Students in Marta Almiron’s kindergarten class at WestGate K8 School recently got a presidential-sized surprise recently when they received a response letter from the White House. The students had written letters to President Barack Obama in November, 2012, congratulating him on his victory, and Ms. Almiron sent the letters to the White House. I thought the letters were just too cute to keep them for my self, so I mailed them to the White House. President Obama sent a response, along with his autographed photograph, and a picture of First Dog Bo. Pictured are the kindergartners with their prized letter and photos.
Fourth grade students at Allapattah Flats K-8 School have spent the school year learning about Florida’s history as part of their Social Studies curriculum. As a culminating activity, the fourth graders recently took a field trip to St. Augustine. The students were able to visit the Old Jail, Florida Heritage museum, Fort Castillo de San Marcos, Historic St. George Street, and ride on a narrated trolley tour. The students were able to see the pages of their textbooks come alive and learned many interesting facts about our state’s history from the many tour guides and landmarks. This was a memorable and educational trip for all. Pictured are students from Bethany DiTullio’s fourth grade class listening to their tour guide explain how far the cannons could fire from the top of Fort Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine.
The cadets of the Jaguar Battalion from Port St. Lucie High School presented the Colors for the Senior Awards Ceremony recently at Indian River State College from three programs — Educational Talent Search, St. Lucie Upward Bound, and Upward Bound Math and science. The ceremony began with the presentation of the Colors, by the Jaguar Battalion, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The cadets that participated were cadet Staff Sergeant Robert Hopkins as commander holding the National flag, cadet Corporal Lily Durst holding the State flag, cadet Staff Sergeant Cole Herndon and cadet Sergeant Tyrone Salazar as the guards. Pictured, from left, are cadet Staff Sergeant Cole Herndon, cadet Staff Sergeant Robert Hopkins, cadet Corporal Lily durst, and cadet Sergeant Tyrone Salazar.
Students in Christine King’s and Felicia Cobb’s fifth grade classes at Allapattah Flats K8 have been working hard during their after school tutoring program. They have been working with the Art in History curriculum where they interact with text that explains the historical significance of an important artifact in history. The students shown in the photo were assigned the Terra Cotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty (pronounced “chin”). They read about the history of the Qin Dynasty and the significance of the warriors. After about two weeks of research, they designed their own unique Terra Cotta Warriors shown above. Pictured, from left back to front, showing off their work, are Bianca Joseph, Gwen Jimenez, Dyamon William, and Christina Patalano.
Southern Oaks Middle School students students were mesmerized by the seriousness of tobacco use and what it can do to your body and brain in a recent presentation. Students were shown half of a human brain and a monkey brain from a tobacco user. The presenter was a former employee of the tobacco industry who shared many funny stories which kept the students interested, and have not stopped talking about it.
32 middle and high school students from St. Lucie Public Schools competed at the 2013 Florida History Fair in Tallahassee on May 6. All entries were based on this year’s annual theme, “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.” Students who placed in either first or second place at the District History Fair held on March 2 were eligible to advance to the state competition. Two students from Treasure Coast High School, Faith Percival and Ashlyn Rust, received the Native American Heritage Award from the Florida Governor’s Council on Indian Affairs for their website entry “Spanish Conquest of the Inca Empire.” Pictured is the group of competitors at the state event.
Members of Fort Pierce Central High School’s Student Council surprised their valued resource, their teachers. Tillman’s Famous BBQ provided a catered lunch to help the students honor the teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Mariposa Elementary School recently held another Read to Succeed Night. Families came and participated in the activities. Special guest for the night was Bruce Shwedick of the Reptile Discovery Program. He brought with him a 15 pound yellow shelled tortoise from Brazil, a 25-pound Alligator snapping turtle, a nine-foot long reticulated python, and Banana Girl (a 16-foot albino python!), among others. Everyone learned from the information Mr. Shwedick shared about these awesome reptiles! Pictured is Alanna Rivera bravely touching Banana Girl!
Mariposa Elementary School recently held its Spirit Night at Chick-Fil-A of the Treasure Coast Mall. Chick-Fil-A helped the third grade team raise funds for their upcoming field trip to Legoland. Thank you to Mr. Kiedis of Chick-Fil-A and to all the families who came out and supported the event. Pictured are third grade teachers Monica Almeida, from left, Judy Graham, and Theresa Delancy who manned the Spin-A-Prize booth at the event.
St. Lucie County Circuit Court Judge Dan Vaughn recently visited Southern Oaks Middle School. Seventh grade students have been learning about the three branches of government in their civics classes this year. Judge Vaughn spoke with the students about what it means to him to be a judge, and the education needed to become one. The students were eager to ask Judge Vaughn questions about the judicial branch of the government and how it works. Judge Vaughn explained to the students about the history of the robe, which seemed to be a big cause for questions. He also discussed courtroom etiquette as well as respect for the judicial system. Students were impressed that a person of Judge Vaughn’s prestige would visit the school. Judge Vaughn is pictured with students asking questions about the judiciary.
Katelyn Whitaker was involved in the recent Environmental Perspectives showcase of Arts and Sciences at Fort Pierce Westwood’s Marine & Oceanographic Academy. Katelyn is shown with her artwork.
At the recent Environmental Perspectives showcase of Arts and Sciences at Fort Pierce Westwood’s Marine & Oceanographic Academy, freshmen Lauren Martinez, from left, Caitlyn Richardson, and Aneesa Dial guided attendees in creating fish prints of various inhabitants of our south Florida waterways.
Student scientists Riley Kicker, from left, Shayne Nurse, David Todd, Kassidy Allie Stephenson, and Kaylee Andrews are joined by Kaylee’s younger sister Sara as they prepare to time the rate of sinking for various “plankton” creations designed by attendees of the recent Environmental Perspectives showcase of Arts and Sciences at Fort Pierce Westwood’s Marine & Oceanographic Academy. Students and guests alike were amazed at the scientific results!
Fifth grade Bayshore Elementary School student Grayson Waugh will participate in the upcoming People World Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., June 17-22. Grayson is the only local student who will attend the conference designed to teach students about leadership and how iconic leaders throughout history have handled world events. Varioius hands-on activities, relevant professional speakers, small group workshops and visits to significant memorials, museums and monuments will present Grayson with insight into the importance and essemtial need for inspired and informed world leaders. Grayson will also have the opportunity to create lifelong memories and lasting friendships with other leadership ambassadors from around the world.
Students from Janet Balletta’s class at Mariposa Elementary recently presented their animal research projects for their parents and classmates. Students researched their favorite animals and created innovative animal projects out of cereal boxes integrating language arts, technology, and oral language skills. The culminating activity was the students giving an oral presentation of their projects. Students were recognized for their participation, and celebrated their success with their family and peers. Neisha Caldwell, left, and Shane Spellacy, right, won first and second prize for the most original and unique animal projects.
Northport K-8 School students from kindergartners to eighth grade enjoyed Northport’s annual Field Days recently held at Sportsmen’s Park. Students and teachers attended the Field Days in rotations with their classroom and elective teachers assisting to make sure all students were safe and enjoying the event. Activities included the 50 yard dash, 100 yard dash, jump rope, hula hoops, javelin throws, grass relays, crab races and the tug of war. This year was the first year that middle schoolers have been invited to participate in the events. Clownfish team teacher Sandra Tyndaler said, “The students thoroughly enjoyed the well organized event. The students were eager participants and the day was smooth and fun filled!” The 7/8 Clownfish team was commended by Coaches Linda Walker and Kim Kanada Graff for outstanding behavior, sportsmanship and great attitudes. Overall, the Northport K-8 School annual Field Days events were a great wrap up for a year filled with fun learning activities for students of all ages. Pictured are students from the Mariners’ eighth grade team in a tug of war.
St. Lucie West Centennial High School athletic director John Messina was recognized at the May 14, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for his recent induction into the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Hall of Fame. Coach Messina has a long list of distinguished achievements in the coaching category. As head baseball coach at Pace, Port St. Lucie and Jensen Beach high schools, he compiled a 465-160 record and totaled three state championships with two state runners-up while coaching two national Player of the Year standouts, Alex Fernandez in 1988 and Rick Ankiel in 1997. He was named the Florida State Coach of the Year on four occasions, earned the FIAAA Meritorious Service Award, two FHSAA Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Awards and is currently on the FHSAA’s Academic All-State Committee and Representative Assembly. Pictured, from left, are Jeanne Ziemba, St. Lucie School Board member Kathryn Hensley, County Athletic Director Jay Stewart, School Board members Carol Hilson, Troy Ingersoll, and Dr. Donna Mills, current Centennial High School principal Dr. Kim Stephanic, Messina, former Centennial High School principal John Lynch, School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, Superintendent Michael Lannon and former principal Charles Cuomo.
Every year, the Jaguar battalion from Port St. Lucie High School holds a Field Day for the cadets where companies compete against each other in several sporting events. It is a competition among Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie companies, which compete in a series of sports and events. However, the main point of the day is to say goodbye to the graduating seniors. Each senior was given a gift and they spoke about their future plans. Also, gifts were given to the booster parents of the graduating seniors for all their hard work in the booster club. Pictured are Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion sniors and their parents.
Northport K-8 fourth grade students in Carissa Berkely’s class listened to their teacher read a book that they could really relate to and enjoy. Mrs. Berkel, along with fourth grade teacher Juliette Thelusma, read the book “Sped” by Re Marzullo to their students recently. The students then wrote letters expressing their delight with the book and the story line to the author. Re Marzullo responded to the student’s questions in a letter and also sent each student an autographed bookmark. The book is about a small special education class in a middle school affectionately dubbed “Small Group Superstars.” The main character is a young boy who has been in the class with boys only for several school years. This year was different because two girls entered the class. The story is about coping with change, bullying issues and meeting challenges. Students were so thrilled to receive an acknowledgement from the author because they enjoyed the reading so much. Pictured, from left, are Connor O’Sullivan, Cierra Yuhas and Giovanni DiCandeloro.
First grade students in Rachel Ellsworth’s class at Northport K8 School recently participated in a grand
celebration of Young Author’s books, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Parents and grandparents were excited to participate with their young students in a day of sharing by partnering with students in the classroom to read Young Author books. Students then performed two reader’s theater productions titled, “Mom: Every Day Is Mother’s Day” and “Hats Off To Dad!” Students had a wonderful opportunity to talk about their accomplishments and demonstrated an intensity and lively pace that both students and families throughly enjoyed! The lessons also offered an effective response to the needs of English language learners and special needs students. Pictured are Ms. Ellsworth, back right, her students and many family members.