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.
Students in Toni Baptiste’s first grade class at Mariposa Elementary School have researched a zoo animal and made a cereal box report about their animal. Boys and girls were excited to share their animal’s habitat, diet and fun facts to the class. In addition, students were able to share information they learned about each other’s animal to a chaperone on a field trip to the Palm Beach Zoo. Pictured, from left, are Brandon Schwochert, My Nguyen, Isaiah Bissram, Samuel Montgomery, John McCallum, and Sophia Mohammed.
St. Lucie County School Board vice chairman Debbie Hawley, who also serves as chairman for the TCUS (Treasure Coast University Schools) board is pictured reading to kindergartners in Jenny Clancy’s class at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently at the Read Across Palm Pointe event. She read the book, “There’s A Wocket in My Pocket” by Dr. Seuss. The students enjoyed the book she read and gave Mrs. Hawley one of their headbands to take home.
First and second grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition are pictured as they participate in the Circle of Hope. This project was started five years ago by a local student – a cancer survivor when he was 10 years old. Circle of Hope is a Cancer Awareness Campaign and students and staff stopped what they were doing at a specific time and had a moment of silence to honor those that had been affected by cancer. Students and staff also donated $1.00 to wear purple with the proceeds going to Standup2cancer.
Bayshore Elementary School held its first Community Resource Night. The mission of Community Resource Night was to provide families with access to the many services and resources that St. Lucie County has to offer. Pictured is Mindi Fetterman from the Roundtable of St. Lucie County talking to students and families about Kids at Hope.
Bayshore Elementary School’s display in the St. Lucie County Fair earned third place in the fair’s elementary division. Bayshore Elementary students used primary sources to assist them in recreating pictures of St. Lucie County’s past and present. Students also used their creativity to demonstrate inventions of the future.
Northport K-8 eighth grade students were able to connect the dots and put real life knowledge behind the stories and rifts they learned during their recent trip to Washington, D.C. The students and teachers, joined by several others from Manatee Academy, visited the International Spy Museum, the National Holocaust Museum, the United States Capital Building and the House of Representatives where they were able to witness an actual hearing. Students also were guests of the White House where instructor Mala Woessner caught sight of Bo, the White House dog. Students visited Embassy Row, Library of Congress, Martin Luther King Monument and the Museum of Natural History, where students viewed the Hope Diamond, actual mummies and hundreds of other real artifacts from history. Mrs. Woessner said, “When students are able to travel, they are able to connect to a world of educational opportunities!”
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion Drill Team recently participated with 15 other schools in the Area III Drill Meet at Fort Pierce Central High School for the opportunity to advance to state level competition, and four Jaguar teams were successful. The Male Armed Platoon, commanded by cadet Second Lieutenant Jeremy Dardon, and Male Armed Squad, commanded by cadet First Lieutenant Gerard Delgado, placed first in their respective categories. Male Unarmed Squad, commanded by cadet Second Lieutenant Andrew Miller, placed second. Female Armed Squad, commanded by cadet Corporal Ashlee Sepiel, also qualified. Every cadet performed remarkably, and congratulations to the teams going to the state competition!
Weatherbee Elementary participated in the 2012 Circle of Hope, an event designed to raise awareness of various forms of cancer as well as to raise money for research. As a part of this year’s event, several cancer survivors were interviewed and the program was broadcast live to all classrooms. The school chose to wear red as a sign of unity in the fight against cancer, Weatherbee’s power color. Pictured, from left, are cancer survivor Edmy Perez, a second grade student in Monica Adhin’s class, ESE teacher Roberta Weil, who interviewed the guests and coordinated the Circle of Hope event, principal Michael Hitsman, and cancer survivor Alicia Swink, a kindergarten teacher at Weatherbee Elementary. Students and staff alike were moved by the open, honest discussion about cancer and why there is such a need to raise money for research to find a cure.
Some of the favorite ceremonies for the Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar cadet color guard in which to participate are those that honor veterans. Recently, four Jaguar cadets conducted a color guard ceremony at the Ballantrae Yacht Club in Club Med honoring Staff Sergeant John Quincy Adams, a veteran injured in Iraq. The color guard, led by cadet Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Jacobson, consisted of cadet Captain Alex Seipel, cadet Captain Ryan Monday, and cadet Colonel Diamond Salazar. The cadets executed flawlessly and received numerous words of encouragement and appreciation from the spectators.
The drama club at F.K. Sweet Elementary is busy practicing for its upcoming musical comedy, The Kids of Camelot, which will be presented in late May. The club for fourth and fifth graders is under the direction of teachers Jodie Steele and Gary Bushby.
Third grade students in Laurie Boyer’s class at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition used a cereal box to create an informative project about a president of their choice. Pictured is Athresha Kalluri, who chose President Barack Obama and included a report about the early, middle and late years of his life. In addition, she posted words and pictures that described the president on the cereal box.