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What happens when a third-grade student who already owns a bike wins a BMX bicycle in a fundraiser? Nine-year old C.O.Taylor/Kirklane Elementary School student Sailar Morgan plans to donate her prize to the Human Society of the Palm Beaches.  The animal-loving “go-getter” won the bike for being the top producer in her school’s recent fundraiser, generating over $400 in sales.

A ceremony is being held at the Palm Springs school Friday, December 14, at 12:30 on the basketball court.BMX bike athletes will perform and Sailar will be named the winning fundraiser. She then plans to award the bike to Elizabeth Hoffman from the Humane Society who will be on hand to accept the donation. The nonprofit plans to auction the BMX bike to the highest bidder with proceeds benefitting the organization. Sailar said she selected the Humane Society because she loves all animals. “Animals need people to care for them and they depend on us to take care of them,” said the young lady who hopes to become a veterinarian one day. 

For more details, contact Assistant Principal Vikaash Moosai. He can be reached at 561.804.3500 or email



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The holidays are here and Santaluces High School is getting ready to top it with a bow and wrap it all up.  The school is participating in the School District’s annual Adopt A Family program – that allows schools to reach out to families who need a helping hand through the holidays. On December 14th  from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM in the school media center, Santaluces students will be getting together for a “Wrap Party” to wrap presents for 16 local families the school has adopted. 

Each family was selected through a process by school officials and each family gave a wish list.  Santaluces students are going the extra mile and making sure that each person gets a little more than what is on their list.  Everyone will receive underwear, socks, school appropriate shoes, an outfit, an educational item and of course something fun from their list.

Local businesses have donated all of the wrapping supplies and food to help the students celebrate the true meaning of the holidays, giving back to others and one student hand-made 62 Christmas cards for each person the school is adopting.   Principal Dr. Kathleen Weigel is extremely proud of Santaluces High School students, “The students at our school are caring and very willing to step up and act to help others. I’m not surprised that our school adopted more families than other school in the county.”

Santaluces High decided it wasn’t enough to just help people out for the December holidays but also put together boxes of food for Thanksgiving and delivered them to three of their school families. 

For more information please contact Tracy Paletti at Santaluces High School at

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The School District Transportation Department is proposing to equip 550 of the district’s 800 buses with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to provide better service to students, parents and School District staff.

“The GPS will allow us to track the location and speed of the buses,” said Chief of Support Operations Joseph Sanches.  “It will also let us know if the flashing lights were activated, the stop arms were deployed and the door opened.  We can also tell if the buses have been idling for too long; this will save us gas.”

A contract with Synovia Solutions, LLC for installation of GPS Systems on School Buses and for a Pilot of a Student Ridership Tracking System goes to the School Board for approval at tomorrow night’s School Board meeting. 

There is a feature which will also allow parents to go online via computer, tablet or smartphone to see where their child’s bus is located.  This is a password protected application and parents will only be able to see their child’s bus.  The School District will also be piloting a student tracking system which will allow school officials to know which students get off and on the buses.

The Transportation Department plans on adding GPS to the rest of the buses next year should the funding be approved for Fiscal Year 2014.

For more information please contact Mr. Sanches at 561-357-7573 or .

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The School District of Palm Beach County and the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) have reached Tentative Agreement on contract negotiations. This agreement provides a wage increase for approximately 160 employees represented by the union.The two sides had been in negotiations since last May and concluded bargaining on December 5, 2012.

Some highlights of the agreement include:

  • School police officers will receive a 2% ‘net’ base salary increase retroactive to July, 2012.The 2% ‘net’ increase refers to a 3.5% across-the-board salary increase less the 1.5% value of the PBA Performance-Based Pay Plan which has been suspended for 2013 per this agreement.
  • In addition, PBA employees will receive a one-time bonus of $500.
  • Replaces the step salary schedule with a min-max salary schedule.
  • Incorporates the Insurance Benefit changes into the PBA Contract that were negotiated earlier in coalition bargaining.
  • As a one calendar year pilot, provisions for a new sick leave donation plan, as allowed by FS 1012.61, are now included in the PBA Contract that permit Officers to donate sick leave to a fellow Officer.
  • The definition of “light duty” as it relates to Workers Compensation will now be in the Contract.
  • Establishes an eight-member joint committee to study and recommend revisions to the current Performance Based Pay Plan to make it more stringent.Implementation of these recommendations is subject to future negotiations.
  • Revises the Attendance Incentive Program to reward an Officer $250, minus standard deductions, who has perfect attendance (with certain limited exceptions) for approximately each nine-week grading period as set forth in the adopted School Calendar.The program previously awarded a $700 incentive for perfect attendance over a six month period.
  • The Grievance Procedure is streamlined and updated.
  • The right to conduct random drug testing of Officers is included in the Contract with no objection from PBA or the Officers it represents.
  • Job vacancies will be posted on the bulletin board and also posted via email to all Officers.
  • At least three (3) meetings per year will be scheduled and conducted between three (3) representatives of the Police Department’s command staff (including the Chief) and three (3) PBA representatives to discuss and review issues of importance to the parties.
  • Establishes a new two-calendar year Contract between the SDPBC and PBA effective January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013. The Contract can be reopened on salary should State funding for FY 14 prove to be inadequate to fund the economic provisions of the new Contract; OR should the District incur a liability prior to June 30, 2013 as a result of the final judicial or legislative resolution of the Florida Supreme Court case Scott vs. Williams.

PBA will be conducting a ratification vote of its represented employees later this month. The retroactive wage increases back to July 1, 2012 and the one-time $500 bonus payments will be made after employee ratification and School Board approval of this new Agreement. Pending employee ratification and School Board approval, these wage increases and bonus payments will be made in January.


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Students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members are invited to the School District’s Annual Art Show.  The theme this year is “Celebrating 500 Years of History and the Creative Spirit in Florida.” The exhibition features student artists from various schools around Palm Beach County.

The art show will run through the end of January 2013 with the opening reception on Monday, December 10th, 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center 3300 Forest Hill Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33406.

The K-12 Arts Education Department is anticipating over 700 artists from 70 schools, as well as, student musicians from Palm Beach Central High School and Bak Middle School of the Arts and dance performances by Berkshire Elementary students.

This show is the result of the hard work and dedication of the many visual arts teachers around our District.  Tom Pearson, K-12 Arts Education Administrator for the School District, states, “This is an excellent time and event to celebrate the arts as a growing body of research indicates that students with more arts have a higher academic achievement across the curriculum when compared to students who have less exposure to the arts.”






















For more information contact Mr. Pearson at 561-434-8161 or .

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The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards. The Awards, in their fourth year, serve to honor Palm Beach County public school alumni who have distinguished themselves through achievement, service or contributions to society.

“This program has grown exponentially over the past four years and we are thrilled with the impressive list of individuals we will be honoring in 2013,” said Committee Chair and Foundation Board member, Penny Rodgers. “Honoring alumni is the Foundation’s way of celebrating the exemplary individuals who have graduated from our public school system and gone on to make great strides in life both professionally and philanthropically. People go in various directions throughout their lives, but at the core it is our K-12 education that truly shapes the person we, one day, will become.”

  Inductees into the Class of 2013

Lifetime Achievement:

Owen H. Gassaway, Jr., Florida Airmotive, Inc. (Posthumous)

Graduated: Palm Beach High


Jason D. Brian, Founder & CEO –

Graduated: Palm Beach Gardens High


Adam “AJ” Brockman, Principal – Single Handed Studio

Graduated: Palm Beach Gardens High


Elvin J. Dowling, President & CEO – Global Image Consulting, LLC

Graduated: Palm Beach Lakes Community High


Lee D. Kaplan, M.D., Chief, Division of Sports Medicine – University of Miami

Graduated: Palm Beach Gardens High


Shannon LaRocque, PE, Asst. County Administrator – Board of County Commissioners

Graduated: John I. Leonard High


Catherine Lowe, M.D., L.L.D., President & Owner – Ophthalmologist

Graduated: Lake Shore Junior/Senior High


H. William Perry, Managing Shareholder – Gunster Law Firm

Graduated: Palm Beach Gardens High


Elizabeth Tiedemann Maass Circuit Court Judge, 15th Judicial Circuit (Retired)

Graduated: North Shore High


Charles E. Shaw, School Board Chairman – School District of Palm Beach County

Graduated: Forest Hill High


Kelly L. Smallridge, President & CEO – Business Development Board

Graduated: John I. Leonard High


Susan Spencer-Wendel, Reporter & Author – The Palm Beach Post and Harper Collins

Graduated: Forest Hill High

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. is dedicated to advancing excellence in public education by increasing public awareness and sustaining community support for programs focused on Learning, Literacy and Leadership.

A dinner and awards ceremony will be held Thursday, February 28, 2013 at the West Palm Beach Marriott. Sponsorship opportunities, tables and tickets are available for purchase through the Education Foundation.

For additional event information, please contact Tracy Rudnick at 561-434-8428 or

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The 2011-2012 School Public Accountability Reports (SPARs) are online and available to parents and community members in accordance with Florida State Board of Education Rule 6A-1.09982 entitled Reporting Requirements for School Improvement and Accountability.  The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) generated these reports to comply with federal legislation that requires annual report cards on the educational progress of schools.


The reports are on the FLDOE website at


The SPARs contain a wide range of school data that can assist parents and communities in making appropriate decisions about a child’s education and school.  The reports also assist the School Advisory Council at each school in identifying areas of need and in setting goals for improvement. 

Parents received notification from their child’s school of the report’s availability, including how it can be viewed or obtained.  

For questions contact Nancy E. Brito, Accountability Department, at (561) 357-7521 or via email at






 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

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The School District of Palm Beach County and the Association of Educational Secretaries and Office Professionals (AESOP) have reached Tentative Agreement on contract negotiations.  This agreement provides a wage increase for the 2,000 employees represented by the union.  The two sides had been in negotiations since last May and concluded bargaining on December 5, 2012. 

Some highlights of the agreement include: 

  • Salary increase of $0.72 cents per hour for all AESOP represented employees retroactive to July 1, 2012.        
  • In addition, AESOP employees will receive a one-time bonus of $500.
  • AESOP employees whose children are enrolled in any of the District’s After School Child Care programs will be eligible for a 25% employee discount.
  • The additional pay for employees assigned to serve medically complex students is increased $0.50 cents from $1.50 to $2.00 per hour.
  • The additional pay for paraprofessional employees who are assigned to a defined Emotionally/Behaviorally Disordered (E/BD) self-contained unit on a full-time basis is increased $0.50 cents per hour from $0.75 to $1.25 per hour.
  • The attendance incentive pay is discontinued effective January 1, 2013.  The funding for the attendance incentive pay was combined with the initial District 2% salary offer to achieve the $0.72 cents per hour increase.  
  • Given the uniform $0.72 increase to the hourly rate, the effective salary percentage increase will vary based on the employees’ current salary level.  The average salary increase across the employee group is 5%.  After considering the elimination of the attendance incentive, the net increase to base salary is 2%.

AESOP will be conducting a ratification vote of its represented employees later this month.  The retroactive wage increases back to July 1, 2012 and the one-time $500 bonus payments will be made after employee ratification and School Board approval of this new Agreement.  Pending employee ratification and School Board approval, these wage increases and bonus payments will be made in January.



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The Roosevelt Leadership Academy for Young Men, opening in August 2013, is the first of its kind in the School District of Palm Beach County.  The Leadership Academy is a single gender school designed to develop well-rounded students that are prepared academically, socially and emotionally for success beyond the classroom.

As the School District moves forward in developing a stellar academic program for males, the district welcomes and values community input. A Community Input meeting will be held Tuesday, December 11th at 6:00 PM in the cafeteria at Roosevelt Full Service Community School.  School Distinct personnel will discuss; mission and vision, curriculum design, school growth, enrollment requirements, community partnerships.

The School district is also looking forward to forming business and community partnerships, which will assist in building a strong foundation.


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When faced with no place to hold the 6th annual Mother Son Movie Night, Jupiter High School stepped in to assist their neighbor schools of Beacon Cove and Lighthouse Elementary by opening their football field for the event.  Tonight’s Mother Son Movie Night will be held for the first time at Jupiter High School.  

Expected are 585 mothers and sons who will picnic and watch the movie Madagascar 3 under the stars.  ”Everyone at Jupiter High School has been so helpful and made sure there were solutions for any problem we encountered.  We are so appreciative of the support and assistance we have received from everyone at Jupiter High.  They have made this night possible,” said Suzanne Ferrell, event chairperson.  “It is so wonderful knowing that this type of support exists between schools and within the community.”

Also stepping in to make this a memorable night for everyone is the main sponsor Riverwalk Dental Group.  Publix generously supplied the popcorn to make the movie night complete.

For more information please contact Lighthouse Elementary Principal Leslie Bolte at 561-741-9404 or .

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WHAT:          Title I Parent Training and Technology Night

WHO:             Parents and Guardians

WHEN:          Tuesday, December 18, 2012,    6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:        South Intensive Transition School Cafeteria
1509 Barton Rd., Lake Worth, FL 33460

WHY:             The goal of the Parent Training and Technology Night is to build capacity of all parents to understand how to improve student’s academic or social achievement in reading, math, science, writing, behavior and technology.

For more information, call (561) 202-0600 or visit edline page at

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As an art teacher, Stephanie Chesler is dedicated to art education as demonstrated through her commitment to the artistic development of students and support of other art teachers throughout Palm Beach County.  She has been teaching at Bak Middle School of the Arts since 1994 where she developed the curriculum for a full photography program.  

“When most people think of “an artist”, they tend to categorize and define them as being blessed with a specific singular talent, such as a painter, photographer, sculptor, dancer, actor, musician or filmmaker,” said Ms. Chesler. “But artists are so much more.  Artists are people that have the ability to think fluently with the creative side of their brains, and are always thinking about new ideas and out of the box solutions to a problem. I believe the development of this creative edge via arts education is what will place our students at the forefront of a rapidly evolving global economy.”

For achieving the highest level of professionalism in art education, Ms. Chesler has been named Florida’s 2012 Middle School Art Educator of the Year by the Florida Art Education Association (FAEA).  “It is clear to me that supporting the arts on every level is a crucial mission for education now and for the future,” said Ms. Chesler. “I am honored to be an art educator, and especially proud to be recognized by the FAEA. Thank you to my wonderful school, Bak Middle School of the Arts, my students and my fellow arts educators for their support.

Ms. Chesler is also one of the executive directors for The Educational Gallery Group, a nonprofit organization that offers a year round curriculum of gallery shows, events, workshops for students and teachers, and art classes for students in K-12.  Her co-worker Lianne Lavoy states, “Stephanie is tireless in her energy to promote learning in our school as well as various off campus teaching and training.”

Marie Turchiaro, Principal of the Palm Beach Maritime Academy, has been named Florida’s 2012 Principal of the Year by the FAEA.  For the past 11 years, Ms. Turchiaro has been the Principal of Palm Beach Maritime Academy, a charter school in West Palm Beach.  Prior to becoming a principal, Ms. Turchiaro taught students with learning disabilities in New York and middle school students where she incorporated art and music into the English and social studies curriculum.  After moving to Florida, she served as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and now Principal. According to art educators Carly Mejeur and Traci Hochstetter, “Ms. Turchiaro whole-heartedly supports the visual arts program at Palm Beach Maritime Academy, and encourages continued growth and improvement.”

The Florida Art Education Association serves visual art teachers, professors, administrators, museum educators and students, encourages research in art education; holds public discussions; sponsors institutes and conferences; publishes articles, reports and surveys; works with other related agencies in support of visual arts education and annually honors outstanding art educators and supporters in visual arts education. 

Ms. Chesler and Ms. Turchiaro received their awards at a special recognition ceremony held during the 2012 FAEA Conference in St. Petersburg, which marked the 60th anniversary of the organization.  With these awards, Palm Beach County art educators continue their consistent track record of recognition each year from FAEA in this and other categories.

For more information please contact Vickie Middlebrooks, Public Affairs at 561-357-7661 or .

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Over the course of a month long school wide competition between Social Studies classes, Suncoast High School students raised $9398.76 to support Honor Flight of Southeast Florida.  This effort will enable 19 South Florida World War II veterans to take part in an upcoming Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. where the veterans are given VIP treatment and taken to the World War II Memorial and other sites at no cost to them. 

Individual Suncoast High Social Studies classes competed to win a massive ice cream party courtesy of the school’s Honor Flight Club, sponsored by Department Chair David Traill.  The winning class, made up of juniors, is taught by Lee Slattery and raised over $2000 alone, making them responsible for sending four veterans as a class.

For more information please contact Mr. Traill at 561-882-3400 or .

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Cooper Kennedy, a fourth grader at Poinciana Elementary, knows how important it is to “Just say no to drugs.”  In fact he decorated his door at home with a big poster depicting children playing and practicing sports with a message stating “The best me is drug free.”

Kennedy’s door decoration won him the Region 4 Red Ribbon Week national photo contest award. He is one among ten winners nationwide who participated in the contest and received the most votes for their photos in an online competition.

The Red Ribbon initiative message is, ‘Just say no to drugs’.  For winning the contest, Cooper will get an ipad, and the school will receive $1,000.00 to use on drug prevention and incentives for students. Representatives from and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will present the check to Poinciana Elementary at a general assembly on December 14, 2012 at 1:15 PM at the school cafeteria.

“I’m really excited to see the Red Ribbon Campaign extended to our families’ homes. The school campaign is impactful alone, but when combined with support from families in the community, we can really see change,” said Poinciana Elementary Principal Lisa Lee.

The National Family Partnership (NFP) organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign. NFP provides drug awareness by sponsoring the annual National Red Ribbon celebration. Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction by drugs in America.

To learn more about the contest and winners, please visit

For more information, contact Lisa Lee at (561) 739.5700 or email

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The Wellness Promotion Task Force will be hosting a “Wellness Celebration” to thank and recognize individuals, staff members and community organizations for their contributions to the District’s wellness efforts. 

When? Thursday, December 6, 2012

            3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Meet & Greet

            4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Recognitions and Awards 

Where? Fulton Holland Educational Services Center – Board Room – 3300 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33406. 

Keynote Speaker, Brian Sheen Ph.D., has a passion for integrated and healthy living, combined with 42 years of research and creativity. He has authored six books and recorded over 50 CD’s of his research. He is a dynamic, practical and empowering coach, alternative health practitioner, and a trainer for personal growth that expands into corporate success.  The United State Jaycees honored him with a National Award for his work.

Dr. Sheen combines a unique blend of science, psychology, business management and spirituality that empowers individuals to reach heightened levels of fulfillment and satisfaction in their mental emotional, physical, spiritual, financial and interpersonal lives.  He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, in USA Today and on hundreds of radio, TV and media outlets throughout the United States. 

He has founded The Quantum Empowerment Center, The Florida Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FICAM), and iFlourish Corporate Training. 

Dr. Sheen also serves as a current Board Member for the Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental ChangE (ACHIEVE) Initiative in Palm Beach County.

Employees, teachers and community partners will be recognized for their support in areas such as exceptional service, nutrition, prevention, better health among others. Special student presentations will feature A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Springs Middle School and Indian Pines Elementary. 

The purpose of the Wellness Promotion Task Force is to create a forum to educate the District and community partners to successfully collaborate in promoting healthier lives. The direction of the task force is to encourage a proactive approach to promote health and wellness among all children, staff, parents and community members. 

Members of the media are welcomed to attend. 

For more information contact Paula Triana, R.D, L.D./N., District’s Co-Chair of the Wellness Promotion Task Force at (561) 383-2026 or via email at  







Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

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Under his guidance, Todd LaVogue’s students created a TV show about ancient Egypt to gain a deeper understanding of life during that time. The Roosevelt Middle School students used Word, Internet Explorer and video editing software to research and create a “TODAY”- style news program with news, weather, sports, cooking, lifestyle, history and music segments. The students compared and contrasted ancient Egypt with today’s society and in the end they had a better understanding of what it would have been like to have lived during that time.

Mr. LaVogue’s work was so innovative, it has won an Educator’s Choice Award at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum in Prague, Czech Republic.  As one of the five winners from the United States, Mr. LaVogue took third place in the Educator’s Choice category for the project titled “What’s Up Egypt?” 

500 of the most innovative teachers, school leaders, education leaders and government officials from 80 countries gathered for the Global Forum.  Teachers who attend the Forum are regional finalists selected from more than 250,000 teachers registered across national and regional forums throughout the year.  Microsoft honors 21 global educators as winners of the Innovative Educator Awards in six categories.

 Lee Kolbert, School District Manager, Department of Educational Technology said, “Todd is one of those teachers who makes you wish you had teachers just like him when you were a kid. When you hear him describe his students, it’s as if he’s describing his own children. His passion for sharing is only superseded by his love for learning. I’m so proud of Todd and all that he has accomplished.”

Mr. LaVogue will be recognized by the School Board for his creative use of technology in the classroom to enhance student success, at the December 12th School Board meeting. 

For more information please contact Roosevelt Middle School Principal Jo Anne Rogers at 561-822-0200 or .

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While many are unfamiliar with the term, “Prism Concert”, the Literary and Fine Arts Academy (LFAA) at Watson B. Duncan Middle will introduce many to the concept this Wednesday, December 5th. The prism concert concept is derived from the prism which reveals the varied colors of light. A prism concert presents the many facets of performance art in as pure a form as possible without applause, gaps between performances and visual distraction.

The cafeteria at Duncan Middle will be transformed into total darkness, using a single spotlight to illuminate the talent of each of the academy’s strands. The prism effect will be achieved by the Theatrical Academy performing “A Christmas Carol”, Vocal Academy solos and duets projecting beautifully from the sides of the stage-on ground level, Instrumental Academy solos and ensemble pieces floating in from the sides of the audience, dramatic readings written and read by the Literary Academy students, and Visual Academy students’ work displayed toward the back of the area.

The prism concert will highlight the varied talents of the Literary and Fine Arts Academy students with an artful arrangement of performance and exhibited art. The show will begin at 7:00pm in Watson B. Duncan Middle’s Cafeteria; tickets are $5 and are available at the door. “The students and faculty of the Literary and Fine Arts Academy sincerely hope that you will join us for this annual display of student talent,” said Kate Wynn, Literary and Fine Arts Academy Coordinator.

For more information please contact Ms. Wynn at 561-776-3596 or .

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 Forest Hill High School Assistant Principal, David J. Reilly, received one of two 21st Century Awards given each year for pioneering work in the field of continuing education at the recent Annual LERN Conference held in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Reilly, a 40-year educator, received the honor for pioneering work in the organization’s  International Learning Units (Outcome based measurements) and LERN’s Standards  Certificate during the conference which was held November 16-18.  

 The District veteran has served as LERN’s chairman of the Board during 2010 and 2011. He also received the Robert A Smith Award for Excellence in Community Education from the Palm Beach County Assistant Principals for Community Education last year.

LERN, or the Learning Resources Network, is an international organization of lifelong learning programming, offering information and resources to providers of lifelong learning programs.


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Fifty-six 4 and 5 year olds to travel to Dreyfoos School of the Arts for a day filled with fun, food and gifts!

The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts A.R.T.S. Club has once again teamed up with the National Honor Society (NHS) students to host the annual Holiday Outreach Party for pre-school students from Canal Point, Pioneer Park and Pahokee Elementary on December 5th beginning at 10 AM in the school’s media center.  The A.R.T.S. Club is an all school club filled with talented and enthusiastic 9th – 12th grade students who want to use their talents to enrich our community.  They focus their efforts on offering outreach to needy young students, homeless families and to the elderly.  With many of those students also in the National Honor Society it is a natural that the two clubs join together to make this event happen each year!

 It all starts when A.R.T.S. Club sponsor Lea Jefferson and West Area Title I Social Services facilitator Carolyn Vickers make contact in early September to set a date and make plans to bring the children on buses into the downtown West Palm Beach arts school.   The children then wait with excitement for the day to arrive when they can sample Dreyfoos holiday cheer and teenage mentoring that includes performances and sing-a-longs, holiday craft making, pizza eating and cookie decorating – and of course, a visit from Santa for each child!  Dreyfoos A.R.T.S. Club seniors Carl Amritt, Mikeshia Lewin, Ariana Karpinia and Valentina Botero lead up the organization of the event and National Honor Society club sponsor, Richard Gallo and students organize the toy drive.   

 At the conclusion of the day – each child receives a new book donated by a community reading advocate to take back to their home to share and read with their family.  The party is made possible because of a generous donation from Arrigo Dodge Chrysler Jeep of West Palm Beach and from Dreyfoos students who collect new toys and clothes to make each child’s wish list come true!

A.R.T.S. Club members gather to wrap gifts.

Back row; left to right: Cris Carianna, Gabriella Romano, Rachel Randolph, Juan Granados, Charlie Krumholz, Carl Amritt

Second row – left to right: Mikeshia Lewin, Ariana Karpinia, Casey Tarenella, Lauren Stein

Front row – left to right: Chloe Farmer, Valentina Botero



The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts was founded in 1989 as the premier arts high school in the School District of Palm Beach County, the nation’s eleventh largest school district which serves a county geographically larger than Rhode Island or Delaware.  This Choice Program school accepts students based upon a competitive audition process from all public and private middle and high schools in the county.  With a current enrollment of 1,300 students, the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts offers its students intensive study within their art area and a rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum.  The innovative program has led to the school receiving a multitude of awards and recognitions on all levels, local to international, including a 2007 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon School Award, a rank of 37 in Newsweek’s ranking of America’s best high schools (2012), and the 2008 Palm Beach County Cultural Council Muse Award for Arts or Cultural Organization / Budget over $500,000.



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The 38th Annual University of South Florida Festival of Winds last weekend included five students from Santaluces High School. Over three hundred students from around the state participated in this year’s festival.  The intent of the four-day event is to provide participants with an experience that will help them develop their musicianship at both the individual and ensemble level.  From November 28th-December 2nd, students visited different areas of the campus, enjoyed choral and musical performances by university students, and attended master classes in addition to auditioning and performing in concerts themselves.

Jimmy Eshbach, a junior clarinet player, and Kevin Allian, a junior tuba player, earned top honors by making the festival’s top honor band, known as the Wind Ensemble. Connor Stage, Geoffrey Leach, and Charlie Basantes also attended the Festival and were placed in the Symphonic Bands.

For more details, contact Santaluces Band Director Manuel Camacho, 561.642.6200, or email


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South Intensive Transition School is the winner of the Wellness Program Event “Apple a Day” spearheaded by the Department of Risk & Benefits Management at the School District of Palm Beach County. The goal of the Wellness Program is to establish a workplace that encourages and supports a healthy lifestyle by integrating health promotion and resources that help to enhance health and well-being.

“It’s been a week since the competition ended and we are missing all of the apples – or maybe it’s just seeing all your beautiful faces and fun apple photos. We hope that you had as much fun with the competition as we did! Ideally, it sparked something in your core to continue pursuing ways to improve your health,” said the Apple a Day team.

South Intensive Transition School has emphasized the importance of keeping faculty, staff, students and families healthy. It has also focused on diminishing the risk factors among at-risk members and improving the health of those who already have chronic conditions by encouraging them to make lifestyle changes.

“It is important that everyone has access to resources to make informed decisions about their health,” commented Assistant Principal Terrence Narinesingh, “we have the responsibility of ensuring that our students perform at their best both mentally and physically.”

“The Apple-A-Day Experience was wonderful!”  said Principal Dr. Voncia Haywood. “Our entire school family became more mindful of the need for healthy living and well-being through class instruction, science projects, reading literature and daily announcements.  Our staff and students encouraged each other, creating a terrific school-wide team spirit!”

Congratulations to Jacques Nicholas and Joan Clarke-Green for making it to the Apple a Day Honor Roll.

For more information, please visit the Apple a Day website or contact Terrence Narinesingh at 561-202-0600 or email


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Gove Elementary Wellness Student Council participated in the pre-game and half time celebration during the recent Dolphin vs. Seahawks game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. 

Students during pregame. Kevin Taylor, local hero, receiving an award.

“We would like to thank the Dairy Council of Florida, Mr. Randy Burnham and Allison Ducey, plus the NFL Play 60 for the unforgettable memories for our 20 students,” said Mr. Darren Edgecomb, Principal.

The Student Wellness Council earned this experience by completing challenges in the NFL Play 60 grant. They did a community walk to school in October, provided a pep rally for the whole school to commit to the NFL Play 60 pledge of exercising 60 minutes a day, promoted eating healthy and being of good character for the community. 

Mr. Darren Edgecomb and students during halftime excercising.

The Council also did a Quaker Oats Oatmeal Breakfast Challenge at one of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meetings and planned several other projects for the New Year. Some of those wellness initiatives include a health fair, community walk, 3rd grade family fitness night with the Lakeside Medical Center and many more. 

“We would also like to thank our awesome Gove staff: Michelle Kalsbeck, Coach Carril, Sheila Houston, Sheila Bynes, Rick Beth, Jerry Smith and Principal Mr. Edgecomb who chaperoned this event,” added Ms. Ellen Smith, Wellness Teacher.  

Students "powering up" with granola bars and chocolate milk before the game.

For more information contact Ellen Smith at (561) 993-8700 or via email at






 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

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First graders and high school students will come together to present a Holiday Show to benefit a local organization that supports the homeless.  Debbi Delgado-Coccia’s First Grade class from Lighthouse Elementary and Michelle Barows’ American Sign Language students from William T. Dwyer High School will present the Annual American Sign Language Program beginning at6:00 PM, Thursday, December 13 in the Lighthouse Elementary Cafetorium. 

“Our holiday show is the result of a cooperative program between Dwyer High School and Lighthouse Elementary School,” said Ms. Delgado-Coccia. “The high school students work throughout the year teaching American Sign Language to the first graders and the festive Holiday program is filled music, dancing, cheers and tears.”

Once again the show is a benefit for the Lord’s Place, a nonprofit, non-sectarian, 501(c)3 organization that has been changing the lives of homeless families and individuals in Palm Beach County for over 30-years. The agency is committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness.

The students are asking for everyone who comes to the show to support the organization by bringing a donation of a nonperishable food or bag of diapers to the program.  They will have a table set up to accept these donations as well as any monetary donations that come in.

For more information please contact Lighthouse Elementary Principal Leslie Bolte at 561-741-9400 or .

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Twenty years ago, then-Palm Beach County School District Area Superintendent Dr. Marshall Jenkins arrived in the school system from New York and immediately became  immersed in the work to integrate and improve public education here.

His work was also responsible for bringing the “school within a school” concept to Palm Beach County.  Twenty years later, he has published a book about his work: Intellectually Persecuted.

“It is the story of some of the challenges I experienced in integrating the school systems in the north and the south,” said Dr. Jenkins. “It is about my fight for equal education for our children, along with similar challenges that I had in performing duties of my job descriptions and in following the law of the land. Many obstacles were thrown in my path.”

While the formal publication date is December 11, 2012, Dr. Jenkins is scheduled for two book signings:

Saturday December 8, 2012, from 2:00 p.m.  to 4:45 p.m. at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach (formerly West Palm Beach Library),  411 Clematis St.,  West Palm Beach, FL    33401.  
Friday, December 14, 2012, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Sunset Lounge,  609 – 8th Street, West Palm Beach, FL  33401.
Dr. Jenkins has dedicated the book to Black Colleges throughout the country. “It is my desire to put a copy of this book in the home of all our children, as it describes achievement in spite of….., ” he said.

For more information, contact Dr. Marshall Jenkins at 561-683-0965.