For the last seven years, Northport K-8 School has built a strong bond and partnership with local veterans in Saint Lucie County. The program is called Veteran Partners In Education. Through the years, the Veteran Partners have served the children and families in a multitude of ways. Some examples of service to the school are, many classroom visits to talk about Patriotism and the military life, presented several living time lines, participation in the Purple Heart Memorial building, Read Across America guests, Northport commemorations for 9/11, Veterans Day and Memorial Day each year, Army One Presidential helicopter pilot visit, Korean War Armistice program, Salute to the Marine Corps birthday and many, many other events that bring the veterans into the school nearly every week.
Through data and meticulous record keeping, it has been determined that 15,305 students and families have been touched by the Veteran Partners program at Northport. On many visits, veterans will bring uniforms and hats for the students to try on. Recently, veterans Bill Arnold and Peter Popolizio, both Northport Senior Volunteers of the Year, with Mr. Popolizio also serving as the Saint Lucie County School Board Senior Volunteer of the Year for 2013-14, visited a particular student at Northport K-8 School. Aune Abdelquadar, seventh grade student on the Stingrays team, was rewarded with an authentic army veterans hat, complete with American flag pins and many other military insignia on the hat. Aune was rewarded with the hat because each time he see’s a veteran, his salute is stunning. His respect is unquestionable and outright moving. The veterans were thrilled to present Aune the hat and the students thought it was quite the remarkable occasion and were surprised by the visit in Mrs. Sandra Tyndale-Harvey’s class. Pictured are Peter Popolizio, Sandra Tyndale and Bill Arnold with Aune Abdelquader sporting his brand new hat.
Northport K-8 fourth grader Cierra Yuhas knew she was having difficulty with reading comprehension. She spoke to her teacher, Carissa Provencher, who provided some valuable advice: select your favorite book, contact the author and get some tips on how to better understand concepts from books. Cierra took her teacher’s words to heart and wrote a letter explaining the situation to Cynthia Lord, author of “Rules”, Cierra’s favorite book. Lord wrote Cierra a very special letter with some words of advice to keep reading, to look closely at everything because it becomes more beautiful. The author also advised Cierra that her book was inspired by her son, who has autism like the book’s main character, and told Cierra to look out for her next book called “Touch Blue”. Cierra has been so inspired by the letter from Cynthia Lord that she is reading more than ever, as well as looking forward to writing her own Young Author’s book. Pictured is Cierra with her book and letter.
Talk about a “Joyful Noise!” That is what Dr. Kevin Perry brought to one lucky student at Northport K-8 School recently. Northport eighth grader Zachary Davis was surprised by Dr. Kevin Perry, the SLPS Assistant Superintendent of Schools and Fine Arts. Dr. Perry is part of a delightful group of local citizens called Bluebird Educational Productions. Dr. Perry, along with group founder, Darryl Bey, love music so much that they started a group called “Recycling In the Key of Education” or RIKE for short. The group collects used musical instruments from local citizens who gladly donate and then have the used instruments refurbished into beautiful, shiny nearly new pieces.
SLPS band directors then select students who will benefit by owning their own instrument. Dr. Perry said that the recipients of the musical instruments are spread around all schools so that not just one school receives all instruments. Zachary was so overwhelmed by the generosity of “Recycling in the Key of Education” that his eyes filled with tears. He said, “It’s a miracle! A white glove too!” Many thanks to Dr. Karen Crocco who encourages and teaches the joy of music every single day @Northport.
Northport K-8 School 8th grade Mariner student, Albert Morgan will be attending a very special three day conference in Anaheim, California this month. Albert will be representing the Chuck Hill Unit of the Port St. Lucie Boys and Girls Club on Marion Street. Ten other local students from the unit will be attending with Albert as well as Unit Director, London Reeves. Students raised the money to attend the leadership conference through fundraising. The Keystone Conference attendees are called Keystones. The Keystone Conference has three main goals for the students, community involvement, academic success and career exploration. Students will visit technical schools, fashion schools and University of California at Los Angeles or UCLA as well as attending leadership classes and trainings. This is a wonderful opportunity for Albert and the Northport Community is extremely proud of his achievements through this terrific club.
Northport VPK-8 School STEM Center received some very good news and a package in the mail that contained a brand new 3D printer from the First Robotics organization, ECKOCYCLE and Coca Cola. STEM Center instructor, Christine Nurse wrote and received the grant from will.i.am and Coca Cola whose mission is to inspire new things made in part from recycled materials. The grant was bestowed to help motivate students to do “something cool” for sustainable living and to help support a more sustainable environment using recycled materials. The twelve hundred dollar grant which purchased the 3D printer will help inspire Northport students to dig deeper, think harder and be more productive when researching and innovating. Great job Mrs. Nurse for reaching deep and going the extra mile to make sure that Northport VPK-8 students have the best materials. Pictured are students, Shea Ellsworth, Sebastian Hernandez and Jared Wilt helping Mrs. Nurse open the new 3D printer.
Northport K-8 School is proud to offer to Northstar team 6, 7, and 8 grade students the opportunity to design, build and implement a STEaM Photonics Lab. The lab allows students to excel in many areas including science, math, engineering and technology that have not previously been explored. Students are utilizing the engineering design process and work in groups to develop a design plan using criteria and constraints, implementation and modification, as well as trouble shooting and executing their final design. Every step is recorded following the engineering notebook criteria for validation through replication by other students. Every procedure employs teamwork, communication skills, critical thinking, math with an emphasis on geometry and writing skills. Northport K-8 School STEaM program is a joint partnership with NSP, Laser-Tec and IRSC. Pictured are Northstar students working on a special project to save Jack Sparrow’s treasure from thieves. The program is professionally conducted by instructor, Christine Santos-Nurse. The students are passionate about the program! So passionate that the implementation design plan has been included in a special grant that is currently being developed by a team of teachers at the school chaired by principal, Glenn Rustay and coach, Deb Mock.
Northport students and teachers welcomed the monthly Speakers Bureau recently, and the Northport Media Center truly did “Shine Forth As Gold!” The morning began with the Pledge of Allegiance led by sixth grader, Alicia Brown, dressed as Harriet Tubman. As the program progressed, students from Deborah Allen’s class dressed authentically as famous Black Americans such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Mary McCloud Bethune and more black heroes presented “Who Am I?” speeches. This segment of the program was first rate as the students taught the guests about important Black Americans and their contributions.
Dr. Donna Mills presented the first guest speaker, Dr. James Harrell, husband of District 83 House of Representatives, Gayle Harrell. Dr. Harrell spoke of his own difficult youth and the value of education. The keynote speaker was Mr. Joseph Dillard who dug deep and spoke about his life story. His father was in prison and his mother was a drug addict. He spent his youth on the streets selling drugs, was in and out of relationships, and engaged in fighting. Dillard finally broke free from the burdens of his life when he began reading voraciously at the age of 21. He recounted the story of sitting and telling the moon, “One day I am going to conquer you!” Mr. Dillard tipped his hat to his teachers who gave him the feelings that “I can do it” and “You should do it!” He had students place their hands over their hearts and repeat, “I am a champion. ” He told them to read, to listen, to go above and beyond expectations, and to ask themselves, “What do I stand for?”
The program was flawless and inspiring. Children learned about integrity, grit, determination and the importance of unifying as people, men, and women of vision and not color.
Dr. Mills spoke about the SLPS “A Promise is a Promise” program and explained to students that if they graduate from SLPS, secure credentials as a certified teacher, then SLPS will provide them with a teaching position.
Every adult present, including Pastor Kenneth Mills, who has worked tirelessly with the program, “Save Our Children was, “Don’t let anything stop you. Cry your tears and move on! We will! We promise!”
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.
Northport is pleased to be working with SLPS Board Member Dr. Donna Mills. Dr. Mills, Northport Media Center staff, administration and teachers have formed a special collaboration to bring the best and most up-to-date information to NP students. Each program highlights a different theme. For example: October was themed Read More, Write More; November will be themed Integrity and Peer Pressure; February will celebrate Black History; and March will commemorate Women’s History. The final program to be held in April will be themed, Why the Arts Make Us Better Students! The teachers and media specialist plan student-based programming then Dr. Mills tailors her guest speaker to that programming.
The first guest was Dr. Judi Miller, former SLPS board member and current CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLC. Maryanne Warren, program specialist for New Horizons, Tracy LeJeune, 7th grade writing instructor and Lorelle Ceville collaborated to help bring a powerful program to instill the importance of reading and the will power to overcome obstacles with reading. Also highlighted were the reading peer mentorships betweeen Mrs. Ceville’s kindergartners and Mrs. LeJeune’s seventh graders. Dr. Miller was thrilled to learn of the student mentorships because that is part of the daily business of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many thanks to Dr. Donna Mills for encouraging the Speakers Bureau at Northport to be better than ever. We have a first-rate program happening.
Northport K-8 students in Vicki Baird’s eighth grade Spanish classes created their own family trees using Spanish words and phrases. Students identified relationships to family members and then gave two physical and two personality
traits for each family memeber using Spanish language skills. Students also displayed handmade Ojo de Dios or Eyes of God. The Ojo de Dios were symbolic of wisdom and light in the Indian cultures in Mexico and Central America. Students
on the Northstar team in eighth grade have a great opportunity to earn one of two required high school foreign language credits at an advanced pace.
Northport K-8 sixth grade science instructor Amanda Sartain addressed deep content in her lesson segment about the human body systems and their relationship within the body. Ms. Sartain reviewed the new content, then organized students into learning teams to practice and deepen knowledge. Students shared the tasks of cutting out the skeletal system with construction paper, added the main organs for respiratory, circulatory, nervous and digestive systems and then attached each organ to the appropriate place in relation to the skeleton and displayed on a hallway wall. Students then labeled each organ with function and each system with its job in the body. Students worked cooperatively putting the bodies together on the wall and then reviewed each system within their learning teams. As students were reviewing within the teams, Mrs. Sartain monitored for remaining unanswered questions and addressed student learning needs. Pictured is Ms. Sartain with her sixth grade students.
Northport K-8 sixth grade students in Amanda Sartain’s science classes immersed themselves in a life sciences unit on immunology and the immune system of the human body by forming a living human cell. The students gathered in a circle in the front of the school and joined hands to form the cell. One student remained outside the cell to represent a nasty virus. The virus burst into the cell and chose one person at a time to come into the cell and spread. The process continued until the cell was filled with viruses and the cell burst, spreading the virus into more of the body cells. Northport students were
intrigued by the innovative and uniques method of introducing immunology and the spread of viral illnesses. The students learned the concept quickly and effieciently when motivated by peer learning and instructor monitoring. Pictured is Ms. Sartain and her students.
Northport K-8 sixth grade students and teachers extended the learning experience of lessons on the Holocaust recently through “Living Voices.” Living Voices was presented in the school’s media center at the behest of Tim Norfleet, SLC District Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator and sixth grade social studies instructor, Georgia Stone. Actress and Living Voices presenter, Rachel McClinton from Seattle, Washington coaxed the audience of teachers, students and a few parents through tears, anger and frustration and finally the sorrow of the Holocaust. Ms. McClinton presented the story of Sara Vice, retelling the actual story of Anne Frank as a girl in Holland until her last days in the concentration camps in Germany where she died of Typhus one month before American and British soldiers liberated the camp. After the presentation using multi-media sources and dramatic acting, the students were able to pose questions and received thorough and clear responses. The presentation was an excellent scaffolding tool for a deeper understanding of the experiences of the Holocaust. Pictured is Rachel McClinton speaking to the sixth graders.
Northport K-8 School sixth graders in Georgia Stone’s World History class are preparing to delve into yearly History Fair projects with an excellent lesson in the school’s media center. Students logged on to the National History Day website at www.nhd.org/gettingstarted.htm and utilized the “Conducting Research” bar. Students read all about primary and secondary sources and learned how to be a responsible researcher then answered two focus questions. Students also rotated to a center in the media center that offered scenarios and students, under the direction of Mrs. Stone, interpreted primary or secondary sources.
The History Fair topic this year is “Rights and Responsibilities. ” This is a broad topic that allows students to choose their own interests and explore the topic using a variety of primary and secondary resources. Chosen topics should place the project into historical perpective, examine its significance in history and show development over time. Students must use primary and secondary sources, analyze evidence and provide a clear explanation of the relationship of the topic to the theme.
Some examples of student expressions of interest at Northport K-8 School have been Womens Suffrage, A City Divided: The Berlin Wall, The Birth of the Declaration of Independence, Trail of Tears, Salem Witch Trials and The Power of the Press. Georgia Stone’s Historian Center in the school’s media center provided an excellent opportunity to target skills developing Informational Text and Research. Pictured are Mrs. Stone and from far side, Cheyenne Jones and Cassandra Andrade.
Northport K-8 School sixth grader Tatiana Hamilton from Ellen Weiss’ class spent some very engaging and quality time on her homework recently. Tatiana baked a homeade cake depicting a cell study using edible items. The cake was an excellent portrayal of the cell demonstating ribosomes, lysosomes, mitochondria, cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus and cytoplasm. Weiss’ students processed new information and literally “digested” the information into interesting and easily visualized little bites. Students celebrated the finale of their science FCAT by bringing in their cell cakes to share with the rest of their class. Pictured is Tatiana Hamilton with her “cell
Northport K-8 School Culinary Arts students in Rachel Ellsworth’s class competed in the desserts category for the Future Chef competition at the Fort Pierce Farmer’s Market recently. The event was organized by Slow Foods of Ft. Pierce. Students were thrilled to learn that their entry, pecan bars with fresh whipped pumpkin topping won first place in the desserts category. Students chose the recipe and some of the ingredients were purchased from local vendors at the Farmer’s Market. The pecans were purchased from Yun’s Produce and the vanilla was purchased from Lola Tortola Sugar and Spice. Four judges analyzed the bars for taste, display and creativity. Also competing were Fort Pierce Central High School, Treasure Coast High School, Port Saint Lucie High School and Forest Grove Middle School. Northport K-8 School culinary arts students and Mrs. Ellsworth were especially thrilled because their chef’s jackets were completed and delivered the day before the competitive event. The Northport Culinary Arts program provides students with an area of expertise that many times goes uncultivated. The program is “just right” for students who love to cook and invent a real Pièce de résistance! Pictured is Northport 8th grade student and chef, Zachary Shelton with other members of his team.
It was an amazing morning of intense learning and even more intense emotions. Northport students were enthralled by Mrs. Tiffany Tredor who played The National Anthem on her violin. Five Northstar 7th grade students served as “Instructional Coaches” and gave students five guiding questions using the 5 W’s of Who, What, Where, When and Why. The drama instructor, Ms. Kim Fields, and her middle school students used a special poem to portray and honor the eight children who perished on 9/11. Band director, Mr. Ricardo Renelus and a beautiful ensemble of students played “We Shall Overcome” and a solemn rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Eighth grade instructor, Ms. Sandra Tyndale Harvey sang like a nightingale using her voice like an instrument as she sang “Be Kind and Be Tender!’ Jayden Diago, Northport Northstar 8th grader, put together a very informative powerpoint which she narrated herself. The Primary Source guest speaker was NYC Detective Albert Hickey. Detective Hickey was a first responder during the weeks, months and years following 9/11. He was so moving and authentic that many of the students were overcome with emotion by his powerful message. He was amazing and strong and a real American Hero for students to see and hear. Many veterans were present during the program and were heartily honored. We honor our veterans, police, firefighters and first responders at Northport and we constantly promote their goodness to our students. As we closed the program, the flights were called and the eight children who perished had names called and honored with a flag. So many thanks to Ms. Josie Bailey who worked with our technology and to Ms. Maryanne Warren for her videography, and to all those that performed and participated in the project. We also wanted to send a big THANK YOU to all the teachers who took part in their classrooms by providing lessons and portraying their student’s artwork. STUNNING UNITY AT NORTHPORT!
The Northport Media Center is officially named “The Northport K-8 School Children’s Memorial Library” in honor and remembrance of the eight children who perished on September 11, 2001.
The children from United Flight 175 were Christine Hanson, age 2, David Brandhorst, age 3, and Juliana McCourt, age 4. The children from American Flight 77 were Dana Falkenberg, age 3, Zoe Falkenberg, age 8, Rodney Dickens, age 11, Bernard Curtis Brown, age 11 and Asia Cottom, age 11.
The memorial tribute is placed beneath the Northport American flag. The Remembrance at Northport was stunning in its authenticity and nearly completely devoted to student as teacher lessons developing critical thinking skills.
The Senior and Adult Volunteer of the Year for the 2012-2013 school year have been selected at Northport K8 School. Suzi Scott, pictured on the left, Adult Volunteer of the Year, has served Northport for four years and has volunteered in a variety of available categories. Mrs. Scott
served as PTO president for two years, chairwoman for the Adequate Yearly Progress committee, and a member of the School Advisory Council and Title 1 committee. Kay Egan, Senior Volunteer of the Year, at right, has served Northport students and teachers for five years as media assistant and
assistant to several teachers in the lower school area. Both consistently go above and beyond as volunteers, always placing the needs of the students and faculty of Northport as a top priority. They are much appreciated and their service is highly valued!
Northport is thrilled to present Cindi Cairo as our Adult Volunteer of the Year for 2019-2020.
Cindi has volunteered at Northport for the last three years. She has assisted in the kindergarten and in third-grade. One of the jobs that Cindi helps with at Northport is assisting in small group centers for math. She is innovative in her modeling methods for math. She makes up new games to help children learn multiplication tables. The students love the games so much that they are playing them with other children from different classes at recess.mCindi also has chaperoned many field trips including the planetarium and the park, as well as the Oxbow Eco Center.
Cindi spends much of her time on the hunt for school supplies and books for all the children in need at our Title I school. Every week at least once or twice, she brings a bag of school supplies and books to the media center to be dispersed to students in need. She hunts in thrift stores for items that are much needed and appreciated here at school. Cindi is also an excellent mentor. She supplies much needed emotional support for children with an encouraging word, a smile and a pat on the back. She has built a wonderful and genuine rapport with the students and teachers. Cindi helps bring food to the school along with many members of our local church Partners in Education, First United Methodist Church of Port Saint Lucie. The church congregation supplies much appreciated breakfast and lunch during teachers Professional Development days and during Teacher Workdays. What a wonderful and kind feeling it is to know that Cindi and the congregation appreciate our school staff and children.
Cindi also makes homemade flash cards for children struggling with math facts and multiplication. The students love to have a handmade set of cards. A large part of Cindi’s work is collecting books for the school’s “Faith In Literacy” Summer Reading program. Cindi has collected thousands of great books to help students hone and keep the reading skills acquired from their teachers throughout the school year. She has cultivated friendships with so many people in the community that offer her small amounts of money to help pick out good books for kids. She gets real satisfaction looking for and finding the most popular books that children enjoy and at the same time, tries to find books of many different topics so that students can expand their reading horizons.
Cindi feels that finding that “Just Right” book can make a huge difference in a child’s life or just spark that light that encourages children to find a passion for reading and learning. Cindi kicks the school year off right with the kids too! She, along with many members of the local community, stand in front of the school on the very first day holding a sign that may read, “I Care. Do Your Best!”
We are so thankful that Cindi comes to Northport every week. She is a great advocate for the school and the children and she genuinely cares about each child finding a passion for literacy. Way to go Cindi!