This is how we celebrate a new year of existence.
On March 18th, 1914, the Gimnasio Moderno was founded, an educational institution that has promoted critical thinking, ethical values, and the protection of individual liberties of its students for over a century. This year, as the date of its 109th anniversary fell on a Saturday, it was decided to celebrate the occasion on Wednesday, March 15th, through various community activities.
With the aim of involving students and teachers in the school’s rich history, the academic coordination proposed a historical reconstruction activity that was carried out in the days leading up to the anniversary celebration. The youngest students in the school, those in Preschool and Primary, had the opportunity to learn meaningful phrases from the school’s founder, Don Agustín Nieto Caballero, and to depict them in drawings that were exhibited in the Hall of the Rectorate, located on the second floor of the main building. In this way, students had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the history of the Gimnasio Moderno and to demonstrate their creativity and artistic abilities in the exhibition of their work.
While the younger students depicted meaningful phrases from the school’s founder in drawings, high school and semester students attended a screening of a documentary that narrated the history of the Gimnasio Moderno. This documentary not only showed the most important events and achievements of the school’s 109 years of existence, but also summarized the transformations and improvements implemented in the institution during the last ten years. In this way, older students could appreciate the evolution of the Gimnasio Moderno over time and understand the legacy they have inherited.
After recess, students from all courses presented to the public the timeline exhibition they had created in the previous days. The exhibition, which took place around La Raqueta, showed a comparison of the most relevant events in the history of the Gimnasio Moderno, in the country, and in the world. The exhibition allowed attendees to appreciate the importance and transcendence of the school in the global historical context. Additionally, the presentation was an opportunity for students to share their work with the educational community and feel recognized for their effort and dedication in creating the timeline.
During recess, Drilo, the symbol of good treatment, made an appearance in La Raqueta, where students received him with enthusiasm. Accompanied by his catchy song, released a year ago, children danced with Drilo while singing the lyrics that promote a healthy life and healthy interpersonal relationships. Drilo’s presence and positive message were a fun and motivating experience for the Gimnasians, who reinforced the value of a friendly and respectful school environment.
At approximately 11:00 in the morning, students gathered in the perfect oval of the impressive Raqueta for the flag-raising ceremony.
After singing the national anthem, the special guest invited by the Rectorate for this special occasion was presented. It was Jorge Arias de Greiff, an alumnus of the class of 1939, who shared some anecdotes of his life as a student at the school with those present. Mr. Jorge, who turned 100 years old on September 4th, 2022, was invited for being the oldest living alumnus of the Gimnasio Moderno.
The Colombian flag was raised by Samuel Sastoque Martinez, Councilman of the students of Eleventh Grade A, while the flag of Gimnasio Moderno was raised by Esteban Garcia Quintero, Ombudsman of Eleventh Grade A students.
In the photograph presented, the guest of honor, Jorge Arias de Greiff, can be seen accompanied by the youngest student in the school, Juan Antonio Rozo Aya, representing Montessori I. The image reflects the importance that the Gimnasio.
Then, the Rector, Victor Alberto Gomez Cusnir, addressed the attendees:
After the Flag Hoisting Ceremony, the music ensemble students performed an outdoor concert for middle and high school students. With their talent and passion for music, the students created a harmonious and pleasant atmosphere that allowed attendees to enjoy a cultural and recreational moment.
Meanwhile, the Pre-school and Primary students headed to the school’s chapel, where the Children’s Choir and Pre-Youth Choir presented. With their sweet and tuned voices, the children shared a repertoire of songs that thrilled and delighted the audience. The presentation was a showcase of the students’ talent and creativity, as well as the artistic and cultural education that the Gimnasio Moderno promotes in its students.
After the musical segment, the members of the Band offered a special presentation for the entire community on the soccer field of the high school.
Meanwhile, one of the traditional dishes of the school was being prepared for these celebrations: the delicious “ternera a la llanera” (beef cooked in the style of the llanos region). This dish is a culinary specialty that reflects the cultural and gastronomic richness of the eastern plains, a traditional dish of the school in this type of celebration.
With the combination of music, gastronomy, and culture, the Gimnasio Moderno celebrated its anniversary in a festive manner that represented its values and identity as an educational institution.