Northport K-8 administration, instructors, staff and students commemorate Presidents Day on February 20 by honoring all 44 American presidents. Students are learning information about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and
are celebrating the lives and contributions of US presidents. It is vital that students remember the history of the country, remember the names of those who worked to make America the most vital country on Earth and the bravery that it
takes to be America’s president. Northport K-8 marks the days in February to celebrate great American leaders. Pictured is a variety of Northport seventh and eighth grade students.
Northport K-8 administration, instructors, staff and students commemorate Presidents Day on February 20 by honoring all 44 American presidents. Students are learning information about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and
Northport K-8 School honors and supports all who are fighting the courageous battle against Sickle Cell Disease this month. Awareness as a school community is being raised by instructor, Marie Solide whose daughter Kookie died of Sickle Cell Anemia very recently. On October 8, Northport community will wear red clothing and donate to the cause by purchasing bracelets in honor of the many lives lost. The proceeds of the purchase of the bracelet will be presented to Howard University Center for Sickle Cell Anemia in the name of Northport K-8 School and Kookie. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are about 90,000 to 100,00 Americans affected by the disease, mostly African Americans and those of Greek, Hispanic and Western Asian ancestry. Northport will celebrate the life of Kookie and the hundreds of thousand of other lives lost to this tragic disease in support of Mrs. Solide who is a beloved teacher at the school on that day! Sickle Cell Disease is the most common genetic disorder in the United States and is chronic, but not contagious and can be very treatable. For more information, please contact Marie Solide at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictured is Mrs. Solide presenting information on Sickle Cell Disease to Ellen Weiss’s sixth grade science class. Students were highly engaged in the cell study and the heartbreaking story of Marie Solide and her families fight against Sickle Cell.
Northport Breakfast With Santa was a wonderful success. Big thank you to the PTO and everyone who came out to school to make it a special occasion for the children. 🎄 ❤ Principal, Glenn Rustay and Assistant Principals Lisa Cash and Mehgan Drost got right into the spirit of the holiday season. Pictured: Northport administrators and the Tredor family.
Northport Northstar students hosted Port St. Lucie Mayor, Greg Oravec and Major Chris Cicio, Director of Detention for the Sheriff’s Department, in the media center recently. Both men initiated conversations with students about how they handle stress.
In order for young people to achieve their potential, we need to recognize that social and emotional learning is a critical element in the educational process. Both men gave their own career experiences with stress and provided students with real life experiences on how they each handle the stress reaction.
Mayor Oravec spoke about recognizing emotional states, and how he copes such as working out, fishing, surfing and staying off social media. He spoke about recognizing and handling stress before the stress turns into more than what can be handled alone.
Major Cicio spoke about the stress response and how to stop the feelings of stress before it becomes dangerous. He spoke about recognizing the “here and now, what’s right in front of you and dealing with each step and not trying to attack and sweat over the big picture life problems.” Major Cicio gave students tips about breathing techniques that officers use when in stressful situations, better communications skills, and never to respond out of anger. Both men spoke about finding “passion and life purpose.” Both spoke about investing their time in other people.
When students learn critical social and emotional skills not only from their parents and teachers, but also community members, they learn to embrace the value of service and can better learn. They become better citizens and that makes stronger communities. We are definitely on the right track at Northport.
Northport K-8 School Media Center has developed and initiated a brand new program at the school that teaches and promotes leadership skills and training through a program called “Northport Leadership Summit.”. The Northport “Leadership Summit” will be held monthly and will showcase and spotlight community leaders. The very first summit was planned by Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka in collaboration with Linda Cox, Fort Pierce City Clerk and Karen Sweeney, District Aide to Florida State Representative, Gayle Harrell. The platform began with an opening review of program goals and expectations for students. The first summit guest was Representative Gayle Harrell from District 83. The sixth grade students drove the platform with prepared and extemporaneous questions that Representative Harrell then answered at length. The Representative spoke to the students from the heart and the audience of administrators, teachers and students were awash with information, emotions and the first steps for the students in a process of refining convictions. A variety of thoughtful questions were proposed by students for example, ‘What is your position on public education?”, “Who is an example of one of your role models and why?”, “What does leadership mean to you?”, “What would you like your legacy to be?”, “Have you made decisions that negatively impacted the community?” and “Please comment on the impact that the new veterans nursing home will have in our community.” Representative Harrell gave the students solid information on how to build leadership skills by joining the Boy or Girl Scouts, getting a mentor from Big Brothers, Big Sisters, visiting nursing homes and helping out in the community by cleaning up and more. She urged students to use critical thinking skills and that “NOW” is the time to hone your leadership skills. She spoke clearly and succinctly to the students and engaged them in topics such as peer pressure, setting goals, decision making skills, doing your research and staying true to yourself. The kick off for the very first Northport Leadership Summit was tremendous with added support from principal, Glenn Rustay, assistant principal, Lorie Monroe, sixth grade instructor, Georgia Stone and the terrific learning environment created by very attentive students.
The second “Leadership Summit” will be held on Friday, October 24 in the Northport Media Center with selected Northstar students with guest and community leader, Nick Mimms, Deputy City Manager of Fort Pierce.
Marine biologists, Mr. and Mrs. Mott from the Inwater Research Group, presented a stimulating enrichment program to the 6th-8th grade Northstar students about sea turtles. They showed specimens of turtle anatomy and related body structures to their function for survival in the ecosystem. Students considered characteristics of organisms as they identified the shared characteristics used for taxonomic classification of organisms. Students were encouraged to think about the impact humans have on the environment and share their ideas. Conservation and protection practices for threatened and endangered species were elicited from the students since we all share the responsibility of good stewardship of Planet Earth!
Students enjoyed the opportunity to use their scientific knowledge in an authentic manner as they considered evolution, anatomy, physiology, environmental science, ecology, chemistry, meteorology, and more recognizing the interconnections among all fields of science.
Way to go Laura Woodworth for offering your students a primary source and an awesome learning experience!
Northport K-8 School students have been working diligently this year with teachers, veterans, Gold Star Families and Mrs. Gruszka in the Media Center to educate each other, their families and the community about the Medal of Honor, Gold Star Families and World War II. The learning experiences included Gold Star mothers, Karen Zook and Linda Schuman interacting with kids from grades three through eight about service, sacrifice, integrity, commitment and then teaching others about these ideals.
The zenith of the program occurred in the Northport Media Center with a visit from Hershel “Woody” Williams. Mr. Williams is the only living Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima and only one of seven Medal of Honor Recipients still living from WWII. The programming included Target Teaching by students from Nick Carey and Georgia Stone’s classes including a timeline of major WWII events. Northport teacher, Sandra Tyndale Harvey and three of her students sang a beautiful rendition of a Bill and Gloria Gaither song for Mr. Williams entitled, “I Pledge My Allegiance” and a teaching power point was instructive by media clerk, Sarah Lewis. The program was a magical culmination of so much deep learning and the students were taken aback by Woody’s humbleness and demeanor.
The school was thrilled to host Superintendent Wayne Gent, Dr. Prince and SLPS Board members Kathryn Hensley, Deb Hawley, and Carol Hilson along with many deputies, troopers, police officers, Blue Knights, and veterans along with the local Gold Star committee.
What an EXPERIENCE!!!!!! Many thanks to Veteran Roy Brewer for helping to bring Woody Williams to Northport!
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.
Northport community was so pleased to host the Riverside Children’s Theater recently for a live production of “The Greatest Invention Never Invented!” Students were in awe of the performance that showcased actors Allison Heinz, Emily Parrish and Wen Powers.
The theme of the production was the history and science of electricity. Students learned how electricity was discovered rather than invented and how that discovery led to other inventions that utilize electricity.
Students were also introduced to autobiographical information about historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla and Michael Faraday.The production elaborated how these scientists developed inventions using electricity through a courtroom scenario.
The students listened and laughed enthusiastically throughout the engaging live production.
Students from the Northstar team, Dolphin team and selected fourth and fifth graders reflected on the learning with their instructors following the production by answering probing questions and utilizing exit tickets. Many students also wrote sonnets to process the new information as well as writing thank you notes to cast members acknowledging specific information from the production.
Wonderful and lively educational experience for all involved!
Special thanks to Dr. Laura Woodworth for organizing the event.
Northport K-8 Media Center has initiated and developed a brand new program this year called “Leadership Summit!” Students are learning all about leadership skills and what qualities are required to be an effective and inspiring leader.
The vision of the program is to not only teach leadership skills through discussion and role modeling, but to bring in community leaders to talk to the students about their own leadership qualities and some of the prominent issues that they face each day. The first guest in September was Representative Gayle Harrell.
This month, our guest was Deputy City Manager, Nick Mimms. Mr. Mimms used the student driven format of questioning to talk about his roots in Ft. Pierce and his local education as well as his college education. Mr. Mimms answered often times very difficult questions formatted by students on the Northstar team of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students with a positive and community oriented focus. He fielded questions concerning the use of solar energy in Ft. Pierce, sidewalks on school routes, how to get street lights placed, red light ticket camera placements, water quality and environmental issues. He included information about the Indian River Lagoon and the steps that the City of Ft. Pierce are taking to keep the waters clean such as the drainage systems and the restriction of chemicals in the water.
Some of the more pointed questions that Mr. Mimms answered were, “Following the Ferguson, Mo. incidents, are their plans in place so that type of occurrence does not happen in our communities?” and “What is the city of Ft. Pierce and the police department doing about gang issues?” Mr. Mimms gave positive responses to students. He spoke about neighborhood watch groups, working together to reduce any racial divide and clear communication. He told the students, “Police are human beings, sometimes mistakes are made, but a good working relationship between community members , families and law enforcement is vital for the fabric of a healthy and strong community.”
Mr. Mimms was an excellent example of a great leader, a powerful and positive voice for the City of Ft. Pierce and a great role model for our students. He shook hands with many of the students and then continued on to a separate classroom to answer more discussion questions. A big thank you to Mr. Mimms for taking the time to make such an impact on our Northport students and making a great impression for the City of Ft. Pierce.
Pictured are Deputy City Manager Mimms and many of the Northstar students.
Special thanks to instructor Nick Carey for focusing and working with the students on the topics of discussion.
Northport K-8 middle grades science instructor, Dr. Laura Woodworth from the Northstar team celebrated a major victory for students recently. Dr. Woodworth rewarded forty students who achieved an 80% or above on the science Progress Monitoring Predictive test with a very special hand made lunch. Woodworth prepared the luncheon of Pirate’s pork, Black Gold and Jewels on rice at home and served her students and fellow instructors with the assistance of her father and husband. The celebratory luncheon not only promoted positive interactions with colleagues and students but also promoted success, hard work and the thrill of achievement. Dr. Woodworth and all Northport instructors support a culture of hard work and celebration of success and forward progress.
It is with great pleasure that Northport hosted Yvonne Meyerson, Philanthropic Advisor for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in the media center recently. Students have been learning all about Sickle Cell disease and how prevalent the disease is within our own community. The “Project Tough Kookie” program was initiated at Northport two years ago by Marie Solide, ESE instructor, who lost her daughter Kookie following a long battle with Sickle Cell Disease. Students have learned that one in every ten African Americans has a sickle cell trait and one in every one hundred Hispanics carry the trait. In the United States, approximately 100,000 people have Sickle Cell disease and 2 million people have the sickle cell trait. Twenty-five years ago, a person with Sickle Cell disease was not expected to live to adulthood and the life span was 21 years of age. Today, the outlook is much more optimistic and many people are living beyond the age of 50.
Students in Mary Ellsworth’s seventh grade Civics class decided that this year their Project Citizen research should be about Sickle Cell disease. The students’ project, entitled “Bring Order to Disorder” was showcased at the SLPS district-wide Project Citizen event.
Mrs. Solide and her friend and co-worker, Northport Instructor Christina Davis, have been working diligently to educate our students about the disease and have held a “Sickle Cell Walk” in Tradition and several other fundraisers for the cause. All funds raised through “Project Tough Kookie” and the Tough Kookie Foundation will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital for medical research.
Students from Mrs. Ellsworth’s class are so interested that they have written letters to the Northport media center to purchase a book titled, My Brother Has Sickle Cell by Dr. Erica D. Gamble. Students sent the ISBN # which is 978-1-49186-929-1. Northport student, Gladine Laguerre said, “Please purchase this book for our library. Not only do we want even more information about Sickle Cell, but a book is like a journey into a different world which is what I want to experience. I want to feel what the character’s brother felt.” Marie Solide will be spearheading her next fundraiser for “Project Tough Kookie” on April 23 at Saint James Hall on Airoso Blvd in Port Saint Lucie from 8:00 pm until midnight. The cost is $30 and will include terrific multicultural food, music, and drinks.
Please join Marie and Tough Kookie Foundation for a culturally diverse fundraiser for a terrific cause. Thank you to the Tough Kookie Foundation for fulfilling your daughter’s legacy and bringing awareness to the students of Northport K-8 School and for helping to further research at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Northport K-8 sixth grade Starfish students and instructors joined forces to compare and contrast the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man recently as part of a unit of study. Students studied the characteristics of the two as well as weaponry and methods of survival. As a culminating activity, teachers dressed the parts of Wilma Flintstone, Betty Rubble and Pebbles Flintstone and encouraged students to compete in a “Deadliest Warrior” Survivor game. Each group of five students were given “dino bone survival scenarios” to read and then determined which man, Neanderthal or Cro-magnon, would survive the scenario. Students were engaged in the game and used critical thinking skills to determine the winning man. Pictured, back row from left, are instructors Amanda Sartain, Georgia Stone and Mindi Slater as well as students Javan Bellamy, front row left, and Trey Bingham.
Northport K-8 School middle grades instructors Amanda Sartain and Kalyn Nova received an innovative and exciting grant from Lowe’s Toolbox For Education called Gardening For Grades. The students and teachers are beginning the garden at the school using the Florida Ag program which provides a positive learning experience for students to develop leadership skills, responsibility and community pride through organized gardening activities. The program is designed to incorporate science, math, language arts, geography and a plethora of other subject area disciplines. Students will experience growth observation from seed, measurement of growth, design experimentation and growing plants found in historic novels. Research has proven that gardening in schools positively influences students environmental attitudes, nutritional attitudes, self esteem, test scores, school community attitudes, interpersonal skills and behavior. The Grades For Gardening program is a win/win experience for the entire school community.
Northport K-8 Media Services program held its third Leadership Summit recently just in time to commemorate Veterans Day. The Leadership Summit is an authentic example of student Inquiry about Leadership skills and what qualities are necessary to become a great leader. The Leadership Summits, held on a monthly basis, incorporate community leaders as primary source guests. The guests make the most of the focused and well formulated student questions by talking about their own careers and experiences and the leadership skills necessary to maintain and build their careers with aplomb. The first guests were Florida State Representative, Gayle Harrell and Fort Pierce Deputy City Manager, Nick Mimms. The guests at the third summit were fourteen local veterans from all branches of the military. Students asked hard ball questions such as, “Can you explain to us about what is happening in the Middle East and what is ISIS,” ” What is a Purple Heart and have any of you earned one? If so, can you talk to us about your life and death experiences?” “Can you tell us about PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how does PTSD affect our community?” “Would you recommend the military for females at this time and why,” “Can you explain about the educational benefits of enlisting in the military,” and “Can you tell us about your deployments and the weapons that you have used.” The middle school students came up with a list of leadership qualities that they can aspire to throughout the programming including:
1. You must love the people you lead
2. You need to be flexible
3. Must be organized
4. You must respect your people and the jobs they do and the issues they face
5. You must be capable of seeing the “Big Picture”
6. You must give lots of positive feedback
7. Humor is vital for a great leader to exhibit
8. You must be a constant learner
9. You must have Integrity at all times.
Veteran guests included: John Holdorf, Bill Arnold, Peter Popolizio, Charles Lomonaco, Marvin Rhoden, Jack Irvin, Harold Trieber, David Rubenstein, William Armstrong, Dr. Myles Gill, Hal Rippinger, Lee McDonald and Frank Berwick. The veterans served in all branches of the military with different jobs and ranks. Special thanks to Northport K-8 Veteran Partners in Education and a salute to all veterans that have served our country with honor and integrity.
Pictured is Northport eighth grade student, Finnegan Carey asking a focused question to the veteran forum. Finn’s father, Nick Carey is a teacher at the school and is also a veteran. Finn’s mother Jennifer serves Northport K-8 as a speech pathologist.
We are so PROUD of our Northport health aide, Sonja Simmons. Sonja has been named SLPS Health Aide of the Month. Sonja always has a friendly and welcoming smile for everyone. She is kind and patient with the children and is a great team player. Sonja is a terrific asset to our Northport family and she is loved by everyone!
Northport K-8 School administration, teachers, staff and families participated in Bowling For Kid’s Sake recently at SuperPlay. The event raised $36,000 to benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Saint Lucie County. Just a few of the many programs that assist the children of Saint Lucie County include site and community based mentoring and literacy opportunities.
The event also gave all a chance to help celebrate the CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters Dr. Judi Miller’s birthday. Dr. Miller is a long time champion of the children and families of Saint Lucie County. Northport K-8 School participants and cheerleaders thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to once again help out the community we adore. Special thanks to Glenn Rustay, Brooke Wigginton, Lynne Gruszka, Georgia Stone, Chris Prusa, Kathleen and Kay Egan, Meghan and Mike Drost, Juliette Thelusma and family, Valerie Niewieroski, Mindi Slater and Tammy Boston.
Northport K-8 School recently celebrated Black History month with a wonderful program that included guest speaker Dr. Dwight Dawkins, who encouraged students to do their best and to have high aspirations. Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion led the program with an honor guard, and Northport choral students from all grade levels sang the “National Anthem,” “Elijah,” and “Tribute to Martin Luther King.” Students also listened to a Black History moment on the morning announcements showcasing contributions of Black Americans. The school cafeteria, along with culinary program students under the direction of instructor Rachel Ellsworth, offered a tempting Southern luncheon for all teachers and staff. As a conclusion to the programming, students and teachers were encouraged to dress in costumes and clothing from their own heritage. Northport K-8 School honors the heritage of the entire community and celebrates “Many Cultures, One Country!” Special thank you to guidance counselor Diane Reynolds for organizing the multicultural salute to Black history! Pictured is Northport Pre-K instructor Victoria Frazier and several of her students, who dressed for Northport Multicultural Day. Students pictured, from left, are Isabella Zuniga, William Hairston, Mikayla Rivera, Vanessa Hall, Tayshaun Byfield and Kucas Cardoso.
Northport K-8 kindergarten students in Nancy Yost, Megan Castiglia, Melody Nieves and student intern Amanda Bean’s classes celebrated the 108th birthday of Dr. Seuss by listening to a dramatic storytelling of the beloved Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka. Students were thrilled to hear the story of the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes and agreed that Christmas isn’t about the gifts. Students decorated Seuss ornaments and decorated a Christmas tree set up in the Media Center. The Media Center also hosted a theatrical skit by students
in Juliette Thelusma’s fourth grade class by Suess called “Daisy Head Maisie.” Guests included third graders from Linda Beidler’s class, fourth graders from Jennifer Gomez’s class with their parents and grandparents. It was a wonderful
celebration day of that famed reading innovator, Dr. Seuss.
What a stupendous morning at Northport K-8 celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss! Many thanks to Big Brothers Big Sisters and new CEO, Stacey Watson-Mesley, SLPS Board Members Debbie Hawley and Troy Ingersoll, and SLC Councilwoman, Stephanie Morgan. A big thanks to members of First United Methodist Church as well. We had a beautiful time celebrating literacy as a community. The students and their smiling, friendly, grins truly represented the best of Northport K-8 hospitality. Thanks to culinary arts instructor, Rachel Savela and her team of students who baked cakes for every VPK through third grade class. We truly are thankful and appreciative of all the community support that we receive. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Pictured are New Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Stacey Watson Mesley, SLPS Board Member Debbie Hawley, and Northport K-8 media specialist, Lynne Gruszka.