While many might have enjoyed a summer “get-away” at the end of the 2013 school year, Cindy Hill, Fran Casner, and colleagues in the school district’s Facilities Department planned real-world, first job experiences for Career and Technical Education (CTE) summer interns. As in past years, the 2013 Summer Internship Program proved to be a great experience for 17 St Lucie Public Schools students. The program is a partnership between Facilities/Maintenance Department, CTE, and the Workforce Solutions/Hinkles and McCoy group, who create paid, real-world summer jobs for the students. Team members from the Maintenance Department plan and host a golf tournament each Fall to raise the funds to pay the students. It is an amazing undertaking for the employees of Facilities/Maintenance to complete each year. Participants in 2013 included Charles Barnes and Josie Osne, Amanda Frederick, Fort Pierce Westwood; Jameel Jackson, Dontrial Durden, Margaret (Lindsey) Matt, Marvella Mundo, Omar Guerrero, Torrence McQueen, Terrance McQueen, Whitney Smith, and Celeste Riley, Fort Pierce Central; Fre’ Sharia Freeman and Dale Dealle, Treasure Coast High School, Diego Garcia and Adia Vernette, Lincoln Park Academy. Each student completed training at Workforce Solutions/Hinkles and McCoy, completed six-week internships, and earned a pay check, the first ever for some. The students were assigned a single work location, learning and supporting the clerical, custodial and administrative staff in various departments and sites. Appreciation goes to all of the district employees who supported the interns at all school athletic fields, Samuel Gaines Academy, security department, St. Lucie West Centennial High School, Village Green environmental Studies school, publications department, Media Services, Human Resources, West Gate K8, the CTE, food services, Weatherbee Elementary, and Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts. In 2013, Cindy Hill and the Facilities and Maintenance Department were recognized by the State of Florida as one of St. Lucie County Schools’ Business Partners of the Year for their work with the internship program. In addition to the paid internships, the Facilities/Maintenance Department awarded five summer interns with scholarships totaling $3,000 funded by the golf tournament, which will be awarded this Spring to Diego Garcia, Terrance McQueen and Torrance McQueen from Fort Pierce Central, Amanda Frederick from Fort Pierce Westwood, and Adia Vernett from Lincoln Park Academy. Pictured is scholarship recipient, intern program participant and Fort Pierce Central High School senior class president Terrance McQueen.
St. Lucie West K8 fourth grade teacher Shannon Tango was surprised recently when representatives of an area radio station visited her class as part of the station’s monthly teacher recognition program. Tango was nominated by a parent of one of her students, who credited Tango with inspiring her students to achieve in the classroom, and for making learning fun! Pictured from left are 93.7 radio host Hamp Elliott, Assistant Principal John Keelor, 93.7 Program Director Darrin Arriens, Parent Shannon Tango, 4th Grade Teacher Nikki DeMaio, Principal Susan Seal, and 93.7 radio host Geoff Moore.
Captain Citrus, a program from the Florida Department of Citrus, came to Samuel Gaines Academy to speak with our second graders about Florida citrus. The second graders were highly engaged, throughout the interactive and energizing presentation. They learned more about how citrus trees grow, as well as, the nutritional benefits of Florida’s citrus fruits and juices. Their new knowledge was treated with the opportunity to sample oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and orange juice at the end of the presentation.
Students in Karen Madalena’s class at Samuel Gaines Academy participated in the recent St. Lucie County Special Olympics Track and Field event at Lawnwood Stadium. This event is part of the new Young Atheletes Program (YAP) that helps children with disabilities develop motor, social, and cognitive skills as well as giving the students the opportunity to learn and have fun! Pictured is Ezekiel Simmens jumping the hurdles as he completes the obstacle course.
Bayshore Elementary School held its third Annual Community Night recently, bringing together community groups, school staff, and families to learn about available resources. Families received valuable information from many community groups, such as Girl Scouts, Kids at Hope, Port St. Lucie Police Department, St. Lucie County Health Department, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Huntington Learning Center, and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. Pictured, from left, are Principal Lori Anne Reid, Port St. Lucie Mayor JoAnn Faiella, Assistant Principal Edwin Munoz and Janelle Palmer from Nancy Fallon’s second grade class.
The Northport K-8 School Media Center offered students an opportunity to showcase their multifaceted talents in a terrific Women’s History and Girl’s Empowerment Program recently. The program highlighted the accomplishments of women role models in history, Northport teachers and staff, mothers, daughters, and students. Students were empowered to shed poor role models like Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears and Beyoncé and to look for strong women who have made important changes in the world. Women’s struggles and successes were highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation that included music, news clips and clips from actress Hilary Swank playing the role of Alice Paul depicting the struggle of Suffragettes in the film “Iron Jawed Angels.” Students performed poems including Maya Angelou’s “Women’s Work” and “Phenomenal Woman” and read thank you notes to women role models written in class. Students sang songs including Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire,” Katy Perry’s, “Roar” and Christina Aguilera’s, “Beautiful!” A resounding rendition of “We Are Family” was sung by instructor Juliette Thelusma and a group of her students. Instructor Georgia Stone spoke of the importance of strong female role models and shedding the images that are portrayed by many modern singers and entertainers. New Horizons Prevention Specialist Maryanne Warren read an open letter to girls about not letting go of the past struggles of women and becoming empowered. The program was wrapped up with a rendition of Helen Reddy’s famous song, “I Am Woman!” Special thanks to media clerk Sarah Lewis, and band and choral directors James Kirk and Brian Hoce for helping to make the program strong, powerful and filled with meaning for the students. Pictured is a gathering of youth and adult women in the media center celebrating the event.
Northport K-8 middle grades students participated in a writing contest themed, “What Does Being A Woman Really Mean?” Students from all across the spectrum of writing capabilities wrote beautiful and meaningful essays that were included in the school’s annual Women’s History Program held in the media center recently. The essay contest, spearheaded by New Horizons’ Prevention Specialist Maryanne Warren allowed students to think deeply about female characters in their lives and how each has proven influential. Third place winner is Andrew Moscuzza, second place is Emily Avery and first place winner is Misty Hall, all eighth grade Mariner team members. Each student won Walmart gift cards and many accolades at the school. Offering students varied writing opportunities with significance attached brings out the best in student writing. Misty’s winning line was, “I will not stand in the shadow of a man!” Misty had the great opportunity to read her essay to her peers at the school Women’s History Program. Pictured, from left, are Misty Hall, Maryanne Warren, Emily Avery, Lynne Gruszka and Andrew Moscuzza.
Recently families at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition participated in a CSI Family Mystery Night, “The Case of the Missing Pandas.” Students and families became part of their very own CSI team by completing experiments to eliminate suspects. By using their superior science and deductive reasoning skills, the students would solve the case on who stole the missing pandas from the school. Families also enjoyed a free dinner while they waited for the final results. Over 600 people came out to enjoy this yearly event! Pictured, from left, are fourth grade student Autumn Eichenlaub, health paraprofessional Michelle DeGarmo, and seconde grade student Jacob Eichenlaub as they work on one of the experiments.
Employees of the St. Lucie County School District joined over 1,400 sites nationwide March 19, 2014, to recognize Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. Teachers, youth leaders and health advocates organized events around the country and the world to raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use, encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free, and urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco. Kick Butts Day is organized nationally by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation. The school district wellness department organized the activities in school district. Activities were planned at several school sites, and pictured are some of the staff at the district offices displaying their tee shirts, which were donated by the county health department to help promote the school district officially going “tobacco free” last year.
A recent picture-perfect day was a perfect setting for the “Jump Rope for Heart” event at Weatherbee Elementary. The annual event is part of the American Heart Association and their mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In the weeks preceeding the fundraising event at Weatherbee Elementary, each class raised money as a team by filling up a can in their classroom with their extra coins. Physical Education teacher Nuran Onal, who organized the event, rewarded classes raising the most money with pizza parties, certificates, and jump ropes. Pictured, from left, are Zarek Fernandez, Jefte Simplice, and Israel Bradley.
The students of Lawnwood Elementary School hosted a Walk-A-Thon with students maneuvering an obstacle course to raise money for the PTO and their many school sponsored events. Pictured taking a break from the festivities and enjoying a snack are first row, from left, Mika Blakeman, Raul Pozniak, and Ethan Stabile; second row, from left, Sarah Jones, Rowan Crandall, John Donnelly, and Albert Han; back row, from left, Madison Talley, Audrey Kloeckner, and Keirra Holycross.
Lakewood Park Elementary School students and staff recently celebrated the FCAT Writes with a special Tunnel of Hope. The school body lined hallways holding posters and encouraging students as each of the fourth grade class passed by. Special visitors and volunteers also participated, including School Board chairman Debbie Hawley and instructional suppport for science technology specialist Teri Barenborg. After the fourth grade students passed through the Tunnel of Hope, they enjoyed a special assembly, where they had a chance to answer questions to go on stage for special creative activities to enhance writing skills needed for making the perfect 4.0 score. Pictured is Ms. Barenborg encouraging students in the Tunnel of Hope.
Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart this week announced the assessment tool selected to replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) as an annual standardized test for Florida public school students. The commissioner developed a letter for parents to understand the process. To view Commissioner Stewart’s letter to parents, copy the following link into your browser:
Three Lincoln Park Academy student athletes have delivered stuffed toys to children at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital Pediatric Unit as part of a Kare for Kids community service team project. Pictured, from left, are Erin Gerlica, Jeffrey Gerlica and Kayla Andrade on a recent toy delivery. The Kare for Kids team more than doubled its original goal of 75 by collecting more than 175 toys! Jeffrey plans to continue with the Kare for Kids program so he can help bring further joy to children in need.
Lincoln Park Academy senior Robert Bacchus, Jr., and eighth grade student Haniyah Shareef took the top prizes in their respective age groups at the recent Florida Junior Academy of Sciences (FJAS) speaker competition. Only 10 students were chosen in the state per research category for the competitive contest. Robert took first place in High School Medical Sciences, and received the FJAS Senior Scholarship; Haniyah took first place in Middle School Environmental Sciences. Robert was also named a semifinalist in the Intel® Science Talent Search (Intel STS) in 2014, the
nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition.
Students in Lindsey Laury’s seventh grade science classes at St. Lucie West K8 School are kicking off the year’s fourth quarter learning about DNA and RNA, and how proteins play an important part in DNA development. Students created edible DNA models using Twizzlers and marshmallows to emphasize the physical components of such an important biological structure. Pictured are students Ethan Morris, left, and Andrew Pierro.
The Treasure Coast High School (TCHS) girls varsity Titans basketball team was recognized at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for their being the first TCHS athletic team to participate in a state championship. Pictured, front kneeling, are Gabriel Bather, left, and Justine Kolb. Standing, from left, are Assistant Principal Eldrique Gardner, School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Assistant Principal Henry Sanabria, Aly Kolb, TCHS Principal Denise Rodriguez, Alexa Sucato, Evelyn Sagner, Assistant Principal Nikki Poole, Rosemarie Julien, Jade Visser, Yasmine Queen, Alexis Romano, Coach Coach John Picchiarini, Asia Jones, Coach Roger Dorio, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Coach Marvin Brady, and TCHS Athletic Directior Daniel Comeau. The team was runner-up to the state champion in their division.
Northport K-8 kindergartners took part in a pilot study at the school called “Sounds For Intelligence!” The program consists of brain-strengthening sound exercises. The core techniques include a series of sounds vocalized while visualizing parts of the brain, eyes, ears and back of the neck. The exercise is less than five minutes when used correctly each morning, and helps to create balance in brain function. Phonemic Intelligence uses a small unit of sound called a phoneme. The phoneme also carries intelligence and knowing. Phonemic Intelligence was first introduced as “Mind Sound Technology” in the USA, Canada and India. It has become popular in India among students from lower income levels. Phonemic Intelligence exercises, when correctly and methodically carried out, can increase comprehension, lower anxiety, enhance memory, reduce stress and promote a heightened state of learning capability. The program, hosted by Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka, includes teacher training, volunteer visits, debriefings and finally, celebrations. If interested, visit www.tripurafoundation.org. Special thanks to Palm City, Florida, doctors Brent Cooper and Becky Prostko for offering this initiative to Northport students. Pictured standing, back row from left, are Tiffany Tredor, Melody Nieves, Shana Cicio, Dr. Brent Cooper and Dr. Becky Prostko, along with a group of kindergartners.
A group of student musicians representing Parkway Elementary School, with music teacher Beth Torresson, regaled the audience at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting with vocals and instrumental entertainment. Members of the drum ensemble, which consists of 12 members, grades 3-5, who auditioned to be in the group, have been working together since November, meeting every Monday and Thursday afternoon for 45 minutes in the music room to practice. Most of their rhythms are original compositions by the group members, one of which was presented during the school board meeting. Pictured, from left, are Owens Oscar, Ergens Gay, and Jeremiah Guerrier.
Treasure Coast High School (TCHS) reading teacher and St. Lucie Public Schools’ 2014 Outstanding First Year Teacher of the Year Leilani Ankiel was recognized at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for her honor. Ankiel was unable to attend the Night of the Stars gala employee recognition event February 22, 2014, where she was announced as the district winner, because as the team coach, Ankiel was accompanying the TCHS girls’ varsity basketball team at the state championship game in Lakeland the same day. The team was also honored at the school board meeting for their accomplishment as the first TCHS team to reach state competition; the team was runner-up for the state title. Pictured, bottom row, from left, are team members Justine Kolb, Alexa Sucato, Alexis Romano, Evelyn Sagner, Aly Kolb, and Asia Jones. Top row, from left, are team member Jade Visser, TCHS principal Denise Rodriguez, Lincoln Park Academy assistant principal and employee recognition coordinator Candace Stone,TCHS assistant prinicipal Nikki Poole, Maria Ankiel, St. Lucie County School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, TCHS assistant principal Eldrique Gardner, Leilani Ankiel, TCHS assistant principal Henry Sanabria, Superintendent Genelle Yost, TCHS assistant principal Eric Evans, and St. Lucie County Education Foundation executive director Jim McKenzie. The foundation and the school board co-sponsor the annual recognition event.