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May is Haitian Heritage Month. Several events will take place to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month again this year in Palm Beach County. The month-long series of activities will begin on May 1st, at 6:00 PM, with an Opening Ceremony and Reception at Toussaint L’Ouverture High School for Arts and Social Justice located at 301 S.W. 14th Avenue, Delray Beach, Florida 33444, featuring the well-known artist Jean Michel Daudier and Nicole Moreta Dance Academy at Toussaint L’Ouverture High School. This initial event will be followed by a number of cultural and academic activities at various dates and locations throughout the county.

Haitian Heritage Month commemoration recognizes the valuable contributions made by Haitians to the history of the World. It is a celebration of Haitian history and culture and an opportunity to share this culture with our communities. On May 18, 2013, Haitian flag-raising ceremonies will take place at the Delray Beach City Hall at 10:00 AM.

“Our goal is to build up the self-esteem of all Haitians, share our wonderful history and culture with the communities where we live and highlight our contributions to the history of the world,” said Bito David, the initiator of the celebration in Palm Beach County in 2003.

Other Haitian Heritage Month highlights include several cultural and educational events at various Palm Beach County Library branches, a traditional student essay contest sponsored by Gaskov Clergé Foundation, a Photo Exhibit featuring prominent Haitian figures in Florida, a festival at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on May 18 and in Belle Glades, and much more.  Visit for more details.

The School District of Palm Beach County partners with Palm Beach County Library System and Toussaint L’Ouverture High School for Arts and Social Justice to coordinate these events.

Haitian and Haitian American students represent the largest ethnic minority group from a single country in the School District of Palm Beach County with about 14,000 students. According to community activists, Palm Beach County is home to more than 90,000 Haitians.

Admission to all Haitian Heritage Month events is free and open to the public. A calendar of activities is attached.

For more information, contact Bito David (561) 644-6488 / email  or Major Joseph Bernadel/Jane Marcel (561) 654-1048 / email or Marjorie Lear at (561) 233-2783 / email

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Palm Beach Central High, Wellington High and Royal Palm Beach High in coordination with various community organizations present Shattered Dreams, a dramatization of the impact of distracted driving and the effects that it can bring into anyone’s life.   




The presentation of Shattered Dreams portrays the risk of engaging into other activities while driving. A Prom Night accident scene, where one of the most memorable nights of anyone’s life can turn into a life changing experience.  Drama students play out as the accident victims on the football field to increase awareness about the effects that texting, substance consumption and other factors can have while driving. 

In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. The idea is to show young drivers the consequences, as close to real life as possible, of what can happen when you don’t focus when driving. 

“This program is presented annually to the senior class just before Prom to remind our students to drive safely. Today’s decisions can have a lifelong impact,” added Mrs. Baxter, Student Activities Director. The percentage of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes that were reported as distracted at the time of the crash is much higher. “This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who are distracted so we hope to increase awareness with this program.” 

David Summers, Injury Prevention Coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospital works with the schools to bring the police, fire and trauma hawk services to the scene. In addition, Panther Towing, Bella Mia Premier Events Photography and the Dori Slosberg Foundation play an integral part in the organization of these events.

 The next Shattered Dreams will take place at Royal Palm Beach High School on April 26, 2013. 

For more information contact Donna Baxter at (561) 433-7929 or via email at







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


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WHAT: Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) & End of Course (EOC) Student Boot Camp and Parent Training

WHO: Students and parents/guardians

WHEN: Saturday, April 6 and 13, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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


  • The FCAT 2.0 and EOC Student Boot Camp is a two-day tutorial program designed to provide remediation and enrichment to students in math, reading, science and social sciences to ensure academic success.
  • The FCAT 2.0 and EOC Parent Training is a two-day orientation designed to build capacity of all parents to understand how to improve student academic achievement in reading, math, science, writing, technology, and social improvement in behavior. Test taking tips, strategies for success and an overview of the FCAT/EOC test, requirements and released FCAT 2.0/EOC practice materials will be provided.

Access the FCAT 2.0 & EOC Student Boot Camp Flyer, FCAT 2.0 and EOC Parent Training Flyer and Treasure Island Student Passport Incentive Program.

For more information, contact Terrence Narinesingh at (561) 202-0600 or

About South Intensive Transition School:

South Intensive Transition School officially opened its doors in 2007 as an alternative school with high expectations for exemplary achievement, serving students in Grades 6-12. South Intensive is the first alternative school in the School District of Palm Beach County to offer the rigorous SpringBoard® curriculum in English Language Arts and Mathematics to ensure that students are equipped to achieve success on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and become college and career ready. South Intensive effectively implements the research-based School-wide Positive Behavior Support (SwPBS) strategies to promote safety, civility, and demonstrate increases in student respectfulness, responsibility and motivation.

South Intensive Transition has achieved the Green School of Promise recognition for taking a holistic approach to going green that incorporates school ground enhancement, resource conservation, curriculum connections, and community involvement with a school wide commitment and focus on sustainability. Through collegial partnerships with Lynn University and several community agencies, students benefit from additional services to ensure academic and behavioral intervention success. For more information, visit


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DaggerWing Nature Center and Hammock Pointe Elementary School coil around each other for the sake of naming a snake. The resident Corn/Red Rat Snake at DaggerWing Nature Center will be named by the 1st Grade students of the school but the general public picks the essay winner. 

The students have written essay letters to persuade the public to pick their name. As all great writers do, these students have researched in books and websites about snakes and corn snakes. Over and over, they revised and edited their piece until the pure craft of persuasive writing emerged nearly error free. 

The Art Exhibit at the DaggerWing Nature Center Gallery will show the beauty of the snake’s colors and patterns through the artistic guidance of Hammock Pointe Elementary School’s Fine Art teachers, Mrs. Laura Sininsky and Ms. Britt Feingold. 

The Art and Essays are on exhibit for viewing and voting at DaggerWing Nature Center from April 2nd  through May 1st.  Kelli Dorschel, manager of DaggerWing Nature Center has arranged the viewing for easy voting. 

“Using all the charm of a 6/7 year old, these adorable writers will show what formidable writers they really are when they want something! And they want the community to vote for their essay,” added Mrs. Sirce Giveon, 1st grade teacher. 

Early in January 2013, Sean Mallee, the Naturalist at DaggerWing Nature Center and Mrs. Giveon, recorded the corn/red rat snake. Using the 1st Grade Life Science Benchmarks, they entwined the question and answers for student knowledge base, while the snake enjoyed the entertainment of becoming famous. 

This video is available on YouTube and runs nearly 15 minutes. 

On EARTH DAY, Saturday, April 20th, the celebration brings hundreds of visitors to DaggerWing Nature Center for special free activities from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This is yet another fabulous opportunity for the general public to come and vote for the name of the corn/red rat snake. 

The evening of Wednesday, May 1st, starting at 5:30 p.m., the celebration of this Corn/Red Rat Snake art work and the essays contest will have its winners. Every finalist is acknowledged and receives a gift from the Friends of DaggerWing Nature Center. Parents and families, friends, neighbors, and the general public are invited to this free event. 

DaggerWing Nature Center is located 11435 Park Access Road, Boca Raton, FL 33498. Exhibit is open Wednesday-Friday: 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the center is closed.  The Nature Center will be closed on Friday, April 12. 

For more information contact Sirce Giveon at (561) 477-2200 or via email at








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

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Park Vista Community High School and Ring Warriors would like to invite all teachers, students and community members to a fun filled evening of “COBRAMANIA.” 

When? Saturday, April 13, 2013. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 

Where? Park Vista High School – 7900 Jog Rd., Lake Worth. 

This event will feature current professional wrestlers from TNA and Impact Wrestling.  In addition, some of Park Vista’s staff will be featured in the ring. Ticket prices are $15.00 for ring side seats and $10.00 for bleacher seats. 

The School District of Palm Beach County believes that every student should have the opportunity to participate in quality physical education. It is imperative to offer programs to develop the health-related fitness, physical competence, and cognitive understanding about physical activity for all students so that they can adopt healthy and physically active lifestyles.  

Today’s quality physical education programs are important because they provide learning experiences that meet the developmental needs of youngsters, which help improve a child’s mental alertness, academic performance, readiness to learn and enthusiasm for learning. 

For more information contact Reginald Myer at (561) 491-8400 or via email at







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

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Lincoln Elementary students, teachers and staff have been working hard to prepare for the upcoming FCAT test. To get students excited about the assessment the school is partnering with community members and other educational centers to bring the Lincoln Elementary FCAT Pep Rally

When? Friday, April 12, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

Where? Lincoln Elementary School – 1160 Avenue N., Riviera Beach, FL 33404

The event is designed to help students improve their confidence level for the test and no one can do it better than School Police’s Bloodhound, KASH, who will kick off the event and boost the energy level.

The Lincoln Elementary FCAT Pep Rally will feature several students performing dances and songs including the Watson B. Duncan Middle School drummers and John F. Kennedy Middle School cheerleading squad. One of the highlights of the event will be the teachers performing the “FCAT Shake” to show students that is important to study hard but also to relax and not get stressed out.

District’s leadership members along with School Board Members, Riviera Beach City Mayor and various councilmen will be in attendance. 

Members of the media are welcomed to attend. 

For more information contact Ms. Lauretta Handy-Willis at (561) 494-1405 or via email at







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

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The school district has informed parents whose children attend a NCLB school of possible changes to student school assignments for next year, 2013-2014, due to changes related to the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability system of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
Among other things, the letter informed parents that their child has been “grandfathered” into his or her current NCLB school and may remain at the school until he or she completes the highest grade level at the school they currently attend.
The letter states: 
In September 2012 you received a written communication regarding changes related to the federal accountability system of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). One change involves the elimination of public school choice option that would have allowed the transfer of students under the guidelines of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
Since your child was previously enrolled in the NCLB program he/she has been “grandfathered” in the program and will remain at the school he/she is attending until the highest grade is completed. For example, if a student is currently enrolled in an elementary school, he/she can remain at that school until completing grade 5. If a student is currently enrolled in middle school, he/she can remain at that school until completing grade 8. If a student is currently enrolled in high school, he/she can remain at that school until completing grade 12. Once your child completes the highest grade, or voluntarily withdraws from the NCLB school, he/she will be exited permanently from the program and should then be enrolled at the school in the zoned residence.
Transportation will not be provided for the 2013-2014 school year and beyond. Please plan to make arrangements for transportation beginning the 2013-2014 school year. If you are unable to provide transportation to the current NCLB school your child is enrolled in, you will need to register your child in your zoned school for the 2013-2014 school year. To identify your zoned school please visit
 If you have additional questions, please call the office of Choice and Career Options at 561-434-8755.
-end of letter-

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When Ms. Gwenn Sueling told her students that Sandy Hook Elementary was the first school she ever worked at, they felt the need to make a statement acknowledging the lives lost and the sadness and helplessness that event made us all feel. After much discussion and hard work the students painted a mural in memory of the victims.

Students Kayla Vasko and Brooke Lazarich

 The mural was spearheaded and overseen by three students, Kayla Vasko, Brooke Lazarich, and Eddie Walker, though many of the students in the advanced painting and drawing classes lent a hand with the portraits.  The mural was painted in oils on a canvas then mounted on the fence at the school’s entrance.  

Students prepared the canvas and started transferring the portraits immediately following the shooting in Sandy Hook in December 2012.  “We worried that it was taking too long but did not want to rush because we wanted to do the best job we could to honor the lives that had been lost,” added Ms. Seuling. 

Since most of the students who worked on the mural had not used oil paints before they allow everyone to take their time and do the best job they could. This mural was meant as a tribute, and time was not an issue for the end result the students desired – an accurate depiction of each of the Sandy Hook victims. 

The three coordinators of the project, Kayla, Brooke and Eddie prepared materials, coordinated the work, and managed to get over forty other students to work on it, when they were able, and yet maintain a uniform look. While they worked on the mural, students discussed school shootings, what they ought to do if one occurred and what caused them. 

The students learned to use oil paints, but more importantly, they learned to get to know each other as they set aside pre-conceived notions and prejudices and got to know each other as individuals. “I cannot express how proud I am of my students, or how wonderful it feels to bring together my past and present schools in such a meaningful way,” said Ms. Seuling. 

Seminole Ridge Community High School is located at 4601 Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd. in Loxahatchee. 

For more information contact Gwenn Seuling at (561) 422-2704 or via email at








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

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Spring into dance with The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts’ annual Spring Dance Concert. The performances will include choreography by guest artists Margo Sappington, International Choreographer and Rick McCullough of Florida State University.  Special guest choreographers include alumni Lauren Carey and Ryan Redmond both recent graduates from The Julliard School and Alex Anderson a current student.


April 11th -13th at 7 pm 

April 14th at 2 pm


Students $5

Adults $10

Tickets Available at:

For more information please contact Ronda Johnson at .

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Boynton Beach High School Junior Destiny Andrews, and her physics teacher, Nicole Neuhengen are headed to the Molecular Frontiers Annual Symposium at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden next month.  Their trip is possible thanks to a scholarship awarded by the Boynton Beach/Lantana Rotary Club. Club Past President Deborah Donnelly-McLay—who’s also a member of the Strategic Board at Molecular Frontiers—will also make the trip to the Symposium. Destiny is a student in the Boynton Beach Aerospace Science Academy in conjunction with the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who has received the South Florida Every child Makes a Difference Award, and has been inducted into the National Honor Society.

Left to right, Physics Teacher Nicole Nerhengen, Boynton Beach/Lantana Rotary Club President Dr. Gay Voss; Boynton Beach/Lantana Rotary Club Past President Deborah Donnelly-McLay, Scholarship Recipient Destiny Andrews, and Destiny's mother, Heather Andrews.

She began flying aircraft when she was 14 years old and obtained her student pilot certificate in January, 2012. Her long term goal includes obtaining a private pilot license before the end of her senior year. Among her many contributions to community service, Destiny is an alumnus of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and creates works of art to be auctioned at their annual fundraisers benefitting the new building fund for the Wellington Club. She has also raised approximately $700.00 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for childhood cancer research.  Every year during the month of May for the past 10 years, Destiny has helped raise money for Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. She has done this by face painting, wearing a Michelin Man costume and smiling for photographs, selling baked goods, and more. 


On numerous occasions, this young lady with a big heart has given her hair to the Locks of Love Organization inspiring her sister and her mother to do the same.  Moreover, when the Boynton Beach High student befriended a young lady suffering from alopecia, she was determined to do more than just give her own hair and planned a Sweet Sixteen event last year raising over $1100.00, and bringing in 26 feet of hair by way of 24 human donors.

The young pilot also volunteers by way of her Temple, through her involvement with the youth group and our mitzvah campaigns.  She has painted homes, sorted hundreds of pounds of rice and beans for the local food banks, served the hungry during Thanksgiving week, visiting the elderly and more.

 Next month’s Symposium, titled Exploring the Boundaries: The Science of the Extremes will take place  May 28-29, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in conjunction with the Nobel Academy. Molecular Frontiers is a global effort to promote the understanding and appreciation of molecular science in society. The website is    The scientific advisory board, a group of prominent scientists and Nobel Laureates span a range of molecular science disciplines, will mentor the youth of today.

For details about Destiny or her trip to Sweden, contact Heather Andrews at

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National Playground Safety Week is April 21-27, 2013.  The purpose of this week is to focus on outdoor play areas, to teach students how to play safely, and to thank those who work to make and keep playgrounds safe.   

The departments of Facilities Services, Purchasing, and Risk & Benefits Management work collaboratively to approve, inspect, purchase and maintain over 300 playgrounds and numerous other play areas across the School District to serve all students, including specialized areas of Pre-K and ESE.  The departments also ensure that there are play areas accessible for students with physical disabilities to participate in group play with others. 

The department of Risk & Benefits Management provides playground safety training to staff and online resources for staff on the topics of supervision and rules for play for students.  Resources may be found on the Risk & Benefits website under Safety, Playgrounds, as well as within the TrainU course, Safety Matters.

For more information please contact Risk and Safety Manager Linda King at or 561-434-8245.

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Everything’s coming up poetry at Palm Springs Middle School this month as students and staff celebrate poetry month with related activities throughout April. Poetry is posted throughout the school; the library is decorated with original poetry projects; and a poem a day is recited on PSTV’s morning news program.

The students are looking forward to poem-in-your-pocket day, April 18th, when everybody will be carrying around poems, trading them, and erupting in spontaneous recitations of poetry.

 Art students have been working on designing the cover and bookmark for the Palm Beach County Middle School Poetry Competition  and Language Arts students have been writing poetry to submit.  

Poetry Month will culminate April 27th at 2:00 p.m., when Palm Springs Middle School hosts the 2013 Palm Beach County Middle School Poetry Competition awards ceremony in the school library.

For details about the poetry competition, contact Laura Costello, 561.434.3300 or email


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Dreyfoos School of the Arts junior, Heather Grace, created a DVD in Spanish that was so impressive that she was named a national winner of the Bertie Green Travel Award.  The annual  competition is sponsored by the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, the National Honor Society of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. The Palm Beach Gardens visual arts student gets an expense-paid trip this summer to take in the sights and sounds of beautiful Costa Rica for two weeks.

Only 24 students were selected this year as national winners.  The prize for each national winner is an all expense paid trip to Costa Rica in July.  The rules of the competition allow only one student per chapter to create a DVD in Spanish which is then submitted for national judging. In addition, each winner then wrote an essay that included research on the country of Costa Rica.    

Heather’s Spanish teacher, Barbara Smith, a 33 -year veteran Spanish instructor, has had six winners in the past six years.   “Heather is the first visual arts student to be selected from Dreyfoos for the Bertie Green Travel Award.  The natural beauty of Costa Rica will be a true treat for Heather.  She will have many opportunities to sketch and photograph its’ treasures.”

Heather is currently enrolled in Spanish 4 Honors and an Advanced Placement art course – one of four Advanced Placement courses she is taking. “I am honored to be selected as a Bertie Green Travel recipient.  I will be able to visit a country that will satisfy two of my passions – Spanish and art.”

For details, contact Magnet Coordinator Jane Grandusky, 561.805.6203 or email


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Who: Hidden Oaks Elementary School and Community
What: Rummage Sale
Why: to benefit former Hidden Oaks/current Christa McAuliffe Choral Director, Amy Clark (who’s fighting Lymphoma) 
When April 20th from 7:30 -10:30 a.m.
Where Hidden Oaks Elementary School, 7685 S Military Trail, Lake Worth FL 33463

Contact Hidden Oaks Elementary School at 561.804.3800.

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Boys Town South Florida’s mission to change the way America cares for children, families and communities expanded its reach recently when the agency provided its first Common Sense Parenting® (CSP) class at Greenacres Elementary School.

Florida holds a melting pot of diverse ethnicities and languages. English, Spanish, French and Creole are a few of the approximately 125 languages and dialects spoken among residents of Palm Beach County.  Due to its large Spanish speaking community in Greenacres, Boys Town held a six-week class in Spanish.  A total of 20 adults and their 41 children benefited from the class.

A diverse group of 14 Boys Town staff members were trained in CSP to provide logical strategies and easy-to-learn techniques to address issues of communication, discipline, decision-making, relationships, self-control and school success.  CSP classes enable parents to nurture their children’s development and combine affection and discipline to decrease negative behavior.

Keith Oswald, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Learning Support, stated that, “The School District and Boys Town maintain a strong relationship and commitment to the success of students in Palm Beach County.  Offering Boys Town’s Common Sense Parenting® program to families was an easy decision to make due to the quality programming offered by the agency.  I am confident that this evidence-based program will have positive lasting results for our students.”

And those results are coming back positive from both parents and students already.

“The program uses video, real life situations, and discussions to work through common issues parents have with their children,” said Greenacres Elementary Principal, Dr. Patti Lucas. “It really gives parents a chance to learn, try it themselves, and then follow-up on the results.”

“At the end of the class, the instructor asked the kids how their parents changed their parenting and discipline skills,” said Boys Town’s Program Director, Dr. Seth Bernstein. “The kids said they are now getting rewards and consequences for their behavior, and their mothers and fathers seem to be calmer when dealing with them.”

“The parents are more empowered with their children and are participating more in school,” adds Dr. Lucas. “I met with parents who participated and they said they loved the program and wanted to learn more.”

 “At the end of the six-week workshop, the parents stood proud with their certificates in hand and feasted with a potluck to recognize everyone’s accomplishments,” said Dr. Bernstein.

Boys Town plans to hold 28 Common Sense Parenting® classes (in English, Spanish and Creole) throughout the calendar year.   For more information, please contact Dr. Bernstein at

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Allamanda Elementary School will “Rock the FCAT” at the sixth annual school-wide FCAT pep rally Friday, April 12th at 1:00 p.m.  Cary Stadtlander, Amp’d drummer, is the rock star dad of Allamanda fifth grade student Savannah Stadtlander.  Mr. Stadtlander rallied his band to play this benefit performance to get Allamanda students fired up about the annual exam.  Students at the “A”-rated school will rock and roll, dance and dress like the rock stars they are, while “Sticks” Stadtlander and his band mates blow the roof off the joint.

Randy LeVenia (guitars), Cary Stadtlander (drums, founding member), Paul Goldschlag (vocals, harmonica, percussion), Keith Almquist (keyboards), David Kahan (former band member), Jim Black (bass guitar).

“We’re excited to perform our flavor of upbeat classic rock for these young learners.  For many of them, it might be their first time seeing a live band; it just might lead to some of them getting involved with music appreciation or learning an instrument.  We hope it will “Amp” them up to do their best on the FCAT,” said Mr. Stadtlander.

Kevin Rolston, Wild 95.5 local radio personality, donated his time and talent to emcee Allamanda’s FCAT pep rally last year. Mr. Rolston is a hard act to follow, but Amp’d is up to the task.

Amp’d's usual venues include local bistros, casinos and corporate events.  Amp’d was formed in 2004.  The current lineup is: Cary Stadtlander (Drums, Founding Member), Paul Goldschlag (Vocals, Harmonica, Percussion), Keith Almquist (Keyboards), Jim Black (Bass), Randy LeVenia (Guitars).  

Please contact Deborah Feinsinger, or 561-803-7243 if you need further information.      

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Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Wayne Gent

Top military, government, and educational leaders will be at William T. Dwyer High School on May 9thfor a ceremony scheduled to highlight and honor Palm Beach County high school seniors (and their parents) who plan to enlist into all branches of the military after graduation this spring.

 Over 250 people are expected to attend the event, hosted by WPTV News Channel 5’s Shannon Cake. Keynote speakers include Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Wayne Gent, who had five uncles who served in the Army and the Navy, and Major General (RET) Wayne P. Jackson.  This event is presented by Office Depot and sponsored by Bank of America, FPL, and Keiser University.


Thursday, May 9, 2013


6:00 pm – 9:00 pm; (Formal Ceremony 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm)


William T. Dwyer High School, 13601 N. MilitaryTrail, West Palm Beach, Florida 33410

 “We’re proud of these students who have opted to enlist in our nation’s armed forces after high school graduation,” said Mr. Gent. “They’re providing a service to our community and country while simultaneously pursuing career training that can benefit them for the rest of their lives.” Many active duty recruits pursue college degrees while still enlisted or use military benefits to do so after leaving military service. Major General (RET) Jackson said a military career pathway is an honorable choice. “It is with pride that we congratulate them and their families—and thank them for their commitment to continued education and service to our country.”

 Our Community Salutes of Palm Beach County is part of a nationwide, grassroots effort designed to honor high school seniors who have made the bold decision to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces immediately following graduation.  It is an event designed to honor them, their parents, and their high school teachers and counselors who have guided them towards enlistment in the U.S. military and a possible career in military service.

 For more information or to attend this event, please contact

  Additional information on Our Community Salutes can be found at

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Gove Elementary School and Lakeside Medical Center present the 3rd Annual Fun Family Fitness for FCAT Success. 

When? Thursday, April 11th, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Where? Gove Elementary School – 900 S.E. Ave. “G”, Belle Glade, FL 33430. 

The Fun Family Fitness for FCAT Success is a program fostering family involvement in preparing 3rd grade students for the FCAT test.  Their parents will be given hands-on strategies that will encourage them to create a learning atmosphere in their daily lives, improve their nutrition, and promote activities that will help them engage in family fitness.

“Special thanks go to Lakeside Medical Center, Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network, Third Grade Teachers and Gove’s support staff for going beyond their work schedule,” added Ms. Ellen Smith, Brain Gym/Wellness Teacher. 

Strategies for math and reading that can be used in every-day family situations will be introduced, demonstrated and practiced, followed by a presentation on Brain Gym. 

Parents and their 3rd graders will then be invited to visit four centers where teachers and Gove Wellness Student Council will illustrate and demonstrate strategies for FCAT success in Spanish and English including: 

1. Mind Center

  • Brain Gym demonstration by students
  • Water – 8 Glasses of water + 8 Hours of sleep = FCAT Success
  • Feel Good Foods – Plan ahead to keep good foods available

2. Body Center

  • 25 Fun Things to Do
  • Family size Jump Ropes
  • Eat Right / Keep Active

3. Nutrition Center

  • Nutritious Choices and Alternatives
  • Trail Mix
  • Portion Distortion

4. Report Card – Set Family Goal

After completing the four centers each participating family will be asked to come back to their seats and develop family wellness goals. 

This over ten-year partnership between the Gove Elementary Wellness Committee and Lakeside Medical Center (formerly Glades General Hospital) has produced successful programs such as the Glades Wellness Challenge, Walk to School Days, Medical Professions Days and more.  

This latest endeavor that illustrates the importance of creating a healthy body and mind is made possible through the relationships and partnerships built between Gove Elementary, Lakeside Medical Center, the Gove Wellness Student Council and Committee, Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network (LORHN), Everglades Area Health Education Center (EAHEC), Dairy Council and new partners, Florida Atlantic University Nursing Program, NFL Play 60 and Safe Routes and Infrastructure Grants with Palm Beach County School District. 

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







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


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Leukemia and Lymphoma are different types of blood cancers that affect children, adults, women and men and unfortunately change the lives of many citizens of our country. An estimated 44,600 new cases of leukemia were diagnosed in the United States in 2011. For this reason, students, teachers and staff at Hammock Pointe Elementary School proudly participated in the fight against cancer with the “Pennies for Patients” campaign.

The Hammock Pointe School Community Organization raised money for childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma patients in Palm Beach County and raised an impressive $4,665.29 in just two weeks!  The funds are allocated by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help provide services for patients and their families, along with research efforts, public policy initiatives among other aspects.

The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

For more information on The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or the School & Youth Programs, please visit and

For more information contact Elizabeth D’Agata at (561) 477-2200.








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

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Staff, Community Invited On Virtual Learning Journey

Mrs. Estella Pyfrom, a 50-year Palm Beach County educator, now retired, has become the national CNN Hero of the Week.  Her story aired nationally on CNN Thursday night, April 4, 2013.

Using her retirement savings, Mrs. Pyfrom has created a mobile computer lab - Estella’s Brilliant Bus, which visits schools and communities throughout Palm Beach County year round. Her work has captured the national spotlight, attracting national media attention, such as CNN. It’s colorful presence and arrival is always an exciting event in the communities.
See the CNN story at   or

Mrs. Pyfrom will bring her Estella’s Brilliant Bus to the school district headquarters, Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center, 3300 Forest Hill Blvd., on Wednesday,  April 17, 2013 from 3 – 5:30 pm.  
The Brilliant Bus will be located in or near the Visitor’s Parking Lot in front of the building where Board Members, students, teachers and employees, parents and community visitors will be able to climb aboard for a journey into mobile learning prior to the 5 p.m. start of the Board Meeting.
Estella’s Brilliant Bus gives students and adults free hands-on practice on state-of-the-art computers loaded with the latest school curriculum information and other software.  Her website
Students research homework assignments and projects, practice lessons with trained educators, prepare for tests and just have fun surfing the web in a cheerful, monitored, guided environment.
The event is free and open to the public and district employees.
For more information, contact  Mrs. Estella Pyfrom at 561 985-1889 or Nat Harrington at 561-434-8227.

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Frank Barbieri, School Board Member; Dr. Connie Tuman-Rugg, Area Superintendent and Cynthia Chiapetta, Principal surprised Jennifer A. Seidenstucker, Treasurer at Eagles Landing Middle School, with the news that she is The School District of Palm Beach County’s School-Related Employee of the Year.  Ms. Seidenstucker began working for the School District in 1998, and has been a bookkeeper since 2003.  She now represents all 13,000 Palm Beach County School District non-instructional employees in the Florida Department of Education School-Related Employee of the Year Program.

Mr. Frank Barbieri, Dr. Connie Tuman-Rugg, Ms. Jennifer Seidenstucker and Cynthia Chiapetta.

In the nomination letter, Principal Cynthia Chiapetta wrote, “Jennifer Seidenstucker is proactive in her duties, and she has had three consecutive years of perfect audits that indicate her talent, skills, dedication and work ethic.”   Ms. Chiapetta noted further that Ms. Seidenstucker facilitates an open line of communication with staff, students and community regarding fiscal policies and procedures.  Additionally, she coordinates all of the school incentive programs, serves as the United Way Chairperson, volunteers during Family Reading Night and Saturday tutorials, and has mentored other support staff for more than five years. 

According to the nominating committee, Ms. Seidenstucker was instrumental in the design, implementation, and distribution of the school’s Emergency Response Plan.  She also works with PTSA, and played an important role in making the Eagles Landing PTSA the Florida State PTSA of the Year in 2012.  Ms. Seidenstucker and the PTSA president worked together on many fundraising programs, including the $500,000 acquisition of donated equipment through NASA. 

In the community, Ms. Seidenstucker is known for her photography.  In addition to winning awards for her skill, she donated one of her beautiful photos to the Palm Beach Zoo to help raise funds through their auction. 

As Palm Beach County’s School-Related Employee of the Year, Ms. Seidenstucker will receive a cash award of $1,000 through funds contributed by district business partnerships.  Ms. Seidenstucker now represents the School District of Palm Beach County in the FLDOE Support-Employee of the Year Program. 

For additional information, please contact Sue Walters at 561- 649-6809 or via email at






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

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Frank Barbieri, School Board Member; Connie Tuman-Rugg, Area Superintendent and Mark Stenner, West Boca High School Principal surprised Maria Aparicio, April 5, 2013 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. Aparicio, a Physics Honors teacher and Advanced Placement Physics teacher at West Boca Raton Community High School is a resident of Boca Raton, Florida.

Mark Stenner, Maria Aparicio, Carlos Aparicio, Dr. Connie Tuman-Rugg and Mr. Frank Barbieri.

Mark Stenner, Maria Aparicio, Carlos Aparicio, Dr. Connie Tuman-Rugg and Mr. Frank Barbieri.

Corey Young, a current student of Ms. Aparicio’s, has grown to love the field of physics.  The dedicated teacher set extra help hours after school on Thursdays, but Corey was unable to attend.  She makes a special time each week for Corey to come during lunch, and Corey believes “that of all teachers, Ms. Aparicio is by far one of the most dedicated and passionate in the field she teaches.” 

Ena Kadribasic, University of California, Berkley Class of 2016, wrote in Ms. Aparicio’s letter of recommendation, “Ms. Aparicio has passed knowledge on to generations of young minds with patience, integrity, perseverance and dedication.  She inspired us and opened so many doors for our future, and her support of our learning made a place for her in my heart forever.” 

West Boca Raton Principal Mark Stenner said, “Ms. Aparicio’s students receive the greatest benefit from her daily interaction with them.”  She is a National Board Certified Teacher, an Advanced Placement Physics Roundtable Facilitator since 2007, the Hispanic Teacher of the Year in 2003, Palm Beach Science Teacher of the Year in 2004, and a finalist for the Dwyer Award of Excellence in Education in 1995 and 2003.” 

Ms. Aparicio’s career includes 36 years of teaching in Florida, with seven of these in her current position.  She also finds time to mentor students and other teachers, and to volunteer.  Since 2004 she has chaired the annual Hispanic Heritage Picnic at St. Jude Catholic Church. 

As Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year, Ms. Aparicio 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. Aparicio 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, please contact Sue Walters at 561- 649-6809 or via email at







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

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The School District of Palm Beach County has been nominated and selected to receive Pine Jog’s Environmental Leadership Award, Environmental Visionary of the Year.

This award recognizes the School District for its innovative and forward thinking towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly South Florida by:

Taking the initiative to put in place new policies and practices:

  1. Energy & Water Use Conservation (Policy 7.196)
  2. Energy Conservation Incentive Program (Policy 7.1965)
  3. Indoor Air Quality (Policy 7.195)
  4. Waste Reduction, Materials Reuse and Recycling (Policy 7.197)
  5. Tobacco-free Environment (Policy 7.19)

Demonstrating exceptional leadership in guiding our communities to a more sustainable future:

  1. Partnerships in the Green Schools Recognition Program that rewards individual District schools for their efforts to incorporate sustainability into their daily operations, curriculum, and overall school culture.
  2. Pine Jog Elementary – State of Florida’s 1st LEED Gold-certified K12 school.
  3. Galaxy Elementary (currently under construction) – Florida’s 1st LEED Platinum-certified K12 school.
  4. A two-time U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized indoor-air quality program and partnership with the American Lung Association for the Asthma-Friendly Schools and Open Airways programs.

In 2013, the Green Schools National Network selected West Palm Beach as the location for its 3rd annual national conference due in large measure to the District’s national reputation for its sustainability and conservation programs and its commitment to providing an enriching environment for both working and learning.

The Award will be presented at the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center’s annual fundraiser, the Green Gala, on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 6 p.m.

For information, please contact: Kristi Martin Moyer at (561)686-6600.

Link to Green Gala info:

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Forty students represented Palm Beach County at the 2013 State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, FL.  These outstanding middle and high school students qualified for this competition at our Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair held this past December.  Their projects covered many areas of scientific investigation in the physical and biological sciences. 


“They definitely represented our county well as over half of these students received an award at the state level!” added Gregory Goebel, Secondary Science Program Planner. 

Christopher Wan, Ryan Meingasner, Andrew O’Neill, Maria Elena Grimmett, Alexandra Kaye, Savannah Flak, and Zachary Solloway have been invited to represent Palm Beach County at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  The international fair will be held from May 12 – 17 in Phoenix, AZ.  “We wish these students well in their endeavor at the next level!” 

In addition to winning first place, Christopher Wan from Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts received the Grand Award in the Physical Sciences division.  

The 21 winners from Palm Beach County are: 

High School

1st Place:  Christopher Wan – Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts

2nd Place:  Ryan Meingasner – Seminole Ridge High School

2nd Place:  Andrew O’Neill – Suncoast High School

2nd Place:  Maria Elena Grimmett – Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches

3rd Place:  Alexandra Kaye – Palm Beach Lakes High School

3rd Place:  Zachary Solloway – Park Vista High School

3rd Place:  Savannah Flak – Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts

4th Place:  Ximena Hasbach – Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts

4th Place:  Joshua Hellerstein – Suncoast High School

4th Place:  Alexander Naum – Palm Beach Central High School

Honorable Mention:  Anthony Olive – Palm Beach Central High School

Honorable Mention:  Alexander Todor  – Suncoast High School

Honorable Mention:  Anthony Coons – American Heritage School of Boca/Delray

Recognition Award:  Goda Graudinis – Palm Beach Central High School

Recognition Award:  Sarah Barden – Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts

Recognition Award:  Tristin Jones – American Heritage School of Boca/Delray



Middle School


2nd Place:  Julia Raymond – Rosarian Academy

3rd Place:  Lindsay MacLachlan – Independence Middle School

4th Place:  Rachel Caspar – Jupiter Middle School

4th Place:  Austin Consagra – Wellington Landings Middle School

Honorable Mention:  Ray Jia – Loggers’ Run Middle School



For more information contact Greg Goebel at 561-357-1128 or via email at







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

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Palm Beach Lakes Community High School has been selected as a finalist to become a College Board SpringBoard® National Demonstration School site.  SpringBoard® is the College Board’s official pre-AP curriculum for middle and high schools designed to engage students in problem solving, academic discourse and critical analysis by embedding Pre-AP and AP teaching and learning strategies in the curriculum, emphasizing higher-order thinking skills.

If selected, Palm Beach Lakes will serve as a model showcase for other schools across the nation, and will host visits from teachers and administrators who are interested in seeing exemplary, school-wide best practices in action. 

As a finalist, Palm Beach Lakes will be visited by the College Board SpringBoard® Site Evaluation Team in May.  During this visit school administration, staff, and students will be interviewed, SpringBoard® ELA classrooms will be visited, and the school will produce a school portfolio for final evaluation by the Site Evaluation Team.  National winners will be announced by the College Board in June, 2013.

The District currently has two other National Demonstration Site schools: Boynton Beach High School and Santaluces High School, designated as National Demonstration Sites in 2011.

To see the school’s application video, go to the following vodcast link:

For more information please contact Becky Youngman, Manager College Readiness Single School Culture© Initiatives at or (561) 982-0945.