Oxbridge Spanish Team Soars At Conference

The Oxbridge Academy Spanish Team, called Los Dragones de Oxbridge, continued its reign as one of the best in the state following its successful showing at the 2016 Florida State Spanish Conference.

Held earlier this month in Orlando, the conference brought together the top 50 public and private school teams from Florida to compete in impromptu speaking, poetry declamation, theatrical performance, musical entertainment, visual arts expo and creative writing.

Los Dragones de Oxbridge finished second place overall in Division II–4A/6A, after trying to defend its 2015 Division Champion title. This is the fourth year that Oxbridge has finished in one of the top two spots.

In addition to competing, the Oxbridge Academy served as host of this year’s conference. Under the direction of Oxbridge Spanish teacher Michael Hollis-Anand and alumnus Manny Briseneau, the host committee was responsible for all aspects of the four-day event.

The group executed all event logistics, such as registration, decorations, preparation of the competition rounds and the awards ceremony. One of the host committee members, Alex Commette of Jupiter, was recognized by the Florida State Spanish Conference Board of Directors for being this year’s most polite and professional student volunteer.

Host duties also included determining the tournament theme: recordando nuestras raíces (remembering our roots), which was centered around Guatemalan writer Rigoberta Menchú’s concept of nahuales (Mayan spirit shadows).

The Florida Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese recognized Hollis-Anand and Briseneau for their work creating and executing the most literary and culturally diverse theme and visual arts project in tournament history, as well as the most creative opening ceremony speech.

Los Dragones de Oxbridge individual awards were received by Virginia Argüelles, Viviana Brooks, Jordan Bustabad, Chavely Calleja, Laura Castillo, Mario Farrulla, Isabella Greene, Alejandra Gutiérrez, Brandon Kramer, Jack Maloney, Kella Merlain-Moffatt, Carlos Pernas, Aryanna Ramsey, Max Shteiman, Nalin Vattigunta and Justin Wisnicki.

The team was awarded a trophy in dramatic presentation for its performance of ¡Médico! ¡Médico!, an original play written by coach Michael Hollis-Anand and directed by team members Virginia Argüelles and Max Shteiman.

The team also won second place overall in the Parade of Nations for Aryanna Ramsey’s hand-made costume of Gabriel García Márquez’s “Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes” and first place/best of show in the visual arts expo for Fred Marro’s ceramic nahuales sculpture of a green, purple and gold Mayan dog.

For more about the Oxbridge Academy, call (561) 972-9600 or visit www.oapb.org.

ABOVE: Spanish teacher Michael Hollis-Anand (far right) with the Oxbridge Academy Spanish team.