Students from Fort Pierce Westwood Marine and Oceanographic Academy had a holiday celebration before Winter Break where they shared various food and activities from all over the world. As part of the festivities, money was collected to aide the Hibiscus Children’s Center of the Treasure Coast. Westwood MOA students raised a total of $580, all of which was donated.
Ft. Pierce, Fla., January 9, 2015 – Film has the Oscar™, music has the Grammy™, science has the Nobel and sports has its gold medals, but what about the true unsung heroes on the frontlines of shaping our future? Where is the recognition for our nation’s educators? Enter Lowell Milken and the Milken Educator Awards.
Nardi Routten, a fourth-grade teacher at St. Lucie County’s Frances K. Sweet Elementary School was surprised with this coveted $25,000 Milken Award this morning during a school-wide assembly in the cafeteria. Presenting the award was Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Vice President of the Milken Family Foundation. Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott and Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart were also in attendance.
Routten stands out for her exceptional passion and dedication for her job as an educator. She is known throughout the St. Lucie School District for dedicating extra time to her students before and after school and even during the weekends. She is highly requested among parents because her willingness and ability to meet each child’s specific needs is widely known. Routten’s students routinely score the highest in her school and throughout the school district on standardized assessments. She is National Board Certified and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in reading.
Routten was caught by surprise when her name was announced by Dr. Jane Foley at an emotional school assembly in front of cheering students, proud colleagues, distinguished officials and the media.
Routten was overwhelmed and moved to tears. Fellow teachers, staff and elected officials were teary eyed as well. The students showed their enthusiasm with gasps, cheers and thunderous applause. Routten remarked, “I am blessed beyond measure to have a passion and desire to work with kids. My students, they are amazing. They work hard and I push them hard, because I know they can do it.”
As Milken’s own website explains, “there’s a reason why Teacher magazine calls the award the ‘Oscars of Teaching.’ New Milken Educators have even been asked for autographs by admiring students. While the celebrity treatment is well-deserved, the Awards aren’t about the glitz and glamor. They’re about bringing attention to these classroom heroes; serving at once as validation, motivation and inspiration to current and future quality educators. The message: We recognize you. We value you. We thank you.”
“A great teacher can set a student on a path for success both now and in the future,” said First Lady Ann Scott. “I’ve met countless caring and dedicated professionals in classrooms throughout the state who have made a lasting impact on the students in their communities. Ms. Routten is a shining example of the kind of teacher every parent hopes for and every student remembers fondly.”
Routten is one of the exceptional educators being recognized nationwide by the Milken Family Foundation with an award ceremony and an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000. She is the only teacher in Florida honored with the award this year. Only 40 Florida teachers have been honored with the Milken award since Florida joined the program in 1998, receiving more than $1 million.
In addition to surprising Routten with the prestigious Milken Award, Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott and Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart paid tribute to Frances K. Sweet Elementary School, a Magnet School, for 14 years of academic excellence and continuous A ratings. The school’s Principal Juanita Wright was also the St. Lucie Public School Principal of the Year last year.
“Saint Lucie County Public Schools is so fortunate to have an exceptional number of truly outstanding and passionate educators who routinely go beyond expectations in order to ensure their students are successful learners,” said St. Lucie County School District Superintendent Genelle Zoratti Yost. “Nardi Routten certainly qualifies as one of our phenomenal educators. She represents the district well as a recipient of the highly acclaimed Milken Educator Award. Ms. Routten enjoys the respect of the educational community and works cohesively with her peers, administration and parents. Her passion for education and her conviction that all children can learn is demonstrated each day in the work she does. The Saint Lucie Public School District is delighted to offer congratulations to Ms. Routten on this acclaimed achievement. She represents a grand institution and an honorable profession.”
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The First Grade students at Saint Lucie Elementary and their teacher, Ms. Tasha Otto, were excited to show off their Action 100 Reading strategies at St. Lucie Elementary during a recent visit from Orange County Public School Leaders. Action 100 has students actively engaged in reading at their “Fun, Fast and Easy” independent reading level for 60 minutes per day at school with an additional home-to-school connection .
Jamie Duplantis from PNC Bank volunteers weekly in the VPK classroom at Lakewood Park Elementary School. PNC Bank donated two books to each of the 40 VPK students for Christmas.
Every morning and at every school event, Northport K-8 students and teachers recite their “Kids at Hope” pledge. The meaning of the pledge is permeating the very fabric of the school in many ways. An example of student connection to the meaning of “Kids at Hope” can be found in Ann Barbare’s middle grades Intensive math class. Mrs. Barbare and her students worked diligently to make an engaging board with the theme of finding the students “Ace of Hearts” who is the parent or guardian and their “Ace of Clubs” who is any other caring adult who knows and understands the students skills and talents. Students and teachers have meaningful conversations throughout the day about individual talents, dreams and goals. Often times, the “Ace of Clubs” is the child’s teacher or perhaps a mentor or tutor from Big Brothers, Big Sisters or AmeriCorps. The administrators and teachers, in partnership with the parents and families, are finding the deep value in building working relationships to demand high expectations from students and help each child to believe in themselves and to ferret out compassion, leadership skills, abilities and desires. The Northport community believes, along with the entire school district, that all children are capable of success, No Exceptions! It is the pleasure of the school community to highlight the very best assets of each and every child. Northport K-8 School is an authentic “Work In Progress” and we acknowledge that we, as a community, are constant learners and are ever evolving. Our “Kids at Hope” success stories will definitely becoming more and more plentiful!
Transforming Teacher Practice and Student Learning in Florida
These words sum up the experience of nearly 50 educators from Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas who gathered in Orlando last month for The LDC Workshop: Transforming Teacher Practice and Student Learning. Designed as an introduction to LDC, the three-day workshop gave teachers, administrators, and instructional leaders at the state and district levels the opportunity to learn about the LDC Framework, design their own modules, and collaborate with their colleagues around literacy instruction.
The Honor Unit with Distinction is the highest award a JROTC unit can earn; it’s represented by a gold star. Keeping the gold star is a big deal; it reflects how hard the Battalion has worked. This is a triennial inspection from the US Army to determine whether a unit can keep their gold star. The Army inspects eleven areas such as Battalion staff interviews, cadet and instructor portfolio inspections, Drill, color guard, cadet briefings, and in-ranks inspection. The Jaguar Battalion passed with a score of 97% out of 100%; it was a big relief to know the Battalion gets to keep their high honor. The cadets worked hard for the inspection and are proud to maintain their status as an Honor Unit with Distinction.
Dan McCarty Middle School band student, Samuel Quinones, has been selected to take part in the 2015 Indian River State College’s Four Counties Honors Band. Selected middle school students will rehearse for two days with guest clinician, Mr. Dominick Eggan and perform alongside the High School Honors Concert Band and the Honors Jazz Band.
Samuel was selected based on his musicianship level and the recommendation of his band director. He will be one of four trombonists from the four counties of St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee counties.
The concert will be held on Saturday, January 24th at 6:00 p.m. at the Indian River State College Fort Pierce campus.
The Giving Tree is held each December. Each grade collects donations for a charity. A member representing the charity is then invited to the Giving Tree Ceremony and presented with the items collected. Kindergarten collected food items for Backpack Buddies; First Grade collected toys and gifts for Hibiscus House; Second Grade collected household items for Quantum House; Third grade collected items for pets to be given to the Humane Society and Caring Fields; Fourth Grade collected items for C.A.S.T.L.E and fifth grade collected items for Military personnel.
Ms Odom and Ms Aguila hosted a 12 Days of Christmas contest in the media center. Winners were selected randomly from a pool of students that have not had an overdue library book this school year. Our winners were Michael Schmitt, Olivia Offerdahl, Caralie Frizzle, Cassie Ackenbrack, Jordan Insinger, Dyllan Murphy-Nichols, Gabe Schuester, Brandon Worrell, Annabel Garcia, Caleb Gamboa, Mackenzie Bain, EJ Roberts, and Calvin Frizzle. The students selected three prizes from our prize closet. Way to go Hawks, keep reading!
Lakewood Park Elementary students and parents had the opportunity to explore the world of math in real-world situations by attending a family math night at Winn Dixie. Math Night was a huge success allowing those in attendance to work on their math skills, singing holiday songs, face painting, and having a great time visiting with members of the Falcon family as well as members of the community. We had exactly 100 students sign in for this event and many of our classrooms were represented. In our VPK—2nd grade event attendance contest, Mrs. Jones’ Kindergarten class had the most students in attendance. In the 3-5 competition, Mrs. Norling’s fourth grade class had the most students in attendance.
Parents and guests listened to some holiday music while shopping presented by Angela Moretti’s Lakewood Park Elementary chorus consisting of forty-five third, fourth and fifth graders. We would like to say thanks to students and Miss Moretti for a job well done. Go Falcons!
Lakewood Park Elementary would like to thank Mr. Gagnon from Winn Dixie who is one of our business partners, and all of his staff that worked so hard to make this evening an educational success.
The following were the teachers with the highest attendance in each of our other grade levels. VPK—Mrs. Helseth; 1st Grade—Ms. McDougal; 2nd Grade had a tie with Mrs. Albritton and Ms. Souza; 3rd grade—Mr. Werner; and 5th Grade had a tie with Mrs. Garcia and Mr. Jones. Congratulations to all. Students in attendance received a bag of goodies and a free homework pass.
Special thanks go to the math committee for all their hard work spearheaded by Teresa Cannon. Other committee and staff members include Principal Dianne Young, Assistant Principal Tammy Smith, Ms. Andrews, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Briand, Mrs. Butterworth, Mrs. Cirrillo, Mrs. Garcia, Miss Hazen, Mrs. Innocent, Miss Moretti and Mrs. Pulliam. Thanks everyone for coming. Go Falcons!
Northport K-8 School Choral and Band Departments under the direction of Brian Hoce and Thomas Conner offered a variety of musical performances to showcase the hard work and the talents of music students from grades three through eight. The students practiced and honed their musical prowess to offer programs at the school and in the community. The students kicked off their productions at Bass Pro Shop with a beautiful late afternoon concert in the front of the store. Students performed beautifully at the Port St. Lucie Festival of Lights at the Civic Center and offered a dinner theater with the theme, “Jingle Bell Jukebox.” The school community and parents were thrilled with the performance and the holiday and Christmas featured music selections. Students performed for the Nettles Island community with Northport Principal, Glenn Rustay participating by offering a splendid reading of “T’was the Night Before Christmas!” The final program was held at Port St. Lucie High School in their wonderful auditorium to showcase student talents in “Winter Memories!” The overarching theme of holiday selections offered an indepth view of what hard work, initiative and talent can achieve. Great job Northport Music Department and parents who urged their children to practice, practice, practice! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Northport K-8 School!
On Thursday, December 11, 2014, the Morningside Elementary Chorus under the direction of Donna Calvert presented a upbeat singing and speaking presentation for parents and guests to celebrate traditions around the world. The students dressed in traditional costumes from their country or state and told about the traditions that are part of that country’s holiday time. Student’s also played bells, tambourines and other percussion instruments throughout the program.
The Floresta Elementary choral performance held recently was a glorious night of engaged students, parents, families and staff enjoying the annual “Winter Concert!” The event was kicked off by the 4th and 5th grade students singing a stirring rendition of “A Hard Knock Life” from Annie. The students, led by Music Director Ms. Kraus, then performed a variety of mixed arrangements, traditional Holiday carols and ended with a beautiful rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” sang by all faculty and students.
The K-2 Elementary Chorus performed on Saturday, December 6th at the Santa Pancake Breakfast. Students sang a variety of songs from Feliz Navidad to Let it Go. The APF Chorus wowed the audience with their stellar movements and beautiful singing. The 3-5 Advanced Chorus performed as well including an original holiday song to the music of “Royals” by Lorde. Both groups worked extremely hard and their dedication showed in their amazing performance.
Mr. Hall and his children Vanessa, Delarno and Amelia are greeted by Mrs. Claus!
Dan McCarty School held its annual Christmas concert, “Winter Wonderful!” featuring the Chorale Ensemble and orchestra students. The program highlighted the musical diversity and talents of DMS students. The cafetorium was jammed-pack with parents, students and school staff. The orchestra performed traditional songs such as, Jingle Bells, Up on the Housetop, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, and When the Saints Go Marching In. The Chorus also performed traditional songs: Jingle Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High, Deck the Halls, Joy to the World, Hot Chocolate and This Christmas to name a few. The concert was put together under the direction of Dr. Rolanda Jones (Chorus Director) and Mr. Richard Rogers (Band Director). The performances were overall amazing.
Each year, all of the Westgate K-8 students line the sides of the parking lot to enjoy the Westgate marching band, the 8th grade carolers and of course, Santa. It is Westgate’s favorite holiday tradition.
Elementary students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition enjoyed a Holiday Chorus Concert as part of a Positive Behavior event. Students used their earned rocket fuel for good behavior in the classroom to attend the special program put on by music director, Christine Hill and her chorus students. The holiday songs were a great way to begin the upcoming holiday season and the students and staff loved it. Pictured is the chorus performing on stage and the students enjoying the show.
To kick off the holiday season, the St. Lucie West Centennial Chamber Singers performed at the Sights and Lights event of St. Lucie West on December 2nd. More pictures are available at: http://www.tcpalm.com/galleries/sights-and-lights-of-st-lucie-west