Northport Leadership Summit Hosts PSL Mayor, Greg Oravec

Northport Leadership Summit Hosts PSL Mayor, Greg Oravec

It was a sincere pleasure to host Port Saint Lucie Mayor, Greg Oravec recently at the school’s sixth Student Leadership Summit. The mayor fielded a variety of questions from sixth grade Sharks students and interacted with the large group of students for nearly two hours. The Leadership Summits, held in the school’s Media Center, have been host to Florida State Representative, Gayle Harrell, SLC school board member, Deborah Hawley, Deputy City Manager of Fort Pierce, Nick Mimms, a cadre of twelve local veterans and SLC Children’s Services Council Communications Coordinator, Ashley Mock. Each community leader extended the list and scope of leadership skills required to be a strong leader.

The list of qualities includes: you must love the people you lead, be flexible, be organized, respect your people, be capable of seeing the “big picture,” give much positive feedback, ability to delegate, use humor, be a constant learner, have integrity, be a good listener and from Mayor Oravec, “have credibility!”

Mayor Oravec responded to students questions about his strengths, his weaknesses, his history, his legacy, his correctable mistakes and he gave a personal message to each student, to “not hide from your mistakes, to own it, learn from it and get better as a result!” He spoke about his desire to have the Cross Town Parkway completed and to bring jobs and higher wages to our community. Mr. Mayor told the students his favorite leader in history was President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a Rough Rider, a sportsman, an avid outdoorsmen, a reformer and he was all about “Doing!” Mayor Oravec said, “We need more Do’ers and it starts with you!”

Mayor Oravec recommended a book to teachers and students entitled, “Good To Great” by Jim Collins about having the right people in the right places. His responses to student posed questions were terrific and his demeanor of leadership and strength spoke volumes to the young students. Northport K-8 School middle grades students, teachers, parents and media specialist, Lynne Gruszka along with many community and local business leaders have been diligently focusing and targeting student leadership skills, from developing well thought out, deeper level questions, standing and introducing themselves when asking a focus question, looking the community leader in the eye and extending the response questions. The Northport Leadership summits have been a wonderful experience for the students. Special thanks to Port Saint Lucie Mayor, Greg Oravec for giving back to his community by meeting with the students and interacting so graciously.

Northport Lifts up Beloved Teacher in Quest to Fight Sickle Cell Disease!

Northport Lifts up Beloved Teacher in Quest to Fight Sickle Cell Disease!

Northport K-8 School has a reputation for battling for causes of all kinds with our local community, our students, our families and the school staff. Whether it is teaching children respect for veterans and patriotism, teaching kindness for all living creatures through the “Paws For Claws Animal Kindness” club, teaching children to care for the environment by nurturing a campus that has been declared a natural habitat and a butterfly sanctuary, participating in the local Relay For Life to help find a cure for cancer, partnering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Saint Lucie County to help support students who need mentoring and tutoring, collecting for the elderly, homeless shelters and natural disaster victims, fighting against bullies through our Unity Day efforts, helping families in need through collections and donations and so many other causes to make students aware of their civic duty and their humanity.

This month we are lifting up one of our instructors, Marie Solide. Mrs. Solide lost her daughter Kookie recently to Sickle Cell Disease. On October 8, Northport faculty, students and staff wore red to support Mrs. Solide and her devastating loss. The school community also was invited to purchase bracelets for a dollar to support finding the cure for Sickle Cell disease. All proceeds for bracelet purchases will be forwarded to Howard University Center for Sickle Cell disease in the name of Northport K-8 School. The education of our students in not only the Florida Standards but in partnering with parents and community members to help form well-rounded, loving, caring and kind individuals is tantamount to becoming ready for a full and dynamic life and it is our duty as educators to further enhance every partnership we build with our school community. Pictured are some of the valiant warriors at Northport K-8 School who are helping lift up Marie Solide in her fight against Sickle Cell disease, from left, Roy Thompson, school social worker, Angel Bracero, 7th grade civics instructor, Sandra Tyndale, intensive reading instructor, Lynne Gruszka, Media Specialist, Marie Solide, special education instructor, Lorie Monroe and Brooke Wigginton, assistant principals, Melody Nieves, kindergarten teacher, Sarah Lewis, media clerk and Glenn Rustay, Northport Principal as well as students from the school.

Northport Loves Langston Hughes!

Northport Loves Langston Hughes!

Students in Sherree Madorma’s 5th grade class not only celebrated Valentine’s Day, but also paid tribute to one of the finest American poets and a Black History icon, Langston Hughes. The program entitled, “We Love Langston Hughes!” was an animated group reading of the Hughes poem, “Harlem.” Students studied what Langston Hughes’ poetry meant to people in the 1950’s. The theme of the poem, students learned, was to always follow your dreams, to never give up, and to “Just Do It!” Students learned all about segregation and the sadness that people felt during that time in history. Students paid wonderful homage to one of the greatest African American poets of all time.

Northport Lower Grades Rock Field Days

Northport Lower Grades Rock Field Days

Northport second grade instructor Jennifer Lusardi and her class, along with students and teachers from VPK to grade five, participated in fun and energizing field days recently at Northport. The students loved the time playing games and competing for ribbons. According to campus participants, this was healthy, fun, and promoted positive interaction and socialization skills. The kids absolutely loved it!

Many thanks to coaches, teachers and parents who made NP Field Days a success for the children.

Northport lower school students participate in word parade

Northport lower school students participate in word parade

Northport K-8 lower school students proved their domination over hundreds of words by participating in a vocabulary parade recently. Students poured over lists of words from their texts and chose words that appealed to each, then made posters, signs, decorations and costumes declaring the definitions, the synonyms, antonyms, correct spelling and use of the words in sentences. All students used the book “Miss Alaineus” by Debra Frasier as a road map to comprehension. Northport K-8 School reading coach Deb Mock led the parade with an excellent costume of “Miss Alanieus” herself! Northport K-8 particpated fully in the Just Read, Florida initiative, “Celebrate Literacy!” Pictured is Jonathon Santos from John Fallon’s third grade class.

Northport Media Center Delights With Valentines!

Northport Media Center Delights With Valentines!

Northport kindergarten students from Mrs.Ceville’s class, Toore Chester and Abigail Reid, took the very first Valentine picture in the media center Valentine Picture Booth. The little girls were thrilled to take their first Valentine photo together. The picture booth will be open until Valentines Day for pictures with students and teachers as well as parents, grandparents and families. Simply PRECIOUS!

Northport Media Center Earns “A” Grade from Principal!

Northport Media Center Earns “A” Grade from Principal!

Northport Principal Glenn Rustay gave our Northport Media Center Christmas decorations an “A” Grade after the Student of the Month celebration.

HATS OFF to Mr. Rustay for topping off our “It’s A Hallmark Christmas @NP.” Everything we do at Northport is with our children and families in mind. Stop over and visit our “Hallmark Christmas @NP!”

Northport Media Center Hosts Fifth Leadership Summit

Northport Media Center Hosts Fifth Leadership Summit

Middle grades students at Northport K-8 School have been working diligently on learning how to build strong leadership skills. Through a series of guest community leaders, students are learning to generate and pose deeper level questions about a variety of topics and to dig deeper and get into a more provocative atmosphere of questioning. Students have asked extended, well thought out questions of each guest and then have been learning to respond to those questions with follow up questions. The platform allows students to get out of their comfort zone, stand up and pose questions on serious issues and to have those questions answered with a well thought out and respectful response.

The series of guests for the Leadership Summits have included Florida State Representative Gayle Harrell, Deputy City Manager of Ft. Pierce, Nick Mimms, a host of local veterans, SLC school board member, Deborah Hawley and most recently, Ashley Mock, Communications Coordinator of our local Children’s Services Council. Ms. Mock answered many hardball questions about the large variety of programs offered through Children’s Services Council, about her opinions on issues such as domestic abuse cases, programs offered for children of substance abusers, common core and education questions and went into great lengths talking to the students about career paths and how it is imperative to find a passion, not just a job and sometimes that search can take a meandering path. The list of leadership traits that Northport students, collaborating with Northport Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka and classroom teachers, have compiled include: a leader must love the people they lead, be flexible, be organized, respect the people you lead, be capable of seeing the “big picture,” give lots of positive feedback, be able to delegate, use humor, be a constant learner, have integrity and be a great listener.

Eighth grade student, Finn Carey presented Ms. Mock with a gift card and flowers in appreciation for her efforts to help build leadership skills at Northport and for her willingness to share her own life stories to encourage students to make better choices in life. Special thanks to Northstar, teacher, Nick Carey for facilitating the summit and for working with his students to help formulate deep and intriguing questions. The next Leadership summit will be held in February in the Northport Media Center. Pictured is Ashley Mock with Northstar students.

Northport media center offers special empowerment program

Northport media center offers special empowerment program

The Northport K-8 School Media Center offered students an opportunity to showcase their multifaceted talents in a terrific Women’s History and Girl’s Empowerment Program recently. The program highlighted the accomplishments of women role models in history, Northport teachers and staff, mothers, daughters, and students. Students were empowered to shed poor role models like Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears and Beyoncé and to look for strong women who have made important changes in the world. Women’s struggles and successes were highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation that included music, news clips and clips from actress Hilary Swank playing the role of Alice Paul depicting the struggle of Suffragettes in the film “Iron Jawed Angels.” Students performed poems including Maya Angelou’s “Women’s Work” and “Phenomenal Woman” and read thank you notes to women role models written in class. Students sang songs including Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire,” Katy Perry’s, “Roar” and Christina Aguilera’s, “Beautiful!” A resounding rendition of “We Are Family” was sung by instructor Juliette Thelusma and a group of her students. Instructor Georgia Stone spoke of the importance of strong female role models and shedding the images that are portrayed by many modern singers and entertainers. New Horizons Prevention Specialist Maryanne Warren read an open letter to girls about not letting go of the past struggles of women and becoming empowered. The program was wrapped up with a rendition of Helen Reddy’s famous song, “I Am Woman!” Special thanks to media clerk Sarah Lewis, and band and choral directors James Kirk and Brian Hoce for helping to make the program strong, powerful and filled with meaning for the students. Pictured is a gathering of youth and adult women in the media center celebrating the event.

Northport Media Center Encourages Summer Reading!

Northport Media Center Encourages Summer Reading!

Northport VPK-8 School Media Center is working with the Saint Lucie County Public Library System to help students and families achieve reading success, assist in helping to promote summer reading and to make reading and public library programming easily accessible while the school is closed for summer break.

The Saint Lucie County Public Library offers a variety of programming including tablet tutoring, movie matinees all summer long, family game nights, Lego learning activities, and a plethora of books that will  make a child thrilled to check out the action. The public library will be offering summer reading activities. Stay tuned for more information on programming notes.

Northport Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka is working with the Port St. Lucie Library Branch to get real library cards into the hands of the students. Parents fill out the application and each student receives a “License to Read!” The school has had a great response from parents, and well over 150 students have received their public library card.

Check out the public library locations, hours, and summer offerings  at library.stlucieco.gov.  We are proud to promote youth literacy.

At Northport, we realize that we can’t educate our students alone, it takes the community working hand-in-hand with our teachers and parents to be a SUCCESS! Visit the public library this summer. Tell them that NORTHPORT sent you!

Northport media center promotes American initiative

Northport media center promotes American initiative

Northport K-8 Media Center is busy promoting books, programs and initiatives, but the one most special to media specialist Lynne Gruszka and principal Glenn Rustay is the “Building American Pride, One Flag At A Time” program. The program was kick started immediately following the Northport annual 9/11 Remembrance program in September. Guest speaker, retired New York City Detective and 9/11 First Responder Albert Hickey, spoke to the students about his experiences and noted that few homes had American flags waving on his drive to the school. Many students expressed that they would like an American flag flying from their homes and want to know where to purchase flags. Ms. Gruszka began a campaign of community involvement and education about the program and continues to receive many donations from community clubs and citizens who care about the students, the school, the programs offered and the country and wanted to help the school fulfill the need. Students will receive their American flag kits right along with their diplomas in June at the formal eighth grade graduation. The Sons of the American Revolution will hand out the flags and many veterans as well as Detective Hickey will be present. The flags will be dedicated to the extremely difficult work that Detective Hickey did to assist the country and the victims of September 11, 2001. Special thanks to Robin Booth Cafarelli, Vic and Cheryl Rowe, Dorothy Vanderhoff, Karen Sweeney, Dr. Michael Salerno, Linda Walker, retired Northport principal Jane Summa, Nancy Wernicki, Grace Therapies, LCC, Bill and Mary Arnold, Detective Albert Hickey, Jack Ivy Detachment, Women’s Aux. Mirta Cepeda, Dr. Judi Miller, Korean War Veterans Association chapter 106 and Retired USAF Sgt. Roy Brewer. The educational initiative will continue until April when the flags will be purchased. If interested, please contact lynne.gruszka@stlucieschools.org. Pictured is Ms. Gruszka accepting a donation from Sgt. Brewer.

Northport Media Center promotes pride one flag at a time

Northport Media Center promotes pride one flag at a time

Each year, Northport K-8 School presents a tribute to the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  This year the school hosted retired New York City detective and First Responder Albert Hickey, St. Lucie County firefighter Gary Hollett, and many veteran Partners in Education from across the county. This year, Detective Hickey spoke of seeing only a handful of American flags while driving on his way to visit the school for the program. Students at the program expressed to Detective Hickey that they needed an American flag. In honor of the nine months of work that Detective Hickey performed at Ground Zero and in honor of the school’s Veteran Partners in Education, media specialist Lynne Gruszka, pictured, left, and media clerk Sarah Lewis, right, decided to start a program called “Northport K-8 School: Building American Pride, One Flag At A Time!” The pair is raising much needed funds through community efforts and outreach to purchase American flag kits for each of the 212 graduating eighth graders and their families to be presented along with their diploma at graduation. Partnerships have been formed with Bayshore Diner, which donated 600 American made flag lapel pins for students, and will hang flyers and promote the program as well as private donorships from St. Lucie County citizens. Families who have donated so far include Robin Booth Cafarelli, Mr. and Mrs. Victor Rowe, Mrs. Dorothy Vanderhoff, Mrs. Karen Sweeney, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Arnold,  Dr. Mike Salerno and Mrs. Linda Walker.  If you know of a business who can help promote Flags Across St. Lucie for Northport K-8 School, please contact lynne.gruszka@stlucieschools.org. The school would love to send each student and family leaving Northport K-8 School this year off with a sense of pride in themselves and their country and all the opportunities that it has to offer.

Northport Media Center Promotes Stellar Florida Reading Lists!

Northport Media Center Promotes Stellar Florida Reading Lists!

Northport VPK-8 School Media Center is promoting stellar Florida Book Lists this year. The Sunshine State Reader Program is co-sponsored by the Office of Library Media and the Florida Association for Media in Education or FAME. “Started in 1984, this reading motivation program for students in grades 3-8 is designed to entice students to read high interest, contemporary literature for personal enjoyment. The long term goal of the program is to nurture lifelong readers who will continue to read for information needs and personal pleasure.”

Northport students will have the opportunity to do book talks, promote the books on the morning announcements, participate in poster contests and a variety of other enticements for reading list promotions. The books are separated into grades level 3-5 and grade level 6-8. All Sunshine State Reader books are available in the Northport Main Media Center.

The complete lists of books are available at http://www.floridamedia.org/?page=ssyrahome. Promoting excellent reading skills and literacy are top priorities at Northport and the addition of the Sunshine State Reader lists add to our basket of reading development tools.

Pictured promoting the Sunshine State books and the Northport Media Center are Kyle Naujoks, Johnnie Hutton, Cole Rigsby, Terrence Snee, Demontavious Smith, Adena Sands and Dakota Davis from the 8th grade Dolphins team.

Northport Media Center Sets High Expectations!

Northport Media Center Sets High Expectations!

Northport K-8 Media Service Center opened its doors to new and returning students on the very first day of school. Teachers sign up for class orientations for media center procedures to establish routines, review the Destiny library program, review the Dewey Decimal System and how to locate books and resources available. Students select books based on interest and review choices with the instructor and the Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka.

The Media Center at Northport is available every day for class visits to check out books, to work on research assignments utilizing technology and support materials, allows for interaction with the many programs available through the Media Center and collaborates with the classroom teacher to scaffold information learned in class lessons. This year, the Northport Media Center will present programming that includes a September 11, 2001 Commemoration, two book fairs that are family focused, a Veterans Day class visit and a monthly Leadership Roundtable with guests that will include community leaders from the local area. The first Leadership Roundtable guest will be Florida Representative, Gayle Harrell. The Leadership Roundtable will scaffold information for the St. Lucie County History Fair topic, “Leaders and Legacies” and offer students primary source material for their selected topics. Students will visit with community leaders in an informal, interactive question and answer period to discuss how too become leaders and learn leadership skills through intensive questioning.

The Media Center also will offer an intensive program that includes a look at World War II, Normandy Beach and the Honor Flight program. The center hosts the Veteran Partners in Education program throughout the year and promotes veteran classroom visits and mentoring programs. The Media Center hosts the school’s History Fair and Science Fair for student perusal. The Northport K-8 Media Center offers critical information for high student achievement, great student book choice selections to enhance the desire for reading, offers collaboration with the classroom instructor to enrich the classroom experience and offers a deeper involvement with information of interest or need through specific materials and coaching.

It is the pleasure of the Northport K-8 Media Services Department to diffuse positive information pertaining to the school community to media sources and outlets such as the Lucie Link and local news TC Palm.

Be on the lookout for forward movement for students and families in Media Center usage and positive growth and development in programming for the entire Northport extended community.

Pictured is Instructor, Dorothy Still, second from the left and her seventh grade class utilizing the Media Center. Students are: Zakai Mack, Micaela Aza, Dana Barcomb, Hope Bingaman, Lara Croft, Elijah defazio, Sikari Dickson, Emilia Dovale, Ciara Hickman, Wilkin Jean-Pierre, Jazmine Mathis, Shane Mcclellan, Ryan Mishow, Gabriella Oates, Maylina Rivera, Demontavious Smith, Michelle Stabile, Tyler Stiel, Jaiden Valine, Victoya Zamor.

Northport Media Center Teaches the Value of a Dollar!

Northport Media Center Teaches the Value of a Dollar!

@NP, students earn SAIL Notes for PBIS or Positive Behavior Intervention Support. So many community partners, such as First United Methodist Church, volunteers, Cindy Cairo, Women of the Moose and so many individual donors give school supplies and books to the children of our school. We have shirts donated by Joe the Biker with an anti-bullying logo and so many more items that need to get into the hands of our kids.

The media center, often times, serves as a clearinghouse for so many of these coveted items. Today, we set up a storefront with school supplies, books and anti-bullying shirts. The community would be so pleased to note that children counted out their SAIL Notes, and we earned close to $1,500 in notes at the day-long sale. Children of all ages were thrilled to purchase much needed supplies and materials.

Many thanks to ALL of our community partners and parents and keep those supplies coming because the kids are getting first hand lessons right along with much needed materials. You guys ROCK!!!!!

Northport Media Center Volunteers Serve With Love!

Northport Media Center Volunteers Serve With Love!

Northport Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka is celebrating with two of the school’s fantastic volunteers from PSL Church — Stephanie Sakowski and Northport Senior Volunteer of the Year, Jean Lindo. These great ladies serve Northport with love and care ❤.

Happy Valentines Day from some of the school’s library staff.

Northport Medical Detectives Excel

Northport Medical Detectives Excel

Seventh and eighth grade students in Northstars STEM class are working on finishing their PLTW Medical Detectives unit ending in a “murder mystery.” Students have calculated time of death, dusted for prints, analyzed hair samples, and compared shoe-print patterns among other things to determine which suspects they would question. Today students interrogated their suspects. Next, students will act as lawyers, judge and jury to determine the guilt of one of the fictitious suspects.

Students in these classes have learned a great deal about the human body, as well as the methods that doctors and criminal investigators use to solve many kinds of medical mysteries.

Northport middle grades chorus makes debut

Northport middle grades chorus makes debut

Northport K-8 middle grades chorus,  under the direction of instructor and new choral director James Kirk have been diligently preparing for their debut as a distinguished chorus.  Students will don dress attire and sing an arrangement of America The Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates at the school’s first assembly of the year.  Students will sing at the September 11 Commemoration to be held on September 10 in the Northport gymnasium.  Mr. Kirk previously directed at Alfred Ely Beach High School in Savanna, Georgia.  Mr. Kirk began directing in 2004.  The debut should prove to energize the Northport Choral Department and bring the gift of music to the school community.

Northport Middle Grades Students Hold Funeral for “Dead” Words!

Northport Middle Grades Students Hold Funeral for “Dead” Words!

Northport middle grades students in Tracy Lejeune, Susan Matteson and Susan Smith’s classes participated in an activity filled with dark humor by attending a funeral in the school’s media center for “Dead” words. Students agreed that writing and the ability to use important words is more vital now than ever before. Students and teachers considered that personal and professional writing has become a digital representation of how each individual is perceived because whether it is applying for employment, applying for college or writing on the many thousands of blogs or digital media spaces that it’s not your physical appearance that is evaluated first, but your writing ability. Students formed a processional and dropped their chosen “Dead” words in a coffin and vowed to not use words such as, nice, good, happy, bad, ugly and tasty but to change their word choice to more powerful words such as delicious, tangy, raging, dreadful, alarming, jolly and delighted. The students and teachers enjoyed the satirical activity of exchanging words from lower level to higher level word choices and realized that their writing is really an extension of themselves and how each wants to be perceived by others. The teachers executed a brilliant lesson that was highly relevant to the emerging skills of writers who think and plan on a deeper level.

Northport Middle Grades Students Participate in Mentors Clubs!

Northport Middle Grades Students Participate in Mentors Clubs!

Northport K-8 School has taken a leap forward by engaging students in a community atmosphere where growth, development, social mores and guidance are the focus. Many students experience difficulty making the transition to becoming productive and achievement oriented individuals with positive goals and dreams. Boys and girls in the middle grades often times succumb to peer pressure and make decisions that can be long lasting and counter productive.

At Northport, two groups, “Girls To Women” and “Boys To Men” assist and guide selected students in a three prong approach to address issues academically, behaviorally and socially. The students meet with mentors to help promote positive self esteem and behavior management. The groups plan dances and other fundraisers to make enough funds to support field trips, prominent guest speakers and many other events and activities that help to bring that polish and positive thinking to the students. Both groups meet very frequently to offer positive feedback, address issues and plan events.

Recently, both groups participated in a dress up day! The students out-adorned each other and had so much fun taking pictures, preening and taking pride in themselves. Students must have a parent signature to participate in the mentoring programs and the activities are closely monitored by the administrative staff at Northport K-8 School. It is with great satisfaction that the teachers and staff observe students making good choices and turning corners.

Pictured are the students Participating in “Girls To Women” with teacher mentor, Nichole Robinson.