Employees honored at school board meeting

Employees honored at school board meeting

Two employees were honored at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for the S.T.A.R. (Special Thanks and Recognition) program, which recognizes employees for their behaviors, skills and actions that correlate with the district vision, and exemplify the district’s core values. Pictured, from left, are Superintendent Genelle Yost, honorees Palm Point Research School at Tradition music director Christine Hill, and WestGate K8 School dean Narvelene Lucas, with School Board chairman Debbie Hawley and student assignment director Michelle Jerger who manages the recognition program.

Fairlawn Elementary students recognized for state contest win

Fairlawn Elementary students recognized for state contest win

A team of Fairlawn Elementary School fifth grade students, along with their teacher Shirley Helton, were recognized at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for winning a 12-week competition throughout the state of Florida buying and selling stocks. They used math, reading, and writing skills to research, invest and calculate how to make profits in today’s stock market. They learned real life experiences as they bought and sold stocks with their $100,000.00 portfolio. The team of Jake Padrick and Val Magdaleno won first place, and in second place was the team of Colt Krischke and Connor Gillard, with Hunter Holmes and Andrea Esparza taking third place. Pictured, front row, from left, are students Andrea Esparza, Hunter Holmes, Colt Krischke, and Connor Gillard. Back row, from left, are School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Kerry Padrick, and Shirley Helton.

Youngest students delight superintendent with thoughts about school

Youngest students delight superintendent with thoughts about school

Two of the youngest guests to attend the Superintendent’s Learning Lunches this month delighted the superintendent and fellow participants with accounts of their school experiences. Phoebe, left, a pre-kindergarten student at Weatherbee Elementary School, and Windmill Point Elementary School kindergartner Christopher, attended the monthly event in March that invites students, school staff and parents to meet the superintendent at the school district office for a brown bag lunch, and to communicate school activities and concerns.

Lakewood Park Elementary shows appreciation to food program sponsors

Lakewood Park Elementary shows appreciation to food program sponsors

The staff at Lakewood Park Elementary School recently acknowledged Laura Klosterman, St. Lucie County coordinator for the Grace Pack Program, and Andrea Pierson, cafeteria manager, for their work for students in need. The Grace Pack’s mission is to provide weekly, weekend food packages for students whose families may be food insecure. To participate in the program, go to www.stlucieschools.org, click on the Schools tab, and go to the Lakewood Park Elementary School site, and click on Grace Pack for a complete list of food needs. Pictured, from left, are Principal Dianne Young, Andrea Pierson, Laura Klosterman, and Assistant Principal Tammy Smith.

St. Lucie West K8 team places in regional science bowl

St. Lucie West K8 team places in regional science bowl

A team of four students from St. Lucie West K8 School, coached by science teacher Dannette Rikard, placed fifth out of the 24 teams competing in the recent Florida Regional Space Coast Science Education Alliance Middle School Science Bowl at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa Beach. Pictured, from left, are Maikel House, Alexis Henke, Ms. Rikard, Asja Misner, and Kevin Le.

Port St. Lucie High cadet drill team wins district meet

Port St. Lucie High cadet drill team wins district meet

The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion drill team won overall first place at the recent district drill meet, placing first in two events, second in two events, third in two events, and fourth in four events, qualifying the team to compete at the state competition. The Jaguar team competed against 17 schools from Brevard, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach counties. The male drill team commander is Tyler Lynn, and the female drill team commander is Ashlee Seipel. Pictured is the drill team. Photo by Kyler Morton.

Mariposa Elementary N.E.E.D. group reaches out to teach more students

Mariposa Elementary N.E.E.D. group reaches out to teach more students

The fifth grade students on the N.E.E.D. (National Energy Education Development) project team at Mariposa Elementary School are busy focusing on learning and teaching energy sources to students in other grade levels within the school. Mariposa Elementary is the N.E.E.D. state elementary school of the year, and a national finalist. This year’s group is highly motivated and working towards attending the national awards ceremony in Washington D.C. this June. Pictured, from left, are team members Cathy Smith, Justin Locklar, Hannah Wright, Monica Kalina, Mary McCartney, Mikayla Sampson, Tnanazia Young, Johann Vianna, Allysha Lillard, Jan Feliciano, and Adam Archer.

Schools superintendent earns most donations to kiss the pig

Schools superintendent earns most donations to kiss the pig

St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent Genelle Yost garnered the most donations in a month-long fundraising activity to benefit Kids at Hope, a mentoring initiative of the Roundtable of St. Lucie County, earning the right to kiss a pig at the St. Lucie County Fair. Yost exceeded the funds raised by the five other local women community leaders in the contest, and topped the winner of last year’s all-male team in contributions. “I truly wanted to be the one to get to kiss the pig,” Yost remarked, adding appreciation for all of the friends, colleagues and community members who supported her campaign. Pictured are Superintendent Yost, left, holding the winner’s trophy, and St. Lucie County School Board chairman Debbie Hawley.

Savanna Ridge Elementary students learn to be writing wizards

Savanna Ridge Elementary students learn to be writing wizards

The “Writing Wizard” James Dean recently helped prepare students at Savanna Ridge Elementary School for the annual FCAT Writes standardized test. Dean, a representative from Thinking Maps, has been diligently working with the teachers and students in preparation for the writing test. The day consisted of students creating magic wands, wizard hats, and hearing a presentation to help reinforce the material they learned for the test. The students rotated through stations where they used their wands to “zap” out irrelevant information, became writing wizards on how to use clear and precise language, created thinking maps on helpful writing hints, and used their magic wands to create thank you notes and good luck cards to their peers and teachers. The students enjoyed having the visitors and were enthusiastic and prepared for the FCAT Writes! Pictured is Principal LaTanya Greene with students celebrating in one of the stations.

Port St. Lucie Police Department and Kids at Hope to host family forum

The Port St. Lucie Police Department and Kids at Hope will present a free family forum on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in the City of Port St. Lucie Municipal Complex, 121 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd., from 1 to 3 PM. This forum will address social, academic and career success in a child’s future. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are suggested. Refreshments will be provided. A variety of special guests will present information on how to plan for success for children. For additional information or to reserve a seat, contact Alice Kenyon at the Juvenile Restorative Justice Initiative 772-344-4087 or akenyon@cityofpsl.com.

Northport K8 student ambassadors welcome visitors

Northport K8 student ambassadors welcome visitors

Selected Northport K-8 middle grades students have been specially trained to serve as school ambassadors to help showcase the great events and opportunities that are available to the students, families and community members at the school. Northport has many, many community partners including military members, first responders, service therapy dog handlers and many guests who require movement within the school. The selected students have been trained to offer their guests specialized services within a cordial and warm atmosphere, and willingly offer their hand and polite conversation while transporting guests to any location on the campus grounds. The students consider being a Northport ambassador a privilege and an honor, and serve the school very well. Each ambassador has a special lanyard and tee shirt to signify that they are a school ambassador. Northport K-8 School is very proud of their school ambassador program, the goal of which is to never let a guest feel unwelcome. Pictured are the ambassadors with school staff.

‘Clifford’ celebrates Northport K8 book fair with students

‘Clifford’ celebrates Northport K8 book fair with students

Northport K-8 School kicked off its second book fair of the school year themed “Cruise Into Reading” by inviting Clifford the Big, Red Dog to shake the hand of parents in the parent drop off area and to welcome students into school to check out the book fair. Big Brothers, Big Sisters AmeriCorps tutors Renee Simpson and Alex Neelan are taking turns donning the red suit to intrigue the students into visiting the book fair and to promote the joy of reading to the students and parents at Northport K-8 School. The AmeriCorps tutors have become an integral facet of the school, and the students and teachers are thrilled to see them hard at work helping to make the educational experience at Northport very positive. Pictured are AmeriCorps tutor Renee Simpson as Clifford, and several excited Northport students.

Northport K8 student writers honored by Elks

Northport K8 student writers honored by Elks

Northport K-8 students were honored recently at the Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge No. 2658 for excellence in writing. The Elks offered St. Lucie County students the opportunity to respond to an essay contest entitled “What Veterans Day Means To Me!” Northport students, their parents and families, and media specialist Lynne Gruszka, were treated to a wonderful dinner, honored with six cash prizes of $100 and $50 for all winners, and beautiful plaques inscribed with each student’s name. The students were thrilled with the opportunity to experience writing with feedback and reward from community members. Northport thanks the Elks Lodge 2658 for the excellent opportunity to respond to one of the most important questions that students can answer. Pictured are essay winners, from left, Taygen Pennella, Darley Dorvilier, Trevor Walk, Connor O’Sullivan and Elks Lodge Americanism chairman Jack DeBell. Not pictured are essay winners Syad Rievi and Naema El-Azzami. Participating in the contest and the dinner was a wonderful experience for the Northport K-8 School students.

Weatherbee Elementary promotes reading in principal’s challenge

Weatherbee Elementary promotes reading in principal’s challenge

Weatherbee Elementary School celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday this week by kicking off its Principal’s Reading Challenge, with the entire faculty and staff encouraging students to read as much as possible to improve their literacy. Each student will read to gain individual and classroom points. Pictured are media specialist Diane Laster and data specialist Louise Lucia looking for books in the school library.

Centennial High health occupations students advance to state contests

Centennial High health occupations students advance to state contests

Students in the allied health academy at St. Lucie West Centennial High School (SLWCHS) recently participated in the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) Winter Leadership Conference at Keiser University in West Palm Beach along with HOSA members from all over Region IX to determine those who would go on to state competition. Teacher and HOSA advisor Elizabeth Durkee coordinated events for the students. Pictured, from left, front row, are SLWCHS students Jalisa Smith, third place, Human Growth and Development; Michael Riley, third place, Dental Science; Tony-Anne Walker, third place, Home Health Aide; Victoria Hodges, first place, Speaking Skills. Back row, from left, are Sirenna Peance, fifth place, Physical Therapy; Nathalia Gomez, fifth place, Health Education team; Lindsey Harris, fourth place, Medical Law and Ethics; Joseph Motilal, fourth place, Pathophysiology; Savannah Beatty, fifth place, Home Health Aide; Alexia Stewart, fourth place, Medical Assisting; and Kristen Kohler and Rachel Cormier, fifth place, Health Education team. Not pictured is Orlando Duron, fourth place, Medical Photography. The next stop for these students is HOSA State Leadership Conference April 3-6 for the state contests.

Northport K8 welcomes guests to celebrate literacy

Northport K8 welcomes guests to celebrate literacy

Northport K-8 School Media Center and Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) of St. Lucie County, in conjunction with the AmeriCorps tutoring program, joined forces to bring a terrific community celebration of Read Across America and the birthday of Dr. Seuss to the students of Northport K-8 School recently. Special guests from across the county were warmly welcomed for a huge breakfast and then were escorted across the campus to K-5 classrooms by student ambassadors. Students and teachers were overwhelmed by the display of love, care and concern for education by arriving guests. Special thanks to Olivia Watkins, Mayor Joanne Faiella, Vice Mayor Linda Bartz, Amanda Wiggins, Janet Haydin, Mona Davis, Ashley Mock Kidd, Sasha Ramirez, Trisha Maitland, Lt. Carmine, Assistant Chiefs Deltoro and Vega of the Port St. Lucie Police Department, Jackie Hull, Robin Burk, Gina Magana, St. Lucie County Sheriff Deputy Todd Hogan, Audrey Slater and her therapy dog, Oliver, Tanya Taylor, Joni Wyszokiwski, Jolene Carrabollo, Port St. Lucie City Councilwoman Ramona Oertli, School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, David Hall, Kelly Haddox, St. lucie School District history coordinator Tim Norfleet, St. Lucie School District science supervisor Beth Bonvie, Northport AmeriCorps tutors and a variety of other caring people from across St. Lucie County who volunteered their time and efforts to make the morning absolutely wonderful for the students. Guests were treated to a winning speech by sixth grade student Trevor Walk, one of six students who won cash prizes by the Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge about the importance of commemorating Veteran’s Day. Pictured is the group of guests.

Families enjoy Winter Games at Gaines Academy

Families enjoy Winter Games at Gaines Academy

The staff and faculty at Samuel Gaines Academy recently sponsored a Winter Games family event.  At least 200 families — over 400 people — attended.  The opening ceremonies included teachers with their students in a “parade of colleges.” Grade level teams promoted colleges with banners as students proudly waved college flags. The family games, teacher challenges and closing ceremony that followed engaged students and families of all ages throughout the evening. In addition, parents were appreciative of the take home materials and supplies to use with their children. Pictured, from left, are fifth grade teacher Saphir St. Louis, AVID teacher Kristen Register, and fourth grade teacher Matthew Saenz.

Lawnwood Elementary repeats as first place fair winner

Lawnwood Elementary repeats as first place fair winner

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.

Southport Middle School students celebrate literacy

Southport Middle School students celebrate literacy

Students at Southport Middle School recently celebrated literacy with popcorn and refreshments during each grade level’s book swap. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders were able to bring in books from home and swap with each other. There were also some new books donated from the reading department as well. Pictured is Brendan Gonzalez enjoying the event, along with other eighth grade students during their time in the media center.