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Martin Minute with Millay - Thanksgiving Greeting

St. Lucie Public Schools Outstanding Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year Named

St Lucie Public Schools Logo

St. Lucie – Cheers, hugs and applause were shared by the school teams at Allapattah Flats K8 and C.A. Moore Elementary, as their leaders, Principal Ana Rodriguez-Oronoz and Principal Latricia Stubbs, were surprised with the news that they are, respectively, the 2019-2020 Outstanding Principal and Assistant Principal for St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS).

Rodriguez-Oronoz and Stubbs are both veteran educators in SLPS and were selected to represent SLPS for the academic gains achieved and the positive teaching and learning environments at their schools last year. Ana Rodriguez-Oronoz remains at Allapattah Flats where she has been the principal for the past four years while Latricia Stubbs was the assistant principal at St. Lucie Elementary School last year before moving to C.A. Moore this year as Interim Principal.

“These outstanding school leaders are changing the lives of boys and girls every day. Both administrators have a proven track record of establishing and maintaining a collaborative and positive school culture,” said Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. “Great leaders are learners and both Ms. Rodriguez-Oronoz and Ms. Stubbs are no strangers to professional learning. Their tenacity enables them to quickly implement research-based, best practices in their schools.”

Both nominations from SLPS will be shared with the Florida Department of Education’s statewide pool of nominees. State winners will be announced later this year. The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988 to recognize Florida principals for contributions to their schools and their communities. The Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award was established in 1997 to honor assistant principals who have utilized teamwork and leadership to increase student achievement and greatly improve school environments.

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Ana Rodriguez-Oronoz
Principal of the Year Allapattah Flats K8 School

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Latricia Stubbs
Assistant Principal of the Year C.A. Moore Elementary

Indian River State College Schedules Commencement Ceremonies for December 16 & 17

19 Oct IRSC Logo

Fort Pierce — Indian River State College (IRSC) is preparing to celebrate the accomplishments of its Fall, Summer and Spring 2020 graduates at Commencement ceremonies planned for December 16 and 17. Graduates will be celebrated with traditional pomp and ceremony, including keynote address, recognition of credentials and wearing of regalia, all in the company of their loved ones and fellow graduates. Those attending the December 16 in-person ceremonies will also take their ceremonial walk across the stage.

For the first time in College history, in-person ceremonies will take place “drive-in”-style at the Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex. Graduates may fill a car safely—based on the number of seatbelts in the vehicle—with friends and family who will sit alongside them during the ceremony. Graduates will participate in the time-honored tradition of walking across the stage as their name is called to collect their credentials from IRSC officials. Ceremonies will take place at 11:00 a.m. (Associate in Arts) and 3:00 p.m. (Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science and Bachelor’s) on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Those attending the December 17 virtual ceremony will also experience the traditional elements of a Commencement event. The ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube beginning at 11:00 a.m. Photos of graduates and a listing of their achievements will appear on screen as names are called. Participants are encouraged to host watch parties with their friends and family, wear their regalia and move their tassel when their degree is conferred.

In addition to these Commencement events, IRSC is launching a celebratory website where all 2020 graduates may upload photos and share sentiments with their fellow graduates. For more information about the website or Commencement activities, visit https://www.irsc.edu/students/graduation.html.

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District Selects 2020-2021 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

20 Nov Eberst and Gore Multi

In Photo: Allysa Eberst and Willie Gore

The Martin County School District named its 2020-2021 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year on November 13, 2020, honoring two veteran educators with the awards.

Allysa Eberst of Port Salerno Elementary School was named Principal of the Year and Willie Gore of Hobe Sound Elementary School was recognized as Assistant Principal of the Year. Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord and members of her Executive Cabinet traveled to both schools to deliver the surprise to each administrator.

"There aren't enough superlatives to describe leaders like Mrs. Eberst and Mr. Gore," Superintendent Gaylord shared. "The Martin County School District is home to many outstanding administrators, which makes the selection process extremely difficult each year. Mrs. Eberst and Mr. Gore are known for going the extra mile to ensure their schools are supportive environments focused on educating all students for success, making them the ideal recipients for this year's awards."

In addition to being a stellar leader, Mrs. Eberst is a proud alum of the Martin County School District, having graduated from Martin County High School in 1993. She began her career in Martin County as a fifth-grade teacher at J.D. Parker Elementary School and cheerleading coach at Martin County High School in 1998. She has served the students, staff, and surrounding Port Salerno Elementary School community for the past nine years - five as an assistant principal and the last four as principal. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, baking, participating in services and activities as a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and participating in book clubs with colleagues and friends. Mrs. Eberst is the proud wife of Larry, a local attorney, and doting mother of James, the couple's adorable two-year-old son.

"Mrs. Eberst has worked hard to establish a positive and vibrant school culture where all employees, students, parents and community feel like family," said Lauren Gifford, one of two assistant principals at Port Salerno Elementary School. "She genuinely cares about each individual and works tirelessly to meet the needs of all students and staff in order to maximize their potential. I am honored to have learned under her leadership and am grateful to call her a colleague and friend."

"Mrs. Eberst has worked tirelessly over the past four years to create a tight-knit staff and culture at Port Salerno Elementary," Assistant Principal David Shaffer shared. "She approaches each challenge as an opportunity for our staff and students to grow and improve. She always keeps students at the center of every decision and it has been my absolute pleasure to work for and learn from her each day."

Mr. Gore began his career as an elementary teacher in Pinellas County in 1994. He began serving the students and staff of Martin County as the assistant principal of Bessey Creek Elementary School in 2006, a position he held until 2009 when he transitioned into his current role at Hobe Sound Elementary. Mr. Gore is extremely active in our local community - in his spare time, he serves as a member of the Martin County Administrative and Supervisory Association (MCASA) and is very active in the Eta Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 2016, he was named a recipient of the Arnold Stanberry Community Achiever Award, which is given to outstanding Martin County citizens in recognition of their accomplishments as community leaders. In 2019, he was named the recipient of the Augustus M. Witherspoon Award of Leadership for the Florida Federation of Alpha Chapters. This award is presented to members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. who exhibit exemplary leadership in community or civic organizations. Mr. Gore serves as an Associate Minister/Educational Director of the Lake Street Church of Christ, a Children's Emergency Resources Board Member and as a Men of Tomorrow mentor through the Eta Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Connie, a teacher at Dr. David L. Anderson Middle School, for 35 years. They are the proud parents of two adult sons - Willie III and Devin.

"Mr. Gore serves as a mentor and role model to the students of Hobe Sound Elementary School," Principal Dianne Memmer-Novak shared. "He spends a great deal of time with our students who have no father figures in their lives building relationship and trust, while also teaching them what it means to be men. He teaches our students about self-respect, honor, integrity and citizenship. The children respect him and know they have a positive role model to turn to when they need one. I feel so fortunate to serve our school community alongside Mr. Gore - he is more than deserving of this recognition."

The District will submit both administrators' names to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) for consideration in the statewide Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award recognition programs. Winners of these awards will be announced in spring 2021.

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20 Nov Shoo the Flu Flyer

Advanced Workforce Training Complex Groundbreaking Set for December 4

19 Oct IRSC Logo
200926 IRSC Building O_1 - Photo a

The groundbreaking for phase one of Indian River State College’s newest building—the Advanced Workforce Training Complex—is set for Friday, December 4, at 1:00 p.m. The purpose-built facility will link advanced technology and leading-edge industry training in specialized technical career fields such as advanced manufacturing; automotive, aviation and marine technology; welding; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and more. The 50,000 square-foot Complex will be set on the southeast side of the College’s Massey Campus in Fort Pierce, uniquely situated across from the Kight Center for Emerging Technology and the Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Together these buildings complete a campus “triangle” of advanced learning environments critical for closing the regional skills gap and preparing residents for high-wage, in-demand careers.

“The resurgence and reshoring of manufacturing across our nation is accelerating, and the Advanced Workforce Training Complex will make sure that our region has the highly skilled labor to meet current and future needs,” said Dr. Tim Moore, IRSC President. “We can realize tremendous economic growth in manufacturing and the industrial trade fields, but we first need to grow the pipeline of talent. IRSC’s newest complex will get the job done.”

Previously known as the Treasure Coast Advanced Manufacturing Center, the more aptly named Advanced Workforce Training Complex is expected to go online by Spring 2022. The building was designed by Florida Architects and Proctor Construction Company is construction manager.

“Proctor Construction Company is proud and grateful to partner with Indian River State College on this exciting project,” shared Donald Proctor, Chairman and CEO, Proctor Construction. “In our industry, we know firsthand how important it is to give people the opportunity to learn trades. Our industry is in serious need of educated tradesman. We have done many fine projects for IRSC, but we are especially looking forward to this one that will help improve the construction industry.”

The Florida Legislature has awarded $10.7 million in funding for the project in three of the past five budget sessions. Another $2 million was secured through an Economic Development Administration grant, presented to the College by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in May. The IRSC Foundation has committed to raising $3 million in donations from individuals and corporations to provide the advanced technology equipment needed to train students for these highly skilled positions. IRSC will be working with legislative leaders to secure the remaining $10.6 million to construct phase two of the complex.

Those interested in joining IRSC at the December 4 groundbreaking event should R.S.V.P. to Susan O’Brien, IRSC Foundation, no later than Monday, November 30, 2020, at 772-462-4786 or sobrien@irsc.edu.

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200926 IRSC Building O_6 - Photo a
200926 IRSC Building O_10 - Photo a

St. Lucie Public Schools Honored as One of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work for Fourth Consecutive Year

19 Aug St Lucie Schools Logo
20 Nov St Lucie County Photo a

St. Lucie County– With over 5,600 employees, St. Lucie Public Schools was recently recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. This is the fourth year in a row the School District has received this honor in the “Large Employer” (over 200 employees) category. The announcement was accompanied by cheers from staff members at the 19th Annual Best Places to Work St. Lucie County Awards Ceremony held on October 29, 2020 and hosted by the St. Lucie County Human Resources Association.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jon Prince accepted the award on behalf of the District and commended the dedicated team of professionals whose mission it is to support students and their escalating achievement. He said, “St. Lucie Public Schools is proud to be recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. Having the right people in place is what makes an organization great.”

The repeat recognition of winning the distinction of Best Places to Work for the District was determined by several factors including: low employee turnover rate, robust professional training programs, free on-site access to health preventative services, and a valued retirement program.

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St. Lucie Public Schools Increases Starting Teacher Salary to $44,600 and all Employees Will Receive a Minimum 2% Raise

20 Oct Edu SLS Press Release

St. Lucie County – District and Union Leaders successfully completed salary compensation negotiations for the 2020-2021 school year. The starting teacher salary in St. Lucie Public Schools will increase from $38,375 to $44,600.

Teachers making under $44,600 will receive an increase to get to that minimum amount. In addition, teachers making more than $44,600 will receive a 2% increase on their current base salary. Superintendent Gent said, “We are pleased to be able to reward our employees during these difficult financial times when we know the work is more challenging than ever. We are committed to recruiting and retaining the very best teachers for our students.”

Through Florida House Bill 641, a new Teacher Salary Increase Allocation provides funding to increase starting teacher salaries and includes restrictions on how the money is used, with the bulk of it aimed at increasing classroom teacher’s starting salary. Each district receives an allocation aimed at getting the starting salary as close as possible to $47,500. However, no funds are provided to increase salaries for more experienced teachers.
Education Association of St. Lucie Union President David Freeland stated, “Although the statute has caused concerns with experienced teachers statewide, this agreement has attempted to address it and ensure that all teachers receive a raise during these challenging times. We have worked hard with the district to address at least some of the inequity in the Governor’s plan. During these uncertain financial times, we are pleased to be able to negotiate an overall 2% raise for our Classified and Protech units.”

Despite a challenging revenue picture, this agreement has been possible due to the Board’s proactive budgeting plan. The Teacher Salary Increase Allocation Plan will be sent to the Department of Education for approval which will determine the timeline for implementing the increases.

SLPS Teachers Recognized as Microsoft Innovator Educator Experts for 2020-21 & First MIE Fellow Announced to Represent St. Lucie

20 Oct MIE Experts flyer

St. Lucie – Julia Hilburn and Laurie Boyer, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) educators, have been selected as 2020-21 Microsoft Innovator Educator (MIE) Experts for the second year in a row. Joining them are three new MIE Experts for the 2020-21 school year, Dr. Allen Ruppert, STEAM Advocate & Computer Science teacher at WEST Prep Academy; Sally VanDereedt, Instructional Support Specialist in Talent Development; and Elizabeth Pruitt, Curriculum Coordinator in the Office of Teaching & Learning. Their strong curriculum, technology, and computer science backgrounds are a fantastic addition to the MIE Expert group in St. Lucie Public Schools.

As MIE Experts, they have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from other technology experts around the world, test new educational tools for Microsoft, and build capacity within SLPS. Microsoft describes recipients as “agents of change” tasked with “creating an environment of innovation in education using technology.”

Director of Talent Development Denise Rodriguez explained, “As schools around the country transitioned to remote learning due to COVID this spring, it became evident how helpful it is to have professionals dedicated to expanding their instructional technology knowledge to lead educators throughout the district. Our MIE Experts are amazing educators who are empowering students and teachers to grow their digital fingerprints in school like never before.”

In addition, Laurie Boyer was selected to be a Microsoft Fellow for the 2020-21 school year. She joins three additional digital trendsetters in the state to lead the Florida cohort of MIE Experts. She will collaborate with the passionate group of MIE Fellows to lead MIE Experts across the United States in learning opportunities and professional growth. She is the first St. Lucie Public Schools employee to be named a Microsoft Fellow. Jane Whitaker, Magnet Schools Coordinator stated, “Being recognized as an MIE Fellow is a tremendous honor. Laurie is one of only 34 Fellows across the country selected to join this prestigious team of Microsoft experts. The knowledge and skills she brings to our district are immeasurable. Her passion for moving our instructional technology efforts forward reflects in the successful implementation across the district and continues to ignite others to pursue MIE certification as well. It is exciting to know her reach now extends to others on a global platform.”

More information about the MIE Program can be found at https://education.microsoft.com/en-us/resource/1703c312.

Hobe Sound Early Learning Center Builds Capacity through Collaboration with the Hobe Sound Community Chest “Strong Start Initiative”

20 Oct HS Community Chess Logo

Article by: Louise Murtaugh, APR

Hobe Sound – Hobe Sound Early Learning Center Board President, Rob Kloska was honored to announce the expansion of the Hobe Sound Early Learning Center’s capacity to enroll more young children through the foresight and generosity of the Hobe Sound Community Chest’s “Strong Start Initiative”.

After determining a significant number of young children are not benefiting from early childhood education, the Hobe Sound Community Chest launched their “Strong Start Initiative” with the goal of providing children in need, birth to four, access to early learning opportunities. In partnership with the Hobe Sound Community Chest, the Hobe Sound Early Learning Center has undertaken a transformational phased strategic initiative to enroll more children through capacity building efforts.

“Children will be left behind if they not engaged in learning opportunities by the time they reach 1st grade,” stated Mary King, Executive Director of the Hobe Sound

Early Learning Center. “Early learning is the foundation for all children, so they become successful in school and in life”.

These classrooms are a gift from the Hobe Sound Community Chest and made possible by the bequest of Joan Dillon Hay Madeira. The new building was constructed to add two more spacious classrooms to educate more children. Additionally, the modular has space for the Small Group Instruction program, therapies and a workspace for the teachers. Hobe Sound Community Chest “Strong Start Initiative” will provide funding for scholarships for families who qualify and are 200% Florida Poverty Level so their children will be prepared for Kindergarten and academic success.

The Hobe Sound Community Chest philanthropy has helped the Hobe Sound Early Learning Center for many years and continues to provide the community with needed programs and services.

The modular classroom was recently “christened” by many happy youngsters who are thoroughly enjoying their new spacious rooms.

Hobe Sound Early Learning Center provides early education, nurturing and nutritious meals to children ages 1 -5 and is a Voluntary Pre-K provider. HSELC incorporates Small Group Instruction into its curriculum to provide children 3 - 5

years of age that are struggling in specific skills to gain additional educational time in these areas. This program is a key to our success in graduating Kindergarten ready students.

Founded in 1962, the Center now has the capacity to enroll up to 160 children. The center provides full-day programs in its child-friendly Center in Hobe Sound, FL. The Center provides families, regardless of income, an affordable early-education program incorporating nurturing, education, and recreation to stimulate their children’s healthy emotional and social development and help them excel in school and life. Our vision is for children to realize their full potential in an impactful high-quality, high yield early learning environment.

Outside new classroom 1 a

In Photo: Hobe Sound Early Learning Center students at the entrance to the new classroom, thanking Hobe Sound Community Chest

Photo Caption 2 - Children in Classoom a

In Photo: The Explorers in the new modular classroom, thanking Hobe Sound Community Chest.

Achievements of 3 Alumni Martin Youth LEADERship

Cole Darrow for MYL

In Photo: Cole Darrow

Martin Youth LEADERship is pleased to announce the formation of Vigorem Advising, a college advising service by students for students. Vigorem was founded by Cole Darrow, a Jensen Beach High School graduate and alumnus of Martin Youth LEADERship Class 21, along with Zander Bush, a Martin County High School graduate. Both young men are currently undergraduates at Duke University. The inspiration behind Vigorem is aptly described by Mr. Darrow:

“When I was applying to college, I found myself confused and overwhelmed by the process. I had to go through this process blind while some of my peers had access to expensive resources like advising and tutoring. With the company that I have created, I want to “level the playing field” of the college application process. We are making resources available to all students at the same quality as other advising/tutoring companies but for a fraction of the cost. We are able to give specific advising to our students on both their applications and the student life of our respective schools. In a time where it is difficult to visit schools, talking with a current college student can give high schoolers a much better idea of which colleges to which they want to apply and attend. Every one of our advisors has gone through an application process as well as training in order to give our clients the best possible product.

Mr. Darrow has recruited both Kaeli Ladwig, a fellow alumnus of Martin Youth LEADERship Class 21 and graduate of JBHS, as well as Morgan Rader, MYL Class 22 and JBHS class 2018. They attend the University of Florida’s Honors Program and Notre Dame University, respectively. As Ms. Rader sees it, “Being a part of this team enables us to give back to our community as well as a much broader group nation-wide. Rather than people spending thousands of dollars on advising, they can come to us and get a much more personal and inexpensive experience. Hearing from students who have had success with the college application system is the best way to learn how it works and how you can be successful.”

Ms. Ladwig echoes those sentiments: “I am so excited to be part of the Vigorem advising team, because this program is exactly what I was looking for when I was in high school! I want to help other students as they apply to college and support them as they achieve their greatest potential! We know that many students are at the caliber of attending a top tier school, but they do not have the resources that many other students have. We are trying to give everyone a chance at those opportunities.”

Diana Bruton, chair of Martin Youth LEADERship, has been pleased with their success so far. “In addition to providing a needed service at an attainable cost, Vigorem donates 20% of their profits into the educational system through charitable organizations that are on the front lines of making real and measurable changes. These are some of the many ideals that are presented to the students of Martin Youth LEADERship during its 24 year history. MYL is an exciting program designed for sophomores and juniors from local high schools to learn all about their community and to develop leadership skills. This is accomplished through participation in a nine-month, structured, experiential program that meets one day a month. The mission of Martin Youth LEADERship is to inform, challenge and stimulate students to develop the qualities necessary to become the next generation of leaders.”

Vigorem Advising has recruited advisors both in the Treasure Coast and around the country, and represents approximately 25 of the Top Tier 1 universities in the nation. For more information about their services, their pricing and their commitment to the needs affecting the youth of today, please go to vigoremadvising.com or contact Cole Darrow at cole.darrow@duke.edu.

Kaeli Ladwig for MYL

In Photo: Kaeli Ladwig

Morgan Rader for MYL

In Photo: Morgan Rader

Should You Pay Off Student Loans Early or Save More for Retirement?

20 Oct Students Loan

For adults with student debt and extra money on hand, deciding whether to pay off student loans early or put those funds toward retirement can be tricky. It's a financial tug-of-war between digging out from debt today and saving for the future, both of which are very important goals. This decision is relevant today considering that roughly 65% of college graduates in the class of 2018 had student debt, with an average debt of $29,200.1 This amount equates to a monthly payment of $295, based on a 4% interest rate and standard 10-year repayment term.

Let's assume you have a $300 monthly student loan obligation. You have to pay it each month — that's non-negotiable. But if you have extra money available, what's the better course: pay more toward your student loans each month to pay them off faster or contribute extra funds to your retirement? The answer comes down to optimizing how those dollars can be put to work for you.

The first question to consider is whether you are taking full advantage of any 401(k) match offered by your employer. For example, let's say your employer matches one dollar for every dollar you save in your 401(k), up to 6% of your pay. If you make $50,000 a year, 6% of your pay is $3,000. So by contributing $3,000 per year to your 401(k), or $250 per month, you will get the full employer match of $3,000. That's a 100% return on your investment.

If you are already contributing enough to get the full match, next compare the interest rate on your debt to the rate of return you could be earning on any extra funds you invest. When you make extra payments on a specific debt, you are essentially earning a rate of return equal to the interest rate on that debt. In the student loan example, the interest rate is 4%, so by applying extra money toward that debt you are "earning" a 4% return. If you think you can earn a higher rate of return by investing extra money in your retirement account, then those funds might best be put to work for you there.

Of course, no one can predict their expected rate of return with certainty. But generally speaking, if the interest rate on your debt is relatively low, the potential long-term returns you might earn in your retirement account could outweigh the benefits of shaving a year or two off your student loans. If you have time on your side when saving for retirement, the long-term growth potential of even small amounts can make contributing to your retirement account a smart financial move.Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional.

LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Out2News. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

20 Oct Landerwiek Logo

St. Lucie Public Schools Awarded the STOP School Violence Grant for $496,311

St Lucie Public Schools Logo

St. Lucie County – St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) was just awarded the STOP School Violence grant in the full amount requested, $496,311. This coveted Grant Award, follows other recently obtained, large dollar federal grants. This time, the grant award will fund the Helping Every Adolescent Recover from Trauma Project (The H.E.A.R.T. Project). This project is a unique approach to providing a trauma-responsive environment in two alternative education settings serving students who have experienced trauma as a result of either witnessing or being a victim of violence, requiring an alternative school setting.

The program will be fully funded through a grant from the United States Department of Justice in the amount of $496,311 over a three-year period. The H.E.A.R.T. Project will provide intensive support to students through six cognitive behavioral techniques to regulate emotions, react to trauma in a healthy manner, and learn social problem-solving skills to prevent future acts of violence against themselves and others.

Separately, students identified as having witnessed or been a victim of sexual violence will have an opportunity to engage in an intensive 16-week therapeutic program to help them move beyond the specific effects of sexual trauma. Additionally, parents will receive training to ensure they are able to support their children outside of the school environment.

The district expects the project to decrease the rate of student violence both in the school environment and in the surrounding community since students with the highest needs, and who are at the greatest risk for being a victim or perpetrator of violence, will receive the support they need and deserve.

Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Helen Wild noted, “We are so pleased to receive this recognition and funding for the HEART Project to provide these much needed services to our students and families in crisis. It is a true collaboration between District Departments and an endorsement of their quality work on behalf of the community.”

FIFTEEN SCHOOLS EARN FLPBIS MODEL SCHOOL DESIGNATION

19 Dec MC School Board Logo

Time to celebrate! Fifteen Martin County School District-operated schools have been recognized for their work in implementing a school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) framework. PBIS is a set of strategies based in behavioral and biomedical science that enhance students' quality of life while also reducing problem behaviors. National research shows that full implementation of this framework leads to improved student outcomes.

By establishing this framework, schools are developing student skills, making changes to the learning environment, acknowledging appropriate student behavior, and using data to identify needed supports for students.

As a result of this work, the following schools have been recognized by the Florida Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (FLPBIS) Project for achieving PBIS Model School status for the 2019- 2020 school year:

Citrus Grove Elementary School - Gold
Crystal Lake Elementary School - Gold
Dr. David L. Anderson Middle School - Gold
Jensen Beach High School - Gold
Palm City Elementary School - Gold
Port Salerno Elementary School - Gold
Riverbend Academy - Gold
Stuart Middle School - Gold
Bessey Creek Elementary School - Bronze
Hidden Oaks Middle School - Bronze
Indiantown Middle School - Bronze
J.D. Parker Elementary School - Bronze
Martin County High School - Bronze
Pinewood Elementary School - Bronze
Warfield Elementary School - Bronze

PORT SALERNO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SELECTED TO REPRESENT FLORIDA, DECORATE ORNAMENTS FOR "AMERICA CELEBRATES" DISPLAY

20 Oct Port Salerno Logo

Port Salerno Elementary School has been selected by the Florida Department of Education to decorate ornaments for the 2020 America Celebrates tree display at President's Park in Washington, D.C.

First Lady Melania Trump, in partnership with the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, has invited students across the nation to decorate an ornament representing their state or territory. During the 2020 holiday season, the decorated ornaments will be featured on the America Celebrates trees that surround the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse at President’s Park, and will also have the opportunity to be displayed inside the White House.

In bringing their designs to life, Port Salerno students will depict what makes Florida beautiful, showing the people, places and things that capture the spirit of the Sunshine State.

"We are thrilled to have been presented with the opportunity to represent Port Salerno Elementary, Martin County and the state of Florida," Principal Allysa Eberst said. "Our students and teachers are excited about the opportunity to have their talents and creativity showcased in our nation's capitol."

"I could not be more proud of Port Salerno Elementary School for being selected as Florida's representation in this national celebration," Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord shared. "I have no doubt students will capture the spirit of Florida in beautiful, creative and festive fashion. The holiday season and the chance to view our students' creations cannot come soon enough!"

OUTSTANDING SENIORS SELECTED AS DISTRICT'S NOMINEES FOR U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM

19 Dec MC School Board Logo

Established in 1964, the United States Presidential Scholars Program was established for the purpose of recognizing and honoring our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Each year, up to 161 American students receive this prestigious honor for their academic achievements, talents in the visual, creative or performing arts, or abilities and accomplishments in career and technical education (CTE) fields.

The Martin County School District’s selection committee received many outstanding recommendations this year, making the task of narrowing down nominees to just two exemplary students quite difficult. After careful deliberation, Gigi Copeland of Jensen Beach High School (JBHS) and Spencer Hackler of South Fork High School (SFHS) were selected to represent Martin County in this year’s competition. Both students excel inside and outside of the classroom, serving as leaders in their schools and in our community.

Gigi Copeland (Academic Award Nominee)

“Gigi’s best attribute is her tenacity and positive spirit,” Jennifer Ali, JBHS guidance counselor, wrote in her letter of recommendation. “If she is interested in something or sets a goal, she will do her research and try to fulfill that quest or goal.”

Gigi has a genuine love for learning that extends beyond academic subjects into the world around her. She has attained a weighted GPA of 6.05 and has never scored lower than a 4 on the eight Advanced Placement (AP) exams she has taken thus far. The founder of Jensen Beach High School’s chapter of TASSEL (Teaching and Sharing Skills to Enrich Lives), Gigi has spent countless hours teaching English to elementary school students in rural Cambodia via video calls. While many students use the summer months to relax and unwind after the school year, Gigi spends her summers honing her skills. Prior to her sophomore year, she attended the Startalk Language Camp for Chinese at Arizona State University, where she participated in immersive Chinese language classes, cultural activities and presentations. Before beginning her junior year, she attended the AMP Global Scholar Camp, where she visited embassies and cultural centers in her quest to learn more about international relations and social justice. She is an active member of Jensen Beach High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society, Chinese Club/Chinese Honor Society, Debate Club and Art Club/Art Honor Society. She has earned the Florida Gold Seal of Biliteracy and also volunteers through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

“Gigi was one of my rare students to reach out during the summer before her freshman year to discuss if she was making the right decisions about her courses,” Ms. Ali said. “She wanted to make sure they were appropriate for the trajectory she had in mind, but she also wanted to make sure she would enjoy them. She has maintained that same level of intrigue every year.”

Spencer Hackler (CTE Award Nominee)

Spencer has been a student in South Fork High School’s Academy of Landscape & Turfgrass Management for four years. “In that time, he has learned to correctly identify more than 250 plants, become a Florida Certified Horticulture Professional and competed in a collegiate-level sports turf quiz bowl,” Academy instructor Wendy Schepman wrote in her letter of recommendation.

Spencer achieves his goals while diligently working to develop and display positive character. A member of the Boy Scouts of America’s local Troop 774 since the first grade, he earned the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout in September of this year. He has earned the rank of Cadet First Sergeant as a member of South Fork’s JROTC program, where he enjoys participating in physical activities that require him to exhibit exemplary teamwork and leadership skills. Academically, Spencer maintains a 3.02 GPA and is dual-enrolled at Indian River State College, where he eagerly takes advantage of all of the turfgrass management courses available to him. In his free time, he continues to prepare for his future as an intern at Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach.

“My current position requires me to pursue a career in turfgrass science and to have basic experience in golf course maintenance,” Spencer shares. “By successfully completing this internship, I will have the skills and knowledge to transition into a management position either at my current place of employment or at a different course.”

Gigi and Spencer’s names have been provided to the Florida Department of Education for consideration as state-level nominees for the award. If chosen to move forward in the competition, their applications will be sent to the national program in January 2021. Presidential Scholars will be announced at the beginning of May 2021. For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, please click here.

Girls Golf Qualifies For 2020 FHSAA Regional Tournament

20 Oct MC Girls Golf 1

Martin County High School 3 vs South Fork High School 3
The Girls Golf Team finished 3rd in The 2020 FHSAA District Tournament and qualified for the 2020 FHSAA Regional Tournament next week.
Scores:
Samantha Shann-81
Shannon Fitzpatrick-86
Madison Montgomery-88
Sarah Gill-96
Gillian Stickles-105

Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation Supports JA High School Heros Program

Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast

We are grateful to The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation for supporting the JA High School Heroes program!

This past school year, 337 high school students transformed into JA High School Heroes. They taught Junior Achievement curriculum to elementary students. Jensen Beach High, Jupiter High, Lake Worth Community High, Palm Beach Central High, Palm Beach Gardens High, Palm Beach Lakes Community High, and South Fork High Schools all took part in JA High School Heroes.

JA High School Heroes serve as powerful role models for younger children in their communities.
These dedicated students
• exemplify the importance of staying in school, civic involvement, and community engagement
• develop and strengthen personal leadership, communication, presentation, and team-building skills
• increase their self-confidence levels and feel valued and empowered to make a difference in the lives of others
JA High School Heroes also earn community service credit to meet graduation requirements.

We are seeking 360 JA High School Heroes this coming school year!

Contact Katie KSpitzig@juniorachievement.com
561-373-3058 cell
to find out more information.

Let’s Wash Our Hands!

20 Oct Wash Your Hands a

Article by: LaKeitha Jackson

Singing Happy Birthday two times or counting to 100, either way, the students at Dale Cassens: PRIDE Academy know how to properly wash their hands for more than 20 seconds. Mrs. Jorda, RN from Florida Community Health along with Mrs. Holmes – Health Para, taught the students in grades K-5 lessons on preventing the spread of Covid-19. Students learned how to properly wear masks, how to stay 6ft or more apart from others when in the hallways, at the bus stop and other school settings. The students ended the lesson by demonstrating the proper way to wash and/or sanitize their hands.

Become a Substitute Teacher!

20 Oct Become a Subs teacher

Article by: Lydia Martin

St. Lucie Public Schools has opportunities for qualified candidates to join our substitute teaching team. Interested candidates will hold a minimum of an Associate’s Degree or 60 college credits and must agree to work at least two days per month.

· Substitute teachers in Long Term Assignments (21 days or more) earn $100.00 per day.

· Substitute teachers in our Critical Needs sites earn $90.00 per day for day to day substituting.

· Our substitute teachers earn a base rate of $71.00 per day and receive a rate increase to $90.00 per day after meeting our frequency requirements.

We value our substitute teachers and provide free tutorials and guidance to those individuals who wish to pursue teaching as a career.

Process for Becoming a Substitute
To apply as a Substitute, click the here: https://business.stlucie.k12.fl.us/scripts/wsisa.dll/WService=wsFin/rapplmnu03.w
Once you have submitted your completed application, it will be processed by the Human Resources Department.
Once you have been hired, you will receive an email with instructions to schedule and pay for your photo ID badge, fingerprint and drug screen appointments. A link will be included for you to schedule your appointment to complete your on-boarding packet in the Human Resources Department.
Upon completion of the steps above, you will be contacted by the department of which you applied, and they will assign you accordingly.

Oak Hammock K-8 Students Train the Mind and Body While Focusing on Students’ Well-Being

20 Oct Lucie link 1

Oak Hammock K-8 Kindergarten Class

Article by: Danita McClendon-Morgan
Students in Coach Branim’s physical education classes are learning about the importance of having a physically fit mind and body. All students, on campus and MySchool, start each class with warm-up exercises. Coach Branim reminds students, when your body is active, you feel better physically and mentally. Students are learning warm-ups activities that allow the blood in their body to flow, this provides for better movement and brain function. Simple exercise movements are incorporated with each lesson to help students feel comfortable and relaxed. The picture shows the Kindergarten class learning different exercises with the Little Sports website. Coach Branim’s third-grade virtual students were being shown how to do jumping jacks. Students are training their mind and body by learning how to reduce stress and improve their physical and mental well-being in their physical education class.

20 Oct Coach Brianna

Coach Branim warms up with 3rd Grade MySchool students

SLPS Comprehensive Mental Health Plan Receives DOE Approval

St Lucie Public Schools Logo

The 2020-2021 Comprehensive Mental Health Plan submitted by SLPS recently obtained approval from the Florida Department of Education.

This plan provides a comprehensive overview of an established infrastructure designed to address the mental, social and emotional, and behavioral needs of all children.

Included in the plan is a synopsis of the many existing programs and services currently available in SLPS, as well as plans for the district’s expansion of services

utilizing the Mental Health Services Allocation and the dollars generated through the passage of the voter referendum in St. Lucie County which provides additional dollars to support mental health.

20 Oct 2 St Lucie

Establishing these guiding principles allows SLPS to maintain a systematic process to meet the many needs of our students through access to mental health services and to provide timely feedback to our families and community partners. Based in a multi-tiered system of supports, our infrastructure includes a continuum of services that meets the needs of all students.

The Mental Health Services Allocation and the dollars from the district voter referendum have allowed SLPS to expand the services we provide. This expansion of services allows us to offer a more immediate response to the students and families we serve. An intentional focus on the social and emotional well-being of all children will result in increased student achievement, increased attendance and engagement in school, and a reduction in negative outcomes for students such as poor attendance, out-of-school suspension and office discipline referrals.

Congratulations to Bill Tomlinson, Executive Director of the Exceptional Student Education and Student Services Department and his entire team for a job well done!

For questions about the Comprehensive Mental Health Plan, please contact Heather Clark, Director of Student Services at 429-4521 or Dr. Michelle Gillard, Coordinator of Mental Health at 429-4559.

St Lucie Public Schools Logo

Palm Pointe Recognizes Project Citizen Winners

20 Sept Palm Pointe

The Project Citizen National Showcase was recently held, where students from Massachusetts to Arizona tackled problems in their community.

Students from Mrs. Wright’s 3rd period Civics class from last school year earned an Exceptional rating on their project, “Water We Waiting For?” Last January, Hannah Dorval, Devin Habyan, Alexia Morgan, and Caleb Chuquillanqui represented their class at the district showcase, where they presented the class project, seeking to combat the high rate of child drownings in the state of Florida by proposing changes to public policy. They were interviewed by multiple judges and answered questions about their proposed policy, which helped the project advance to the state competition. Then, over the summer, Alexia Morgan and Hannah Raymond presented the project at the state level, where they were interviewed once again and their efforts advanced the project to the National competition, earning an Exceptional rating.

Congratulations to all, they worked so hard on all parts of this project. We are so proud of our rockets!

St Lucie Public Schools Logo

West Gate Teacher Uses Meditation to Ease Into Learning

20 Sept Westgate 1

Port St. Lucie - West Gate’s Third Grade teacher, Kristin Bowman, uses ten minutes of mindful meditation to help students break into the day. She says that it’s “very effective in grounding the kids and making them present for the day ahead.”

20 Sept Westgate 2

Our Dollars, Our District: Replacing Jensen Beach and Palm City Elementary Schools

Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies Selected to Join the 2020- 2021 Incubator Path of the Microsoft Showcase School Program

20 Sept Samuel Gaines Academy logo

St. Lucie County - Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies was selected by Microsoft to join the 2020–2021 Incubator Path of the Microsoft Showcase School program for their commitment to education transformation to drive student learning outcomes. Led effectively by Principal Keith W. Davis Sr., Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies provides both inspiration and motivation to all schools to see and experience the future of digital transformation in education.

Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies joins an exclusive community from around the world, recognized and celebrated for their educational transformation which includes vision and innovation in teaching, learning and assessment, focus on future-ready skills such as computational and critical thinking, creativity and collaboration, using data to support decision-making, and promotion of growth mindset among staff, educators, and students.
“Three years ago, we started our transformation journey by getting all of our teachers trained in Microsoft and STEM content integration. Part of our vision has always been to become a Microsoft Showcase School. The work of transformation is always challenging, however, due to the passion for improvement and dedication of our teachers and staff to a growth mindset, we can embark on the next part of the journey as a Microsoft Incubator School with the same confidence that helped us make history when we became a B school in 2019,” said Principal Davis.
As a school in the Incubator Path of the Showcase School program, Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies will work closely with Microsoft on a journey to lead innovation in education transformation and communicate an education transformation vision, enabled by technology, to help students excel and develop the skills needed for the future. The journey culminates with the opportunity to earn Microsoft Showcase School status.

“Microsoft Showcase Schools are shining examples of those applying purpose-driven innovation in a variety of ways to build connections, motivate students and to create community in and out of school,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice president, Worldwide Education, Microsoft. “These schools are truly transforming learning and providing more personalized education to students, empowering them to achieve more.”

The global Microsoft Showcase School community comes together as a group to tackle challenges, celebrate successes, share learnings, and try new solutions in a vibrant online community through Microsoft Teams. As schools in the program continue their education transformation journey, they are supported by Microsoft, their partners, and each other through capacity building, transformation guidance, peer learning, amplification opportunities, and early access to research and solutions.

#ALLINMartin for Education, Health and Success!

19 Dec MC School Board Logo

The health and safety of students and staff are the top priorities of the Martin County School District. Please continue reading to learn how your family can partner with us to help prevent the spread of illness.

Monitor your child's symptoms daily. Students must stay home from school when they are ill, or if anyone in the household is symptomatic, awaiting test results or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Please review our daily symptom screening tool with your child each day:  English Español

20 Aug Tykes & Teens Flyer