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More than one hundred students participated in the 2013 Palm Beach County National History Day/Florida History Fair February 19th at West Boca Raton Community High School. Each year students nation-wide select a historical topic related to the annual theme, conduct primary and secondary source research, and present their findings in the form of original papers, documentaries, performances, exhibits, and  websites. The 2013 theme is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”

To prepare for the fair competition students search libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and visit historic sites. After they analyze and interpret sources to draw conclusions about the significance of their topic, fair participants present their work before of a team of judges. The School District of Palm Beach County supports the goals and mission of National History Day/Florida History Fair. Laurie Cotton, Secondary Social Studies Administrator for the School District stated, “National History Day/Florida History Fair is the ultimate project-based learning that can be integrated into any social studies classroom. With the advent of Common Core Standards, National History Day helps teachers expand and enrich the existing curriculum and offers a meaningful experience for their students.”

The following students were the overall district winners in the Senior Division:


  • Honorable Mention:   Daniel Spencer  – Park Vista High School    
  • Second Place:  Olivia Schiffman   – Spanish River High School
  • First Place:    Christian Hunt –  American Heritage School

EXHIBIT (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention:    Madie Miller  –  American Heritage School
  • Second Place:    Breanne Lindenbaugh   – American Heritage School
  • First Place:   Sara Valdez  –  Park Vista High School

EXHIBIT (Group):

  • Honorable Mention:   Justin Wisnicki, Grace Hines  – Oxbridge Academy
  • Second Place:    Sunnah Lindahl, Lauren Manning  – Park Vista High School
  • First Place:   Nadja Clark, Sasha Rader – American Heritage School

WEBSITE (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention:   Maria Grimmet  – Oxbridge Academy   
  • Second Place:   Emily Greentree –  A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
  • First Place:    Mitchell Lewis  –  Spanish River High School

WEBSITE (Group):

  • Honorable Mention:   Ali Bowlby, Samantha Sheppe, Anna Shea – Oxbridge Academy
  • Second Place: Brooke Jemison, Kristen Vitagliano, Alana O’Brien  – West Boca Raton High School
  • First Place:    Abby Greentree, Sophie Press, Katie Meyers  –  A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts

DOCUMENTARY (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention:   Tova Jones  –  Oxbridge Academy
  • Second Place:    –   Hannah Coy –   American Heritage School
  • First Place:   –  Gabrielle Deutch  – Spanish River High School


  • Honorable Mention:  Madie Anderson, Sarah Cook, Aleksi Turkki  – Oxbridge Academy
  • Second Place:    Rachel Randolph, Alice Zhou  –  A.W. Dreyfoos School of Arts
  • First Place:   Stephen Berkner, Ryenne Dietrick, Jake Reinhart  – Oxbridge Academy  

PERFORMANCE (Individual):                          

  • First Place:    Laura Zemel –  Spanish River High School               


  • First Place:   Luke Li Logsdon, Marco Olortegui –  American Heritage School

The following students were the overall district winners in the Junior Division:


  • Honorable Mention:  Gaby Moroz  – Omni Middle School
  • Second Place:  Grace Robbins – St. Vincent Ferrer Parish School
  • First Place:  Elena Lopez-Belio  – American Heritage School

EXHIBIT (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention : Alex Larson – American Heritage School
  • Second Place: Martin Capriles  – Omni Middle School
  • First Place: Josh Romero – Omni Middle School

EXHIBIT (Group):

  • Honorable Mention: Brenda Gomes, Lucinda Mills – American Heritage School   
  • Second Place: Shane Barta, Pablo Falcon  – St. Vincent Ferrer Parish School
  • First Place: Christer Alf, Vincent Gasparri –  American Heritage School                      

WEBSITE (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention:  Kaleigh Krolokowski – American Heritage School
  • Second Place: Alyson Scardinia – Omni Middle School
  • First Place:  Matthew Rubenstein  –  American Heritage School              

WEBSITE (Group):

  • First Place:  Joseph Marchand, Andrew Rubenstein –  American Heritage School


  • Honorable Mention:   Brea McNamara, Cristina Beck, Brooke Salvato, Kathryn Wigderson, Elena Mackiewicz  – St. Vincent Ferrer Parish School
  • Second Place: Tarin McNamara, Luke Brinkman, Jayson Chung  School – St. Vincent Ferrer Parish School
  • First Place:   Cloe Cantin, Sariah Moore – American Heritage School  

Ms. Cotton said, “Congratulations to fair participants for embarking on their National History Day journey.” First and second place award winners are eligible to compete at the state Florida History Fair competition May 5-7, 2013 in Tallahassee. An awards assembly to recognize District fair finalists will be held Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM at the Flagler Museum, One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, Florida.

For more information, contact Laurie Cotton, Secondary Social Studies Administrator, at (561) 357-1160 or

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A collaboration of Palm Beach County PTAs will work together to raise awareness of the Childhood Obesity Crisis across America and to develop Health and Wellness Grants for children in our community.  The day will include: Sports clinics, healthy snacks, family activities, wellness vendors, a visit from Ronald McDonald, and so much more.

When: Saturday, February 23, 2013

Where: Spanish River High School at 5100 Jog Road, Boca Raton

Time: 2-4pm

All activities are for families to participate together:

Busy Body Gym… ZUMBA®, Boxing, and Boot Camp

East Coast School of Self Defense… Martial Arts

Spanish River High School Student Sports Clinics…

Lacrosse, Soccer, Basketball, Cheerleading

School District of Palm Beach County… Family Obstacle Course

Visit from Ronald McDonald

Blood Drive

For more information please email

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Galaxy Elementary students excelled this year at the Secme Olympiad placing first in water rockets and also received Honorable Mention for the overall district competition.  Nearly seven hundred students from 51 schools participated in the 2013 Palm Beach County SECME (Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics, and Enrichment) Elementary Olympiad that recently took place on February 9, 2013 at Santaluces High School.  During the Olympiad, students participated in a variety of competitions which included bridges, mousetrap cars, water rockets, Brain Bowl, essays, poems, banners, and posters.  The theme for this year’s SECME program is “THINK it’s imPOSSIBLE? THINK sySTEMically. THINK SECME!”

 “We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments in the SECME competition,” said Galaxy Principal Edmund Capitano. “They are bright, ingenious and creative, which are all the finest characteristics of a SECME participant,” he added.

The following Galaxy Elementary students participated in this year’s Olympiad:

Janaya Manuel – 2nd grade

Nehemie Perpilus – 4th grade

Alexis Benitez – 4th grade

Mykyaia Byrd – 5th Grade

Obed Vital – 5th grade

Marlens Elysee – 5th grade

The Galaxy SECME Coordinator is Carolyn Coniglio and the Assistant-Coordinator, Johnetta Colson.



SECME was founded in 1975 by the Engineering Deans from seven Southeastern universities: Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Tennessee, Tennessee State, and Tuskegee.  SECME competitions began in Palm Beach County with five schools in 1985.  Today SECME is a non-profit alliance that extends to 40 school systems, 39 major engineering universities, and industries and agencies in 15 states, the District of Columbia, and Grand Bahamas. SECME’s mission is to increase the pool of historically under-represented and under-served students who will be prepared to enter and complete post-secondary studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce. SECME provides teacher professional development and coordinates student competitions across the country. Its National Headquarters is housed on the campus of The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.  The School District of Palm Beach County supports the goals and mission of SECME.

For more information, contact Edmund Capitano at

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Vodcast is the video sharing system used by the School District of Palm Beach County where the public, students, teachers and staff can view a variety of videos. Now, this feature is available in the Apple App Store.  Just search for “SDPBC” and download the FREE District Vodcast app! 



The Vodcast Mobile App is a universal App for iPad and iPhones running iOS6 or better.  This application leverages the capabilities of your iOS device in order to provide fast and easy access to a wide variety of Vodcast Web Application features such as searching and browsing the entire Vodcast video catalog, in-app video playback, and social sharing options exclusive to the app. 

In addition to these publicly available features, District employees can log in to gain access to manage their favorites and upload videos directly from their iOS devices. 

This application was created as the Information Technology Web Development Team’s first foray into native mobile development.  “Vodcast’s diverse feature set provided a unique opportunity to explore many facets of mobile development while offering a more convenient way for District employees to interact and contribute content to the system,” said Kara Rubinson, General Manager, IT Solutions. 

For more information, contact Kara Rubinson at 561- 434-8951 or via email at







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

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Support Our School Gardens! Come to Pine Jog Elementary’s Strawberry Festival


The Pine Jog Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is sponsoring the 5th Annual Strawberry Festival. 

When?  Saturday, February 16th, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Where? Pine Jog Elementary - 6315 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33415  

The festival began 5 years ago and was created to celebrate the harvest of Pine Jog’s 4,000 plant hydroponic gardens and its abundant strawberry crop.  The garden is managed by the OWL (Our World Leaders) team, who created a business plan for the garden while learning science, math, and business skills. 

There will be music, games, fresh strawberries and vegetables, homemade smoothies and a chocolate fountain with vendor booths, and lots of fun things to do.  Pine Jog Elementary invites all of the members of the community to support the biggest fundraising event of the year. 

The School District of Palm Beach County is committed to modeling environmental stewardship, wisely managing the use of natural resources, and supporting conservation.  One of the main purposes is to educate students, teachers, administrators, and staff about the importance of conservation and environmental awareness. 

The following business partners have been instrumental in the realization of this event and support the programs at Pine Jog Elementary: Toyota,Fun Services, Atlas Surveying and mapping, Ken Shin Kan of Florida, AT&T, Small Animals Club, Ashley’s Performing Arts Center, Dr. Fara Bender, Deli Inn, Five Star Accounting and Solutions, Teddy’s Wing Shack, La Brasa, Backyard Depot, Fiesta Auto Insurance, Great Expectations Childcare and 1-9 Sports.

For more information contact Fred Barch at (561) 656-5401 or via e-mail at   






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

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Dr. Anthony Lockhart, Atlantic High School Principal, will be honored during the 10th Annual African Diaspora Awards and Dinner Ceremony that will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 6 :30 P. M. at the Delray Beach Marriott Hotel.

The ceremony, organized by Perfect Results Incorporated, will also recognize several other honorees for their ‘Knowledge, Power and Service’. Among them are,  Ottis Jerome Anderson, NFL Legend – Judge Sheree Davis Cunningham, 15th Judicial Court, West Palm Beach – Emily Patricia Dobard, Educator – Hyacinth Wideman, from Florida Atlantic University – Brandon Flowers, from NFL Kansas City Chiefs – Mayor Thomas Masters, City of Riviera Beach, Florida – Dr. Barbara Carey Shuler, Shuler’s Memorial Chapel – Dr. Jon Mark Wesley, Vascular Surgeon.

RSVP by February 16, 2013 by calling (561) 278-3577 or email

Tickets are sold for $ 60.00 and can be purchase at His & Hers Hair Boutique, 404 W. Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.

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The Annual Hawks Family Fun Day offers FREE admission and promises entertainment for everyone including a BBQ, car show, big truck and swamp buggy show, green market, sidewalk chalk contest, entertainment, vendors, games and so much more. 

When? Saturday, February 23, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Where? Seminole Ridge Community High School – 4601 Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd., Loxahatchee. 

The Car Show and Big Truck and Swamp Buggy show is open to all makes, models and years. All vehicles must be at the school no later than 8:00 a.m. and stay for the judging at 2:00 p.m.  Pre-register your vehicle for $15.00 by February 20, 2013. The sidewalk chalk contest is open to anyone interested. 

The Silent Auction will feature items and services from local businesses as well as themed band section baskets.  DONATIONS ARE NEEDED and are tax deductible. 

Vendor spaces are still available for any local businesses, agencies or organizations that are interested in showcasing their efforts.  

All proceeds benefit the programs at Seminole Ridge High Community High School. 

For more information, contact Roy Morgan at 561-644-1090 or Candi McLeod at 561-635-0740 or via email at







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

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Westward Elementary teacher Chris Persaud, will receive a special visit from the We Give Books ReadMobile for his students and his school. A third grade teacher, now in his second year, Mr. Persaud was selected out of hundreds of people to receive this once-in-a-lifetime reading celebration.

WHAT: Children and faculty at Westward Elementary International Magnet School will get a special visit from the ReadMobile onFriday, February 15, and receive books provided by the Pearson Foundation.

WHERE: Westward Elementary International Magnet School

1101 Golf Avenue

West Palm Beach FL 33401

WHEN: Friday, February 15 at 8:15 AM

The We Give Books campaign is a major effort by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation, to equip families, classrooms and libraries with print and online books for children. The Pearson Foundation has donated more than a million books and has challenged the community to read a million more by the end of this school year. A digital collection of several hundred children’s books is also available for teachers and families to access for free at

About the Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at

About We Give Books

We Give Books is a philanthropic program from Penguin and the Pearson Foundation that helps children become lifelong readers and givers. Together, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation support literacy through programs that engage entire communities. Working around the world through programs like Booktime and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation have touched millions of lives in thousands of communities. For more information, visit

For more information please contact Stacey Finkel, Pearson Foundation at or 703-304-1377.

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The National FFA Organization (formerly Future Farmers of America) envisions a future in which all agricultural education students will discover their passion in life and build on that insight to chart the course for their educations, career and personal future.

Jupiter High FFA students recently competed in four events at the South Florida Fair.  In the horticulture contest Jupiter took first, second and third place with the first place team consisted of Brian Hemphill (overall highest score), Ally Causey (second highest score), Shane Brooks and Kelsey Mackey.  The second place team members were Nicole Cornwell (third highest score), Kaitlyn Bailey, and John Chanda followed by Jeremy Sissom, Lexi Barchuk.   The horticulture contest is based on the state FFA Nursery/Landscape event where students must identify plants, insects and diseases along with landscape tools.

Jupiter also competed in the Dairy Judging event.  This event helps students understand the best genetic traits to look for in animals.  There were over 100 competitors in this event and several Jupiter students placed in this event with Jenn Debono in seventh place overall, Giana Laughlin in eighth overall and Alec Freel in tenth overall.  Jupiter also had the fourth and fifth place teams in the event with the fourth place team missing out on a trophy by just eight points out of 900 total points. 

In addition to these events Jupiter took part in the vegetable and horse evaluation contests.  Jupiter came away with the fourth and fifth place teams in vegetable.  In the vegetable event students had to identify different varieties of vegetables along with seeds, insects, diseases, weeds, and grade vegetables based on any possible defects.

“Congratulations to all these Jupiter FFA members on their success at the South Florida Fair,” said Derrick Crum, Jupiter High Agriscience Teacher and FFA Advisor.

For more information please contact Mr. Crum at or 561-744-7900.

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February 14, 2013 to be V-Day’s Largest Day of Action Ever

Boynton Beach Community High School will join with activists around the world for ONE BILLION RISING, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. The event will occur on February 14, 2013 at 11:15am in the courtyard at Boynton Beach High School. This event is for all women and the men who support them.

ONE BILLION RISING began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.

On February 14, 2013, students and faculty at Boynton High will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men across the world as we express our outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women –  ONE BILLION daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends.  ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders.

Boynton Beach Community High School students and faculty will participate in One Billion Rising by dancing to “Break the Chain” flash mob style during both lunch periods in the courtyard.  Following lunch, all students will watch a video consisting of the “Man’s Creed” and Boynton Beach Community High School male students showing their support of ending violence against women and girls.

About Boynton Beach Community High School

Boynton Beach Community High School (BBCHS) serves a community of diverse students. The school strives to prepare students with the knowledge, training and skills necessary to become highly successful in the global market. BBCHS is home to the prestigious Boynton Aerospace Science Academy (BASA) where students earn college credits issued by the world’s leader in aviation and aerospace higher education, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and graduate with a certification that later leads to high paying careers as pilots and engineers. Other academies at BBCHS include the Theatre Academy, the Vocal Academy, the Dance Academy, the Information Technology Academy, the Culinary Arts Academy and the Early Childhood Academy.

For more information about Boynton Beach Community High School you can watch their promotional video at or visit the school website at


To learn more about One Billion Rising at Boynton Beach Community High School, call Ms. Geri Grocki at 561-752-1511or email at

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When the state competition of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) is held in Orlando in April, some members of the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts(HOSA will be on hand. The following students qualified through their wins in the regional competition for the top health Public Service Announcement (PSA) and  the best extemporaneous health poster. 

Jordan Lane-Palmer , visual arts major(West Palm Beach) 3rd place, health poster
Taylor Henderickson ,communications major (Wellington) 2nd for the Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Jordan Starkey, digital media major,( Palm Beach Gardens)  
Alec Ngyuyen  digital media major  (Boynton Beach)  
Nick Natural piano major(Boca Raton)  
Sergio Rodriguez ,communications major (West Palm Beach)  

 Dreyfoos biology instructor, Kristen Perez –a Dreyfoos graduate herself – is the sponsor of the campus chapter of HOSA. The state Leadership Conference is set for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, April 4-7.

For more details, contact Jane Grandusky, 561.805.6203 or email




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As a member of a School Advisory Council (SAC), you and your fellow council members are entrusted with the improvement of your public school. Together, you will help your school and its children become more successful.

You may view SAC meeting dates at

(Dates & times are subject to change. Please contact your school to confirm.)

School Directory:

Interested in becoming a SAC member? 


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Thirteen 6th grade science teachers from middle schools across Palm Beach County participated in an intensive two-day workshop at Scripps Florida, as part of a continuing professional development program created to strengthen laboratory skills and build confidence with hands-on experiences led by Scripps Florida scientists. 

Dubbed “Scripps Florida InSPIRE” (Instructional Support Program for Innovative Research Education), the program’s first ever middle school workshop ran from January 18-19, 2013 and was presented by Scripps Florida post-doctoral researchers.  The program began offering workshops to high school science teachers two years ago and was developed to meet Scripps Florida’s goal of addressing the needs of Palm Beach County science teachers by providing greater professional development opportunities in a supportive and engaging environment. 

Researchers lead hands-on exercises in math, robotics, and biology that will allow teachers to help their students: gain fluency in multiplication and division of fractions and decimals, connect ratio and rates to multiplication and division, and to interpret and use mathematical expressions and equations.  

In addition, teachers learned about the application of math and technology as the basis for ongoing biomedical research at The Scripps Research Institute.  6th grade science teachers were selected for this workshop as forces (an integral part of robotics) and cells (the building blocks of all life) are covered almost entirely in the 6th grade curriculum in middle school. 

“We are so lucky to have such an amazing biomedical research facility as Scripps right here in PBC that works with local teachers to help get students enthused to learn about technology, engineering, science, and math,” said Britni Herick Rayman, science teacher and workshop participant from Palm Springs Middle School.  “For example, programming Mindstorm robots will not only allow my students to enjoy trial and error with their robots, but maybe for the first time will apply their hard-earned knowledge to do something they are all intrinsically motivated to do.” 

The following 6th grade science teachers from Palm Beach County participated in the 1st Scripps Florida InSPIRE workshop for middle school teachers: 

  1. Julia Smith, Tradewinds Middle School
  2. Mary Ellen Patterson, Jupiter Middle School
  3. Rhonda Steinmetz, Jeaga Middle School
  4. Melissa Huang, Independence Middle School
  5. Britni Herick Rayman, Palm Springs Middle School
  6. Cashuna Walker, Congress Middle School
  7. Annette Ready, Okeeheelee Middle School
  8. Susan Ferrer, Loggers’ Run Middle School
  9. Stephanie Gerus, Loggers’ Run Middle School
  10. Kara McDaniel, Western Pines Middle School
  11. Christine Gainey Permenter, Western Pines Middle School
  12. Sarah Hall, Watson B. Duncan Middle School
  13. Jamie Sessums, Watson B. Duncan Middle School 

“Ultimately, our objective is to foster an enduring partnership and ongoing dialogue between the research scientist and classroom science teacher,” said Deborah Leach-Scampavia, director of education outreach for Scripps Florida.           

The overall goals of Scripps Florida InSPIRE are to:           

  • Enhance the pursuit of scholarship in the sciences for classroom teachers,
  • Improve teacher access to contemporary scientific materials and methods, as well as state-of the-art laboratory techniques,
  • Provide ongoing contact between scientists and classroom teachers for curriculum and subject support, and
  • Empower educators to bridge the performance gap in science. 

InSPIRE was developed by the Scripps Florida Office of Education Outreach and was made possible by the generous support of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. 

For more information, contact Greg Goebel, 6-12 Science Program Planner, at 561-357-1128 or via email at







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


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The Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Inc. and the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. are pleased to announce 25 finalists for the 2013 William T. Dwyer Awards for Excellence in Education:


  • Roseann Iacone – Liberty Park Elementary
  • Elise Linnell – St. Clare School
  • Linda J. Petuch – Pine Jog Elementary
  • Marjorie Rowe – Everglades Elementary
  • Lisa Simpson – Loxahatchee Groves Elementary


  • Rebecca Brown Smykla – Roosevelt Community Middle
  • William J. Castillo – Omni Middle
  • Barbara Bayless Close – Palm Beach Day Academy
  • Dawn DeWitt – Palm Springs Community Middle   
  • Ronald Wilber – Wellington Landings Middle


  • Richard C. Andreacchio – Santaluces Community High
  • Lea Jefferson – Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts
  • Kenneth B. Swart – Atlantic Community High
  • Maureen Witkowski – Royal Palm Beach Community High
  • Scott Zucker – Wellington Community High


  • Diane Embick – Beacon Cove Intermediate
  • Steven Gordon – Western Pines Middle
  • Barbara Incandela – Wellington Community High
  • Tiffany O’Bryan – Boca Raton Community High
  • Elizabeth B. Richards – Equestrian Trails Elementary


  • Debi Franklin – Independence Middle
  • Tracey Kouf – Santaluces Community High
  • Patrick Raney – Royal Palm Beach Community High
  • Alisa Wright – Roosevelt Community Middle
  • Earle Wright – Seminole Ridge Community High 

All nominees, finalists and award recipients will be honored on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at the Kravis Center for Performing Arts. This year’s Presenting Sponsor is UnitedHealthcare of South Florida. Award Sponsors include Comcast Cable, Florida Power & Light, Pratt & Whitney and The Palm Beach Post. Additional sponsors include Staging Sponsor: AT&T and Reception Sponsor: Bank of America. CBS12 News is the Official Media Sponsor and produces the videos of all twenty-five honorees shown at the awards ceremony.

The Dwyer Awards program honors outstanding educators from public and private schools in Palm Beach County, to increase awareness of the exemplary educators teaching in our community, to express the support of business and community leaders and to encourage all residents to promote high standards of excellence in education.

The William T. Dwyer Awards for Excellence in Education is a joint project of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County and the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.

 The Economic Council is a nonprofit organization of business leaders committed to creating an environment to help business prosper.  The Council is involved with the social, economic and civic processes of Palm Beach County and is a catalyst between the public and private sectors fostering dialogue, planning and action on important countywide issues.

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.

For more information go to or contact Tracy Rudnick at 561-434-8428 or

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Joe Griffin, owner of Herff Jones, located in Delray Beach, will add to the pomp and circumstance of Indian Ridge School’s May 16, 2013 graduation by donating caps and gowns to this year’s graduating class. 

“Ten students will be graduating from Indian Ridge School” says Laura Lougee, Principal of the 116 student therapeutic school located in West Palm Beach, “that number is a large amount for our school.” 

Business and community partners provide powerful ways to enhance the learning environment and strengthen the educational process.  They form collaborative arrangements between schools and organizations in the community to provide resources which dramatically boost the academic outcomes for all students.

Indian Ridge’s students do not graduate at the Fairgrounds as all other graduates from Palm Beach County schools.  “Our children are very unique and we want them to be proud of this phenomenal accomplishment” states Mrs. Lougee.  

For more information contact Stacey Oak at 561-681-0056 or







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

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The Theatre Academy Students at Boynton Beach Community High School will present the Classic American Family Drama “OUR TOWN” by Thornton Wilder, on February 20-22 at 7:00 PM.

Winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the story follows the small town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.”

“It is probably the finest play ever written by an American.” —Edward Albee

The production stars the award-winning students of Boynton Beach Community High School’s Theatre Academy and is directed by Joe Ametrano.

Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students with valid ID and are available for all performances.

Performances will take place at the BBCHS Black Box Theatre located at 4975 Park Ridge Blvd, Boynton Beach, FL 33426.

About Boynton Beach Community High School

Boynton Beach Community High School (BBCHS) serves a community of diverse students. The school strives to prepare students with the knowledge, training and skills necessary to become highly successful in the global market. BBCHS is home to the prestigious Boynton Aerospace Science Academy (BASA) where students earn college credits issued by the world’s leader in aviation and aerospace higher education, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and graduate with a certification that later leads to high paying careers as pilots and engineers. Other academies at BBCHS include the Theatre Academy, the Vocal Academy, the Dance Academy, the Information Technology Academy, the Culinary Arts Academy and the Early Childhood Academy.

The Theatre Academy strives to enable students to develop fundamental skills in the collaborative art of theatre.

For more information about Boynton Beach Community High School you can watch their promotional video at or visit the school website at



For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 561-752-1295.

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After Spending One Day With Choral and Musical Theater Students, Actor/Singer Timothy Shew Will Perform Broadway Tunes for Community in Evening Concert

Olympic Heights Community High School is thrilled to present a show that is a “must see” for every local Broadway fan.

For JUST ONE NIGHT, veteran Broadway performer Timothy Shew, who recently wrapped the revival run of Evita with Ricky Martin on Broadway, and also played Jean Valjean in the Broadway production of Les Miserables, will perform in concert. This will take place on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the Olympic Heights auditorium.

“We are so honored to have Tim Shew appear for this production at Olympic Heights,” said Brad Lister, director of vocal music and chair of the Performing and Fine Arts Department at the school. “It’s not every day that a Broadway star comes to town!”

Prior to the performance, Shew will conduct a one-day workshop for the school’s choral and musical theater students. Also appearing at the workshop will be Shew’s wife, Jane Brockman, who is traveling with the touring company of Wicked, now being presented at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. As a bonus, Brockman and a few other Wicked cast members will give a mini-clinic to the students.

“This clearly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students,” said Lister. “It’s a once-in-lifetime opportunity for the community to see Tim perform as well.”

Proceeds from Shew’s performance will benefit the Olympic Heights Choral program and will be used to enhance the musical experience of the school’s students.

Tickets start at $26; discounts are available for students and teachers as well as for advance online orders.

For more information about the performance, or to purchase tickets, visit

About Olympic Heights

Olympic Heights Community High School is a public high school located at 20101 Lyons Road in Boca Raton. It serves students in West Boca, parts of Boynton Beach and parts of Delray Beach as part of the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida.

For more information about Olympic Heights, call 561-289-9726 or visit


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Ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Don Ramon Gil-Casares (L) and Dame Margarita Pinkos (R) listen as Counselor of Education, Gisbert da Cruz Xavier (C) reads the official scroll.

The King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, has decreed that Multicultural Education Director, Dr. Margarita Pinkos, be inducted into Spain’s Royal Order, the Order of Isabella the Catholic (Orden de Isabel la Catolica) . The Order of Isabella the Catholic is the highest civil honor awarded by the government of Spain.

King Juan Carlos I and Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, ordered the bestowing of the Officer’s Cross (Cruz de Oficial) to Dr. Pinkos because she has been a long standing advocate for global education promoting multilingualism and equity education for all students.

Women awarded the Officer’s Cross are referred to as Dames (Cruz de Damas) and are considered to be the equivalent of knights. The veteran educator traveled to Washington, D.C. recently to receive the honor at a ceremony at the residence of the Ambassador of Spain and officially entered the Royal Order on January 25. The Royal Order, created in 1815 by King Ferdinand VII of Spain in honor of Queen Isabella I of Castile, recognizes outstanding achievements and exceptional service.

The former principal and classroom teacher initiated a partnership with the Kingdom of Spain and Palm Beach County Schools in 2005 to improve educational opportunities for students. Dr. Pinkos started  dual language education in District schools, arguably one of the school district’s most innovative programs, which now includes a cluster called The International Spanish Academy comprised of Horizon Elementary School,  Berkshire Elementary School, Okeeheelee Middle School and John I. Leonard High School. The language, history, and culture of Spanish-speaking countries are an integral part of the curriculum focus for these schools.

In every dual language school an equal mix of native English and native Spanish speakers are in each class and instructed across content areas partially in English and partially in Spanish—resulting in students who are bilingual and bi-literate. The program’s success can be gauged by dramatically improved student achievement and the community’s widespread demand to have dual language instruction.  

Today there are 24 dual language schools in Palm Beach County with over 4900 K-12 students. Approximately 65 teachers have taught in our district as visiting teachers from Spain and District administrators Agartha Gragg and Eugina Feaman have benefitted from a summer scholarship program and studied in Spain.

In 2006, Dr. Pinkos received a Presidential appointment from George W. Bush  and served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education where she advocated the need for children to retain their native languages. As a senior White House advisor the Wellington resident became known for tranforming federal initiatives into practical solutions tailored to meet the needs of each state-level department of education.   

Currently the director of the Multicultural Education Department, she was among 17 educators selected from across the nation by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents  (ALAS) in 2012  to participate in the year-long Superintendents Leadership Academy (SLA). Dr. Pinkos is the current president of the Florida Association of Bilingual/ESOL Supervisors (FABES).


The official certificate of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.


The Officer's Cross


For details, contact Dr. Pinkos, 561.434.8010 or email







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Valentina Ferreira, senior at Wellington High School represents Palm Beach County as one of the distinguished finalists by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for exemplary acts of volunteerism. The awards program, now in its 18th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).  

Valentina is an outstanding student with a GPA of 3.82 and more than 1,000 community service hours. Some of her volunteer work includes being the founder of Wellington High School’s Love Moves, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking. “Students such as Valentina are a source of inspiration to everyone they meet. Valentina is a great role model for students and adults,” said Mr. Mario Crocetti, Principal. 

Many of this year’s State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists were recognized for working to combat bullying, raise money for cancer research and make more activities accessible to people with disabilities. Others were honored for mentoring other young people and supporting U.S. veterans and troops. A great deal of energy was also devoted to addressing critical needs abroad; many honorees volunteered to help provide impoverished and disaster-stricken communities overseas with food, clothes, shoes, education and comfort. 

In addition, Valentina is a member of the National Honor Society and the American Sign Language Honor Society, competes at the national level in DECA and debate and is a reporter and videographer for the school’s newspaper. Recently, she was the Pathfinder nominee in the Community Involvement category and serves her community and church. Valentina hopes to be seen as, in her own words, “a woman after God’s own heart.” 

“Prudential is proud to honor these students for making meaningful contributions to their communities,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We hope that shining a spotlight on their initiative, creativity and compassion inspires others to consider how they, too, can make a difference.” 

Learn more at The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. 

For more information contact Mario Crocetti at (561) 795-4902 or via email at






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

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In Palm Beach County schools 1,636 students were identified as homeless in 2012. Over 496 homeless families with 1,210 children have come to the Senator Philip D. Lewis Center in West Palm Beach in the last three months at an average of 5.5 homeless families each day.

In the fight to end homelessness, there will be a 5K Walk the Walk on Saturday, February 23, 2013 beginning at Meyer Amphitheater in downtown West Palm Beach at 9:30 AM.  The dollars raised will fund stable housing and programs to restore to self-sufficiency and dignity one homeless family at a time.

For more information please go to:

Once there, people can choose to “Join My Team” (Team HEART) which means they will be registering and paying for the walk, or they can just choose to “Donate.” HEART is the Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team in the School District’s Student Intervention Services which serves our homeless students and families. 

For more information please contact Margaret Kallman with the School District’s SafeSchools/Student Intervention Services-Heart at  561-731-2819  or .

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With the fast growing success and district-wide popularity of its innovative School-wide Positive Behavior Support (SwPBS), South Intensive Transition School teamed up with NFL free agent Jarrett Brown, who was previously signed by the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and then B.C. Lions, to host its second nine weeks Honor Roll and SwPBS Awards Ceremony on January 25, 2013 at 9 a.m.

The Awards Assembly rewarded students for academic and behavioral success. Thirteen students shined their way to  the Honor Roll List and nine students demonstrated that they can Follow Directions, Avoid Aggression and Be Respectful (FAB) to earn SwPBS Awards. Guest Speaker Jarrett Brown, in a motivational speech and positive message to all students in the School District of Palm Beach County said, “no matter what situation it is, it is always important to be positive and stay true to yourself. The students here are smart and are getting the guidance and direction they need.”

Parents were also included in the line-up for participating in the Honor Roll and SwPBS Awards Assembly. Chandra Hemraj, a parent in attendance, said “the Awards Ceremony was very beautiful and everyone was very helpful and caring.”

“Students were recognized for their accomplishments and those who attended made outstanding improvements in both their academics and behavior. We applaud all of their efforts, hard work and encourage them to continue in this direction as we move into the third nine weeks,” commented Monique Lambrou, SpringBoard English Language Arts Teacher and SwPBS Coordinator.

The Blind Side is one of the ebook selections that students are reading during the daily Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R) using Nooks purchased from Barnes and Noble. The book features the story of Michael Oher, current Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, who was born to a mother with an addiction issue and shuffled through foster care for several years before finally being adopted by the Tuohy family of Memphis, TN. The Tuohy family helped steer Michael’s life in a completely different direction, one that culminated with a Super Bowl win over the 49ers last Sunday in New Orleans.

“Students enjoy reading ebooks like The Blind Side that are both relevant and meaningful to everyday life. They can relate to the positive message and it adds meaning when they can visualize the main character in the book lead his team to a Super Bowl victory!” said Assistant Principal Terrence Narinesingh.

Eighth grader Bibiana Hinojosa said, “All kids around the world love electronic devices and I’m pretty positive that everyone at our school loves the new Nooks. I personally think it’s better for reading because I can change the font, highlight words and use the built-in dictionary. It’s better than reading on paper.”





For more information, contact Terrence Narinesingh at 561-202-0604 or

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The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is investing $100,000 to support our teachers and their special classroom projects through The Community Foundation wants to help enhance the learning experience in our classrooms, and they’re seeking the support of the community to help double their impact. 

The Community Foundation will match every dollar donated in any amount that supports a Palm Beach or Martin County classroom project featured on, up to $70,000. The match opportunity expires in January 2014 or until the total match dollars are met, whichever comes first. The Community Foundation has also provided gift cards to residents throughout the community to encourage donors to support local projects – bringing the total investment to $100,000. engages the community in our schools by providing a simple and personal way to help our teachers.  A variety of classroom projects featured on the website describe the goals of the projects and the materials needed.  When classroom projects reach their funding goal, ships the project materials directly to the classroom.  There are currently 70 classroom projects in Palm Beach and Martin Counties that need funding, however, more teachers add new projects every day. 

“Together we can help support one of our community’s most important assets – our educators,” comments Jillian Vukusich, Director of Community Investment for the Community Foundation. “We all have the same goal in mind: to help our students receive the best education possible. gives teachers a chance to have a greater set of tools to enrich the learning experience.”

For more information please contact Tina Snider, Director of Marketing and Communication with the Community Foundation at or 561-340-4510.

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Bak Middle School of the Arts’ literary magazine, Organized Chaos, strives for excellence in publishing the best fiction, poetry, photography and artwork.  Bak students from all grades and art areas can submit work for the award winning magazine.

Organized Chaos recently received a Superior Award in the 2012 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) program to recognize excellence in student literacy magazines.  Organized Chaos is under the leadership of adviser Jessica Samons and student editor in chief Caroline Miller, an eighth grade Communications major.

A total of 417 schools entered the 2012 program.  The NCTE awarded Organized Chaos with an exemplary recognition award. The program’s mission is to encourage all schools to develop literary magazines, seeking excellence in writing and school wide participation in production.  

The listing of all the ranked magazines is available on the NCTE website at .

For more information please contact Bak Middle School of the Arts Principal Elizabeth Kennedy at 561-882-3870 .

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The 2013 Drop it, Build it, Fly it, Launch it, Thrill it competition is almost here!  The 27th Annual Engineering Competition is being hosted by the South Florida Science Museum, in partnership with the Florida Engineering Society.  The competition will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the museum and is open to elementary, middle, and high school students.  

The event is FREE to competing students as well as the public! 

Students compete for cash prizes in the following five areas: 

  • Drop It – The perfect egg container to protect it from a 3-story drop
  • Build It – An unbreakable bridge
  • Fly It – The most aerodynamic paper airplane
  • Launch It – The ultimate water bottle rocket
  • Thrill It – A thrilling roller coaster 

Visit the DROP IT, BUILD IT, FLY IT, LAUNCH IT, THRILL IT 2013 website for additional information about registration, rules and regulations for all 5 events. 

Registration deadline is March 2, 2013.   

Egg Drop Containers (Drop it!), Bridges (Build it!), Rockets (Launch it), and Roller Coasters (Thrill it!) must be complete and checked in at 8 a.m. on the day of competition.  Airplanes (Fly it!) will be built by individual students on the day of competition.  Individuals or teams of two may compete in Drop it, Build it, and Launch it.  Individuals or teams of up to four may compete in Thrill it.  Cash prizes totaling over $4,000 will be awarded at all levels and in all events. 

For more information, contact Kate Arrizza, COO at the South Florida Science Museum at 561-370-7706 or or Greg Goebel, 6-12 Science Program Planner with the School District of Palm Beach County, at






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


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The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has joined with the state court for the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida to celebrate Black History Month.  The annual Black History Month celebration will take place February 12th from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm at the 15th Judicial Circuit Main Courthouse in the 11th floor Ceremonial Courtroom.

In December, Federal Court Judge Marcia Cooke, attorneys Phillip Hutchinson and Brooke Smith and School District attorney Kalinthia Dillard visited the Law Magnet Programs at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School and Inlet Grove Community High School. Judge Cooke, nominated by President George W. Bush in 2004, is the first black woman federal judge in Florida.  Judge Cooke discussed her path to the federal bench and the historical significance of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, and the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Students at the two schools were asked to write an essay describing how these two pivotal moments in history illustrated America’s progress in realizing the ideal set forth in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.  The contest winners will be announced at the event on February 12.

Students will tour the Historic Courthouse and the Main Courthouse, listen to a panel discussion by several prominent attorneys and state and federal judges who will describe the history of African-American attorneys in Palm Beach County, and the day will end with lunch.  Ms. Dillard, a member of the Celebration Planning Committee said, “Our goal was to commemorate the historic events, give Palm Beach County law magnet students a glimpse of the past, and conclude with a celebration of the accomplishments of African-Americans in Palm Beach County.”

For more information please contact Ms. Dillard at 561-434-7471  or .