The Port St.Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion held its annual Military Ball recently at the Port St. Lucie Community Center. The Military Ball is an event in which cadets participate in a formal dining-out, followed by an informal dance. To begin the events, cadets and their guests proceeded through a receiving line and were greeted by the cadet leadership, led by Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Mabry and Cadet Command Sergeant Major Byron Cruz. After the receiving line, an array of speeches and toasts were made, and the traditional grog bowl ceremony took place. Once again, cadets had a safe and entertaining night, and look forward to next year’s ceremony. Pictured are cadets enjoying the formal ceremony.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion recently held its fourth Outstanding Cadet Board of the year. The board is a competition between cadets in which they answer many questions on various subjects ranging from the JROTC curriculum and uniform wear to drill and ceremonies. The top cadets from each company are selected compete with two winners overall — one winner from the junior cadets and one from the senior cadets. Every cadet gave it their all in an attempt to win, and the two that came out on top were cadet Corporal Taylor Moore (left) and cadet Corporal Allison Miakisz.
The Port Saint Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion recently participated in an orienteering team competition where they took second place. After the competition, the cadets headed to a camp out where they climbed up a 74 foot high canopy walkway.
Every year, the Jaguar Battalion at Port St. Lucie High School holds an awards ceremony to recognize their best cadets for excellence. At this year’s recent event, many special guests from various civic organizations presented awards to deserving cadets. In addition to the representatives from numerous civic organizations, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell, Principal Bridgette Hargadine, and Assistant Principal Brooke Wigginton presented key leadership and academic excellence awards. Congratulations to all the cadets who earned awards. The special guests that attended the ceremony are appreciated for their support and the Jaguar Battalion thanks each and every one of them for taking the time to present awards at the ceremony. Pictured is Jay Wise, left, representing The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and Sons of the American Revolution, St. Lucie River Chapter, presenting cadet Lieutenant Colonel William Benagh with the Sons of the American Revolution award.
Boys’ and Girls’ State are summer leadership and citizenship programs for high school students between their junior and senior years. American Legion post 318 sponsored Posrt St. Lucie High School cadet First Sergeant Troy Conover and cadet Second Lieutenant Jeremy Dardon for Boys’ State, while Girls’ State Chairperson for American Legion Post 318 Ladies Auxiliary Ms. Rita Woodburn sponsored Port St. Lucie High School cadet Devynn Rhodes to participate in Girl’s State. The students had the opportunity to go to Florida State University in Tallahassee, where they learned government processes and earned college credits. Pictured, from left, are cadet First Sergeant Troy Conover, cadet Second Lieutenant Jeremy Dardon, and cadet First Lieutenant Devynn Rhodes.
The Port Saint Lucie High School JROTC Jaguar Battalion conducted a Color Guard at Sportsman’s Park for the annual Caribbean-American Festival. The festival is a friendly competition between Caribbean-American residents in Port St. Lucie. The Color Guard, led by cadet Second Lieutenant Tyler Lynn holding the National flag, followed by cadet Corporal Travis Moberly carrying the State flag, and cadet Corporal Brandon Shriver and cadet Staff Sergeant Jaffery Murankus posted as the guards. The Caribbean-American participants greatly appreciated the excellent performance by the Jaguar Battalion Color Guard. Pictured, from left, are cadet Corporal Brandon Shriver, cadet Corporal Travis Moberly, cadet Second Lieutenant Tyler Lynn, and cadet Staff Sergeant Jaffery Murankus
Every year, the Jaguar battalion from Port St. Lucie High School holds a Field Day for the cadets where companies compete against each other in several sporting events. It is a competition among Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie companies, which compete in a series of sports and events. However, the main point of the day is to say goodbye to the graduating seniors. Each senior was given a gift and they spoke about their future plans. Also, gifts were given to the booster parents of the graduating seniors for all their hard work in the booster club. Pictured are Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion sniors and their parents.
Thanks to Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8058, many students had the opportunity to enter a recent Voice of Democracy essay contest with cash prizes for the winners. Students who entered have a chance to win at various levels, excel to the national competition, and possibly win $30,000 along with an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. This year, the prompt asked, “Is the Constitution Still Relevant Today?” Port St. Lucie High cadet Second Lieutenant Mauricio Campos placed first locally and third in district competition, received $350 with a gold medal and a certificate. Mauricio appreciated the opportunity to have participated in this contest hosted by VFW Post 8058. Congratulations to this cadet on his achievement. Pictured, Mauricio Campos.
Port Saint Lucie High School Jaguar cadet First Lieutenant James Williams was recently awarded the “Cadet of The Year” honor from the Florida Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) Army ROTC, earning him a full scholarship to F.I.T. This was a very tough competition — the difference between first and second place was a mere five points. Williams will receive a three year Army ROTC scholarship, as well as an F.I.T. ROTC incentive program for tuition — all told, a $160,000 scholarship award. Congratulations to James for all his hard work and dedication! Pictured presenting James the award are First Sergeant George Fiske from F.I.T., left, and Lieutenant Colonel Troy Glassman, right, F.I.T. professor of Military Science. Photo by Richard Thompson.
Port Saint Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion Cadet Lieutenant Colonel William Benagh IV has been accepted into the United State Military Academy at West Point. William Benagh will be a second generation West Point cadet. The United States Military Academy’s mission is to train and inspire the Corps of Cadets, so each graduate is a commissioned leader committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of excellence as an officer in the United States Army. The Academy provides a four-year education, focused on the leader development of cadets in the academic, military, and physical domains, all underwritten by adherence to a code of honor. Congratulations William Benagh!
Photo by Jaffrey Murankus.
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.
Some 31students in Port St. Lucie High School’s (PSLHS) Business & Industry Academy recently visited the Rinker School of Building Construction at the University of Florida. While at UF, students were able to see some of the latest technology in building design and construction, such as 3D modeling software and laser-aided surveying equipment. The professors discussed the opportunities at UF in programs such as Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, Construction Management, and others. This field trip is part of a partnership PSLHS is developing with the Rinker School. PSLHS is the only high school on the Treasure Coast with a construction trades program, which prompts the interest by UF. As a result of this trip, many PSLHS students are considering the University of Florida and a career in one of these fields.
Port St. Lucie High School biology teacher Leslie Taylor was nominated to receive the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA), sponsored by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), which recognizes an outstanding biology educator grades 7-12 in each of the 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C, Canada, Puerto Rico, and overseas territories. Candidates for this award do not have to be NABT members, but they must have at least three years public, private, or parochial school teaching experience. A major portion of the nominee’s career must have been devoted to the teaching of biology/life science, and candidates are judged on their teaching ability and experience, cooperativeness in the school and community, inventiveness, initiative, and student-teacher relationships. Congratualtions to Taylor for adding to her list of professional recognitions.
Both male and female teams of the Port S. Lucie High School Jaguar ROTC Battalion have qualified to go to the state drill meet by placing in first to third place in their events in the district drill meet hosted recently by Fort Pierce Central High School. The teams took first place in two of the events, and third in another event. Also in an individual knock-out drill, which is like a military “Simon Says,” two cadets won placed in the top 10. Overall, the Jaguar Battalion Drill Team performed very well and is anticipating the state meet. Pictured is the JROTC Jaguar Battalion Drill Team.
On Sunday November 11, 2018, Port St. Lucie High School Army JROTC Jaguar Battalion participated in the Veterans Day Memorial Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. All cadets who attended demonstrated reverence and gratitude towards veterans and those we lost. Overall, the ceremony was a great learning experience for cadets, and students were moved by various speeches given by known members of our community.
The guests included in the pictures below are Gregg Mann with his Jack Ivy Detachment 666 Marine Corps League, Mayor Gregory J. Oravec, Vincent LaValle from Air Force Sergeants Association Elmer Andrews Chapter 56, and Thomas Matteo, United States Marine Corps Veteran.
Port St. Lucie High School Army JROTC Jaguar Battalion Cadets attended the Treasure Coast Vietnam Veterans Association’s candlelight POW/MIA service on the 21st of September at the Veterans Memorial Park in Port St. Lucie. Cadets paid reverence to Floridia Service Members who were taken prisoner of war and/or declared missing in action. Cadets who attended the ceremony felt moved and honored to participate and pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Retired Sergeant First Class Paul Wilson of the Vietnam Veterans Association and several other members recited each name of the Floridia POW/MIA’s in an extremely emotional ceremony. Pictured: Jaguar Battalion cadets showing their support.
Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce Westwood High Schools to Pilot Learning Innovation
ST. LUCIE COUNTY – St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) launches Access Now, a pilot program to support anytime/anywhere learning and access to content which supports students’ college and career readiness skills. This initiative includes a laptop distributed to every student and teacher at Port St. Lucie High School and Fort Pierce Westwood High School. With distribution slated to begin on September 8th, there is tremendous excitement in the air. According to Superintendent E. Wayne Gent, “Supporting teaching and learning through these workforce tools and networks is a fundamental shift which also supports the mission of SLPS which is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools, equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed.”
SLPS is providing Dell 5450 laptops to each student and instructor at the two high schools. The devices will be used at school, at home, and in the community for school assignments and educational purposes. The laptops have solid state technology, are loaded with the full Microsoft Office Suite, and can run wireless anywhere. Access to these devices will empower and educate students as well as expand teaching and learning opportunities beyond the walls of the classroom.
The Access Now program will provide students not only with a device, but also individualized, blended, interactive curriculum. Teachers will be able to personalize instruction for their students to address individual needs and learning styles. In addition, students will use various online tools and resources to collaborate and communicate with their classmates and teachers.
The laptops will be loaned to each student at the beginning of the school year and must be returned at the end of the year. Students will be made aware of the expectations and responsibilities that come with the care and use of the devices and the requirement that laptops must be brought to school every day. Several safety measures have also been put in place. Each laptop is equipped with a filtering system that protects students from inappropriate sites and blocks them from certain social media outlets. The laptops can also be shut down remotely should they be lost or stolen. Most importantly will be the cyber safety and digital citizenship lessons and resources provided to students and their parents.
“Helping students understand the responsibility associated with being good citizens applies to the real world and to the digital world,” explained Gent. What students do online can leave a permanent digital footprint. A spur of the moment decision such as posting a funny picture or sharing an angry post can resurface years later, and if they are not careful, their reputations can be forever damaged. Increasingly, colleges and employers are checking social media sites to screen their potential applicants. In addition, a negative digital footprint can adversely affect a student’s potential future livelihood. “This is why it is vitally important that we continue to educate the whole child and build strong partnerships between home and school,” said Gent.
SLPS is launching this pilot in two of its high schools this year with plans to expand the initiative to other schools in future years.
About St. Lucie Public Schools
The mission of St. Lucie Public Schools is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. For more information visit St. Lucie Public Schools’ website www.stlucieschools.org ; Facebook www.facebook.com/stlucieschools; Twitter@StLucieSchools; or contact Kerry Padrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone loves a good book. Six cadets from the Jaguar Battalion visited Bayshore Elementary to read to first grade classes. Each cadet was assigned to a class room. After finishing the book, the cadets asked the kids questions about the book. All of the cadets, Ashlee Seipel, Zachary St.John, Robert Hopkins, Jamie Triplett, Jaffrey Murankus and Allison Miakisz, said it was a great opportunity to read to the class and see the children smile.
The Port Saint Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion showed their pride at the Homecoming parade at Village Green Elementary. Marching in this parade is a tremendous honor and privilege for the Port Saint Lucie High Jaguar Battalion.
The Battalion formation was led by the Jaguar’s Color Guard and was commanded by Cadet Staff Sergeant Tessa May carrying the National Flag. Cadet Staff Sergeant Allison Wilhoit carried the State Flag. Cadet Staff Sergeant Morgan Emmerson and Cadet Staff Sergeant Hayley Pollard posted as Guards.
Following behind the Color Guard was the Battalion Staff and shortly after that, the Company formations. Beginning with Alpha Company formation then Bravo, Charlie and lastly Delta. The cadets performed with the utmost excellence showing the heart and pride of the Jaguar Battalion.
Way to go, Jags!
Several schools competed in this meet from all over Florida (29 teams in total and 10 schools). The competition consisted of five different events including 3-mile team run; tire flip; Raider fitness challenge whereby the teams moved through a course consisting of a 10-yard low crawl, a 40 yard 20-30lb sandbag carry, an obstacle to either go over or under, a speed agility maze, a 120lb object carried 50 feet, and a turnaround point to repeat the course in reverse; rope bridge; and cross country rescue including a litter carry of 110 lbs.
This is the first Raider meet the Jaguar Battalion has hosted at our school. The Port Saint Lucie Jaguar Battalion won 1st place overall, the Female team won 1st place in every event and Male team won 1st place in every event except one.