On May 8, as part of Floresta Elementary’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support Program, Riverside Community Theatre presented to all grade 2-5 students, the performance entitled “The Wolf and It’s Shadows.” Based on Aesop’s fable “The Dog and the Wolf,” the play weaves together stories about wolves, dogs, and humans, and includes tales from Russian, Tlingit, English, Inuit and German folklore. The message, according to some students was, “Don’t be influenced by the opinions of others.” For other students, the message was, “Freedom is worth more than being served as royalty.” Alexandria Howlett stated that she liked the play and thought that while it was funny at times, it had an important message. Seth Excellent said it was entertaining, hilarious, and he hopes to see more plays like that one performed at the school. Alanzandria Delphin feels that it was a very worthwhile event. True to their mission, the Riverside Community Theatre remains steadfast in their commitment to providing a total theatre arts experience that entertains, challenges, and educates both adults and children.
Written by Suzanne Diaz
Northport K-8 School graduated their twenty-eighth group of eighth grade students in the gymnasium recently. Over two hundred students completed the school requirements and were able to march to Pomp and Circumstance to receive their diplomas. The gym was decorated in the school colors with banners flying! As the families arrived in the courtyard, Bagpiper Michael Hyde, a Merchant Marine, welcomed the community to gather together. A full Honor Guard of veterans from across St. Lucie County, including Jack Ivy Detachment 666, United Veterans, Sons of the American Revolution, Vietnam Chapters and many other Northport Veteran Partners were on hand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and to wish our students well. All veterans in the packed gymnasium were given a standing ovation. Another aspect of the graduation program to instill patriotism, pride in America and educate students was the “Building American Pride One Flag At A Time” program held throughout the school year. The school, through community funding, was able to purchase an American flag home kit to give to each graduating student and family in honor of retired NYC Detective, Albert Hickey. Detective Hickey, 9/11 First Responder, spoke to the students at the beginning of the school year about the need for American flags to fly on homes throughout the county. The school honored Detective Hickey by dedicating the flags at graduation. Detective Hickey shook each graduates hand as they received their graduating diploma, a Patriot’s Diploma from the Son’s of the American Revolution and their American flag kit. Florida Representative Gayle Harrell was the keynote speaker and personalized her words by calling students by name with accolades and commenting on specific awards and memorable moments from the school year. Paulina Palma, Student Council President also gave a heartfelt commentary to her fellow students. Northport band and choral students gave exceptional music contributions with powerful musical performances to accentuate the program. Special thanks must go to Susan Matteson, eighth grade team leader and program coordinator and her assistant, parent, Suzi Scott for an outstanding job organizing the program. Congratulations to eighth grade students, families and teachers! Job Well Done on a very special commemorative graduation! Pictured is Northport Student Kylee Lanni accepting her Patriot’s Diploma and her American flag from Sons of the American Revolution and Detective Hickey. Kylee’s parents also attended Northport.
PRESS RELEASE: Administrative Assignments for FY2015
Superintendent Genelle Zoratti Yost is pleased to announce administrative changes occurring with St. Lucie Public Schools for the 2014-15 school year.
Mrs. Felicia Nixon is being promoted to the position of principal at Dan McCarty Middle School. Mrs. Nixon is currently the principal at C.A.Moore Elementary School (2011-Present) where she has facilitated an improvement in student performance. Most notably, she is celebrated for her expertise in literacy.
Dr. David Washington, current principal at Dan McCarty Middle School, is assigned to the position of Director of Recruitment/Retention. Beginning his career in 1983, Dr. Washington has filled many roles in St. Lucie County and is an advocate for students and educators alike.
Mrs. Pam Holmes, current Assistant Principal at C.A.Moore Elementary School, will move into the principalship at this site. Mrs. Holmes has vast experience as a leader in St. Lucie where she has served the District as a teacher and an administrator since 1991.
Mrs. Cynthia Cobb, Principal at Rivers Edge Elementary, is retiring after 35 years of service to St. Lucie. Mrs. Kerry Walukiewcz is being named Principal at Rivers Edge Elementary School. Mrs. Walukiewcz began her teaching career in St. Lucie County in 1995 and has served as teacher in a variety of locations. In recognition of her teaching excellence, she was named the State of Florida’s Teacher of the Year in 2005. Additionally, she holds credentials of a National Board Certified Teacher. She has been serving as the Assistant Principal of Oak Hammock K-8 School since 2010.
We congratulate the newly appointed principals and look forward to a productive year ahead.
It’s that time of year again! Field day at Floresta Elementary kicked off on Monday, May 12, 2014. Students from all grades participated in a half-day of friendly, yet challenging competitions. The fourth grade students participated in eight events consisting of baton-relay racing, scooter relays, basketball-dribbling relays, paired beach ball relay, sponge relay, tug-of-war, and 50-yard dash. The competition was friendly and hard fought with Mrs. Diaz edging out Mrs. Clarke, Ms. Pagliughi, and Mrs. Burkett. Many parents were in attendance to support their child’s class and to celebrate good sportsmanship. Our very thoughtful and supportive Floresta Elementary PTO provided a variety of icy cold refreshments.
Similar field days were held for other grade levels. The grade level champions were:
1st grade – Miss Browning’s class
2nd grade – Mrs. Gray’s class
3rd grade – Mrs. Moore
4th grade – Mrs. Diaz
5th grade – Mr. Lehman
Written by Sandy Pagliughi and Suzanne Diaz
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Gilooly
At the May 13th School Board Meeting, Trane presented the St. Lucie County School Board with the “Energy Efficiency Leader Award” in recognition of the District’s commitment to energy and operational efficiency and sustainability.
The District has been aggressive in reducing energy costs; electric utility cost has been reduced by almost 40% in 4 years. Previously ranked 60th out of the 67 Florida school districts for electrical expenses per student, the District has reduced its ranking to 18th in the 2012-2013 school year.
The District reduced annual utility costs from over $12 million to less than $7 million.
Pictured from left to right are, Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Fernando Lagomasino (District Manager over Florida for Trane), Marty Sanders (Executive Director SLCSB), Sean Murray (Energy Manager SLCSB), Chris Cowling (Trane), James DeSousa (Trane), Mark Johnson (Calmac), Amir Kazeminia (OCI Engineering), Vera Stoller (Trane Marketing Florida), John Gillette (Senior Project Manager SLCSB), Debbie Hawley (School Board Chairman).
Northport K-8 School celebrated students, parents and teachers with a wonderful Fifth Grade Moving Up ceremony recently in the school gymnasium. The gym was packed with cheering parents, grandparents and friends as the students listened to principal, Glenn Rustay give words of advice for becoming successful students in the middle grades. Children’s Services Council Communications Director, Ashley Mock was the keynote speaker with more pearls of wisdom on success and becoming a great student. Ms. Mock is a graduate of University of South Florida. Northport was so pleased to host Ms. Mock. The school has a strong partnership with the Children’s Services Council. Music was provided by the Northport Symphonic Band under the direction of Brian Hoce. Pictured is fifth grade student from Tracey Healy’s class, Clovis Wilson holding a special award for “Most Improved!” When asked how he was selected to be the recipient of this honor, Clovis stated, “Last year, I had eight referrals, this year, Mrs. Healy tamed me and got me to learn!” Clovis’s quote speaks volumes for all the fifth graders that in order to become successful you need to become part of the learning community and do your very best!
Second grade students from Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition in Lorri Rudzinski’s class had a special visitor. The Writing Wizard, aka James Dean from Thinking Maps, stopped by to provide writing instruction. There were rich discussions on Making Our Writing more precise using a Bridge Map. Pictured from left is: Naje’ Carter-Evans, The Writing Wizard, and Cooper Kuba.
Students at Floresta Elementary were truly awestruck by the captivating and mesmerizing tricks performed by the Magician Jamie Porter as part of the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention & Support. Students were charged 15 Dolphin Dollars to participate in the magic show which was held in the school’s cafeteria, on Friday, May 17. The magician performed amazing card tricks and tricks with bags and ribbons that boggled students’ minds. Some students described the event as entertaining and exciting, while others said that the magician was very funny. All in all, the magic show was a refreshing and delightful experience for the students at Floresta Elementary School.
Written by Norda Clarke and Suzanne Diaz
Students at Gaines Academy generously donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Pennies for Pasta campaign. We surpassed our school goal of $2,000 with a grand total of $2,700 being donated to help local blood cancer patients with their treatments and hopefully find a cure. Ms. Lenaiah Wood’s second grade class collected the most donations and were treated to a delicious luncheon by Olive Garden. Pictured enjoying their pasta are David Hernandez (L) and Pierre Jerome (R).
Aliza Ahmed, Erika Austria, Kendrick Carpenter, Nichapa Dancharnjitt, Noah Hamilton, Angela Witz-Schaffer and Charley Willoughby represented our school, county, region, and state at the Odyssey of the Mind World Competition in Ames, Iowa, May 27-31, 2014.
They ranked 2nd in the world overall with a perfect score in the spontaneous competition! What a life changing opportunity and experience to meet and greet students who came from all over the world.
Jacqueline Harris, a First grade teacher at Village Green Environmental Studies School won 1st Place in the Out-of-the-Box category in the 35th Annual Florida Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Economics. Mrs. Harris’ project focused on incorporating Social Studies across the curriculum where her First grade students created a mini café and gift shop called the Primary Kidz Café with a classroom mini factory with assembly lines and was given the opportunity to work with two Ninth grade volunteers which they rarely have the chance to do. The First graders learned about goods and services, buying and selling goods, the importance of using money to obtain or trade goods and saving money using banking services. The students used real foods on the assembly line and designed T-shirts, bags, socks, flower pots, face masks, canvas pouches and hand puppets which they sold in the class gift shop to Kindergarten and First grade students who used their Manatee Moolas to make purchases. Her students were all excited and had a great time learning. She also gives credit for such a successful project to her wonderful group of students, her First grade team members and her highly supportive and caring administrators Ms. Aretha Vernette and Lauren Geisler. In 2011, Mrs. Harris, then teaching First grade at Samuel Gaines Academy won 2nd Place in the Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century category in the 32nd Annual Florida Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Economics.
Allison Lankow, the Special Projects Coordinator for the Port St. Lucie Public Works Department did a presentation for Southport’s 6th graders on litter prevention and recycling. The students actively participated in the presentation to better understand how being involved in litter prevention and recycling makes their community a better place for both humans and animals alike.
Students at White City Elementary wrote and published their own books for Young Authors. Every student started with an idea, narrowed the focus and wrote a story. After editing and revising their work, the students published their work, including illustrations, in a Bare Book. Four students’ books were chosen as representatives from each grade level. Pictured are the 24 representatives with their certificates and medals.
On May 16th, 25 students in grades 2-5 competed in White City’s Spelling Bee. After nine rounds fifth grader Isaiah Alonso won first place. Fourth grader Nicholas Telicien won 2nd place and third grader Adrian Lopez won third place. All students received a medal and certificate.
SLPS teachers participated in STEMinar at FGMS on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Conference sessions were devoted to all grade levels with a focus on Gearing Up with Interactive Notebooks! Participants acquired best practices for advancing STEM instruction.
Love’s makes a donation of $2,000 to a local school or nonprofit at the grand opening of each new store. The Fort Pierce location at 200 South Kings Highway just opened on May 8, 2014. At the June 10th School Board Meeting, General Manager Eric Wolf was recognized for the donation that will go to the St. Lucie County Public Schools by way of the Education Foundation. Through a grant matching funds, the St. Lucie Education Foundation will match this amount for a total of $4,000 for our public schools. We welcome Love’s Travel Stop as a new business partner.
Pictured are, Carissa Zerga (SLC Education Foundation), Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Eric Wolf (Love’s Travel Stops), Debbie Hawley (School Board Chairman), Dr. Mark Rendell (Deputy Superintendent).
Participants and winners of the 2014 Project Citizen State Finals were recognized at the June 10th School Board Meeting. St. Lucie West K-8’s seventh grade team that was led by Ms. Stephanie Isaacs won 3rd Place in the State’s Project Citizen Showcase with their project entitled, Water Pollution Solution. Two other SLC teams that were in the top five were: West Gate K-8, with their project entitled, Residential Rehabilitation Center, and Palm Pointe with their project entitled, Puppy Mills Bite. The judges were very pleased with the portfolios, and were impressed with the depth of knowledge displayed and how all of the projects relayed the problem and the public policy solutions. Additionally, the judges enjoyed getting to interact with students and enjoyed the “techie” communication. Students were judged on their portfolios and on the quality of their oral hearings.
SLWK-8 (State 3rd Place Winner)
Stephanie Isaacs (Teacher)
West Gate K-8
Ayesha Boria (Teacher)
Hillary Cruz (Teacher)
Congratulations to all our students on a job well done. Pictured on back row are, Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Ms. Stephanie Isaacs (SLWK-8 Teacher), Ms. Ayesha Boria (WGK-8 Teacher), Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), and on the front row are, Emily Barkheimer, Winston Bass, Courtney Mason, Molly Goyette, Lauren Pedraza, and Celeste Rodriguez.
There are so many people in St. Lucie Public Schools that go great things every day for our students, teachers, staff and community. At the June 10th School Board Meeting, three individuals from our Information Technology Services (ITS) Department were presented the STAR Award with special thanks and recognition for all the tireless weekends they put in resolving problems and ensuring that students, parents, teachers, and staff can accomplish their daily tasks. Because of what they do in the background we are better able to serve.
They are Carmen Kizmann-Programmer Analyst, Pedro Balderas-Data Base Analyst, and James Dunn-Data Processing Manager.
Pictured are: Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), Michelle Jerger (Student Assignment), Carmen Kizmann (ITS), and Genelle Yost (Superintendent).
Fifth graders enjoyed a trip back in time to the 11th century. They were able to experience the living conditions, weapons, housing, and village life of the Medieval Times.
On April 8, 2014 at the School Board Meeting, students were presented with awards for the Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest. In the high school division,
1st Place was presented to Michael Camacho, Fort Pierce Central High School;
2nd Place was presented to Terrance McQueen, Fort Pierce Central High School; and
3rd Place was presented to Jalyne Edwards, Lincoln Park Academy.
Pictured are, Todd Smith (FPC Principal), Sarah Murrell (FPC Teacher), Terrance McQueen, Genelle Yost (Superintendent), Michael Camacho, David Foxx (LPA Assistant Principal), Jewel Edwards (accepting for her sister, Jalyne), Dr. Samuel S. Gaines, Debbie Hawley (Board Chairman), and Chuck Kearns (Morganti Group).