At the May 28, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting, the American Cancer Society (ACS)and the organizers of the St. Lucie West Relay For Life recognized the contributions of the staff, parents and students at 12 local schools who participated in the April, 2013 event, and thanked them for their hard work, volunteer service, and dedication. Many of the 14 teams that participated this year have done so for several years. Eric Finkel, Lori Finkel, and Robyn Young representing ACS presented a “You Make a Difference” Certificate of Appreciation to team leaders from St. Lucie West Centennial High School, Frances K. Sweet Elementary, Northport K-8 School, Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition, Parkway Elementary School, Renaissance Charter School, Rivers Edge Elementary School, St. Lucie Elementary School, Bayshore Elementary School, Weatherbee Elementary School, College Preparatory Academy of the Treasure Coast, and Treasure Coast High School. Pictured are the recipients with School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, back left, and Superintendent Michael Lannon, back right.
The winners of the fifth annual Dr. Samuel S. Gaines essay contest were recognized at the May 28, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting. The contest, sponsored since its inception by The Morganti Group which provides cash prizes for the winning entries, is part of the district’s recognition and celebration of African American history month. Local students in grades three to 12 may write an essay describing an African American person in St. Lucie County who has made a difference in the student’s life, explaining what the person did to make such an impact. The contest is named for Dr. Gaines, who served on the St. Lucie County School Board for 34 years, five times as chairman. At Dr. Gaines’ retirement in 2006, Superintendent Michael Lannon instituted the essay contest to honor Gaines’ legacy. Pictured, front row, from left, Sara Aube from Manatee Academy K-8, first place in middle school division; Maxwell Martzolf, from Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts, first place in elementary school division; Randall Peterson, from Dan McCarty School, third place in elementary school division; and Animesh Saha, from F. K. Sweet Elementary, first place in elementary school division. Back row, from left, Shelby Young, from Manatee Academy K8, third place in middle school division; School Board chairman Debbie Hawley; Vanessa Crawford, from Fort Pierce Central High School, first place in high school division; Michael Buckland from The Morganti Group; Christian Excorcia, from St. Lucie West Centennial High School, second place in the high school division; Dr. Gaines; Anthony Scott, from Fort Pierce Central High School, third place in the high school division, and Superintendent Michael Lannon. Not pictured is middle school division second place winner Shaketia Sneed from Forest Grove Middle School.
The St. Lucie County Education Foundation, through its Teacher of Excellence Utilizing Technology Grant, presented laptop computers from corporate sponsor Dell, to honor teachers who are currently utilizing technology to both enhance the curriculum in an innovative manner and to motivate engaged student learning in the classroom. Northport K-8 principal Glenn Rustay made the presentations at the St. Lucie County School Board meeting May 28, 2013, to Weatherbee Elementary teacher Jennifer Lehmann, Northport K-8 teacher Jennifer Carey, and Lincoln Park Academy teacher Josephine Cappelletti. In addition, 2014 St. Lucie County Teacher of the Year Harry B. Williams also was presented a Dell laptop, and tablets were presented to St. Lucie’s 2013 Assistant Principal of the Year Susan Seal at Fort Pierce Central High School, and St. Lucie’s 2013 Principal of the Year Ucola Barrett-Baxter from Parkway Elementary School. Pictured, front row from left, are Susan Seal, Jennifer Lehmann, Jennifer Carey, Josephine Cappelletti, Harry B. Williams, Ucola Barrett-Baxter, and Education Foundation Executive Director James McKenzie. Back row, from left, are School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Superintendent Michael Lannon, Cynthia Zeller and Andy Sakalian from Dell, Education Foundation president Michael Waninger, and Glenn Rustay.
Through heart-warming stories and eye-opening pictures, students from Zambia were able to share their stories with Samuel Gaines Academy students. Students learned that at a particular school in Zambia, due to lack of funds, teachers have little resources to utilize. With an eagerness to serve, members of the school’s chapter of the National Elementary and Junior Honor Societies, along with students from Katie Ludwig’s seventh grade Critical Thinking class, worked relentlessly and passionately for weeks to create educational books and posters for the students in Zambia. Thanks to faculty member Chelsea Hartz, NEHS sponsor, students were also able to send a video of the project process along with the projects. When asked about his experience, student Shemar Moore declares said the best part about this service project was that their work traveled all the way to Zambia and the Zambian students learned from them. Student Yanet Guzman echoed the sentiment, saying she loves to learn, and helping teach peers who want to learn also is an honor. Pictured holding the book she created is fifth grade Junior Honor Society student Audrianna Rubio.
Students from Glenna Sigmon’s first grade class at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition spent a sunny day seining with the Manatee Center at Jaycee Park in Fort Pierce. This enriching opportunity provided a hands-on learning experience to deepen students’ understanding of local habitats and ecosystems. These concepts of science were embedded across all content areas for the unit to facilitate the district’s STEM initiative in which science is an integral part of English, language arts, and mathematics. Pictured, from left, are student Shelby Kay Sigmon, a volunteer from the Manatee Center helping the students, and student Cailey Landreville.