Students in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) programs from St. Lucie West Centennial, Treasure Coast, Fort Pierce Central, and Port Saint Lucie high schools recently participated in a statewide student Leadership Development Camp (LDC) held in Central Florida. the theme of the camp was “Learn from the past, prepare for the future.” Student leaders from around Florida gathered to learn more about what it takes to be a leader, participating in workshops and activities that encouraged skills such as good communication, time management, preparing for the future, and empowerment. Participants not only learned how to strengthen leadership skills, but also how to create a unit and new friendships and life-long bonds while acquiring new skills for the future and becoming motivated to share what they learned with other students. Pictured, from left, are Lindsey Harris, Tony-Ann Walker, and Ashleigh Moten. Not pictured is Nathalia Gusmao. Written by Ashleigh Moten.
St. Lucie Public Schools’ Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell recently visited Joy West’s first grade class at Oak Hammock K-8 School, having been escorted to the school by storybook character Pete the Cat. Dr. Rendell read Pete the Cat’s groovier than ever cool adaptation of a favorite children’s song, “The Wheels on the Bus.” Students sang along using hand motions making all the different sounds a bus makes as it drives. At the end, Pete left on the bus and it looked like Dr. Rendell was driving! Pictured is Dr. Rendell as he delights students with his reading.
The Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition middle school chorus kicked off the holiday season with an appearance at QVC in Port St. Lucie recently. This annual performance was for the WPSL Christmas Kids Radio program. The chorus sang a variety of holiday music, including “Rock Around the Jingle Bells,” “Hope’s the Thing,” “Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child,” and “Seasons of Love.” The students were directed by Christine Hill, pictured far right with the chorus.
Second grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition put on their annual Thanksgiving performance after learning about Native Americans, Pilgrims, and fhe first Thanksgiving! They sang songs with the guidance of music director Christine Hill and put on a skit for families. Pictured are second graders as they perform for their families and friends.
Students on the Mariner team in Bob Burdge’s eighth grade Critical Thinking classes at Norhtport K-8 School are using all the skills necessary to learn to wrap holiday packages. The excitement was palpable as students estimated the amount of paper to wrap recycled boxes. Students measured, cut, and cornered using skills learned in geometry about angles and lines as they beautifully wrapped packages conserving and using the least amount of paper possible. The cooperative lesson was an authentic learning of a life skill that few of the students had mastered. Students in Susan Matteson’s Critical Thinking classes supported the collaborative lesson and earned community service points by using these same skills to make decorations for the school’s annual “Breakfast With Santa!” Students and teachers have been busy channeling the flow of positive student energy into fun and very essential lessons. In the critical thinking classes, students are making informed judgments, learning about conservation and applying math skills to a meaningful and optimal lesson. Pictured, from left are Paulina Palma, Michaela Washington, Alexis Jaworski, Mr. Burdge and Anyes Cintron.
Northport K-8 School hosted bullying expert Joe Wojcik, better known as “Joe the Biker,” recently in the school gymnasium. Joe held two sessions divided into grades sixth through eighth and grades third through fifth. Students filled the school bleachers and sat eagerly on the floor in both sessions to listen to “Joe the Biker” talk about how he was bullied as a child, how it affected his life, how to know if it really is bullying and how to empower oneself, find one’s own special talents and feel awesome about oneself. He personalized and tailored the talk directly to the Northport community of children, and the students felt very special. Middle grades students were familiar with “Joe the Biker” after reading his book “Call Me Yubbie” last year at the school. Hundreds of the students wrote personal letters to Joe to express feelings, give thanks and told him how inspiring he was as a speaker. The Northport K-8 School community takes bullying extremely seriously and has held several student assemblies, the third annual Unity Day Walk empowering students against bullying and teacher workshops to address student issues and concerns. Joe Wojcik is supported by the community efforts of the Port St. Lucie Sunset Rotary Club. Northport definitely stands as a caring, concerned community and is applying constant pressure in all avenues to eradicate bullying of all kinds. Joe is pictured speaking to the students and staff.
Students, faculty, and staff at Floresta Elementary School recently pulled together for a worthwhile cause — to collect and distribute food and related items to local needy families. Pictured are members of the student council, who performed the groundwork necessary to collect the donations each morning for two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. A great deal of appreciation is due these students, and the families, faculty and staff who contributed through donations or effort. Written by Suzanne Diaz.
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.
Bayshore Elementary School student council members sponsored a food drive to collect non-perishable food for those in need. Students organized the food so it could be dispersed to families in the community. Pictured are fifth grade students Kara Godown, left, student council treasurer from Megan Krinsky’s class, and Andyara Dew, student council secretary from Christine Mueller’s class.
St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputy and school resource officer Todd Hogan, a former sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, recently visited Dan McCarty School and spoke with eighth grade students in the “Elite Eight” program, which features students who have expressed an interest in participating in community service and becoming better students. Deputy Hogan spoke to the students about his experience in Air Force and his tour in Afghanistan. He also thanked them for the gift packages that were sent over to his men from Dan McCarty and how much they were appreciated. Pictured is SRO Hogan describing his helicopter shown in the background.
The Fort Pierce Central JROTC program started a food drive to support Big Brothers, Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties in order to provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need. With the help of the Army JROTC program, led by LTC Nevárez and 1SG Randall, the Fort Pierce Central High School faculty and students, with the help of the girls’ soccer team, collected enough non-perishable food items to feed over 30 families, successfully exceeding their goals and expectations of 15 families. Each family received a large bag, containing Thanksgiving-related items plus a whole turkey. The program has held this charity for the past six years, and will continue to help and provide for the less fortunate. Kelly Chicvara and Meagan Wiggins from Big Brothers, Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties are photographed with LTC Al Nevárez and cadets from the Army JROTC program picking up the meals for delivery. Written by CDT/1SG Connor Cheslock.
Students in Megan Castiglia and Susan Poveromo’s third grade classes at Northport K8 School were visited recently in the media center by Pilgrims direct from the Port St. Lucie American Legion Post 318. Pictured are Walter Sawyer, standing far right, as John Alden, with Rita Woodburn as Governor Bradford’s wife, Ann Mallardi as Priscilla Mullens and Gianna Vallee as Becky, a young child on the Mayflower. The ensemble told the students that 102 people were on the Mayflower crossing and only about half survived the trip, with only five women surviving. They spoke of the hardships the Pilgrims endured and also about the New World. Children learned that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US president, designated Thanksgiving as a national holiday and talked about the food eaten at the first Thanksgiving, such as wild game, lobster, clams and mussels. Students took away three valuable lessons from the pilgrims: everyone had to work hard and pull their weight to live, not to waste food and take it for granted because the Pilgrims had very little, and that plain, simple people will do anything for freedom, including crossing rough seas in a wooden boat with few supplies. Special thanks to the American Legion 318 for bringing history alive for Northport students and offering each student an American flag. Pictured standing, from left, are Gianna Vallee, Rita Woodburn, Ann Millardi and Walter Sawyer with several students.
Eighth grade students in Kip Wright’s Language Arts classes at Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition have been focusing on their writing. Students were privately provided their benchmark test writing scores, and correlated their score to an FCAT equivalent on a data wall in the back of their class, and can personally monitor their progress and growth over the next couple of months. Students worked diligently on the revisions of their essays with help and assistance from other student writers. Mr. Wright remarked that seeing his students share information for the betterment of the writing process and self is amazing. Pictured are Jordan Hodges, left, and Rachely Cruz as they work on improving their essays.
Reading mentorships are flourishing at Northport K-8 School. Students are excited to meet in small, informal groups with interested, concerned and effective instructors using a multi-pronged approach. Students have been meeting with mentors to read in the media center, on the patio, in the cafeteria and in the hallways to discuss books that interest the student groups. Reading mentors include media specialist Lynne Gruszka, reading coach Deb Mock, math coach Josie Bailey, and the newest reading mentor, Northport dean Agnes Brooks. Students are learning about the mentor programs through the morning announcements, through classroom teachers and by word of mouth. Students have expressed how exciting and vital the mentor groups have become and how reading needs are being met in an encouraging and dynamic new approach. Mentorships offer students who would perhaps not speak out in class an opportunity to meet with an instructor to receive support and exchange thought provoking ideas in a smaller, more personalized setting. Pictured is Dean Brooks with her group who have selected the book “Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale.
Southport Middle School seventh graders participated in a carousel activity to develop context for Mildred D. Taylor’s novel “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.” Students were assigned research topics and worked in groups to design posters on economic and social issues of the 1930s. The students then used the posters to teach their classmates about their research topic. By the end of the activity, all students were equipped with background knowledge the 1930s and prepared for a deep understanding of the issues faced by the Logan family and other characters in the novel. Pictured are Jelisea McIntyre, from left, Stephanie Brumlop, Danielle Timbo and Emily Schwartz.
Port St. Lucie High teacher Valerie Arendas escorted 22 students in her Forensics, Paralegal & Criminal Justice program interested in a pre-law course of study recently to Keiser University for a fun, interactive and educational field trip. Students met the judge presiding over a mock case and were sworn in as witnesses, and a jury deliberated the case presented to them. Pictured are the students in the college reception area.
Students and staff at Mariposa Elementary School recently enjoyed an assembly with remarks presented by the esteemed international Strength Team, rated #1 in the nation for school assembly programs. The group’s presentations promote anti-bullying, anti-peer pressure, anti-drugs, and anti-alcohol, while respecting others and academic excellence. A great morning was had by all with this motivating message on making the right choices and was received with applause, laughter, and cheering. Pictured is one of the team members addressing a question from the audience.
Clifford the Big Red Dog recently visited Frances K. Sweet Elementary School to promote the school’s fall book fair. Pictured is Clifford (Justin Adrian) with student Alex Neil with his purchase from the book fair. All profits from the book fair will be used to purchase new books for the Media Center.
First grade students at F. K. Sweet Elementary School have been learning about colors. They started with a black piece of paper and created the center of a sunflower with the neutral brown. Next, they used warm colors to create the petals. Last, they used cool colors to create a dot pattern in the background. The students noticed how the warm colors come forward and cool colors recede. Pictured in Cary Schott’s art resource class, top row from left, are Fayth Coley, Brandon Padilla Costilla, and Kanosha Hartwell. Bottom row, from left, Iris Vargas, and Nathan Downey.
Kinde3rgartners at St. Lucie Elementary School recently wrote thank you notes and made paper doll soldiers for members of unit 1-44 AMD in Fort Hood, Texas. Kindergarten teacher Suzanne Burke hand-delivered the notes personally to her daughter’s unit over Veteran’s Day weekend.