St. Lucie Education Channel added to U-verse lineup

All subscribers to AT&T U-verse service in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Palm Beach counties can now view programming on the St. Lucie Education Channel, WLX-TV. This advancement adds thousands of viewers to the school district programming to those already watching on Comcast Channels 13, 19 and Hometown Cable 19 covering St. Lucie County. Connectivity to the AT&T network utilizes V-Brick technology that has been in place in the school district for five years through Media Services; there is no cost to the school district to be added to the AT&T U-verse lineup. St. Lucie Public Schools joins the Public, Education and Government (PEG) channels for Indian River County Schools, the cities of Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach, and Martin and St. Lucie counties on the channel. To view WLX-TV programming, AT&T U-verse subscribers should tune to channel 99, press OK on the remote. Then, look for and navigate to St. Lucie County Community Channels, click OK, then look for WLX-TV and press OK.

School Board votes to extend superintendent search

The St. Lucie County School Board today decided to extend the search for a successor to retiring Superintendent Michael Lannon during a meeting with search consultant Jim Huge. Huge began the meeting by announcing that finalist Scott Bailey withdrew his candidacy due to personal health issues. Board members could come to no clear consensus in selecting a new superintendent, so they discussed several options suggested by Huge, from selecting one of the finalists, to beginning the process anew later in the year. Board members named their top three candidates — Agnella Perera, Mark Rendell and Darci Mohr — whom Huge will contact to determine their interest in continuing the process, and will also reach out to several other qualified candidates who were not available at the onset of the search process but have shown an interest in being considered. The meeting, which was open to the public, will be broadcast on the district’s educational channel on Comcast 13, 19 or Hometown 19 and posted on the district’s web site at http://www.stlucie.k12.fl.us/seasonal/superintendent-search.aspx. Deputy Superintendent Genelle Yost has been named interim superintendent as of July 1, 2013 and will serve in that capacity until a new superintendent is named.

Jaguar Battalion presents colors for graduating seniors

Jaguar Battalion presents colors for graduating seniors

The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion supported the Port St. Lucie High’s graduation ceremony with the Presentation of the Colors. Leading the color guard was C/CPL Lily Durst, C/2LT Ashlee Seipel carrying the State Flag followed by the two guards, C/1LT James Williams and C/SSG Tyrone Salazar. Afterwards, the band played the National Anthem, led by John McGallagher, and senior class president Jemima Thermidor led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Senior Class of 2013 played a major role in leading the Jaguar Battalion to success. Pictured, from left, C/1LT James Williams, C/CPL Lily Durst, C/2LT Ashlee Seipel, and C/SSG Tyrone Salazar. Picture by Kayla Figueroa.

Northport celebrates graduates and honors DDay heroes

Northport celebrates graduates and honors DDay heroes

Northport K-8 School celebrated the annual formal eighth grade graduation ceremony recently with several hundred parents, grandparents and family members present in the school gymnasium. Instructor Angel Bracero, who is also the pastor of the Lighthouse Church in Port St. Lucie, gave a moving and funny imparting of words and advice as guest speaker, referencing George Jefferson and “Moving on Up,” encouraging students to always move forward and choose the right friends. The school community also honored the Northport K-8 School Veteran Partners In Education by beginning the program with an Honor Guard of all branches of the military and veterans from all across the county. Students honored Sgt. Ray Carter, a D-Day hero who fought at Normandy Beach and Omaha Beach as part of the 69th anniversary of D-Day. In addition, Northport Veteran Partners also dedicated a replica of the Presidential limousine inscribed with the American flag to add to the school’s collection of veteran and military memorabilia. Pictured are the Honor Guard and parent in the center, Sgt. Yobany White, United States Army Veteran who served in Iraq from 2000-2006. Sgt. White is the father of graduate Johanna Vergara.

Eighth grade 2013 mural complete at Palm Pointe

Eighth grade 2013 mural complete at Palm Pointe

Eighth grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently celebrated their graduation from middle school and are getting ready to embark on new challenges at the high school level. Each year the graduating class designs a mural depicting something special about their last year at Palm Pointe.  This year, the design team’s theme was “The End Is A New Beginning”. With the NASA space program coming to a close, and the students leaving Palm Pointe, the students decided to use the rocket as this year’s theme.  Pictured is the design team, from left, Anna Cardenal, Dharic LaGrandeur, Alexander Emmert, Paula Hoheb and Sergio Solari. 

Palm Pointe students learn about summer programs

Palm Pointe students learn about summer programs

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition promoted Ticket to Read and VMath Live Summermania to the students at the school.  During morning announcements, the Ticket to Read character told all the students about the summer programs and how they could participate on their computers during the summer. Top participants in the program will win Toys R Us gift cards, Barnes and Noble gift cards, and Apple Shuffle MP3 players. The students were very excited to begin these awesome programs. Pictured are Juliette Murray’s fifth grade students, Principal Debra Snyder, back left, and the Ticket to Read character.

Northport students and families celebrate accomplishments

Northport students and families celebrate accomplishments

Northport K-8 kindergartners, fifth, and eighth grade students are celebrating their accomplishments with “Moving Up” ceremonies, dances, picnics and parties. Parents and grandparents, as well as teachers and administrators, are proud of the students’ progress at Northport. Kindergartneners celebrated with classroom ceremonies, fifth graders will host a formal celebration, and eighth graders will celebrate with a formal ceremony in the evening with a host of Veteran partners serving as flag bearers for an honor color guard to kick off the ceremony. Students will also honor Sgt. Ray Carter of the United States Army, who participated in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy Beach and Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. This year is the 69th anniversary of D-Day. At Northport, we celebrate students and honor our United States military. Pictured is fifth grader Danarius Yearby from Nichole Robinson’s class. Some of the highlights of his year, Darius remarked, were his awesome teachers, friends, trip to Oxbow Eco-Center, Northport Field Day and science project.

St. Lucie students’ percentage of proficiency scores on FCAT science test improve

Fort Pierce, FL — The percentage of St. Lucie Public Schools fifth and eighth grade students who scored proficiency, or passing, scores on the science section of the 2013 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) 2.0 went up two percentage points this year compared to last, from 43% to 45%, according to results released today by the Florida Department of Education.

White City Elementary fifth grade students led the district in increased level of proficiency on this year’s FCAT 2.0 science test compared to last year with an increase of 25 percentage points. F. K. Sweet Elementary fifth grade students and Lincoln Park Academy eighth grade students led the district in proficiency on the new FCAT 2.0 science test, with 72% of students at both schools scoring at proficiency, followed by fifth grade students from Morningside, White City, and Fairlawn elementary schools, and St. Lucie West and WestGate K-8 schools, all with students scoring above 60% proficiency.

This year’s scores are the first reported on the new proficiency scale developed in September of 2012. The FDOE will release ‘retrofitted scores’ for science, designed to provide more accurate comparisons between students’ performance from 2012 to 2013.

Students at five St. Lucie schools have 100% passing rates on Geometry test

Fort Pierce, FL — Students in five St. Lucie County public schools had 100% passing rates on the End-of-Course Geometry exam, according to results released today by the Florida Department of Education. These included Southern Oaks and Forest Grove middle schools, Allapattah Flats and Westgate K-8 schools, and Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts.

Out of 2,409 St. Lucie students participating in the 2013 Geometry End-of Course exam, 45% scored at the level designated as proficient or passing, according to results released today by the Florida Department of Education.

Other highlights of the results show:
• Southern Oaks had 81% of their Geometry students score at the highest achievement level 5, with 19% scoring a level 4.
• Thirteen schools had score averages above the district average: Southern Oaks, Forest Grove, and Southport middle schools; Allapattah, WestGate, Oak Hammock, St. Lucie West and Fort Pierce Magnet K-8 schools, Lincoln Park Academy, Treasure Coast High School,Renaissance Charter, and College Preparatory Academy of the Treasure Coast.

Students enjoy math trails at Palm Pointe

Students enjoy math trails at Palm Pointe

Rachelle Rudzinski, a fifth grade student at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition, teaches a second grade class a math lesson with the Math Trail Lessons that  Michelle Powers and Lindsey Hudson’s fifth grade classes created throughout the school hallways at Palm Pointe. Students enjoyed solving math problems that were posted throughout the school. 

More Central High student athletes sign to play college athletics

More Central High student athletes sign to play college athletics

An additional 12 student athletes at Fort Pierce Central High School signed letters of intent to play athletics in college this coming season. A celebration was recently held by the students, staff and families for the occasion. Athletes and their schools are: Jonathan Marcelin, football, Bethany College; Jonathan Marsailles, wrestling, Central Baptist College; Maurice Campbell, football, Southern University; Jameel Jackson, football, Grambling State University; Tyler Gaskin, football, Benedict College; Deion Robinson, football, Graceland University; Eugene Jacobs, football, Ave Maria University; Nikko Crespo, baseball, SUNY Canton; Roneisha Jordan, volleyball/basketball, Rainy River Community College; Ebony Joseph, basketball, Rainy River Community College; Nic Padrick, football, Mount Union College; Demarcus Semer, football, Elmhurst College; and Shanessa Rees, softball, Benedict College. Congratulations to all.

Treasure Coast High students launch water balloons to study algebra

Treasure Coast High students launch water balloons to study algebra

Students in Robby Green’s math classes at Treasure Coast High School participated in an exciting activity where they launched water balloons on a large slingshot to reinforce Algebra concepts. The release point was used as the coordinate (0, 0), the point where it passed through the slingshot as a second fixed point. Students used a trundle wheel to measure the total distance their balloon traveled, this was their third coordinate. Using the three coordinates each student will calculate the quadratic equation that models their launched balloon. Using the aforementioned information, students created their own equation to calculate the height of the trajectory. Pictured is Joseph Driscoll preparing to launch a balloon.

Weatherbee Elementary safety patrol visits Sea World as reward

Weatherbee Elementary safety patrol visits Sea World as reward

In appreciation of their tireless commitment to maintaining a safe learning environment for their peers, a group of Weatherbee Elementary fifth graders recently enjoyed a day at Sea World. Members of the safety patrol, supervised by Roberta Weil, and the Weatherbee morning news crew, directed by Robyn Wright, worked daily throughout the school year to be positive role models and help the entire student body exhibit Mariner SAIL behavior expectations. Pictured are the Mariners who visited the park.

Former Miami Dolphin Cross visits Oak Hammock to encourage reading

Former Miami Dolphin Cross visits Oak Hammock to encourage reading

Former Miami Dolphins NFL football player Jeff Cross recently visited Oak Hammock K8 School. Meeting and talking with Cross was an incentive for students to be among the school’s top readers for Sunshine State Books. Pictured is Cross with, from left, Sydnee, Hailey, Jennifer, Cassidy, and Julianna.

First graders enjoy Spring in Paris dance at Palm Pointe

First graders enjoy Spring in Paris dance at Palm Pointe

First grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition enjoyed a PBS (Positive Behavior Support) dance recently. The theme was Spring in Paris and the students dressed in their finest attire. Students earned rocket fuel for their positive behavior and turned them in to their teachers to be able to attend the dance. All the classes enjoyed the event as well as the teachers. Pictured is first grader A’Marion Hall in the center surrounded by his classmates.

Schools recognized for support for Relay for Life

Schools recognized for support for Relay for Life

At the May 28, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting, the American Cancer Society (ACS)and the organizers of the St. Lucie West Relay For Life recognized the contributions of the staff, parents and students at 12 local schools who participated in the April, 2013 event, and thanked them for their hard work, volunteer service, and dedication. Many of the 14 teams that participated this year have done so for several years. Eric Finkel, Lori Finkel, and Robyn Young representing ACS presented a “You Make a Difference” Certificate of Appreciation to team leaders from St. Lucie West Centennial High School, Frances K. Sweet Elementary, Northport K-8 School, Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition, Parkway Elementary School, Renaissance Charter School, Rivers Edge Elementary School, St. Lucie Elementary School, Bayshore Elementary School, Weatherbee Elementary School, College Preparatory Academy of the Treasure Coast, and Treasure Coast High School. Pictured are the recipients with School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, back left, and Superintendent Michael Lannon, back right.

Gaines essay contest winners recognized at school board meeting

Gaines essay contest winners recognized at school board meeting

The winners of the fifth annual Dr. Samuel S. Gaines essay contest were recognized at the May 28, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting. The contest, sponsored since its inception by The Morganti Group which provides cash prizes for the winning entries, is part of the district’s recognition and celebration of African American history month. Local students in grades three to 12 may write an essay describing an African American person in St. Lucie County who has made a difference in the student’s life, explaining what the person did to make such an impact. The contest is named for Dr. Gaines, who served on the St. Lucie County School Board for 34 years, five times as chairman. At Dr. Gaines’ retirement in 2006, Superintendent Michael Lannon instituted the essay contest to honor Gaines’ legacy. Pictured, front row, from left, Sara Aube from Manatee Academy K-8, first place in middle school division; Maxwell Martzolf, from Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts, first place in elementary school division; Randall Peterson, from Dan McCarty School, third place in elementary school division; and Animesh Saha, from F. K. Sweet Elementary, first place in elementary school division. Back row, from left, Shelby Young, from Manatee Academy K8, third place in middle school division; School Board chairman Debbie Hawley; Vanessa Crawford, from Fort Pierce Central High School, first place in high school division; Michael Buckland from The Morganti Group; Christian Excorcia, from St. Lucie West Centennial High School, second place in the high school division; Dr. Gaines; Anthony Scott, from Fort Pierce Central High School, third place in the high school division, and Superintendent Michael Lannon. Not pictured is middle school division second place winner Shaketia Sneed from Forest Grove Middle School.

Education Foundation presents computers to teachers recognized for technology in the classroom

Education Foundation presents computers to teachers recognized for technology in the classroom

The St. Lucie County Education Foundation, through its Teacher of Excellence Utilizing Technology Grant, presented laptop computers from corporate sponsor Dell, to honor teachers who are currently utilizing technology to both enhance the curriculum in an innovative manner and to motivate engaged student learning in the classroom. Northport K-8 principal Glenn Rustay made the presentations at the St. Lucie County School Board meeting May 28, 2013, to Weatherbee Elementary teacher Jennifer Lehmann, Northport K-8 teacher Jennifer Carey, and Lincoln Park Academy teacher Josephine Cappelletti. In addition, 2014 St. Lucie County Teacher of the Year Harry B. Williams also was presented a Dell laptop, and tablets were presented to St. Lucie’s 2013 Assistant Principal of the Year Susan Seal at Fort Pierce Central High School, and St. Lucie’s 2013 Principal of the Year Ucola Barrett-Baxter from Parkway Elementary School. Pictured, front row from left, are Susan Seal, Jennifer Lehmann, Jennifer Carey, Josephine Cappelletti, Harry B. Williams, Ucola Barrett-Baxter, and Education Foundation Executive Director James McKenzie. Back row, from left, are School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Superintendent Michael Lannon, Cynthia Zeller and Andy Sakalian from Dell, Education Foundation president Michael Waninger, and Glenn Rustay.

Gaines Academy students share knowledge with students in Zambia

Gaines Academy students share knowledge with students in Zambia

Through heart-warming stories and eye-opening pictures, students from Zambia were able to share their stories with Samuel Gaines Academy students. Students learned that at a particular school in Zambia, due to lack of funds, teachers have little resources to utilize. With an eagerness to serve, members of the school’s chapter of the National Elementary and Junior Honor Societies, along with students from Katie Ludwig’s seventh grade Critical Thinking class, worked relentlessly and passionately for weeks to create educational books and posters for the students in Zambia. Thanks to faculty member Chelsea Hartz, NEHS sponsor, students were also able to send a video of the project process along with the projects. When asked about his experience, student Shemar Moore declares said the best part about this service project was that their work traveled all the way to Zambia and the Zambian students learned from them. Student Yanet Guzman echoed the sentiment, saying she loves to learn, and helping teach peers who want to learn also is an honor. Pictured holding the book she created is fifth grade Junior Honor Society student Audrianna Rubio.

Palm Pointe first graders enjoy seining at Jaycee Park

Palm Pointe first graders enjoy seining at Jaycee Park

Students from Glenna Sigmon’s first grade class at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition spent a sunny day seining with the Manatee Center at Jaycee Park in Fort Pierce. This enriching opportunity provided a hands-on learning experience to deepen students’ understanding of local habitats and ecosystems. These concepts of science were embedded across all content areas for the unit to facilitate the district’s STEM initiative in which science is an integral part of English, language arts, and mathematics. Pictured, from left, are student Shelby Kay Sigmon, a volunteer from the Manatee Center helping the students, and student Cailey Landreville.