What an absolute pleasure to host the Speakers Bureau recently at Northport. Northport is part of a coalition of St. Lucie County schools, spearheaded by SLPS Vice Chairman Dr. Donna Mills to bring talented and inspiring guest speakers to directly impact students and their achievement.
The most recent guest was a talented, refreshingly authentic and fascinating young man named Samuel McDuffie. Samuel, originally from Washington, D.C., moved to Florida nearly three years ago. He gave the story of his hard scrapping youth that many students could relate to, including his father’s murder when he was six. He intrigued the children by blindfolding one of the students, taking a brand new pair of Nike sneakers and placing them in a location in the school’s media center. He then told the student audience to shout directions at the blindfolded boy. The room was filled with chaos and the boy had trouble following the directions through all the voices. Finally, Samuel told the students to stop and be silent and to stop shouting different directions. He gave the blindfolded boy precise directions to the sneakers. The boy had no trouble following the directions and went right to the shoes. The moral or lesson to the students was that too much noise in life leads to indecision and chaos. Samuel told the students, “Find a goal, listen to one clear voice, keep distractions away and focus. Then, you will realize your dream. Never give up!” The young boy was given the brand new Nike’s to keep. Students were thrilled with the lessons and teachers reported back that the discussions about life, negative distractions, keeping away from chaos and setting goals continued back in the classrooms.
Many thanks to Dr. Donna Mills for bringing the Speakers Bureau Coalition to Northport and for extending to Northport students the wonderful opportunity to help change our students’ lives for the better and to help students buy into their own successes and their own educational and life paths. The program was kicked off with a salute to the Arts as second graders in Kristin Schrader and Jennifer Lusardi’s classes sang “America” and Sandra Tyndale, Northport reading teacher, sang a beautiful rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone!” that was dedicated to Dr. Mills and her love and affirmation of all children. Bravo, everyone!