Savanna Ridge Elementary students learn to be writing wizards

Savanna Ridge Elementary students learn to be writing wizards

The “Writing Wizard” James Dean recently helped prepare students at Savanna Ridge Elementary School for the annual FCAT Writes standardized test. Dean, a representative from Thinking Maps, has been diligently working with the teachers and students in preparation for the writing test. The day consisted of students creating magic wands, wizard hats, and hearing a presentation to help reinforce the material they learned for the test. The students rotated through stations where they used their wands to “zap” out irrelevant information, became writing wizards on how to use clear and precise language, created thinking maps on helpful writing hints, and used their magic wands to create thank you notes and good luck cards to their peers and teachers. The students enjoyed having the visitors and were enthusiastic and prepared for the FCAT Writes! Pictured is Principal LaTanya Greene with students celebrating in one of the stations.

Schools superintendent earns most donations to kiss the pig

Schools superintendent earns most donations to kiss the pig

St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent Genelle Yost garnered the most donations in a month-long fundraising activity to benefit Kids at Hope, a mentoring initiative of the Roundtable of St. Lucie County, earning the right to kiss a pig at the St. Lucie County Fair. Yost exceeded the funds raised by the five other local women community leaders in the contest, and topped the winner of last year’s all-male team in contributions. “I truly wanted to be the one to get to kiss the pig,” Yost remarked, adding appreciation for all of the friends, colleagues and community members who supported her campaign. Pictured are Superintendent Yost, left, holding the winner’s trophy, and St. Lucie County School Board chairman Debbie Hawley.

Mariposa Elementary N.E.E.D. group reaches out to teach more students

Mariposa Elementary N.E.E.D. group reaches out to teach more students

The fifth grade students on the N.E.E.D. (National Energy Education Development) project team at Mariposa Elementary School are busy focusing on learning and teaching energy sources to students in other grade levels within the school. Mariposa Elementary is the N.E.E.D. state elementary school of the year, and a national finalist. This year’s group is highly motivated and working towards attending the national awards ceremony in Washington D.C. this June. Pictured, from left, are team members Cathy Smith, Justin Locklar, Hannah Wright, Monica Kalina, Mary McCartney, Mikayla Sampson, Tnanazia Young, Johann Vianna, Allysha Lillard, Jan Feliciano, and Adam Archer.

Port St. Lucie High cadet drill team wins district meet

Port St. Lucie High cadet drill team wins district meet

The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion drill team won overall first place at the recent district drill meet, placing first in two events, second in two events, third in two events, and fourth in four events, qualifying the team to compete at the state competition. The Jaguar team competed against 17 schools from Brevard, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach counties. The male drill team commander is Tyler Lynn, and the female drill team commander is Ashlee Seipel. Pictured is the drill team. Photo by Kyler Morton.

St. Lucie West K8 team places in regional science bowl

St. Lucie West K8 team places in regional science bowl

A team of four students from St. Lucie West K8 School, coached by science teacher Dannette Rikard, placed fifth out of the 24 teams competing in the recent Florida Regional Space Coast Science Education Alliance Middle School Science Bowl at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa Beach. Pictured, from left, are Maikel House, Alexis Henke, Ms. Rikard, Asja Misner, and Kevin Le.

Lakewood Park Elementary shows appreciation to food program sponsors

Lakewood Park Elementary shows appreciation to food program sponsors

The staff at Lakewood Park Elementary School recently acknowledged Laura Klosterman, St. Lucie County coordinator for the Grace Pack Program, and Andrea Pierson, cafeteria manager, for their work for students in need. The Grace Pack’s mission is to provide weekly, weekend food packages for students whose families may be food insecure. To participate in the program, go to www.stlucieschools.org, click on the Schools tab, and go to the Lakewood Park Elementary School site, and click on Grace Pack for a complete list of food needs. Pictured, from left, are Principal Dianne Young, Andrea Pierson, Laura Klosterman, and Assistant Principal Tammy Smith.

Youngest students delight superintendent with thoughts about school

Youngest students delight superintendent with thoughts about school

Two of the youngest guests to attend the Superintendent’s Learning Lunches this month delighted the superintendent and fellow participants with accounts of their school experiences. Phoebe, left, a pre-kindergarten student at Weatherbee Elementary School, and Windmill Point Elementary School kindergartner Christopher, attended the monthly event in March that invites students, school staff and parents to meet the superintendent at the school district office for a brown bag lunch, and to communicate school activities and concerns.

Fairlawn Elementary students recognized for state contest win

Fairlawn Elementary students recognized for state contest win

A team of Fairlawn Elementary School fifth grade students, along with their teacher Shirley Helton, were recognized at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for winning a 12-week competition throughout the state of Florida buying and selling stocks. They used math, reading, and writing skills to research, invest and calculate how to make profits in today’s stock market. They learned real life experiences as they bought and sold stocks with their $100,000.00 portfolio. The team of Jake Padrick and Val Magdaleno won first place, and in second place was the team of Colt Krischke and Connor Gillard, with Hunter Holmes and Andrea Esparza taking third place. Pictured, front row, from left, are students Andrea Esparza, Hunter Holmes, Colt Krischke, and Connor Gillard. Back row, from left, are School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Kerry Padrick, and Shirley Helton.

Employees honored at school board meeting

Employees honored at school board meeting

Two employees were honored at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for the S.T.A.R. (Special Thanks and Recognition) program, which recognizes employees for their behaviors, skills and actions that correlate with the district vision, and exemplify the district’s core values. Pictured, from left, are Superintendent Genelle Yost, honorees Palm Point Research School at Tradition music director Christine Hill, and WestGate K8 School dean Narvelene Lucas, with School Board chairman Debbie Hawley and student assignment director Michelle Jerger who manages the recognition program.

Outstanding First Year Teacher winner recognized at school board meeting

Outstanding First Year Teacher winner recognized at school board meeting

Treasure Coast High School (TCHS) reading teacher and St. Lucie Public Schools’ 2014 Outstanding First Year Teacher of the Year Leilani Ankiel was recognized at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for her honor. Ankiel was unable to attend the Night of the Stars gala employee recognition event February 22, 2014, where she was announced as the district winner, because as the team coach, Ankiel was accompanying the TCHS girls’ varsity basketball team at the state championship game in Lakeland the same day. The team was also honored at the school board meeting for their accomplishment as the first TCHS team to reach state competition; the team was runner-up for the state title. Pictured, bottom row, from left, are team members Justine Kolb, Alexa Sucato, Alexis Romano, Evelyn Sagner, Aly Kolb, and Asia Jones. Top row, from left, are team member Jade Visser, TCHS principal Denise Rodriguez, Lincoln Park Academy assistant principal and employee recognition coordinator Candace Stone,TCHS assistant prinicipal Nikki Poole, Maria Ankiel, St. Lucie County School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, TCHS assistant principal Eldrique Gardner, Leilani Ankiel, TCHS assistant principal Henry Sanabria, Superintendent Genelle Yost, TCHS assistant principal Eric Evans, and St. Lucie County Education Foundation executive director Jim McKenzie. The foundation and the school board co-sponsor the annual recognition event.

Parkway Elementary drummers present original rhythm at school board meeting

Parkway Elementary drummers present original rhythm at school board meeting

A group of student musicians representing Parkway Elementary School, with music teacher Beth Torresson, regaled the audience at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting with vocals and instrumental entertainment. Members of the drum ensemble, which consists of 12 members, grades 3-5, who auditioned to be in the group, have been working together since November, meeting every Monday and Thursday afternoon for 45 minutes in the music room to practice. Most of their rhythms are original compositions by the group members, one of which was presented during the school board meeting. Pictured, from left, are Owens Oscar, Ergens Gay, and Jeremiah Guerrier.

Northport K8 kindergartners pilot phonemic awareness training

Northport K8 kindergartners pilot phonemic awareness training

Northport K-8 kindergartners took part in a pilot study at the school called “Sounds For Intelligence!” The program consists of brain-strengthening sound exercises. The core techniques include a series of sounds vocalized while visualizing parts of the brain, eyes, ears and back of the neck. The exercise is less than five minutes when used correctly each morning, and helps to create balance in brain function. Phonemic Intelligence uses a small unit of sound called a phoneme. The phoneme also carries intelligence and knowing. Phonemic Intelligence was first introduced as “Mind Sound Technology” in the USA, Canada and India. It has become popular in India among students from lower income levels. Phonemic Intelligence exercises, when correctly and methodically carried out, can increase comprehension, lower anxiety, enhance memory, reduce stress and promote a heightened state of learning capability. The program, hosted by Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka, includes teacher training, volunteer visits, debriefings and finally, celebrations. If interested, visit www.tripurafoundation.org. Special thanks to Palm City, Florida, doctors Brent Cooper and Becky Prostko for offering this initiative to Northport students. Pictured standing, back row from left, are Tiffany Tredor, Melody Nieves, Shana Cicio, Dr. Brent Cooper and Dr. Becky Prostko, along with a group of kindergartners.

Treasure Coast High School girls hoops team honored at school board meeting

Treasure Coast High School girls hoops team honored at school board meeting

The Treasure Coast High School (TCHS) girls varsity Titans basketball team was recognized at the March 11, 2014, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for their being the first TCHS athletic team to participate in a state championship. Pictured, front kneeling, are Gabriel Bather, left, and Justine Kolb. Standing, from left, are Assistant Principal Eldrique Gardner, School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Assistant Principal Henry Sanabria, Aly Kolb, TCHS Principal Denise Rodriguez, Alexa Sucato, Evelyn Sagner, Assistant Principal Nikki Poole, Rosemarie Julien, Jade Visser, Yasmine Queen, Alexis Romano, Coach Coach John Picchiarini, Asia Jones, Coach Roger Dorio, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Coach Marvin Brady, and TCHS Athletic Directior Daniel Comeau. The team was runner-up to the state champion in their division.

St. Lucie West K8 students learn about cell structure in biology

St. Lucie West K8 students learn about cell structure in biology

Students in Lindsey Laury’s seventh grade science classes at St. Lucie West K8 School are kicking off the year’s fourth quarter learning about DNA and RNA, and how proteins play an important part in DNA development. Students created edible DNA models using Twizzlers and marshmallows to emphasize the physical components of such an important biological structure. Pictured are students Ethan Morris, left, and Andrew Pierro.

Two Lincoln Park students take top honors in state science competition

Two Lincoln Park students take top honors in state science competition

Lincoln Park Academy senior Robert Bacchus, Jr., and eighth grade student Haniyah Shareef took the top prizes in their respective age groups at the recent Florida Junior Academy of Sciences (FJAS) speaker competition. Only 10 students were chosen in the state per research category for the competitive contest. Robert took first place in High School Medical Sciences, and received the FJAS Senior Scholarship; Haniyah took first place in Middle School Environmental Sciences. Robert was also named a semifinalist in the Intel® Science Talent Search (Intel STS) in 2014, the
nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition.

Lincoln Park Academy student project brings toys to hospitalized children

Lincoln Park Academy student project brings toys to hospitalized children

Three Lincoln Park Academy student athletes have delivered stuffed toys to children at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital Pediatric Unit as part of a Kare for Kids community service team project. Pictured, from left, are Erin Gerlica, Jeffrey Gerlica and Kayla Andrade on a recent toy delivery. The Kare for Kids team more than doubled its original goal of 75 by collecting more than 175 toys! Jeffrey plans to continue with the Kare for Kids program so he can help bring further joy to children in need.

Education Commissioner Stewart sends letter to parents on new assessment tool

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart this week announced the assessment tool selected to replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) as an annual standardized test for Florida public school students. The commissioner developed a letter for parents to understand the process. To view Commissioner Stewart’s letter to parents, copy the following link into your browser:
http://www.fldoe.org/pdf/CommissionersMessageParents3-17-14.pdf

Lakewood Park Elementary celebrates with Tunnel of Hope

Lakewood Park Elementary celebrates with Tunnel of Hope

Lakewood Park Elementary School students and staff recently celebrated the FCAT Writes with a special Tunnel of Hope. The school body lined hallways holding posters and encouraging students as each of the fourth grade class passed by. Special visitors and volunteers also participated, including School Board chairman Debbie Hawley and instructional suppport for science technology specialist Teri Barenborg. After the fourth grade students passed through the Tunnel of Hope, they enjoyed a special assembly, where they had a chance to answer questions to go on stage for special creative activities to enhance writing skills needed for making the perfect 4.0 score. Pictured is Ms. Barenborg encouraging students in the Tunnel of Hope.

Lawnwood Elementary students host event to benefit PTO

Lawnwood Elementary students host event to benefit PTO

The students of Lawnwood Elementary School hosted a Walk-A-Thon with students maneuvering an obstacle course to raise money for the PTO and their many school sponsored events. Pictured taking a break from the festivities and enjoying a snack are first row, from left, Mika Blakeman, Raul Pozniak, and Ethan Stabile; second row, from left, Sarah Jones, Rowan Crandall, John Donnelly, and Albert Han; back row, from left, Madison Talley, Audrey Kloeckner, and Keirra Holycross.

Weatherbee Elementary students participate in charity event

Weatherbee Elementary students participate in charity event

A recent picture-perfect day was a perfect setting for the “Jump Rope for Heart” event at Weatherbee Elementary. The annual event is part of the American Heart Association and their mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In the weeks preceeding the fundraising event at Weatherbee Elementary, each class raised money as a team by filling up a can in their classroom with their extra coins. Physical Education teacher Nuran Onal, who organized the event, rewarded classes raising the most money with pizza parties, certificates, and jump ropes. Pictured, from left, are Zarek Fernandez, Jefte Simplice, and Israel Bradley.