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District educators who are interested in enhancing their credentials may want to consider pursuing a Masters of Education in Social Foundations:  Multicultural Education this summer.  The Department of Curriculum, Culture, and Educational Inquiry is offering the introductory course of the program – Seminar in Multicultural Education, (EDG 5705) which runs May 14 through June 22. Dr. Dilys Schoorman, a professor in the department, said the program is grounded in the perspectives of critical pedagogy and is  flexible yet rigorous. “ This program designed to meet the individual needs of our graduate students from a varity of disciplines and offers a strong foundation in the principles of multiculturalism, equity, and social justice,” she stated.

She added that the degree will expose educators to central theories, current research and practical applications of knowledge and skills for the education of diverse populations, including critical insight for addressing standardization and accountability pressures at the classroom, school, district, and state levels.   

Lisa Lee, manager in the Chief Academic Office who completed the program a few years ago, said she feels there are few Masters of Education degree programs that focus on the inner core of both the teacher and the student. “FAU provided information, history (that I didn’t know), and purpose to my tool belt as a teacher and administrator.  It enabled me to be inspired by the stories and histories of students from many different cultures, and the roads they have taken in life.  It taught me how explain to my colleagues that to understand the history and culture of a student is to understand ways you will engage a student to learn,” she stated.

She added that it’s only when the teacher or administrator internalizes this information that they’re able to put the needs of students first as they lead them down the road to a successful future. 

The masters program includes:

Four core courses in Multicultural Education

EDG 5705 – Seminar in Multicultural Education

EDF 6887 – Foundations of Multicultural Education

EDF 6637 – Race, Class and Gender Issues in Education

EDF 6615 – Teaching the African American Student

 Capstone Course: EDF 6918- Action Research in Schools and Communities

Area of Specialization: 5 courses in your area of choice

Educators may use the opportunity to earn endorsement/ certification in a specific area

Required Research Methods:

EDF 6113 – Educational Statistics

EDF 6481 – Educational Research

Additional information about the program requirements can be found at http://www.coe.fau.edu/academicdepartments/ccei/socialfoundations/default.aspx

 For more details contact Lizeth Garcia, lgarci18@fau.edu or (561) 297 6598.

 

 

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All public schools in Palm Beach County will soon have Assisted Listening Device (ALD) systems installed with the requirement that they be available for all events utilizing Public Address (PA) systems. The installations are part of the District’s efforts to bring every school into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and should be utilized even during events hosted by organizations leasing school facilities if PA systems are being used.

Fred Cahill, an administrator with Facilities Services, said Assisted Listening Devices benefit the staff and general public who attend meetings, performances and work shops at all of the Districts schools and facilities. “People that have auditory impairments will be able to clearly hear everything that comes over our Public Address systems by using the ALD receivers. Neck loop and blue tooth- type ear pieces will enable sound and speech to be clearly and sharply heard from anywhere in a room that has a system,” he explained. 

Installation in schools is already underway and is expected to be completed by the end of the school year. Training  of specified school staff is conducted when the systems are installed.  For more details, contact Mr. Cahill, 561-882-1907 or email Fred.cahill@palmbeachschools.org.

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Prowess in math earned another Math trophy for Roosevelt Middle School.  Placing 3rd  in the 27th Annual Math Brain Bowl state competition for grades 6-8, Apoorva Ravichandran (captain), Shivang Jadvani, Alison Austria, and Marcus Sutton  were excited that their teamwork in answering the problems resulted in a win.  Caelethia Clemons, 2011 Math Teacher of the Year, was their math coach for the event.  Crystal Varnadore, 2011 Dwyer Award winner and math department chair, accompanied the students to the competition in Orlando, FL.   This is the third year in a row that a Roosevelt Middle team has placed in the top three.  Last year’s team placed 2nd in the math competition with Marcus Sutton winning an individual 3rd place award in the Word Wizard event.

Roosevelt Middle Brain BowlRoosevelt Middle School is a Math, Science, and Technology school with magnet programs in Pre Medical, Pre Engineering, Environmental Science, and Technology.  It is an A rated school and made AYP in 2010.

A business partner with Roosevelt Middle for many years, the Urban League of Palm Beach County Center of Excellence sponsored the RMS PI-ERS team on this all-expense paid trip to participate in Brain Bowl Competitions and National Achievers Society (NAS) Summit in Orlando, FL on Friday, March 23 through Saturday, March 24.  Organized by the Florida Education Fund (FEF), teams were invited from 10 centers throughout the State of Florida to participate in History & Culture, Mathematics, Writing, and Word Definition competitions.  Awards included scholarships to Florida colleges, cash prizes, and bragging rights.

The Urban League’s Center of Excellence high school math teams also included the 11th -12th grade CHARGERS and the 9th -10th grade CHARGERS II. All of the team members attend Suncoast Community High School.  Both teams placed 2nd.  Patrick Franklin, President and CEO, stated “The Center of Excellence is a critical piece to closing the achievement gap for minority students and continues to increase the pool of students who are prepared, motivated and qualified to enter higher education.”

The Urban League of Palm Beach County has been at the forefront of youth education, community and health empowerment for the past 38 years and is the leading provider of comprehensive family services helping more than 16,000 people annually in the achievement of social and economic equality.  www.ULPBC.org

For more information please contact Dee Ann Tiffany, Roosevelt Middle School, at 561.822.0261 or tiffanyd@palmbeach.k12.fl.us or Kate Alvarado, Vice President of Development & Communication, Urban League of Palm Beach County at 561-833-1461 ext 3002 or kalvarado@ulpbc.org

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Pine Jog Elementary and S.D. Spady Elementary are being recognized for creating healthy environments focused on nutrition and physical activity. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam recently joined United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Undersecretary Kevin Concannon to celebrate the achievements of Florida schools that have been awarded a USDA HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) Award for creating a healthier school environment by promoting nutrition and physical activity.  Under Commissioner Putnam’s leadership, the number of Florida schools with a HUSSC distinction has more than doubled, bringing the total number of schools to 48.

“Florida’s HealthierUS School Challenge Award recipients are committed not only to the education of Florida’s children, but also to their health and well-being,” said Commissioner Adam Putnam. “I look forward to working with our state’s schools to encourage efforts to promote healthy lifestyles, as demonstrated by schools like these so Florida can become a nationwide leader in promoting nutrition and healthy lifestyles.” 

USDA established HUSSC in 2004 to recognize schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have voluntarily created healthier school environments. Schools are awarded Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Awards of Distinction based on the criteria set forth by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.  S.D. Spady and Pine Jog elementary schools are the only schools in the South Florida area to receive the award.

To celebrate the achievements of the schools, USDA Deputy Director of Special Nutrition Programs, Steven Hortin will attend Pine Jog Elementary school assembly on April 3, 2012.  In addition, during the Wellness Promotion Task Force meeting on April 4, 2012, Deputy Hortin will present bronze awards to Pine Jog Principal, Fred Barch and S.D. Spady Principal, Martha O’Hare.

For more information contact Paula Triana, R.D, L.D./N., School Food Service Department, Assistant Director of Nutrition & Wellness Promotion at (561) 383-2026.

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A team of Israeli educators came to Marsh Pointe Elementary School for a tour of an American public school today, March 30.  The delegation consisted of teachers in elementary and middle schools who taught subjects such as English, Arabic, mathematics, and science.  The tour was arranged between the Jewish Education Commission and the administration at Marsh Pointe. 

Marsh Pointe was selected due to its reputation within the community for providing an outstanding education for its students both academically and through numerous extracurricular offerings. “We are very proud of our teachers and students and are always happy to provide tours to highlight our school and programs,” said Marsh Pointe Elementary principal Maureen Werner.  “Today’s visit could possibly lead to a partnership with Israeli schools.”

The Israeli educators were amazed by the level of proficiency displayed by the students.  Some of the differences between the two systems were that Kindergarten was a pre-school grade in their country, whereas here there are elementary students who are able to read and write independently at this point in the year.  Another difference was that their classrooms were half the size and held twice as many students as classrooms here.

The visitors took away some tips with them such as the posting of learning goals, the use of scales for both formative and summative assessment of students and student self-assessment, the use of learning center rotations, integration of technology in lessons, and many other standard practices implemented daily at Marsh Pointe.  Perhaps the biggest difference between the two systems became evident when they asked how much the parents paid to have their children schooled here.  The visitors were informed that every child in America has the right to a free and appropriate public education. 

Following the tour Marsh Pointe Elementary Assistant Principal Ryan Scott said, “To be able to showcase our school, our students, and our teachers to visitors from another country was a great honor.  It really is a credit to our staff and students who come to school every day and give their very best.  So when opportunities such as this come around because of what we do, it is really flattering.” 

For more information please contact Mr. Scott at 561-366-6805 or ryan.scott@palmbeachschools.org .

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bikePrincipals of all 14 elementary schools in the West Palm Beach City limits will each be submitting two names of students from their schools to the Rotary Club of West Palm Beach. The civic organization is in the fifth year of presenting bicycles to students who have earned the distinction because of scholastic or behavioral excellence. Financial need may be an additional factor of consideration at the principals’ discretion. The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach allows each principal to use their own guidelines for the selection of the recipients.

 The presentations will be one of the highlights of the April 24 Rotary Luncheon at the Kravis Center Cohen Pavilion where the principals, recipients and their parents or guardians will be guests of the club. During the event, attendees will learn why each student was selected.  Students will leave the luncheon with their brand new bikes. 

Rotary Club of West Palm Beach spokesperson Missy Duffy said the School Bike Project is simply another way the club’s motto, Service above self, is actively practiced. “The entire initiative of buying the bikes, coordinating the assembly and then delivering the bikes is completed enthusiastically by club members and their families,” she explained. The project is only one of many where the Rotary Club of West Palm Beach works with schools to improve  students’ educational experience. 

The mission of the Rotary Club of West Palm Beach is to provide an environment to promote community service and educational activities on the local, national and international levels; to foster close fellowship among business and professional leaders; to broaden relationships within the community; and promote business and personal excellence through the ideals of Rotary.   

For more information, contact Ms.  Duffy, 561- 827-2633 or email missyduffy@gmail.com.

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The School District’s Division of Support Operations will sponsor paid summer internships for Palm Beach County high school and college students. Position descriptions, qualifications and application procedures are provided below. The internship program will last six weeks, with 10-hour shifts, Monday through Thursday. The stipend interns receive will be determined after all fundraising efforts are completed. Worksite locations are listed with the position descriptions below. In some cases, there are multiple openings for each intern classification. Positions can also be made available for interns wishing to work at the Facilities Services maintenance compound in Belle Glade. Students are responsible for transportation to their work locations each day. Note that the Forest Hill Boulevard and Summit Boulevard locations are accessible by Palm Tran busses. Questions should be directed to Ms. Judyann Terrell at (561) 687-7170 or judyann.terrellj@palmbeachschools.org.

All applicants must have exemplary behavior records. High school applicants must currently be enrolled in the 9th, 10th or 11th grade. Positions are open to high school and/or college students as specifically indicated in the descriptions. To be eligible, students, high school and college, must currently be freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. High school seniors who are accepted to college may also apply.

To apply to the Internship Program, you must fill out the Student Intern Application Form obtainable at http://pbforms1.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/lfserver/_2310 . This form must be submitted online. Applicants will also need to submit three (3) references from their teachers/professors or business/community officials. The link for the Employment Reference Form (PBSD 0606) is at the bottom of the online application form. Have each person you use as a reference complete the required form; then FAX it to (561) 357-7569; or scan and e-mail it to ana.sanchez@palmbeachschools.org

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2012. Applicants will receive a reply confirming that their registration form was received. The selection process involves screening the applications and references and, for finalists, a job interview. All applicants will be notified of their selection status by May 25, 2012. Email is the preferred means of communication.

Locations & Job Descriptions

Building Department Intern (3661 N. Interstate Park Road, Riviera Beach) Open to high school students only. The intern in this position will work with architects, engineers, building and health-and-safety inspectors on construction projects and existing district facilities. The intern will assist office staff in organizing blueprints and permit records. The intern will also assist in the field conducting scheduled inspections of construction work. The intern may be tasked with taking notes and preparing reports. Applicants should have good math and writing skills and an interest in building design and construction.

HR Certification Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite A-152) Open to high school and college students. The intern chosen for this position must work well with the public and have good clerical and computer skills. The intern will serve as an office assistant working in a professional, fast-paced environment. Duties include, but are not limited to, greeting the public, providing customer service, answering phones, updating files, and providing general clerical support.

Division of Support Operations Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite B-302) Open to high school students only. This intern will perform research and writing assignments assigned by the Chief of Support Operations. The intern also provides support to the division secretaries. The student intern will work at a computer the majority of the time and needs to be familiar with Microsoft Office suite applications.

Environmental Sustainability (“Green”) Intern (3300 Summit Blvd.) Open to college students only. This intern will assist the Sustainability Coordinator with projects that may include developing a Sustainability Management Plan, performing a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and conducting staff interviews to collect baseline data. The student intern needs to be familiar with Microsoft Office suite applications and possess strong research and writing skills. Preference will be given to students currently studying in the field of environmental sciences and/or policies.

Environmental & Conservation Services Intern (1400 N. Florida Mango Road) This position is based at the McKesson Building, which is just north of the airport. Open to high school and college students. The intern will receive training on environmental issues to include wetlands, protected species, recycling, demolitions, asbestos abatement, and indoor air quality. This position will at times involve moving materials to/from work locations; such that, the intern must be able to lift up to 50-lb loads and be willing to spend time outdoors. Preference will be given to students currently studying in the field of environmental sciences.

Facilities Services Intern (3300 Summit Blvd. or Belle Glade office, if desired) Open to high school students only. Interns will serve as apprentices to various trades such as carpentry, HVAC, plumbing, etc. in Facilities Services. Interns may also perform general office duties and other responsibilities. Applicants with shop training in their curricula are preferred.

Information Technology Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite B-257 or B-332, or 1400 N. Florida Mango Road) Open to high school and college students. Interns in this position will assist IT personnel in servicing equipment and maintaining software applications. They will participate in application development and system maintenance and troubleshooting. Basic knowledge of PC hardware, peripherals, software and databases is required.

Legal Services Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite C-323) Open to high school and college students with preference given to pre-law coursework. The intern will serve in the Office of Chief Counsel assisting legal staff. Duties will include, but not be limited to, photocopying, filing, answering phones and when appropriate observing various legal proceedings. Applicants should be individuals who are looking at a career in the legal field. Computer technology skills are desired.

Planning & Real Estate Services Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite C-110) Open to college students only. Preference will be given to applicants with coursework in urban planning, public administration and geographical information systems. The intern in this position will assist district planners with functions that assess the need to provide new schools in diverse areas of the County. There will be opportunities to work with demographic data and governmental inter-local agreements. The student intern will assist staff members with preparing presentations and reports. The intern will also update policies and procedures and work with the school-based leasing programs. He/she will learn to read and understand title work, surveys, and how to perform property research using parcel maps and aerial photographs. Applicants must be familiar with using a computer for word processing and spreadsheets. Preference will be given to students with business curriculum interests.

School Food Services Intern (3661 Interstate Park Road, North, Suite 100, Riviera Beach) Open to high school and college students. The intern will assist central office staff with preparing for school opening in August. Duties will include but not be limited to filing, manage box preparation and content, photocopying, and answering phones. The intern will also spend part of the day working in school cafeterias preparing and serving summer meals in the Summer Food Service program. Applicants must have computer skills. Preference will be given to students with food service experience.

Transportation Services (3376 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406) Open to high school students. The internship is expected to be at the Central Transportation Facility, but could be moved to any of six facilities throughout the county, if that is more convenient to the intern. The intern will receive training in basic vehicle mechanical practices for light, medium, and heavy duty vehicles to include some basic school bus repairs. The intern can also receive training in vehicle paint and body repairs. This position will require lifting up to 50 lbs and require working outdoors. Preference will be given to students currently studying in the field of automotive repair.

Disclosures

The Summer Intern Program seeks particularly to train students who are interested in careers in construction, facilities management, and other support functions. Our positions are appropriate for future tradespersons and professionals. Applicants who are enrolled in certain high school technical courses are eligible for a preference in the hiring process. The preference given will be automatic advancement to the interview stage, if the application is complete. This preference will not affect other students who are invited to be interviewed. The Summer Intern Program has won two state awards. It is highly competitive, but students should not be discouraged about submitting their qualifications for review. The application, interview and selection process used mimic procedures job seekers regularly experience and will be instructive for all applicants.

The District prohibits discrimination against students, employees, and other applicants on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, color, gender, marital status, age, parental status and disability in any of its programs, services or activities.

Media should contact Joseph Sanches, Chief of Division of Support Operations, at 561-357-7573 or joseph.sanches@palmbeachschools.org for more information.

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Twenty-two students from Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts will head to New York City this June after winning in various categories of the 2012 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers in the nation.

This year’s National Celebration of the Awards will kick off in New York City on the night of May 31 when the top of the Empire State Building will be lit in gold. The Dreyfoos students will join other winners from across the country at a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on June 1 and participate in subsequent showcase events at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan. 

Dreyfoos Principal Susan Atherley said the entire school family is thrilled for the winning students. “We’re definitely in celebration mode after learning so many of our students’ talent and creativity were recognized by an illustrious panel of professionals,” she stated. “These students are excellent ambassadors for the entire county as well as the State of Florida.” 

The following students’ entries were selected as winners from over 200,000 submitted in 28 categories.

 American Visions Award Medal

Jessica Garcia – Film & Animation

Best in Grade

Gaetano Icangelo –  Painting

Gold Medals

Hannah Berger – Painting

Jessica Garcia – Film & Animation

Gaetano Icangelo – Painting and Printmaking

Taylor Krauser – Photography

Vanessa Leiva – Sculpture

Alec Nguyen – Architecture

Megan Schmunk – Printmaking

Carolina Vogt – Mixed Media

Silver Medals

Andy Bennett – Portfolio

Madeline Bertelson – Photography

Valentina Cabezas – Portfolio

Kelly Creef – Photography

Taylor Goldenberg – Painting

Heather Grace – Painting

Maeve Hedstrom – Photography

Ashley Obel – Drawing

Joseph Parrella – Architecture

Cate Sans – Photography

Stephanie Weil – Photography

Kimi Yonamine – Painting

Silver Medals with Distinction

Gaetano Icangelo – Portfolio

Megan Schmunk – Portfolio

For additional information, contact Magnet Coordinator Jane Grandusky, 561-805-6203 or email jane.grandusky@palmbeachschools.org.

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Spanish RiverA hilarious music and dance explosion accompanied by a live orchestra

Get ready for some fun, laughs and good times as Spanish River Theatre Arts proudly presents a bright, spirited and fun-filled classic, Sweet Charity, the celebrated Neil Simon, Bob Fosse, and Cy Coleman musical!

Meet Charity Hope Valentine, dance hall hostess, eternal optimist, and unlucky romantic, as she searches for true love in all the wrong places. Charity’s world is the all too real one of Times Square populated by the most charming group of characters that has ever graced a stage. This consistently funny musical comedy is filled with snappy Neil Simon dialogue and show-stopping numbers including “Big Spender”, “If My Friends Could See Me Now”, “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This”, and “Rhythm of Life.”

“We took on Sweet Charity because the music is great, the dancing is fantastic and the humor is top notch”, said Rocco D’Attolico, Program Director of Spanish River High School’s Theatre Arts Department. “This production truly lends itself for showcasing the artistic talent among our student body through the singing, unique Bob Fosse dance style, and live musicians featured in the show.”

Sweet Charity was nominated for 12 Tony Awards for its 1966 Broadway production, and Bob Fosse, its director choreographer, won the Tony Award for best choreography. The show was revived in 1986, winning four Tony awards, and again in 2005 when it was nominated for Best Revival.

This spring, treat yourself to Spanish River High School’s Sweet Charity, a musical production featuring the talents of  nearly 100 student performers, stagecraft technicians and musicians, including a live student orchestra, as well as 100% student cleverly-designed and built sets.

Performances are at 7:30 PM on April 12, 7 PM on April 13 and 14, and 2 PM for our Sunday matinee on April 15 at the beautiful state-of-the-art Countess de Hoernle Theatre at Spanish River Community High School located at 5100 Jog Road (corner of Jog and Yamato roads) in Boca Raton. Ticket prices are $12.00 for Reserved Early Bird Seating purchased before April 1 and $15.00 for Regular Reserved Tickets after April 1.  Student tickets are $10. Running time is 2 ½ hours including intermission. For your convenience, there is free parking onsite, handicapped access and a concession stand.

Purchase tickets online now at spanishrivertheatre.org, or call (561) 241-2020.

For more information, contact Sylvia Granet at rivertheatrearts@aol.com or call (561) 241-2020.

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Students at the Northboro Elementary Montessori Magnet School recently held a competition between classes and students raised over $2,000 to support the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma.  To teach the valuable lesson of helping others Northboro held the fundraiser with $2,318.11 being donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Palm Beach Chapter.

The class that raised the most money will now enjoy lunch from Olive Garden on Monday, April 2 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM in the Parent Resource Center at Northboro.  According to Parent Liaison/Reading Resource teacher Margaret Bess, “The Parent Resource Center will be turned into an elegant Italian restaurant and students from the winning class will be served a delicious meal.

Northboro Elementary Principal Gayle Harper said, “Our students continue to learn the valuable lessons about the importance of helping others. I’m extremely proud of all our students and look forward to acknowledging the winning class for all its hard work.”

For more information please contact Ms. Bess at 561-494-1625 or margaret.bess@palmbeachschools.org .

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Superintendent Wayne Gent surprised Mary Monroe with the announcement that she is the Macy’s/Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) Teacher of the Year for The School District of Palm Beach County.    Ms. Monroe, an English and Intensive Language Arts Teacher at Park Vista Community High School, is a resident of Lake Worth, Florida.

Park Vista High Principal Reginald Myers, Teacher of the Year Mary Monroe and Superintendent Wayne Gent

Park Vista High Principal Reginald Myers, Teacher of the Year Mary Monroe and Superintendent Wayne Gent

Park Vista Principal Reginald Myers said, “Mary Monroe exemplifies the Department of Education’s selection criteria by contributing to the continuous improvement of student learning and by maintaining a record of superior teaching performance.”  Ms. Monroe helped increase Park Vista’s reading learning gains by providing her students additional after school tutoring, convincing some of her low-level readers to participate in Battle of the Books, posting home-based computer FCAT practice on Edline, and regularly communicating with parents.   Mr. Myers also stated, “Ms. Monroe’s personal and professional relationship with students and their parents is extraordinary and reinforces student motivation in learning.”

Brigitta McTigue, Media Specialist at Park Vista, wrote in Ms. Monroe’s letter of recommendation, “Mary inspires her students with her own dedication to reading and creative writing.”  As a nationally-known author of Miracle at Monty Middle School, Krazy White Girl and Tagger, she speaks about her books to students, faculty, parents and the community by participating as a guest for “April is for Authors” celebrations.

Ms. Monroe’s career includes 14 years of teaching in Florida, with three of these in her current position.  She is National Board Certified and serves as a mentor to new teachers.  As a lead teacher in Project SMaRT, a technology initiative in the school district, she produces vodcasts of instructional videos. 

As Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year, Ms. Monroe will receive a cash award of $1,000 through funds contributed by district business partnerships.   The Macy’s Foundation also presents each District Teacher of the Year a cash award of $1,000, of which $250 goes to the teacher’s school.   As Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year, Ms. Monroe represents the district in the Florida Department of Education-Macy’s Teacher of the Year Roundtable.  The Roundtable affords Teachers of the Year the opportunity to network with colleagues, share ideas, and provide input on educational issues of state and national importance.

For additional information, contact Sue Walters at sue.walters@palmbeachschools.com.

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golden grove elStudents from Kindergarten to fifth grade will get a glimpse of a cross-section of careers that may capture their interest when Golden Groves Elementary School holds its Eighth Annual Career Fair April 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lion Country Safari comes with a few animals and presentations about caring for animals and the training required to work on the preserve that’s located in the western part of the county.  The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has representatives on hand to talk about careers in law and specifically the role of State prosecutors in our community. Undoubtedly students and staff alike will be buzzing around the folks from the Association of Beekeepers who will have bees and honey on hand to discuss the joys and challenges of professional beekeeping.  

Guidance Counselor Lori Bednarek and Instructional Technology specialist Susan Rizzolo take on the extra job of coordinating the event. “It’s a spectacle to behold,” said Ms. Rizzolo. “Throughout the day all 565 students rotate among the classrooms to hear the presenters and see exhibits and we have a separate vehicle area that captivates students every year.” Ms. Bednarek said the effort involves contacting a lot of people–but many of the more than 50 community and business partners are repeat participants. “They understand that early exposure and understanding about what the careers involve and the kind of preparation required can get students interested and engaged while they’re still young,” she explained.

The list of participants also includes: the Palm Beach County Firefighters, the United States Marines, Bedner’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Animal Care and Control, Walmart, McCarthy’s Wildlife, Community Animal Hospital, and Honeybee’s Hydroponics.  Also expected to participate: the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Publix (a Sushi- maker), Florida Fish And Wildlife Commission, and others.

 For more information, contact Ms. Bednarek or Ms. Rizzolo at 561-904-9700 or  Lori.bednarek@palmbeachschools.org or Susan.rizzolo@palmbeachschools.org.

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Cresonia Hsieh, a Junior at Spanish River Community High School has taken third place in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Civil War Essay Contest for her essay on The African American’s War. The highly competitive competition is sponsored nationally by the Institute each year.  Ms. Hsieh will also receive $500 as part of her winnings.

The Institute’s website states:  “The Gilder Lehrman Institute joins the Civil War Round Table of New York to co-sponsor an annual essay contest for Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School students. Students examine the nation’s most divisive conflict through letters, speeches, songs, photographs, newspapers, military orders and other documents, conducting research with primary as well as secondary sources.”

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will host Ms. Hsieh, her parents and English teacher, Dr. Bettina Hoffman, who sponsored the contest at Spanish River Community High School. They will be going to New York City in April 2012. 

More information about the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History can be found at their website at www.gilderlehrman.org. 

Further information about Spanish River Community High School’s participation as an affiliate school may be directed to Mara J. Goron, Assistant Principal, Gilder Lehrman Coordinator for Spanish River Community High School at the school:  561-241-2201 or mara.goron@palmbeachschools.org .

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TEN intern headshotsThe Education Network (TEN) has kicked off the first semester of its Bright, Energetic Students of Television and Technology (B.E.S.T.) initiative that is designed to increase student involvement with the District’s television production activities. One of the highlights of the effort is the student internship component which currently involves two high school students who spend time at the station every other school day.  Rigo Beltran and Alyson Murphy, both from Atlantic High School are students who already have TV production courses under their belts. 

The two have worked on a couple of TEN projects including one shot at U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts called Arts, Civics, and Engagement (working title) which is currently in the editing phase. The finished project will be uploaded to the District’s Home page, as well as on the B.E.S.T. webpage and is expected to be used in various professional development presentations. The two were also involved with a production about the District’s recent Technology Conference which typically requires the involvement of most of the station’s professional staff because of the size and nature of the conference. 

Amanda Orndorff, coordinator of TEN’s B.E.S.T. program, said the students are involved with all levels of production. “From script-writing to shooting to post-production—these students are working with TEN staff and having a hands-on experience with all of it which they can put on their resumes,” she stated.

Other aspects of B.E.S.T. involve going to schools to present to and meet with students, helping students with school-based productions, and getting students to TEN for field trips and group visits. Ms. Orndorff recently visited Christa McAuliff Middle School’s TV Production Club and then invited members to visit the District station where they watched on a bank of monitors as a TEN professional directed a production.  In another instance, the TEN crew shot a show on location at Suncoast High School and some of the school’s Production students helped with staging and running cameras.

The B.E.S.T. coordinator who has been on the job since November said the station will soon launch its own version of youtube. TENtube will be a site on the station’s webpage that will spotlight student productions from public schools all over Palm Beach County.  In addition, a new show called Spotlight on Student Films features schools that have been recognized for their productions. The most recent schools highlighted were Seminole Ridge High School and Canal Point Elementary School for their respective award-winning productions.

Opportunities will be available for additional interns. Ms. Orndorff said the station is seeking third or fourth year TV production students who have demonstrated trustworthiness, a sense of responsibility, and the capacity to be self-starters.  For more details, contact Ms. Orndorff at 561-738-2761 or email Amanda.orndorff@palmbeachschools.org.

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Beth Lefler, Lisa Kaputa, Honor Society Adviser, Kristin Walters, Honor Society President and Horacio Ochoa

Beth Lefler, Lisa Kaputa, Honor Society Adviser, Kristin Walters, Honor Society President and Horacio Ochoa

The National Elementary Honor Society of Hammock Pointe Elementary held a school wide fundraiser to support HEART (Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team).  Students donated $1 and wore red and jeans to school in support of the worthy cause.

HEART is made up of a group of committed social service professionals who work to address problems often faced by homeless children and youth in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Each school in every geographic area of our School District is served, as well as family homeless shelters, and state identified “neglected” shelter sites. The team serves homeless children and youth, unaccompanied youth, students awaiting foster care placement, and those “aging-out” of the foster care system.

Hammock Pointe Elementary raised $518.00 and recently presented the check to Beth Lefler and Horacio Ochoa with Safe Schools and Student Intervention Services. 

For more information please contact Ms. Kaputa at lisa.kaputa@palmbeachschools.org .

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The Career Academies at Olympic Heights Community High School, in partnership with the Boca Raton Resort & Club, will hold the fifth annual Olympic Heights Golf Scramble on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. The event is open to the public, and the school is seeking the support of both golfers and sponsors.

All funds raised and donations received will assist in funding the six Career Academies that call Olympic Heights home. They include the Academy of Engineering, Academy of Teacher Education, Academy of Finance, Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, Culinary Academy and Fashion Academy.

“The tournament allows community members the opportunity to play golf on a spectacular golf course while also benefiting the students in the Career Academies at Olympic Heights,” said Anita Foster, academy coordinator. “Last year was a huge success—the golfers loved it, the sponsors loved it, and we raised a lot of money for the students.”

Registration for the Golf Scramble starts at 11:30 a.m., with a shotgun start slated for 1 p.m. The Scramble, which will be followed by an Award Dinner, will take place at Boca Country Club, 17751 Boca Club Boulevard, Boca Raton. The cost is $100 per golfer or $350 for a foursome. Sponsorships are welcome and run from $75 for a Hole Sponsor to $1,000 for a Platinum Sponsor, which includes golf for four, recognition banners, press releases, signage and more. Donations of goods or services that can be used as raffle prizes or auction items are also appreciated.

Registered participants will not only enjoy a great day of golf but will also receive a goody bag, free beverages and snacks, and much more. The Award Dinner will feature delectable cuisine, a silent auction and the announcement of the winners.

The event is being offered in partnership with the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a business partner of Olympic Heights that has been supporting the Career Academies since their inception at the school. “The Boca Resort and Club has a long standing commitment to supporting the community,” said Sandra M. Tagliavia, the Resort’s director of human resources. “It has been our pleasure to host the annual Golf Scramble at our fabulous Boca Country Club each year. This is just one of the many ways we can willingly give back to our community.”

Proceeds from the Golf Scramble will benefit the Career Academies at Olympic Heights. Career academies are small learning communities within a high school that offer a curriculum with a career focus. These college preparatory programs, some of which have industry certification, offer students the opportunity to delve deeply into their career interests while they are still in high school. Through programs such as job shadowing, mentoring, internships, field trips and guest speakers, students in the Olympic Heights Career Academies not only learn and get a leg up on other students applying to college but also network, learn about career opportunities and make lifelong contacts and connections that will prove invaluable to them as they progress through their careers.

“Our Academies provide so many wonderful opportunities for the students,” Foster said. “They are rigorous, but they provide students with a high-quality education that equips them to attend college and earn a degree in a field of study in which there are substantial job opportunities.”

For more information about the Olympic Heights Golf Scramble, contact Anita Foster, academy coordinator, at 561-852-6610.

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. The school offers six academy programs: Tourism and Hospitality Management, Finance, Engineering, Teacher Education, Culinary and Fashion Design. For more information about Olympic Heights, call 561-289-9726 or visit www.ohlions.com.

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Palm Beach Gardens High School’s inaugural Swamp Stomp 5K Road Race will take place on Sunday, April 1st at 7:30 am on the Gardens Mall property, thanks to presenting sponsor The Gardens Mall. The race is a project of the sophomore Sports Management and Recreation Magnet students under the direction of their teacher, Mary Testa.

Funds raised will support all five of the magnet programs at Palm Beach Gardens High School. To register please go to http://www.active.com/running/palm-beach-gardens-fl/palm-beach-gardens-5k-swamp-stomp-2012 .

For more information please contact Palm Beach Gardens High School Magnet Coordinator Ava Pence at ava.pence@palmbeachschools.org .

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Los Dragones de Dreyfoos”, the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Spanish tournament team won the Division II—4A   Championship performance at the state Spanish competition.  The team is led by Dreyfoos Spanish and French teacher, Michael Anand. The team earned 967 points out of 1000 possible. The 2012 Florida State Spanish Conference was held at the Orlando Wyndham Resort. The tournament of impromptu speaking, poetry declamation, theatrical performance, and musical entertainment involved the top 50 Spanish programs among Florida’s high schools.

Los Dragones have been competing every year since 2000, and have won first place twice before (2004 and 2009), second place seven times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010), and third place once (2000).  Dreyfoos also has a Spanish National Honor Society, sponsored by Barbara Smith, which is very active in teaching both Spanish and English to elementary school children. Many of the students who competed are members of both groups.

Amongst the many wonderful performances, Dreyfoos won 1st Place in the State in both Instrumental and Vocal Music: Alex Ramírez won Best of Show for his Saxophone performance of “Salsipuedes”and Daniela Childers won Best of Show for her Vocal performance of “La violetera”.  They also earned a perfect score for their performance of Federico García Lorca’s La casa de Bernarda Alba.  

Mr. Anand acknowledged the support of several people, saying “A special thanks to Alicia Childers, who designed the best costumes in all of 1930s Spain.  A special thanks is also given to our Assistant Impromptu Coaches Alessio Villa and Angélica Moreno, whom we credit 100% for our team’s storybook season. And a special thanks to our Assistant Head Coach Melissa Gifford, who made our experience exceptionally fun.”

Please peruse the event photographs at this link http://www.palmbeachschools.org/community/PDFs/Conf_2012.pdf , documenting the team’s successes and their delight in the competition.

For  more information please contact Mr. Anand at michael.anand@palmbeachschools.org .

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Nearly one hundred students from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts descended upon downtown Tampa to participate in the Florida State Thespian Festival, the largest high school theatre festival in the world.  The festival, held March 14-18 at Tampa’s David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts and the Tampa Convention Center, hosted over 7,000 high school theatre students from across the state of Florida.  Dreyfoos theatre students took the festival by storm with full-length and individual event performances, presentations, and college/scholarship auditions.

 MIDSUMMER, a new rock musical interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream that incorporates the music of The Moody Blues, was one of fourteen high school productions in the state selected to perform on the mainstage of the festival.  Students were allotted six hours to install complicated scenery that included rigging for aerial arts and a motorized revolving turntable before the performance at 7:00pm on Friday, March 16.  At the play’s conclusion, a sold-out audience of 2,600 high school students and guests from across Florida rewarded the cast and crew’s deft performance with a rousing standing ovation.

 Junior theatre student Lexi Carter, 17 of Jupiter, was nominated for the Straz Center’s “Broadway Star of the Future” award for her work playing Helena in MIDSUMMER.  Carter was one of four female high school students in Florida nominated for this honor.  She plans to continue her studies in theatrical performance so that she may pursue a career as a musical theatre actress.

 Another junior theatre student, Sam Leopold, 17 of Palm Beach Gardens, received a Critics’ Choice award in the category of Student-Directed Scene.  Leopold, who also portrayed the role of Bottom in MIDSUMMER, described the experience of winning one of two Critics’ Choice awards in the directing category and performing on the Festival’s mainstage as “surreal, unforgettable, emotional, and a tremendous honor.”

 Senior theatre major Erick Fields, 18 of West Palm Beach, received a $1,000 scholarship from Florida State Thespians.  Fields, a technical direction student, will use his scholarship to attend a theatre program at either Carnegie Mellon University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Webster University, or Purchase College.

 Three Dreyfoos students represented District 15 Thespians (central and northern Palm Beach County as well as Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties) at the Festival’s opening ceremonies: Sarah Belcher, 17 of Loxahatchee, was the District’s representative for technical theatre and design; and, Melissa Gonzalez, 16 of West Palm Beach, and Sarah Hardwick, 16 of Lake Worth, performed a scene from the play Stop Kiss for over 2,000 students as the District’s performance representative. 

 Additionally, Dreyfoos students earned nine Superior ratings and three Excellent ratings in the Festival’s individual event competition.  Individual event categories included: large group musical theatre, duet musical theatre, duet acting, scenic design, student directed scene, costume design, and publicity direction. 

 ABOUT DREYFOOS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS THEATRE

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 Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts offers its students intensive study within their art area and a rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum. Alumni from the Dreyfoos theatre program are working as performers, designers, and technicians on Broadway, in television and film, and in regional theatres across the country.

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West Palm Beach Attorney Lynn Szymoniak who uncovered the “robo-signing” fraud perpetrated by some of the nation’s largest mortgage banks, will share her personal story with the Gerald A Williams Esq. Law Academy students at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School. 

Ms. Szymoniak will address the students on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 from 9:00am -10:40am. Her presentation will focus on public interest law and her successful whistleblower case where she uncovered fake documents in regards to foreclosure cases. There will also be a question and answer period.

Ms. Szymoniak first appeared on 60 Minutes in April of 2011, claiming that the country’s four largest mortgage services had defrauded the federal government by creating fake documents to replace lost or nonexistent ones in order to receive government-funded payments. Recently those banks settled and under the False Claims Act, a private person, also known as a “whistleblower,” is entitled to a share of the money recovered by the U.S. Government.

Ms. Szymoniak was awarded an $18 million settlement after blowing the whistle on the “robo-signing” forged mortgage documents.   It has been reported that she will donate some of the funds to housing related charities.

This story has recently been featured on numerous news programs and magazines.  Her law office has been flooded with calls from clients and media outlets. The Pre-law students are eager and grateful that this local attorney is volunteering her time to share her amazing case.

For more information, contact Melanie Lee at 561-640-5000 or melanie.lee@palmbeachschools.org

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The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife and natural resources.  In an effort to teach students about respect for wildlife and as a community service project, 18 classes at Lighthouse Elementary will be adopting a wild friend (animal) for the sanctuary. 

For the past two months, students have collected coins for an animal chosen by the class.  They have emptied piggy banks and change drawers to support this worthwhile endeavor to help the animals at Busch Wildlife.

The 18 classes participating have raised just over $1200.00.   Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is scheduled to come to the Lighthouse Elementary cafeteria on Thursday, April 5th at 8:30 a.m. Participating classes will go to the cafeteria, drop off their money, and listen to a short explanation about how the money will be used.  Busch will also be bringing animals who will be helped through their donation for the children to see.

This project was begun by teacher Caroline Tarter and opened to the entire school for participation.

For more information please contact Lighthouse Elementary Principal Leslie Bolte at 561-741-9404 or leslie.bolte@palmbeachschools.org .

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Palm Beach Central High School is presenting its second annual Shattered Dreams program on Thursday, March 29th starting at 9:30am. The program will highlight the dangers of distracted driving and will be presented to the Senior Class of 700 students.

The multi-media program will begin in the auditorium and continue in the stadium where a prom night accident will be played out on the field complete with fire rescue and police responding to the crash. 

For more information about the program, please contact Student Activities Director, Donna Baxter at 561-433-7929 or donna.baxter@palmbeachschools.org .

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On Friday, March 30th, four rival high schools are teaming up at Village Park in an effort to raise an astounding $100,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Beginning at 4:00 pm, students and teachers from Palm Beach Central High School, Wellington Community High School, Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Cardinal Newman High School will say goodbye to their luscious locks at this massive head shaving extravaganza.

This exciting, family-friendly event, dubbed “Wellington Kids Care 2012,” will also feature a “Dream Big” carnival featuring games, inflatables, food and prizes. Whether you decide to shave your head, cut you hair for Locks of Love, volunteer or make a donation, your participation will go a long way to help save lives.

Village Park is located at 11700 Pierson Road. For more information about this event or to make a donation, visit www.stbaldricks.org.

About the St. Baldrick’s Foundation: According to its mission statement, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. For more information, visit www.stbaldricks.org.

For more information please contact Donna Baxter at Palm Beach Central High School at donna.baxter@palmbeachschools.org .

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As Brazil prepares to host the World Cup and the Olympics, the American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese (ATOP) has launched a Cultural Contest for all students K-12 and those now in college in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.  This year’s theme for the Focus-Brazil Cultural Contest is: “Soccer- A Brazilian Passion”.

The purpose of the contests is to showcase student’s talents as well as to provide students with an opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture. All competing work shall be presented in text or image. The Focus Brazil contests consist of the following categories: essays (written in Portuguese or English) and arts (drawing, photography, or painting). A total of $2,400 will be distributed among each category’s winners (first, second and third places).

The deadline to deliver all competing work is 5:00 pm April 16, 2012, at the following location: Fundação Vamos Falar Português, 7122 NW 74th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33166.

All participants are invited to attend a free workshop organized by AOTP on “Soccer – A Brazilian Passion,” followed by the contest award ceremony.

The workshop and award ceremony will take place on May 2nd, 2012, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, from 9:30 am to noon.

If you would like to receive more information about the contests and to register your school or university e-mail the American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese (AOTP) at info@aotpsite.org .

For more information please contact School District World Languages Program Planner Jackie Bronkie at 561-434-8695 or jacqueline.bronkie@palmbeachschools.org .

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Markus White, a linebacker for the Washington Redskins, took time out of his busy schedule to speak to a group of students at Grove Park Elementary.  Mr. White is a Florida native, who graduated from John I. Leonard High School and Florida State University. 

Grove Park ElementaryIn his speech, he motivated the students to do their best, to overcome the obstacles that life will bring, and to always strive for excellence.  The students were elated and were able to see first hand, that success is a matter of perseverance and hard work. 

For more information please contact Grove Park Elementary Principal Eric Gross at 561-904-7700 or eric.gross@palmbeachschools.org .