Fairlawn Elementary School’s Intermediate Odyssey of the Mind team has earned a spot to compete in the World Competition to take place in Lansing, Michigan in May. Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to problem-solve in a creative way. Students are encouraged to “think outside the box” in order to solve open ended long-term and spontaneous problems. Students prepare a solution to a long-term problem with given parameters to present at competition. They also must solve a short problem given on the spot, called a spontaneous. Students at Fairlawn Elementary Magnet School met before or after school to work with their team to devise a solution to their chosen problem.
Pictured from left to right, Renee Hawkins(coach), Haley Hawkins, Molly Gillard, Jennifer Garcia, Joanna Dominguez, Garrett Hawley, Josh Boyd, Dawson Holmes, Brittany Eatman(Coach).
Frances K. Sweet students in Kathy Offerdahl’s kindergarten class planted sunflower seeds and are keeping a journal to record the growth of their plant and all of the things that they are learning about them. Pictured from the left, Holly Howard, Azarriea Desir, Ryan Johnson, and Noelle Edmond are waiting anxiously for their plants to sprout.
Sixth grade students Ainsley Bent and Allysha Lillard lead the way through Southport Middle School’s Tunnel of Hope upon return from Spring Break. Students were pleasantly surprised when the entire Southport staff was there to welcome them with signs, high fives, and encouraging words. The Treasure Hunters also included the City of Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc, as well as staff from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, who greeted students and provided support for all Kids at Hope. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Recognizing the success and accomplishments of Justin Lee, a senior at Lincoln Park Academy
For the past 5 years, Justin Lee has volunteered his free time at the Savannas preserve State Park, accumulating more than 2,000 volunteer hours!
Justin is co-founder of the Junior Friends of Savannas, an elite group of teen volunteers at the park. He has acted as Youth Volunteer Coordinator for two years. All of Justin’s hard work paid off this month when he was awarded not one, but two state-wide awards. The Friends of Florida State Parks honored this amazing young man with their 2014 Youth Volunteer of the Year award. A few days later, Volunteer Florida named Justin Lee a Champion of Service. Justin received the latter award last week from Governor Scott in Tallahassee.
Northport VPK-8 School is please to announce that Northstar student Michael Gorbach has been awarded fourth place in the Junior division of the 60th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair this April in the Medicine and Health category. Michael’s project entitled “FIR=LIFE” was recognized with a first place award in the school’s science fair in January, a first place award in the Treasure Coast Regional Stem Science and Engineering Fair in February as well as the nomination to be one of the fourteen delegates representing St. Lucie County students at the 60th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, Florida.
Michael Gorbach’s scientific work was based on wound healing time with an interest in decreasing medical costs and disability length of treating and healing wounds. After completing a literature search on wound maturation and radiation types and their effects on body tissues, he designed and completed an experiment to test the effects of infrared radiation on wound healing speeds. Practicing excellent scientific ethics, he decided to work with earthworms as an invertebrate organism rather than exposing humans to any potential pain or harm. He performed a controlled experiment with multiple trials where the worms in the investigational group were exposed to the infrared treatments and a control group of worms that did not receive the treatment. Observations of the wounds and measurement of regeneration length were carefully recorded in his log book. His data analysis included several statistical methods and numerous graphs. Based on the data obtained, Michael Gorbach concluded that infrared radiation exposure does speed wound healing and regeneration processes.
Michael Gorbach is on the Northstar team at Northport VPK-8 School which offers an advanced curriculum with opportunities to earn high school credits. The middle grades placement on the Northstar team is an excellent addition to the academic selection offered at Northport VPK-8 School and it is noteworthy that the advanced curriculum has achieved solid academic results with a focus on leadership.
Civics teacher Anne Powell of Forest Grove Middle School was one of twenty-five teachers selected from throughout Florida to attend the Supreme Court of Florida’s Justice Teaching Institute March 22-26 to learn about the state courts using a case study method. Powell and other teacher participants explored the courts and the Constitution in a four and one half day program with all seven justices serving as faculty. The Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc., coordinated the program and provided instructional assistance. This year’s emphasis was on examining the structure and function of the state courts, motion to suppress hearings, Miranda warnings and the assistance of legal counsel, among other law related topics. They also participated in a simulated appellate hearing serving as justices and attorneys to reenact a mock oral argument. Judge Karen Cole from the Fourth Judicial Circuit and Judge Kelly McKibben from the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit served as mentor judges and assisted the teachers in dissecting the material throughout the week. At the conclusion of the institute, teachers observed actual oral arguments before the Supreme Court, and attended a banquet held in their honor, together with the justices, at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Powell with Florida Supreme Court Justice Perry at the JTI Banquet
2015 Justice Teaching Institute Participants at the Florida Supreme Court
Kyle Kryak joined Colby Kuba and the entire fifth grade at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently to share his experience living with Tourette Syndrome. Kyle shared his adventures in traveling across the United States raising awareness and promoting acceptance. Palm Pointe recently raised $600 to contribute to finding a cure! Some inspiring words to the students, “People are good, never give up, follow your dreams, treat everyone with respect, persevere, embrace who you are, accept others”. Pictured from left is Colby Kuba and Kyle Kryak.
Darlleen Savela, Teresa Smith, and Rita Singleton of the Routing Department, show off the Easter Spring Tree in the Transportation-Routing Department. As Spring turns into summer and the transportation department gears up for Summer School, watch for the Memorial Day Tree salute our employees!
Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition would like to congratulate the following students for placing recently in the Dr. Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest. Annarose Hilhorst a fourth grader in Ms. Perry’s class placed First in the Elementary School Category, Riley Holtzclaw a fifth grader in Ms. Patton’s class placed Second in the Elementary School Category, and Laney Keys a third grader in Ms. Clancy’s class placed Third in the Elementary Category. Athresha Kalluri a sixth grader in Mrs. Fazzalaro’s class placed First in the Middle School Category. These students will be recognized at the St Lucie County School board meeting on April 28, 2015. Pictured from left is Athresha Kalluri, Laney Keys, Principal, Ms. Debra Snyder, Annarose Hilhorts and Riley Holtzclaw. Way to Go Rockets!
WestGate K8 1st graders studied the sun’s beneficial and harmful effects. They spent time reading in the class space bubble as well as singing a parody of a popular song explaining the sun’s effects, magnification, stars, and gravity.
The science teachers of Samuel Gaines Academy K-8 worked collaboratively to create a Science Expo for 5th & 8th grade students. The purpose of the event was to prepare students for the FCAT Science Assessment. Several community and district level science experts sponsored standards based curriculum stations where students interacted with activities specific to their learning needs as determined by the analysis of assessment data. Wren Underwood from Savannas Preserve State Park, Laura Diederick from Smithsonian, Dr. Earl Taylor and Dr. David Hall from the USDA-ARS and Nicole Stone from South Florida Water Management District each hosted a hands on activity promoting critical thinking. Pictured is Mrs. Zulay Garcia(5th grade teacher) with Robin Marmot (Instructional Coach) with students at the “making it rain” station.
Before moving to the treasure coast in 2008 the Dyer’s had a dealership in small town rural Ohio. Giving back to the community became part of the culture at their dealership. They depended on their community and the community, in turn, counted on them. The award committee is made up of the management team at Dyer and the recipient is voted on monthly. The award is presented on behalf of Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru and salutes a non-profit organization on the Treasure Coast that is truly making a difference in their community.
Lincoln Park Academy Orchestras is the 100th recipient of this award! Congratulations to the orchestra director Josephine Cappelletti and the hard working student musicians for their many contributions and performances in the community including the Fort Pierce 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, Dyer Chevrolet Grand Opening, Strings for Seniors nursing home performances, Wedding Events, Graduation Events, and more!
St. Lucie Public Schools District Office was recognized as the Business of the Month for RaceTrac location RT667. Karen Preston, RaceTrac Store Manager, and Brittney McDowell, Community Marketing Coordinator for RaceTrac South Florida Region, supplied breakfast sandwiches to the employees on Thursday, April 2, 2015.
“Thank you again for your guest loyalty and most of all the contribution to the minds of the children you influence every day. We couldn’t do it without the wonderful partnerships we have within our community!” stated Brittney McDowell, Community Marketing Coordinator.
Pictured are, Jennifer DelCarpio, Karen Preston, Charles Hatherill, Linda Neill, Brittney McDowell, and Kathie Schmidt.
Mariposa Elementary held its “Pastries for Parents”. Families came and enjoyed breakfast while shopping at our Book Fair. Shown in the picture is John Wright, Christopher Wright, Jackson Wright and Geneva Wright. They were some of the early birds at the event. Also during the book fair, we held an event which included help for volunteers to complete their online applications. There was an author presentation and shopping at the Book Fair. Author, Mrs. Janet Balletta, presented her book, ‘The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid.’ Parents and students enjoyed sweet treats while they shopped for their favorite books.
In celebration of the end of 3rd and 4th Grade testing, the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) committee from the PTO of Rivers Edge Elementary surprised the entire staff with a sweet treat. Scrumptious cupcakes from The Cake Lady (located in downtown Ft. Pierce) were distributed to the entire staff on Thursday afternoon. The RAK committee pops up once a month to remind the staff how much they are appreciated!
The Dan McCarty Middle School Treble Choir recently participated in the District 13 Music Performance Assessment Festival in Vero, FL., earning straight “Superior” ratings in both performance and sight reading. They received an “A” rating from all four judges in every category. This is the highest rating a choir can receive. The judges commented that the students were “very, very well prepared.” In addition, the young singers were praised for their tone quality, technical preparation and musical effect. The chorus is directed by Dr. Rolanda A. Jones.
The 21st Century After School Program at Southport Middle School recently held its first Parent Night. This was a night for the students to show the STEM projects they have been working on for the last three months. Next Generation students displayed their restaurant ideas, which they designed from the ground up. Digital Me students presented digital autobiographies. Art students displayed their work and Drama students put on a murder mystery dinner for students and their parents at the end of the night. In the picture, eighth grade student Tim Bannon demonstrates how his LEGO wind turbine works for Assistant Principal Tari Sexton.
Students in Barbara Bennett’s third grade class at Frances K Sweet had wonderful time learning while gardening. The students came to school on Saturday to gain some extra knowledge about plants, in preparation for their upcoming curriculum about plants and animals. Not only did the students come, but their parents also came and participated in this exciting learning experience. The students had an awesome time gardening and sharing their experiences with each other.
St. Lucie Public Schools proudly recognizes our 2014-2015 Sunshine State Scholar, Mr. Anthony Oreo. Anthony is a junior at Fort Pierce Central and was selected as a top junior in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to participate in the Sunshine State Scholars Program.
This program recognizes juniors who have excelled in STEM areas. Every Florida District nominates an outstanding student to the Florida Education Foundation. These students are invited to participate in a two-day event aimed at retaining intellectual talent in Florida through exposure to College and University opportunities as well as representatives from many STEM related career fields.
Anthony currently holds a 4.76 weighted grade point average and takes rigorous Advanced Placement courses. He is enrolled in the Embry-Riddle University program and has participated in an internship as well as space camp through the program.
Anthony attended the two day event on February 19th and 20th with his parents and enthusiastically reports that it opened his eyes to so many great opportunities. At the March 24th School Board meeting, he thanked his Principal, Mr. Todd Smith and all of his teachers for providing an excellent education. He revealed that they were treated like rock stars at the event. Anthony is a rock star in our eyes!
St. Lucie Public Schools is proud to announce our 2014-2015 US Presidential Scholar, Ms. Shelby Durden. Shelby is a senior at Fort Pierce Westwood High School.
Each year, we recognize a senior that has displayed leadership and character, been involved in community service and reached high levels of academic achievement while overcoming obstacles.
As a young child of 18 months, Shelby was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She has been through periods of remission and also painful periods requiring hospital homebound services. Early on, Shelby decided that she would not let this stop her. She found selfless ways to connect with and help others with their own struggles.
Shelby has dedicated over 200 hours to the local Arthritis Foundation, Harbor Branch and the Oxbow Center. She has taken mission trips, fed the hungry and homeless, and repaired homes with the Boys & Girls Club. She is involved in many campus activities and now volunteers at IRSC as well as with the Sheriff’s Explorers.
As a sophomore, Shelby started taking Dual Enrollment classes. She was invited by IRSC to join the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and selected for their honors college. She will be graduating with her Associates Degree in Biology on May 2nd. She plans on pursuing an eventual PhD in Neurobiology.
With all of these academic and extracurricular efforts, Shelby has maintained a weighted GPA of 5.45 ! Consequently, she is Valedictorian of Ft. Pierce Westwood High School.
Shelby credits the ongoing support of her family for helping her to develop a positive outlook on life.
Wherever the road takes her, this humble and respectful young woman will touch others with her warm attitude and love of life.