Cheers echoed across campuses today as three deserving teachers were named as finalists for St. Lucie Public Schools’ (SLPS) Teacher of the Year. Makeda-Ione Brome (Lincoln Park Academy), John J. Davino (Samuel S. Gaines Academy K-8), and Jim LeBon (Southport Middle School) were surprised by a throng of delegates from St. Lucie’s Education Foundation and School Board who showered them with congratulations.
SLPS Superintendent E. Wayne Gent said, “Our Teacher of the Year finalists are all-stars; they are outstanding in their craft. They positively impact the lives of our young people by seeing them as individuals, building up their strengths, and helping them achieve lofty goals.”
Locally, one of the three finalists will be selected as the SLPS Teacher of the Year during the Night of the Stars gala scheduled for February 18, 2017, at Lincoln Park Academy’s auditorium in Fort Pierce. This person will then represent SLPS in the Florida Department of Education – Macy’s Teacher of the Year program.
The local Night of the Stars annual event is sponsored by the Education Foundation of St. Lucie County. Thom Jones, president of the Foundation, explained that MIDFLORIDA Credit Union is the sponsor of the local Teacher of the Year category. “This is an especially exciting year. Through our generous sponsor, we have been able to go above and beyond expectations, and we will honor our winners with very special recognitions this year.”
The State’s Teacher of the Year Program is a long-standing tradition that recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teachers who have demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. The State finalist for The Florida Teacher of the Year also serves as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education and represents the Florida Department of Education and teachers throughout Florida.
About the Teacher of the Year Finalists
Makeda-Ione Brome is an instructor at Lincoln Park Academy where she dedicates herself to helping her students advance their learning in the areas of International Baccalaureate (IB) Pre-Calculus and Calculus as well as Probability and Statistics. Striving for excellence for herself as well as for her students, Ms. Brome has set a standard for high pass rates which includes a 95% pass rate on the IB Math Studies (Statistics) exam.
With a history of strong data and keen expertise in a wide array of mathematics practices, this energetic educator is also a leader among her peers serving as a Department Chair for Mathematics and site-based facilitator for collaborative teaching discussions. At the District, Ms. Brome stands out as a member of the Teacher Leader Program supporting professional development, and at the State level, she is currently a Florida Teacher Leader Fellow through the University of Florida and Center for Teaching Quality. She is one of an elite team of 40 teachers from across the state participating in this program.
In the classroom, Ms. Brome gets her inspiration from her students. Everything she does is because she wants to see them grow in all aspects of their lives. She takes to heart the fact they must learn and retain required mathematics in order to be successful in the next course, in college, and beyond. She uses a variety of teaching styles and instructional tools, and she has been known to show a concept three, four, five, times; upside-down, right-side up; however many ways it takes for every student to learn the concept. Just as others inspired her to step out of her glass box and teach, she wants to be an inspiration to teach others to step out of their glass boxes by developing their talents so they, in turn, can also share with others the gifts they have to offer.
John J. Davino
John J. Davino is an AVID elective teacher for students in grades six, seven, and eight at Samuel S. Gaines Academy. AVID – Advancement Via Individual Determination – is the name of the elective course he instructs, and Mr. Davino’s job is to support his students in all of their classes by holding them accountable to the highest standards and providing academic and social support so they will rise to the challenge in preparation for the rigors of college and career readiness. Based on Mr. Davino’s data that boasts a 20 percent learning gain for his students, he is most definitely making an impact.
Mr. Davino appreciates opportunities to work alongside colleagues and share his craft with others. At his school, he has served as a Team Leader and Department Chair. As a member of the inaugural District Teacher Leadership Program, he has had many opportunities over the last four years to support district-wide professional development including the teaching and learning framework, instructional strategies, and new teacher mentoring.
Collaboration with colleagues supports the planning and implementation of engaging lessons for his students who are the source of his direct inspiration. Reflecting on specific individuals who motivate his desire to be the very best teacher, Mr. Davino attributes his inspiration to the quiet Spanish-speaking girl hiding in anonymity and maintaining average grades who comes out of her shell making all A’s, to the young boy who said to him, “Mr. Davino, I’m going to work for you because my brother said you actually care,” and to the girl whose confidence grew as she worked to channel her anger and model herself after the ethics and attitude of her teacher – Mr. Davino. For this model educator, inspiration from students continues to fuel his desire to teach.
Jim LeBon is the music instructor at Southport Middle School serving students in grades six, seven, and eight. However, as a veteran band master, Mr. LeBon works with students and staff at the high school and collegiate level as well as supporting the integration of collegial support necessary to grow budding middle school programs and sustain robust music arts programs throughout the county.
Mr. LeBon is gifted in playing many instruments, talented in composing, and enthusiastic in performing. He bundles this into the unique gift of teaching, and to his credit, his students regularly earn Superior awards at Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA) Concert Band Festivals as well as FBA Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Opportunities to play quality selections are important to inspire young musicians, and over the years, Mr. LeBon noticed a void in the availability of music literature suitable for young musicians. With his spirit of advocacy for students, he set to work in order to fix the problem by gathering his resources and employing quality writers. The result of his arts advocacy is a portal of eighty-five compositions and arrangements available for band masters everywhere.
He truly enjoys his opportunity to teach. He looks forward to and never tires of hearing his students navigate through Mary Had a Little Lamb for the first time, and he enjoys the expression of joy on his students’ faces as they experience the applause for a well-executed performance. He knows that what he does makes a difference to his students and that he has an obligation to do a great job and leave a lasting impression that will impact their perspective on music as well as on the world around them.
Students and teachers from St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) along with private pre-kindergarten partners rallied in the month of January to collect dimes in support of March of Dimes March for Babies. On Wednesday, students and teachers convened at Lawnwood Stadium to run the track in segments. Collectively, the segments represented the distance of the total number of dimes collected if they were to be placed side-by-side. 58,880 dimes were collected! In distance, that equates to approximately 2.5 miles; in dollars, that equates to $5,880.00.
As children populated the track, they were greeted by Curious George and each participating school received a copy of Curious George to add to their classroom library. The books were donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, SLPS’s partner in education.
The March of Dimes organization was founded by President Roosevelt to defeat the crippling disease of polio. In 1979, polio was eradicated from the United States. The polio vaccine was only the beginning. The March of Dimes has helped stamp out rubella, pushed for regionalized newborn intensive care, and much more. They are currently working hard to find treatments and preventions for birth defects and premature births.
Pictured are, Superintendent Genelle Z. Yost and event coordinator, Dr. Mary Huffstetter.
It was a pleasure for SLPS Superintendent E. Wayne Gent to visit Northport K-8 School on March 8, 2019. Mr. Gent spent the morning speaking and visiting with staff in an informal setting about all of the exciting things happening at Northport K-8. Classrooms are thriving, and retaining teacher talent is key to continuing the momentum. Find out more about the referendum for St. Lucie County residents at www.stlucieschools.org #4ourkids
Starting Monday, June 10, 2019, St. Lucie Public Schools moves to a Monday through Thursday work week. Access to District/Annex Offices and school sites will be 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM unless otherwise posted.
Walk-in customer hours for the Human Resources Department, located at 501 NW University Blvd. in Port St. Lucie, are from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Thursday. For your convenience, a Human Resources directory is included below:
Regular hours will resume the week of August 5, 2019.
St. Lucie Public Schools is proud to have served the community by providing eight general hurricane shelter sites and four Red Cross shelter sites.
As shelter site hosts, SLPS staff provided safe and dry temporary accommodations, food service, and custodial support before, during, and after the storm
The SLPS Transportation Department established a call center for residents needing transportation to shelters and provided transportation service to shelters before the storm as well as return transportation after the storm
The SLPS Transportation Department also provided transportation for residents displaced by the storm to post-storm host shelters
Thank you to our staff for your tireless efforts to support others and rise above!
St. Lucie Public Schools received the highly sought-after AdvancEd Accreditation, and all SLPS principals received their AdvancED certificate at the August School Board Meeting.
AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. They conduct rigorous, on-site reviews of a variety of educational institutions and systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.
AdvanceED’s expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation. Using a set of rigorous research-based standards and evidence based criteria, an AdvancED Performance Accreditation team came to SLPS as we closed last school year and examined the whole institution – our policies, programs, practices, learning conditions and cultural context – to determine how well the parts work together to carry out SLPS’s vision and meet the needs of every learner.
The annual Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference was held in Orlando on October 20-22, 2016. Six sessions boasted presenters representing professionals from St. Lucie Public Schools.
The Area Model for Whole Numbers and Beyond (Christina Worley and Jason Bragg) The Productive Struggle is Real (Michele Schucher, Laurie Boyer, and Adrianne Mendoza) Operations with Fraction Blocks (Elizabeth Pruitt and Zoie Griffiths) Making Math Meaningful for All: Transforming your instructional practices to increase student achievement for every student every day!(LaTanya Greene and Samantha Piscopo) Differentiating Math through Daily 3 Framework(Victoria Pease) Fluency: Beyond Flashcards and Rote Memorization (Kimberly Jay and Christina Worley)
This past weekend, the SLPS Medici Project held its first “Beginning Band A Palooza” at Ft. Pierce Central H.S. 165 beginning band students from APK8, CAST, SGAET, SOMS, SPM, WGK8, PPREK8, MAK8, SLWK8 participated in a group workshop to learn how to put their instruments together, and learn to make their first note on their instruments! High school directors and their leadership students from FPC, TCHS, PSL, and FPWA lead the workshops and helped each musician get off to a successful start.
Thank you to Music Man, Inc. who provided “Swag” for all participants.
Teachers Katie Avra, Desiree Miller, Susan Wessel, and Cary Schott, are pictured with A.E. Backus Gallery Director J. Marhsall Adams. The teachers are learning about the works of A.E. Backus as well as learning how to use digital software to manipulate and teach Art elements incorporating the artist’s work.
What is the SLPS Medici Project?
~Enhancing the practice of artist educators and student achievement through the Arts and Sciences.
~A professional development initiative supporting the natural integration of Arts and Science.
***The Medici family was the greatest supporter of Arts and Sciences during the Renaissance.
An innovative, strong, standards-based professional development program.
Arts educators will participate in training that will develop their ability to effectively plan, lead, and evaluate quality arts integration.
Project includes training on arts integration, targeting science.
Ongoing community of professional development through collaboration and peer-support.
SLPS Medici Project will cultivate a community of Arts educator aspiring to be masters of their craft and leaders in their school community.
Arts and Science integration is the thread by which we will begin to integrate creativity into the core curriculum and to collect data.
This project will include 45 educators from 33 schools.
ALL SLPS Arts educators will benefit from Medici Project Conferences and Training.
Areas of Focus
Developing Arts Educators as Subject-Area Experts
Integrating Arts and Science
Developing Teachers as Sustained, Career-engaged Learners
Creating Collaborative Culture & Community for Arts Educators
St Lucie Public Schools was presented an award by Eric Stern from Action for Healthy Kids at the school board meeting on October 28th. The District earned a Silver level on the Coordinated School Health Assessment that includes the areas of Health Services, Food Services, Physical Education, Staff Wellness, Mental Health, and Community and Family Involvement. Pictured are, Debbie Hawley, Eric Stern, Carlye Fabrikant, and Genelle Yost.
With over 5,400 employees, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) was recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. This announcement came amid cheers from staff members at the 16th Annual Best Places to Work St. Lucie County Awards Ceremony held on November 1st and hosted by the St. Lucie County Human Resources Association and Personnel Dynamics.
Superintendent E. Wayne Gent accepted the award on behalf of the District, and commended the dedicated team of professionals whose mission it is to support students saying, “You win with the right people.” SLPS Director of Human Resources Dr. Rafael Sanchez agrees. “The new retention and recruitment model we now use has transformed our human resources department from a compliance machine to a strategic force in K-12 education.” Sanchez added, “The HR retention and recruitment model is unique and unlike any model currently used in public education today.”
Winning the Best Places to Work distinction enhances the SLPS recruitment brand and model which integrates support functions that correlate to the District’s mission and vision. Determining factors for award recognition which is open to organizations annually include turnover, growth, training, benefits, profit sharing, pay, work environment, and retirement programs.
Two of our area high schools were featured in the Spring 2019 e-newsletter for Gaetz Aerospace Institute and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. See the articles and featured photos below!
School safety is a concern not only for parents, teachers, administrators, but also for students that attend school. When local law enforcement asked students to assist them in a school safety plan, they provided some high tech solutions. Students at Fort Pierce Central High Schoolprovided drones as an option to help with school safety. (Image below)
Fort Pierce Central High School students visited Triumph Aerostructures in Stuart, Florida during Florida Aviation Business Association week. They were able to tour the production facility that produces flight control surfaces for Boeing aircraft. Students really enjoyed the opportunity and look forward to possible internships with Triumph. Thank you Triumph Aerostructures! (Image below)
Emma Teague from Piper Aerospace Company of Vero Beach presented at Treasure Coast High School to the AFJROTC and ERAU dual enrolled students/cadets. Ms. Teague discussed the Piper Apprenticeship Program for seniors that are interested in a career in the aviation industry. Students have an opportunity to apply for this apprenticeship, and if selected will be hired full time after graduation at Piper for two years while completing the program.
Rather than an ending, commencement – both the word and the ceremony – 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.
The ceremony of commencement celebrated at high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the world has its roots in the scholastic traditions of the Middle Ages. It is an ancient, dignified, and highly symbolic ritual of conclusion and emergence, a rite of passage into a new life.
Ft. Pierce Central High School
8:30 am on May 23, 2017 at the Fair Grounds
Treasure Coast High School
1:30 pm on May 23, 2017 at the Fair Grounds
Lincoln Park Academy 8:30 am on May 25, 2017 at Fenn Center
Ft. Pierce Westwood High School
1:30 pm on May 25, 2017 at Fenn Center
***Please note the corrected order for PSLHS and SLWCHS graduation times.
St. Lucie West Centennial High School
8:30 am on May 26, 2017 at Fenn Center
Port St. Lucie High School
1:30 pm on May 26, 2017 at Fenn Center