Each week through our Faculty/Staff Spotlight series, we invite our community members to get to know Gulliver Prep teachers and staff members across every division. This week, our Spotlight features Mr. Julio Diaz-Jane ‘00 P ‘33 ‘35, Primary School Faculty member. Read on to discover his hidden talent, advice for current Gulliver students, goals for the school year, and more.
Q: How long have you been teaching physical education and coaching at Gulliver?
A: I started coaching Middle School lacrosse for Gulliver in 2005, right when I moved back to Miami after I graduated from college. I became a teacher at the then-Academy Campus in 2009, and moved to my position as the Primary School PE coach in 2012.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I once was very good at ceramics. I received the ceramics award my senior year at Gulliver and continued to do ceramics through college.
Q: Why is it important for children to be in physical education from an early age?
A: Physical education is an important part of early childhood development. Physical education helps to strengthen students fine and gross motor skills needed as they grow. By playing games students learn to work together to achieve goals while developing the coping skills needed when faced with adversity. There is no greater feeling for a coach than to watch their students achieve their goals and build their confidence.
Q: As a Gulliver alum, what advice would you give to current students?
A: Don’t take a single day for granted!!! As a coach, this is something we say often to our teams. Whether it is practice, a game, a rehearsal, a play, or just a beautiful day; soak it all in. Before you know it, your time as a student at Gulliver will be over and you will be off to college. Enjoy your time, build a lifetime of connections, and stay true to who you are. #BLUEBLOOD
Q: What is one thing you learned, or advice you were given, while at Gulliver that has stuck with you through the years?
A: Hard work pays off. School did not come easy to me. I had many people during my time at Gulliver that guided me. From my ceramics teacher Mrs. Rodrigues who taught me patience, to my lacrosse coach Jim Delang who gave me confidence, to my science teacher Mrs. Gerlach who never let up on me. The GRIND never stops, no matter how slow the progress is at times; never give up and keep working hard!
Q: What are your goals for this school year?
A: I think this year has been difficult on most teachers as we have not been able to run our classes the way we are used to, and everyone has made adjustments no matter if they are in the classroom or teaching outside. This year, my goal has been to do everything possible to keep my students engaged and excited about physical education. From freeze dance to yoga, kiddie crossfit in their hula hoops, Friday dance parties, and a lot of flexibility from the teachers; we have been able to provide a safe and fun environment for our Primary School students to exercise and stay fit.
Your favorite teacher as a student at Gulliver: Mr. Brown, Mrs. Gerlach
A song you’ll never get tired of hearing: “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young
Your go-to afternoon pick-me-up or snack: The chicken salad from Sage
Favorite movie quote: “May the Force Be With You”
Most memorable moment from high school: Countless lacrosse games, Homecoming and Proms, an epic Grad Night, and just hanging out with my friends. It was all a great ride!!!