hope you'll be gentle with yourself. We all need a break and the support of others. Take these days to recharge your resilience batteries. As passengers are advised on an airplane, make sure you connect your own oxygen supply first, then attend to the needs of those around you.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this rather long message. I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

    With gratitude for you,

    Tim


    Timothy Howard, Ed.D.

    Headmaster ║TASIS Dorado

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