Homecoming 2015

Photo by Jose Hernandez
The Class of 2017 officers and advisor.


It’s that time of the year again. You can smell the club rivalry in the air. The performers are practicing their dance over and over again until it’s perfect. Floats are built day and night and even on the weekends. This is Miami High’s tradition: homecoming.

The head honchos

   It’s tradition to have the junior class in charge of homecoming. “Once the homecoming theme was chosen,” said junior class historian Cassandra Cardenas, “all the officers were assigned their responsibilities. My responsibility was royalty, which meant anything having to do with the homecoming court.”

Junior class president Headly Cash, who was in charge of the events during lunch, said that the officers planned all the activities simply by using last year’s activities as a guide, and organizing the dates and times. “There were a few exceptions in the activities, like Twin Day,” he said, “but besides that, everything remained the same.”

Junior class secretary Jean Manco was in charge of the homecoming dance. He had to make sure all aspects of the dance, including the DJ and the food, were done on time. Junior class VP Genesy Leiva was in charge of the parade by making sure that all the clubs were in their positions the day of, and treasurer Kelvin Cash was in charge of ­­­­banners.

Many clubs were confused when junior class advisor Mr. Portuondo said the theme for homecoming was sci-fi, considering last year was comics, and in 2013 it was Disney. “I wanted to try something new just to see how creative the clubs could get,” he said.

Homecoming Dance

   To kick off homecoming week, the annual dance was held at the City of West Miami Recreational Center on October 17th from 8 p.m. to midnight. A total of 250 tickets were sold each for $30. The center was decorated with blue lights and famous sci-fi characters such as Storm Troopers and Yoda on the wall. Since it was a long night of dancing, there were pastelitos and brownies given out, along with water and sodas.

Many students were more than happy with how the dance went down. SGA corresponding secretary Yoyslaisi Fernandez said, “The best thing was the DJ. I loved all the throwback music he played.” Cinematics member Yanet Rodriguez said that she danced all night long with her friends. “It was a night well spent,” she said.

Interact member Cristal Cruz said that the best thing about the whole dance was halfway through when most people were on the dance floor. “You come to a dance to DANCE! People shouldn’t have been sitting down so I liked seeing most people dancing,” she said.

Although many enjoyed everything about the dance, others would’ve preferred to see something different. Key members Kelly Miranda and Nathalie Rojas thought that last year’s location was nicer. “It was really hot,” said Kelly. “I was expecting to see something like the life-sized cutouts that they had at last year’s dance,” said Nathalie.


Along with all the dancing, the students had about a five minute break every thirty minutes while they announced the homecoming court. The five princesses were seniors Tran La, Karla Escobar, Melissa Carcamo, Nayeli Figueroa, and Kirsten Vasallo. The five princes were seniors Larry Bravo, Angel Espinoza, Randy Lopez, Keyshawn “Pie” Young, and Watraie Jones.

Princess Melissa Carcamo didn’t expect to be crowned princess because three girls had already been crowned. “I sat down and just waited to get back up to dance. But then my friends started telling me that my best friend, Ms. “G”, was on stage so I figured it was for me because they usually choose a teacher who is close to the student who won. When she called my name, I felt on top of the world; it was one of the best feelings,” she said.

Prince Randy Lopez said that the best thing about the whole dance was getting crowned. “I’m happy that the seniors voted for me. I really didn’t think I was going to get court,” he said.

Princess Tran La said, “I didn’t know I was going to get it because I’m such a nerd! But then they said, ‘This princess excels in math,’ and I told myself, ‘Hey, I like math.’ It was the best feeling in the world being crowned!”

Preparing for the Big Day

It isn’t easy getting everything together for the big day: the day of the parade. Every club is aiming for first place so all hands have to be on deck. Any help is welcomed in times of stress.

Key president Larry Bravo, who chose Back to the Future as Key’s homecoming theme, had the help of all his officers along with members. The historians were in charge of the banners. “We made so many banners! We had the sport almanac, the famous clock, and all the characters just like in the movie,” said Key 2nd VP Kristy Castellanos. Larry said, “A few members and I worked on the float. The 1st and 2nd VPs made sure all the dancers were attending practice, and the treasurers worried about collecting the money for the costumes,” he said. Key members who performed had practice 4 times a week from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Key performer Jordan Reyes said that coming up with the dance was his favorite part of the whole preparation.

Beta president Pablo Iraheta chose Jurassic Park as their theme. “My officers, our advisor and I sat down and went over a bunch of movies and brought up different ideas. After discussing for about an hour, we decided on Jurassic Park,” he said. Beta corresponding secretary Jennifer Tejada said, “To represent our theme we had park rangers and, obviously, many dinosaurs.”

Historian Maria Rodriguez, along with two other historians, spent many hours drawing and painting a total of 10 banners illustrating the different scenes of the movie. “We did the forest with a few dinosaurs and a science lab,” she said, “Props were also done, but the banners were prioritized.” Beta’s 1st VP Laura Palomino and corresponding secretary Kristina Feliciano were in charge of having all the dancers come to practice. The Beta park rangers and dinosaurs that performed practiced from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Fridays. “When the day of the parade got closer, we would practice later and later just to perfect our dance,” said Beta member Ashley Diaz. “It was definitely my favorite thing about the whole preparation.” The treasurers were in charge of collecting the money for the costumes and the new homecoming shirt. Strong guys were asked to help build the first place float. “Thanks to those boys, the float got done in time for the parade,” said Pablo. “Other club members were congratulating me on how amazing our float looked.”

Interact president Virmari Garcia-Davila said that she will never forget this year’s homecoming. “We chose one of my favorite movies ever,” she said. In order to choose their theme, Interact members had a movie social with all their officers. “We went through Netflix and Google looking for sci-fi movies,” said Virmari, “until we finally decided on Starship Troopers.”

To represent their theme, performers dressed to imitate the main characters of the movie. “We made different bugs and our shirt design was also made to express our theme,” said historian Michelle Rodriguez. The dancers would practice every day except Sundays, and the last two weekends before the parade they would practice until very late. “It was worth it, I had fun doing it,” said Interact member Lilia Lorenzo. “Our favorite part was when the ideas came together and saw everything completed,” said Virmari. “I felt so relieved knowing that the stress was gone.”

Honoria chose the 2010 movie TRON: Legacy. President Hector Menendez also had help from his officers, along with members who built the float. “The historians were in charge of banners and props,” he said, “the dancers were under the main historians command for any help she needed.” To relocate any materials or supplies, Hector would get enough “man power” from the members who offered their help. Historian Jacqueline Carvajal said that this year’s homecoming was her favorite of her 4 years at MHS. “It’s my senior year, so I made sure to enjoy this year’s homecoming to the max,” she said. Honoria performer Giovanni Castillos said, “I’m glad I participated in homecoming because it’s one experience I’ll never forget.”

The Parade

   On the morning of October 23rd, all clubs were lined up on 25th Avenue impatiently waiting to show their spirit to the whole school. Clubs were limited to a 2 minute performance and were penalized if they exceeded the time frame. All participants in costume had to be a member of the club and their names were to be on the current club I.O.C (Inter Organizational Council) folder. Floats were inspected before the parade to make sure nothing obscene or inappropriate was displayed on them. Misbehavior from any clubs during the parade or after was subject to disciplinary actions including immediate disqualification, and not being allowed to compete in next year’s homecoming.

Although the clubs get their members to help, more help is always welcomed from those who have experienced homecoming before. Former Beta member and Class of 2007 alumnus Miguel Amaya says that he comes back to help because 3 of the past Beta presidents have been his cousins. “I think Beta surpassed last year’s performance even though that is our goal each year,” he said. “School wide I think the clubs didn’t try hard enough considering that the theme was great and they had so much time to work on it.”

Former Key officer and Class of 2013 alumnus Melissa Martinez said, “My club reached out to me and I’m always willing to help.” She felt that this year was a lot better than last year’s because the clubs worked hard even though the theme was very difficult.

“I came back to help my club because homecoming is when you need the most help,” said former Honoria president and Class of 2015 alumnus Pamela Vasquez, “Alumni understand the struggle of keeping everyone in check and making sure everything gets done on time.” Class of 2012 alumnus Jelisa Menendez, who helped Honoria as well, said, “The love you grow for a club as a member/officer and the bond that’s created within the club can’t be broken.”

Football Game

   The homecoming game was played at Curtis Park at 7 p.m. against Coral Park. According to Mr. Portuondo, about 300 alumni attended the homecoming game. Class of 2015 alumnus Katiria Delisle said, “I came to the football game to cheer on my club, Key, and I wanted to go to my first football game as an alumna.” Another Class of 2015 alumna, Antonella Martinez, said that she loves the excitement of homecoming and the spirit in the school during homecoming. “Going to the football game and seeing all the people there makes me feel at home,” she said. During halftime, the Million Dollar Band performed their famous “Forged with Fire”.

After the performance, the homecoming court was brought onto the field, followed by 2014 homecoming King Christian Negron and 2012 homecoming Queen Allison Moraga who crowned Keyshawn “Pie” Young and Nayeli Figueroa as king and queen. “I wasn’t expecting it at all! I was in complete shock,” said Queen Nayeli. “I expected another girl to win.”

When the crowning was over, the winners of the homecoming parade were announced. First place overall went to Beta, second place to Key, and third to Interact.

The football team took home the win against Coral Park with a 53-0 score. Senior wide receiver Juan Lasso said that his last homecoming game had a great atmosphere. “The bleachers were full and alumni were all over the field,” he said, “We won which is what mattered the most.” Senior offensive lineman Andre Hart said, “It was fun, but sort of boring too because it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. But overall my 4 years playing football were an amazing experience. Taking this win was a great way to end homecoming.”