Out2News Education 

Education’s Shining Stars Announced

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St. Lucie County – In a grand event held on Saturday, February 4th, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) and the Education Foundation of St. Lucie County announced this year’s line-up of educational superstars. Anna Babcock took top honors as St. Lucie Public School’s Teacher of the Year. She is an elementary gifted education teacher at Fairlawn Elementary School. Joining her as winners were School Related Employee of the Year, Jo Anne Padon, a School Media Clerk at Fairlawn Elementary School, Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year, Kim Herring-Nance, a social studies teacher at Fort Pierce Central High School; and Outstanding First Year Teacher Emily Morgan, a music teacher at Mariposa Elementary.

Superintendent Dr. Jon R. Prince said, “All of the nominees exemplify excellence in teaching and superior support in providing a positive teaching and learning environment in St. Lucie Public Schools. They represent what is best about SLPS and why we continue to see consistent gains across the board in student achievement and success.”

Education Foundation President, Thom Jones, considers Night of the Stars a highlight each year. “Honoring our teachers and support staff for the work they do each day for our students is central to the Education Foundation’s mission which is to recognize excellence in education and support teacher development.”

Event Coordinator, Dr. Kevin G. Perry said, “The distinguished honorees at this annual event not only embody the mission of the District but go beyond and surpass expectations.”
St. Lucie Public Schools Teacher of the Year and School Related Employee of the Year will now move on to the state-level competition. In the category of Teacher of the Year, the State has a long-standing tradition that recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teachers who have demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

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The NEW WLX Horizon Streaming App

23 Feb 5 Horizons

Article by: Lauren Peczko
Our community. Your schools. Anytime you want. Anywhere you are. At home or on-the-go! Introducing the WLX Horizon App! Your invaluable resource to St. Lucie Public Schools content.
Download the WLX Horizon App to your favorite device and click through to access shows, events, and exclusive content. Watch videos on-demand or catch live-streaming events.
Download the WLX Horizon App today! https://bit.ly/3QNfQNk

SLW Centennial NAVY JRTOC Wins 1st Place!

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In Photo: SLW Centennial High School’s Navy JROTC “Black Talon” Unit

Article by: Victor Aponte
The SLW Centennial High School’s Navy JROTC “Black Talon” Unit competed in the Lake Howell High School’s NJROTC “Silverhawk” Showdown Drill Meet against 15 other NJRTOC units. The field meet competition is composed of Academic, Drill, Physical Fitness, and Personnel Inspection. The SLW Centennial “Black Talon” won 1st Place in the Personnel Inspection portion of the Field Meet Competition!

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In Photo: The “Black Talon” unit came in 1st place in the Personnel Inspection portion of the Lake Howell Drill Competition.

The Personnel Inspection portion of the competition is one of the most challenging events on the Field Meet to do well in. Not only are cadets graded on overall uniform appearance, but they are also judged on proper position of attention and body position, overall knowledge and response to questions, their overall bearing and poise during the inspection, and finally their personal hygiene appearance like hair length, hair bulk, nail length, nail cleanliness and color.

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In Photo: Unarmed Basic Drill – Regular marching

The Drill portion of the Field Meet evaluates, Unarmed Basic Drill, Armed Basic Drill (with Rifles), Unarmed Exhibition Drill (non-standard marching), Armed Exhibition Drill (Spinning Rifle marching) as well as Color Guard presentation with the United States and Navy Flags. The “Black Talon” unit also competed in Push-ups, Curl-ups and a relay competition.

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In Photo: SLW Centennial High School Navy JROTC "Black Talon"

The SLW Centennial High School’s Navy JROTC “Black Talon” unit will travel south to Pembroke Pines, Florida, on Saturday, February 4th, 2023 to compete in their next Field Meet competition which will be hosted by Charles W. Flanagan High School NJROTC called the “Stars and Stripes” Field Meet. They look forward to coming home with more trophies and earn a state bid for the Florida State Championships in March. Wish them luck!!!

Westwood Students Present at STEAM Fair

23 Feb 5 Westwood

Article by: Rebecca Benton
Fort Pierce Westwood Academy STEAM Fair representatives showcased their projects at IRSC. These projects were judged at IRSC; we are excited for several students moving forward with their projects!

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SLW Centennial High School NAVY JROTC Leads MLK Parade

23 Feb 5 St Lucie West

Article by: Victor Aponte
The SLW Centennial High School’s NAVY JROTC “Black Talon” Company participated in the 2023 Martin Luther King Parade on Monday, January 16th 2023, in Fort Pierce, Florida. The Black Talon Unit lead the High School portion of the parade. The parade is marched to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Black Talon Cadets marched along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd beginning from Lincoln Park Academy and finishing at Lawnwood Elementary.The Black Talon Company was lead by the company’s Supply Officer, Cadet Lieutenant Junior Grade Jade Sikorski, and Administrations Officer, Cadet Ensign Faith Miller, carrying the SLW Centennial High School Banner. Followed by the Black Talon Color Guard, manned by Cadet Lieutenant Peyton Mangine (left Rifleman), Cadet Lieutenant Commander Aidan Rossell (Color Guard Commander and Ensign Flagman), Cadet Senior Chief Petty Officer Sean Stewart (Navy Flagman), and Cadet Ensign Casey Scott (Right Rifleman).

IRSC Awarded $1.9 Million PIPELINE Grant for Excellence in Nursing Education

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1_11_2023 Students are back on campus at IRSC, Nursing students formally began classes.

In Photo: Nursing students are back on campus for their first week of classes for the Spring Semester at Indian River State College schools of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Fort Pierce - Indian River State College (IRSC) has received a $1,942,959 award from the Florida Department of Education as part of the Florida College System (FCS) PIPELINE (Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers and Learners through Incentives for Nursing Education) program. PIPELINE funding rewards performance and excellence among nursing education programs at Florida College System Institutions and school district postsecondary technical career centers.

“This award is an investment in the faculty and staff of the IRSC School of Nursing who go above and beyond to train our local workforce,” said IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “It is their commitment to excellence in student learning that delivers dramatic results and attracts public and private support for our programs.”

Performance funds are based on the following criteria: the number of nursing education program completers, the first-time NCLEX passage rates, and excellence among nursing education programs with an average first-time NCLEX passage rate above the national average.

“The Indian River State College School of Nursing has a long history of excellence and innovation,” shares Dr. Patricia Gagliano, Dean of the IRSC School of Nursing. “Faculty go above and beyond the traditional learning experience by engaging students through cutting-edge technology in the classroom and interdisciplinary collaboration. As a result, IRSC student success rates regularly exceed state and national averages for licensure.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has designated PIPELINE funds to help mitigate the statewide nursing shortfall. IRSC will expend funds to increase the capacity of high-quality nursing education programs and increase the number of nursing education program graduates who are prepared to enter the workforce. Treasure Coast hospitals employ over 80% of IRSC Nursing program graduates; 90% of IRSC School of Nursing graduates stay in the Treasure Coast community.

“We are committed to achieving Governor DeSantis’ goal to make Florida the number one state for workforce education by 2030,” continues President Moore.

This Fall, the IRSC School of Nursing moves to new facilities at the College’s Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie. The project significantly expands learning environments for students enrolled in IRSC Nursing programs. The new spaces include state-of-the-art nursing classrooms and simulated clinical settings.

On December 8th 2022, Irsc school of nursing held a pinning ceremony to honor its recent graduates. Family and friends gathered to cheer on the next generation of nurses. Nurses were pinned and also performed the Nightengale pledge.

In Photo: Dr. Patricia Gagliano, right, Dean of the IRSC School of Nursing, pins a 2022 nursing program graduate.

Shooting stock images on IRSC’s Massey Campus during the Studio Say So video shoot on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

In Photo: 3IRSC student nurses examining a “patient.”

Providing Opportunities for Our Youth EDUCATION = EMPLOYMENT

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In Photo: Sue Whittington, Ruth Pietruszewski, Martin County Tax Collector and Chapman
School of Seamanship Board member, Tom Whittington, President of Marine Industries Association

Students Immerse Themselves in the Arts on the Treasure Coast During Martin Youth LEADERship’s Arts and Culture Day

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In Photo: MCYL at the Elliott Museum

Article by: Jeanne Dunn / Photos by: Robin Hall - Out2News.com

Stuart - All 40 students from Martin Youth LEADERship participated in ARTS AND CULTURE DAY on January 17.

The Arts & Culture Day Program Chairman, Jay Spicer (Fair Manager, Martin County Fair Association) welcomed students at Fabulous Feet Dance Studio in Jensen Beach. Owner Robin Boudreau presented impromptu dance lessons, introducing students to basic dance moves. Robin also gave advice on life’s leadership skills as freely as she gave tips on how to perfect the sashay, drawing upon her decades of experience as a small business owner on the Treasure Coast.

Students were taken to the Road to Victory Military Museum in Stuart, where volunteers gave tours of the
Military Vehicles, WWII Encampments, Weapons Demonstrations and more. Their displays of historical artifacts, uniforms, photographs, and vehicles both historical and personal, pay homage to America’s heroes while informing and educating the students of veterans’ noble endeavors and our freedoms as Americans.

The Elliott Museum was next on the itinerary. President and CEO Rob Steele and his staff gave students a brief tour of the museum, including a stop at the Norman Rockwell exhibit currently featured, before Steve Carr spoke to the students about the infamous Ashley Gang. Steve curated this exhibit and colorfully told the history of Stuart’s own “Bonnie and Clyde” during the early 20th century.

Students concluded their day at The Barn Theatre, where President Francine Beckstead and Technical Director Bryan Childe of The Barn Theatre welcomed students and spoke about how to get involved with the Barn. Students also had a hands on “slating” experience, where each needed to present their name and sing a brief song in a contest to determine the best onstage performer. Congratulations go to Christina Josie, who was voted the winner by her MYL classmates.
The Martin Youth LEADERship Program is designed for high school sophomores and juniors in Martin County, and is in its 24th year. Founded and underwritten by LEADERship Martin County Alumni, MYL is an opportunity for high school students to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students must apply through their guidance offices, and a limited number are selected to participate in this comprehensive nine-month program that is modeled after LEADERship Martin County. Upon completion, these young Leaders have learned about their community including history, government, business, arts and culture, criminal justice and more. Class members are given a rare opportunity to reach their highest leadership potential through sessions focusing on leadership enhancing activities.
For more information about MYL and how you too, might become a sponsor, donor, event coordinator, advisory board member or obtain a student application for 2023-24, please see the group web site at: www.leadershipmcalumni.com/youth-leadership, or contact Jeanne Dunn, Program Coordinator, at MartinYouthLeadership@gmail.com or at (772) 486-4695. Applications are open until May 19.

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In Photo: Student dancing at the Fabulous Feet Dance Studio in Jensen Beach

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In Photo: Students of Martin Youth LEADERship at the Fabulous Feet Dance Studio

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In Photo: Students taking a ride in a historical vehicle at the Road to Victory Military Museum in Stuart

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In Photo: Students enjoying their ride in one of the jeeps on display.

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In Photo: Student trying out at the Barn Theatre for best performer

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In Photo: Winner of the "Best Performer" at The Barn Theatre.

St. Lucie Public Schools Announces Teacher of the Year Finalists

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St. Lucie County – Superintendent Dr. Jon R. Prince, accompanied by School Board Chairman Troy Ingersoll, School Board Vice Chairman Debbie Hawley, School Board Members Jennifer Richardson and Dr. Donna Mills, and Education Foundation President Thom Jones, paid surprise visits to this year’s finalists for Teacher of the Year. Lisa Embrey, an AP Teacher at Ft. Pierce Central High School; Anna Babcock, a K-5 Gifted Teacher at Fairlawn Elementary; and Stephanie Ramirez, a Middle School Art Teacher at West Gate K8 School are the finalists who have the distinction of representing the School District at this year’s Night of the Stars event.

St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) Superintendent Dr. Jon R. Prince said, “Our Teacher of the Year finalists represent what’s best about our team of 2,500 dedicated and committed teachers who change the lives of students every day in St. Lucie County. The impact they are making is evidenced by the School District’s continual academic growth.”
Locally, one of the three finalists will be selected as the SLPS Teacher of the Year during the Night of the Stars Gala scheduled for February 4, 2023. The winner will then represent SLPS in the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program.

The local Night of the Stars annual event is sponsored by the Education Foundation of St. Lucie County. Thom Jones, president of the Education Foundation, explained that MIDFLORIDA Credit Union is the sponsor of the local Teacher of the Year category. “This is an exciting year. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we will honor our winners with very special recognitions this year.”

Teacher of the Year Finalists

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In Photo: Lisa Embrey, Fort Pierce Central High School

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In Photo: Anna Babcock, Fairlawn Elementary

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In Photo: Stephanie Ramirez, West Gate K8 School

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St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) proudly serves students with a graduation rate of 96% at the six traditional high schools. SLPS is the top-rated school district on the Treasure Coast, with no failing schools. SLPS ranks among the top one-third of Florida’s districts for student achievement. The District also has the distinction of being recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. The mission of SLPS is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills, and desire to succeed. Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, or visit http://www.stlucieschools.org.

Annabel Robertson Named IRSC Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement

IRSC is pleased to announce our new AVP of Institutional Advancement- Annabel Robertson.

Fort Pierce — Indian River State College (IRSC) has hired lauded not-for-profit executive Annabel Robertson as Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Robertson brings more than 25 years of experience in operational management to her role at IRSC with proven acumen in fundraising, program development, strategic leadership, major gift development and organizational growth.

At IRSC, Robertson leads a team of development officers and support staff focused on philanthropy and resource development; oversees IRSC Foundation operations, funds and investments; and administers the College’s direct support organizations. The scope of her influence includes all five IRSC campuses, workforce programs, scholarships, athletic programs and two charter high schools.

“Annabel’s extensive track record of engaging stakeholders and Boards to generate new ideas and increase investment will help us take our development successes to the next level,” said Michael Hageloh, IRSC Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “In recent years, the IRSC Foundation has enjoyed record-setting giving. Under Annabel’s leadership, this trajectory will continue to grow, creating more opportunities for IRSC to provide critical resources and exceptional learning environments for our students.”

Robertson has devoted her career to helping people in need. She comes to IRSC from the Treasure Coast Food Bank in Fort Pierce, where she served as Chief Impact Officer, overseeing planning, fund development and partnerships. Before that, as Executive Director for VNA & Hospice Foundation in Vero Beach, Robertson led the feasibility and planning of a new facility, managed annual fund development and oversaw the management of a $40 million endowment and investment portfolio.

A lawyer by license and trade in 2011, Robertson brought her skills to the challenges of non-profit management with United Against Poverty in Vero Beach. As Executive Director, she championed and led development activities, including the Lifting Lives Campaign; created and implemented mission-critical programs such as UP’s Success Training for Employment Program; and planned, raised funds and oversaw construction for the 48,000-square-foot Indian River County UP Center.

“Indian River State College is a vital pathway for economic mobility in our community, and I am excited to lead advancement activities here and to join such a vibrant and accomplished team of professionals.” shares Annabel Robertson. “I am also eager to work with our students—to help nurture good citizenship, instill the positive values of giving, and develop a culture of service.”

Robertson received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Denison University. She is a Certified Fundraising Professional, a Member of the Florida Bar Association and a Florida Certified Circuit Court Mediator.

A longtime resident of Indian River County, Robertson is an active community volunteer and has served on several boards, including the Community Church of Vero Beach and the Vero Beach Rowing Club. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Incubate Neighborhood Center in Fort Pierce. She is also a volunteer mediator with the Indian River County Eviction Diversion program.

Lisa Davenport Named Indiantown High School Principal

Indiantown -Indiantown High School (IHS) is a new public charter high school in Martin County, Florida, focusing on career and workforce education. Operated by Indian River State College (IRSC) in partnership with the Martin County School District, IHS integrates traditional high school curriculum with workforce and college courses, producing graduates that can directly pursue career opportunities or higher education upon graduation. 

Indiantown High School opened its doors on August 10, 2022, for incoming Grade 9 students, offering programs that meet Florida's public high school graduation requirements, career and technical certifications, and college-level Dual Enrollment opportunities. The initial cohort of 75 first-year high school students will occupy a temporary home at the Boys & Girls Club of Indiantown, while the state-of-the-art 60,000 square-foot building is constructed at Southwest Citrus Boulevard.

(IRSC,James Crocco)

Indiantown - Indian River State College (IRSC) has appointed longtime educator Lisa Davenport as Executive Director/Principal of Indiantown High School (IHS), an IRSC workforce and career education charter school serving Martin County students in grades nine through 12.

Davenport served as Assistant Principal at Treasure Coast High School from 2015–2020, at Fort Pierce Central High School from 2020–2022, and at Somerset College Preparatory Academy from June to December 2022. Prior to that, she was a Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher from 2010–2015 at Fort Pierce Westwood High School and St. Lucie West Centennial High School.

As a school administrator, Davenport spend six years leading CTE teams and working with local industry professionals in focused areas such as healthcare, culinary, automotive, criminal justice, engineering, aerospace, digital and computer media, and television production and helped district personnel develop and facilitate advisory boards and student internship opportunities. She also worked part-time for three years for the Florida Department of Education’s CTE Department to review and assist with writing end-of-course exams and reviewing industry certification exams and facilitated district-wide CTE collaborations and professional development days.

As Executive Director/Principal at Indiantown High School, Davenport will provide leadership for long-range planning, organization and operation of Indiantown’s first and only high school.

“The immense experience that Lisa Davenport has with workforce development and career technical education is invaluable as Indiantown High School fulfills its vision to provide a multitude of opportunities for students,” said Dean of the IRSC School of Education Debra Kohuth. “Her dedication to doing what’s right for students is apparent already. We are so excited to have her as part of our team.”

Davenport earned a Master of Science Degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from California Coast University, and an Associate of Arts Degree in Human Resources from Ashworth College.

“I am humbled and honored to lead Indiantown High School,” Davenport said. “As a public charter school powered by Indian River State College, we are uniquely poised to fill a critical need that has long existed in education in this area, which is a community-based high school offering college ready-academics with a strong focus on career technical training. At Indiantown High School, if our students can dream it, we are prepared to help them achieve it as we equip and empower them for the future.”

Members of the community can meet Principal Davenport and learn more about Indiantown High School at an information session for interested students and parents on Thursday, January 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Johnson Auditorium at the Wolf Building C on the IRSC Chastain Campus, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart.

Team members from Indiantown High School and Indian River State College will provide a presentation and host and question and answer session after the presentations. Spanish translations will be provided. Admission is free, and no prior registration is required. For more information, contact Debbie Kohuth, IRSC Dean of School of Education, by email at dkohuth@irsc.edu or by phone at 772-812-3055.

St. Lucie Public Schools Graduation Rate Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels

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St. Lucie County - St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) earned a graduation rate of 90.8% which exceeds the state average of 87.3%. SLPS is one of only four counties in the State that can boast of six consecutive years exceeding 90%. In addition, SLPS ranks 2nd on the Treasure Coast and 4th in the state for districts with more than 3,000 students in the graduation cohort. The six traditional high schools boasted a rate of 95.5% for the 2021-2022 school year.

St Lucie Public Schools' 2022 graduation rate exceeded its pre-pandemic level. The 2021-22 high school graduation rate was 90.8%, an increase of 0.4% over the 2018-2019 school year. That was the last year that Florida's statewide, standardized assessments requirements for graduation were fully in place, without exemption waivers.

SLPS continues to close the achievement gap with all groups of students outperforming their respective state graduation rates. 91.1% of Black students graduated, outperforming the state by 9.1%. 89.1% of Hispanic students graduated, outperforming the state by 3.2%. 91.3% of White students graduated, outperforming the state by .7%. 89.3% of Exceptional Student Education students graduated, outperforming the state by 5.8%. Moreover, all groups continue to rank among the highest in the state.

“I’m very proud of the work our staff did making this success possible. We are truly in elite company with sustaining such high graduation rates exceeding 90% for the sixth consecutive year. Only four other districts in the State of Florida can make that claim. Our teachers and administrators have worked relentlessly with our students to overcome the lost time that resulted from COVID. I’m proud of all our students who’ve worked so hard to cross that finish line.”

AT&T Full STEAM Ahead Grant Awarded to Bessey Creek Elementary School

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In Photo: Kate Cotner, EFMC President; Stacy Schmit, Principal, Bessey Creek Elementary School; Kendra Remian, Science Lab Teacher, Bessey Creek Elementary School and Ian Cotner, Regional Director of External & Legislative Affairs at AT&T and EFMC Board Member

Article by: Jackie Holfelder /Photo by: Education Foundation of Martin
Holiday magic came early to Bessey Creek Elementary School in Palm City when principal Stacy Schmidt and science lab teacher Kendra Remian received some great news.

The school was awarded an AT&T Full STEAM Ahead Grant which will be used to provide hands-on science lab experiments for all third, fourth and fifth grade standards.

The Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) presented the grant on a surprise visit to the school.
Schmidt was delighted with the news. “Being awarded the AT&T Full STEAM Ahead grant means we will be able to connect our students’ concepts of science to hands-on learning. This will make a lasting impression for all our fifth-grade students and afford them a learning opportunity to build a solid science foundation to keep them learning and growing for years to come,” she said.

Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director of EFMC, reached out to all Martin County public schools when she learned about the one-time grant and immediately heard back from Schmit.

Said Rhodes, “Ms. Schmit had a plan to re-engage students in science who may have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, but just needed the funds to make it happen.”

Rhodes applied on behalf of Bessey Creek and the school was awarded $5,000, part of a $100,000 statewide grant offered by AT&T.

Bessey Creek Elementary students will now have an opportunity to experiment in real-time with a scientist, at their own lab station while using all the materials the scientist is using. The goal is to foster a love of science and boost science scores on the fifth grade Florida Standards Science Assessment.

“We can't wait to see the end results of this generous award from our longtime partner, AT&T," said Rhodes.

To learn more about the Education Foundation of Martin County, visit www.educationfoundationmc.org.

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Open Students’ Eyes to a Future Full of Career Possibilities by Exhibiting at JA Inspire

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Junior Achievement needs companies like yours to partner with us to inspire local students through a career exploration experience, JA Inspire®. It is designed for employers who require a pool of motivated workers and gives students a real-world way to envision future career opportunities through a pre-event career-oriented curriculum and a career fair.

At the career fair, students will engage with local business volunteers and participate in hands-on activities, often using actual equipment or tools their employees use on the job. The students learn what certain jobs entail and begin to imagine their futures in the context of these career opportunities.

Why exhibit at JA Inspire®?

As an exhibitor, you will:
Inspire over 4,000 students from 3 schools with a glimpse into your company and careers through a booth representing your business.
Engage and build your future talent pipeline with students who are informed and prepared.
Provide volunteer opportunities for employees to make an impact in the community.

The following dates and times are available for your company to participate:
Friday, February 3rd
10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Palm Springs Middle School (Palm Springs)

Friday, February 10th
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Emerald Cove Middle School (Wellington)

Friday, March 3rd
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Howell L. Watkins Middle School (Palm Beach Gardens)
Click Here to Register!

Bike and Pedestrian Safety Tips

23 Jan Safety Tips

Article by: Lauren Peczko

St. Lucie Public Schools recognizes that bicycle riding is a fun, healthy, and great way to get to school. But it is important to remember that a bicycle is not a toy; it’s a vehicle!

Follow some basic safety tips when you ride:
Always wear your helmet.
Obey all traffic laws.
Be careful in and around driveways.
Always watch where you are going.

For additional bike safety tips, visit: https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/kidsandbikesafetyweb/index.htm
Watch videos about bicycle safety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkoVxBnnGko

Walking to school can be fun and healthy too! Here are some basic pedestrian safety tips to follow:
Walk on sidewalks if possible.
Put cell phones away and pay attention.
Look both left and right to cross the street.
Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible.
For additional pedestrian safety tips and resources, visit: http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/pdf/TeachingChildrenToWalkSafely.pdf

Western Governors University Helps Port Salerno Elementary Score 100%

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In Photo: Kate Cotner, EFMC Board President; Lisa Rhodes; Lindsey Ferschke; Tracey Miller, MCSD Assistant Superintendent of Academics; Lauren Gifford; David Shaffer, PSE Assistant Principal; Nicole Bagley, PSE Assistant Principal

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photos by EFMC
A very special new partnership between the Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) and Western Governors University (WGU) has resulted in the teachers and classrooms at Port Salerno Elementary School (PSE) achieving 100-percent adoption for the first time.

The Education Foundation’s district-wide Adopt-a-Class program is decades old and allows for individuals or businesses to “adopt” or sponsor a class for $100 annually. The funds are used by teachers to purchase educational enrichment resources for the benefit of their students.

For the first time ever, each teacher at Port Salerno Elementary has received at least one $100 adoption as part of the program.

“We are so thankful for our new partnership with Western Governors University (WGU) and their commitment to support our local educators. When I met with Lindsey Ferschke, Strategic Partnership Manager, and explained the need for additional support for Port Salerno Elementary, she immediately agreed to adopt the 33 classrooms at PSE that had not yet been adopted this school year,” Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director of EFMC.

When Rhodes shared the news with Lauren Gifford, principal of PSE, the two coordinated a surprise announcement for the staff.

Gifford explained, “It was very hard for me to keep this a surprise for a couple of weeks. I cannot thank Western Governors University enough for their generosity and the Education Foundation of Martin County for their continued support of our students and teachers.

This is the first time in PSE history that we are 100-percent adopted. I am thrilled that all our teachers will be able to purchase additional items to support the educational needs of their students. Their smiles and excitement during the surprise announcement were very touching.”

Western Governors University was established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with the mission to expand access to online, high-quality, affordable higher education and now serves more than 142,578 students nationwide with more than 300,000 graduates in 50 states. In Florida, WGU has more than 7,180 enrolled students and 14,800 graduates. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, it is recognized as a highly effective postsecondary education model. Learn more at wgu.edu.

Kimberly K. Estep, WGU’s Southeast Regional Vice President said, “We are delighted to have helped PSE achieve its goal of having every classroom adopted,” said Kimberly K. Estep, WGU’s Southeast Regional Vice President.”

For more on how you can help support Martin County classrooms, visit www.EducationFoundationMC.org or call 772-600-8062.

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In Photo: Kate Cotner and Lindsey Ferschke

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In Photo: Lindsey Ferschke with Jackie Davis and Maureen Adams, PSE teachers

Martin Youth LEADERship Students Learn the Consequences of Breaking the Law during Public Safety Day

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Students from this year’s Martin Youth LEADERship class held their monthly session of the school year, Law and Public Safety Day on December 13th.
Stuart - Students met professionals from the 19th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, including the Honorable Chief Judge Charles Schwab, the Honorable Judge Jennifer Waters, Assistant State Attorney Nita Denton, and Assistant Public Defender Robert Bruton at the Martin County Courthouse. They presented an overview of the court system in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties. Among the topics of discussion were the differences between circuit and county courts, the differences between prison and jail, the types of courts available in the 19th circuit (juvenile, dependency, mental health, Veterans, etc) and the process from arrest through incarceration. Students were also given solid advice in making smart choices during their student years, and how to prepare for the many varied careers in the legal arena.

The students’ morning in court was followed by a visit to a Martin County Fire and Rescue station. Students toured the station and the vehicles, learning about life as a firefighter and EMT. They also walked through the cab of one of the trucks and learned about the many pieces of equipment our firefighters rely on to assist the residents of Martin County.

The final visit of the day was a at the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility. Students enjoyed a K-9 presentation from “Maverick” and his handler, Cpl. Ronald Manganiello, while learning how German shepherds are trained to assist officers in tasks vital to law enforcement. Sheriff William Snyder spoke to the students as future leaders of their communities, encouraging them to never give up, never set goals too low, and build upon their successes one layer at a time.

The day concluded with a brief tour of the jail, led by Deputy John Murphy. The students learned how inmates are brought to and processed at the MCSO jail and saw firsthand about the complete lack of rights and privacy one should expect if in jail. They also viewed the “restraining chair” and learned how ably it can restrain even the strongest adults for their own safety.

Many thanks go to program chair Robert Bruton, Assistant Public Defender and Trisha Green, Community Outreach Manager of MCSO, who organized the day.

The Martin Youth LEADERship Program for high school students is in its 24th year. MYL is an opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors throughout Martin County to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students must apply, and no more than 40 are selected to participate in this comprehensive nine-month program that is modeled after LEADERship Martin County. Upon completion, these young Leaders have learned about their community including history, government, business, arts and culture, criminal justice and careers. Class members are given a rare opportunity to reach their highest leadership potential through monthly sessions focusing on leadership enhancing activities.

For more information about Martin Youth LEADERship, and how you too might become a sponsor, donor, event coordinator or advisory board member, please see the group web site at: http://www.leadershipmcalumni.com/youth_leadership.asp, or contact Coordinator Jeanne Dunn, at MartinYouthLeadership@gmail.com or (772) 486-4695. Applications for next year’s class are available on line and at the guidance offices of Martin County, Jensen Beach, South Fork High Schools and Clark Advanced Learning Center.

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Governor Appoints Nine to the Indian River State College District Board of Trustees

22 Dec IRSC Board Elect

Fort Pierce - On Friday, December 9, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Vicki Davis, Christa Luna, Dr. Madhu Sasidhar, and Joseph “Brantley” Schirard Jr. to the Indian River State College District Board of Trustees. He also reappointed Dr. Melissa Kindell (Okeechobee County) and Milo Thornton (Indian River County) for another term.

“We are grateful for Governor DeSantis’ confidence in our resolve to become the highest-quality, lowest-cost educational enterprise in Florida,“ said IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “Through these appointments and reappointments, the Governor has helped us assemble the most dedicated, thoughtful and visionary governing body on any institution of higher education anywhere.”

Ms. Vicki Davis (Martin County) is the Martin County Supervisor of Elections. She is the current President of the Salvation Army of Martin, St. Lucie & Okeechobee Counties Advisory Board and is a YMCA Board of Directors member. She previously served as a Martin County School Board Member. Davis earned her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University.

Ms. Christa Luna (Okeechobee County), a fifth-generation Okeechobee resident, owns Gilbert Family of Companies with her brother and father. Gilbert Family of Companies includes Gilbert Oil Co., Gilbert Outdoors and Line-X, Gilbert Ford, Gilbert Fleet and Commercial, Gilbert Collision Center and Gilbert Chevrolet, where she is also the Dealer Operator. Luna graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice Chair of the IRSC District Board of Trustees.

Dr. Madhu Sasidhar (St. Lucie County) is the President of Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital. Dr. Sasidhar earned his medical degree from the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Pondicherry, India. He completed his residency in internal medicine at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. He earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Insead in Fontainebleau, France.

Mr. Joseph “Brantley” Schirard Jr. (St. Lucie County) is a Production Manager for Blue Goose Growers, LLC and is the President and Owner of Schirard Citrus, Inc. He is a member of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation and serves on the Board of Directors of the St. Lucie County Farm Bureau. Schirard earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida.

The nine-member board includes members from each of the four counties in the IRSC service district—St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee—and establishes the policies governing the College’s operation. Other members include Chairperson Anthony D. George Jr. (Martin County), Susan Caron (St. Lucie County) and José L. Conrado (Indian River County).

Indian River State College Receives Grant from Adobe to Expand Use of Creative Tools in Curricula and College Projects

19 Oct IRSC Logo

Fort Pierce - Indian River State College (IRSC) is the first college in Florida to receive a grant from Adobe to connect Creative Cloud tools with student learning outcomes. The announcement comes one year after the IRSC became the first community college in the nation to comprehensively offer Adobe Creative Cloud applications, without cost, to all students, faculty, and staff.

“This is just the beginning of what I foresee as a long, exciting adventure in the partnership between IRSC and Adobe toward cultivating what we at Adobe are incredibly passionate about: enabling creativity for all,” concludes Mala Sharma, VP & GM, Creators + Digital Media Education at Adobe.

The grant will support hands-on workshops, training and peer-to-peer technical support for faculty, improve resources for students working with tutors at IRSC Academic Support Centers, and expand instructional integration of Creative Cloud. Innovation Awards will recognize faculty advancements that promote student success and students who use Adobe tools to create compelling personal brands.

“Since becoming an Adobe Creative Campus, many IRSC faculty members are eager to learn more about the tools available to them,” shares Bruce Fraser, Director of the Institute for Academic Excellence at IRSC. “With this grant, Adobe has invested financially in our evolution as a Creative Campus, helping us enhance professional development opportunities for our faculty that ultimately bolster the student learning experience.”

The grant also supports Adobe integration through the College Writing Academy, a joint venture between the College and the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation. This program identifies gaps in instructional resources (dedicated to supporting student writing) and creates needed resources using Adobe Creative Cloud tools. Resources will benefit students utilizing IRSC Academic Support Centers and prospective students and community members participating in writing workshops.

Additionally, the grant will advance the development and delivery of training tools and instructional resources related to New Common Ground, a professional development platform established by the College in partnership with RDR Group, a leadership training company.

“Adobe and IRSC share a vision to make the best tools available to students and faculty to enhance student learning and outcomes,” continues Fraser. “We are grateful for their continued partnership.”

IRSC Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning Announces 2022-23 Distinguished Lecture Series

19 Oct IRSC Logo

One of the most well-known offerings through the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning at Indian River State College (IRSC) is the popular Distinguished Lecture Series. This series focuses on subjects in science, the arts, environmental concerns, global issues, and education. Lectures will be offered once per month, at the IRSC Massey Campus in Fort Pierce at 10 a.m.

The following lectures comprise the 2022-’23 season:

Craig Fugate served as President Barack Obama’s FEMA Administrator from May 2009 to January 2017. Previously, he served as Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Emergency Management Director from 2001-07 and Governor Charlie Crist from 2007-09. Fugate led FEMA through multiple record-breaking disaster years and oversaw the Federal Government’s response to major events such as the Joplin and Moore tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, and the 2016 Louisiana flooding.

Fugate set a clear and compelling vision, mission, and priorities for FEMA and relentlessly drove the Agency to achieve better outcomes for survivors. Before his tenure at FEMA, Fugate was widely praised for his management, under Governor Jeb Bush, of the devastating effects of the 2004 and 2005 Florida hurricane seasons (Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma). Craig currently provides senior-level advice and consultation in disaster management and resiliency policy through Craig Fugate Consulting LLC and is a Strategic Consultant for IRSC in the area of emergency management.

March 2, 2023: Sandra Pearce
“Ethiopia–The Tribes and Traditions”
Location: IRSC Mueller Campus, Vero Beach
Sandra Pearce (McAuley) lives in Okeechobee, Florida, with her husband David McAuley. Sandra has been a professional photographer for over 30 years. She has given up most of her photography work to teach Digital Art. Sandra has earned the Master of Photography, Master of Electronic Imaging, and Craftsman in her national association Professional Photographers of America.

She has traveled to Africa for the past five years and has documented her experiences with photographs. She has been to Ethiopia to visit the remote tribes in the past couple of years where only a few people have traveled. She is working on a travel book about the tribe she has come in contact with. Sandra enjoys the friendships of the many people she has met thru Photography and teaching people to paint in Photoshop.

April 20, 2023: Kimberlie Massnick, Ph.D.
“Cold Cases, College Students and Community Service”
Location: IRSC Massey Campus, Fort Pierce
As an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Indian River State College, Dr. Kimberlie Massnick believes that learning needs to get out of the classroom and into real-life situations. Her teaching styles include staged crime scenes instead of traditional exams, assisting in law enforcement searches, and participating in community opportunities involving the homeless, addicted, and juveniles in need. To be a great educator, she believes one must never stop learning.

Dr. Massnick’s fascination with criminal justice started during a college psychology lecture on serial killers. That single lesson turned into an extensive career as a criminologist who specializes in sexual offenders and serial killers. She is also a subject matter expert on victimology and forensic psychology. Massnick has her own podcast which is victim centered.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is presented by the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning. Doors open 30 minutes before the lecture. Lectures last approximately one hour and are followed by a moderated 30-minute question-and-answer session. Registration for the five-part series is $150 per person for new and returning members; $100 per person for lifetime members and peer leaders. If available, individual lecture seats are offered at $35 one week before each of the lectures.

The Distinguished Lecture Series is presented by Indian River State College Foundation and School of Continuing Education. To subscribe to the Distinguished Lecture Series, contact the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning at 772-462-7880 or visit www.irsc.edu/community. For more information on Lifelong Learning program offerings, visit www.irsc.edu/community/school-of-continuing-education/lifelong-learning.html.

$28 Million Gift Lays Foundation for a Debt-Free Future for FAU Medical Students

22 Nov FAU Logo
22 Nov FAU Medical

Ann and John WoodDoctors often say they are called to work in medicine. Now, more of them will be able to answer that call as a result of a transformative gift from Ann and John Wood and their FairfaxWood Scholarship Foundation to Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

The Wood family’s $28 million estate pledge is the largest scholarship gift in FAU’s history and the largest known scholarship gift to a Florida public university’s medical school.

“It is a calling to help and heal. With this gift, Ann and I want future doctors, regardless of their socioeconomic status, to follow their hearts in deciding what they want to study and practice,” John said. “Our hope is this gift will inspire others to help these students complete their medical education debt-free. The world needs doctors without debt.”

This extraordinary gift in memory of their son, Robert A. Wood, will create the opportunity one day to provide debt-free tuition for aspiring physicians. It is also their hope that others will be inspired to join in and grow the gift to cover the tuition of every FAU medical school student.

The current cost of in-state tuition and fees per medical student for one year is $35,000, which amounts to $140,000 for four years. Students from outside of Florida also may participate and could receive support at the in-state tuition rate.

“This generosity also will help FAU make great strides in its ongoing work to alleviate the state and national shortage of healthcare professionals,” said Julie Pilitsis, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs.

Florida faces a projected shortage of nearly 18,000 physicians by the year 2035, according to a recent report by the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida and the Florida Hospital Association.

To learn how you can create a scholarship in honor of a loved one or to leave a legacy at FAU, contact Kristina Gregg, CFRE at 561-297-2058 or k.gregg@fau.edu.

CHARACTER COUNTS!!

Hallstrom Planetarium Now Accepting Reservations for Student Field Trips

22 Oct Photo Hall Storl a

Fort Pierce - Attention teachers and home school group leaders looking for ideas for fun, educational field trips—at the Indian River State College (IRSC) Hallstrom Planetarium, the sky is literally the limit.

The Planetarium is now accepting reservations from school groups and home school student groups to visit the region’s only planetarium, now celebrating its 30th anniversary at the IRSC Massey Campus in Fort Pierce. These exciting programs are 45 minutes long, including a question and answer session, and cover a variety of current and timely topics in astronomy, including outer space survey programs, night sky talks, planets, black holes, and more.

A field trip to the Hallstrom Planetarium dovetails nicely into the classroom science curriculum. It inspires students to locate constellations, planets and stars in the night sky on their own, with or without the aid of a telescope.

Best of all, visits are free to K-12 students in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. Groups should include a minimum of 40 students and up to a maximum of 65 students. (The minimum size may be adjusted for special needs groups.) Student shows are offered at 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays from October through May on a first-come, first-served basis.

We ask that your group include one adult supervisor for every 10 students and that groups book their visits at least two weeks in advance and arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to get everyone organized and seated. No food, beverages, gum or use of mobile phones will be permitted. Bottled water is allowed. Planetarium staff will do their best to accommodate special needs students.

The Hallstrom Planetarium features a 360-degree immersive digital full-dome projection system and a state-of-the-art Spitz automated planetarium projector to recreate the sky, sun, moon and planets among the stars on a 40-foot domed ceiling.

Make sure to allow time for students and supervising adults to visit the new Planetarium gift shop, featuring interesting and collectible items such as T-shirts, caps, tumblers, astronomy trading cards, star finders and, of course, astronaut ice cream.

To schedule a visit, teachers or administrators should call reservation coordinator Lindi Perry at 772-462-7503 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email her at lperry@irsc.edu. For additional questions about the student programs, contact Planetarium Director Jon U. Bell at jbell@irsc.edu or by calling 772-462-7515.

Children ages 4 to 12 are also encouraged to attend Kid Space programs on select Saturdays at 11 a.m. to take scientific voyages of discovery to learn about stars, constellations, the moon, planets, and the exploration of outer space. Adults must be accompanied by at least one child for these 60-minute programs. The cost is $5 per person. Kid Space programs take place on  Feb. 11, Feb. 25, March 11, April 22, May 13, and May 27, 2023.

Want a Career in Culinary, Hospitality or Tourism? Learn more at IRSC Open House Events in Vero Beach

Culinary Stock

Photographed on Monday, October 4, 2021, at the Mueller Campus in Vero Beach.

Vero Beach - Indian River State College has scheduled three Open Houses to connect career-seekers with its Culinary Management and Hospitality and Tourism Management programs. Events take place on March 9, 2023, and April 22, 2023, at the College’s Mueller Campus at 6155 College Lane in Vero Beach.

The March 9 events will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room C-105 at the Richardson Center, coinciding with Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR). The April 22 Open House takes place from 9 to 11 a.m., also in Room C-105 at the Richardson Center.

The events are geared toward prospective students, veterans, and members of the public who may be interested in exploring a career in the number one industry in the Sunshine State. Participants can take a guided tour of the Richardson Center and its culinary kitchen. Faculty from the culinary and hospitality programs will be on hand to answer questions.
At the Open Houses, prospective students will learn about IRSC’s Associate of Science Degree programs in Culinary Management and Hospitality and Tourism Management, technical certifications, and the “earn while you learn” Culinary Apprenticeship program.

Employers interested in IRSC’s culinary and hospitality education programs may also attend one of the Open House events.

To register for any of these free Open House events, go to http://irsc.edu/event-sign-up.

IRSC has one of the most affordable culinary and hospitality programs in Florida. Students who complete the Culinary Management program will possess the skills required to work in various foodservice careers. From planning a menu to pricing meals, coordinating staff, and ensuring food quality and safety, students learn classical cuisine, international and regional foods, baking and pastries, catering, and banquet management, among other vital skills. Learn more here: https://irsc.edu/programs/culinary-management.html.

The IRSC Hospitality and Tourism Management program provides the training necessary for a successful career in industries such as tourism, lodging operations, public housing management, hotel food service, event planning, catering, theme parks, and more. Learn more here: https://irsc.edu/programs/hospitality-and-tourism.html.

For more information about the Open Houses, contact Suzanne Bagnera at 772-226-2528 or hospitality@irsc.edu or Deb Midkiff at 772-226-2698 or culinary@irsc.edu.

Jensen Beach Elementary Celebrate Students with PBIS

22 Sept JB Elementary

Jensen Beach - Jensen Beach Elementary celebrates their students with a Positive Behavior Intervention System at the school. They reinforce their students and reward them for demonstrating positive behaviors and good character. Principal Jennifer Radcliff started this program for the school and has been trying to turn negative behaviors to positive ones. Hats off to her for being so positive and happy!

Two local businesses, The Scoop and Kilwins in the area donate free ice cream cards to show their support to the students. Parents love this program and so do all the students who are recognized. Just one more way that the school support our students in Martin County.

Out2News.com LLC. is your Treasure Coast online newspaper, “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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