By Cesar Guadamuz
COLLISION OF WORLDS: (Left to Right) Dennis Rodriguez, Mauricio Contreras, Kaitlyn Simmons, Viviana Lopez and z represent team D in Karaoke as a collision of themes. They bring together the worlds of multiple film franchises into one equally diverse team. Seemingly mismatched groups were key in getting teachers to interact outside of their departments which was the goal of Bobcat Games. Photo courtesy of Angela Llanos
Students are not the only ones who can enjoy after school activities and fun team games. The traditional Bobcat Games are an entertaining strategic part of administration’s plan to promote camaraderie among the staff, and it is a way for teachers to cool down after a long semester.
On the last PSD day of the semester, Dec. 2, teachers spent their second half of the early release working together and competing in team events to find the best team. Drawing from a pool of 4 events, every team participated in each one through a rotating schedule. Departments dressed in unified themes with many departments taking the opportunity to coordinate costumes and fill out a roster of characters. On the day of the games, faculty and staff were sorted into random teams creating a colorful blend on campus where all teachers got to work together and compete against each other in these very familiar bonding games.
“The beauty of it all was that the departments were all mixed in, so we got to work with people that we don’t normally speak to or don’t have much to do with but on this day we all came together as one bobcat family,” spanish teacher Eileen Torraca said. “I got to work with two individuals that I have never worked with before.”
Starting in West Broward’s first year, Bobcat Games have been an ongoing tradition. It was founding-Principal Daniel Traeger’s belief that the staff should be a family, not just coworkers stuck together every day. In keeping with that vision, Bobcat Games have persisted since its inception and have kept a steady rotation of activities that get swapped out yearly. This year, the rotation consisted of trivia, equity (inclusivity in school), karaoke
and a relay race. The teams got really competitive over the events which drove them to try their best to work together. However, in true bonding activity fashion, all the teams were named victorious at the closing ceremony that afternoon.
“We got very competitive and really into it just trying to flip the cups,” EKG and EMT teacher Jodi Osman-Arno said. “We really wanted to win and worked together.”
The games did succeed in bringing the staff together and forging new connections. In a year with so many new teachers, Bobcat Games were a way to bring the Bobcat family closer that even the senior most teachers found exemplary. The games did more than foster a competitive drive, they also developed cross department friendships. When asked about a dream team for events, every interviewed teacher named people from multiple teams seeking diversity and, in some cases, planned for a fun activity to do with them.
“My dream team would be someone from each different department that had a good personality and was outgoing. That would be my dream team,” social science teacher Denis Rodriguez said. “That would be my dream team maybe [for] Karaoke.”
SHOWTIME: (Left to Right) Holly Dorsey, Ashley Lacayo, Nicole Figuerola, Gerardo Cuneo, Mike Moss, Frank Turturici, Dr. Scott Smith and Dr. Darius Horne who made up the F team strike a pose after finishing a song in the Karaoke event. Karaoke was the highest rated Bobcat Games event among the teachers interviewed with most saying they would have loved to go through the event again with different teammates. Photo courtesy of Angela Llanos
DEADEYE: English teacher Diane Harrison throws a shot in cup pong as part of the relay race event. The relay race was run by Eileen Torraca and Carisse Langford which combined activities into a gauntlet of activities for teachers to compete in. The race was the event that spurred the greatest competitive spirit between the teachers. Photo courtesy of Angela Llanos