WPTV Reporter Arthur Mondale recently aired a story about what St. Lucie Public Schools is doing to support students. Read the article below and click on the link to hear what staff and JROTC Cadet Shenieya Harris have to say.
St. Lucie County schools offering rare progress system to ensure equal opportunity to excel
Program tracks grades, absenteeism and discipline
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — South Florida and the Treasure Coast are known for diversity, but school can be a difficult place for first- and second-generation students.
St. Lucie County schools offer a state-of-the-art progress system to ensure every student has an equal opportunity to excel that also prevents students from falling through the cracks.
”They can’t fly under the radar. They can’t be forgotten. They can’t be missed,” said Treasure Coast High School counselor Kayleigh Nemo.
The St. Lucie County School District is the only one in South Florida to use Power BI — a “social emotional intervention” system that tracks grades, absenteeism and discipline all in one portal. Data that previously required multiple data sets, middlemen and valuable time.
“That way we get a snapshot of the student right away, and we can get interventions in place for the student immediately,” Nemo said.
The system has helped second-generation students like JROTC cadet Shenieya Harris who credits her success to good teachers, guidance counselors and Power BI.
“It really paid off,” Harris said. “My GPA right now is a 4.3.”
Harris says she’s now college bound and thanks to Power BI at the top of her class. Moreover, Nemo adds Power B1 allows her to treat all students like valued repeat customers. Students like Harris are proof of the program’s success.
On Saturday, May 4, Village Green Environmental Studies School will host a community Environmental Studies Exposition. From 10AM to noon, students will serve as tour guides for guests and will provide information about the school’s permaculture garden, raised bed gardens, astronomy night activities, solar energy kits, and weather stations.
Village Green Environmental Studies School hosted the Environmental Science Expo last weekend to highlight the school’s permaculture garden, square foot gardens, astronomy binoculars, solar lab and microscope center. Fifth grade students took responsibility to orient guests about the variety of plants grown, their origins, and their uses.
St. Lucie County’s environmental education staff from the Oxbow Eco-Center worked with St. Lucie Public Schools high school teachers during a two-day workshop this June focused on water quality and environmental education.
Registered voters recently received a mail-in ballot. To ensure your vote counts, it must be mailed by this Friday — April 19th. This referendum supports teacher pay, safety on our campuses, and mental health services for our children.
The early bird gets the worm or better yet — coupon discounts! Coupon book sales will start in early August!
Each year the Education Foundation sponsors the annual Coupons for Classroom fundraiser benefiting both St Lucie Public Schools and the Education Foundation. Participating schools will start selling these popular books in early August. Each book sold earns $10 to the participating school and $5 to the Education Foundation.
Each coupon book is packed with discounts from local businesses such as restaurants and national companies like car rentals and major department stores, worth thousands of dollars in savings.
Last year, the School District raised over $45,000 despite the impact of Hurricane Irma. If you missed buying your book last year, now is the time to buy the new book and start enjoying the savings.
Visit www.efslc.org for a list of participating schools or buy your book online.
St. Lucie Public Schools staff visit with the parents of English Learners who attend the English Learning Center at Weatherbee Elementary. The District hosts four different locations through the Title III Program.
Parents shared traditional holiday food. They were also serenaded by one of our parents.
Norma Miller is the dedicated site manager for this center
A team of engineers from Fort Pierce Utilities Authority met with students and instructors in engineering classrooms at Fort Pierce Central High School and Lincoln Park Academy. Building solid partnerships between our schools and our community is an important aspect to quality education.
About Our Programs:
An exciting partnership between St Lucie Public Schools and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) offers students interested in a career in Aerospace or any Engineering discipline the opportunity to learn from the premiere aviation and aerospace university in the world. Aerospace engineering deals with the design, construction, and study of the science behind the forces and physical properties of aircraft, rockets, and spacecraft. The field also covers aerodynamic characteristics and behaviors, airfoil, lift, drag, and other engineering-related concepts.
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) pre-engineering curriculum is founded on the fundamental problem-solving and critical-thinking skills taught in traditional career and technical education (CTE), but at the same time it integrates national academic and technical learning standards and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) principles creating what has been called “one of the great models of the new CTE succeeding all across the country.” PLTW was recently cited by the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a “model for 21st century career and technical education.”
Engineering is the creative application of scientific and mathematical principles to design, build, and maintain structure, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. The discipline of engineering is extremely broad including aeronautical, civil, electrical, industrial, and mechanical. Engineering Technology studies incorporates foundational concepts that apply to all of these areas. (Lincoln Park Academy, Treasure Coast High School)
Two employees were honored at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for the S.T.A.R. (Special Thanks and Recognition) program, which recognizes employees for their behaviors, skills and actions that correlate with the district vision, and exemplify the district’s core values. Pictured, from left, are Superintendent Genelle Yost, honorees Palm Point Research School at Tradition music director Christine Hill, and WestGate K8 School dean Narvelene Lucas, with School Board chairman Debbie Hawley and student assignment director Michelle Jerger who manages the recognition program.
The winners in each of four employee categories for St. Lucie Public Schools were announced at the annual Night of the Stars gala celebration February 23 at Lincoln Park Academy. The recognition program is sponsored by the St. Lucie County Education Foundation and the school board.
Fort Pierce Central High School 32-year veteran math teacher and coach Harry B. Williams was named 2014 Teacher of the Year, and Palm Point Educational Research School at Tradition plant manager Eric Henik, who has been in that position since the school opened five years ago, was named 2013 School Related Employee of the Year. Both of these district representatives will move on to regional consideration for the state honors in their categories. The Teacher of the Year distinction is historically for the year after the selection due to the year of service for the state in the following school year. The Morganti Group sponsors the award for Teacher of the Year, and the St. Lucie Education Foundation sponsors the School Related Employee of the Year award.
Amanda Hayes, second grade teacher at Samuel S. Gaines Academy, was announced as the 2013 Outstanding First Year Teacher, and Roderick Johnson, ninth grade dean from Fort Pierce Central High School, is the 2013 Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year. These two categories are local recognitions. Spherion Recruiting and Staffing sponsors the Outstanding First Year Teacher award, and Keiser University sponsors the Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year award.
Pictured, from left, are Harry Williams, Roderick Johnson, Amanda Hayes and Eric Henik.
Also honored were Ucola Barrett-Baxter from Parkway Elementary, Principal of the Year, and susan Seal of Fort Pierce Central High, Assistant Principal of the Year.
Other finalists for Teacher of the Year include Loryn Black, first grade teacher at Fairlawn Elementary School, and Lt. Colonel Joseph J. Cavallaro, Air Force JROTC senior instructor at Treasure Coast High School.
Other finalists for School Related Employee of the Year were Stephanie Ludwig, Exceptional Student Education paraprofessional at Floresta Elementary School, and Patricia Sorrell, interpreter for deaf and hard of hearing students at Oak Hammock K8 School.
Schools and district departments annually may nominate an employee at their site for the appropriate categories. Selection committees comprised of former honorees, teachers, and school and district administrators reviewed applications of the nominees for each category and interviewed applicants for the state honors. Three finalists in the Teacher of the Year and School Related Employee of the Year categories were selected, and surprise visits announced those finalists.
From school sites, nominees included for Teacher of the Year (TOY), School Related Employee of the Year (SREY), Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year (DMEY) and Outstanding First Year Teacher (OFYT), were:
• Allapattah Flats K-8, TOY Ann Hartman, SREY Carlyn Marshall, DMEY Edwina Taylor, and OFYT Melissa Nelson
• Bayshore Elementary, TOY Yvonne Kay De Aguiar, SREY John Britt, DMEY Annette Hawkins, and OFYT Jonathan Cruz
• C.A. Moore Elementary, TOY Heather Gray, SREY Sarah Williams, DMEY Beverly Harris, and OFYT Talea Burgess
• Dale Cassens Education Complex, TOY Cheryl Ellison, SREY Lee Darden, DMEY Annette Gooden, and OFYT John Coy
• Dan McCarty School, TOY Kevin Garbers, SREY Yadira Gonzalez, DMEY Rommel Rivers, and OFYT Jeremiah Best
• Fairlawn Elementary, TOY Loryn Black, SREY Sandra Kent, DMEY Farida Chowdhury, and OFYT Jeannine Johannes
• Floresta Elementary, TOY Stephanie Castro, SREY Stephanie Ludwig, DMEY Elizabeth Paradoa, and OFYT Jaclyn Kraus
• Forest Grove Middle, TOY Leslie Parker-Earll, SREY Katiuska Valencia, DMEY Bradley Esau, and OFYT Colleen Wilson
• Fort Pierce Central High, TOY Harry B. Williams, SREY Eva Wortham, and DMEY Roderick Johnson,
• Ft. Pierce Magnet School of Arts, TOY Carey Saine, SREY Lynda Kangas, DMEY Lillian Athill, and OFYT Tionne Simmons
• Fort Pierce Westwood High, TOY Robert Beasley, SREY Debra Bowling, DMEY Monarae Buchanan, and OFYT Elizabeth Raasch
• Frances K. Sweet Elementary, TOY Christy Nuccio, SREY Jacqueline Foster, and DMEY Melissa King
• Garden City Early Learning Academy, TOY Shannon Dolan, SREY Devon Averyt, and DMEY Alexandra Laoutas
• Lakewood Park Elementary, TOY Jodi Hargreaves, SREY Stacey Carter, DMEY Nicole Verner, and OFYT Alyssa Tretter
• Lawnwood Elementary, TOY Carolyn Bates, SREY Mary Lewis, DMEY Mariann Davis,and OFYT Kimberly Colvin
• Lincoln Park Academy, TOY Beth Cue, SREY Wendall Adams, DMEY Cesar Figueroa, and OFYT Josie Cappelletti
• Manatee Academy K-8, TOY Vincent Scotto, SREY Marissa Parker, and OFYT Elena Keriazis
• Mariposa Elementary, TOY Monica Alameida, SREY Cathy Smith, DMEY Adriana Roberts, and OFYT Allison Pozo
• Morningside Elementary, TOY Jacqueline Clark, SREY Cherry McKenzie, and OFYT Ryan Prue
• Northport K-8, TOY Jennifer Carey, SREY Kathleen Egan, DMEY Marie Solide, and OFYT Angel Bracero
• Oak Hammock K-8, TOY Karen Rinelli, SREY Patty Sorrell, DMEY Flavia Valente, and OFYT Michael Shields
• Palm Pointe Education Research School at Tradition, TOY Meredith Andrus, SREY Eric Henik, DMEY Carline Jean, and OFYT Jennifer Gomez
• Parkway Elementary, TOY Jennifer Czajak, SREY Susan DiFruscio, DMEY Michelle Ramdowe, and OFYT James Alexander
• Port St. Lucie High School, TOY Michael Mimnaugh, SREY Maryann Nollinger, DMEY Demetrius Lane, and OFYT Alissa Becker
• Rivers Edge Elementary, TOY Amy Martinkovic, SREY Ann Marangio, and OFYT Sheena Thiefault-Proctor
• Samuel S. Gaines Academy K-8, TOY Lenaiah Wood, SREY Donella Crenshaw, DMEY Stephanie Collins, and OFYT Amanda Hayes
• St. Lucie Elementary, TOY Emily Barrie, SREY Sarah Smith-Mills, DMEY Andrea Oliver-Thomas, and OFYT Melissa Garwol
• St. Lucie West K-8, TOY Claudia Martin-Vegue, SREY Stephen Canton, and OFYT Sophia Yancy
• St. Lucie West Centennial High, TOY Elizabeth Durkee, SREY Christopher Holman, DMEY Jose Rodriguez, and OFYT Stephanie Gaffney
• Savanna Ridge Elementary, TOY Rebecca Petrie, SREY Bob Andrade, and DMEY Jesse Bosque
• Southern Oaks Middle, TOY Carnell Plowden, SREY Joe Matthews, DMEY Jose Rivero, and OFYT Kelly McLaughlin
• Southport Middle, TOY Kimberly Nicholas, SREY Steven Miller, DMEY Yolanda Parks, and OFYT Morgan Kellogg
• Treasure Coast High, TOY Lt. Colonel Joseph J. Cavallaro, SREY Diane Evans, DMEY Sgt. Melvin Simmons, and OFYT Kristin Sample
• Village Green Environmental Studies School, TOY Laura Ellis, SREY Patrick Hayes, DMEY Sherri Brown, and OFYT Heather Concepcion
• Weatherbee Elementary, TOY Melanie Macpherson, SREY Louise Lucia, DMEY Jennifer Nelson, and OFYT Bryan Lee
• West Gate K-8, TOY Easter Weathers, SREY Autherine Jethroe, DMEY Ayesha Boria, and OFYT Christopher Edgecombe
• White City Elementary, TOY Tara Sekerchak, SREY Linda Neill, DMEY Ashley McGahee, and OFYT Amanda Dewey
• Windmill Point Elementary, TOY Melissa Lucrezia, SREY Jan Turgeson, DMEY Melissa San Martin, and OFYT Jacqueline Davis
From district departments, nominees for SREY include:
• Business Services, Cheryl Dempsey
• Information Technology Services, Judy Hamm
• Curriculum and Instruction, Janis Conkle
• Student Services, Valarie Watkins
• Superintendent’s Office, Charmaine Martin-Brooks
• Facilities and Transportation, Willie Freeman
• Federal Programs, Rose Henson
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.
Finalists for two of the four annual employee recognition groups for St. Lucie Public Schools were awarded plaques and presented during the February 11, 2014, school board meeting. The St. Lucie County Education Foundation recognized and presented plaques to Teacher of the Year (TOY) finalists Oak Hammock K-8 media specialist Heather Bolitho, Fort Pierce Central High School band and choral director Matthew Boswell, and Fairlawn Elementary School media specialist Kelly Ridle. School Related Employee of the Year (SREY) finalists recognized were Palm Pointe Educational Research School health paraprofessional Michelle DeGarmo, Allapattah Flats K-8 School office clerk Adela DellaCroce, and Parkway Elementary School nutrition manager Angelina Jean-Louis. Local winners in these two categories will go on to state competition. Pictured, from left, are Education Foundation Executive Board members Richard Kolleda and Carissa Zerga, TOY finalist Kelly Ridle, Education Foundation board member Robbi Giaccone, School Board vice chairman Dr. Donna Mills, TOY finalist Matthew Boswell, St. Lucie County Board of County Commission member Tod Mowery, TOY finalist Heather Bolitho, Education Foundation board member and CTA/CU president Vanessa Tillman, SREY finalist Michelle DeGarmo, School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, SREY finalist Angelina Jean-Louis, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Education Foundation Honorary Director Elizabeth Mallonee, SREY finalist Adela DellaCroce, Education Foundation board member and school district employee recognition coordinator Candace Stone, and Foundation Executive Director Jim McKenzie. Winners of these programs, as well as local recognitions for Outstanding First Year Teacher and Distinguished Minority Educator, will be announced February 22, 2014, during the annual Night of the Stars gala sponsored by the Education Foundation and the St. Lucie County School Board.
Mr. Lenny Smallacombe of the Elks Lodge #1520 is a powerhouse advocate for students and was honored for spearheading donation efforts for St. Lucie Public Schools students.
What started out six years ago as a weekend backpack program for five children has turned into an ever-growing platform of support. Mr. Smallacombe and his fellow lodge members have expanded their weekend food backpack program to hundreds of children, fulfilled special school program needs, provided complementary summer camp opportunities to students, secured grants for literacy projects, and supported students’ family nutrition needs during special times of the year.
The District appreciates the benefit Mr. Smallacombe and his army of volunteers bring to students.
Ft. Pierce Elks Lodge #1520 has a heart for caring and sharing, especially when it comes to the youngest members in this community. The organization’s Pantry and Backpack Program has made a positive difference in the lives of many SLPS children.
On hand at a recent event were members of Chester A. Moore’s Administrative Team: Lauren Gieseler, Alisha Kennedy, and Terrance Barriner. According to Mrs. Gieseler, the Elks Pantry and Backpack Program has made a tremendous difference in the lives of over 250 children on weekends. At the event, the school was presented with 30 new backpacks and school supplies. In addition, the Elks Lodge #1520 raised over $700.00 during the evening’s fundraiser to continue its benevolent efforts.
Thank you to our partners in education – the Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520!