It was the pleasure of the Northport administration, teachers, and staff to host our monthly Speakers Bureau in partnership with Dr. Donna Mills, SLPS School Board Member recently. Each month, Northport along with several other schools, hosts guest speakers who encourage and motivate students to pull themselves up by the boot straps, make good choices, use positive role models and learn to find their passion and purpose in life.

Northport’s recent guest was Mr. Tony Barnes, Fort Pierce Executive Director of Purchasing. Mr. Barnes spoke very eloquently to Northport sixth grade students on the Sharks team. He gave background information about himself and about his youth. Mr. Barnes told students, “I believed in my mother and father until I was twelve. By the time I was fifteen, I believed in my friends.” He spoke to students about a tragic accident that happened when he was a young man that led him down a bad path. He never shared his pain and the story of loss with an adult so the pain festered inside. He encouraged students to find a mentor, friend, teacher, or pastor to share problems.

His life’s motto is, “Doing your best is more important than being your best!” Mr. Barnes told students that doing your best in middle school builds the foundation for who you will become in the future. He gave students a path to follow for a good life: (1.) Exercise the power of choice. ( 2.) Establish your priorities.  (3.) Develop a passion.  (4.) Stand on your morals and convictions.  (5.) Know your purpose.  (6.) Improve the perception of yourself.

Being a part of the Speakers Bureau is a wonderful opportunity for the students of Northport, and it is our pleasure to work with Dr. Mills and the many community leaders who are willing to share their stories.

We extend a deep and humble thank you on behalf of all of our Northport community for sharing.