Law Day

Law Day

With special thanks to Friends of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library, Inc., students had the opportunity to participate in the 2019 Law Day Art Contest and Law Day Reception. This year’s theme, “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society,” highlighted the cornerstones of representative government and called on individuals to understand and protect these rights to ensure “The blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.”
Treasure Coast High School’s Jazz Band served to engage those attending the event during the reception. Special guests were honored and students from around the district were celebrated for their talents and were awarded for their artistic designs.
Click here for a video recap of this year’s event:
Congratulations to:

Poster Board Category:

Elementary school (3rd – 5th grade)

1st place:      $100.00        Cole Oehlberg                  (Christ Lutheran School)

2nd place:     $75.00          Melania Apostolico           (Palm Pointe)

3rd place:      $50.00          Olivia Peralta                    (Palm Pointe)

Elementary school (K – 2nd grade)

1st place:      $100.00        Taylor Laplante                 (Palm Pointe)

2nd place:     $75.00          Liana Bonet                      (Palm Pointe)

3rd place:      $50.00          Jessica Bouris                  (Palm Pointe)

3 Dimensional Category:

Middle school (6th – 8th grade):

1st place:      $150.00        Joseline Hernandez-Gaspar (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie)

2nd place:     $100.00        Kaylee Hunt                      (Palm Pointe)

Photography Category:

Middle school (6th – 8th grade):

1st place:      $150.00        Tindra Zawackis               (Palm Pointe)

2nd place:     $100.00        Saya Joseph                    (Palm Pointe)

Video Category:

Middle school (6th – 8th grade):

1st place:      $150.00        Maria Ramirez Gallego     (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie)

2nd place:     $100.00        Christian Vasquez             (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie)

The idea of having a Law Day was proposed by the American Bar Association in 1957. The joint resolution passed by Congress in 1961 described Law Day as “a special celebration by the people of the United States.” It described the purposes of this celebration: to show appreciation of the liberties we enjoy in this nation, to reaffirm loyalty to the United States, to rededicate ideals of liberty and justice under the law, and to cultivate respect for the law.
This year’s Law Day Art Contest was held at the Paula A. Lewis Library in Port Saint Lucie.
We appreciate the contribution of James T. Walker, Esq. for this eloquent summary of this year’s event:

“The clearest way to show what the

Rule of Law means to us in every day

life is to recall what has happened

when there is no rule of law.”


— Dwight D. Eisenhower




Life without the rule of law. What a prospect. One online source defines law’s rule as “the principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced; the principle of government by law.” See President Eisenhower was asking that people imagine their lives subject to the whims of others, unprotected by any written rules applying fairly and equally to everyone else. He was describing life in a dictatorship, where there is no constitution leavened by laws adopted  through elected representatives.


The importance of law to our democratic way of life is acknowledged on one day of the year, through Law Day, May first. This was formalized by Congress in 1961, by adoption of a resolution enshrining that day in commitment to “equality and justice under law”. See 36 USC sec. 113. For law libraries, particularly the Rupert J. Smith Law Library, it is the most important day of the year. The law’s most sacred ideal is that all members of society should receive equal justice under law. Equal justice is meaningless unless every person has equal access to the law, with equal opportunity to acquire awareness of the rights, obligations and remedies afforded by the law. That’s where law libraries come in. They are the gateway of every man, woman and child to the legal system.


Hence, the Friends of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library,  in cooperation and partnership with the St. Lucie County School Board, annually hosts a Law Day Reception and Art Contest. It accomplishes several purposes. First, it acquaints Treasure Coast residents with the availability of our county law library and alerts them to the resources at their disposal for learning what they might need to know about the law. Second it serves as a platform for honoring those members of the community whose lives and accomplishments exemplify and give meaning to the rule of law in normal daily life. By honoring them thusly, others are inspired to likewise conduct themselves similarly. Third, it is a means of educating young people about the law. They do that by expressing in works of art the theme chosen annually for Law Day by the American Bar Association. This year’s 2019 ABA theme was “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society”.


This year’s celebration of Law Day took place on May 3, 2019, in the community room at the Paula A. Lewis Branch Library, in Port St. Lucie.  There was grateful acknowledgement of sponsorship support from the St. Lucie County Bar Association, the Port St. Lucie County Bar Association, Everlove & Associates, and the Hon. Ben Bryan (ret.).  Attendees included representatives of the school board, the judiciary, members of the local bar associations, students, their parents and other invited guests and members of the public. Masters of Ceremonies were James T. Walker, Esq. and Carlos Wells, Esq.

The proceeding was opened by the Hon. Burton Connor, District Court Judge for the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Judge Connor led the Pledge of Allegiance after speaking to it’s significance and meaning. Judge Connor explained that not only is The Pledge an opportunity to declare one’s love of country, but is also a means of honoring those who have fought for their country’s freedoms, often suffering death or disability in so doing.


Shaniek M. Maynard, Magistrate Judge for the US District Court, Southern District of Florida, then introduced the Keynote Speaker, the Hon. Michael Linn, recently appointed as a Circuit Court Judge for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. Judge Linn, who is also an Adjunct Professor at Indian River State Court, spoke on the meaning of those freedoms implicated by the ABA’s choice of theme for Law Day, the Freedom of Assembly, the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press. Judge Linn adopted a professorial mien, pacing back and forth while challenging the members of his audience with sharply pointed, provocative  questions. For example, he asked the audience to assume that a certain country provides the following Article 67 in it’s constitution: “(1) Citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, the press, assembly, demonstration and association; (2) The State guarantees the conditions for the free activities of democratic political parties and social organizations”.  He then asked his audience to name the country with that constitution.. Among the guesses were Canada. No one succeeded in guessing the actual country, North Korea. Judge Linn explained that the mere listing of purported rights in a country’s constitution does not mean it is governed by the rule of law. Judge Linn went on to explain the importance of democratically adopted laws by elected representatives, enforced by an independent judiciary, with power divided up among co-equal branches of government, rather than concentrated under a dictator as in North Korea.


Several very special people were honored for their contributions to the rule of law on the Treasure Coast. As with Judge Linn, each was introduced by an individual whose stature in the community was intended to lend weight and gravitas to their status as honorees. Nora Everlove, Chief law librarian of RJSLL for the past twenty-seven years, presented a plaque, in deepest gratitude from the Trustees of the law library, to Michael D. Fowler, Esq.,  principle in The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L. Mr. Fowler was honored for his unwavering support of legal education, through sponsorship over several years of the library’s Annual CLE Lecture Series. She noted that his support made him “… the largest single donor to the law library in its thirty year history. We cannot thank him enough for what he has done to make this program successful. Impressively, it has doubled in size in the last three years.”


The Hon. Linda Bartz, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners for St. Lucie County, recognized George Shopland, CEO, New Horizons of the Treasure Coast. Commissioner Bartz  honored Mr. Bartz “for a lifetime spent in service to the rule of law through devotion to community and people.” Mr. Shopland was previously director of the Institute for Mental Health at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. He became CEO of New Horizons on it’s 60th anniversary as the premier mental health and addiction recovery providor on the Treasure Coast, serving more than 14,000 adults and children each year. Mr. Shopland took the place of John Romano, who retired after thirty years.


The third honoree was Officer Dani Dreizehnter, of the Fort Pierce Police Department. She was introduced by Carlos Wells, Senior Assistant State Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, whose responsibilities involve juvenile delinquency litigation. Officer Dreizehnter, too, was recognized for “a lifetime spent in service to the rule of law through devotion to community and people.” Mr. Wells spoke warmly of her involvement on behalf of young people who are caught up in the criminal justice system.  He described her deep dedication to such juveniles, as she responds to emergency situations at all hours of the day, making sure that there is effective communication going on about the individual’s needs among the attorneys, guidance counselors, therapists, and parents. She takes a close interest in the underlying social pathologies of their offenses, and seeks to help where able with their teachers and families. When asked, “Do you have any kids?”, her standard response is “Several hundred… and growing!” She was the first ever officer of the FPPD fully dedicated to juvenile justice matters, and additionally serves as an adjunct professor at IRSC, teaching criminal justice.


Following recognition of Law Day Honorees, there was further celebration of the student artists whose works best exemplified or embodied the theme for Law Day. Cash prizes were handed out by Dr. Helen Wild, Chief Academic Office for St. Lucie Public Schools, in her role as Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Programs and Non-traditional  Education Schools in St. Lucie Public Schools. She was assisted by Kim Cunzo, Esquire, who is in private legal practice, helping people with a range of issues arising in the field of domestic law. The types of art work honored included posters, photography, three dimensional renditions, and video.


This year’s student winners were divided into categories. There were two groups of poster board artists, from K through second grade, and from third through fifth grade. In the first category there were Cole Oehlberg (Christ Lutheran School/ First place $100); Melania Apostolico (Palm Pointe/ Second place, $75); and Olivia Peralty (Palm Point/ Third place, $50). In the second group, there were Taylor Laplante (Palm Pointe/ First place, $100); Liana Bonet (Palm Pointe/ Second place, $75) and Jessica Bouris (Palm Pointe/ Third place, $50).


Winners of the Three Dimensional Category were Joseline Hernandez-Gaspar (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie/ First place, $150) and Kaylee Hunt (Palm Point/ Second place, $100).


Photographic winners were Tindra Zawackis (Palm Pointe/ First place, $150) and Saya Joseph (Palm Pointe/ Second place, $100).


There were also two winners in the video graphics category, Maria Ramirez Gallego (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie/ First place, $150), and Christian Vasquez (Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie/ Second place, $100).


Friends was proud of this year’s success of the 2019 Law Day Reception and Art Contest. In addition to those participants named above, the event was made possible by Paul Nucci, who assisted with light snacks and picture-taking. Much thanks was due to the talented members of the Treasure Coast Jazz Combo, of Treasure Coast High School, under the direction of Mr. Luke Hall, who provided entertainment during the reception. There were photographers and videographers provided by the school board and there must be recognized and thanked the wonderful directors of Friends of the RJS Law Library for their involvement and assistance, including Carolyn Fabrizio, Nora Everlove, Kim Cunzo, Andrea O’Conner’Hall, George Metcalf, Donald Watson, Carlos Wells, Jim Walker and Steve Hoskins.  Respectful thanks is additionally due to Kerry Padrick, Chief Communications Officer for the St. Lucie Schools, for assisting in disseminating awareness of the event to staff and local students, and who makes sure everything goes smoothly.


In conclusion, there are recalled the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said this about the law: “Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap—let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primmers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice.”  Law, he pointed out, is at the heart of our democratic way of life. It is proper that we honor the law and those whose lives and deeds give meaning to it’s finest ideals, including the right to equal justice under the law. That bright, shining ideal takes on life when every member of society has equal access to knowledge of the law, through awareness of his or her rights, obligations and remedies. Law libraries make that possible.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day – May 9, 2019

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day – May 9, 2019

Join Florida Department of Education (FDOE) in helping increase awareness about children with mental health needs and end the stigma around seeking help. On May 9, 2019, join the FDOE and wear green in support of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

Celebrate the statewide awareness campaign and tag a photo of your group wearing green or a green ribbon using one of these hashtags.

#NotAlone, #LetsTalkAboutIt and #ItStartsHere

Port St. Lucie High School Students Race 3D Printed Cars

Port St. Lucie High School Students Race 3D Printed Cars

Faculty, staff, students and invited guests were witnesses to an event dubbed the CO2 Races at Port St. Lucie High School. Students in Mr. John Picchiarini’s class designed the cars using AutoCAD 2018.

The designs were then 3D printed on site. Two by two, the cars were lined up at the starting line and powered along fishing lines by CO2 cartridges.

Morningside Named National Finalist

Morningside Named National Finalist

Morningside Elementary was selected as the Florida Elementary School of the Year and National Elementary Finalist for the NEED project. The students pictured (Ben Prohaska, Paul Mukhamedov, Wyatt Taylor, Luke Prohaska, Sincere Robinson, Logan McDonald, Tyler McDonald, and Ryan Ayvaz, along with advisor/5th grade teacher, Mollie Mukhamedov) will represent Morningside Elementary at the 2019 NEED Youth Conference in Washington, D.C. this June.
To find out more about the NEED Project, click on the link below.
NEED – National Energy Education Development Project
Teacher Appreciation Week #Thankateacher

Teacher Appreciation Week #Thankateacher

Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10

Teacher Appreciation Day May 7

Number One Teacher
By Joanna Fuchs

I’m happy that you’re my teacher;
I enjoy each lesson you teach.
As my role model you inspire me
To dream and to work and to reach.

With your kindness you get my attention;
Every day you are planting a seed
Of curiosity and motivation
To know and to grow and succeed.

You help me fulfill my potential;
I’m thankful for all that you’ve done.
I admire you each day, and I just want to say,
As a teacher, you’re number one!

Graduation Schedule

Graduation Schedule

Rather than an ending, commencement represents a beginning. It is appropriate that an occasion which marks the beginning of a new phase of life should be conducted with pomp and circumstance, stateliness and tradition.

In keeping with the academic significance of the St. Lucie Public Schools graduation, we want to share some important graduation reminders:

  • Refrain from posting signs, distributing literature, flying balloons, or undertaking any activity including air horns, whistles, bells, or loud sounding objects that might interfere with the dignity of the program.
  • Everyone, including children of all ages, must have a ticket in order to be admitted to graduation ceremonies.
  • 2019 graduation ceremonies will be broadcast live on the St. Lucie Public Schools Education Channel and streamed on YouTube.
  • Plan to arrive at least one hour prior to your child’s high school graduation start time. Please be advised that there is no guarantee of seating in the main auditorium at the Fenn Center for individuals arriving late to the ceremony.
  • Reserved accessibility parking is available on a first come-first served basis.



Oklahoma Is Sure To Be A Summer Sensation

Oklahoma Is Sure To Be A Summer Sensation

This summer’s musical is Oklahoma!


Wednesday, June 12th 7:30 PM

Thursday, June 13th 7:30 PM

Friday, June 14th 7:30 PM

Sat., June 15th 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM

Sunday, June 16th 12:00 PM and 4:30 PM

Garden to Table

Garden to Table

Fifth graders at Village Green Environmental Studies School were thrilled to learn about and enjoy eating food grown from their very own vegetable gardens! Students at the school grew “yummy” cabbages and “delicious” sweet potatoes.
SLWK-8 FSA Pep Rally

SLWK-8 FSA Pep Rally

SLWK-8 students in grades 3-8 were treated to a Pep Rally for FSA on Tuesday, April 30th. The administration was assisted by the drumline from Centennial High School, as well as some of their basketball players. Students participated in fun games such as:

Shooting Hoops
Hula Hoop Relay
Cup Stacking
Centipede Relay
Dance Off

Companies Compete for Victory at 2019 Annual Field Day!

Companies Compete for Victory at 2019 Annual Field Day!

On Saturday May 4, 2019, Port St. Lucie High School Army JROTC Jaguar Battalion held its annual Field Day for the school year 2018- 2019. Each Company competed in several athletic events including: relay race, Jag Ball, soccer, capture the guide-on, kickball and dodge ball. Cadets were excited to show their skills against the other Companies in friendly team games. Everyone kept the games fair but competitive. After all the games, the Booster Club provided participants with a big barbecue lunch. In the end, Alpha Company came out on top with 44 points, Delta came in second, Charlie came in third, and Bravo came in fourth.

The article and photography were produced by Cadet Major Alexis Morris. 

Award Luncheon: Criminal Justice Senior Completers

Award Luncheon: Criminal Justice Senior Completers

Criminal Justice seniors from St. Lucie Public Schools were afforded the opportunity to be recognized by President Leslie Kristof of Keiser University, Port St. Lucie Police Department’s Assistant Chief Richard DelToro, St. Lucie Public Schools Board Members, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jon Prince, and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Helen Wild.  This event was held at Keiser University to recognize graduating seniors for earning industry certifications, completing three Criminal Justice courses, and participating in Career and Technical student organizations.

Chef Gedke and her students from St. Lucie West Centennial High School catered the event!



Hepatitis A – Know the Facts

Hepatitis A – Know the Facts

The Hepatitis A vaccine is free for children through the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County “Vaccines For Children” program. For information, please call the Department of Health at 772-462-3800 for an appointment.


Dear Edwina Jr. Comes to Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie

Dear Edwina Jr. Comes to Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie

The Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie Musical Theatre proudly presents the coming-of-age musical “Dear Edwina Jr.” Performances will be held on May 23 and May 24, 2019 in the Creative Arts Academy Historic Auditorium. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and children. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Creative Arts Academy is located at 1100 Delaware Avenue in Fort Pierce, Florida in advance or at the door. Auditorium doors open at 6:30 pm. The curtain rises at 7:00 pm. For more information, call (772) 467-4278.

“Dear Edwina Jr.,” a part of Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior Collection, is a musical about growing up, from the creators of “Junie B. Jones, The Musical.” The show follows 13-year-old Edwina Spoonapple, “advice giver extraordinaire,” and a host of neighborhood friends who film an advice column style television program in hopes of gaining fame for Edwina. Delightful musical numbers are featured throughout the show offering advice and wisdom on topics ranging from good manners, handling an embarrassing little brother and adapting to a family’s move to a new location.

“Dear Edwina Jr.” is directed by Wallace Rahming, Sr., CAST musical theatre instructor. “Our students have been working hard to bring the story of Edwina to life on the Creative Arts main stage,” says Rahming. “Although we have various levels of experience on the stage, all of our students are working hard to present a wonderful theatrical experience for the St. Lucie community.”


LPA Qualified For National Bowling Championship

LPA Qualified For National Bowling Championship

Please come out and support the Lincoln Park Academy Bowling Team that has qualified to participate in the National Bowling Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana in June.  Bowlers will be outside the St. James Publix on May 16th from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Any donations and support are welcomed.

Lincoln Park Academy’s Bowling Team, in conjunction with Five Guys of SLW, will be hosting a “Community Night” on 5/17 from 3:00 pm until 9:00 pm. When making your purchase, please mention Lincoln Park Academy’s Bowling Team so the team can receive a percentage of your purchase.  Funds raised will be used to send the team to the National Bowling Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana.

WLX-TV – The Education Channel

WLX-TV – The Education Channel

Graduations are right around the corner! Each graduation will be streamed on our YouTube page and the Education Channel. Below is the schedule:

Be sure to also check out two new School Reports, which are the Law Day Art Contest and the Fort Pierce Central High School Key Club Installation.

We are on Comcast Channel 13 (Fort Pierce), Channel 19 (Port St. Lucie), and Channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse. You can also catch us on YouTube. While you’re there, subscribe to our channel, then head over to Facebook and like/follow our page – WLX-TV.


2019 Law Day Art Contest

Fort Pierce Central Key Club Installation

Have a great week!


SLC Fire Department Visits NP

SLC Fire Department Visits NP

The Fire Department visited students in Mrs. Richetti’s, Mrs. Licameli’s, Mr. Patterson’s, and Mrs. D’Argenio’s classes at NPK8 today.

The students were able to explore the trucks and speak with the Firefighters about their job. What a great experience for all!

Chamber of Commerce Education Day

Chamber of Commerce Education Day

St. Lucie Public Schools welcomed this year’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership St. Lucie class for two stops on its “Education Day Tour.”   The day began with a hearty and healthy breakfast prepared by students in Fort Pierce Central High School’s Culinary Academy and sponsored by the St. Lucie County Education Foundation.  The group toured innovative programs including: Aeronautics, Digital Design, and Allied Health.  Later in the day, the group of distinguished county business and civic leaders were treated to lunch prepared by students in the WEST Prep Magnet’s Culinary Academy.  While on the Panther campus, the visitors toured state-of-the-art academies including: Agritechnology, Veterinary Technology,  Allied Health (Z-Space), and Robotics.

About Leadership St. Lucie

Leadership St. Lucie continues to develop a network of community leaders providing the background, knowledge and expertise necessary for them to serve in public or private leadership positions within St. Lucie County. Each year, up to thirty candidates are selected to participate in the program from nominations by alumni, individuals, businesses, community associations and governmental bodies. Selections are made based upon a nominee’s volunteerism, education, professional achievement, personal objectives, commitment to the community and community accomplishments.





Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge

ST. LUCIE COUNTY – The St. Lucie County Library System’s Summer Reading Challenge returns offering families a new digital online tracking system.

The Summer Reading Blast Off Challenge runs June 1 through Aug. 3 offering students a chance to win a free Kindle Fire (one will be given out at each of the seven branch libraries), as well as tickets to a St. Lucie Mets baseball game or an all-day pass to St. Lucie County Pools or the St. Lucie County Aquarium. Even students completing just half of their required reading logs will receive a free popular children’s book.

It’s even easier this summer to track your family’s reading activities with the free Beanstack app. All Beanstack readers earn digital badges along the way and at completion (12 hours) are awarded a 2019 Summer Reading medal. Register as an individual or as a family. Sign up today at or download the app from the iTunes or Google Play. Hard copies reading logs will also be available at all branch libraries.

Students in kindergarten through 5th grade need to read at least 12 hours over the summer and bring their completed log to any branch library.

Teens can also take part in the Summer Reading Challenge. Young adults (grades 6-12) need to read 20 hours and tell us your favorite moment in each book.

Families with infants and pre-schoolers can also join the competition. The Read With Me Log is for newborns to pre-k children. Parents fill out their activity logs for documenting reading, writing, singing, playing and talking. The Read With Me participants will be entered into a drawing for a gift basket; one at each of the seven locations.

Every child that completes their logs will be entered into the grand prize drawing for the Kindle Fire, which will take place at each branch on Friday, Aug. 9. Beginning June 1, student readers are invited to stop into any branch library to register and to pick up a reading log or sign up with the Beanstack App.

St. Lucie County’s Summer Reading Challenge is sponsored the Friends of the Library, the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County and the St. Lucie Mets.

In addition to the reading challenge, the library will be hosting a variety of weekly programs throughout the summer. A schedule of all programs, along with details about the Summer Reading Challenge, can be found on the St. Lucie County Library System homepage or at any branch library location.