District Office Employees Donate School Supplies for Students

District Office Employees Donate School Supplies for Students

Employees at the School Board Office brought in bags and boxes of school supplies to be given to United Way of St. Lucie. United Way has filled backpacks full of school supplies for our students who are eligible for free lunch. They have reached their goal of helping at least 4,500 children in all of the St. Lucie County schools. Thank you for your generosity in providing so many children with tools for success at the beginning of this school year. Pictured are, Dr. Mark Rendell, Kerry Padrick, Peg Warnke, Dr. Kevin Perry, Dr. Kathy McGInn and Genelle Yost.

Social Studies Teacher of the Year Presentation

Social Studies Teacher of the Year Presentation

The Social Studies Teachers of the Year were recognized at the School Board Meeting on June 10, 2014. Jean Emerson, Treasure Cost High School, was recognized for the high school category. Melanie Larsen, Palm Pointe Educational Research School, was presented a plaque for the elementary school category. Belkis Madera, Oak Hammock K-8, received a plaque for the middle school category.

Three Schools Attend Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement in Washington DC

Three Schools Attend Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement in Washington DC

Three St. Lucie Public Schools were represented in Washington, D.C. last month at the Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement.  Mariposa Elementary, Morningside Elementary, and Lincoln Park Academy attended the N.E.E.D. (National Energy Education Development) Project festivities.  NEED students understand energy.  They are local experts and leaders in community discussions on energy use, energy efficiency, and new energy technologies.  Students learn how to design buildings better to maximum energy efficiency and to keep our buildings healthy.  NEED students are the future of the energy workforce.  Students interested in engineering, science, economics, environmental sciences, law, geology, and a host of other disciplines have a role in the energy industry.

Florida Elementary Finalist – Mariposa Elementary School

Project Advisors: Adam Archer and Mary McCartney

Pictured left to right: Cathy Smith, Allysha Lillard,  Tnanazia Young , Johann Vianna, Mary McCartney, Mikayla  Sampson, Monica Kalina,  Ariana White, Hannah Wright, Justin Locklar, Jan Feliciano Alvarez.


ELA Text-Based Writing Rubrics 

English Language Arts (ELA) Text-Based Writing Rubrics have been released and are available for viewing on the FSA Portal (see link below).  These are draft rubrics, and the Florida Department of Education is soliciting public input through midnight on Friday, September 12, 2014. The feedback form is posted with the rubrics on the FSA portal.


St. Lucie County Schools Hosts Teacher Recruitment Fair

St. Lucie County Schools Hosts Teacher Recruitment Fair

St. Lucie County Schools hosted its annual Teacher Recruitment Fair on June 23, 2014 with over 150 applicants attending this event.  School leaders from 16 schools interviewed prospective teachers in preparation for the coming school year which begins August 18, 2014.

Recognizing that the greatest impact on student success is high quality instruction one of the District’s Strategic Goals is to recruit and retain effective teachers for all classrooms.   As one of several recruitment strategies the Fair provided an opportunity to hire teachers before school starts.


Recruitment activities to attract the “brightest and best” will continue throughout the school year.  More information is available by contacting  Dr. David Washington, Director of Teacher Recruitment and Retention at: David.Washington@stlucieschools.orgRec-fair-1

SLPS Celebrates a 25 Percent Gain in FCAT Performance Points

SLPS Celebrates a 25 Percent Gain in FCAT Performance Points

The Florida Department of Education (DOE) released the School Performance Grades for Elementary, K-8 and Middle Schools today.

Taking pride in educating every student every day, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) is celebrating a 25 percent gain in the number of schools that improved one letter grade or more (Floresta Elementary and Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts improved two letter grades) and 72 percent maintained or increased their school grades.

Other highlights include:

All grades tested in writing showed growth.  Twenty-nine out of 36 (or 81 percent) of SLPS increased their proficiency levels over last year’s performance.  Fourth grade exceeded state proficiency levels (55 percent for SLPS / 53 percent for the state).  In eighth grade, students exceeded last year’s performance by nine percent and the number of 10th grade students meeting the performance target increased by 12 percent.

SLPS was one of 13 districts in the state that improved their performance in all End of Course (EOC) exams: Algebra 1, US History, Biology, and Civics.  There was a nine percent increase in Algebra 1.

Within the groups that maintained their school grade, several schools showed tremendous growth.  Included in this group are:

  • Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts  – 151 point gain
  • Windmill Point Elementary  – 91 point gain
  • St. Lucie Elementary – 87 point gain
  • Lawnwood Elementary – 67 point gain
  • Westgate K – 8 – 62 point gain
  • Dan McCarty – 61 point gain
  • Oak Hammock – 55 point gain
  • Savanna Ridge Elementary – 56 point gain
  • North Port K-8 – 55 point gain
  • Floresta Elementary – 50 point gain
  • Forest Grove Middle School – 47 point gain
  • Southport Middle School – 41 point gain
  • Manatee Elementary – 37 point gain
  • Palm Pointe K – 8 –  23 point gain

While school grades will not be calculated for high schools until later in the school year, data shows significant growth for area high schools as well.

  • Fort Pierce Central – 35 point gain
  • Port St. Lucie High School – 26 point gain
  • Mosaic Digital Academy – 26 point gain
  • St. Lucie West Centennial – 24 point gain
St Lucie Principals Graduate from Prestigious Commissioner’s Leadership Academy

St Lucie Principals Graduate from Prestigious Commissioner’s Leadership Academy

The saying success breeds success holds true for Lydia Martin, principal of Southport Middle, and Debra Snyder, principal of Palm Pointe Research School, who are both recent graduates of the Florida Department of Education’s (FLDOE) Commissioner’s Leadership Academy. The principals were selected to participate in the Academy in recognition of their leadership skills and for being among Florida’s 50 highest performing principals.

In partnership with the FLDOE, the Council for Educational Change has designed the prestigious Commissioner’s Leadership Academy to enhance participants’ strengths and leadership and continue their professional growth. The yearlong experience enabled the principals to build on their successes and influence the leadership of colleagues at the district and state levels.

These principals have demonstrated outstanding leadership and are now in a position to share their experience and expertise with their peers in the district and across the state.” said the President and Executive Director of the Council Dr. Elaine Liftin.

As a result of the experience, Martin was promoted to Executive Director of Schools for Saint Lucie County.

On June 11, 2014, Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Pamela Stewart, and the Council for Educational Change President and Executive Director, Dr. Elaine Liftin, recognized members of the graduating class and encouraged them to continue to share their talents to build instructional leadership capacity by serving as a statewide and district resource.

The Commissioner’s Leadership Academy, sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, Florida Blue and Publix Super Markets Charities, has impacted nearly 750 principals and aspiring school leaders, and an estimated 300,000 students over the past two years.




Riverside Community Theatre Presents to Floresta Elementary for PBIS

Riverside Community Theatre Presents to Floresta Elementary for PBIS

On May 8, as part of Floresta Elementary’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support Program, Riverside Community Theatre presented to all grade 2-5 students, the performance entitled “The Wolf and Its Shadows.” Based on Aesop’s fable “The Dog and the Wolf,” the play weaves together stories about wolves, dogs, and humans, and includes tales from Russian, Tlingit, English, Inuit and German folklore. The message, according to some students was, “Don’t be influenced by the opinions of others.” For other students, the message was, “Freedom is worth more than being served as royalty.”   Alexandria Howlett stated that she liked the play and thought that while it was funny at times, it had an important message. Seth Excellent said it was entertaining, hilarious, and he hopes to see more plays like that one performed at the school. Alanzandria Delphin feels that it was a very worthwhile event. True to their mission, the Riverside Community Theatre remains steadfast in their commitment to providing a total theatre arts experience that entertains, challenges, and educates both adults and children.

Written by Suzanne Diaz

School District Recognized as Energy Efficiency Leader

School District Recognized as Energy Efficiency Leader

At the May 13th School Board Meeting, Trane presented the St. Lucie County School Board with the “Energy Efficiency Leader Award” in recognition of the District’s commitment to energy and operational efficiency and sustainability.

The District has been aggressive in reducing energy costs; electric utility cost has been reduced by almost 40 % in 4 years. Previously ranked 60th out of the 67 Florida school districts for electrical expenses per student, the District has reduced its ranking to 18th in the 2012-2013 school year.

The District reduced annual utility costs from over $12 million to less than $7 million.

Pictured from left to right are, Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Fernando Lagomasino (District Manager over Florida for Trane), Marty Sanders (Executive Director SLCSB), Sean Murray (Energy Manager SLCSB), Chris Cowling (Trane), James DeSousa (Trane), Mark Johnson (Calmac), Amir Kazeminia (OCI Engineering), Vera Stoller (Trane Marketing Florida), John Gillette (Senior Project Manager SLCSB), Debbie Hawley (School Board Chairman).

Commissioners 29th Annual Academic Challenge Team Recognition

Commissioners 29th Annual Academic Challenge Team Recognition

At the May 13th School Board Meeting, St. Lucie County high school students received plaques for placing 2nd in the State for the 29th Annual Commissioner’s Academic Challenge. The Commissioner’s Academic Challenge is a highly academic statewide high school tournament inaugurated in 1986 and designed to provide a prestigious academic arena in which Florida’s academically talented high school students are recognized. Each district team consisting of six high school students and one coach from around the state come together to compete in an inspiring demonstration of academic astuteness and teamwork. Players are challenged with questions from the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish) and technology.

Pictured on back row are, Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), Principal Alan Cox (SLWCH), Jeremy Johnson (FPW), David Wahlman (Dean and Coach at LPA); and on the front row are, Lauren Herb (FPW), Nicole Molner (TCHS), William Barr (TCHS), Geoffrey Zheng (LPA), and Genelle Yost (Superintendent). Stephanie Fisher (SLWCH) was not present for the picture.

Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest Winners- Elementary Division

Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest Winners- Elementary Division

Students were presented with awards for the Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest at the School Board Meeting on April 8, 2014. The winners in the elementary division were:

1st Place went to Danielle Rose Murray, Frances K. Sweet Elementary; 2nd Place went to Jonathan Edwards, Fairlawn Elementary; and 3rd place went to Daisy Ruiz, White City Elementary.


Pictured in back row are, Chuck Kearns (Morganti Group), Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Patricia Gascoigne (FLE Assistant Principal), Jane Cox (FKS Assistant Principal), Jennifer Hedeen (FLE Principal), Roberto Bonsenor (WCE Principal), Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), Dr. Samuel S. Gaines, and on the front row are: Danielle Rose Murray, Jonathan Edwards, Daisy Ruiz.

West Gate Staff recognized with Star Award

West Gate Staff recognized with Star Award

In April, West Gate K-8 sponsored the 2nd Annual Treasure Coast Community Walk for Autism Speaks. West Gate personnel was recognized at the School Board Meeting on May 13th for organizing and coordinating such a worthwhile and wonderful event for our community.

The turnout of support for the community was phenomenal. “You have a fantastic staff at your school and the parents know that their children are in great hands each day and getting a quality educational program. My hat is off to the entire West Gate K-8 team. Congratulations on a job well done,” stated Bill Tomlinson, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services.

Pictured from left to right are, Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), Shequita Merelus, Jessica McLaughlin, Valentina Whyte, Lisa Landis, Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Cheryl Petrino, Robert Cranmer (Principal WGK-8), and Michelle Jerger (Director of Student Assignment).

Westwood JROTC Cadets Earn National Award

Westwood JROTC Cadets Earn National Award

Nine JROTC Cadets from Ft Pierce Westwood High School join 76 Cadets from 8 area high schools in Southern Florida in earning the JROTC RECONDO Award.
Only 150 Cadets have ever earned this award since its inception. Cadets traveled to Scout Key Florida and over a 4 day training period completed the following training:
Rappelling; High COPES Obstacle Course; Swim Test; Snorkeling; Drownproofing; SCUBA; 5 Mile Open Water Kayak Course; 6 Mile Road March; Water Leadership Reaction Course.
To Date, this is the only training event of this type held nationally within the JROTC Program.
See the link for more information and pictures.


Panther Battalion RECONDOs!
Front row L to R – Jennifer Arriola, Madison Taylor, Brandon Green, Christopher Clapp
Back row L to R – LTC Rodriguez (Camp Commander), CSM Dottin, Stephen Wauters, Sean Neff, Bruce Isenhour, Alex Rediker, Dakota Russell, LTC Caldwell

Summer Reading Adventures at White City Elementary   –  June 11 – July 30

Summer Reading Adventures at White City Elementary – June 11 – July 30

June 11th was the grand opening of the White City Elementary Media Center Summer Program.  White City students are encouraged to stop by to check out books and participate in the weekly themed activities.  Deisy Baza and Marissa Thurman learned about fireflies.  After listening to the story of Moongirl by Henry Selick, they enjoyed creating a sequel to the book.  Themes for the summer include, fireflies, butterflies, dragonflies, bats and more.  Several WCE teacher are volunteering their time as guest readers, and lending a helping hand with the activities.

Dr. Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest Middle School Winners

Dr. Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest Middle School Winners

At the April 8th School Board Meeting, the winners of the Dr. Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest were announced.

The First Place award was presented to Grishma Patel, Manatee Academy K-8.

The Second Place Award was presented to Jewel Edwards, Lincoln Park Academy.

The Third Place Award was presented to Alyssa Fernandez, Forest Grove Middle School.


Pictured on back row, David Foxx (LPA Assistant Principal), Terry Davis (FGM Principal), Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Dr. Samual S. Gaines; on the second row, Jewel Edwards (LPA), Katina Barriner (FGM Teacher), Lillian Beachamp (MANK-8 Principal), Peggy Chase (MANK-8 Assistant Principal), Melissa Hutchings (MANK-8 Assistant Principal), Chuck Kearns (Morganti Group), and on front row, Alyssa Fernandez (FGM), and Grishma Patel (MANK-8).

Executive Directors of Schools Announced

St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent Genelle Yost announced today the selection of current school principals, Pam Dampier and Lydia Martin, as Executive Directors of Schools.

Veteran Principal Pam Dampier currently serves as principal of Lincoln Park Academy. She began her service to St. Lucie Public Schools in 1994 as a teacher who held numerous leadership roles prior to moving into administration. Mrs. Dampier worked as the principal of St. Lucie West K-8 School from August 2005 to June 2013 during which time she facilitated the campus’s successful transition from a middle school to a K-8 school. Mrs. Dampier is a visionary who has the ability to foster support and collaborative relationships amongst her staffs for the united purpose of enhancing student achievement.

Lydia Martin, also celebrated as a successful school leader, will join the the district staff after serving as the principal at Southport Middle School for the past four years. Supporting St. Lucie Public Schools since 1994, Mrs. Martin has held successful leadership roles including classroom instructor, assistant principal and principal. She is a practiced instructional leader who will share her skills and talents to build greater capacity amongst District principals in her new role. Her ability to analyze data and communicate strategies for school improvement make her a natural fit for the position of Executive Director.

59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida Winners

59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida Winners

Recently hundreds of students participated in our Regional STEM Fair held in St. Lucie County. STEM education includes every field under the umbrella of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – everything from chemistry to physics, software design to trigonometry. From this academic showcase, individuals participated in the 59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida held in Lakeland in April.

Our students participated and made quite an impact on a continuum of categories ranging from zoology to biochemistry. In fact, three of our 14 participants were invited to participate in the next level of competition- the International Science Fair in Los Angeles, California.

At the School Board Meeting on May 13th, students were recognized and presented plaques by Paul Reif, SLC Science Fair Coordinator, and Kerry Padrick, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

The winners in each division were:

Junior Division 1st Place, Environmental Science- Hafsa Saeed, Lincoln Park Academy
1st Place, Chemistry- Priya Budhai, Oak Hammock K-8
2nd Place, Zoology- Haniya Shareef, Lincoln Park Academy
2nd Place, Physics & Astronomy- Rachel Dowell, Home School
3rd Place, Microbiology- Cristin Donaldson, Lincoln Park Academy
Honorable Mention, Zoology- Shreya Reddy, Lincoln Park Academy
Senior Division 1st Place, Biochemistry- Robert Bacchus, Lincoln Park Academy
3rd Place, Botany- Stephanie Fisher, St. Lucie West Centennial
4th Place, Engineering- Zoe Barbeau, Home School
4th Place, Zoology- Isabella Daza, Home School
Special Award, Luke Horger, Lincoln Park Academy
Honorable Mention, Zoology- Kousal Rao, Lincoln Park Academy
Participants- Ryan Beany and Savannah Senko

Pictured left to right are, Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), Ryan Beany, Hafsa Saeed, Priya Budhai, Haniya Shareef, Alan Cox (SLWCH Principal), Deanna Pick (accepting for Home School students), Isabella Daza, Pam Dampier (LPA Principal), Cristin Donaldson, Shreya Reddy, Genelle Yost (Superintendent).

Samuel S. Gaines High School Essay Winners

Samuel S. Gaines High School Essay Winners

On April 8, 2014 at the School Board Meeting, students were presented with awards for the Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest. In the high school division,

1st Place was presented to Michael Camacho, Fort Pierce Central High School;

2nd Place was presented to Terrance McQueen, Fort Pierce Central High School; and

3rd Place was presented to Jalyne Edwards, Lincoln Park Academy.

Pictured are, Todd Smith (FPC Principal), Sarah Murrell (FPC Teacher), Terrance McQueen, Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Michael Camacho, David Foxx (LPA Assistant Principal), Jewel Edwards (accepting for her sister, Jalyne), Dr. Samuel S. Gaines, Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), and Chuck Kearns (Morganti Group).