Northport K-8 middle grades students from the Sharks, Dolphins, Stingrays, and Mariner teams and their teachers met in the Northport Media Center recently for an important program. Students welcomed a local man with a very powerful message and a story that students can relate to in some way about bullying and coming together as a community to stop the vicious cycle of bullying. Children listened intently to Joe Wojcik, better known to students as “Joe the Biker” tell his story of being bullied as a youth and his powerful reaction to that bullying.
Students learned about the word “empathy” and understood that they each have a very important voice as a member of the Northport Community. Each learned some tools to help stop bullying such as asserting themselves the right way, acting with confidence, even if you don’t feel confident, responding evenly and firmly, walking away, standing up for their rights and not to bring games to school. Students listened intently and were truthful when discussing the issue of “Cyberbullying” with Joe. The group spoke of just how easily cyberbullying can happen and that even the most innocuous remarks made on-line can be devastating to another person. One of the students asked Joe, “Why do you even care?” That question spoke volumes to Northport Des Brooks, Principal Glenn Rustay, and to the teachers present.
Joe spoke to the students about his battles in life and just how hard it was to overcome his issues. He told students that his life mission and passion were to bring the message of empowerment against bullies to all students, but that if he could save just one life, his purpose will have been met. Joe has written several books. Many Northport students have read his book, Call Me Yubbie, which depicts his story of being bullied and how he overcame his hurt. “Joe the Biker” recently won the award for #1 non-profit organization in Saint Lucie County at the Chamber of Commerce Business and Industry Awards.
Joe will hold a fundraiser for his “Yubbie Foundation” on October 24 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Treasure Coast Harley Davidson shop in Stuart, FL themed “Bikers and Friends Against Bullying.” Northport K-8 School is proud to call “Joe the Biker” an integral member of the Northport School Community and we thank him over and over for delivering his very powerful message to our children.
Northport seventh graders are working diligently on their very meaningful Project Citizen collaborations. Students are following the criteria for the projects by identifying a problem, gathering information, examining alternative policies, proposing and developing their own public policy and then developing an action plan. Northstar instructor Thomas McDonald and Elizabeth Montilla, the critical thinking teacher, are collaborating to make sure that efficacy is evident in the very important projects.
An example of student work is exhibited by students Clarousse Alfred, Duwyen Williams, John Riordan and Jose Rodriguez. These students are passionate about getting sidewalks on Curtis Street. Curtis Street is the street many Northport students use to walk to and from school each day. They are worried about someone getting seriously injured as cars and students both use the heavily populated roadway.
Students followed the criteria and contacted Port St. Lucie City Manager for Sidewalks Master Plan Edith Majewski. Mrs. Majewski came to Northport and spoke at length with the students about their plans. Students found out that one mile of sidewalk costs $400,000. They were floored at the enormity of the project. The students’ next step is to contact Marty Sanders, SLPS Executive Director of Growth Management, Facilities and Maintenance, to have him offer direction on how to create a petition to change public policy.
Students are adamant about the need for the sidewalk on Curtis Street. Their project is entitled “Kids Deserve Safe Routes to School!”
Keep up the impressive work, Northport students. The learning is authentic and noteworthy!
Northport K-8 students are very familiar with veterans and the US military because many have grown up seeing men and women in uniform at the school. Northport has built an excellent program called “Veterans In Education” partnership. Veterans visit Northport regularly imparting information and drawing respect from the students. When the opportunity was presented by Superintendent Genelle Yost for students to enter a writing contest offered by the Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge #2658, Northport teacher leaders jumped on the idea. The topic, “What Does Veterans Day Mean To Me?” fit right into the schema of Northport’s overarching themes of respect, patriotism and courage. Students wrote with flair and were able to draw on information that has been taught in classrooms, through Media Center programs such as “Remembering the Forgotten War,” 9/11 Remembrance Program, Veterans Day Community Reading program, “Submarine Life” and a variety of other programs that bring love of country to life. Many referenced veterans by name such as Commander Peter Popolizio who recently achieved the honor of Saint Lucie School District Senior Volunteer of the Year! The six students and their families will be honored at a dinner at the Elks Lodge on Tuesday, March 4 at 6:00 pm. Monetary prizes and plaques will be presented at the dinner. Pictured are Northport students from Nick Carey and Carla Caldwell’s classes who wrote the winning essays. Pictured, from left, are Naema El-Azzami, Syad Rievi, Darley Dorvilier, Taygen Pennella, Trevor Walk and Connor O’Sullivan. The Northport K8 community is extremely proud of all students who participated, teachers Nick Carey and Carla Caldwell, and especially the six winning students.
Northport participated in a wonderful community event recently to support Autism Awareness. Autism Speaks Walk was held in Tradition on a beautiful Saturday morning. Northport’s team called the Puzzlers had a wonderful turnout and several of our families took part in the event. Northport has particpated for two years and the teachers and families have stated that this will definitely become an annual event with an even bigger turnout and even more support. Many thanks to the teachers and administrators that attended and especially to our families, the House family, Keldani family, Caicedo family, McKinney family, Woolridge family and Tejada family. Special thanks to co-captains for the event: ESE instructors Rose Rumer and Lisa Reynolds.
Autism Awareness is more important now than ever before. One percent of the world’s population is diagnosed with some form of Autism or 1 in 68 live births and 3.5 million Americans fall someplace on the Autism Spectrum. Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Symptoms vary widely such as difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviors. Autism can’t be cured, but with therapy and specialized instruction, treatments can help.
At Northport K-8 School, we offer a full complement of staff with various instructional abilities to work with Autistic children who place on the Autistic Spectrum.
Taking flight! 8th grade students in Mr. Fess’ Northstars STEM class have been working hard designing their own airplanes online and constructing them out of balsa wood. Students competed against one another both in an on-line simulator and in real life!
As part of their Flight and Space curriculum, 8th grade Northstars students in Mr. Fess’ STEM class designed a flight obstacle course. Throughout the day, other students had the opportunity to fly through the course and try for the fastest time.
Please help us congratulate Northport School Related Employee of the Year, Parris Lee. Congratulate our First Year Teacher of the Year, Michael Spivey, and our Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year, Zachary Francis. To top off a stellar list, please congratulate Lorrell Ceville as Northport Teacher of the Year for the 2018-2019 school year! Nice work teachers!
Flattening the emotional curve: Elasticity and Resiliency During COVID-19 was the theme of a webinar offered in late April. Recently, Mrs. Elizabet Flores participated in the webinar that helps with strategies and tools to identify those students that need motivation for distance learning and how to deal with the stressful situation of COVID-19. She came away from the webinar with excellent tools to share.
Many teachers and staff members from Northport have made special home deliveries to students who are meeting or exceeding expectations for Distance Learning, but students are also being recognized for many other reasons. A great day, a great week, a great hour, being kind or just going that extra mile to be a great kid deserves a celebration in Northport’s book. The celebrations never stop for the Northport community. The school has kept the ball rolling and the students and families are engaged now more than ever. Keep up the awesome work!
Third graders dressed up as idioms…like, “it’s raining cats and dogs,” “butterflies in my stomach,” and “two heads are better than one.” The students and teachers were filled with 🎃 JOY ❤ The teachers were all SMARTIE PANTS!!!!!!
Northport K-8 teachers, staff and students went head to head recently in a playoff basketball game in the school gymnasium. Students participated in an FCAT pep rally and wrapped the afternoon up with a basketball game that thrilled not only the middle school students but the staff and teachers as well. The students drove hard but could not beat the teachers. A rematch will be held after the final FCAT test is wrapped up and shipped. The school has worked extremely hard to instruct, teach and encourage the use of test taking strategies and to motivate their students to do well on the test as well as to have their “head in the game” all year long. Pictured is Northport principal, Glenn Rustay being guarded by eighth grader Evan Laplant during the hard fought game!
Northport Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka and Austistic Spectrum Disorder or ASD instructor Lisa Richetti-Reynolds selected two girls: 8th grader, Kristina Bartley from the 7/8 Stingrays team and Briana Antoinetti, from Mrs. Richetti’s class and took them out to a Women’s Learning Lunch at McDonalds recently. The girls found out that they have so much in common and talked about school, their lives, future plans, goals and dreams. It was a wonderful experience and we hope to keep promoting positive interactions and building mentorships for students who can really assist one another. GREAT EXPERIENCE!
Northport teachers are participating in an intensive book study led by Assistant Principal Meghan Drost using Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind. Teachers are learning and putting into action steps for making the teaching and learning experiences more real and authentic for our Title 1 school and for our students.
“When teaching in a Title 1 school, every single weakness that a teacher has is exposed. If we don’t learn to adapt, build relationships, and bring our A-game every single day, our classes will suffer.” The book integrates all the positive attributes of Northport and all the goals that we want to accomplish with our students. We want to raise that bar, teach childen and teachers correct responses and learn to enhance our culture that “We Are Family!”
Excellent book that promotes our school motto’s of “Every student in school would rather be engaged by an energetic, caring teacher than be bored by someone going through the motions. Kids deserve a great day everyday. They need role models. They need caring adults. They need savvy risk takers who aren’t afraid to fail!” That’s US! That’s NORTHPORT!
Northport K-8 teachers are celebrated by administration, staff and students for the month of May during Teachers Appreciation Week! Teachers will be treated to a special luncheon provided by the PTO and a special board was made by parent volunteer Jackie Weir to honor teachers. Students wrote notes to teachers to be put into a mosaic of appreciation for all to see and enjoy. Some of the notes read, “Mrs. Polascak, you are so nice, funny and pretty!” “Mr. Fallon, you are helpful to every student!” “Mrs. Caren Boyd, you are an amazing and caring teacher!” “Mrs. Lankow is always keeping track of everything we do!” and “Mrs. Thelusma, you are wonderful, inspiring and competitive!” The special board is filled with student commentary on how much the teachers are cared for and respected! Pictured are Northport seventh grade
students promoting the Teacher Appreciation board.
Northport teachers are amazing! The seventh grade Stingrays team include Tracey Lejeune, Kat Black, Tony Mancini, Jeffrey Bennett, Angela Elliott and Heath Degiovine. Tiffany Tredor, 5th grade Rising Stars teacher, Lorri Lamm, second grade teacher along with NP Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka are enjoying a priceless friendship and an admiration for colleagues that is not often replicated. Northport is noted for high quality, reputable and fun-loving teachers who bring out the best in their students. Northport is a great place to “make the magic happen!”
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”
This is a quote by Dale Carnegie. Greatness in teaching is rare. To be a great teacher, a combustion of assorted qualities both inborn and learned have to occur. A teacher has to be willing to put in time. That is time over and beyond the call of duty. Great teachers must love the age group and the subject that they are teaching and have an effective management style. Great teachers also are willing to learn new techniques, take advice, be flexible and have a huge capacity for growth. Another important quality of a teacher of excellence is to be consistently excellent. Our children depend on us to be excellent, caring, concerned and on point every single day. It’s a difficult and complex act.
Teaching is just not for everyone. There is no greater feeling than being a great teacher at the top of his or her game. It’s amazing and it’s rare. In this day and age, many times, teachers get a bad rap. Teachers are sometimes called “too liberal” or “not of good character.” Northport teachers are taking a stand! The teaching staff is qualified, supportive, funny, caring, and good communicators. We are people of character and we find the humor in the daily “tour of duty.” We are colleagues, but more importantly, we are friends.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Northport to all our active duty military personnel and veterans! One percent of the strongest, bravest and most fierce protect the other 99% from harm so we can sleep safely. We especially want to thank our Northport alumni who are serving, our parents, brothers and sisters who are serving, and our Veteran Partners in Education.
Many, many thanks to First United Methodist Church of Port St. Lucie on Prima Vista Blvd. from the entire Northport community.
The children are in awe of all the 1,005 books, the many choices of books, and the idea of starting their summer reading. You have done a magical and wonderful thing for all the children. You REALLY made a difference! You all really have walked the walk!!!!!!!
Many thanks to our partners in education, First United Methodist Church of Port Saint Lucie. They brought 400 Christmas cookies for Northport teachers and staff. They support our children and staff in so many ways. The congregation, along with Rad and Pat Orlandi, are true blessings to us all.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone ❤ 🎄,
Pictured is Rad Orlandi with his grandson, Adrian, and Northport PTO member, Erica Richardson.
Each year, every Northport student participates in the Young Author’s program. The program is a wonderful opportunity for students to demonstrate that each can use the complete writing process effectively. Writing and editing the books and then publishing the final, revised book is a commitment to engaged learning. The Young Author’s writing process focuses directly on student curriculum for all grade levels in English/Language Arts and reading. Standards are applied to student organization, draft, reflection, revision, correction and then finally, publication and presentation. Working on the Young Author’s is common ground for all grade levels and a terrific platform for common language among students, teachers, and parents.
Every year at Northport, we set up our books by class or by team in the media center for optimal display. Parents, grandparents, administration, community members, and classes are invited to the media center to tour and peruse the books and observe student achievement first hand. Each year a different theme is used to showcase the books. This year the theme is “Big Heroes!” The entire library will be decorated in a Hero theme. Teachers and students will decorate their assigned display tables using a superhero, veteran, police officer, deputy sheriff, first responder, or an every day hero. The key words are “integrity,” ” service,” “empathy,” “sacrifice,” ” honor,” “commitment,” and “family.”
Students follow a common rubric and use handmade decorations and illustrations. Writing can be fiction, non fiction, poetry, or research. Any genre is acceptable. Northport may select seven students who promote the best overall achievement expected from Northport students. The District Young Author’s event will be held at Oak Hammock on May 21, 2016 at 10:00 am.
Pictured are Northport third grade teachers Jennifer Lusardi, Deb Day, Janine Wiecks, Michelle Kemp, Lorena Wilson, Sharon Nelson and Megan Castiglia. Teachers are wearing matching “Teacher Superhero” tee shirts! We can’t wait to see the fruition of our Northport Young Author’s program.