Lawnwood Elementary’s PBS program allows students who have earned 100 in “loot” to be principal of the day. Pictured, from left, are several students who were principal for the day, Charles Weems, Brittany Hernandez, and Graciela Garcia.
Alyceson Laidlaw, Ladies Auxiliary secretary, VFW Post 8058 presents Lawnwood Elementary students with their Buddy Poppies. These students have adopted U.S. ARMY Arcent G2, which is in its first deployment in Kuwait. The students are writing letters, sending pictures, and collecting personal supplies to be sent to Afghanistan over the holiday season. One student wrote, “I will think of you every time I say The Pledge of Allegiance, you are not forgotten!” Pictured, from left, are Raul Pozniak, Maddy Talley, Ms. Laidlaw, Kirstyn Macy, Tommy Wuchte, and Rowan Crandall.
Second grade Lawnwood Elementary School student Hailey Daniels, from Susan Lewis’ class, was recently notified she has been awarded a full scholarship to a private college in Alabama after completing a Flat Stanley Project centered around the college. Hailey wanted to know what kind of food people from Alabama served, historical places to visit and what kids enjoyed doing for fun. Flat Stanley projects are collaborations where someone at the subject location — typically another student– takes photos with a Flat Stanley, or in Hailey’s case, Flat Stella, in locations or in activities, and then the student makes a report based on the photos sent electronically. Pictured is Hailey with her book.
Lawnwood Elementary School recently held a Spelling Bee celebration breakfast for all of Lawnwood’s spelling bee participants. Students enjoyed pancakes flipped by Principal D’Jion Jackson, plus bacon, fresh fruit, and orange juice served by literary coach Kirstie Lickliter and assistant principal Kim Cain. Students pictured, from left, are Kaitlyn Gonzalez, Daisy Vicencio, Nadia Dimitroff, Lesly Gamez, and Liza Hicks.
Lawnwood Elementary School second grade student Ethan Stabile is pictured with his project on display in the Kiwanis Building at the St. Lucie County Fair. Ethan’s project was on the county firefighters. Over 30 projects were selected among first through fifth graders to be displayed for Lawnwood Elementary this year, which won first place in the elementary division for the second year.
Lawnwood’s SRO Azeredo and the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Department donated uniforms to the students of Lawnwood Elementary. Thank you for this great donation!
Samantha Lamora’s first grade writing class students take a break from writing their stories for The St Lucie County Young Author’s Festival to have a picnic and share their narratives with other students. The entire school (grades first through fifth) participated in writing their opinion, informative, and narrative pieces in hopes of becoming a Young Author’s finalist.
Students in Maria Ramkissoon’s kindergarten class at Lawnwood Elementary School proudly share their classroom Science Fair project on gravity, in which they worked together researching. The students incorporated fun with learning by conducting an experiment on gravity that involved dropping blocks tied to parachutes. Pictured standing, from left, are Alexander Granados, Alexandria Knight, Rodney Stevens, Emmanuella Raymond, Rupert Blackwood, Angel Acevedo, Stefany Martinez-Betancourt, Remeece Barjon, Lataurus Conley, Sierra Carswell, Armani Smith, Brandon Ramon, and Billy Ramirez-Riano. Seated, from left, are Eliana Castelan, Angelina Grimes, J’Sean Wilson, and Karen Hidalgo-Aguilar.
The students of Lawnwood Elementary School were busy collecting non-perishable items this month for The Harvest Outreach Center. The students loaded over 40 extra-large boxes for the center to distribute over the holidays. Pictured, from left, are ESE teacher and student council co-chair Kara Watkins, Ashon Moore, Alex Jules, Brisaldo Castro, and Dominick Peterson.
Lawnwood Elementary Music Teacher Ms. Evans, AP Ms. Laoutas, and Literacy Coach Mrs. Fisher Show School Spirit on College Jersey Day!
The GEMS Club of Lawnwood Elementary recently donated cases of water that will be transported to the residents of Flint, Michigan.
Clifford made a special appearance at the Fall Book Fair.
Lawnwood Elementary Families enjoyed TACO TUESDAY during the schoolwide Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.
Lawnwood Elementary Faculty and Staff participated in the annual College Colors Day on August 31, 2018. Students were introduced to fun facts about various colleges and universities.
Lawnwood Elementary School faculty and staff participated in the annual College Colors Day to promote the expectations for all of our students to graduate high school and go to college. Go, college bound Leopards!
Poster Board Category:
Elementary school (3rd – 5th grade)
1st place: $100.00 Cole Oehlberg (Christ Lutheran School)
2nd place: $75.00 Melania Apostolico (Palm Pointe)
3rd place: $50.00 Olivia Peralta (Palm Pointe)
Elementary school (K – 2nd grade)
1st place: $100.00 Taylor Laplante (Palm Pointe)
2nd place: $75.00 Liana Bonet (Palm Pointe)
3rd place: $50.00 Jessica Bouris (Palm Pointe)
3 Dimensional Category:
Middle school (6th – 8th grade):
1st place: $150.00 Joseline Hernandez-Gaspar (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie)
2nd place: $100.00 Kaylee Hunt (Palm Pointe)
Middle school (6th – 8th grade):
1st place: $150.00 Tindra Zawackis (Palm Pointe)
2nd place: $100.00 Saya Joseph (Palm Pointe)
Middle school (6th – 8th grade):
1st place: $150.00 Maria Ramirez Gallego (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie)
2nd place: $100.00 Christian Vasquez (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie)
“The clearest way to show what the
Rule of Law means to us in every day
life is to recall what has happened
when there is no rule of law.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
Life without the rule of law. What a prospect. One online source defines law’s rule as “the principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced; the principle of government by law.” See Thesaurus.com. President Eisenhower was asking that people imagine their lives subject to the whims of others, unprotected by any written rules applying fairly and equally to everyone else. He was describing life in a dictatorship, where there is no constitution leavened by laws adopted through elected representatives.
The importance of law to our democratic way of life is acknowledged on one day of the year, through Law Day, May first. This was formalized by Congress in 1961, by adoption of a resolution enshrining that day in commitment to “equality and justice under law”. See 36 USC sec. 113. For law libraries, particularly the Rupert J. Smith Law Library, it is the most important day of the year. The law’s most sacred ideal is that all members of society should receive equal justice under law. Equal justice is meaningless unless every person has equal access to the law, with equal opportunity to acquire awareness of the rights, obligations and remedies afforded by the law. That’s where law libraries come in. They are the gateway of every man, woman and child to the legal system.
Hence, the Friends of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library, in cooperation and partnership with the St. Lucie County School Board, annually hosts a Law Day Reception and Art Contest. It accomplishes several purposes. First, it acquaints Treasure Coast residents with the availability of our county law library and alerts them to the resources at their disposal for learning what they might need to know about the law. Second it serves as a platform for honoring those members of the community whose lives and accomplishments exemplify and give meaning to the rule of law in normal daily life. By honoring them thusly, others are inspired to likewise conduct themselves similarly. Third, it is a means of educating young people about the law. They do that by expressing in works of art the theme chosen annually for Law Day by the American Bar Association. This year’s 2019 ABA theme was “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society”.
This year’s celebration of Law Day took place on May 3, 2019, in the community room at the Paula A. Lewis Branch Library, in Port St. Lucie. There was grateful acknowledgement of sponsorship support from the St. Lucie County Bar Association, the Port St. Lucie County Bar Association, Everlove & Associates, and the Hon. Ben Bryan (ret.). Attendees included representatives of the school board, the judiciary, members of the local bar associations, students, their parents and other invited guests and members of the public. Masters of Ceremonies were James T. Walker, Esq. and Carlos Wells, Esq.
The proceeding was opened by the Hon. Burton Connor, District Court Judge for the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Judge Connor led the Pledge of Allegiance after speaking to it’s significance and meaning. Judge Connor explained that not only is The Pledge an opportunity to declare one’s love of country, but is also a means of honoring those who have fought for their country’s freedoms, often suffering death or disability in so doing.
Shaniek M. Maynard, Magistrate Judge for the US District Court, Southern District of Florida, then introduced the Keynote Speaker, the Hon. Michael Linn, recently appointed as a Circuit Court Judge for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. Judge Linn, who is also an Adjunct Professor at Indian River State Court, spoke on the meaning of those freedoms implicated by the ABA’s choice of theme for Law Day, the Freedom of Assembly, the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press. Judge Linn adopted a professorial mien, pacing back and forth while challenging the members of his audience with sharply pointed, provocative questions. For example, he asked the audience to assume that a certain country provides the following Article 67 in it’s constitution: “(1) Citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, the press, assembly, demonstration and association; (2) The State guarantees the conditions for the free activities of democratic political parties and social organizations”. He then asked his audience to name the country with that constitution.. Among the guesses were Canada. No one succeeded in guessing the actual country, North Korea. Judge Linn explained that the mere listing of purported rights in a country’s constitution does not mean it is governed by the rule of law. Judge Linn went on to explain the importance of democratically adopted laws by elected representatives, enforced by an independent judiciary, with power divided up among co-equal branches of government, rather than concentrated under a dictator as in North Korea.
Several very special people were honored for their contributions to the rule of law on the Treasure Coast. As with Judge Linn, each was introduced by an individual whose stature in the community was intended to lend weight and gravitas to their status as honorees. Nora Everlove, Chief law librarian of RJSLL for the past twenty-seven years, presented a plaque, in deepest gratitude from the Trustees of the law library, to Michael D. Fowler, Esq., principle in The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L. Mr. Fowler was honored for his unwavering support of legal education, through sponsorship over several years of the library’s Annual CLE Lecture Series. She noted that his support made him “… the largest single donor to the law library in its thirty year history. We cannot thank him enough for what he has done to make this program successful. Impressively, it has doubled in size in the last three years.”
The Hon. Linda Bartz, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners for St. Lucie County, recognized George Shopland, CEO, New Horizons of the Treasure Coast. Commissioner Bartz honored Mr. Bartz “for a lifetime spent in service to the rule of law through devotion to community and people.” Mr. Shopland was previously director of the Institute for Mental Health at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. He became CEO of New Horizons on it’s 60th anniversary as the premier mental health and addiction recovery providor on the Treasure Coast, serving more than 14,000 adults and children each year. Mr. Shopland took the place of John Romano, who retired after thirty years.
The third honoree was Officer Dani Dreizehnter, of the Fort Pierce Police Department. She was introduced by Carlos Wells, Senior Assistant State Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, whose responsibilities involve juvenile delinquency litigation. Officer Dreizehnter, too, was recognized for “a lifetime spent in service to the rule of law through devotion to community and people.” Mr. Wells spoke warmly of her involvement on behalf of young people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. He described her deep dedication to such juveniles, as she responds to emergency situations at all hours of the day, making sure that there is effective communication going on about the individual’s needs among the attorneys, guidance counselors, therapists, and parents. She takes a close interest in the underlying social pathologies of their offenses, and seeks to help where able with their teachers and families. When asked, “Do you have any kids?”, her standard response is “Several hundred… and growing!” She was the first ever officer of the FPPD fully dedicated to juvenile justice matters, and additionally serves as an adjunct professor at IRSC, teaching criminal justice.
Following recognition of Law Day Honorees, there was further celebration of the student artists whose works best exemplified or embodied the theme for Law Day. Cash prizes were handed out by Dr. Helen Wild, Chief Academic Office for St. Lucie Public Schools, in her role as Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Programs and Non-traditional Education Schools in St. Lucie Public Schools. She was assisted by Kim Cunzo, Esquire, who is in private legal practice, helping people with a range of issues arising in the field of domestic law. The types of art work honored included posters, photography, three dimensional renditions, and video.
This year’s student winners were divided into categories. There were two groups of poster board artists, from K through second grade, and from third through fifth grade. In the first category there were Cole Oehlberg (Christ Lutheran School/ First place $100); Melania Apostolico (Palm Pointe/ Second place, $75); and Olivia Peralty (Palm Point/ Third place, $50). In the second group, there were Taylor Laplante (Palm Pointe/ First place, $100); Liana Bonet (Palm Pointe/ Second place, $75) and Jessica Bouris (Palm Pointe/ Third place, $50).
Winners of the Three Dimensional Category were Joseline Hernandez-Gaspar (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie/ First place, $150) and Kaylee Hunt (Palm Point/ Second place, $100).
Photographic winners were Tindra Zawackis (Palm Pointe/ First place, $150) and Saya Joseph (Palm Pointe/ Second place, $100).
There were also two winners in the video graphics category, Maria Ramirez Gallego (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie/ First place, $150), and Christian Vasquez (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie/ Second place, $100).
Friends was proud of this year’s success of the 2019 Law Day Reception and Art Contest. In addition to those participants named above, the event was made possible by Paul Nucci, who assisted with light snacks and picture-taking. Much thanks was due to the talented members of the Treasure Coast Jazz Combo, of Treasure Coast High School, under the direction of Mr. Luke Hall, who provided entertainment during the reception. There were photographers and videographers provided by the school board and there must be recognized and thanked the wonderful directors of Friends of the RJS Law Library for their involvement and assistance, including Carolyn Fabrizio, Nora Everlove, Kim Cunzo, Andrea O’Conner’Hall, George Metcalf, Donald Watson, Carlos Wells, Jim Walker and Steve Hoskins. Respectful thanks is additionally due to Kerry Padrick, Chief Communications Officer for the St. Lucie Schools, for assisting in disseminating awareness of the event to staff and local students, and who makes sure everything goes smoothly.
In conclusion, there are recalled the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said this about the law: “Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap—let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primmers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice.” Law, he pointed out, is at the heart of our democratic way of life. It is proper that we honor the law and those whose lives and deeds give meaning to it’s finest ideals, including the right to equal justice under the law. That bright, shining ideal takes on life when every member of society has equal access to knowledge of the law, through awareness of his or her rights, obligations and remedies. Law libraries make that possible.
Law Day is recognized on May 1 each year, and this year’s Law Day contest theme is Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society. The Friends of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library provide opportunities for teachers and students to connect with this theme and express their thoughts on the topic in many forms through the annual Law Day Contest.
Stay tuned for more information about the contest, and click on the link to learn more about Law Day.
The largest employee giving awards were presented to Treasure Coast High School with a total of $1,920, Morningside Elementary with a total of $1,693, Northport K-8 with a total of $1,165, and Southport Middle School with a total of $864. Each school received a plaque from the United Way of St. Lucie County at the School Board Meeting on April 8, 2014. Pictured are Roxanne Wells of the United Way, Henry Sanabria of Treasure Coast High School, School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, Lydia Martin of Southport Middle School, Cortina Bell Gray of Morningside Elementary, Lynn Gruszka & Glenn Rustay of Northport K-8, Superintendent Genelle Yost, and Monte Kosoff of the United Way SLC.
On August 10, 2018, Port St. Lucie High School facilitated laptop distribution and assigned laptops to upperclassmen (10th grade and up). When students and parents entered the school, they were greeted by multiple Jaguar Battalion cadets who were ready to guide them and answer any questions they might have. Guests entered the Media center to make their payment and received schedules for the school year. Then, they were directed to the cafeteria where additional cadets assisted in handing out laptops and laptop chargers. Cadet 1st Sergeant Elyas Cardenas is pictured at his post located in the cafeteria.