Assistant principal Sanabria recognized by education commissioner

Assistant principal Sanabria recognized by education commissioner

Treasure Coast High School Assistant Principal Henry Sanabria was recognized at the Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s Leadership Award luncheon recently as St. Lucie County’s nominee for 2014 Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year. Pictured are Sanabria, left, and Commissioner Pam Stewart. Congratulations for this outstanding achievement.

F. K. Sweet kindergartners sort shapes

F. K. Sweet kindergartners sort shapes

Frances K. Sweet Elementary School students Ruben Medina, left, and Olivia Gomez, pictured, in Michelle O’Keefe’s kindergarten class enjoy sorting two-dimensional flat shapes and three-dimensional solid shapes. After sorting, students ate their shapes! Ruben enjoyed the cheeseball sphere and Olivia enjoyed eating the Hershe’s Kiss cone.

C. A. Moore kindergartners count and celebrate 100 days

C. A. Moore kindergartners count and celebrate 100 days

Kindergartners at C.A. Moore Elementary School in Fort Pierce recently celebrated 100 days of school with a myriad of activities. Students had fun counting to 100 as they popped 100 balloons, in “I am 100 Days Smarter,” students colored a graph as they counted each shape to match the number of shapes, and during word work, the students wrote 100 words that they use in the classroom. Students counted out 10 groups of 10 snacks to equal 100, during writing, students responded to, “If I had 100 dollars, I would buy…” and used their creativity to see what they could build with 100 Dixie cups. By the end of the day, the students were 100 days smarter! Pictured, kindergarten teacher Sabrina Faniel and her students parade in the hall.

Fairlawn Elementary’s Helton VFW’s national Citizenship Teacher of the Year

Fairlawn Elementary’s Helton VFW’s national Citizenship Teacher of the Year

Fairlawn Elementary School fifth grade teacher Shirley Helton learned February 4, 2014, she has been named the 2014 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national Citizenship Teacher of the Year. Helton was awarded the state honor in January at the organization’s state conference in Orlando. Helton expects formal recognition from the organization later in February.

Students inspired to become entrepreneurs

Students inspired to become entrepreneurs

Fort Pierce Central High School student council co-presidents and future business owners Terrence McQueen, left, and Tatiana Peterkin, right, are shown with former and long term St. Lucie County School Board chairman and local business leader Dr. Samuel S. Gaines during the recent All About Black Businesses of the Treasure Coast event. Participants displayed their spirit for the Black History Month celebrated in February. The students were treated to breakfast, heard advice from some of the top local businesses owners, and enjoyed a book signing by former 104.7 WFLM morning show host and ESPN analyst Vera Jones.

Northport kindergartners celebrate being 100 days smarter

Northport kindergartners celebrate being 100 days smarter

Northport K-8 School kindergartners in Shana Cicio, Kara McNair, Nancy Yost, Melody Nieves and Tiffany Tredor’s classes celebrated being 100 days smarter recently by giving a big “Hip Hip Hooray!” to a “One Hundred Days” celebration. Students and teachers collaborated by reading the book “100 Day Worries” by Margery Cuyler. Students also made “100 Day trail mix” with 100 ingredients, counting by tens. Students practiced counting to one hundred and reading and writing one hundred words. Kindergarten teacher Tiffany Tredor thrilled the students by dressing up as a 100-year-old woman. By the end of the day, every kindergartner was absolutely sure that they understand the number 100! Pictured are kindergartners from Melody Nieves class enjoying the day!

Employees honored as inaugural STAR recognition program recipients

Employees honored as inaugural STAR recognition program recipients

Fort Pierce Central High School (FPCHS) culinary arts teacher Margaret (Peggy) Ash and school plant manager Barbara Hisey were honored at the January 28, 2014, St. Lucie School Board meeting for the inaugural presentation of the S.T.A.R. (Special Thanks and Recognition) employee recognition program. The two long-time school district employees were honored for doing “whatever it takes” to get the job done, as evidenced in their vital contribution to the success of the district’s Early Childhood Discoveries conference held on January 11, 2014 at the school. Ms. Hisey and her team stayed late and their responsiveness to the needs of the event the Friday night before, and all day Saturday were outstanding. Ms. Ash and her culinary arts program students provided 250 lunches to those in attendance and her personal touch made all the difference. Pictured, from left, are Assistant Principal Megan Guyer, school board chairman Debbie Hawley, site maintenance workers Eddie Bussey and William Durr, FPCHS principal Todd Smith, site maintenance worker Frankie Jackson, St. Lucie Schools Superintendent Genelle Yost, Barbara Hisey, FPCHS plant manager Eva Wortham, site maintenance worker Donald Jordan, and FPCHS assistant principals Kristi Pacocha and Mary Hoffman.

Northport media center promotes American initiative

Northport media center promotes American initiative

Northport K-8 Media Center is busy promoting books, programs and initiatives, but the one most special to media specialist Lynne Gruszka and principal Glenn Rustay is the “Building American Pride, One Flag At A Time” program. The program was kick started immediately following the Northport annual 9/11 Remembrance program in September. Guest speaker, retired New York City Detective and 9/11 First Responder Albert Hickey, spoke to the students about his experiences and noted that few homes had American flags waving on his drive to the school. Many students expressed that they would like an American flag flying from their homes and want to know where to purchase flags. Ms. Gruszka began a campaign of community involvement and education about the program and continues to receive many donations from community clubs and citizens who care about the students, the school, the programs offered and the country and wanted to help the school fulfill the need. Students will receive their American flag kits right along with their diplomas in June at the formal eighth grade graduation. The Sons of the American Revolution will hand out the flags and many veterans as well as Detective Hickey will be present. The flags will be dedicated to the extremely difficult work that Detective Hickey did to assist the country and the victims of September 11, 2001. Special thanks to Robin Booth Cafarelli, Vic and Cheryl Rowe, Dorothy Vanderhoff, Karen Sweeney, Dr. Michael Salerno, Linda Walker, retired Northport principal Jane Summa, Nancy Wernicki, Grace Therapies, LCC, Bill and Mary Arnold, Detective Albert Hickey, Jack Ivy Detachment, Women’s Aux. Mirta Cepeda, Dr. Judi Miller, Korean War Veterans Association chapter 106 and Retired USAF Sgt. Roy Brewer. The educational initiative will continue until April when the flags will be purchased. If interested, please contact lynne.gruszka@stlucieschools.org. Pictured is Ms. Gruszka accepting a donation from Sgt. Brewer.

Mariposa Elementary students study geometry

Mariposa Elementary students study geometry

At Mariposa Elementary, Cynthia Deal in Maria Nunez’s fourth grade class was engaged in finding 12 different types of angles. The activity included having a great deal of fun during the learning process. Cynthia used mini-marshmallows and wooden toothpicks to create these various angles.

Northport abuzz with super spellers

Northport abuzz with super spellers

Northport K-8 School has been buzzing with super spellers recently as 35 students in grades four through eight practiced using flashcards, spelling buddies and parent support to help make the annual Northport Spelling Bee a phenomenal success. Parents, fellow students and staff cheered as the school based winner was announced on the afternoon announcements. The spelling bee went eight intense, very professional rounds. The winner of the bee is Ashley Quijada, a seventh grade Northstar student. Ashley will participate in the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee held at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 9:00 am. Ashley’s winning word was “shiatsu.” The Northport alternate and second place winner was Tristan Kormony. Honored judges were the Big Brothers, Big Sisters, AmeriCorps tutors who serve Northport students every day, Miss Renee and Ms. Jackie and pronouncer was AmeriCorps tutor, Ms. Alex. The Master of the Bee was media specialist Lynne Gruszka. Pictured are several parents in attendance, the AmeriCorps tutors and the spelling bee participants.

Palm Pointe families enjoy linguini and literacy

Palm Pointe families enjoy linguini and literacy

Students and staff at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition celebrated literacy recently by participating in a Literacy and Linguini evening event.  Families were invited to come and enjoy a free spaghetti dinner and watch students and staff members act out skits from books. Over 600 people came out for the event. Students all received a free book and bookmark and adults were also able to participate in a free book exchange. Several staff members dressed up as storybook characters and took pictures with students. Pictured, from left, are staff members Matthew Kovach, Summer Kuba, Emily Bokhart, Debbie Iseman, Dana Schang, Tina Ruybulid, Andrea Tang and Debborah Estrada performing a skit from the book “The Seven Chinese Sisters.”  Everyone enjoyed this event!

Savanna Ridge Elementary celebrates Literacy Week with special events

Savanna Ridge Elementary celebrates Literacy Week with special events

Savanna Ridge Elementary had an exciting week of activities for this year’s Literacy Week. Students participated in buddy reading, where they were paired up with other students and read together. They also had engaging conversations about books while enjoying a snack during “chew and chat.” Families were invited to the school for “Books and Baked Ziti Night,” where parents participated in literacy stations where they learned how to incorporate reading at home, valuable online resources, and how to utilize our print rich environment. Parents enjoyed baked ziti, a book exchange, and were even able to sign up for a public library card. The highlight of the week was the many guest readers from the community and school district to share their favorite book with the students. The students were so excited to have police officers, business owners, school board members, university students, and district leaders here to read to them. The students were able to hear and see the love of reading that we learn as children and carry with us throughout our lives. Thank you to everyone who participated in Literacy Week at Savanna Ridge, it was a huge success! Pictured are Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Kerry Padrick, left, Dr. Mary Huffstetter and her dog Charlie celebrating the week by sharing a story with kindergarten students.

Local cheer teams earn spots for state competition

Local cheer teams earn spots for state competition

Lincoln Park Academy and St. Lucie West Centennial High School cheerleading squads recently competed in the regional cheerleading competition held in Tampa. Under the direction of coaches Traci Krencik at Lincoln Park Academy, and Sara Connell at St. Lucie West Centennial, both squads practiced very hard for the regional competition and the upcoming state competition to be held soon in Kissimmee. In the regional competition, the Lincoln Park squad came in third place out of five teams in their category, and the Centennial squad placed fifth out of the eight teams in their division. Good luck to both teams at the state meet.

Lakewood Park students get tasty STEM science lesson

Lakewood Park students get tasty STEM science lesson

Students in Edward Albert’s fifth grade class at Lakewood Park Elementary recently performed a tasty science lesson. They were doing a lab where they made a model (out of chocolate) learning how the three different types of rocks are formed. Pictured are Adonay Ayala-Garcia, left, and Nick Rowse.

Oak Hammock kindergartners use technology to enjoy literature

Oak Hammock kindergartners use technology to enjoy literature

Kindergartners in Molly Hartley’s class at Oak Hammock K8 School recently jumped into a story in the media center! Using an iPad app and an amazing book, students got to see the pages of “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by William Joyce come alive on the SmartBoard! Pictured, from left, are Amarion Johnson, Benjamin Spencer Taylor, Presley Spencer, Ethan Riggs, Clifford Pierre, Deanna Romero, Brianna Monroig, Isaiah Ocasio, Richard Lucas III, Zachary Kaes, and Chloe Caldwell.

Oak Hammock K8 holds spelling bee

Oak Hammock K8 holds spelling bee

The 2014 Oak Hammock Spelling Bee was held recently, with 18 students representing grades 4 through 8 participating. Congratulations to all contestants! Eighth grade student Emily Fortin, left, is the Oak Hammock Spelling Bee Champion, while fifth grade student Kyle Kierst is the winner for grades K-5.

Fort Pierce Central cadets enjoy annual ball

Fort Pierce Central cadets enjoy annual ball

The Fort Pierce Central High School (FPCHS) JROTC recently celebrated its 29th Anniversary Military Ball, which was a culmination of all the hard work the cadets have put into the program over the past semester. The event was nearly totally planned and executed by the cadet staff, headed by the Cadet Battalion Commander Nicole Geldmaker and Cadet Executive officer Leandro Troncoso. The event consisted of a formal diner and ceremony as well as a dance. The guest speaker was FPCHS Assistant Principal Mimi Hoffman. The cadets enjoyed themselves while still remaining respectful of the organization and the venue of their fun. Pictured, from left, are FPCHS First Sgt. Darin Randall, Art Walker of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, Cadet Battalion Commander Nicole Geldmaker, Lynn Steele of the Special Forces Warfare Association, Carl Wade of the Sons of the American Revolution Association, and FPCHS Lt. Col. Al Nevárez. Awards were presented to several cadets for their outstanding performance this year.

Retired Navy officer thrills students with tales of submarines

Retired Navy officer thrills students with tales of submarines

Northport K-8 School was delighted to host retired United States Navy Lt. Commander Jerry Padrta recently as a guest speaker for students in Nick Carey, Georgia Stone, Carla Caldwell, Mindi Slater and Tracey Healy’s fifth and middle grades classes. LCDR Padrta spoke to the students about his upbringing as a child in Northern Minnesota, the hardships and the driving cold weather. He spoke about his school and college experience and perhaps most intriguing to the students and teachers, his naval career spent in a submarine. Padrta gave an eye opening talk about the history of the submarine. The first sub was used in the Revolutionary War in 1777 and was made of wood and steel, he continued the discussion about the great submarine, the Hunley which sank three times and killed all men on board. He spoke about the first ship built by the United States Navy called the Holland in 1900 and the first diesel electric submarines used during WWII. He encouraged students to be tough, face life’s challenges head on and be prepared for the 21st century job market. He also spoke to students about nuclear submarines and energy sources. The students thrilled at the sound of the Claxson bell being rung as Padrta explained that the bell is the common form of communication recognized by all submariners. It means, “Dive, dive, dive!” He also came prepared with a five foot replica of a WWII submarine that the students deeply inspected. The discussion was a great learning experience for students and a primary source is always a welcome and much needed part of the learning and critical thinking experience. Pictured from left are veterans Bill Arnold, Jerry Padrta and Charles Lomonica with several Northport students.

Floresta Elementary families enjoy Math Night

Floresta Elementary families enjoy Math Night

Floresta Elementary School recently hosted Family Math Nights. Kindergarten through second grade and third grade through fifth grade students and parents attended two special presentations explaining the new Common Core State Standards along with an overview of what students are expected to become fluent in with regards to mathematics.

Parents and students participated in math tutorials that included double-digit multiplication using partial product and long division using partial quotient. Parents learned math games to use at home with their students as well as tricks and tips on how to talk with their children about math.

Family Math Night at Floresta was a huge success with parents, teachers, and students. The evenings were hosted by math coach Victoria Pease, and refreshments were provided by the Floresta PTO.  Students were given a math goodie bag with dice, playing cards, beads, and index cards to use at home.

Written by Sandy Pagliughi