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Seminole Ridge High School students in the SECME Engineering Club and the National Honor Society chapter hosted a special blood drive to honor the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. 


Seminole Ridge HS Science students in Mr. Landstrom's AP Physics class.


The Hawks have yearly hosted a “GIVE BLOOD—IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE” blood drive that recognizes that giving blood is a small sacrifice with great rewards. Each donation can help to save up to three lives. For every pint given, SECME celebrates by letting the student launch a personalized pressurized water rocket launch. 

Working in teams, SECME students constructed water rockets from two-liter soft drink bottles and other materials, which are propelled by the “fuel” of a pint of water and air compressed to 70 psi. 

This year, to honor and reflect on the loss of the twenty children and six educators in the community of Newtown, CT who were the victims of the senseless and horrific acts of violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Seminole Ridge High students released 26 water rockets into the sky, dedicated toward each individual killed in the shooting. 

January 28th is also significant as the day of remembrance for Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to fly in space. McAuliffe was selected from among more than 11,000 applicants from the education profession for entrance into the astronaut ranks. She was planning to conduct experiments and teach two lessons from Space Shuttle Challenger. On January 28, 1986, her spacecraft disintegrated 73 seconds after launch. Blood donations will be dedicated in memory of her and her fellow crewmates.


Stephen Peterson and Melissa Garrity hold the mission patch for mission patch and crew portrait for STS-107. STS-107 was the 113th flight of the Space Shuttle program, and the final flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. The seven-member crew died on February 1, 2003 when the Columbia orbiter disintegrated during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.


Andrea Olave and Jeff Rizzo help dedicate the water rockets. For every pint donated, SECME celebrates by launching a ‘personalized’ water rocket.


Alec Gilbert and Cameron Schneider help prepare the remembrance rockets for launch. Working in teams, SECME students constructed water rockets from two-liter soft drink bottles and other materials, which are propelled by the “fuel” of a pint of water and air compressed to 70 psi.


For more information contact Erich Landstrom at (561) 422-2600 or via email at






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


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When a volunteer walks through the door at Crosspointe Elementary, the school shouts for Joy!  Some volunteers go an extra step for the students and the school dances a Jig.  Barbara and Sylvia are two such volunteers.  These two women told their friends and families in Massachusetts about the need for jackets when the students go to Washington DC and when the weather changes in Florida.  This is how the Crosspointe “Keeping Us Warm Program” was born.  Barbara and Sylvia loaded a van in Massachusetts with over 150 jackets and drove to Boynton Beach, Florida, to deliver the coats to the students of Crosspointe.  

“We danced that Jig!  Crosspointe Elementary School would like to thank their friends and families and of course Barbara and Sylvia for keeping our students ‘warm.’  We wish them a happy and healthy New Year!” said Volunteer Coordinator Regina Sablo. “This program was such a great success that they have already started gathering jackets, sweaters & sweatshirts for November 2013 “Keeping us Warm” Program. Barbara & Sylvia enjoy doing this and the parents and students from Crosspointe truly appreciate their hard work and the time it takes them to drive from Massachusetts to bring these items in their van,” she added.

The School District of Palm Beach County promotes and encourages school volunteers in order to expand and enhance parental, community and civic involvement within schools while maintaining an adequate level of safety and security.

For more information, contact Regina Sablo at 561-292-4111 or email

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By the time recruiters from the 12 participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities  (HBCU’s) closed up shop and headed home, they had awarded  85 full and partial scholarships and 557 admissions to students who attended the 5th Annual HBCU Recruitment and Admissions Tour. 

The following colleges, universities and district high schools participated in the tour January 15-17.


HBCU Participating Colleges and Universities

High Schools Included in the HBCU Tour

  Alabama State UniversityBethune Cookman UniversityCentral State University


Florida Memorial University

Howard University

North Carolina A&T University

Shaw University

South Carolina State University

Talladega College

Tuskeegee University

Atlantic High School

Boynton Beach High School

Forest Hill High School

Glades Central High School

John I. Leonard High School

Lake Worth High School

Pahokee High School

Palm Beach Lakes  High School

Santaluces High School


The event is one of several initiatives supported by the District’s School Counseling and Graduation Support Team.  

For details, contact High School Counseling Specialist, Eunice Greenfield, 561.434.8820 or email



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This mural at Palm Springs Middle School joins the list of mural in the multinational Mural Project.

A group of Palm Springs Middle School students recently put their artistic talents and environmental interests into a collaboration with Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts alumnus Marianne Romeo. Their efforts resulted in a colorful, expressive mural that’s part of the multinational social empowerment initiative called the Mural Project. Ms. Romeo graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography  with a Bachelor’s Degree after attending The University of Florida for two years.   Using the arts as a therapeutic enrichment tool, she has been engaging various women’s and children’s organizations to create murals in their communities.

The purpose of The Mural Project is to create a space of collaboration and expression in which artists share their stories with the extended community and at Palm Springs Middle School—their large multicultural school population.  The former District student has chosen to work with women and children as groups most marginalized in economically disadvantaged populations who are statistically most vulnerable to changing economic and environmental circumstances.

Marianne Romeo has a long and fascinating list of murals most recently in Kenya, Ethiopia, Israel, and California.  She is heading off to exotic Italy for her next exciting project.

For more information on the Mural Project visit

For details about the mural at Palm Springs Middle Community School, contact Martin Weingart, 561.357.5019 or email

Marianne Romeo, (far left), joins Palm Springs Middle School artists, and Principal, Sandy Jinks (standing, far right) in front of the schools new mural.

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Twenty District high school students who were winners in the Holocaust Essay Contest head to Washington, D.C. next week with Holocaust Survivor Frieda Jaffe to participate in a project that will implement what they learned from their visit to the U.S. National Holocaust  Memorial Museum.

Chaperones Frieda Jaffe, Francis Kennedy, Brian Knowles Brian Riviera and Maureen Carter flank the student winners of the District Holocaust Essay Contest during their trip to the nation's capital.

The District’s Holocaust Studies Department is funding the trip through a grant from inSIGHT Through Education and Program Planner Maureen Carter said the students are participating in more than a field trip.

“They’re not just going to the nation’s capital–they will be involved in an intensive two-day field study with visits to U.S. Representative Ted Deutch and the genocide prevention organization called Enough.”  The trip, which is set for February 4-6, will include a tour of Washington monuments at night. 

The following students are scheduled to participate:



William T. Dwyer High School Kiandra Bowers
Alexander Craft
Alex Knight
Clay Meister
Rebecca Gonzalez
David Ebanks
Marquesha Peterson
Landon Courtemanche
Jordan Woodward
Riviera Beach Prepatory Academy Scott Estache
Wellington High School Spencer Perez
Jessica Costan
Boynton Beach High School  Devin  Aikens
Palm Beach Central High School  Daniela Castelblanco
Carlos Luna
Liris Stephanie Berra
Yvens Pierre Louis
Nakidha DuralShannon Sibblis
Royal Palm Beach High School  Satina Darlington

 For details, contact Ms. Carter, 561.434.8933 or email



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Zoe Unger, senior at Spanish River High School was recently honored as the 2012 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year during the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the 2013 US Youth Soccer Workshop in Indianapolis.

Zoe Unger has long been a volunteer for US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer and since her 13th birthday, she has planned a service project each year to benefit the program. Now an excellent high school senior with well over 300 hours of community service, Zoe has organized a fundraising event for the past three years that’s grown into a 5v5 tournament.

“Zoe dreams big!  She is always thinking of ways to make a bigger impact.  Year by year, we have seen more people get involved in her 5v5 tournament and more money has been raised for an incredibly worthwhile program because of her dedication and hard work,” added Mr. Kevin Turner, Coach and Teacher. 

She continues to work as a buddy captain for TOPSoccer and also volunteers for her temple’s youth group and plans to volunteer as a counselor at a camp in Georgia. “Most importantly though, Zoe does it for the benefit of the TOPSoccer players, not because of any awards or recognition that might come her way,” Mr. Turner said.  

Zoe has been accepted to Florida State University and Indiana University at Bloomington and plans to pursue a career in event planning with emphasis on fundraising for not for profit and charitable organizations. 

The recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award is selected by the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors. The Volunteer of the Year award honors those who are excellent role models for their community. Willingness to promote players and soccer, sound moral and ethical character and increasing the opportunities to participate in soccer are all characteristics of nominees for the Volunteer of the Year award.

Hilary Kennedy, host of The US Youth Soccer Show on Fox Soccer, set the stage for the night as the master of ceremonies for the more than 1,000 in attendance. Boys and Girls Recreation and Competitive Coaches of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Young Referee of the Year, Goal and Save of the Year, TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year, the Dr. Thomas Fleck Award and the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame inductees were honored, as well.

For more information about the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala and award winners, visit


Zoe accepting her award in Indianapolis


About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)

US Youth Soccer – “The Game for ALL Kids!®” is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit

For more information contact Kevin Turner at (561) 241-2200 or via email at






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



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The School District Computer Programming Competition has been an annual tradition for nearly 20 years.  This contest is open to all School District of Palm Beach County middle and high school students.  This event provides students with a challenging problem-solving experience that teaches them to work in teams to achieve a common goal within a prescribed timeline.

It takes dedication and passion to keep a competition like this going. John Slattery was one of those dedicated educators, admired by both his students and colleagues. During his 19 years at Suncoast High School, John Slattery worked tirelessly to make this annual competition a successful event.  Mr. Slattery passed away on February 15th 2012 and so, the annual programming competition has been renamed in his honor. Now called the John Slattery Programming Competition, this year’s event will take place on Thursday, February 7th at Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach.

This is a non-budgeted, student-focused event and the teachers and judges must volunteer many hours of their own time in order to help their teams compete and succeed.  The competition committee hopes to be able to raise some funds in order to not only purchase items necessary to support this event, but also to recognize the winning teams.

Would you be willing to sponsor the competition this year? Any amount would be greatly appreciated. The items below will give an idea of what the committee hopes to purchase if enough funds are raised.

Because student-teams may consist of up to five members, all prizes are configured in groups of five.

●     $50-$75 will provide a trophy for the winning team

●     $35  will provide a trophy for the winning coach

●     $125  will provide one large trophy, “The Slattery Award” to be held by the winning school until the following year’s competition

●     $300 will provide door-prizes for all participants (up to 30 including coaches, and judges)

●     $ 75 will provide snacks and drinks for the day of the competition

●     $250 (in $50. incremental GameStop giftcards) will give each student on the winning team a giftcard to GameStop

●     $1000 will provide five Google Nexus tablets (one for each winning student)

Other Items Needed:

Balloons, helium – When students solve a problem, a balloon will be connected as a visual to other teams of their progress.  This should help to create a more competitive environment

For more information please contact Cliff Crawford at at 561-649-6807.

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Scripps Florida is once again hosting a “CELLebrate” Science day at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens on Saturday, February 2, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  This yearly family-friendly event has something for all ages, it’s FREE and open to the public.

The School District of Palm Beach County will have its own exhibit as well featuring the winners of the 2012 Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair.  These students from grades 6-12 will present their own scientific research to the public as a prelude to competing at Florida’s State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, FL in March 2013.

“As the state of Florida has become a hub for the biotech industry, it is vital that our students and their families understand the impact of biotechnology on maintaining and improving quality of life,” said School District K-12 Science Manager Wendy Spielman.  “This event will make the science of biotechnology accessible to our students and the community in a fun, interactive way.  It may also open students’ eyes to a variety of careers paths and fields of study that they may have never considered before.  It will be an outstanding event.”

Scripps Florida staff will be conducting exciting science demonstrations throughout the day.  There will also be interactive exhibits that will open up the minds of all who visit.  Scripps Florida scientists will be there to discuss their groundbreaking research that is taking place right here in Palm Beach County! 

“I have no doubt that many of these students will one day be working side-by-side with the scientists at Scripps and other scientific institutions,” said School District 6-12 Science Program Planner Gregory Goebel.  “It is great to see the positive reaction from the public every year as they are amazed at the outstanding work being done by these middle and high school students that already has real-world applications.”

For more information please contact Gregory 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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Job shadowing opportunities in the world of information technology, criminal justice, engineering, biotechnology, fashion/interior design and much more will be on the calendar when Groundhog Job Shadow Day is held Friday, February 1, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The District’s Department of Choice and Career Options is working with Leadership Palm Beach County’s Leaders in Schools Program to offer a diversity of over 70 job shadowing opportunities to high school seniors enrolled in Career Academies and Technical Education programs. Interested students should register at the Groundhog Day Job Shadow Link by January 27:

For details about the event which is expected to be held annually, contact Dr. Jeraline Marsh, 561.434-8880, or email

See a listing of organizations/businesses that are providing shadowing opportunities here: Shadowing Organizations

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The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts Thespian Troupe #4990 began the school year with a set of ambitious goals.  Chief among these goals has been fundraising $7,500 to benefit national non-profit organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  The Dreyfoos Theatre department is proud to announce that, as a result of producing showcases and special events, theatre students have broken the $5,000 mark in the pursuit of their goal.

Since 1988, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has drawn upon a talented theatre community to raise and grant funds for organizations that work with people afflicted with AIDS and other serious diseases.  Local grantees for the last year include the Comprehensive AIDS Program of Palm Beach County ($2,500) and Pahokee’s Church of the Harvest Food Pantry ($20,000).  Broadway Cares funds granted to Florida organizations for 2012 totaled over $200,000.

Thanks to a strong educational outreach program, Broadway Cares allows students an activist voice.  Troupe President Sam Leopold, 18 of Palm Beach Gardens, was the driving force for setting Dreyfoos’ fundraising goal.  “Broadway Cares is an important organization for the theatre community because it gives opportunities to theatre artists around the country to use the thing we do in good health on a daily basis – performing – to help those in need,” said Leopold.

 In order to ensure that the troupe meets its goal, they are reaching out to the community.  Community members who would like to assist the Dreyfoos Thespians in meeting their fundraising goal may make a tax-deductible contribution payable to: Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts Theatre Department, 501 S. Sapodilla Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.  Please be sure that “Broadway Cares” is written on the memo line.


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


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Kimberly Johnson, an ESE teacher at Lantana Elementary, works with kindergarten through fourth grade students.  Teaching for seven year, Ms. Johnson believes every student is unique, “Teaching to me is about helping students figure out how they learn best and designing instruction to meet their needs.”

Ms. Johnson recently earned the prestigious National Board Certification.  National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers. Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete.  According to Lisa Helfrich, School District Professional Development Manager, “Kimberly Johnson has met these high standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. The School District and the Department of Professional Development congratulate her on this tremendous accomplishment.”

Ms. Johnson’s sister, Melissa Johnson teaches 1st grade at Morikami Park Elementary.  “I was inspired by my sister who is National Board Certified to become certified as well,” said Ms. Johnson. “I personally desired to earn my National Board certification to research best practices, reflect on my teaching methods, and reach the diverse learners I teach. The National Board certification process challenged me to utilize my students’ strengths, interests, and abilities in planning my instruction.”

“I became a teacher to help students with special needs,” said Ms. Johnson who realized she wanted to be a Special Education teacher when she was in middle school.   “I work with students with varying exceptionalities such as specific learning disabilities, developmental delay, and autism spectrum disorder. I enjoy working with these students and helping them succeed.”

For more information please contact Ms. Helfrich at 561-776-3673 or .

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January’s Outstanding Local Teacher for the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is Richard Andreacchio, chorus director at Santaluces High School; and Dwyer High School senior Jacolbi Ivory has been announced as the Center’s Student of the Month. Tracy C. Butler, director of Education for the Performing Arts Center said the two exemplify excellence in the performing arts.

In early December, the 41-member Santaluces High School Chorus, under the direction of Mr. Andreacchio, was the featured mass ensemble for the Kravis Center presentation of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Tour. The  outstanding music educator and teacher, has worked closely with Kravis Education and actively encourages his students to take advantage of local performance opportunities. “The students at Santaluces High School are a proud tapestry of talented Chiefs, and our beautiful arts facility and supportive administrators allows us to push our students to their artistic potential,” said the Lake Worth resident who has been teaching at Santaluces for five years.

Jacolbi Ivory, a senior at Dwyer High School, is a founding member of the KravisArtsCrew, She has served as a youth mentor and student volunteer for numerous Kravis Center educational programs over the past six years, and she’s a poised and professional student leader in the Center’s annual after- school Residency program. “Receiving this Student Spotlight means a lot to me,” said Ms. Ivory, who lives in West Palm Beach with her mother, Michelle Hall. “I have been a ‘Kravis Kid’ since an after- school program in middle school. Whether it was performing on stage or mentoring other young people about how to be empowered by the Arts, my work with the Kravis Center has made me a better person.”

After 20 productive years of Kravis Center arts educational programming,  Ms. Butler said they are proud to spotlight the motivated teachers and dedicated students who have contributed to the Center’s success. “Our Outstanding Teacher and Student of the month will each receive two free tickets to an upcoming performance of their choice at the Kravis Center,” she added.

For more information about the January Teacher of the Month, contact Mr. Andreacchio, 561.642-6200 or email

For details about the January Student of the Month, contact Dwyer High School Principal Dr. Glenda Sheffield, 561.625.7800 or email

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 North Grade Elementary School students created a short video titled Reading Florida Style that focused on the theme: Take the Lead and Read and won first place in The Florida Department of Education’s Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest. Along with the honor, the school has received the $1,000 prize from the  Florida Education Foundation in the Fifth Annual Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Statewide Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest.   North Grade’s students and staff—working with parent, Ken Greenbaum– created the PSA which featured several of the school’s students and staff and fashioned it after a popular contemporary music video titled Gangnam Style.

Principal, Nicole Patterson,  Assistant Principal, Jill Robinson, and Media Specialist, David Voytek, traveled with a group of students from the school’s morning news team to Daytona Beach for the presentation of the award and cash prize.

 For more information about the school’s prize or PSA, contact Ms. Patterson, 561.202.9300 or email

View the PSA by clicking on the following link-

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Caribbean American for Community Involvement in Florida (CAFCI), a community based organization, is offering deserving high school graduates the opportunity to apply for a monetary student assistance award. 

Visit the Caribbean American for Community Involvement in Florida website to obtain the application and all necessary documentation. 

Students interested in applying must have at least a 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate continuous academic success through their high school tenure. Applicants must show that they have participated in school and community activities and must also show an interest in the Caribbean community. 

The monetary assistance is awarded to students who are going on to a college, university, or an accredited institution of higher learning. If selected, the student must provide proof of acceptance from the prospective school before receiving the award. 

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Be a resident of Palm Beach County, Florida
  • Currently attend high school in Palm Beach County, and is expecting to graduate within one year
  • Demonstrate an interest in Caribbean-American affairs
  • Provide a completed application postmarked no later than March 15, 2013
  • Provide an acceptance letter from a college/university (this must accompany the application)
  • Be available for an interview on April 6, 2013
  • Be able to attend a Presentation of Awards Ceremony on May 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. if selected. 

School principals’ and guidance counselors’ signatures are required on the application. Applications and accompanying documents must be postmarked or dropped off no later than March 15, 2013 at 1030 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. Box 11, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411. 

For more information contact Elaine Ealy, Ed.D., Committee Chair, at (561) 351-0068 or via email at






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

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The School District of Palm Beach County’s Wellness Promotion Task Force in collaboration with the Palm Beach County Food Bank has created the “Soul Source Project” promoting People Helping People by collecting non-perishable food items to feed the hungry in Palm Beach County. 

Thus far the District has collected 2,801 pounds of non-perishable foods from the first collection period in October 2012.



Everyone can participate in this wonderful project. Collection sites have been created in schools and at the District’s Fulton Holland Educational Service Center. Just look for the “Soul Source Project” Green Bins

The collection periods are as follows: 

Fulton Holland Educational Service Center:

            January 28, 2013 – February 5, 2013 

Palm Beach County Schools:

            February 4, 2013 – February 15, 2013 


Non-Perishable Food Items Needed… 

Canned Meats (tuna, salmon, chicken)

Peanut Butter (small containers)

Canned Soups

Canned Stews and Chili

Canned Vegetables

Canned Fruits

Canned Pasta

Canned Juices

Canned Beans (pinto, black beans)

Tomato Sauce

Pasta (Macaroni&Cheese)

Hot/Cold Cereals

Cereal Bars


Dry Soups


The need in our community is great and we need the support of our school leaders, staff, and the community to feed the hungry in Palm Beach County. 

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







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



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Percussion Competition To Feature Middle School And High School Students

Boynton Beach Community High School (BBCHS) will present the Drumline Soundoff competition on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The event will take place at BBCHS stadium, starting at 5:00 PM.

The Drumline Soundoff is a High School & Middle School competition that showcases the diverse styles and abilities of percussion sections. This event features the “Traditional Style” percussion section which embodies percussive precision and energy that contains both flare and technique.

The competition will focus on both the technical aspects (form, technique, and difficulty) and creative aspects (body movement, visual presentation, creative use of cymbals and sticks, and overall effect). The Drumline Showdown panel of judges strives to provide the best possible evaluation of each performing ensemble.

 “The Drumline Soundoff is one of the most exciting competitions for percussion sections in South Florida!!! It has been hosted by the Boynton Beach High School Tiger Sound Band Program for three years running and this year it will be nothing short of a spectacular display of our percussion sections from across the State of Florida. We will have our very own ‘Tiger Sound Drumline’ competing, as well as Mainland High School from Daytona Beach, Glades Central High School, Pahokee High School, Carver Middle School from Orlando, Roosevelt Middle School and many more. This is definitely a performance not to miss,” said BBCHS Director of Bands Josh Velez.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate. Thirty-three inches (33”) tall or below is free.

Boynton Beach Community High is home to several academies: the Theatre Academy, the Vocal Academy, the Dance Academy, the Information Technology Academy, the Boynton Aerospace Science Academy (BASA), the Culinary Arts Academy and the Early Childhood Academy.

For more information, contact Joshua Velez at (561)752-1548 or email

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Teachers, staff, parents and students are in the process of completing the School Effectiveness Questionnaire (SEQ). The questionnaire invites these stakeholders to join the conversation and provide feedback to improve school climate and quality. 

The School District also uses the SEQ to comply with the state regulation for an annual school learning environment survey and to meet accreditation requirements. The School Effectiveness Questionnaire (SEQ) is mandated this year in teacher/staff, parent, and student versions.

The teacher/staff SEQ is being administered online again this year. Online administration of the teacher/staff SEQ provides a cost savings to the District. For the first time, the parent version of the SEQ is available online on every school’s Edline website. The student version survey form is being administered in school to every student in grades 5-12.

“The SEQ contributes to our overall understanding of how our schools are performing,” said Randy Powell, Manager Research, Evaluation and Assessment. The questionnaire is being administered from January 7th to February 25th.

For more information please contact Mr. Powell at 561-434-8162  or .

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The Sunrise Park Elementary School Samaritans along the Florence Fuller Center and the District 7 Community Police Unit are organizing ‘A day of giving to our local community and friends’.

During this Fun Day, gently used toys, books, bikes, furniture and clothing will be collected for distribution to families in need.

The event will take place at the Florence Fuller Child Development Center West, 10130 185th Street South in Boca Raton, on Sunday, January 27, 2013, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy an exciting day of family activities.

“It’s a great family event that brings a number of community organizations together to help friends in need,” said Sunrise Park Elementary Principal Alicia Steiger.

The activities include: Mootz’s ice pops, pony rides, Bake sale (proceeds go to Florence Fuller), DJ Jean, Cow licks glitter tattoos, Honey and Silly Farm’s Face painting, Raffle prizes, Police cars, police dogs, meeting with police officers and more. Participants wearing the Sunrise Park Samaritan shirt will be photographed.

This initiative aligns with the School District’s mission of preparing responsible citizens who are committed to improving and giving back to their community.

For more information, contact Laura Reiss at

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The Wellington Parent Teacher Association/Parent Teacher Organization (PTO/PTA) has been chosen as part of the FTI Great City Charity Challenge for a chance to win a portion of $50,000. Fan voting is open until Saturday, January 26, 2013.

Click here to vote for the Wellington PTA/PTO Group

The FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge started in 2010, generating over $400,000 for 24 local charities. The event has grown to 32 local charities competing for a combined $1 million each. To date, the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge has distributed close to $2.7 million to over 55 Palm Beach County Charities.

This year’s event will be held during the 3rd week of the Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with the first horse on course at 7:00 p.m. General admission is FREE for this event.

The Wellington PTO/PTA provides support to all schools in the area through numerous programs which serve the school’s pupils, parents, and staff.  Some of the activities and events that they support include community events, field trips, in-school enrichment programs, school supplies and much more. Last year, 11 Wellington area schools split the grand prize of $150,000.  (Read more

Click here to visit the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge website. 

For more information contact Gail Pasterczyk, Elbridge Gale Elementary Principal at (561) 422-9300 or via e-mail at





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

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Over 1,300 students from 55 Palm Beach County schools participated in the 3rd Annual Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest “What can I be if I’m Alcohol Free?” Their posters promote a clear educational message encouraging an alcohol-free lifestyle for youth. 

After a judging committee selected fifteen semifinalists and approximately 7,000 people participated in the online popular voting, the School District of Palm Beach County is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest.  


Spencer Rubin 5th grade Morikami Elementary

Artist Choice

Abigail Edwards 5th grade Freedom Shores Elementary

Viewers Choice


Richelle Thompson 8th grade Okeeheelee Middle

Artist Choice

Kyana Christian 7th grade Roosevelt Middle

Viewers Choice


Erica Christiansen 12th grade Boca Raton High

Viewers Choice

Madison Sanders 12th grade South Tech Academy

Artist Choice


Spencer Rubin - Morikami Elementary - Artist Choice


Abigail Edwards - Freedom Shores Elementary


Richelle Thompson - Okeeheelee Middle


Kyana Christian - Roosevelt MS


Erica Christiansen - Boca Raton High


Madison Sanders - South Tech Academy

The top six posters (two each from elementary, middle, and high school) will be displayed on all district school buses. In addition winning students receive Adobe Photoshop software and a $50 gift card each.  Teachers of the top six winners receive a $100 gift card to be used towards classroom materials and principals of the top six entries receive a two “Any Day” Fair admission tickets. 

Semi-finalists and the top entry from each school are being featured at the 2013 South Florida Fair in the Bink Glisson Museum at Yesteryear Village through February 3, 2013. 

Winners, their families, teachers and principals will be invited to attend an awards ceremony.   

Elementary Finalists

Mara Vaknin – 5th grade – Manatee Elementary

Lily Gumbinner – 5th grade – Berkshire Elementary

Kenari McMillian, Lorelle Burgess, Sevonna Pierce, Bria Walker – 2nd and 3rd grade – Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary 


Middle School Finalists

Pamela Urizar – 8th grade – Okeeheelee Middle

Diana Rios – L.C. Swain Middle

Samantha Wong – 7th grade – BAK Middle School of the Arts 


High School Finalists

Helen Villarreal – 10th grade – John I. Leonard High

Monica Berrios – 10th grade – John I. Leonard High

Raoul Dolcine – 12th grade – Suncoast High 


Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest Finalists Pictures


The contest is being sponsored in collaboration with the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, the School District of Palm Beach County, Adobe Systems Incorporated, South Florida Fairgrounds, Acreage Loxahatchee Rotary Club, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office


For more information contact Alexa Lee at (561) 844-5952 or via email at








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

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The School District of Palm Beach County will observe the International Holocaust Remembrance day chosen by the United Nations to be celebrated on January 27, 2013. Florida State Statute 1003.42 requires Holocaust education in grades K-12. International Holocaust Remembrance Day presents the opportunity for Holocaust Education in the classroom.

Since the celebration date is a Sunday this year, the School District recommends schools have activities on Friday, January 25, or Monday, January 28.

The District suggests several ways schools may choose to remember. Activities  include:

January 27 is the day in 1945 when the death camp of Auschwitz and its surrounding sub-camps were liberated by the Soviet Army.  They encountered 7,000 prisoners, who were mostly ill and dying. It is estimated that, at minimum, 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945; of these, at least 1.1 million were murdered.  In part, United Nation General Assembly Resolution 60/7 states: The International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is thus a day on which we must reassert our commitment to human rights [...]

“We must also go beyond remembrance, and make sure that new generations know this history.  We must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world. And we must do our utmost so that all peoples must enjoy the protections and rights for which the United Nations stands,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

For more information, contact Maureen Carter at (561) 434-8933 or email

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School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Assembly (SwPBS), “FAB” Bucks Rewards Program, Mentoring Program & Campus Safety Practices Are Ongoing On Campus

A School-wide Positive Behavior Support (SwPBS) Assembly, FAB Bucks Rewards Program, research-based Mentoring Program and Campus Safety Practices are ongoing initiatives that marked the start of the second semester at South Intensive Transition School. The SwPBS Assembly, which is an extension of the SwPBS Team, continually leads the school staff in the behavior support process that identifies, adapts, and sustains effective school-wide disciplinary processes. The SwPBS Assembly & Mentoring Program kicked off on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. for high school students and 9:30 a.m. for middle school students.

The School-wide Positive Behavior Support universal guidelines for success for South Intensive Transition School are to Follow Directions, Avoid Aggression and Be Respectful (FAB). An additional part of the SwPBS Assembly was the introduction of the “FAB Bucks Rewards Program.” In this program, students can earn FAB bucks for positive behavior. Faculty and staff are given $16 weekly in their mailboxes for distribution to deserving students. When accumulated, students can redeem their FAB bucks for snacks, school supplies, gift cards, extra time on the computer and “getting out of homework free” passes.

“The goal of the SwPBS Assembly was to encourage our students to try their very best during the third nine weeks. The students became very excited when they were introduced to the incentives and rewards that are a part of our new FAB Bucks Rewards Program. By the time the students left the assembly, they were much more motivated to follow directions, avoid aggression, and be respectful!” stated Monique Lambrou, SpringBoard English Language Arts Middle School teacher and SwPBS Coordinator.

“The SwPBS Assembly, FAB Bucks Rewards Program and Mentoring Program are initiatives to help students become self-reliant and use a constructive approach to situations that may produce strong emotions, such as anger and frustration, rather than acting impulsively. We use research-based mentoring strategies and techniques to ensure that achievements and milestones are celebrated. Mentees will feel the increased relationship quality and longevity that includes intensive training for mentors, structured activities for mentors and mentees, high expectations for frequency of contact, greater parental support and monitoring of overall program implementation. We ensure campus safety for everyone by requiring identification cards for all staff and students, conducting mock drills, encouraging de-escalation techniques and implementing restorative justice best practices for conflict resolution,” commented Assistant Principal Terrence Narinesingh.

The agenda for the SwPBS Assembly included an interactive PowerPoint presentation on the benefits and incentives attached to positive behavior and role-playing by the Behavior Interventionist Associates (BIA) as a means of helping students address many of the social challenges that are part of the critical developmental transition from childhood to adulthood. Research on how to build a successful and high-quality mentoring program and elements of effective practice was analyzed prior to implementation. The impact of the mentoring program will be evaluated from mentees’ reports of their grades and behavior, teachers’ reports of mentees’ classroom behavior, parent-child relationships, and graduation rates.

“I believe the SwPBS Assembly was a great success. Returning students were refreshed on the school’s rules and behavior expectations, and new students had the privilege to see firsthand what was expected from them. The FAB Bucks Rewards Program, busted calendar (where students are rewarded with FAB dollars or another incentive for being in dress code, wearing ID badges etc.) and mentoring program were all introduced to the students, in which each of these positive behavior reinforcement measures will prove to be very useful and helpful to both staff members and students as the year goes on. The biggest and funniest part of the assembly by far was the skit put on by the staff members. The students not only got a kick out of it, but they also participated in certain parts of each skit, which created an opportunity for the students and employees to positively interact with one other,” said Behavior Intervention Associate (BIA) O’Brian Edwards,

Gerson Garcia, a 9th grader at South Intensive commented, “I think it is a great idea for students because there will be improvement in behaviors and our teachers will reward us for our good deeds. I think it will also help us to understand the points of view of our teachers and learn how to save our money. The campus is very safe and I am happy to be a part of it.”

“I encourage accountability, focus, unity, trust and credibility to create high performance teamwork to achieve behavioral and academic success while ensuring campus safety. We work together to promote staff visibility, campus security through the use of ID badges and locked entrances/exits, and effective communication to ensure safe campus operations for staff, students and visitors. Our Crisis Response Plan is updated and the Safety Committee provides input for drills and evacuation routes,” commented Principal Dr. Voncia Haywood.

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

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Royal Palm Beach High School is in the process of establishing a Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the first of its kind in the Palm Beach County School District. 

The dedication of the Center is scheduled for Monday, January 28th, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the RPBHS Media Center. 

 The Center is being organized and set up by Darrell Schwartz, an instructor in the Global Business Academy at RPBHS. Schwartz is also the instructor of the Holocaust Studies class at the school. He plans to set up the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the Media Center of the school. 

 “This Center will become a center piece for our teachers, faculty, students, community members and district personnel to use for research, studying, lectures, movies and discussions on the horrors of the Holocaust and genocide and how we can be educated to stop this from happening in the future,” said Mr. Schwartz. 

Donations of any materials or books about the Holocaust or genocide are welcome. They can be dropped off at the main office or the media center or mailed to Royal Palm Beach High School Attention Darrell Schwartz – 10600 Okeechobee Blvd., Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411. Checks should be made out to Royal Palm Beach High School with Holocaust Center in the memo section. 

“We are in the process of networking with Yad Vashem in Israel, The Jewish Federation, Facing History and Ourselves Teaching Tolerance, the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida Atlantic University Holocaust Center and Foundations to acquire materials and books for our collection,” Mr. Schwartz added. 

For more information contact Darrell Schwartz at (561) 753-4000 or via email at






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

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Eagles Landing Middle students and their families will participate at the Annual Family Reading/Literacy Night on January 24, 2013 from 6:00-7:30 P.M.  As in previous years, many exciting activities are planned to appeal to all age groups. A few highlights include theme rooms (such as Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Mike Lupica sports room…etc.), a literacy themed scavenger hunt, bookmark making, performances by the school Jazz Band, chorus, Glee club, step club and many other activities.

“We are extremely proud to feature this year a Holocaust Memorial theme room. We will have exhibits consisting of related literature and educational awareness, as well as have Holocaust survivors and others speaking.  Another new and innovative addition will be educating participants how to download and borrow books from our Media Center and the public libraries on e-readers such as Kindle, Nook and Android. We anticipate a large attendance as we’ve had in past years, and we look forward to sharing our love of reading and literacy with our Eagles Landing community,” said Language Arts Teacher Debbi Gollinger.

This initiative is in line with the School District Key Result to assure that all students of each racial/ethnic group will be proficient in reading as measured by FCAT Writes.

For more information, contact Debbi Gollinger at (561) 470-700 or email

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Take Stock In Children is a major statewide collaborative that works with different initiatives within Single School Culture Initiatives (SSCI -formerly Safe Schools) of the School District to facilitate the high school completion and college entry of youth in Palm Beach County. This collaborative is currently one of 32 charities competing for funds in the 2013 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge

This year over $1 million in prizes will be distributed to area charities and results of the competition announced during the Winter Equestrian Festival Saturday, January 26. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with the first horse on course at 7:00 p.m.  The 32 rider teams are randomly paired with the 32 charities that serve Palm Beach County and every charity will win at least $10,000. The charities can generate more funds, however, if supporters will vote for them online at the following link (Find Take Stock in Children and click on the vote button).

Take Stock in Children works with District students  involved with the following SSCI college-readiness initiatives:

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)

College Success/Johnson Scholars

High School Graduation Initiative (HSGI)

School Counseling and Graduation Support

Nancy Reese, assistant director of SSCI said staff within these initiatives are involved at many levels of the effort. “We recruit students, provide coordination for mentors to meet with the students, support students in the college readiness process, provide training and support for AmeriCorps Take Stock Mentors, and some staff within SSCI serve as Take Stock mentors themselves,” she stated.

For details about the Take Stock in Children participation in the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge, contact President/CEO Bette Collister, 561.603.9780 or email