Students have a wide choice of books to select from when using one of the five reading habits, Reading to Self. It is proven that a student will elect to read more, if they have an opportunity to make their own choices. Preston Zinter, in Traci Lott’s second grade class at F.K. Sweet Elementary, is enjoying his non-fiction selection on motorcycles.
Northport K-8 School has declared a champion in the annual Spelling Bee! Thirty students from grades four through eight participated in a 14- round spelling bee recently with seventh grade Northstar student, Jared Diago, spelling the word microphone correctly to win first place. Second place winner was Kadisha D’Silva and third place was Koral Saarinen. Students brought one student guest from their class to witness the exposition and many parents were present to urge on their students to spelling victory. Jared Diago, pictured in the top row, last student on the right, will continue on to the district Spelling Bee next month.
Taylor Currie has been selected as the Youth Volunteer of the Year at Floresta Elementary. Taylor has served at Floresta Elementary for the last two years, helping in the office, assisting with clerical tasks as well as working with students and families. Taylor provides a valuable resource to teachers and students in the classroom. This year, Taylor began working with exceptional students, and has decided that she would like to pursue a career in exceptional student education.
Bayshore Elementary School’s kindergarten classes visited the fire station to learn about places in the community and the importance of community helpers. Pictured are Kristian Claudio (left) and Tianna Springston-Coyle (right) from Jennifer Archer’s kindergarten class learning what it is like to ride in a fire truck.
Bayshore Elementary School invited community and school district members to read to students during Celebrate Literacy Week. Students in Annette Hawkins’ kindergarten classroom were excited to have St. Lucie County School Board vice chairman Debbie Hawley visit their classroom to read.
Three teachers were surprised the morning of January 26, 2012, when an entourage led by Superintendent Michael Lannon, school board members, district administrators and representatives of the St. Lucie County Education Foundation visited their classrooms to announce their selection as finalists for the 2013 St. Lucie County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
The finalists are: Karen-Lee Crosby, pre-kindergarten teacher at Lawnwood Elementary School; Natasha Santoro, second grade teacher at Rivers Edge Elementary School; and Mary Jo Trubisky, Exceptional Student Education teacher at Windmill Point Elementary School.
The difficult task of selecting the finalists was determined by a committee of former Teachers of the Year, principals, and district administrators. The finalists will be visited in the coming weeks in their classrooms for committee members to observe their classroom instruction. The local announcements are always in the year prior to the beginning of the state Teacher of the Year reign due to the duration of the statewide selection process.
Karen-Lee Crosby has been with St. Lucie County Schools for seven years, all of those at Lawnwood Elementary School as either a kindergarten or pre-kindergarten teacher. She previously served as a teacher at a faith-based school in Sandwich, Massachusetts, and a field hockey coach at the junior high school there.
One of the more innovative instructional practices Ms. Crosby utilizes is student-led conferences, where four year old children present a portfolio of their student work through the year to their parents, a departure from the typical parent-teacher conference. Through intentional design of lessons, pre-kindergarten students are involved in lessons that allow them to explore, question and develop fluency in math, science, reading and literacy
Ms. Crosby currently serves on her school’s Building Level Planning Team, is the Sunshine Committee co-chair, has been a Professional Learning Communities facilitator, has been on the school’s WOW design team and safety committee. She is one of three teachers to serve on a Pre-Kindergarten Collaborative Committee bringing school based teachers together with Head Start and private pre-school providers to identify and develop best practices for early childhood education.
Natasha Santoro has been teaching for 15 years in St. Lucie County Schools as a teacher at Rivers Edge Elementary in a variety of grade levels, except for one year in 2008-2009 when she served as a math coach for two elementary schools mentoring teachers on the newly adopted math curriculum. Ms. Santoro holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and she also has a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. She has served as a mentor for education majors at Florida Atlantic University, beginning teachers, struggling teachers, and those earning their national board certification.
With her familiarity with instructional technology, Ms. Santoro has provided guidance and professional development to peers in utilizing the ThinkCentral technology, video conferencing and other classroom technologies. She regularly provides in-service to fellow teachers on the Marzano framework, and is a Learning Community facilitator. She has also presented at many education conferences, particularly in her mathematics specialty.
Ms. Santoro finds time to serve her community as well, volunteering and serving Children’s Home Society, the Hibiscus Children’s Center, PACE Center for Girls, Harvest Food & Outreach Center, and many other family centered organizations.
Mary Joann Trubisky is described as a Leader! Believer! Treasure Hunter! Motivator! Ms. Trubisky has been serving exceptional education students for over 25 years, the last decade at Windmill Point Elementary School. She earned her national board certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist, Early Childhood through Young Adulthood certification in 2005. She has been at Windmill Point Elementary School since 2000, as an exceptional education teacher for K-fifth grade students. Her purpose has been to adapt and modify regular education curriculum for students with various exceptionalities within integrated classrooms – and she has the incredible success record of assisting 70 percent of the struggling third and fourth grade student she worked with passing the reading FCAT with a 2 or higher.
Ms. Trubisky shares her instructional expertise by mentoring student interns, as well as rookie teachers. She is also a member of a learning community and research team for the school participating in Lesson Study for the school, and has planned and facilitated numerous professional development and student activities supporting her work in these initiatives.
Aside from her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Trubisky is the school’s Positive Behavior Support Coordinator, Kids at Hope coordinator, and RtIB liaison, all initiatives outside of her classroom duties that nonetheless support personal, emotional, and instructional support for students. She is credited with Windmill Point Elementary’s school-wide PBS plan that yielded the lowest referral and discipline rates within St. Lucie County Schools for several years and the school being recognized as a model PBS school.
The 2013 Teacher of the Year and 2012 School-Related Employee of the Year, which are statewide programs, as well as the two local school district employee recognitions of Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year and Outstanding First Year Teacher, will be announced Saturday, February 25, 2012, at the “Night of the Stars” celebration held at Lincoln Park Academy. The Grand Benefactor is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the event sponsored by the St. Lucie County School District the St. Lucie County Education Foundation. the Teacher of the Year award is sponsored by The Morganti Group, the School Related Employee of the Year is sponsored by the St. Lucie County Education Foundation, the Outstanding First Year Teacher award is sponsored by Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, and the Distinguished Minority Educator award is sponsored by Keiser University.
Pictured is Education Foundation president Michael Waninger congratulating Mary Joann Trubisky.
Staff in the Media Center at Mariposa Elementary celebrated Literacy Week by creating posters from favorite childrens’ books. Students visiting the center were asked to draw scenes depicting a character or event from the storybook. Posters will be on display throughout the school. Pictured is student Andy Gonzalez.
Northport K8 School is proud to have close affiliation with the St. Lucie County School District’s Hispanic Advisory Council. Pictured are Gloria Arana, parent and member of Centro San Juan Diego, Linda Tapia, host of Que Pasa St.
Lucie and recruiter for Federal Programs, Title I, III and Migrant Education and Benigna Montenegro, assistant principal at Northport K-8 School and FCAT parent trainer for the Hispanic Advisory Council. The Council was proud to be
represented at the launch of the Parent Academy of St. Lucie County recently celebrated by the School Board, Houghten Mifflin Harcourt, Parent Academy Board of Directors and the Early Learning Coalition.
A representative of the American Cancer Society expressed appreciation to the St. Lucie County Public Schools that were instrumental in the Society’s Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraising events. Community Representative Daniel Regis, right, presented a glass plaque to Superintendent Michael Lannon, left, and School Board chairman Carol Hilson at the January 24, 2012, school board meeting.
The celebration began with teachers dressing up as pirates, and reading the second school wide read aloud of “Treasure Island”. Book trailers were run on WSPM Channel 2 News. Students were given materials to make book marks which would include content from the read aloud. The week ended with a book swap held in the Media Center. Students were encouraged to bring in a new or gently used book and were able to pick from a variety of popular new titles in exchange. Pictured, from left are, Sharon Dudash, Kimberly Nicholas, Wanda Galey, Christine Richards, Lilias Demontegnac, Adrianne Mendoza, Andrea Levin and Dana Hochberg.
Kamryn Gardner and Morgan Busby show off their laurel wreaths while studying ancient Greece. Students in Stacey Johnson’s third grade RTI Enrichment group at F.K. Sweet Elementary are learning about the contributions of this ancient civilization to our modern society. Students discovered the roots of democracy and the Olympic Games. They enjoyed learning about the gods and goddesses and the myths that were told to explain the world around them, practiced writing letters of the Greek alphabet and learned where they are still in use today in our fraternal organizations.
Dr. Donna Devlin from FAU spoke to Nardi Routten’s fourth grade class at F.K. Sweet Elementaryabout Bio-Diversity. Dr. Devlin is heading a mangrove restoration project where different genotypes of mangroves are planted, and testing whether or not different genotypes grow better in a mixed group or in a similar group. Mangrove restoration is taking place in several areas as they are vital to the ecosystem. The fourth graders will meet Dr. Devlin at Blind Creek Park this week to assist with this project.
F.K. Sweet students from grades kindergarten through fifth participated in a three day cheer camp held by Lincoln Park Academy varsity cheerleaders. The students were taught cheers, jumps, and dances. Students ended camp with a performance at the high school varsity basketball half-time show.
Northport K-8 School celebrated cultures of the world in a wonderful and highly energized afternoon of booths, theater groups, costumes, posters, trinkets and lots of information. Students and teachers prepared displays replete with music
and interactive fun while learning information about 22 different countries of the world. Students were engaged with a desire to learn and teach information that was creative, innovative and lots of fun!
Students in Keva Miller’s journalism classes at Fort Pierce Central High School created children’s books to donate to a local daycare and elementary school. The students were required to produce their own children’s stories with a moral or lesson learned, draw, trace, or use computer graphics for their pictures and other instructions and requirements that were given to them in a rubric for creating their children’s books. The students enjoyed writing, illustrating and designing their children’s books to inspire other students to learn and develop a love for reading.
At Allapattah Flats K8, students in Melinda Van Der Werff’s creative writing class wrote and illustrated books for Shannon Johnson’s third grade students. The eighth graders read their stories to their third grade buddies over cookies. The third graders loved hearing the books as much as the eighth graders enjoyed making them. Pictured is eighth grader Carlos Castillo and third grader Gavrie Andrews reading The Soccer Ball.