Southport Young Author finalists and their families celebrated their hard work with a get-together in the Media Center. Guest author, Jessica Warren, came by to talk about her book Prime Time Kid, and inspired Southport’s top writers with her advice on the writing process. The top winners, announced during the celebration, will go on to district competition on May 9th, and include Porcelain Beauty by Anastacia Kastis, I Think I Love You by Alina Fuentes, and Operation Ransom by Jason Thomaselli. Good Luck Southport Students!! Thank you to all the participants and their families who came out to support Southport’s young authors! Pictured here are: Christian Oravec, Conner Smith, Michael Melara, Jason Thomaselli, Jacob Bartoli, Tristan Greene, Derek Curry, Jessica Warren, Alexandra Rogers, Candyse Minniefield, Jaynell Pittman, Brittany Vonstein, Alina Fuentes, Anastacia Kastis, Janelys M. Ojeda, Raisa Asim, Josephine Debiase, Jaycie Tate, Brodie Leonard and Hannah Norman.
Sixth graders at Southport Middle School implement Restorative Justice practices that they have learned through informational text. They prepare to see how Ben Mikaelson weaves the practice of talking circles as they read the novel Touching Spirit Bear. These students periodically meet in a Talking Circle to share their thoughts about school, their hopes, and their future through the use of a talking piece whereby each voice is heard as everyone respectfully listens.
Sixth grade students Ainsley Bent and Allysha Lillard lead the way through Southport Middle School’s Tunnel of Hope upon return from Spring Break. Students were pleasantly surprised when the entire Southport staff was there to welcome them with signs, high fives, and encouraging words. The Treasure Hunters also included the City of Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc, as well as staff from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, who greeted students and provided support for all Kids at Hope. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Southport Middle School celebrated our bus drivers who continually transport our students everyday with a breakfast sponsored by PBS. Our Principal, Ms. Telese, Dean Palau, Dean Parks, Maryann Walser, and Ms. Laye along with Officer Green were in attendance to show support to our bus drivers. Our students are also appreciative of each and every bus driver at our school, so we give you a huge THANK YOU from our students to our bus drivers who continually get our Southport students to and from school everyday safely! Thanks for coming out for our PBS Breakfast! We appreciate you!
Southport’s Literacy Department held their annual celebration of Literacy and Scholastic Book Fair in the media center. There was a host of fun activities and entertainment with musical fluency by our literacy teachers: Wanda Galey, James Saunders, and Band Director James LeBon. The Port St. Lucie Police also sponsored a Stoplifting/Drug Awareness center for the 21st Century after-school program. The students and their families enjoyed the evening.
Sixteen participants gave it their all at Southport Middle School’s annual Spelling Bee.
We would like to congratulate our 1st place winner, 6th grader, Sunana Singh, who will go on to the district competition, and our 2nd place winner 6th grader, Evan Puentes. Also, a big shout out to Mr. Jim Saunders for coordinating the event, Principal Nicole Telese, Assistant Principal Kathleen Manchester, and sixth grade teacher Kim Nicholas for being our judges. Band instructor Mr. Jim Lebon had the honor of being the word pronouncer again this year. Each participant was presented with an honorary certificate and gifts and to thanks to Eileen Kielbasa and her wonderful kitchen staff prepared cookies and lemonade for everyone after the final round.
Thank you to all our Hurricanes who participated; we are proud of you. Way to go!!!
The work of Dr. Douglas Reeves, “The Case Against Zero,” asserts that a five-point grading scale of 0-4 is more accurate and equitable for students because it ensures that the range of points in each grading category is equal. (When using an electronic gradebook on a zero to 100 scale, the way to achieve this is to use the following grade bands so that there is a ten-point scale for each letter grade: A = 90 to 100, B = 80 to 89, C = 70-79, D = 60-69 and F = 50=59).
The work of Reeves and others around effective grading practices is supported by the District; however, it is not a requirement. This practice still results in a normal grading curve requiring student mastery of content.
WPTV asked Reeves for his thoughts the grading scale:
Floresta Elementary School’s Family Learning Night was held recently. Dignity Memorial Escape School, a nationally recognized child abduction prevention program, was presented by George Seliga from Aycock Funeral Home. The program is designed to empower children by teaching escape strategies in a fun, non-threatening manner. Over 50 parents and students attended to learn how to escape in an abduction attempt. Mr. Seliga simulated abduction situations and gave members of the audience opportunities to practice. Parents appreciated the informational program dedicated to child safety.
The Speakers Bureau Special Guest Speakers at Dan McCarty Middle School this month were Representative Larry Lee, Mr. Jerome Rhyant, Reverend Kenny Mills, and Mr. Lafayette Ashley. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students had the opportunity to hear the authentic testimonials of their guest speakers. Three separate sessions were held to accommodate each grade group and each session began with a musical presentation from Dr. Rolanda Jones and her students playing their African Drums.
Northport was so pleased to host SLPS School Board Chair Dr. Donna Mills at our Speakers Bureau. The theme for the program for the month of December was peer pressure and integrity. The program was kicked off with a skit on peer pressure and bullying by eighth grade drama students Ryan Gilbert and Elaina Ledford. Special thanks to Northport drama instructor Alison Barajas for working with the students and instilling the love of drama. Northport middle grades instructor Sandra Tyndale Harvey sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to help encourage the students to have hope and to trust caring adults to help with problems. Dr. Donna Mills introduced special guest speaker Lt. Tommy Nieman, firefighter and paramedic, from the SLC Fire Department. Lt. Nieman spoke dramatically and eloquently about his real life experiences on the job. The students were enthralled.
Northport has been working in conjunction with Dr. Mills on many very special programs that have educated, uplifted, inspired and brought the community into the school which is a conjoined goal of the school and Dr. Mills. The Speakers Bureau has shed light on many topics, and students are elevated because of this special bond.
Many thanks to Dr. Mills, Lt. Nieman, and all who made the program unique and special.
Samuel S. Gaines Academy 7th grade students and staff welcomed Mr. Raphael Sanchez, the Executive Director of Human Resource for the St. Lucie Public Schools, as a guest speaker in the Speakers Bureau series. Mr. Sanchez emphasized lessons and rules he established for himself while growing up.
Mr. Sanchez spoke about his childhood, and recounted a story of resiliency and perseverance. Mr. Sanchez believes, “Life is nothing but keys and doors; the more keys you have, the more doors you’ll be able to open for yourself.” Mr. Sanchez says he didn’t want any doors closed due to lack of an education or experiences.
Mr. DeVoshay Johnson, the IT Manager for Fort Pierce City Hall, helped to kick off the 2016-2017 Speakers Bureau series with his presentation to students and staff at Dale Cassens Educational Complex. Through sharing his life story, he emphasized to students the need to understand that true success comes from within. Mr. DeVoshay also stressed that the choices students make will determine their success in life, and he shared the value in accepting help from others.
Dan McCarty Middle School students and staff welcomed Attorney Lorenzo Williams of Gary, Williams, Parenti and Finney Law Firm as a guest speaker in the 2016-2017 Speakers Bureau series. Mr. Williams emphasized lessons taught to him by his father and lessons that he, in turn, imparted to his four children.
He introduced the acronym “HOW” and went on to explain the meaning of each letter. “H” stands for honesty, “O” represents obedience, and “W” signifies work. He encouraged students to practice all three for success.
December’s Speakers Bureau guests for Fort Pierce Westwood High School were Kim Johnson and Dr. Charles Zollicoffer. Thank you for your words of wisdom and inspiration.
The Speakers Bureau Special Guest Speakers at Ft. Pierce Westwood High School this month were Mr. Nick Mimms, Ft. Pierce City Manager, and Mr. Joseph Smith, St. Lucie Count Clerk of Courts. Mr. Mimms and Mr. Smith encouraged the students by letting them know that despite road blocks and opposition, continue to work hard and dream big. Dr. Donna Mills also spoke to the students about the importance of paying it forward.
On August 31st, Fort Pierce Westwood High School hosted St. Lucie Pubic Schools’ Teacher of Year Mr. Jeffrey Johnson as the guest speaker for the Speakers Bureau Series.
Mr. Johnson spoke about the power of education and its importance. He recounted his experiences of growing up poor and shared that he lived in the projects. This distinguished and eloquent speaker also communicated with his audience the fact that he was told he would not amount to anything and that life was not easy for him. However, he emphasized that because of his determination and perseverance to get a good education, he now represents the District and carries the title of “St. Lucie Public Schools Teacher of the Year.”
The students and staff at the Pace Center for Girls welcomed Mrs. Wydee’a Wilson, the Chief Probation Officer for Circuit 19, and radio host for the Pay It Forward show on 104.5 the Flame as a guest speaker in the Speakers Bureau series. Mrs. Wilson used her presentation to educate, motivate, and empower. She opened by delivering Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.
Mrs. Wilson spoke a lot about her family life growing up in which she was 1 of 5 children. She, being the oldest, came from very humble beginnings. Early on she found herself being bullied often due to being so quiet and shy. She observed a lot in her household growing up, and even though she was athletic and studious, she would often act out because of the dysfunction she witnessed. She recounted on her many experiences of growing up and shared a very personal, yet moving story. Mrs. Wilson left the young ladies with some valuable advice: “Be truthful and real with who you are and what you’re experiencing. Believe in something. You’re unique and special. Fulfill your purpose and be a blessing to other people.” Mrs. Wilson believes success is about how you help and treat one another.
The Speakers Bureau Special Guest Speaker at Samuel S. Gaines Academy K-8 this month was Mr. Alex Oge, where he is also the Assistant Principal. Mr. Oge’s presentation and personal reflections of his path to success captivated the students and gave help to inspire students to work hard to achieve their goals in life.
“Nothing is impossible if you work hard and get a good education” – Mr. Alex Oge
During the Speakers Bureau Event, Samuel S. Gaines Academy students were inspired by School Board Member Dr. Mills and Executive Director of Human Resources Mr. Rafael Sanchez Jr., who overcame obstacles on their way to achieving their goals and dreams.