Sixth grade students, pictured from left, Genesis Gibson, Derrick Davis, Jessica Hoyt, Zach Roach, and Christen Bailey listen intently to the Battle of the Books question for their team. The annual Battle of the Books contest matches a student team against a faculty team to answer comprehension questions. This year, the sixth and eighth grade student teams won their battle, while the seventh grade faculty team won their battle. This event coordinates literature study among the reading classes, and creates a positive school-wide literacy culture.
Students in Andrea Anicito’s seventh grade science classes at Forest Grove Middle School were given a visual scenario in which they were presented with a parent’s genetic information. Students then had to create a punnett square to determine the probability of the offspring’s traits. The final part of the project was to build a “spud”. Because there were traits that showed other than 100% probability, the offspring all looked a little different, just like siblings. Together, the class created a potato head family.
Students in Andrea Blackburn’s fourth grade class at Samuel Gaines Academy presented Black History Projects to students in K-5 grades. The students had all of February to study their subject and create their project. They became experts in who they studied and were able to present to anyone that came by to check them out. All that participated in the
Black History Fair were very impressed by the amount of knowledge the students had about the person they studied. Parents enjoyed coming the night before to review their child’s projects as well. Pictured are Isaiah Davis, Gilberto Barron, Edwin Tinoco, and Yohan Purkiss.
First grade students in Jacqueline Harris’ class celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The students enjoyed a read aloud of Green Eggs and Ham followed by a surprise breakfast of which they were all eager to consume. Later on they made hats depicting the character Cat in the Hat using his hat and created “at” word family words which were displayed on the their hats. Pictured, from left, are George Gervin, Dontavius Tindall, Valentina Damian, Cedtearia Hayes, Eliette Jean, Tom Flucker, Richelle Williams, and Leslie Bonilla.
Enthusiastic seventh grade students in Beth Torresson’s reading class at Samuel Gaines Academy have diligently been working hard in the “Language” reading program. This 90 minute direct instruction is given on a daily basis. The “Language” program is a comprehensive literacy curriculum. The students work on a variety of concepts each day, including grammar and usage, listening and reading comprehension, speaking and writing, phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition, spelling, vocabulary and morphology. All of these concepts will enhance their skills to become better readers and to understand the structure of the English language more proficiently.
Northport K-8 principal Glenn Rustay and assistant principals Bennie Montenegro and Doug Shook, as well as the entire Northport K-8 family and several district staff, welcomed motivational speaker Dr. Adolph Brown III to an inspiring and energizing program for the seventh and eighth graders. Dr. Brown entered the room dressed as a thug looking for his grandmother. Students began to take notice of his dreads and his clothing almost immediately. Dr. Brown moved to the stage and began taking off his first impression outfit and thrilled the students when he appeared well groomed and full of confidence. Dr. Brown moved the students and guests to understand that first impressions are lasting impressions. He related grade point averages to real world finances, supported positive behavior by urging students to make good choices and came down hard against bullying. Dr. Brown used music to relate to the students and his impact was powerful. Dr. Brown is pictured in the front with principal Rustay, staff and several students.
The golf club at F.K. Sweet Elementary is part of the partnership between St. Lucie Public Schools and the PGA. Students, pictured from left Keith Colley, David McDaniel, Jerry Johnson, Lance Fleschner, and Michael Mangeri, met once a week for eight weeks to develop and practice skills need for beginners and intermediate players. Along with the technical aspects of the game, students also learned the golf rules of etiquette. All of the students, who were taught by the golf pros at PGA, celebrated the final week with an awards banquet at Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition. Students were awarded participation trophies, but also won medals for most improved, and most professional.
Frances K. Sweet Elementary School won first place at the St. Lucie County Fair for the Elementary School display category. The students created a variety of arts based on the theme: Past, Present, and Future of St. Lucie County. Art Specialist Cary Schott, pictured, set up the display at the fair.
The staff at Garden City City Early Learning Academy thrilled 25 students in their Kids at Hope program to Fort Pierce Westwood High School to meet and talk with older students. Various student leaders on campus, including student athletes, student government officers, and ROTC cadets toured the school with the elementary students in the culinary, chorus, band, veterinary, and pre med programs on campus, and answered questions from their guests about athletics, student government and the cadet program. The visit ended with assistant principal Anthony Conti and a student representative talked with the young visitors about good choices and decision making. The experience for the elementary students was an important one, because one of the important aspects of the Kids at Hope philosophy is for the child to be able to articulate his or her dreams for their future. Pictured are administrators, staff and students from both schools.
March 2012 was designated as Music In Our Schools Month at the March 13, 2012 St. Lucie County School Board meeting. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin Perry introduced retired music education and former district Teacher of the Year Mr. Earl Little, who read the proclamation to the school board for their approval. Pictured, from left, are music directors Shirley Lyons of Northport K8 School, Dorothy Costello of St. Lucie West Centennial High School, Christine Hill of Palm Pointe Education Research School at Tradition, School Board Chairman Carol Hilson, and music director Dr. Rhonda Jones of Dan McCarty School. Back row, from left, are Dr. Kevin Perry, Superintendent Michael Lannon and Earl Little.
Students who will represent Mariposa Elementary School in the All County Chorus in April are Jessica Bently, SadiahKouns, Mia Rose Kirchner, Alex Perry, and Sara Cardoso. This year’s theme is Songs of Florida. The students will be practicing after school with music teacher Thomas Conner to prepare for their video taping for the concert April 26 at the Fenn Center in Fort Peirce. Pictured, from left, are Jessica Bently, SadiahKouns, Mia Rose Kirchner, and Alex Perry.
The Westwood High School JROTC Panther Battalion cadets have adopted Dan McCarty School to assist younger students live the JROTC motto, Motivating Young People to be Better Citizens. The cadets are very excited about their volunteer time with the students of Dan McCarty, to coach, mentor and tutor the younger students. With the support from the principals of both schools, and the vision of the Westwood High ROTC instructors and Dan McCarty assistant principal Rebecca Goodman, the Cadets have been paired up with classes of students. The cadets discuss the challenges and successes they have encountered during their first year of high school and beyond, have assisted the younger students prepare for FCAT, assisted with assignments preparing for the exam and helped calm their nerves while helping them understand the importance of passing the exam the first time around. The cadets gain a sense of accomplishment, and the Dan McCarty students feel at ease about life after middle school and a familiar face when they get to high school. It’s a win-win situation for all! The instructors could not be more proud of the cadets as they are volunteering their off time to do this for the students of Dan McCarty. Pictured, from row from left, cadets David Forbes, Alexander Gibson, Michael Rediker, Sean Neff, Chedson Jean, Jonathan Ceren, Raymond Barrow and Amanda Frederick. Back row, from left, are Cadets Quinton McCormick (BN Commander), Mason Manis, James Goodman, Jon Parrish, Luis Castillo, Irby White and Mychael Marshall.
A team of four students in Shirley Helton’s fifth grade class at Fairlawn Elementary School were honored at the March 13, 2012 St. Lucie County School Board meeting for their first place win of the elementary division of the Florida Stock Market Exchange Challenge. Students were provided an account to buy and sell stocks just like the real stock market, using a variety of tools and materials for research. The students analyzed news regarding the economy and markets, applied and increased their math, reading and writing skills, strengthened their computer and Internet skills, and worked together and made decisions as a team. The group won with a nearly 20% return on their investments! Pictured, from left, front row are Berenise Ruiz and Fairlawn team members Jocelyn Ruiz, Lauryn Chesney, and Liam Felix, and Fairlawn Elementary School principal Marcia Cully. Back row, from left, are parents Gildardo and Rosa Ruiz, parent Leigh Chesney, School Board chairman Carol Hilson, teacher Shirley Helton, parent Michelle Felix, assistant principal Patricia Gascoigne, and Superintendent Michael Lannon. Not pictured was team member Rodney Belezair.
Garden City Early Learning Academy, Weatherbee Elementary and Lawnwood Elementary schools were recognized at the March 13, 2012 St. Lucie County School Board meeting by ESOL curriculum provider Imagine Learning for the fanatastic learning gains in reading proficiency for students learning to speak and read English at the three schools. The schools were specifically highlighted for implementing the program with fidelity for the recommended number of minutes per day devoted to the curriculum, which has yielded the tremendous student performance gains. The schools received a plaque and banner to proudly display at their schools. Pictured, from left, are Assistant Superintendent Genelle Yost, Deputy Superintendent Sandy Wolfe, Weatherbee guidance counselor Nitza Roman, Weatherbee Elementary principal Mike Hitsman, Susy Garcia from Imagine Learning, Weatherbee Elementary assistant principal Dianne Young, Lawnwood Elementary principal D’Jion Jackson, Garden City principal Teri Barenborg, ESOL specialist Clarissa Duskin, Superintendent Michael Lannon and School Board Chairman Carol Hilson.
Superintendent Michael Lannon recognized the work of Instructional Technology and Communications departments in earning a Sunny Award, a national distinction for government agencies who strive to provide easy access and transparency of information through their web sites for stakeholders. This is the second year in a row St. Lucie Schools has earned the distinction, one of only 13 school districts in the state so recognized. Pictured, from left, are Directof of Communications Janice Karst, School Board Chairman Carol Hilson, Superintendent Michael Lannon and Assistant Superintendent for IT Terence O’Leary. Not present but included in the honor is district webmaster Samantha Davis.
Four St. Lucie Public Schools students have been selected to participate in the international ambassador program, People to People International, this summer. The organization was begun by former President Dwight Eisenhower in an efffort to bring people from around the world together for understanding and friendship. The students will join with others around the country as delegates to France and England, including visiting Parliament and meeting with a Representative of the House of Commons. Pictured, from left, front row are teacher leader from People to People Karen Koehnlein, student ambassadors Braden Rigsby, Hunter Hooven, and Enrique Crespo. A student ambassador not pictured is Dakota Foster. Back row, from left, are Braden, Hunter and Enrique’s parents, with Superintendent Michael Lannon and Chairman Carol Hilson.
Port St. Lucie High School’s Jaguar Battalion took an educational, but exciting field trip to Patrick Air Force Base. The cadets experienced how the men and women of the U.S. Air Force live and work. They were able to view a standard dorm room for an enlisted member of the Air Force. The cadets went to an active fire station, ventured to the education center to learn about some of the programs the Air Force offers, and travelled to an active security forces station where cadets used the firearm simulator to test their skills on different scenarios. We look forward to the next opportunity to participate in another fun event. Pictured are the cadets inspecting the U.S. Air Force’s Stryker fire fighting vehicle.