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Grants From Target Corporation Help Arts And Tutorial Program


Sunrise Park Elementary School recently received two grants from the Target Corporation, each for $2,000.00.   The first grant will be used to fund the Afterschool art program called “R.I.S.E. (Respect and Responsibility Invites a Safe Environment) through the Arts.”   Under the guidance of art teacher, Judy Simon, students will design murals to remind everyone of Sunrise Park’s weekly character traits, which are part of the school-wide positive behavior support program.  The murals will then be painted in different locations throughout the school. 

The second grant was awarded for Sunrise Park’s “Club Discovery” program.  This is an Afterschool tutorial program for students enrolled in grades K-5. Students receive homework help, academic assistance in reading and math, and valuable time in the computer lab to practice pertinent academic skills.  The grant of $2,000.00 will help Sunrise Park implement this tutorial club during the 2012-2013 school year. 

“Sunrise Park is grateful to Target for supporting our students through their generous grant award program and would like to thank them for giving back to students and local schools.  Sunrise Park Elementary is surely on “target” for another great year,’ said Alicia Steiger, the school principal.

For more information about these grant programs, please contact Allison Lazarus, ESE Teacher, at (561)477-4300 or via email at


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Rafael Rodriguez, Dual Language Kindergarten Teacher at Cholee Lake Elementary has been selected as a “Catapult Learning Education Spotlight” educator. The purpose of this recognition is to honor some of the most dedicated teachers and education professionals. 

“Those of us who have had the privilege of seeing what an outstanding teacher Mr. Rodriguez is, as well as his total commitment, not only to the students he teaches, but also to the school as a whole, are not surprised that he has received this recognition,” added Mrs. Jacqueline Perkins, Principal. 

Mr. Rodriguez became a teacher because he wanted to do something to help the community and give back some of the privileges that he benefited from. He enjoys working with the Catapult Learning Program because it’s designed to encourage students to face their challenges using different approaches, providing them with a caring environment full of new ways to help them reach their goals. 

Click here to read the full article. 

For more information contact Jacqueline Perkins at (561) 383-9600 or via email at








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

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The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach has been doing community service projects for over 93 years.  The Dictionary Project benefitting the School District of Palm Beach County is one of its all-time favorites.  In September, the Club will start its eighth year delivering a dictionary to every third grader in 14 West Palm Beach elementary schools. 

In the past eight years, the Club has distributed over 11,000 dictionaries, with a total value in excess of $20,000. Approximately 40 members of the Rotary Club will visit the 14 elementary schools and spend time with the children encouraging their academic achievement and showing them how to use their new dictionary.

Over 50% of the children in West Palm Beach are on free or reduced lunches.  For many of the children, this is the first new book they have ever owned.

In addition to the Dictionary Project, the Rotary Club of West Palm Beach also supports the 14 elementary schools in West Palm Beach through their annual Principal Grants Program and Bike Project.  Throughout the years, the Club’s contributions to West Palm Beach Schools have been in excess of $200,000. 

Kenyetta V. Haywood, School District administrator and Board Member of The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach County stated “We are proud to be an active Business Partner with the District.  “The Dictionary Project is an example of our Rotary Motto “Service Above Self”.

For more information contact:

Peter H. Bozetarnik, Partner -Bozetarnik & Company, LLP

Two Harvard Circle, Suite 400, West Palm Beach, FL 33409  (561) 253-7885

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The School District’s Purchasing Department has earned the 17th Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award for 2012.

The District is one of only twenty government agencies in Florida and one of only seventeen school districts in the United States to receive the award.

The Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award recognizes organizational excellence in procurement. Public and non-profit organizations earn the award by obtaining a high application score based on standardized criteria.  The judging criteria are designed to measure innovation, professionalism, e-procurement, productivity, and leadership attributes of the procurement function.  The Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award is sponsored by the National Procurement Institute (NPI), the California Association of Public Procurement Officials (CAPPO), the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials (FAPPO), the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), NIGP : The Institute for Public Procurement, the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP), and the Texas Public Purchasing Association (TxPPA).

The Purchasing Department is dedicated to providing professional and efficient services and supports the activities of the School District, which includes: education, financial responsibility and community service, through contracting for all commodities and services; by maintaining procedures which foster fair and open competition, inspiring public confidence that all contracts are awarded equitable and economically; and by acquiring the greatest possible value and quality in the services and products purchased, with timely delivery.

“We have a wonderful team of professionals working in the Purchasing Department and are proud to be recognized for supporting our schools and departments efficiently,” said Sharon Swan, Director of the Purchasing Department at the District.

For more information, contact Sharon Swan at (561) 434-8214 or email

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The Hispanic/Latino community continues to grow and has specific preferences, especially when it comes to medical attention and health care. To assist with these preferences, the School District of Palm Beach County has partnered with UnitedHealthcare’s Latino Health Solutions to help promote health literacy among Hispanics in Palm Beach County.

The School District is installing three Bilingual Health Education Kiosks throughout the District.  One of these kiosks is placed in the lobby of the District headquarters in West Palm Beach for use by employees and the community at large. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was done on June 7, 2012 at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the FHESC Building, located at 3300 Forest Hill Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida.

Developed by Unitedhealthcare’s Latino Health Solutions, the Bilingual Health Education Kiosks offer health and wellness information via bilingual “fotonovelas,” health and wellness education, brochures, podcasts and interactive health modules such as Health Education Answers, a bilingual interactive program that provides tips on how to enhance their health and that of their families.

UnitedHealthcare’s Latino Health Solutions provides dedicated resources nationally to serve Hispanic health plan customers and their employers, including enhanced bilingual services that help consumers better understand and use their health benefits, and learn how to best manage their health and the health of their families.

“For more than 15 years, UnitedHealthcare has had the privilege of serving the School District of Palm Beach County. By partnering with the District, we can help provide employees and local residents with timely and convenient access to important information about their and their families’ health and wellness,” said Nicholas Zaffiris, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of South Florida.  “This health kiosk is a great example of how we are helping to simplify the health care experience for Hispanics in a simple, in-language and culturally sensitive way.” 

“We are so pleased that UnitedHealthcare has partnered with the District in our efforts to continually provide health information in a meaningful way.  By design, the Bilingual Health Education Kiosks has information not only in the Spanish language, but also in the context of the rich Hispanic/Latino culture,” said Dianne Howard, the School District Director of Risk & Benefits Management.

For more information on UnitedHealthcare’s Latino Health Solutions kiosks, visit the following video link:

For more information about this event, please contact Dianne Howard at 561-434-8414 or

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While most students spent their summer sleeping late, more than 100 students from area schools set their alarms and woke with the sun.  Students at Lake Shore Middle, Atlantic High, Boynton Beach High, Lake Worth High, Santaluces High, Palm Beach Gardens High, Palm Beach Lakes High, and Royal Palm Beach High schools benefited from Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP) grant funded programs designed to provide enrichment and practice in skills that will support student success in the coming school year and beyond.

More than thirty Lake Shore students with the potential for success in Algebra I Honors classes spent two weeks at the All About Algebra enrichment program, refreshing their algebraic thinking skills and receiving an early introduction into Algebra I course content.  Taught by three outstanding faculty members, classes included collaborative group work, direct instruction, and independent work.  Pre and post tests guided instruction and provided students with daily feedback on their progress.  Students participating are now well-prepared for the rigors of this high school level course.

While Lake Shore’s students tackled topics like the Pythagorean Theorem, incoming freshmen and continuing students at Atlantic High, Boynton Beach High, Lake Worth High, Santaluces High, Palm Beach Gardens High, Palm Beach Lakes High, and Royal Palm Beach High schools built, tested, demolished, redesigned and rebuilt exemplary structures during the Engineering Enrichment Program.  For two weeks students worked in groups to conceptualize and execute towers, platforms and bridges.  After testing original designs to the point of failure, students reflected on the design, point of failure, and materials used to analyze deficiencies in design.  After a critical analysis of the original design, students redesigned, rebuilt and retested structures.  Redesigned structures proved to be well-engineered and withstood greater stressors, demonstrating that the redesign process is a crucial step in any project.

Royal Palm Beach High Students

Royal Palm Beach High School invited rising 9th – 12th grade students with an interest in and potential for success in Advanced Placement (AP) coursework to participate in a week long intensive AP Boot Camp.  Taught by content area AP teachers in seminar style classes, students focused on topics including critical reading, persuasive writing, literary analysis, self advocacy and time management.  Incoming freshmen spent additional time learning school specific traditions, policies and procedures in an effort to ease the transition to high school.  

For details on the summer enrichment programs supported by APIP grants, please contact Becky Youngman, Manager, College Readiness, at 561-982-0945 or .

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One hundred Palm Beach County high school students who overcame major personal and academic barriers over the last year to receive their high school diploma will don caps and gowns and be recognized at a special graduation ceremony.

The ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday, August 25, in the Duncan Theatre, Palm Beach State College, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth. A reception will be held prior to the celebration at 3:30 pm in the green room of the Duncan Theatre.

The students are among 480 at risk of graduating from four Palm Beach County Schools who have been receiving help through the High School Graduation Initiative launched by the School District of Palm Beach County in 2010 with a $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The school district and its grant partners —Palm Beach State College, Workforce Alliance, Parent Child Center and Take Stock in Children— provide social services, graduation coaching, career navigation, mental health counseling, post-secondary advising and other services to address barriers to graduation.

Dr. Dennis Gallon, President of Palm Beach State College, E.Wayne Gent, Superintendent of The School District of Palm Beach County and Mimi Coenen, Interim Director for Youth Services, Workforce Alliance, are among the speakers.

The goal of the program is to increase the graduation rates and decrease the dropout rates at the four schools.

While other at-risk students have graduated from high school with the support of the High School Graduation Initiative, this is the first group that has been in the program for an entire academic year. This also is the first time that Palm Beach State College, which provides the post-secondary advising component, has hosted a ceremony for students who had not completed the requirements as of July when the school district holds its summer graduation ceremonies.
Students still completing their graduation requirements between July and the first day of the new school year still have a chance to participate in a graduation ceremony planned especially for them.

For more information, contact Nancy Reese, 561-434-8419,

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Liberty Park Elementary School Safety Patrols are sponsoring a Back to School Skate Night on Friday, August 24th from 7:00 PM – 9:45 PM.  The group is raising money for the annual Washington, D.C. trip.  Skate Night is at the Atlantis Skateway, 3100 Jog Road, Greenacres, Florida, just south of 10th Avenue North. 

Friends and family are invited to attend and enjoy the music, food and fun exercise.  Raffles are sure to happen so bring a few extra dollars. 

The cost is $6.00 cash and includes skates if needed or you may bring your own.  No food or glow sticks may be brought into the facility. 

For more information contact Michaelina Oliva at (561) 804-3400 or via email at






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


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Brian Zimmerman, Speech-language pathologist and KEC TV News Director at Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary is being featured in the latest edition of the ASHA Leader, a monthly publication for the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). 

View the ASHA Leader Article 

Mr. Zimmerman is being recognized for his efforts and for giving a new image to the school. Since he began at KEC/Canal Point Elementary students have been able to interview performers, sports players, work on the red carpet at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles. 

Perhaps, most impressive is one of his students, Damon Weaver, was invited to the White House to interview President Barack Obama. 

“A lot of these kids don’t get to go to a lot of places,” Zimmerman explained. “And with these videos or with any of my assignments, I get to be the one who introduces them to these new experiences.”   

This year Zimmerman’s student’s created a public service announcement about noise-induced hearing loss that placed first (in the age 8–10 category) in ASHA’s “Listen to Your Buds” video contest. 

Click here to see the video. 

Zimmerman said, “Since I am first and foremost a speech-language pathologist it is a great honor to be recognized by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. I hope that this article brings awareness to the fact that the faculty in public schools often take on tasks that are way beyond their job description.” 

Mr. Zimmerman is a true inspiration and hopes to continue improving his student’s speech and language skills, confidence, self-esteem and ability to follow directions through this exceptional news club. 

Subscribe to the KEC TV’s channel on YouTube (from your home computer or personal device). 

For more information contact Brian Zimmerman at (561) 924-9818 or via email at








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

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This summer 15 year old Dominick Avallone wasn’t playing computer games or hanging out at the beach.  The incoming freshman at Jupiter Community High School was hard at work on a project to help less fortunate children.  For a Boy Scout Eagle project Dominick collected school supplies and backpacks for middle school students.  Earlier this month he along with fellow troop members, delivered backpacks to six middle schools for distribution to students who need them when they return to school on Monday, August 20th.
Dominick wrote letters to community organizations and area businesses seeking donations.  He also enlisted the help of friends and family members.  $1,300 worth of supplies and $350 in cash donations were collected.

For more information please contact Vickie Middlebrooks at 561-357-7661 or

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“Gifted Shines Brightly in Palm Beach County” is a conference for teachers of the gifted in the north county area presented by 26 north/central area teachers of the gifted. The conference was held at Beacon Cove Intermediate School August 16, 2012, in three breakout sessions.  The invitations to present at this conference followed Exceptional Student Education, Gifted Specialist Dr. Rosemary Daniels’ personal visits to classrooms wherein teachers displayed incredible vision and creativity in teaching their gifted students.

There was a sister-conference for teachers in the south/central areas at Banyan Creek Elementary on the same day and time. 

For more information please contact Kristel Schmidt, Gifted Resource Teacher, Lake Park Elementary at 561-494-1314 or .

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The Black Educators Caucus of Palm Beach County is organizing for the second year in Palm Beach County “The Million Father March,” a national effort to encourage fathers and men to take their children to school on the first day and to commit to supporting their education. The first day of school is Monday, August 20, 2012.

In a district wide communication, Schools Superintendent E. Wayne Gent encouraged all Palm Beach County principals and schools to participate in the initiative and suggested several activities and communications to involve male caregivers. 

For example, the organizations encourage all male caregivers to say, “I am taking my children to the first day of school.”   

Participating fathers and men will also be signing a pledge, attached, committing to actively getting involved in schools, volunteering, meeting teachers and being involved in parental leadership.

“The Million Father March” is sponsored by the Chicago-based Black Star Project, which lists 800 cities around the world from Atlanta to Tamale, Ghana, as participating this year. Research shows that children whose fathers take an active role in their educational lives earn better grades, score higher on tests, enjoy school and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.  

“The disintegration of the family unit has had a huge impact on children in this society,” said Ron Leonard, President of the Black Educators Caucus. “This march is just one small attempt to encourage families to participate, at least for one day,” he said.

For more information, contact Ron Leonard at (561) 209-2270 or each school’s main office.  



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The School Board of Palm Beach County’s 5 p.m., Aug. 22 meeting will take place in Lynn University’s Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center, 3601N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL , 33431, the site of the Oct. 22 presidential debate.

The School Board, which rarely holds meetings at community venues like Lynn’s Wold Performing Arts Center, wants to highlight Palm Beach County’s role in the debate and to stress the importance of education in our nation’s political system.

“The final presidential debate before the election puts Palm Beach County squarely on the international map and is a great opportunity to showcase our county as a world-class destination, both for its beauty and for our top quality educational institutions,” said Frank Barbieri, Palm Beach County School Board Chairman. “Being able to give our students a once-in-a lifetime educational experience in their own backyard is an important civic duty for all of us.” 

In addition, the meeting will provide an opportunity for School Board members to learn about the debate-related educational activities that Lynn University and the school district have   planned together.

Educational activities include:

  •  A K-12 Debate Curriculum for Education, has been developed to give students specific instruction, aligned with the state standards, on the historical and political perspectives of the American political system and the role of presidential debates. It is available for free download on the iPad through Apple iTunes U or through Lynn’s official debate website.
  • This fall, students will participate in a mock debate in Lynn’s Wold Performing Arts Center, the same venue that the presidential candidates will use when they debate just weeks before the 2012 presidential election. 

For more information about the School Board, contact Nat Harrington, Chief Public Information Officer, at 561 357-7679. For more information about Lynn University, contact Joshua Glanzer, Director of Public Relations, at 561 237-7761





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The School District of Palm Beach County’s Public Affairs Department has launched a Facebook fan page and Twitter account in an effort to enhance the district’s educational presence and public engagement. Parents, students, employees and community members will now be receiving important and interesting information about schools events, activities, scholarships, graduation and much more by “Liking” the District’s Facebook page and “Following” us on Twitter. 

Facebook – The School District of Palm Beach County 

Twitter – @PBCSD 

This pilot program is the initial step toward creating a district-wide social networking policy. The Department of Public Affairs in collaboration with the Division of Information Technology, Educational Technology Department and the Legal Department will be evaluating the pilot program to determine guidelines and procedures that will be implemented in the future by all schools and departments. 

Initially schools will not actively participate and will only be impacted to the degree they are currently through press releases and web site postings. All Facebook postings will be written by the same experienced Public Affairs staff members who write the press releases for our schools and departments, and several employees will monitor the activity of the social media sites. 

Some of the information that our “fans” will be able to see include national, regional and state awards and recognitions; district, school and program accomplishments; educational events; hurricane information; information about scholarships, colleges and universities; back to school information and much more.  

The Facebook and Twitter Pilot does NOT affect the district firewall that prohibits employees from accessing prohibited sites on the internet on district computers at work.  If employees, volunteers, students or others in the district wish to “Like” a posting, “friend” us, comment or Tweet, they must do so from home using their own computer or personal device and individual social media account. There will be a disclaimer informing potential fans and followers of the “rules of engagement” on Facebook including information regarding what will and will not be permitted. 

All Palm Beach County students, employees, parents, volunteers, partners and supporters are invited to be our “Fan.” It will help support public education, our schools and our students. 

For more information contact Natalia Arenas at (561) 357-7662 or via email at




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

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Danny Forster, chief architecture and engineering expert for Discovery Education and host of the SCIENCE series Build It Bigger, will address more than 1,000 science teachers to kick off the 2012 Palm Beach County Science Symposium that will take place on Thursday, August 16, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Park Vista High School - 7900 Jog Road, Lake Worth, FL. 

Forster will share his experience traveling the world in search of incredible feats of architecture and engineering and his work on Discovery Channel’s documentary, Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero. He also will discuss what inspired him to pursue a career in science. 

The 2012 Palm Beach County Science Symposium, which will be held at Park Vista High School, will feature close to 100 interactive workshops designed to: 

  • Inspire science teachers to challenge students with rigorous science instruction
  • Motivate teachers to collaborate and use creative instructional strategies and technology in classrooms to engage all learners in science
  • Encourage teachers to embrace change to transform science education in a way that better prepares students for college-level sciences and careers in the STEM fields 

In addition to Palm Beach County science teachers, representatives from more than 35 community science organizations will be in attendance. 

About Danny Forster 

Danny Forster has built a career out of the ingenious solution:  celebrating it as a television host, lecturing about it as a speaker and professor and finding it himself as a practicing designer.  As the host of the Science Channel series Build It Bigger, Forster travels the world with a camera crew in search of incredible feats of architecture and engineering – a record-setting skyscraper, a city-saving levee, a mammoth cruise ship, a state-of-the-art football stadium. 

Forster’s passion for great architecture and his exceptional ability to share that passion have made him a sought-after speaker and a popular teacher.  He has delivered keynote addresses at engineering and architecture conferences all over the world.  In 2008 he joined the faculty at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, teaching an upper level graduate architecture studio on sustainable design.  

Designing pioneering projects for DANNY FORSTER Design Studio, lecturing internationally, and filming for Build it Bigger, Forster is continually at work and on the move creating, explaining, and popularizing ingenious design solutions.  He is also at work, closer to home, as creator and executive producer of a documentary series about the rebuilding of Ground Zero.  The Rising explores the coming to life of a work of architecture that solves a host of problems – cultural, physical, historical, environmental – within one coherent project.  

For more information contact Wendy Spielman King at (561) 357-1152 or via email at







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

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School Board General Counsel Sheryl G. Wood, Esq. has been re-elected for a three-year term to serve on the American Bar Association’s  (ABA) Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division Executive Council.  The election took place in Chicago at the Bar’s Annual Meeting.

The President of the Florida Bar, Scott G. Hawkins, nominated Mrs. Wood. It will be her second consecutive term.

” I am thrilled to serve the government lawyers as a representative of the Florida Bar,” said Mrs. Wood. “As a public sector law office manager, serving in this capacity enhances my work with the school district.”

The mission of the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division’s (GPSLD) is to serve the nation’s public lawyers. By promoting integrity and excellence among public advocates, providing meaningful services not obtainable elsewhere, and by highlighting the extraordinary work of public lawyers, the GPSLD works to enhance the position of public lawyers, create camaraderie within the public sector, and provide representation within the ABA for public lawyers.

For additional information,  view the Division’s website is located at

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The School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) has achieved recognition as one of the 2011-2012 Academically High-Performing School Districts by the State Board of Education. Based on the latest release of school and district grades, SDPBC is one of 19 districts in the state of Florida that successfully met all eligibility criteria.  The School District is an A-rated School District for the eighth consecutive year.

Palm Beach County School Superintendent Wayne Gent said, “We are striving to ensure that all our students achieve regardless of their background. Our vision is to foster a dynamic, collaborative multicultural community where education and lifelong learning are valued and supported, and all learners reach their highest potential and succeed in the global economy. This recognition will be an impetus for the School District of Palm Beach County to continue working toward its goals.”

The School District has successfully met and exceeded the following criteria for the designation: a grade of “A” for two consecutive years, beginning with the 2004-05 academic year and no district-operated school that earned a grade of “F.”; compliance with the class size requirements; and no material weaknesses or instances of material noncompliance noted in the school district’s annual financial audit.  

The School District is the 11th largest district in the continental U.S., the 5th largest in the State of Florida, and the 3rd largest AdvancED accredited district, with 173 accredited schools. It serves a diverse population totaling more than 174,000 students (K-12).

A school district retains the designation as an academically high-performing school district for three years. At the end of this period, the school district may renew the designation if it meets the requirements.

For more, please contact Dr. Dilger at (850) 245-0824 or via e-mail at

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The School Food Service Department is always looking for ways to improve the way students perceive and receive their school meals. The unveiling of the facility will take place on August 15, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m at John F. Kennedy Middle School – 1901 Avenue “S” Riviera Beach, FL 33404.

Students, teachers and staff will be able to enjoy a new and redesigned cafeteria as part of the School Food Service Cafeteria Pilot Program. This plan of action takes into consideration adequate meal time, the physical facility, customer service, nutritious food offerings, and the overall dining experience. 

“The new design of the food lines and cafeteria creates a more inviting atmosphere for the students, while at the same time we offer them healthy and nutritious snacks and meals,” said Heidi Schwab, School Food Service Field Specialist.

The School District of Palm Beach County hopes that with these modifications, students will enter a more relaxing, inviting, social, safe and customer driven dining experience. Therefore, they will look forward to this time to nutritionally recharge for improved physical and mental well-being thus supporting the District’s ultimate goal of improving academic performance. 

 For more information contact Heidi Schwab at (561) 383-2004 or via email at






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


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Veteran teacher Linda Pike, of Jupiter Middle School of Technology, spent her summer doing extreme science at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee. She learned how to examine nanomaterials using state-of-the-art technology.  “This has been an incredible, wonderful experience,” said Ms. Pike, who has been teaching in Palm Beach County for 23 years. “I think it’s going to change the way I teach.”
The 7th-grade science teacher was one of 11 teachers selected for the lab’s prestigious Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program. Teachers accepted into the paid internship work with scientists who do pioneering research in physics, chemistry, biological sciences, geochemistry, materials science, magnet science and engineering. The teachers learn how to use advanced technology to explore materials and phenomena at extreme magnetic fields, pressures and temperatures. Best of all, they do it while working alongside some of the finest scientists, magnet designers and engineers in the world. 

Kim Perez, Eric Hellstrom and Linda Pike

Ms. Pike worked with Eric Hellstrom, a professor at the Florida A&M University – Florida State University School of Engineering, scholar scientist Jianyi Jiang, and graduate students in the Applied Superconductivity Center. She learned how to examine materials that are critical to an international energy project called ITER (pronounced E-ter). ITER is a massive effort to create and control the same energy that powers the sun — fusion energy. That energy would then be channeled into powering much of the world.
“I’d never heard of it before I came here,” Ms. Pike said of the ITER project headquartered in France. “I think that it’s just amazing. It boggles the mind.”  She wants to expose her students to the concept of fusion and the ITER project this year. She also hopes to incorporate more “inquiry” projects in her classes. Such science projects often begin with a question (e.g., Why is the sky blue?) and proceed with a plan to answer the question.
While at the lab, Ms. Pike worked with samples of superconducting wire — wire that conducts electricity with no resistance and no loss of current. She examined superconducting wires made from a form of bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide (or BSCCO, pronounced “bisko”) called Bi-2212. Each wire was smaller than a straight pin.
She and her teammate — teacher Kim Perez from Tallahassee — also learned how to make a puck to contain their nanosamples of superconducting wire. They learned how to grind and polish the puck, then examine the wires using an extremely powerful scanning electron microscope.
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory develops and operates state-of-the-art, high-magnetic-field facilities that faculty and visiting scientists and engineers use for research. The laboratory is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the state of Florida. To learn more visit
Kathleen Laufenberg
Editor, Public Affairs
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
1800 East Paul Dirac Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32310
850 644-5397

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Third grade gifted teacher Nancy Bourne of Beacon Cove Intermediate has been named the 2012 Florida Engineering Society (FES) K-12 Teacher of the Year for Engineering.  The award will be presented on Friday, August 10, 2012 in Orlando at the FES Annual Summer Conference.  Mrs. Bourne and her school will be presented with $500 checks to support future K-12 efforts.

James J. Kunard, Chairman K-12 Committee, Florida Engineering Society, Palm Beach Chapter and Director of Facilities Services for the School District wrote in his nomination letter, “Mrs. Bourne demonstrates outstanding personal commitment and exemplary professional achievements in promoting engineering and technology into her daily classroom activities. In addition, in the fall of 2011, Mrs. Bourne founded Beacon Cove Intermediate’s groundbreaking elementary STEM club, further promoting enthusiasm for the sciences across the entire student body.

He went on to write, “Mrs. Bourne is a highly energetic and passionate math and science teacher, who consistently strives to instill critical, “out of the box” thinking skills in her students. She wholeheartedly believes that learning should be fun, and as a matter of practice, uses teaching methods that emphasize real life applications of engineering and technology concepts. Her highly effective teaching skills afford her opportunities to use extra class time to conduct fun engineering activities, engaging children at a higher thinking level and promoting the lifelong value of teamwork.”

Some recent examples of Mrs. Bourne’s classroom activities have included:

Boat building: Students used a ration of foil to create floating vessels, with an emphasis on altering shape and dimension to achieve the desired outcome.

Tower construction: Students were challenged to build the tallest tower using only paper and clips.

Measurement: A hands-on exercise designed to optimize object measurement through use of appropriate tools (e.g. trundle wheels, yardsticks, and rulers).

Simulated computer labs: Virtual lessons on temperature, measurement and scientific method.

Hurricane Test Lab: Mrs. Bourne organized an event for all 120 third grade gifted students – small groups were given a ruler, 6 pieces of paper, and 10 cm of tape and then challenged to build a structure to withstand the weight of a hard cover dictionary for 60 seconds; many succeeded.

Mrs. Bourne’s love of teaching engineering concepts extends beyond the classroom. Her STEM Club initiative this year resulted in nearly 150 grade 3-5 students applying for just 30 spaces. Also, through her promotion of STEM education, she successfully fostered new partnerships with local scientific business and research entities, including Florida Power & Light (FPL), the Scripps Research Institute, and the Arthur Marshall Foundation. As a result, despite extremely limited availability of educational resources and guidance for elementary level STEM activities, she successfully developed a top-notch schedule of well thought-out monthly club activities.

Mrs. Bourne’s success in applying creative teaching methods in engineering and technology is evident, and can be measured not only by the superior academic performance of her students, but even more notably by their optimism and positive attitudes about learning.

For more information please contact Beacon Cove Intermediate Principal Una Hukill at 561-366-6400 or .

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Various teams of talented high school students transformed unpainted, fiberglass sea turtle sculptures into works of art that will be displayed and available for public vote at the The Gardens Mall Grand Court beginning Friday, August 10, 2012 through Wednesday, August 15, 2012. 

The participating schools are: 

W.T. Dwyer High School

Lake Worth High School

Palm Beach Gardens Community High School

Santaluces Community High School

Seminole Ridge Community High School

South Teach Academy

Wellington High School

The Benjamin School 

The top 3 schools with the most votes will be awarded cash prizes for their art departments. A Best in Show awards chosen by special judges will be given as well. The winners will be announced on August 16, 2012 at a complimentary private cocktail party for the participating students, faculty and parents. 1st place will receive $1500; 2nd place $1000; and 3rd place $500. 

On Saturday August 18, 2012 the Loggerhead Marine Center will go mobile for a kid-friendly, science oriented Marinelife Day at The Gardens Mall from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. There will be presentations on turtles and marine life that are both fun and educational. 

Additionally, mall customers can “Shop & Share” by bringing their same-day receipts to the information desk and The Gardens Mall will donate 5% of the sales back to the center. 

This event is possible through the partnership between The Gardens Mall, PNC Bank, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) and the art departments of select Palm Beach County schools. 

Palm Beach Gardens High School Turtle


South Tech Academy Turtle

For more information contact Enid Atwater at (561) 844-1778 ext. 21 or via email at





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

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Tammy Skinner, business teacher and department head at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School, has been named chair of the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) National Board of Directors.

As an active FBLA adviser for more than 25 years, including eight years as a district director, Ms. Skinner has been instrumental in building Florida FBLA into one of the organization’s strongest states. The Palm Beach Central High School chapter, which she established in 2003, grew to become the largest chapter in the state in 2008-09. In addition, she was adviser to the 2009-10 FBLA National Student President Mauricio Escobar, and was named Florida Chapter Adviser of the Year for 2009-10.

“Tammy brings a wealth of educational experience to this national position,” said Jean M. Buckley, FBLA-PBL president and CEO. “We are fortunate to continue to benefit from her strong leadership and communication skills as she helps to innovate and drive the future growth of our organization.”

Ms. Skinner received the William T. Dwyer Award for Excellence in Education in 2005 and in 2009 was named Career and Technical Education High School Teacher of the Year for Palm Beach County.  

About FBLA-PBL, Inc.
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The association is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Contact: Marisa Preuss

703.860.3334 ext. 120

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Todd LaVogue, Magnet Coordinator at Roosevelt Community Middle School was recently selected by the Microsoft Corporation as one of the 16 national winners of the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum. The annual event recognizes innovative teachers and school leaders who creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way kids learn and increase student success. Out of thousands that applied, 100 educators from 25 states attended the event to compete for the opportunity to represent the United States at the Partners in Learning Global Forum in November 2012. 

“These winning educators are catalysts for change and are the best in the nation at embracing technology to inspire and engage students and help transform education in their local communities,” said Andrew Ko, general manager, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft. “They all are incredibly passionate and driven to make an impact on each and every student they teach. Their creative project-based-learning classroom activities show real impact on student learning and success and should be scaled out as best practices in their own school districts and across the country.” 

Winning projects immerse students in active, hands-on learning, guiding them to employ collaboration and creative problem-solving skills. The 11 outstanding projects focus on encouraging entrepreneurial thinking in students, virtual learning for students with learning differences, creative uses of gaming to enhance critical thinking and service learning projects in which students engage with their community. The projects exhibit the educators’ abilities to exceed strict academic standards while making learning fun and effective for their students. 

The winning educators will advance to the Partners in Learning Global Forum, which will take place in Prague Nov. 28 through Dec. 1. This ninth annual Partners in Learning Global Forum is the culmination of local and regional events that reach nearly 200,000 participants from more than 115 countries. 

For more information contact Lee Kolbert at (561) 714-8180 or via email at





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

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Angela Bess, Ed.D., manager of the District’s Court Education Liaison Program, has been appointed to serve on the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court (FCC), a state-wide committee established by administrative order, impacting youth and families involved with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.  The appointment letter stresses that the primary charge of committee members centers around the development of promising practices designed to help ensure that children involved in dependency and delinquency court cases stay in school with diminished likelihood of arrest, suspensions, or expulsions.

The Committee on Families and Children in Court was created in 1994. Dr. Bess will be welcomed in person by Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente on September 27 in West Palm Beach. For more details contact Dr. Bess at 561.355.3497 or email