Members of the Northport K-8 School student council, under the direction of Christine Persick, promoted school spirit recently during a week long series of community building activities. Students and faculty, as well as administration and staff, participated in “Professional Dress Day,” “Hippie Day,” “Jersey Day” and several other activities to build school spirit and to add to the continuous rapport and “love your school” feeling that teachers and students address on a daily basis! Pictured, from left, are teachers in the groove John Fallon, Laura Poveromo, Michelle McCloskey, Melanie Polascak and Diana Lankow.
Northport K-8 students from Mala Woessner’s Northstar team performed a play called Women Who Wowed History about famous women such as Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Emily Dickenson, Abigail Adams, Amelia Earhart and Queen Elizabeth I. The famous women sat in semi circle and were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey about their contributions and famous quotes. The students showcased the best of Northport K-8 School literacy programs. Principal Glenn Rustay also participated in the Family Reading Festival by encouraging students to read to him in the Read To A VIP section of the festival. Over 20 authors participated including our One Book, One Community authors Diane Z. Shore and Donna Gephart, as well as author David Mark Lopez from last year’s community books made appearances. Mother Goose read from her classics, a Scholastic Book Fair was available, a book exchange, puppet show and many other literacy highlights to help encourage family participation in the St. Lucie County Family Reading Festival.
Northport K-8 students in Carissa Provencher’s fourth grade class received donations from the City of Port St. Lucie and Waste Pro USA to beautify the school area. Students and their teacher planted Sabal Palm trees near the school parking lot and bike rack to provide shade and make the curb side appeal more inviting. Students learned all about the importance of trees and the environment in classroom lessons, then applied that knowledge in an outdoor atmosphere. Ms. Provencher scaffolded information using students’ prior knowlege and built on that information using real life lessons.
Northport K-8 students in grades four through eight who have been identified as reaching Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP were invited to participate in a celebration at the school recently. Students were able to dunk principal Glenn Rustay in the dunk tank, enjoyed a variety of inflatable activities like bounce house and slides and also played kick ball, hoola hoops and jump rope. Students enjoyed drinks and ice cones provided by the Northport K-8 PTO. AYP is determined by looking at student FCAT data in reading and math. 67% of students made learning gains in reading and 62% of the students made learning gains in math. Pictured are students in June Wilson’s seventh grade class, Anthony Navarro, left, and Albert Morgan.
Northport K-8 fourth grade students in Carissa Berkely’s class listened to their teacher read a book that they could really relate to and enjoy. Mrs. Berkel, along with fourth grade teacher Juliette Thelusma, read the book “Sped” by Re Marzullo to their students recently. The students then wrote letters expressing their delight with the book and the story line to the author. Re Marzullo responded to the student’s questions in a letter and also sent each student an autographed bookmark. The book is about a small special education class in a middle school affectionately dubbed “Small Group Superstars.” The main character is a young boy who has been in the class with boys only for several school years. This year was different because two girls entered the class. The story is about coping with change, bullying issues and meeting challenges. Students were so thrilled to receive an acknowledgement from the author because they enjoyed the reading so much. Pictured, from left, are Connor O’Sullivan, Cierra Yuhas and Giovanni DiCandeloro.
Northport K-8 sixth grade students in Georgia Stone’s World History classes took learning about Egyptian studies to the next level recently as students learned how the Nile River shaped Egypt. Students marveled at the fact that the ancient Egyptians valued the afterlife so highly and that every aspect of their lives on Earth was a road map for their afterlife. Students learned that burial tombs were placed on the west side of the Nile River, which was called the “Land of the Dead.” Following in-depth studies and intensive research about Egyptian culture, students created a burial chamber or tomb of what each considered an authentic Egyptian with an Egyptian name. The tomb had to include at least six items that would be buried with the dead, and three important facts about their lives. Also, included in the tomb was the Book of the Dead, which was the instruction booklet to survival in the afterlife. After collaborative assessment and judging, three students were chosen as having the most authentic burial chambers. Pictured are the winners of that judging, from left, Kiara Badalo, Edo Cabrera and Cole Rigsby. Each student received a certificate for showcasing in depth critical thinking and a cash award.
Northport K-8 students in Susan Matteson’s eighth grade reading class and Lorri Lamm’s second grade class collaborated on a great lesson in building literacy skills and forging friendships recently in the school’s courtyard. The eighth grade students selected beautiful picture books and beginning reading books from the school’s media center, then shared the books with their second grade reading buddies. The eighth graders read the books using expression and a lively pace, demonstrating fluency and enthusiasm. The second graders then read the books back to the older students using the same model of reading skills demonstrated by the eighth graders. The lesson was engaging and both grade levels of students were satisfied with the great opportunity to express reading style. Pictured, from left, are Jesus Gonzales, Keith Hicks, Kevin Kenniston and Ryan Lamothe.
Northport K-8 School lower school students recently participated in the traditional Jump Rope For Heart during physical education class. Students donated nickels, dimes and even dollars to assist in the fight against heart disease. The day was beautiful and very conducive to enjoying time outside jumping rope for an excellent cause. Each year, Northport coaches Linda Walker, Kim Kanada Graff, Kevin Fess, James Hebb, Ryan Carpenter and Daryn Ploeckelman promote the activity to benefit the American Heart Association. Pictured are Coach Linda Walker and Logan Sacchi from Diana Lankow’s third grade class.
Northport K-8 middle grades students made great strides in research techniques and effectively followed the scientific method as the school-based Science Fair came to a conclusion. Sixty-two students whose projects were evaluated as “highly effective” were selected to display their projects in the Northport Media Center. A wide array of projects were on display covering multiple categories such as botany, earth science, chemistry, physics and astronomy and medicine and health. First and second place winners in each category will represent Northport K-8 School as delegates to the Regional Science Fair to be held on February 13, 2014 at the Kight Center at Indian River State College. The Northport projects are authentic assessments using the scientific method and information to solve real world problems. Long range planning and implementation are vital components to completing the project. Dr. Laura Woodworth, who serves as the school’s science fair coordinator, is pictured with the science fair participants earning awards.
Northport K-8 students from the Northstar team were selected to present at this year’s Project Citizen Oral Hearings held recently at the Palm Beach Coounty Convention Center. Three of the five teams presenting were from St. Lucie County and two were from Miami-Dade County. The team from Northport K-8 School represented Mary Ellsworth’s sixth period class with their project, “Put Down the Fork and Pick Up the Pace.” The project centered around the issue of childhood obesity and how schools can help combat
this increasing problem. With support from Northport administration, the PTO, Building Level Planning team, cafeteria staff and coaches, students were able to initiate a Fun Run, install changes in the school menu’s for next school year and earn the promise of a middle grades Field Day next year. Students
learned how much hard work, knowledge of current laws and civic responsibility it takes to get public policy enacted. Northport K-8 school is extremely proud of the state finalists. Pictured, from left, are Gabriella Mejia, Jellisa Alleyne, Cameron Templeton, Jalisa Smith, Sabrina Wing, Myles Jackson, Cassidy Giles and Alexandria Robinson. Students were accompanied by teachers Mary Ellsworth and Mala Woessner.
Northport K-8 physical education instructors Linda Walker, Kim Kanada Graff, Ryan Carpenter, Kevin Fess, James Hebb and Daryn Ploeckelman promoted the joy of vigorous activity as well as building teamwork, cooperative learning skills and fine tuning locomotor activity. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth were treated to Field Days Northport style! A variety of activities were offered including parachute ball, obstacle courses, hula hoops, basketball throws, bouncy ball races, sidewalk chalk races, jump ropes, bubble blowing contests and lots more great events. The classroom teachers are to be thanked for their participation right along with their students and many parents and grandparents were included in the health and fun focused Field Days! Pictured are students in Kara McNair’s kindergarten class with coaches Walker and Kanada-Graff.
Northport K-8 School Northstar team students in six, seventh and eighth grades visited St. Augustine recently for a day long learning excursion. Northstar instructors Mala Woessner and Mehgan Drost planned and organized the “Step Back Into History” program as a scaffold to information gleaned in the classroom about Spanish Colonial Florida and an examination of Florida History. Students perused artifacts and heard stories of the native Americans and Colonial settlers. Students drank heartily from the Fountain of Youth and learned why Ponce de Leon named Florida when he claimed the land for Spain. The oldest fort and the oldest school house were toured and students ended the learning initiative to St. Augustine by listening to the stories of ghosts of Old St. Augustine. The trip was an excellent opportunity for students to connect information learned in the classroom to real time experiences.
Northport K-8 seventh and eighth students on the Clownfish team, under the direction of instructor Dru Dehart and with the support of her team of teachers have been raising much needed dollars to support Relay For Life in a variety of meaningful ways. Clownfish boys previously sported high heeled shoes for a cost to raise funds. Recently, students participated in a pie eating contest to support cancer research. Students paid three dollars to participate and five dollars to make their own pies using pudding, vanilla wafers and whipped cream. Students raised well over three hundred dollars. Pictured, from left, are Christina Lambert, Paul Brinker, Richard Ramirez, Patrick Gallway, Osmany Venereo and Evan Buckman.
Northport K-8 School Culinary Arts students, under the direction of instructor, Rachel Ellsworth, visited Publix grocery store on St. James Drive recently to learn about skills necessary for a career in the baking and cooking industry. Students visited the bakery department and learned about sanitation procedures and skills necessary to decorate beautiful cakes. Students were allowed to try their hand at icing and decorating cakes. Students also visited the butcher shop and learned all about the meat cutting and wrapping procedures. The butcher explained all about temperature control, sanitation and cleanliness guidelines. Publix department managers and store employees were extremely gracious and kind to the students and reiterated the importance of continuing education and life long learning. Many thanks to Publix Supermarkets for bringing the outside classroom to the students of Northport K-8 School. Pictured are Northport students leaning in to learn decorating skills.
Northport K-8 third graders welcomed representatives of Treasure Coast Wildlife Sanctuary into
their outdoor classroom area to learn all about saving wildlife. Students were
introduced to several types of owls including One Feather, a great horned owl.
Students learned that One Feather was stolen from his nest in Ocala National
forest in Florida 33 years ago. One Feather was only a few days old
when he was taken so he never properly imprinted or learned how to be a great
horned owl. He could never survive in the wilderness on his own. Students
learned that owls see in black and white and have extremely sensitive night
vision. They also learned that owls can turn their heads 170 degrees and are
most likey to be active at dawn and at dusk. Northport K-8 third grade students
generated relative and analytical questions for the sanctuary representative.
Northport K-8 School is pleased to promote Excellence in Education by showcasing role models who promote a positive learning environment and display the camaraderie of a vital and dynamic school. Northport’s Teacher of the Year is Mala
Woessner, who reflects the best attributes of a well rounded teacher. First Year Teacher of the Year is Dulce Castro, who teaches first grade. Lorena Paez Ampuero, second grade teacher, is Minority Educator of the Year and media clerk
Pam Crum has been named the School Related Employee of the Year. Pictured are Ms. Woessner, right, and Ms. Crum.
Staff from Northport K8 School participated in the Bowl for Kids Sake event at Superplay recently. Team members got their teeshirts, picked out bowling balls, teamed up and continued to enjoy a wonderful evening filled with cameraderie. The Northport team was recognized for the largest donation in their time slot. One of the main missions of the teachers and staff of the school is to promote positive interactions among colleagues and to participate in community action initiatives with the betterment of students and community building always uppermost in mind. The Big Brothers, Big Sisters Bowl For Kids Sake event is yet another tool to put children in the forefront. The school’s goal was met and promise to the program successfully achieved. Pictured, from left, Mary Ellsworth, Amanda Sartain, Lynne Gruszka, Chris Prusa, J.B. Stone, Tamyra Di Fruscio, Brien Sartain, Kathleen Egan, Sara Morris, Mala Woessner and down front Georgia Stone.
Northport K-8 seventh grade students are busily preparing their Project Citizen presentations. After a semester of research, phone calls, letters and policy studies, students in Mary Ellsworth, Christopher Prusa and Angel Bracero’s civics classes are fine tuning and refining their presentations. Students selected topics of interest to help raise awareness about hot button issues and learned how to become change agents to help make what seems to be impossible become the possible. Some of the topics selected by students are sidewalks in Port St. Lucie, school dress code, school budgets and textbooks, animal shelters and the issue of stray animals, dirty bathrooms and bullying. Students in Christopher Prusa and Mary Ellsworth’s classes met in the school media center to work with media specialist Lynne Gruszka to fine tune presentation skills and to learn how to present to a group. Pictured are students from Mary Ellsworth’s civics classes presenting their Project Citizen project. From left are Mackenzie Hunsicker, Michael Gorbach, Gabriel Pedraza and Melissa Royo. District wide Project Citizen presentations will be displayed and judged on Saturday, February 15, at Samuel Gaines K-8 School beginning at 9:30 AM. One display, per teacher, per school will be presented.
Northport K-8 middle grades track team under the tutelage and coaching of Joy Miller, ESE paraprofessional, have won accolades and a trophy at the final track meet of the season this year. The team competes with other track teams from K-8 and middle schools across the school district. The Northport K-8 School track teams practices every school day during the spring training and competition. There are twelve students on the team, five boys and seven girls. The competition was held this year at Lawnwood Stadium. Coach Miller said, “My girls and boys were determined to win!” Northport girls brought home a second place trophy and the boys placed fifth overall. Pictured are Coach Joy Miller in the center surrounded by her girls team including, Tatiana Nevarez, Mikeline Rene, Katrina Filemond, Dieula Esteril, Kiara Badalo and Wilnide Francois. Northport K-8 community is so proud of Coach Miller and our Northport girls and boys track students.
Northport K-8 School Media Center and Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) of St. Lucie County, in conjunction with the AmeriCorps tutoring program, joined forces to bring a terrific community celebration of Read Across America and the birthday of Dr. Seuss to the students of Northport K-8 School recently. Special guests from across the county were warmly welcomed for a huge breakfast and then were escorted across the campus to K-5 classrooms by student ambassadors. Students and teachers were overwhelmed by the display of love, care and concern for education by arriving guests. Special thanks to Olivia Watkins, Mayor Joanne Faiella, Vice Mayor Linda Bartz, Amanda Wiggins, Janet Haydin, Mona Davis, Ashley Mock Kidd, Sasha Ramirez, Trisha Maitland, Lt. Carmine, Assistant Chiefs Deltoro and Vega of the Port St. Lucie Police Department, Jackie Hull, Robin Burk, Gina Magana, St. Lucie County Sheriff Deputy Todd Hogan, Audrey Slater and her therapy dog, Oliver, Tanya Taylor, Joni Wyszokiwski, Jolene Carrabollo, Port St. Lucie City Councilwoman Ramona Oertli, School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, David Hall, Kelly Haddox, St. lucie School District history coordinator Tim Norfleet, St. Lucie School District science supervisor Beth Bonvie, Northport AmeriCorps tutors and a variety of other caring people from across St. Lucie County who volunteered their time and efforts to make the morning absolutely wonderful for the students. Guests were treated to a winning speech by sixth grade student Trevor Walk, one of six students who won cash prizes by the Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge about the importance of commemorating Veteran’s Day. Pictured is the group of guests.