Friends and Neighbors

For Gulliver senior, a long road to Harvard


Special to The Miami Herald

When Gulliver Prep senior Bo Ellis made it official this week and signed to play football for Harvard University, he credited his mom and his Gulliver coaches with helping him find success.

Bo was one of six athletes at the Gulliver Prep Spring National Signing Day ceremony. The 5-foot-9-inch, 185-pound running back maintains a 3.87 GPA with a course load of honors and Advanced Placement classes. His stats on the football field are equally impressive. He logged 1,290 yards on 159 carries for an average of 8.1 yards and recorded 18 touchdowns during the 2012 season. He also is a 2013 Miami Herald Silver Knight nominee in athletics.

The journey has not been easy.

“Bo has overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve this great success,” said Mark Schusterman, Gulliver’s athletic director in a release. “Bo has two siblings of his own, but lived with as many as 14 people under one roof while growing up. His mother, Tranika Ellis, had taken in several nieces and nephews after Ellis’ grandmother’s death. The following year when Bo was in seventh grade, his father was tragically killed. Despite everything, his mother had high expectations for her son to excel both in school and life.”

Bo said that he learned to work hard through “my mother's drive to instill and expect excellence from me at an early age. Her drive, courage and dedication is something I consistently seek to emulate in my life and will never forget,” he said.

He also credits his football coach, Earl Sims.

“Coach Sims has been a father figure for me and all of my teammates, preparing us for life through football. Coming to Gulliver was one of the best decisions I made in my life.”

Before Gulliver, Bo attended Homestead Middle and was part of the Genesis Gifted Center. There he competed in football, basketball, and track and was honored with Athlete of the Year, the Scholar Athlete Award and Literature Award for best writer. He transferred to Gulliver Prep in the ninth grade, where he continued to excel and impress his teammates and classmates, and faculty members and administrators.

His awards at Gulliver also include the Duke Book Award for scholar athletes, Excellence in Law and Litigation, Coaches’ Choice Award, and Team/Offensive MVP for football. He will study economics at Harvard.

“We are extremely proud of Bo and very grateful to have had him at Gulliver for the past four years,” said Director and Head of Schools John Krutulis. “We wish him all the best for the future and know that he will continue to excel on all levels.”

The other seniors athletes celebrating signing day were Jordi Dalmau and Grant Siegel who will play football at Colgate University, and soccer players, Nicole Harris who will attend Troy University, Kai-Lin Hernandez who will attend High Point University, and Sophia Trujillo who will attend San Diego State University.

“Congratulations to our stellar student-athletes and their families for their outstanding achievements,” Schusterman said. “The Gulliver family wishes you the best in college as you bring pride and honor to all of us.”


Learn more about how to get started watching the night skies when Southern Cross Astros President Lester Shalloway and Board Member Roberto Torres, present “Backyard Astronomy” at 8 p.m. on Feb. 15, at the FIU Physics Building CP-145 lecture hall, Modesto Maidique campus. This is a perfect program for future astronomers, novices, and those who are unable to drive long distances at night to a dark viewing site.

Simple items from your garage and house can be used and there will be discussion on binoculars and telescopes. Learn which lunar phases are best for observing, filters for various weather conditions, and how to maintain your optics. Get ready now. Two comets may be visible this year.

Free SCAS programs include prizes, discussions and advice from the friendly SCAS members. Refreshments follow the programs. For more call 305-661-1375 or visit


Radio-control model plane pilots from all over the Southeastern United States will gather starting at 9 a.m., Feb. 16-17 for the 2013 Aero Modelers of Perrine (AMPS) Aerobatics Challenge at Silver Field, 20044 SW 168th St., 21/2 miles west of Krome Avenue on Southwest 168th Street.

The public is invited to this free family event. Food for purchase and prizes are available both days. Competition is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 16 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 17.

The pilots of these giant-scale model airplanes follow the same competition rules and regulations as their full-size counterparts. Pilots compete at five levels range from Basic to Unlimited. Pilots in the Unlimited class perform hair-raising aerial maneuvers you won’t soon forget. Some of the planes have wingspans over 10 feet and exceed $10,000 in value.

A $3 per-car parking donation will go to the Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, founded in 1999 to help persons with special needs with recreational, rehabilitative, educational and community-based training programs. For more info and directions check


Order your tickets now for the Villagers’ 2013 “Garden Concepts” Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 2 in central Coral Gables. Tickets can be picked up the day of the event at 1138 Obispo Ave. or 1242 South Greenway Drive. Tickets are $25 for advance orders and $30 the day of the event. For advance orders, send a check payable to The Villagers, marked “Garden Tour,” with a self-addressed stamped envelope, no later than Feb. 23, to: The Villagers Inc., PO Box 141843, Coral Gables, FL 33114-1843. For more information contact Julie Petrella Arch at 305-460-6030 or

This year’s tour will showcase the smaller gardens of do-it-yourselfers in an area that is part of the original Town Plan developed in the 1920s. Each year the famous Garden Tour allows guests to explore different landscape themes, designs and concepts at properties selected within the heart of the City Beautiful.

The 2013 tour will allow you to see examples of urban oasis in an edible community garden, a low maintenance garden, a native habitat garden and a children’s garden. A boutique with plants, garden art and other gift items for sale will be set up at Merrick House where refreshments will be served.


Miami’s own Alhambra Orchestra, with Zoe Zeniodi conducting, will present a free all-classical program featuring cello soloist Ross Harbaugh in the lyrical Elgar Cello Concerto at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 at Ransom-Everglades School, 3575 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. The musicians also will perform Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 and the Overture to Don Giovanni by Mozart.

Alhambra Orchestra is now celebrating its 23rd season of making great music accessible to all. Parking for the concert is also free though donations are requested. No reservations needed except large groups should call in advance. For information, call 305-668-9260, or visit

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at

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