Fourth graders in Joanna Toto’s class at Windmill Point Elementary School are learning about energy. As they progress through the unit, they are creating an “Energy Flip Book” with all of the information they are learning about mechanical, sound, electrical, light, solar, heat and thermal energy. It is a great reference tool while giving the students a hands-on activity they can use in the future. Pictured, from left, are Andre Gomes-Lopez and Donald Harris.
Northport K-8 School sixth grader Tatiana Hamilton from Ellen Weiss’ class spent some very engaging and quality time on her homework recently. Tatiana baked a homeade cake depicting a cell study using edible items. The cake was an excellent portrayal of the cell demonstating ribosomes, lysosomes, mitochondria, cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus and cytoplasm. Weiss’ students processed new information and literally “digested” the information into interesting and easily visualized little bites. Students celebrated the finale of their science FCAT by bringing in their cell cakes to share with the rest of their class. Pictured is Tatiana Hamilton with her “cell
Recently, 44 cadets from St. Lucie West Centennial High School Navy Junior ROTC took an Orientation Field Trip to the Key West Naval Air Station. The cadets stayed in the same barracks the sailors stay in. On the first day, after a long bus ride, the cadets met up with 25 other cadets from Key West High School at the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor. All of the cadets had a great time as they shared their NJROTC experiences. On the second day, the cadets toured the flight line and watched F18 Super Hornet fighter jets take off. Then they received a briefing from the Search and Rescue Helicopter Squadron, and headed over to the Key West Coast Guard Base for lunch at the Galley. It was their best meal of the whole trip. After lunch, they toured patrol boats and a Cutter and visited the Naval Base Exchange. The cadets returned to the barracks to change out of their uniforms and into civvies, and headed to downtown Key West for dinner and sightseeing in Mallory Square. Before the long bus trip back, the cadets toured the 327 foot long World War II Coast Guard Cutter Ingham. The cadets enjoyed their field trip to a Navy base, and look forward to visiting again. Pictured are the cadets with one of the aircraft on display.
Twelve students, two from each of St. Lucie County’s six public high schools, were selected by their teachers for their aptitude and interest in science, to participate in a job shadowing experience at Vaccine Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) in Port St. Lucie. VGTI is recognized as a world class research institute that uses cutting edge technology and is on the frontier of science in the development of vaccines and immunotherapies that will improve human health around the globe. VGTI research focuses on treating and preventing AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis and the diseases associated with emerging viral infections. The VGTI job-shadowing experience is one of the many district STEM initiatives in which students in St. Lucie public schools can participate. Pictured, back row from left, are Fort Pierce Central High School students Marie Dorcelia and Jasmine Sigmon, and Fort Pierce Westwood High student Courtney Wilkerson, with two VGTI scientists.
Students from St. Lucie West Centennial High School’s Health Occupations Students Association (HOSA) earned top honors at a recent State Leadership Conference. Centennial High HOSA members Dru’ Curtis, Lisa Pressendo, Mary Hartley, Natassha Pena-Morales, Alejandra Perez-Mercado, Michael Riley, Alexia Stewart, Kedisha Christie, Jennifer Rodriguez, Danilo Perdomo, and Tony-Ann Walker had high hopes for the competition, and were not disappointed! Lisa Pressendo won first place and Mary Hartley took fourth in Massage Therapy, Dru’ Curtis took third in Medical Terminology, and Jennifer Rodriguez won a Recognition Award for her HOSA Happenings Newsletter. Dru’ Curtis and Jennifer Rodriguez will go on to national competition this summer. HOSA’s National Service Project this year is Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the local region won the silver medal for raising $4,456.31. Pictured, from left, are Dru’ Curtis, Tony-Ann Walker, Alexia Stewart, Lisa Pressendo, Michael Riley, Jennifer Rodriguez, Kedisha Christie, Mary Hartley, and Danilo Perdomo. Not pictured are Natassha Pena- Morales, and Alejandra Perez-Mercado.
Third through fifth grade students at Savanna Ridge Elementary participated in a recent school spirited pep rally. Third grade students lead the 4th and 5th graders in a remix song about taking on the challenge of the FCAT and passing it with no problem! Each grade level came in their designated class T-shirt and showed their spirit through a friendly competition on the song they learned. Principal LaTanya Greene led the students in a motivational speech that gave the students the boost they needed for the upcoming testing. Teachers and students had a great time showing their spirit and enthusiasm after months of preparation and hard work!
The students in Celeste Hartsfield’s second grade class at F.K. Sweet Magnet School are learning about different shapes and their attributes, as well as how to make patterns with the shapes. Students had a great time making their own hats by using shapes and making them into patterns. Pictured, from left, are Aamar Black and Alexander Ramos.
Awards for school displays at the 2013 St. Lucie County Fair were presented at the April 9, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting, and the Kiwanis Sunrise Club also presented annual monetary awards to schools. The theme of the 2013 fair was, “500 Years of Florida Heritage.” For the elementary division, first place went to Lawnwood Elementary, $500; second place went to Windmill Pointe Elementary, $250; and third place to Village Green Environmental Science School, $100. Honorable mention and $50 went to F. K. Sweet and Weatherbee elementary schools. In the middle school division, first place and $500 went to Samuel S. Gaines Academy; second place and $250 went to Dan McCarty School; and $100 and third place went to Forest Grove Middle School. For the high school division, $500 and first place went to Port St. Lucie High School; second place and $250 went to Westwood High School; and third place and $100 went to Treasure Coast High School. Special “Out of the Box” award and $500 went to Palm Point Education Research School, and People’s Choice Award and $500 went to F. K. Sweet Elementary. Other awards not associated with the St. Lucie County Fair include $250 donations to the media centers at Fairlawn and F. K. Sweet elementary schools, and the $1,000 annual contribution to the St. Lucie County Education Foundation. Pictured are the winners and representatives from the fair committee and Kiwanis Club at the meeting.
Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently held its second CSI Night. The case was to solve the mystery of the missing goldfish. The school had purchased a goldfish and had just named it “Rocky” in a contest when the goldfish was found missing from the front office. Students were asked to come to a special CSI Night to run forensic type tests to figure out who took the fish. There were five suspects from the Palm Pointe staff: bookkeeper Dana Schang, instructional coach Kathleen Melrose, fourth grade teacher Jada Jolie, fifth grade teacher Juliet Murray, and second grade teacher Lorri Rudzinski. After all the tests were run, Kathleen Melrose was found to be the guilty suspect. This was a great learning experience for the students and a lot of fun for the families. The families were also treated to a free dinner provided by the school and prepared by Pam Molner, one of the school’s exceptional volunteers! Pictured, from left, are Joseph D’Ampolo, Lorri Rudzinski, Anthony D’Ampolo and Kathleen Melrose.
Parents from St. Lucie County Title I Schools have finished a Basic Computer Class at the Title I Parent Resource Center at Garden City Annex. Parents attended classes each week for seven weeks to learn basic computer skills, Internet Safety, how to use Skyward to monitor their child’s progress and learn to use Microsoft Word. The goal of the program is to help parents have the skills needed to help their child with their school work and to enhance the parents’ computer skills. Information about upcoming computer sessions is sent out to all parents in Title I schools through an outbound phone message before the classes begin. More classes are being planned at this time and information will be sent out through ConnectEd.
The kindergarten students at F.K. Sweet Elementary School were surprised with a visit from Kauff’s Towing while studying about Community Helpers. Teachers and students learned all of the responsibilities that the drivers have. Quiana Lundy, from left, Shanyla Osby, Jeffery Stephens, Josiah Fullwood, and Dennis Scott from Melanie Francisco’s class loved listening to kindergarten parent Dennis Scott explain the tools on the huge “wrecker” truck.
The kindergarten students at F.K. Sweet Elementary School have been studying plants and seeds during the season of Spring. Trenton Hogan, pictured left, was so excited to gather the soil for his cup while Harmony Davis held the bag open to help him as each student prepared to plant sunflower seeds. The students have loved watching the cups each day and oh the excitement when some of them sprouted! We can’t wait to see how they change into beautiful sunflowers.
St. Lucie Public Schools’ 2013 School Related Employee of the Eric Henik has been named one of five finalists for the state school-related employee award. This employee group awards support personnel in such school operations as finance, food services, maintenance, transportation, clerical and office support, student assignment and instructional technology. The state winner will be announced sometime in May, according to the Florida Department of Education.
Henik has been with St. Lucie Public Schools for seven years, five as plant manager at his current site at Palm Pointe Educational Research School and two years previously at Rivers Edge Elementary School as assistant site foreman. Henik says his goal is “to provide a clean, safe and efficient facility that sets the standard for the district.” His duties include overseeing a staff of 10, maintaining the 32-acre facility, keeping up with supplies for the indoor and outdoor needs of the school, and working with the staff to ensure a safe and secure campus. He collaborated with the architect and construction project manager during the planning and construction of Palm Pointe, both of whom had glowing remarks of his leadership during the process. He also volunteers to attend Tradition community management meetings regarding traffic and school appearance concerns, and serves on several school district committees, and has spearheaded several cost-saving procedures at his school site. The last St. Lucie Public Schools employee to reach the state finalist level was Gary Taylor in 1999, representing the facilities and maintenance department.
Henik, right, is pictured being congratulated by St. Lucie Education Foundation executive director Jim McKenzie during a surprise visit to the school by an entourage including Superintendent Michaeal Lannon, School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Helen Roberts, and Candace Stone, chairman of the district employee recognition committee.
Northport K-8 School Media Center is always alive with students, teachers, staff and community members buzzing in and out completing tasks that require information, information technology or conversation, but the week of April 14 – 20 is extra special. Northport K-8 School is celebrating with the theme ” Communities Matter @ your library!” Fully funded libraries will continue to be valuable resources in our communities far into the future. Only fully funded libraries will be able to teach and collaborate with teachers to enhance dynamic 21st century skills and nuture the love of reading in young people that will serve them their entire lives. At Northport, students are offered opportunities to enhance public speaking skills, learn how to hone research skills, find excellent sources of information, learn about plagiarism which is a major concern, participate in special programs such as Women’s History, veterans club and a variety of other offerings. Students learn how to select books that they are interested in and teachers can find an opportunity to collaborate on a variety of topics. Students find the opportunity not only to have information learned in the classroom scaffolded but also sources for enrichment. New intiatives that are moving to the forefront in the Media Center are collaboration and support for new “Common core” standards and e-books that will soon be available to our students. Pictured are Northport students
from Charlotte Tombline’s fifth grade class.
At Southport Middle School, students in Adrianne Mendoza’s seventh grade math class from the Panthers team review for the upcoming math FCAT by playing math Jeopardy. Students had the opportunity to “buzz” in using the eggspert game buzzers to test their knowledge and skill level. Students worked as a team in order to earn points as they competed with the other groups within the classroom.
Bayshore Elementary School’s third, fourth and fifth grade students were surprised with a Tunnel of Hope in recognition of their hard word in preparation for FCAT. Students in grades pre-K through second lined the hallways, created posters and cheered for students and teachers as they paraded through the school. Pictured, from left, are fifth grader Christian Conklin from Christine Mueller’s class, fifth grade teacher Doreen McKinnie and her student Sasha Castro.
Port St. Lucie High School held a candlelight ceremony recently in honor of fellow student and ROTC cadet Hunter Henry, who tragically died earlier this month. Hundreds of Jaguars came together to share stories about Hunter and to help each other through this difficult time. Several of Hunter’s peers and friends said a few words about him to his family. It was a beautiful ceremony that touched everyone’s heart. The ceremony ended with Cole Herndon playing taps.
First grade students in Ann Hartman’s class at Allapattah Flats K8 are excited to explore their garden in the warm sun. Students are checking the progress of their peppers, cucumbers, carrots, peas, and many other plants. Each child has a “plot” to grow their plant of choice, beginning with just a seed that has resulted in beautiful plants! The students are responsible for watering and weeding the plants, too. The garden is a huge hit at Allapattah Flats K8! Pictured, from top left, are Jacob Garcia, Marc Cohen, Henos Yonas, Caylie Harris, Jordan Fernandez, Claudia Jolivert, Chinhayi Evans, Kaleb Whitehouse, Maximo Mendoza, and Daezhane Calvo.
Eighth grade student Sophie Phillips, at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition, just returned from Tallahassee, where she went to lobby legislative officials for Pulse Oximetry Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects. She met with Senators Grimsley, Negron, and Ring, and Representatives Hudson and Harrell. She also met with the Governor’s Director of Deputy of Legislative Affairs, Danielle Scroggins. The session ends in the next few weeks and Senator Grimsley verbally approved to find funds in the budget to support the screening. Pictured is Sophie seated in Governor Rick Scott’s office.
Lincoln Park Academy sent three high school teams to this year’s Odyssey of the Mind state competition. Odyssey of the Mind, often referred to as OM (although the official acronym is OotM), is a creative problem-solving competition involving students from kindergarten through college. Team members work together at length to solve a predefined problem (the long term problem) and present their solution to the problem at a competition. They must also generate spontaneous solutions to a problem they have not seen before in the spontaneous competition. In an unprecedented turn of events, all three teams earned first place trophies and a position in the 2013 World Competition in Lansing, Michigan. These creative and dedicated problem solvers are now racing against the clock to raise the $ 18,000.00 they will need to fund their trip. With the deadline for payment just weeks away, they are applying all of their problem solving skills and talents to make this trip possible. These students, along with the students from Port St. Lucie High School who will also be moving onto world championships, are proof of the high caliber of critical thinking that is being fostered in St. Lucie County Schools. To help fund this project, please click on the following link to the Education Foundation: http://www.educationfoundationstlucie.org/p/14/fund-a-project.