Special bond created with first grade students

Special bond created with first grade students

What started out as a routine drop by visit to observe Oak Hammock first grade teacher Joy West teach Common Core writing has turned into a lasting friendship between students, teacher and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell. The first grade common core learning goal for writing states that Students will be able to write a variety of opinion, narrative, and informative pieces using digital tools to produce and publish writing. To meet this goal, students chose their favorite book, found three reasons that supported why they liked the book, planned their writing using a multi-flow map, created a draft, revised, edited and published a class book of opinions. Because of Dr. Rendell’s high interest in all students, he continued to visit the class and keep up with the students throughout the process. As a culminating celebration, students’ eyes beamed with excitement as they listened to Dr. Rendell share one of his favorite books, “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes”. Dr. Rendell’s apparent love for children and the interest that he has taken has created a memory that will last a lifetime. Pictured is Dr. Rendell, with Ms. West and her students.

Forest Grove Middle concert band performs well at festival

Forest Grove Middle concert band performs well at festival

Students in Forest Grove Middle School’s seventh and eighth grade Concert Band, under the direction of Bradley Esau, recently participated in the Music in the Parks festival at Universal Studios. The band placed fourth of six middle school groups. Pictured are the members of the band.

Windmill Point students visit St. Augustine

Windmill Point students visit St. Augustine

Students from from Nikki Rodriguez’s class at Windmill Point Elementary School listen intently to their guide during a recent trip to St. Augustine. Windmill Point’s fourth grade classes went to St. Augustine to deepen their knowledge about Florida history. They visited the Castillo de San Marcos, the Old Jail Museum, the Old Store Museum, and went on a narrated trolley ride around the Oldest City.

Staff from Coast Guard station teach water safety at Weatherbee Elementary

Staff from Coast Guard station teach water safety at Weatherbee Elementary

Thanks to the Partnership in Education between Weatherbee Elementary and the United States Coast Guard Station in Fort Pierce, first, third, and fifth grade students at Weatherbee learned about water safety during a visit to the school by staff from the Coast Guard station who delivered an informative presentation, teaching the students how to stay safe in, on, and around the water. After the presentation, members of the Auxiliary presented a “Let’s Talk Trash” game for the students to learn the importance of keeping waterways clean and also to learn how to put on a personal floatation device correctly. The students especially loved the surprise visit from Coastie, the remote control boat, pictured.

Centennial High students raise money for unique cause

Centennial High students raise money for unique cause

Students at St. Lucie West Centennial High School recently held the second annual “Sleep in a Box” overnight fundraiser for Invisible Children, a program designed to help combat the abduction of children from Uganda and Sudan who are then forced to become assassins. Eighty five students participated this year, all sleeping outside in the courtyard, in their boxes. They raised over $800 for the organization to help update radio communications in the area and build schools for displaced children. Pictued are Leedy Boyle, left, and Dustin Snyder.

St. Lucie Elementary celebrates Multicultural Week

St. Lucie Elementary celebrates Multicultural Week

During Multicultural Week, St. Lucie Elementary School teacher Susan Barber organized special events and guest speakers. Each day community members, teachers, and parents volunteered to speak to students about their cultural backgrounds. Students learned about Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras. Each grade group did a special presentaion of all that they learned on their country to the entire school. Pictured are students in traditional Mexican dress.

Lincoln Park’s Robert Bacchus earns four year scholarship at international science fair

Lincoln Park’s Robert Bacchus earns four year scholarship at international science fair

Two Lincoln Park Academy students won four-year scholarships at the recent Intel ISEF International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona, for their projects. The students were able to attend the International Fair with support from the St. Lucie County Education Foundation’s Fund A Project, and were able to solicit and raise the funding needed to participate. Junior Robert Bacchus presented his project, “CancAARS: A Novel Therapeutic Target for Melanoma Tumorigenesis,” and won a special award, a four year scholarship to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, valued at $60,000.00. Robert also placed fourth in the grand awards for Biochemistry, and was presented a check for $500.00. Neha Kambam Reddy, also a junior, presented her project, “Sustaining Ecological Biodiversity with Highly Specific RNA Interference (RNAi),” and Neha also won a four year scholarship to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, valued at $60,000.00. University of the Sciences awards five $15,000 scholarships to students whose research and academic interests align with the USciences mission. Scholarships become effective upon enrollment in the incoming class of Fall 2014. Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12. Each year more than 1,500 high school students from more than 70 countries, regions, and territories display their independent research and compete for more than $4 million in awards.

Lincoln Park’s Neha Reddy earns four year scholarship at international science fair

Lincoln Park’s Neha Reddy earns four year scholarship at international science fair

Two Lincoln Park Academy students won four-year scholarships at the recent Intel ISEF International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona, for their projects. The students were able to attend the International Fair with support from the St. Lucie County Education Foundation’s Fund A Project, and were able to solicit and raise the funding needed to participate. Junior Neha Kambam Reddy presented her project, “Sustaining Ecological Biodiversity with Highly Specific RNA Interference (RNAi),” and won a four year scholarship to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, valued at $60,000.00. Robert Bacchus, also a junior, presented his project, “CancAARS: A Novel Therapeutic Target for Melanoma Tumorigenesis,” and also won a four year scholarship to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, valued at $60,000.00. Robert also placed fourth in the grand awards for Biochemistry, and was presented a check for $500.00. University of the Sciences awards five $15,000 scholarships to students whose research and academic interests align with the USciences mission. Scholarships become effective upon enrollment in the incoming class of Fall 2014. Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12. Each year more than 1,500 high school students from more than 70 countries, regions, and territories display their independent research and compete for more than $4 million in awards.

Northport students and families enjoy young authors program

Northport students and families enjoy young authors program

Seven Northport K-8 students and their families participated in the St. Lucie County Reading Council Young Authors program held recently at Fort Pierce Central High School. All students at Northport K-8 School participate in the Young Author’s program as evidentiary data for the school’s Parent Involvement goals for the School Improvement Plan. Student, family and teacher involvement in the authentic writing program is  nearly 100%. Each year, at the beginning of the school year, teachers prepare their students for the “whole community- project based” program. Writing workshops are held in conjunction with the 21st Century after school program and classroom teachers prepare their students to be able to demonstrate mastery of the writing process, which includes planning, organizing, writing, editing, style, revision, adding illustrations and achieving the final product. The books are then displayed in the school Media Center for optimal display of community work and parent visits. This year’s school wide selections for best writing by Northport students are  Zachary Roy, Breanna Guillame, Alexander Hernandez, Alayna
Jaworski, Cali Romano, Alexa DeMatthews and Jill Quant. Pictured is Zachary Roy and his proud mother, Marie Roy.

Northport K8 students step back into history

Northport K8 students step back into history

Northport K-8 School Northstar team students in six, seventh and eighth grades visited St. Augustine recently for a day long learning excursion. Northstar instructors Mala Woessner and Mehgan Drost planned and organized the “Step Back Into History” program as a scaffold to information gleaned in the classroom about Spanish Colonial Florida and an examination of Florida History. Students perused artifacts and heard stories of the native Americans and Colonial settlers. Students drank heartily from the Fountain of Youth and learned why Ponce de Leon named Florida when he claimed the land for Spain. The oldest fort and the oldest school house were toured and students ended the learning initiative to St. Augustine by listening to the stories of ghosts of Old St. Augustine.  The trip was an excellent opportunity for students to connect information learned in the classroom to real time experiences.

Lincoln Park students raise funds for Heart Association

Lincoln Park students raise funds for Heart Association

During the month of April and culminating with FCAT week, students at Lincoln Park Academy raised over $5,700 in which all proceeds went to the American Heart Association. The monies raised far exceeded the school’s original goal of $2,000 and proved LPA is a school that cares about health and community! Pictured, from left, are Adrian Ortiz, Kristina Novotny, Jennifer Ketcham, Kaylee Colley and rope turner Tache Vidal during one of the jumping rope events.

Windmill Point students enjoy field day

Windmill Point students enjoy field day

Fifth grade students at Windmill Point Elementary School recently enjoyed competing in the events at Field Day. Spirits were high along with the competition. Students remarked that they have a “blast” at Field Day, which shows students how much fun physical activities can be working together. Pictured are Joey Cerbone, left, and Peyton Mertz demonstrating teamwork is the key to success!!

Two Windmill Point students earn awards in DAR contest

Two Windmill Point students earn awards in DAR contest

Students in Caryol-Lynn Hallahan’s second grade class at Windmill Point Elementary participated in the National Society DAR Junior American Citizens contest. This year’s theme was “Invest in America’s Future.” The students were able to create a poster or write a short story depicting the theme. The local Cora Stockney Harper Chapter submitted two entries for judging by the state organization, and Efrain Pellot’s entry received a second place award for his short story from the Florida State Society and Anthony Phillip’s entry received a third place award for his poster category from the state. Pictured are Efrain, left, and Anthony.

Students, staff at Gaines Academy enjoy Multicultural Day

Students, staff at Gaines Academy enjoy Multicultural Day

Students at Samuel Gaines Academy decorated and setup their pods with cultural information, artistic design, musical, and cuisine, for the annual Multicultural Day. This event was very successful with enthusiastic participation from teachers, parents and students alike. Students at each grade level researched a specific country to display in their pod. Pictured are sixth grade teachers Missy Lyshon, Robert Plowden, and Elisabeth Kraft with their students displaying their culminative research on Italian culture.

Seventh grade Dan McCarty students win VGTI academic challenge

Seventh grade Dan McCarty students win VGTI academic challenge

Students in one of two Christopher Tolliver’s seventh grade classes at Dan McCarty School bested eight other school groups in this year’s Vaccine Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) Academic Challenge. Nine classes from six schools competed in this year’s challenge posed by VGTI scientists in an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school and real world problems facing society. In a video presentation to the students, scientists had seventh grade students identify a naturally occurring ecosystem with limited resources where one organism has established dominance over all others in consumption of these resources. Students determined a natural predator(s) and selected the most likely organism to be enhanced through selective breeding and genetic engineering to exert a population check on the dominant consumer. Students collaborated as a class to create PowerPoint presentations, backboards and videos to present their solution to the problem. Dr. John Schatzle , Director of Scientific Operations at VGTI, announced the best project in the scientists’ determination was from Toliver’s class entitled “The Lionfish Problem.” “This project had the most scientifically sound solution to the invasive species problem and utilized an indigenous species and introduced traits that wouldn’t affect the natural ecosystem or other organisms besides the invasive consumer,” Schatzle remarked. Tolliver also had another classroom present “The Rhesus Monkey Problem.” Other teachers who advanced STEM education in the classroom by participating in the challenge were Andrea Anicito from Forest Grove Middle School with “The Tegu” and The Cane Toad,” Thomas Balcer from Lincoln Park Academy with “ Deadly Little Lionfish,” Claudy Bois from Palm Pointe Educational Research School with “Attack of the Red Fire Ants” and “Everglades: A struggling Ecosystem,” Eric Johnson from Southport Middle School with “Control of the Burmese Python,” and Sean Lynch from WestGate K-8 with “The Lionfish Invasion.” Pictured, back row from left, are Michelande Eliassaint, Roberto Barrera, Louis Lopez, Janicia Larcher, Laurel Peterson, A’lexeairia Johnson, Rentavius Brice and Joana Magana. Front row, from left, are Jason Harless, Anastiastia Hillary, Marissa Perkins, Dwight Lazarro, and Yasmin Martinez. Team members not pictured include Davonte Hanna, Jaquelyn Macias, Jaslym Varela, and Quytaeja Frazier.

Business partners of the year honored at school board meeting

Business partners of the year honored at school board meeting

The two 2013 Business Partners of the Year for St. Lucie Public Schools were recognized at the May 28, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting. The 26th Annual Commissioner’s Business Partner recognition reception, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education, will be held June 13, 2013, in Tampa where the state winner will be named. School districts throughout the state may nominate one, two or three businesses, depending on student population, for the state honor. St. Lucie Public Schools selected the school district’s Facilities and Maintenance Department (with FLDOE approval) for its annual summer student internship and scholarship program, which since 2007 has awarded $30,000 to St. Lucie students. Pictured with the recognition plaque is department bookkeeper Cindy Hill, who has been the driving force behind the project, along with the late Regina Chesser. With Ms. Hill, from left, are School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Hill, Delores Austell from the Career and Technical Education department, which nominated the internship program, and Superintendent Michael Lannon. The other Business Partner of the Year is Martin Health Systems – St. Lucie West and site manager Debbie Markey. This company provides internships for medical academy students from St. Lucie West Centennial. Teachers Elizabeth Durkee and Mary Higgins nominated Martin Health Systems for their unwavering commitment to providing the requisite clinical experiences for medical academy students to earn certification.

Windmill Point students enjoy Kids at Hope Day

Windmill Point students enjoy Kids at Hope Day

Windmill Point Elementary celebrated its first school-wide Kids at Hope Day recently. The day centered on mental time traveling, which involved exploring students’ future life in the following four destinations: career and education, home and family, hobbies and recreation, and community service. Many thanks go to St. Lucie County School Board member Carol Hilson, pictured, who spoke to fourth grade students, not only about her career choices, but also about believing in oneself and setting goals to reach one’s dreams, and to all of the guest parent and community speakers. Windmill Point Elementary students, staff, and parents believe the Kids at Hope vision, that all children are capable of success, no exceptions!

Floresta Elementary students participate in character education program

Floresta Elementary students participate in character education program

Students at Floresta Elementary School recently participated in a 45 minute character education assembly. The NED show, a motivational program, promotes building a positive attitude and encourages students to support others and to never give up as they strive to always do their best. The show was presented in an engaging storytelling format where the guest speaker used a variety of skills and tricks with the yo-yo as a storytelling prop. Students and teachers enjoyed the presentation and students were able to purchase their own yo-yo from a variety of yo-yos for sale after the show. Pictured, left, is student Yerel Alejo participating in the program with the NED presenter.

Palm Pointe first graders enjoy seining at Jaycee Park

Palm Pointe first graders enjoy seining at Jaycee Park

Students from Glenna Sigmon’s first grade class at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition spent a sunny day seining with the Manatee Center at Jaycee Park in Fort Pierce. This enriching opportunity provided a hands-on learning experience to deepen students’ understanding of local habitats and ecosystems. These concepts of science were embedded across all content areas for the unit to facilitate the district’s STEM initiative in which science is an integral part of English, language arts, and mathematics. Pictured, from left, are student Shelby Kay Sigmon, a volunteer from the Manatee Center helping the students, and student Cailey Landreville.