St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputy and school resource officer Todd Hogan, a former sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, recently visited Dan McCarty School and spoke with eighth grade students in the “Elite Eight” program, which features students who have expressed an interest in participating in community service and becoming better students. Deputy Hogan spoke to the students about his experience in Air Force and his tour in Afghanistan. He also thanked them for the gift packages that were sent over to his men from Dan McCarty and how much they were appreciated. Pictured is SRO Hogan describing his helicopter shown in the background.
Bayshore Elementary School student council members sponsored a food drive to collect non-perishable food for those in need. Students organized the food so it could be dispersed to families in the community. Pictured are fifth grade students Kara Godown, left, student council treasurer from Megan Krinsky’s class, and Andyara Dew, student council secretary from Christine Mueller’s class.
The students of Lawnwood Elementary School were busy collecting non-perishable items this month for The Harvest Outreach Center. The students loaded over 40 extra-large boxes for the center to distribute over the holidays. Pictured, from left, are ESE teacher and student council co-chair Kara Watkins, Ashon Moore, Alex Jules, Brisaldo Castro, and Dominick Peterson.
Students, faculty, and staff at Floresta Elementary School recently pulled together for a worthwhile cause — to collect and distribute food and related items to local needy families. Pictured are members of the student council, who performed the groundwork necessary to collect the donations each morning for two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. A great deal of appreciation is due these students, and the families, faculty and staff who contributed through donations or effort. Written by Suzanne Diaz.
Northport K-8 School hosted bullying expert Joe Wojcik, better known as “Joe the Biker,” recently in the school gymnasium. Joe held two sessions divided into grades sixth through eighth and grades third through fifth. Students filled the school bleachers and sat eagerly on the floor in both sessions to listen to “Joe the Biker” talk about how he was bullied as a child, how it affected his life, how to know if it really is bullying and how to empower oneself, find one’s own special talents and feel awesome about oneself. He personalized and tailored the talk directly to the Northport community of children, and the students felt very special. Middle grades students were familiar with “Joe the Biker” after reading his book “Call Me Yubbie” last year at the school. Hundreds of the students wrote personal letters to Joe to express feelings, give thanks and told him how inspiring he was as a speaker. The Northport K-8 School community takes bullying extremely seriously and has held several student assemblies, the third annual Unity Day Walk empowering students against bullying and teacher workshops to address student issues and concerns. Joe Wojcik is supported by the community efforts of the Port St. Lucie Sunset Rotary Club. Northport definitely stands as a caring, concerned community and is applying constant pressure in all avenues to eradicate bullying of all kinds. Joe is pictured speaking to the students and staff.
Students on the Mariner team in Bob Burdge’s eighth grade Critical Thinking classes at Norhtport K-8 School are using all the skills necessary to learn to wrap holiday packages. The excitement was palpable as students estimated the amount of paper to wrap recycled boxes. Students measured, cut, and cornered using skills learned in geometry about angles and lines as they beautifully wrapped packages conserving and using the least amount of paper possible. The cooperative lesson was an authentic learning of a life skill that few of the students had mastered. Students in Susan Matteson’s Critical Thinking classes supported the collaborative lesson and earned community service points by using these same skills to make decorations for the school’s annual “Breakfast With Santa!” Students and teachers have been busy channeling the flow of positive student energy into fun and very essential lessons. In the critical thinking classes, students are making informed judgments, learning about conservation and applying math skills to a meaningful and optimal lesson. Pictured, from left are Paulina Palma, Michaela Washington, Alexis Jaworski, Mr. Burdge and Anyes Cintron.
Second grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition put on their annual Thanksgiving performance after learning about Native Americans, Pilgrims, and fhe first Thanksgiving! They sang songs with the guidance of music director Christine Hill and put on a skit for families. Pictured are second graders as they perform for their families and friends.
The Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition middle school chorus kicked off the holiday season with an appearance at QVC in Port St. Lucie recently. This annual performance was for the WPSL Christmas Kids Radio program. The chorus sang a variety of holiday music, including “Rock Around the Jingle Bells,” “Hope’s the Thing,” “Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child,” and “Seasons of Love.” The students were directed by Christine Hill, pictured far right with the chorus.
St. Lucie Public Schools’ Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell recently visited Joy West’s first grade class at Oak Hammock K-8 School, having been escorted to the school by storybook character Pete the Cat. Dr. Rendell read Pete the Cat’s groovier than ever cool adaptation of a favorite children’s song, “The Wheels on the Bus.” Students sang along using hand motions making all the different sounds a bus makes as it drives. At the end, Pete left on the bus and it looked like Dr. Rendell was driving! Pictured is Dr. Rendell as he delights students with his reading.
Students in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) programs from St. Lucie West Centennial, Treasure Coast, Fort Pierce Central, and Port Saint Lucie high schools recently participated in a statewide student Leadership Development Camp (LDC) held in Central Florida. the theme of the camp was “Learn from the past, prepare for the future.” Student leaders from around Florida gathered to learn more about what it takes to be a leader, participating in workshops and activities that encouraged skills such as good communication, time management, preparing for the future, and empowerment. Participants not only learned how to strengthen leadership skills, but also how to create a unit and new friendships and life-long bonds while acquiring new skills for the future and becoming motivated to share what they learned with other students. Pictured, from left, are Lindsey Harris, Tony-Ann Walker, and Ashleigh Moten. Not pictured is Nathalia Gusmao. Written by Ashleigh Moten.
St. Lucie West Centennial High School students in Mary Higgins’ and Elizabeth Durkee’s first responder and other medical academy classes participated in the recent Operation Home Run disaster drill. The exercise was held throughout the county at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, St. Lucie Medical Center, Met Stadium, and the new Martin Memorial Medical Center in Tradition. St. Lucie West Centennial students were located at St. Lucie Medical Center. When the students arrived, the volunteer moulage artists brought real medical scenarios to life. All students did a really good job acting out their parts. Pictured are the students who participated at Tradition Field.
Congratulations to Chef Jesse Strell and his team of culinary arts students from St. Lucie West Centennial High School for earning the Chefs of Tomorrow trophy by virtue of getting the most votes from the public for the best of show entry in the inaugural St. Lucie Public Schools Culinary Arts Showcase held recently at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center. Teams from five of the county’s public high schools — Centennial, Fort Pierce Westwood, Fort Pierce Central, Port St. Lucie, and Treasure Coast high schools — plus Northport and St. Lucie West K8 schools competed in the event, which drew nearly 300 community members to sample the culinary creations. The winning team earned the trophy, a culinary arts speciality book for each member, and a $100 gift card from event sponsor Sam’s Club for their school’s program. Other event sponsors included Johnson & Wales University, Culinary Institute of America, WalMart, Target, Robert Erneston Produce, and Nelson Family Farms. Pictured is the Port St. Lucie High School team preparing to create their culinary delights.
Northport K-8 School participated in the St. Lucie County Public Schools Culinary Showcase held recently at the St. Lucie Civic Center in Port St. Lucie. Northport students, Principal Glenn Rustay and the entire school community are extremely proud of Rachel Ellsworth and her culinary team. The Northport team was one of only two middle grades schools that attended the event, and students and instructor were well deserving to showcase their finest cooking samples at the culinary event along with top high school teams. Northport K-8 showcased scrumptious Chocolate Oreo truffles. Pictured is the Northport Culinary team, from left, Zane Daniels, Melissa Hruby, Kelsey Krieger, Ayana Kelly, Brandy Staab, Joshua Raio and Brandon Kahn.
The Northport K-8 School choral performance held recently in the school courtyard under the moon and stars was a glorious night of engaged students, parents, families and staff enjoying the annual “Winter Concert!” The event was kicked off by the middle grades students singing a stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful.” The students, led by Choral Director James Kirk, then performed a variety of mixed arrangements, interspersing traditional Christmas carols with more contemporary arrangements. Students from both choral groups, as well as the small quartets were outstanding. Elementary students performed like champs, with Christmas jokes told by students mixed with jazzy, lively music. Students ended the evening on a high note by performing the Cha Cha Slide with school administration, parents and Mr. Kirk. Musical students in both the band and the chorus at Northport are encouraged to reach for the stars and high achievement is an integral facet of the musical experience at the school. Some of the songs performed were “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Jesus Now Is Born,” “Snow Angel,” “All I Want For Christmas is You,” and “Hot Chocolate!” The Northport Band Winter Concert, under the direction of Brian Hoce, will take place on December 18 at 7:00 pm at Port St. Lucie High School and is open to the public. Pictured are the students performing under the guidance of James Kirk.
The Performing Arts Department of Southport Middle School recently presented four shows of the Broadway Junior musical, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” Adapted from Lewis Carroll’s “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland,” and “Through the Looking Glass,” the story follows Alice as she journeys through the White Rabbit’s hole into a fantasy dream world with many unique characters and exciting adventures. With stunning costumes, beautiful artwork, props, songs, dances, and “Mad-hatter” action, the cast and crew of 89 students rehearsed for weeks to prepare. Many thanks to the volunteer crew of administrators, teachers, parents and high school students from Lincoln Park Academy and Port St. Lucie High School who made the show possible. Pictured here are all the students who participated in the production.
The Port Saint Lucie High School Jaguar Raider Team recently travelled to camp Ah-Ba-Lu-Fa, to apply their survival skills. Cadets must complete three objectives to effectively survive throughout the night: build a shelter, make a fire and construct a trap/snare. Cadets were split into groups of three or four per group. Each group would have to make one group shelter that would be able to properly shelter them through the night. Cadets would also demonstrate fire craft by making a sustainable fire, with one match. Lastly, each group would need to construct a trap/snare that could provide food for the group. Each group demonstrated mastery of their survival skills and graduated survival training the following morning. Great Job Raiders! Pictured is the Jaguar Raider Team. Photo by Booster parent Tammy Lynn.
Eighth grade students at Allapattah Flats K8 School recently created traditional Thanksgiving native headpieces with a twist with the Kids at Hope philosophy as a twist. After reflecting on the four destinations of Kids at Hope — home and family, community and service, hobbies and recreation, and education and career — students listed what they were hopeful for, and then wrote down one reflection per feather. Pictured are students with their “hopegiving” feathers.
Allapattah Flats K-8 students recently held their own student-led conferences, proudly showing off their work for the first nine weeks of school. During these conferences, students were able to show a parent or staff member their academic performance on things such as their classroom work and grades, benchmark scores, and progress for the first quarter. Students also discussed how they achieved their grades, what grades they plan to get next quarter, and their plan to improve academically. Some 180 parents attended a conference with their students to get more deeply involved and hear from their child about their school progress. Pictured Ann, left, and Alyssa Hartman.
Third grade students at Allapattah Flats K8 School recently got up close and personal with Florida’s native wildlife and ecosystem on a trip to the 4-H Farm. Students were able to view gardens, rain barrels, and hydroponics. Cows and donkeys were just some of the animals students were able to touch. In the herb garden, students were educated on how herbs are used in cooking as well as being able to smell the various herbs. Pictured are Trey Devercelly, left, and Hannah Hudson.
Second grade students at Allapattah Flats K-8 School were treated with a very special guest visitor recently. Former Allapattah Flats principal Patti Heffelfinger visited the school and read the popular holiday story “The Polar Express” to the students. After listening to the story, students completed a project to show the sequence of events that occurred throughout the book. Pictured is Ms. Heffelfinger, right, as she captivates students with her reading.