Northport has been so proud to play a role in the Speakers Bureau this year. The program has achieved astounding success through a series of community leaders and role models who have visited the school. With the collaboration of SLPS Board Vice Chairman Dr. Donna Mills, Northport Principal Glenn Rustay, Northport Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka, and a host of middle grades students, teachers, and parents, students have been offered the opportunity to hone leadership skills and to learn to develop and pose well thought out and provocative questions. Students have learned to research the background of the speaker, then, working with their teachers, develop questions with the intent of finding out as much information as possible.

Northport students have been exposed to community guests who have told stories of grit, determination, and success and then each has shared their life formulas with students. Each guest has motivated students to buy into their own success and their own education. Northport guests speakers have included SLPS Superintendent E. Wayne Gent; Tony Ross, brother of local hero, Cee Cee Ross Lyles who perished on Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 tragedy; Tony Barnes, Ft. Pierce City Hall Executive Director of Purchasing; Samuel McDuffie, Customer Service Supervisor, youth coach and mentor; Dr. David Thompson, chaplain for the SLC Sheriff’s office at Rock Road Jail as well as several local Veteran Partners In Education.

Each program was kicked off by a display of student talent including band quartets, ensembles, elementary songs and a special Black History presentation by sixth grade students from Deborah Allen’s class. The programs were filled with faith, hope, love for children and community, service, integrity and people who are willing to stand up and do the “right thing!” All these inestimable qualities are the keystone of a solid Northport education. We educate good, loving, caring and kind citizens who will develop into the leaders of tomorrow. Many, many thanks all the guest speakers and to Dr. Donna Mills and her husband, Pastor Kenneth Mills. Through our guest’s commitment and singular focus, Northport, as a school, has achieved uncommon valor in education.

The format and focus of the Northport Speakers Bureau has been submitted to the state of Florida Department of Education on behalf of SLC Public Schools for the purpose of promoting and recognizing innovative school practices that increase family and community involvement. Family and Community Involvement submissions will be judged for innovative programs being implemented throughout the State and will be notified in the F all of 2017.