Social Studies educators from Pensacola to Key West made their way to Palm Harbor, Florida for the 60th Annual Florida Council for Social Studies Conference. Amid their peers, St. Lucie Public Schools educators were honored for teaching excellence. In an awards dinner celebration that carried the conference theme of “Honoring the Past, Preserving the Present, and Shaping the Future,” Nikki Gomez (Rivers Edge Elementary), Lauren Kappler (Westgate K-8), and Lea Ann McCaffrey (St. Lucie West Centennial High School) were recognized for their efforts and strengths in teaching that they bring to their profession and share with others.
In addition, Sharon Ortiz (Fort Pierce Central High School) was also recognized with the J. R. Skretting Social Science Professional Award for her work in expanding the membership and ably representing the goals of the organization. Sharon is a founding member and the first president of the Treasure Coast Council of the Social Studies. “Our social studies department is outstanding,” said Social Studies Curriculum Lead Kate Ems. “The team from elementary to high school work together to keep the past vibrant while we work to support our students as they become thoughtful citizens.”