Northport Northstar students hosted Port St. Lucie Mayor, Greg Oravec and Major Chris Cicio, Director of Detention for the Sheriff’s Department, in the media center recently. Both men initiated conversations with students about how they handle stress.

In order for young people to achieve their potential, we need to recognize that social and emotional learning is a critical element in the educational process. Both men gave their own career experiences with stress and provided students with real life experiences on how they each handle the stress reaction.
Mayor Oravec spoke about recognizing emotional states, and how he copes such as working out, fishing, surfing and staying off social media. He spoke about recognizing and handling stress before the stress turns into more than what can be handled alone.

Major Cicio spoke about the stress response and how to stop the feelings of stress before it becomes dangerous. He spoke about recognizing the “here and now, what’s right in front of you and dealing with each step and not trying to attack and sweat over the big picture life problems.” Major Cicio gave students tips about breathing techniques that officers use when in stressful situations, better communications skills, and never to respond out of anger. Both men spoke about finding “passion and life purpose.” Both spoke about investing their time in other people.
When students learn critical social and emotional skills not only from their parents and teachers, but also community members, they learn to embrace the value of service and can better learn. They become better citizens and that makes stronger communities. We are definitely on the right track at Northport.