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Indian River State College Celebrates Commencement with “Drive-In” Ceremonies on May 3 & 4, Virtual Ceremony on May 5

20 Dec IRSC New Resized

Fort Pierce — It's been an academic year like no other. With drive and perseverance—hallmarks of Indian River State College Pioneers—more than 3,200 students will have degrees conferred this spring, marking the ninth consecutive year that the IRSC graduating class has exceeded 3,000. More than one-quarter of graduates (807) will earn Baccalaureate degrees; 1,950 earn Associate in Arts degrees, and; 495 earn Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science degrees.

The College will hold its spring commencement ceremonies "drive-in" style on Monday, May 3, and Tuesday, May 4, at the IRSC Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex in Fort Pierce. Congressman Brian Mast, 18th Congressional District of Florida, will serve as commencement speaker for the May 3 ceremonies. The May 4 commencement addresses will be delivered by The Honorable Tobin "Toby" Overdorf, the Florida House of Representatives member from the 83rd district.

“Commencement is a special time in the lives of our graduates and for IRSC,” shares Dr. Timothy Moore, IRSC President. “This day is a celebration, and it’s a privilege to honor our students’ dedication, perseverance and great success. Indian River State College is only a starting point for so many individuals who will cross our stage and receive their diplomas. We look forward to the many future achievements of our 2021 graduates, across their lives and their careers.”

Monday, May 3, 2021—Spring Commencement Drive-in Ceremonies
11:00 a.m.: Associate Degree Ceremony, graduates with last names beginning with A-F
3:00 p.m.: Associate Degree Ceremony, graduates with last names beginning with G-O

Tuesday, May 4, 2021—Spring Commencement Drive-in Ceremonies
11:00 a.m.: Associate Degree Ceremony, graduates with last names beginning with P-Z
3:00 p.m.: Bachelor's Degree Ceremony

The College will present a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, May 5, for graduates who prefer a Commencement event that is not in-person. That 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 students' 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.

More than 77,000 students have graduated from IRSC over the past six decades, building a dynamic workforce pipeline and extending economic opportunity to students and their families. IRSC graduates are employed in many of the region's fastest-growing and innovative industries and are on the frontlines serving our community as teachers, healthcare professionals and other first responders.

About Indian River State College
A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College transforms lives by offering high-quality, affordable and accessible education to the residents of Florida’s Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties through traditional and online delivery. IRSC is recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The College serves nearly 30,000 students annually and offers more than 100 programs leading to Bachelor’s degrees, Associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas. Learn more at https://www.irsc.edu/.

Fugate, Glover Join with IRSC to Bolster Public Safety Education Programs

21 May Fugate IRSC

Fort Pierce — Two internationally recognized authorities in homeland security—former FEMA Administrator William “Craig” Fugate and explosives expert Rod Glover—have joined with Indian River State College (IRSC) to expand and enhance the College’s offerings in emergency management, planning, and threat assessment. These key additions to the IRSC Team come at a time when IRSC is shoring up its efforts to build a comprehensive emergency management and continuing operations program for students and emergency professionals across the nation.

As a Strategic Consultant in the area of emergency management, Fugate will assess IRSC’s current program offerings; suggest and/or enhance content for basic and advanced emergency management program offerings; support practical exercises; identify best practices and new curriculum models; provide support on grant development and community engagement and more. The uniquely qualified Fugate brings decades of experience, including posts as Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Fugate is a published author on risk mitigation and disaster response for extreme weather events and climate change and a sought-after guest lecturer on defense support and disaster response. He is also a Senior Instructor and Advisor with the U.S. Army Civilian Emergency Management Program on roles of emergency management in support of the U.S. Army’s mission. He recently served as a volunteer member of President Joe Biden’s Transition Agency Review Team to support transition efforts related to the Department of Homeland Security. In recognition of his expertise and leadership, Fugate has earned the National Hurricane Conference “Neil Frank” Award, the Florida National Guide Hall of Fame Award, and the National Emergency Management Association’s “Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award.”

“Craig Fugate is the foremost expert on emergency management, and he brings an incredible opportunity to Indian River State College, our students, and our community partners,” says Joan Rivera, Assistant Professor, Emergency Administration and Management. “With his knowledge and expertise available here on our campus, there’s no limit to what we can do to prepare our students, our communities and our nation’s first responders.”

Rod Glover comes to IRSC with more than 34 years of experience in law enforcement, counter-terrorism and explosives. He has worked with numerous agencies, including the F.B.I., U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness and the U.S. State Department. Glover is Program Manager for law enforcement and explosive-related training programs of the Alabama Fire College where, among other initiatives, he developed advanced investigations programs to investigate suspicious fires and explosions and an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (A.S.H.E.R.) Training Program for first responders. Earlier this year, Glover presented sessions at IRSC on international IED trends to area law enforcement and fire personnel and leadership, IRSC students and IRSC Safety and Security officers. He will develop and lead the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Counter Threat Awareness Training Initiatives for IRSC.

“In today’s world, our fast and full response to disasters—manmade and natural—and their aftermath is critical,” says IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “The role of the emergency manager cannot be underestimated. For many corporations, it has evolved to a C-suite position. Bringing Craig and Rod on board to enhance IRSC’s programming is essential to achieve our goal to become the leading educational provider for this crucial and growing segment of the workforce.”

IRSC currently offers degree programs in emergency management: an Associate in Science in Emergency Administration and Management and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration Emergency Planning and Management Concentration. Additionally, through its National Preparedness Institute, it delivers community-wide emergency response training to public and private partners in areas that include Incident Command System, Business Continuity, and Disaster Operations. Also, it designs and facilitates exercises that address partners’ specific needs. These programs are housed at IRSC’s Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex in Fort Pierce, one of the most comprehensive, technologically advanced public safety training facilities in the nation.

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Exceptional Academy for Differently-Abled Learners

21 Apr Baron Academy Logo

A Port St. Lucie based 501c3 non-profit private school that specializes in serving children with Autism and Related Disabilities, is expanding. The owners of Exceptional Academy, Kristine Erice and her husband Matt Saxton, are partnering with Jeremiah Baron, who is a Real Estate developer and is well known on the Treasure Coast for his Commercial and Residential Real Estate brokerages, to take the school to the next level. The school will be moving to a larger facility that will be able to serve up to 80 children with Autism and related disabilities in grades K-8. The new facility will be called Baron Academy and will be located in St. Lucie West at 8565 Commerce Centre Dr. Baron Academy is scheduled to open for the Fall 2021 school year.

There is a tremendous need on the Treasure Coast for more private schools that are specifically dedicated to teaching children with Autism in a way that they need to learn. Kristine Erice, Founder and Director of Exceptional Academy for Differently-Abled Learners, opened her specialized private school for kids with Autism in January 2020 out of frustration in the lack of choices in the area for her Autistic son. Exceptional Academy quickly had a waitlist as soon as they opened their doors after welcoming 15 enrolled students into their school. The school had plans for fundraising events last March to help fund an expansion, but COVID crushed their fundraising efforts until the unforeseeable future. Kristine’s chance meeting with Jeremiah Baron, a fellow parent of two Autistic children, turned into a partnership and will allow their current school to grow and be able to serve 4 times the amount of students than she currently has at her smaller location. The new school, Baron Academy, is currently enrolling for

grades K-8 for the 2021-2022 school year. The school is also planning a Benefit Concert with live music on Sunday, May 23rd from 1-4pm at the Baron Real Estate Ballroom located at 8555 Commerce Centre Dr. in Port St. Lucie. Tickets for the Benefit Concert are $20 per person and will be sold at the door the day of the event. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the school’s outdoor playground project. Please visit the school’s website at www.exceptionalacademypsl.com for more information and contact Kristine Erice at kerice@exceptionalacademypsl.com to schedule a school tour

Contact: Kristine Erice, kerice@exceptionalacademypsl.com

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Renaissance Charter School of St. Lucie- The Little Mermaid

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In Photo: Emma Ortiz, Ariana Finley and Gabriella Abaunza in the dressing room

Article & Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham
It may have taken two long years for the Renaissance Charter School of St. Lucie to finally launch their full-scale Broadway production of Disney's The Little Mermaid due to the COVID 19 pandemic, but it was well worth the wait!

The journey to produce the show may have taken place here on land. Still, the resulting 'Under the Sea' performances were astounding, considering what was once a cast of 105 dwindled to a cast of 65 due to graduations, recasts, and changes in rehearsal schedules. Director Scott Laird and his fearless team never considered throwing in the towel.

Cast members performed multiple roles, endured constant costume changes, and worked double-time to bring the show back to the stage at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce for the recent weekend of delightful performances. Due to COVID restrictions, however, the theater operated at half-capacity, causing a loss of revenue.

To help bring in additional funding, show organizers launched a virtual stream of the production viewable one week after the live shows. This unique opportunity allowed out-of-state friends, family, and Little Mermaid fans to experience the show from the comfort of home. Local fans tuned in as well!

"It was so great to be able to give our students the opportunity to perform, for a live audience, on such an amazing stage," said Director Scott Laird. "Two years of hard work came together in a magical mix of flying, skating, and incredible student performances."

The Little Mermaid is the 6th production put forth by the school. From the humble beginnings of "Junior" productions on church stages, the magnitude of the shows has indeed rocketed to great heights. This growth will continue with the Fall 2021 opening of the Renaissance Tradition Prep High School's Black Box Theater.

Top sponsors of The Little Mermaid include Bilingual Key Therapy, Dr. Shamsher Singh, Harbor Retirement, Ohle & Ohle Attorneys at Law, and Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa Attorneys at Law.

In addition to the arts, the school offers 21st-century learning, a middle school sports program, a state-of-the-art Maker Space focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.), and much more in a family-oriented atmosphere.

"At R.C.S.S.L., we strive to provide well-rounded opportunities for students to explore their interests. This year's play exceeded all expectations! I am so proud of the opportunity our students had to bring back the performing arts to our community." said Principal Christiana Coburn.

Applications for the 2021/2022 school year are available at StLucieCharter.org

Photo 1a

In Photo: Avery Cordero as Prince Eric and Lucia Gomez as Ariel

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In Photo: Uriah Williams as Sebastian backstage

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In Photo: Isabelle Wampler as Ursula

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In Photo: Jayden Bishop as Grimsby and Shawn Gerheart as a sailor

Martin County Joe Kordick Youth Charactor Awards

21 Apr 1

In Photo: Shelly Sexton and Kaitlyn Berger

Stuart - There’s light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but many time-honored events still have not returned to normal. Last year to adapt to this challenging time, United Way of Martin County found creative ways to recognize students who were honored for their outstanding character through the CHARACTER COUNTS! Joe Kordick Youth Character Awards.

Instead of honoring students during a ceremony, United Way of Martin County CHARACTER COUNTS! advisory board members continued the pandemic-friendly recognition they started last year by placing signs at students’ homes that read “A Joe Kordick Youth Character Award Winner Lives Here.” Seniors were also presented with a $1,000 cash award and middle school recipients were presented with a plaque.

Presented by United Way of Martin County’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program and sponsored by Phyllis Kordick, the awards are presented annually to middle school students and high school seniors in the Martin County School District.

“It’s been a difficult year, especially where character is concerned, which is what makes it even more important to recognize the exceptional character demonstrated by our Joe Kordick Youth Character Award winners,” said CHARACTER COUNTS! Advisory Board Committee Chair Rob Tweeddale.

The Joe Kordick Youth Character Awards are named in honor of the late Joe Kordick, founding chairman and the driving force of CHARACTER COUNTS! in Martin County. He believed that character development starts at home, but also felt strongly that by bringing parents, teachers, community leaders, and businesses together, everyone could share the task of teaching young people to be responsible and to live with integrity.

This year, numerous nominations were received from schools and the community. Nominations of the students are based solely on their character; those students whose lives and achievements demonstrate an enduring commitment to the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship. A panel of judges from the community made the final selection based upon the students’ essays, their community involvement, leadership qualities, how they have dealt with and overcome obstacles in their lives, and personal interviews with the high school finalists.

Middle School Award Recipients
• Bianca Morales-Soto, Indiantown Middle School
• Marissa Brodie, Murray Middle School
• Lily Rice, Murray Middle School
• Lilian Dietrich, Murray Middle School
• Noa Vignone, Stuart Middle School

High School Recipients
• Shelby E. Sexton, Jensen Beach High School
• Kaitlyn Berger, Clark Advanced Learning Center
• Quincy Clark, Clark Advanced Learning Center
• Emily Osborn, Clark Advanced Learning Center
• Raymond Martucci, South Fork High School
• Luke Edwards, Martin County High School
• Colin Fogarty, Martin County High School
• Rose Kores, Martin County High School
• Erika Van Vliet, Martin County High School

United Way of Martin County’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program is focused on building a community of good character. Although highly identified with schools, CHARACTER COUNTS! is an initiative for people of all ages and walks of life and is embraced by government, law enforcement and businesses in Martin County. CHARACTER COUNTS! encourages everyone to uphold the Six Pillars of Character as they go on with their daily lives. For more information about CHARACTER COUNTS!, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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21 Apr 2

In Photo: Quincy Clark and Emily Osborn

21 Apr 3

In Photo: Raymond Martucci and Luke Edwards

21 Apr 4

In Photo: Rose Kores and Colin Fogarty

21 Apr 5

In Photo: Erika Van Vliet and Bianca Morales-Soto

21 Apr 6

In Photo: Marissa Brodie and Lily Rice

21 Apr 7

In Photo: Lilian Dietrich and Noa Vignone

Pre-apprenticeship Career Opportunities Soar in St Lucie Public Schools

21 Apr St Lucie Apprentice

Article by: Dana Caputo

St. Lucie Public Schools has five pre-apprenticeship programs preparing students for careers. The pre-apprenticeship Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school programs are located across the District:

Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering at Treasure Coast High

Building Construction Technologies at Port St Lucie High

Outboard Marine Service Technology at St Lucie West Centennial High

Pharmacy Technician at Fort Pierce Westwood Academy – The W.E.S.T. Prep Magnet

Technical Design at Port St Lucie High

The pre-apprenticeships offered in CTE at St. Lucie Public Schools lead into registered apprenticeship trades of Carpenter, Industrial Manufacturing Technician, Truss Design Technician, Pharmacy Technician, and Yacht Service Technician.

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New Scholarship Program Identifies MC Students with Potential

ninahavenscholars2019

Article by: Jackie Holfelder
Photo by: Liz McKinley

Nina Haven Scholarship, Inc. was established in 1953 to remove the financial barriers for any Martin County high school seniors who have their sights set on a college education. Over the decades, many recipients have been the first in their families to continue past high school and nearly 1000 have graduated college or university. The all-volunteer “hand on” board of Nina Haven has provided financial guidance, emotional support and networking to help the students stay the course and graduate.

Tracey Etelson, Executive Director of the non-profit Nina Haven Scholarships, Inc., recently announced that the 501(c)(3) has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, House of Hope and the Community Foundation Martin-St.Lucie to create the “Copper Key Promise Program.”

The four nonprofits collaborate to identify qualified students – who have been under-represented in the past – in the sixth and seventh grades and wrap them and their families in a blanket of services offered by the organizations.

Recipients are guaranteed a four-year scholarship to a Florida University if they maintain the grades, good citizenship and other criteria established by the Program to help them make choices that change their trajectory.

Each year, at least 20 outstanding Martin County Seniors are selected to become Nina Haven Scholars, having demonstrated a commitment to their education and the character and leadership to succeed. Now, through the Copper Key Promise Program, knowing a full tuition scholarship awaits them, more young people with need will access opportunity.

Since the groundwork for the Copper Key Promise Program was laid out two years ago, five promising students have been selected. Each student’s family participates in the interview process and is advised of the role they will be playing in supporting the child.

The collaborative partners of the Copper Key Promise Program are enthused and optimistic about embracing the challenge of equity and inclusion through this innovative and holistic scholarship approach.

To find out how you can contribute or more about the program, visit www.ninahaven.org.

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Jensen Beach High School Junior Named Student of the Year by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of South Florida

21 Mar Grace Bauer Cancer

Congratulations to Grace Bauer of Jensen Beach High School for being named a winner of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of South Florida's Students of the Year campaign! Grace and her teammate, Cade Crook, raised an astonishing $213,000 for cancer research. Each has earned a college scholarship valued at $2,500.

“This campaign has been such an amazing experience and we are thrilled to be this year’s Students of the Year winners!" Grace shared. "My teammate, Cade, and I are so grateful for the opportunity we were given to help this fantastic cause. This campaign instilled many values in me that I will utilize as I go on in life. The opportunity to benefit the blood cancer community has been incredible, and we are immensely grateful to be named the LLS Students of the Year!”

IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium Presents “The Planets”

20 Dec IRSC New Resized

The Hallstrom Planetarium at Indian River State College (IRSC) presents “The Planets,” a full-dome immersive presentation of our solar system. The show debuts on April 16 at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m., and April 17 at 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the “The Planets” are $5.

In a recorded narration, Kate Mulgrew—Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager—takes viewers on a grand tour of the solar system. Explore the surfaces of Mars, the perils of the asteroid belt, the cold rings of stormy gas planets and the features of other solar systems.

There is limited availability for seating in order to maintain CDC and social distancing guidelines—patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the IRSC Box Office in the McAlpin Fine Arts Center lobby on the IRSC Massey Campus at 3209 Virginia Avenue in Fort Pierce, Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., or by phone with VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. Call the McAlpin Fine Arts Center Box Office at 1-800-220-9915 to reserve seats.

Planetarium shows are recommended for adults and for children over the age of four. The Hallstrom planetarium's temperature is maintained at 72 degrees and visitors may want to bring a light jacket or sweater. To learn more about the Hallstrom Planetarium, visit https://www.irsc.edu/community/planetarium.html.

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

Murray Middle School SWAT Produces a Video for Kick Butts Day!

21 Mar Murray Middle 2

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that seeks to empower young people to stand out, speak up and raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their states and communities. To learn more about the Martin County SWAT program, visit www.tfp.martin.org.

The Lincoln Park Academy Wrestling Team

21 Mar Wrestling Champs

Article & Photo by: Candace Stone
The Lincoln Park Academy Wrestling Team, in only its 3rd year of competition, crowned its first Regional Champion this past weekend, when Kyle Grey finished in first place in his weight class to advance to the FHSAA State Finals in Kissimmee. He will be joined at States by his teammate Deusner Joseph who also qualified for States by coming in 4th place at Regionals.

Lincoln Park Academy Athletics Continues to Shine at FHSAA State Tournaments

21 Mar Wrestling Champs 2

Article & Photo by: Candace Stone
Lincoln Park Academy won three gold medals at State Championships in the Fall and their Winter teams are seeing similar success.

The Girls Basketball Team won their 7th District Championship in a row and their first Regional Championship in school history to advance to the State Final Four. The Lady Greyhounds beat American Heritage in their semifinal appearance and fell short in the Championship game to the #1 team in the nation. Congratulations to Coach Adams, his staff, and his team for finishing as the Class 4A State Runner-Up.

21 Mar Lady Greyhounds

Northport Celebrates Dr. Seuss

21 Mar Dr Seuss

Article & Photos by: Lynne Gruszka
Happy Birthday to our dear Dr. Seuss! Northport celebrated across the campus and virtually. The children in the library read The Lorax and learned all about environmentalism. It has been a GREAT DAY school. Children celebrated by reading Dr. Seuss books and dressing for the day.

Mariposa Elementary Celebrates Music and Arts in our Schools Month

21 Mar Mariposa

Article & Photo by: Wendy Munao
Mariposa Elementary is acknowledging student success in Mr. Evans’ class by celebrating Music in our Schools Month. Students are passionately demonstrating their musical skill sets for their teachers, classmates, and families by sharing songs and activities they learned in music class. Students in upper grades share how their younger siblings are singing catchy songs nonstop at home. Meanwhile, some K-2 students are gaining a head-start in the music curriculum through older siblings sharing their wealth of musical knowledge. Overall, music at Mariposa is bringing students and staff closer together to further maintain a positive learning community. Pictured: Justus Owens, Malia Johnson, Ryu Gomez, Kylee Nguyen, Alexandra Torres, E’va Lewis, Kendyl Hernandez, Paetynn Brayboy, Daniel Rivas, Justin Malcolm, Luna Rivera, Justin Rogalewski, Maria Rosero Perea, Daniella Post, Adrianna Pyle, and Kristia Lovelock.

Career and Technical Education Programs Connect with St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office Drone Team

21 Mar Criminal Drone 1

Article & Photos by: Leinitia Robinson
Fort Pierce Westwood students from Ms. Mildred Brown’s Criminal Justice program, Mrs. Ursula Johnson’s Digital Media program, and Mrs. M.E. Musgrave’s Medical program joined the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Drone Team for a live presentation. Students learned about the significance of the drone team to our law enforcement agencies and community, sUAS Part 107 industry certification, and career opportunities after high school. Sergeant Wes Harbrin organized this event for SLPS students enrolled in these various programs. Additionally, students preparing for their 911 Telecommunications industry certification exam were able to connect with our local law enforcement business and community partners!

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Kansas Corn Stem Visits Northport!

21 Mar Northport

Article & Photo by: Lynne Gruszka
Talk about a corny guest speaker! Sixth-grade students in Mr. Fess’ Northstars STEM class received a virtual visit from Bill Johnston of “Kansas Corn STEM.” The students learned all about how Ethanol is made from corn and explored the benefits of using Ethanol when compared to traditional fossil fuels. These students are in the middle of their green-energy unit on Biomass. They are also working on designing and building their own Biomass demonstration projects.

Exiting the Atmosphere While Still on Campus

21 Mar Riddle 1

Article & Photo by: Katherine Avra
Students in the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University program are spacing out in unexpected ways! Fort Pierce Central is one of 12 high schools across Florida chosen to participate in the initiative. The students’ objectives are to fully check out the drone operating program and make necessary adjustments before launch. Students are seen assembling drones in support of ERAU’s new Flight Test Engineering Program. In addition, students shared a zoom call briefing on space flight with Dr. Jose Nunez, Chief of Research and Technology at NASA.

Exiting the Atmosphere While Still on Campus

21 Mar Drone

Article & Photo by: Katherine Avra
Students in the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University program are spacing out in unexpected ways! Fort Pierce Central is one of 12 high schools across Florida chosen to participate in the initiative. The students’ objectives are to fully check out the drone operating program and make necessary adjustments before launch. Students are seen assembling drones in support of ERAU’s new Flight Test Engineering Program. In addition, students shared a zoom call briefing on space flight with Dr. Jose Nunez, Chief of Research and Technology at NASA.

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Pie in the Face Virtual Fundraising was a Success for Oak Hammock K-8

21 Mar Oak Hammock 1

Article & Photo by: Danita McClendon-Morgan

The Kids Heart Challenge is an annual event the students participate in at Oak Hammock K-8. Students in Coach Branim’s K-5 physical education resource classes learned about heart health while hosting a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. The virtual fundraiser event had a total of 130 elementary student participants who raised $7,430.00 this school year. The students were incentivized by having the opportunity to smash, Coach Branim with a “Pie in the Face” if they raised $100 or more. The “Pie in the Face” was a success! There were a total of 27 students who met or exceeded the $100 individual goal. The students enjoyed learning about the importance of heart health, drinking water, and contributing to those in need.

Gaines Student to Compete at State Level

Article by: Nancy Spooner
Join us in congratulating Janessa Diaz for being one of the District Science Fair Finalist. Her prototype for a wind turbine will be moving on to the Middle School Engineering division of the state competition. She created a way to measure the efficiency of the turbine by using a pulley system and measured the results of the efficiency of the wind turbine daily to keep records of how the turbine performed.

As part of the Science Fair, the students were to create a short video presentation in lieu of being interviewed by the judges. Janessa created a creative animation video of herself explaining the project. Her Middle School science teacher, Jon Breedlove, and all of SGAET are so proud of her work and her creativity with her video piece as well!

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Northport SEL Night a SUCCESS!

Article by: Lynne Gruszka
Northport K-8 held its first SEL Virtual Parent Night. It was a Night of Family Learning (NFL) where students, teachers, and families experienced some of the engaging SEL activities that the children get to do each day! With 64 participants, the School-Home Connection was strengthened and fun was had by all! The event was sponsored by Chik-Fil-A and Sal’s Italian Ristorante, who provided door prizes. Northport K-8 provided a free book to all student participants! With virtual high fives and a virtual “wave” to end the session, everyone left with a smile. We are grateful to all of our participants and everyone who contributed to the event. Thank you to Blondeen Campbell, Cassey Chang, and Traci Wilke of the district SEL department for their support of the event.

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Oak Hammock K-8 Osprey Reward Program

Article by: Danita McClendon-Morgan
Oak Hammock K-8 participates in PBIS program as a schoolwide reward system. Students in the self-contained classroom in grades 4th- 8th operate the Osprey Cart Reward Program. This program allows the self-contained students many opportunities to practice functional skills by utilizing the task analysis approach for learning. The classroom teachers, Ms. Savanello and Ms. Haley support the students by providing the online order form and assist the students in breaking down the task into manageable parts to ensure the orders are completed successfully. The program is linked to ELA and Math, where the students practice counting, adding, and sorting. Students also have the opportunity to implement SEL skills such as collaboration, responsible decision making, leadership and reinforce positive behavior.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Third Grade STEM in Action at Morningside Elementary

Article by: Lauren Monroe
Mornings are fun when they begin with STEM learning! In our literature text that we have been reading, Wonder, the main character turned in a project based on pyramids. Today, we identified the different parts of a pyramid and then began constructing different types of pyramids. We tested our pyramids for strength and identified the patterns in the shapes, faces, edges and vertices.

A Memory, A Moment, An Inspiration: One Teacher Inspires FPC through Photography

Article by: Katherine Avra
Steven Shotola may be a science teacher, but he has an eye for photography and the heart for inspiration. Each week he carefully selects an uplifting image to share with his Cobra Family at Fort Pierce Central High School. “I have been very grateful that our Principal Ms. Miller-Buchanan allows me to post an email “Photo of the Week” to the staff. I have realized over the years that maintaining a positive attitude towards teaching, no matter what the challenges are, is the key to building positive relationships and the key to constant school improvement” Mr. Shotola remarks. Both avid photographer and reader of nonfiction literature, Mr. Shotola creates dynamic and powerful combinations of nature or school-based photographs with powerful quotes. Each snapshot more unique than the next, Mr. Shotola draws from memorable moments, both visually and through text that share statements brightening the Friday morning of many staff members. Perhaps it gives them the extra boost needed to finish the week in a positive
and energized way. The ripple effect continues as staff members contribute photos to a contest in which donated t-shirts and coffee cups are awarded to the winners. “It has an enjoyable challenge to match a quote and photo each week and the positive feedback I receive is what continues to drive me to do it” Mr. Shotola pledges. His Cobra Family hopes he continues this tradition as well. Feel inspired? Start your own Photo of the Week at your school site!

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