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Okeeheelee Middle School will be showcased at this weekend’s Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Wellington’s Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Okeeheelee will be bringing a broad variety of performance groups, including the International Spanish Academy dancers, hip hop dance team, cheerleaders, drama, arts, jazz band and chorus. The school will also be preparing paella and will have a Cuban cafeteria available.

Saturday’s events begin at 5:30 p.m. preceding the Saturday Night Lights event which gets under way at 7:00 p.m. in the International Ring.

Sunday’s activities begin at 12:30 p.m. preceding the competition which starts at 2:00 p.m.

To kick off the Okeeheelee weekend at the Wellington Equestrian Festival, teachers have fielded a team which will compete in the Vinceremos “Buck Off” at the White Horse Tavern Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is located at 3401 Equestrian Club Estates Rd., Wellington, FL 33414. For more details about the Winter Equestrian Festival click here.

For more information contact David Samore at (561) 434-3205 or via e-mail at






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

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The veterans speakers forum accepts numerous requests to speak to schools and civic organizations in the Palm Beach Area sharing the history of the war veterans, honoring those who served and the African American aviators and support personnel that were trained at an isolated complex near the town of Tuskegee, Alabama, as well as the many success stories of the later careers of these American War Hero patriots.

The veterans speakers forum   gives presentations throughout the year to schools, libraries and organizations. Submission of request for a speaker should be made at least 2 weeks in advance of the event.  The organization has many veterans who are eager to tell their war stories.

The School District’s goal is to prepare all students for academic success. Community partnerships such as these strengthen our organization and advance student achievement.

Requests should be submitted by e-mail to PR.GROUP@JUNO.COM. Please include the event. 

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For the second year, Boca Raton Community High School Leadership class collected and delivered newly knitted hats, scarves, and gloves to Barton Elementary School in time for their winter Safety Patrol trip to Washington, DC.  Two juniors, Sims and Calder Alfano, have led the drive working with Project Linus and Boca Care knitters, both knitting clubs based in Boca Raton.  St. Joseph’s School in Boynton also assisted in collecting over 100 jackets for the travelers.  Warm blankets made by a Boca High family were also donated.  Over 300 items were given out to the Barton students and other Palm Beach County schools on January 17.

 For more information, contact Susie King at or call 561-338-1439.

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Megan and Laura Kohner preparing to give bikes to Palm Beach County Title I elementary school students.

Megan and Laura Kohner preparing to give bikes to Palm Beach County Title I elementary school students.

Anyone who by circumstance ran into energetic twin 17-year-old sisters Laura and Megan Kohner last month likely went out of their way for charity.  No, the Wellington girls weren’t asking for cash or sponsorships–just a few clicks of a mouse.  The Kohners, juniors at Suncoast Community High School, convinced enough people to go online and vote for their Bike For Kidz charity winning a $5,000 grant from Pepsi, as part of its Refresh Project.

“We registered for the December Pepsi Refresh grant not knowing if our little organization had a chance,” Laura Kohner said, “but we were determined to give it our best shot.”  The rules were simple–the approved charities who received the highest amount of votes on the Pepsi Refresh web site would receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. Participants could vote once per day via the Internet, or even by telephone text message.

The Kohners–who started Bikes for Kidz with their older brother Andrew to buy and deliver new bicycles and helmets to needy children they mentor–immediately hit social media sites like Facebook and their friends and family hard for support. The December race for clicks was on.

“We communicated with all of the present and past mentors and asked them to vote and to try to get additional voters to vote,” Laura Kohner said. “Our current mentors had their families and friends voting. Our past mentors are in college so they, in turn, got their families and college friends and acquaintances to vote.  We asked our friends, school and the entire school district to vote. Basically, we asked anyone we knew to vote.”

They were creative!  During their family’s holiday vacation to Utah, they were in three airports. Sporting a poster for the cause, they made the rounds of the terminals collecting votes from computer users and smart phone operators worldwide. Andrew Kohner, now a sophomore at Rice University in Houston, got his friends and classmates involved.

“Wherever we went in the month of December, whether was school, the mall, a holiday concert, ski shop, or restaurants, we showed people a print-out of the Bikes For Kidz Pepsi Refresh page and asked for votes,” Megan Kohner said. “We also supported some of the other causes on Pepsi Refresh and, in turn, we received support from other causes that thought we were a worthwhile organization.”

Each day, the standings were updated on the Pepsi Refresh site. Some days were nail-biters.

“We were very encouraged to find ourselves competitive when the Pepsi Refresh rankings were first published three days after voting began,” Megan Kohner said. “During the month we were ranked as high as 10 and as low as 21″–just out of the money, temporarily.  “We were thrilled to end up as No. 14, with a grant of $5,000 to support the kids of Bikes For Kidz,” she said.

Pepsi has reported making more than 1,000 grants impacting 1.4 million people. Funds will go toward supporting efforts such as animal rescues, school band uniforms and instruments, a railroad museum, and even the construction of a skate park for special needs children.

Bike For Kidz–through fund-raisers, grants and sponsorships has presented hundreds of bicycles to elementary school children in impoverished areas since 2008–when it was co-founded by Laura, Megan and Andrew Kohner, as well as then-Suncoast classmate Cody Ellsworth in order to promote education and physical fitness by rewarding children’s literacy efforts. The Kohner sisters have grown the charity to include mentors from several local high schools and multiple programs including Reading Road Racers, Science Super Stars, Buddies & Bikes for Kidz, and their newest program Buddies & Bikes For Kidz Goes Green.

The Pepsi grant, expected to arrive in February, will go a long way toward reaching many more children.  “We are thankful for all of those who voted for us and grateful to Pepsi for the opportunity to serve Title I elementary school children in Palm Beach County,” the girls said.

For more information about the organization, visit, email Laura and Megan at, or call 561-758-4939.

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Responding to the question:  1Billion Hungry in the World—What’s Your Role? just might win a lucky middle or high school student the trip of a lifetime.  The District’s social studies teachers have received information about the essay and art contest being sponsored by the Istanbul Center and other cultural and business organizations throughout Florida and the southeast region of the U.S. However Istanbul Center Director Huseyin Peker said the original deadline for entries has been extended to Friday, February 10.  “We’ve had such an enthusiastic response with interest from so many teachers and individuals who work with young people that we felt the need to allow a little more time for everyone to get their work to us,” he stated.

 The art category is expected to draw submissions of drawings, paintings, collages, photography, and graphic design. Those writing essays should submit a true story, a narrative, or an informative or persuasive essay. Competition organizers have taken care to include core competencies such as creative problem-solving, critical thinking, written and verbal expression through Language Arts; creative expression through Visual Arts, and other Interdisciplinary Studies dimensions.Specific details about the competition are available at

Winners are selected from the Southeastern region of the U.S. (including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee) and from Florida alone.  First place winners of the Southeast region competition receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Turkey for 10 days for the student, sponsoring teachers, and the district superintendent. Other awards will also be presented. 

First place winners from South Florida will receive an expense-paid trip to Turkey—with the exception of airfare to and from Istanbul– for themselves, their sponsoring teacher, and the district superintendent. In addition, a $200 gift card will be awarded to the winning student and a $100 gift card will be awarded to the student’s teacher. 

The mission of the Istanbul Center includes contribute to solving educational, cultural, environmental, social, and humanitarian issues and to world peace through showcasing the Turkish culture and creating opportunities to build bridges between cultures. Educators, students, and their families are invited to Visit Turkey in Fort Lauderdale next month.  The Sixth Annual Florida Turkish Festival is on the calendar for Saturday February 18 from 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.and Sunday, February 19 from 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. Festivities take place downtown at Huizenga Plaza on Las Olas Boulevard in Forth Lauderdale. Admission is $5.00 covering both days with no charge for children 12 and younger.

For more details  about the contest or the festival, contact Mr. Peker at 305-406-3336 or email

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The competition will be intense when students from 55 elementary schools, 20 middle schools, and 15 high schools participate in one of two Palm Beach County SECME District Olympiads scheduled for February.

SECME (Science, Engineering, Communication, and Mathematics Enrichment) is a national organization with the goal of increasing the pool of students who will be prepared to enter and complete post-secondary studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce.

The Elementary SECME District Olympiad will be held Saturday, February 11, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Santaluces High School.

The Secondary SECME District Olympiad will be held Saturday, February 25, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Santaluces High School.

During each of the Olympiads, students will participate in a variety of competitions which will include bridges, mousetrap cars, water rockets, Brain Bowl, essays, poems, banners, and posters.  The theme for this year’s SECME program is “Plan It٠Build It٠Live It!”.  The winning entries in the essay and mousetrap car competitions will advance to the SECME National Student Competition which will be held in late June, at The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa.

Olympiad supporters include:  Florida Atlantic University College of Engineering and Computer Science, Hazen and Sawyer, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, CH2M Hill, and FPL.  Florida Atlantic University awards up to 25 four-year scholarships each year to qualified SECME students. SECME participation has been credited for encouraging career and occupational selections, stimulating college and university visitations, as well as establishing mentoring and internship programs for students with area businesses.

Bruce Wear, SECME district coordinator, says the competitions develop high-level thinking and problem-solving skills. “SECME is an excellent program that provides students with opportunities to apply “hands on” problem solving techniques to real engineering challenges. They get to design, test, re-design, and re-test until they produce a working model – pretty much the same way engineers do their jobs.”

For further information please contact Bruce Wear, 561- 357-1125 or email

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Pine Jog Elementary School kicked off Literacy Week with a guest reader program that included many community members.  Among the guests was Palm Beach County Sheriff Chief Deputy Michael Gauger who read his book On The Force with Finnegan and Dory.

The book was written by the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Special Events Office. The main characters of the book, Finnegan and Dory, two adorable dogs, were in attendance along with Artie and Lance two horses that also made a special appearance.    

Other guest readers included Emily Pantelides – Channel 12 News Anchor, Mike Toohey – Fire Rescue
Community Education Specialist, Chuck Shaw, – School Board Member, Riley Roam – Author, Jennifer Jones – Reading Specialist, Kim Stansel-Towe –  Literacy Program Planner, Glenn Thomas – Assistant Dean, FAU, Rachael Niglio – Parent.

Pine Jog also has a Top Secret Book Program, a Celebrating Literacy Door Decorating Contest and a Drop Everything and Read Program scheduled for this week.

Pine Jog Literacy Week 2

Pine Jog Literacy Week 3

Pine Jog Literacy Week 1

For more information contact Fred Barch at (561) 656-5400 or via e-mail at






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

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Daniel Satinoff, alumnus of Northboro Elementary, Bak Middle School of the Arts, and Dreyfoos School of the Arts, is having one of his short films, The Severe Psychosis of a Musicless Man, screened at the prestigious Slamdance Film Festival this week.  Mr. Satinoff, who is Director of Photography for this film, is currently a senior majoring in film with a concentration in Cinematography at University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

According to the Festival website, “Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging independent artists and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of their vision.” This film was selected from thousands of entries and was chosen as the closing film for the Anarchy shorts program.  Mr. Satinoff and four other key players attended the festival, which is being held this week January 20-26, 2012, in Park City, Utah.   It is only the second film from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts to get into this festival and only one of two films this year that was made by students in a film program.

According to Martha Satinoff, Dance Department Chair at the Bak Middle School of the Arts and Mr. Satinoff’s mother, “Daniel had a fantastic experience at the festival.  He was excited about meeting and sharing feedback with other filmmakers, making some new connections, learning from viewing the other films, and being a part of such a prestigious event.”

For more information please contact Ms. Satinoff at Bak Middle School of the Arts at 561-882-3846 or .

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Jauron Jones, a junior at William T. Dwyer High School, loves music, basketball and his church.  This bright student who has been a part of the school’s Army ROTC Leadership Academy since 9th grade is also in need of his second liver transplant.

Jauron JonesThis Sunday, January 29th at 5:00 PM at Hilltop Missionary Baptist Church in Riviera Beach, there will be a “Benefit Program” to help raise funds for Jauron’s transplant.  According to his Guidance Counselor, Fercella Panier, “Jauron is an active member of the Youth Department at his church, Hilltop Missionary Baptist Church where he sings and is a member of the male praise dance group.  He loves to play and watch basketball and is outgoing and a friend to all.”

Jauron has recently been placed on the list to receive a second liver transplant.  This is a costly undertaking, so his church and the community are coming together to help the family with the many expenses they will incur.  Jauron is 18 years old and first received a liver transplant along with several other organ transplants at the age of two.

For more information please contact Ms. Panier at or 561-625-7800.

For more information about Sunday’s benefit please contact Mrs. Donaway @ 561-844-3216; Mrs. Linda Ivory @ 561-598-7040; or Mrs. Hermese Harrell @ 561-842-6887.

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Several students will be presented with college scholarships at the Winner Scholarship ceremony set for Egret Lake Elementary School at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, January 26.   The Winner Scholarship is the brainchild of Jan Winkler and Hermine Drezner who established the original scholarship—which is now an annual event– at Jupiter Elementary School years ago.  Students in grades 3-5 are considered for the award based on academic initiative, attendance, and parental involvement.

The goal of the Winner Scholarship, which is administered through the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, is to encourage children to pursue a college education.  The students selected for the scholarships often would not have considered college due to financial situations and/or family histories. In addition to preparing for college, these children serve as role models for their fellow classmates by exhibiting the characteristics of successful students.

For further details about Thursday’s event, please contact Egret Lake Elementary Reading Coach Diane Perry at 561-616-7900 or .

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Palm Beach Schools rank 16th among Florida’s 67 public school districts, according to a new Florida Department of Education (DOE) ranking based on FCAT scores.  Palm Beach ranked first among the big 7 urban districts that include Broward, Orange, Dade, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Duval counties.

Districts that received a higher ranking than Palm Beach are typically smaller districts and districts with higher concentrations of high income households. Approximately 50 percent of Palm Beach students qualify for free and reduced-priced meals.

To calculate the districts’ numerical rankings, the DOE used each district’s total points derived from student FCAT scores. Districts were awarded one point for each percent of students in the district who were enrolled for the full year who scored on grade level or higher on the FCAT and made annual learning gains (800 possible points). The total is the sum of the percent of students scoring at Level 3 or higher for FCAT Reading, Mathematics, and Science; scoring at Level 4 or higher on the FCAT Writing essay; the percent of students who made learning gains in Reading and Mathematics; and for the percent of the lowest 25 percent of students who made learning gains in Reading and Mathematics.

“We are pleased to see that the continuing hard work of our teachers and students is recognized at the state level. This recognition should be reassuring to our parents that their children are receiving a high quality education”, said Superintendent Wayne Gent.

“We have  work to do to ensure that all of our students are learning to their potential,  but positive reinforcement like this will continue to encourage our teachers, staff, students and parents to work hard toward our goals of even higher performance,” he said.

The DOE said it plans to publish a listing of schools throughout the state ranked by number in the near future.

The district rankings can be found at


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The School District of Palm Beach County is collaborating with the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation to bring the historic River of Grass Canoe Expedition to Florida classrooms.  On Wednesday, January 18, twelve individuals, including scientists, environmentalists, educators, and artists, embarked on a 78-mile canoe expedition from Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge to Everglades National Park.

Through live, interactive webcasts, students from Palm Beach County and throughout Florida have been invited to participate by viewing the progress of the canoes as they make their way through the Everglades. Students will be able to see and hear the “paddlers” as they describe the environmental conditions they encounter.  Students will be able to post their questions by way of live chats.

This year the members of the expedition are outfitted with Apple iPads and will connect over a cellular network using the Adobe Connect iPad application.  Technology support for the webcasts is provided by the school district’s Department of Educational Technology.

“The interactive webcasts are an excellent way to engage students and get them excited about the Everglades,” says Chad Phillips, Elementary Science Program Planner for the School District of Palm Beach County.

Join the broadcast live on January 23 at 8:00 am and 12:30 pm and January 24 at 8:00 am and 10:00 am at

For more information about the River of Grass Canoe Expedition, visit the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation’s website or contact Chad Phillips, Elementary Science Program Planner, at 357-1132 or

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The Jupiter Performing Arts Fund is presenting “Mays At The Movies” on February 18, 2012, 7-10 pm. at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta.  The Jupiter Performing Arts Fund is a not-for-profit organization formed for the purpose of encouraging, promoting and supporting music in the Jupiter public schools.  Legendary pianist, composer, and recording artist Bill Mays along with Marty Morell on drums and Richard Drexler on bass will be performing. Mr. Mays has played alongside Sarah Vaughan, Woody Herman and Frank Sinatra and will be performing excerpts from original movie scores as well as other scores to which he has contributed. Some of the many movies in which he has performed include Charade, The Sandpiper, Spartacus, Julie and Julia, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factor and Fargo.

According to Jupiter Performing Arts Fund President, Bari Axelband, “This concert takes place in the intimate setting of the beautiful Lighthouse ArtCenter and will include drinks, appetizers, and desserts. Space is limited so reserve your seat early as we expect to sell out. For more information or to purchase tickets at $75.00, go to: or call: 872-222-JPAF.”

Jupiter Performing Arts Fund is a not-for-profit organization formed for the purpose of encouraging, promoting and supporting music in the Jupiter public schools. Students who play a musical instrument have a higher level of academic achievement, concentration and sense of confidence while building valuable social skills in teamwork, communication and leadership.

To date, JPAF has donated $25,000 of used musical instruments through its “New Life for Old Notes” program. JPAF has also provided $40,000 for scholarships, artists in residence, new instruments, commissioned music and other unbudgeted items to enhance Jupiter school music programs and help students grow musically and academically.

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Students from Bak Middle School of the Arts will perform works created for them by their teachers, Martha Satinoff, Heidi Sperounis, Hollond Schiller, and Carlos de Barros. Members of Bak’s Dance Repertory will also perform “Battle Etude” choreographed by Robert Battle, the Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and “Catch Flow” choreographed by Marisa Ballaro, member of American Dance Legacy Initiative.

The students will perform in the Bak Middle School of the Arts Mainstage Theatre on Friday, February 3 at 7:00 PM and Saturday February 4 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and may be purchased at or at the box office 30 minutes before each performance.

For more information please contact Martha Satinoff at .

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Over 770 Palm Beach County students from 67 schools submitted entries to the Second Annual Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest. Their posters promote a clear educational message encouraging an alcohol-free lifestyle for youth. 

After a judging committee selected fifteen semifinalists and more than 6200 people participated in the online voting, the School District of Palm Beach County is proud to announce the winners of the Project SMART Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest. 


Zaniab Ali  5th grade Westward Elementary
Taika Gue 5th grade Plumosa School of the Arts



Alexis Berman 8th grade BAK MSOA
Chase Bomar 7th grade Congress Middle



Jasmine Quiles 12th grade Park Vista High
Jesse Pentz 12th grade Seminole Ridge High


The top six posters (two each from elementary, middle, and high school) will be displayed on all district school buses. Winners will receive $100 each, in addition to Adobe Photoshop software. 

Semifinalists and top posters from each school are being featured at the 2012 South Florida Fair in the Bink Glisson Museum at Yesteryear Village through January 29. Winners are invited to attend the Awards Ceremony on Monday, February 20, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. in School District’s Central Bus Compound. 

Elementary Finalists

Cooper Kennedy, 2nd Grade, Poinciana Elementary

Hannah Jutte, 4th Grade, Cypress Trails Elementary

Chandrea Baxter, 5th Grade, Plumosa School of the Arts 

Middle School Finalists

Vandi Allen, 7th Grade, Roosevelt Middle School

Valeria Osorio, 7th Grade, Christa McAuliffe Middle School

Amanda Reinharct, 7th Grade, Independence Middle School 

High School Finalists

Mia Fielding, 11th Grade, South Tech Academy

Casey Davis, 10th Grade, Seminole Ridge High School

Nicole Wellman, 10th Grade, Dreyfoos School of the Arts 

The contest is being sponsored by a collaboration of organizations: Student Intervention Services, Public Affairs, and Transportation Department in the School District of Palm Beach County; the Acreage Loxahatchee Rotary Club; Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition; Adobe; and the South Florida Fair.

Elementary 1st place - Zaniab Ali

Elementary 1st place - Zaniab Ali


Elementary 2nd place - Taika Gue

Elementary 2nd place - Taika Gue


Middle 1st place - Alexis Berman

Middle 1st place - Alexis Berman


Middle 2nd place - Chase Bomar

Middle 2nd place - Chase Bomar


High School 1st place - Jasmine Quiles

High School 1st place - Jasmine Quiles


High School 2nd place - Jesse Pentz

High School 2nd place - Jesse Pentz

For more information, contact Linda Salzman at (561) 366-6979 or via e-mail at  



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

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The School Board of Palm Beach County has scheduled informal and formal interviews and two “Meet and Greet” events.  

Informal interviews will be conducted by Board members who will meet individually with each of the applicants from Monday, February 6 through Wednesday, February 8 at District Headquarters.  

The public is invited to meet the four finalists at a “Meet and Greet” on Monday, February 6, 2012 in the School District’s Board Room from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  A second “Meet and Greet” co-sponsored by the School District of Palm Beach County and the Glades Tri-Cities Coalition is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at Glades Central High School, Cafeteria, 1001 S.W. Ave. “M”, Belle Glade, FL, 33430, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. 

The formal interviews will be held in the School District’s Board Room on Wednesday February 8, 2012, and are open to the public.

 12:30-1:55 p.m. for Tom Watkins

  2:00-3:25 p.m. for Constance Jones , Ph.D.

  3:30-4:55 p.m. for James Browder, Ed.D.

  5:00-6:25 p.m. for Janis Andrews, Ed.D.        

The School District of Palm Beach County is located at 3300 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL, 33406.

For more information, please contact Frieda Proctor at (561) 434-8953.


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WHAT :      Del Prado PTA’s “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise” January events 

WHEN :      Wednesday, January 25, 2012 – 6:30 PM 

WHO :        Del Prado Elementary School PTA

WHERE :   Del Prado Elementary School
                     7900 Del Prado Cir., Boca Raton, FL 33433

WHY:         As part of Del Prado PTA’s “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise” January events, the Del Prado community will have a great opportunity to enjoy Whole Foods Market’s “Healthy Bites” program.  This evening, Whole Foods Market will give an interesting presentation about nutrition, a demonstration and samples of yummy healthy suppers, snacks and sweets.  Children’s activities will be available during the meeting and presentation.

For more information, contact Laura Fellman at (561) 544-1800.

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The Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair Awards were recently presented at a ceremony held at Lake Worth High School.  Attendance was phenomenal as over 700 people attended including students, parents, and coordinators.  40 students qualified at the regional competition to attend the State Science and Engineering Fair on April 3-5, 2012.

“We would like to again thank our sponsors for contributing to our efforts to reward students for excellence in science,” said Gregory Goebel, 6-12 Science Program Planner. “We would welcome future contributions from individuals or groups that would like to encourage students to continue to explore science and develop research techniques. These are the students that will become the researchers who find the cure for cancer, develop new technologies that solve the energy crisis, and make the world a better place in more ways than there is space to name.”

Congratulations to all our winners! The lists of winners can be found on the county science fair website which are located at the following URLs:  (Middle School Winners)  (High School Winners)

For more information, contact Gregory Goebel, 6-12 Science Program Planner, at 561-357-1128 or .

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Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! 2012 is January 23-27 and as part of the celebration the School District’s Department of K-12 Curriculum is hosting a fundraiser entitled “Got Books?: Summer Books for Children.”

In an effort to combat summer reading loss among elementary school students, the K-5 Reading Team has arranged a partnership with Palm Beach County Barnes and Noble bookstores.  Barnes and Noble will donate a percentage of customer-designated sales throughout the weekend of January 28-29, 2012 made in all of the Palm Beach County Barnes and Noble locations.  Customers wishing to support this project must specify this fundraiser when making purchases.

Funds will be used to provide books for summer reading to elementary school students at selected high-needs schools throughout our district. In addition, guest readers are being invited to read aloud in each of the stores from 2-4pm on Saturday January 28, 2012.

Palm Beach County Barnes and Noble Store Locations:

Boca Raton
1400 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Boynton Beach
333 N. Congress Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33436

City Place
700 Rosemary Ave #104
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Palm Beach Gardens
11380 Legacy Ave
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

10500 West Forest Hill Blvd.
Wellington, FL 33414

For more information please contact K-12 Curriculum Specialists Kristen Rulison at or Robin White at .

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Six students from the Theatre Academy at Boynton Beach Community High School took home top honors at the District X Thespian Competition on December 3rd.

Seniors Karla Armstrong and Kevin Altenor and Juniors, Jonah Cabada, Brendan Gardner , Bridgette Karam and Christine Barger, all received superior ratings for their scenes and monologues, taking home a total of eight medals.

The superior ratings qualify the team to compete on the state level in Tampa this coming March. It’s the first time in years that the team has qualified.

Theatre Academy director, Joe Ametrano said , “Transportation, housing and entry fees total several thousand dollars. Now all we have to do is raise the money.”

Donations to help send the young Thespians to the State Competition are now being accepted.

Please send donations to: Boynton Beach Community High School, Pam Whigham, Choice Coordinator, 4975 Park Ridge Blvd, Boynton Beach, FL 33426.

For more information call 561-752-1295.

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Current Palm Beach County School District substitute teachers are being recruited by the Department of Multicultural Education to work one-on-one with students in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. They will administer the speaking portion of the Comprehensive English Language Learning Assessment (CELLA), which is conducted annually as required by the state and the federal government. Selected personnel will be categorized as temporary support and will help conduct the portion of the test that measures English language proficiency from March 5th to approximately April 5th.

Responsibilities of those hired will include scoring students’ level of English proficiency and may require travel throughout the county on given days. Mileage reimbursement is not provided, and candidates are required to attend a two-day,  hands-on training. Qualifications include the need for a pleasant disposition, cultural sensitivity, and previous experience with school-aged children.

The Department of Multicultural Education’s Sandra Medrano-Arroyo said she  anticipates the need for about 60  people this year.   “In previous years about 50 district staff and even more school site employees were involved with this test and it’s similar to the efforts required for FCAT—which means almost all hands on deck. This is a labor-intensive, high-stakes test mandated by the No Child Left Behind legislation.”  CELLA is administered to each of the approximately 19,000 students in the ESOL program within the state-designated 17- day window.  Those who are interested—including already assigned substitutes– should visit for details on how to apply.  Qualified applicants will be pre-screened by phone, and if selected, will be scheduled for the training session set for March 1st and 2nd.  

For more details about this initiative, contact Ms. Medrano-Arroyo atl

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The Palm Beach County Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. held an Installation Breakfast on Thursday, January 19, 2012 where Chief Judge Peter D. Blanc swore in the new officers of the Association for calendar year 2012:

President: Chief James P. Kelly

Palm Beach County School District Police Department

Vice-President: Chief Daniel C. Alexander

Boca Raton Police Department

Treasurer: Chief Steven Kniffin

Palm Beach Shores Police Department

Secretary: Director Kirk W. Blouin

Palm Beach Police Department

Chief Kelly stated that the Association will continue its primary purpose of promoting a thorough and efficient police system throughout Palm Beach County through regular training, information sharing, cooperative multiagency enforcement/prevention efforts, and by taking an active role in the legislative actions regarding public safety.

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Over the past few weeks, the Wildcat Speech & Debate students at Royal Palm Beach High School have been competing at a few important tournaments. 

At the Sunvitational at the University School in Davie, the team competed with students from 13 different states.  The following students were recognized: 

Anthony Nadeau: 2nd Place in Oral Interpretation

Anthony Nadeau & Delisa Stephenson: 7th Place in Duo Interpretation

Delisa Stephenson: Semifinalist in Dramatic Interpretation 

More recently the Wildcat Team competed at the Crestian Classic tournament at the Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale.  The following students were recognized: 

Anthony Nadeau & Delisa Stephenson: 3rd Place in Duo Interpretation

Delisa Stephenson: 4th Place in Dramatic Interpretation

Semifinalists in Dramatic Interpretation: Anthony Nadeau, Delisa Stephenson & Luis Hernandez

Semifinalist in Oral Interpretation: Anthony Nadeau 

In addition, Royal Palm Beach received 3rd place in Sweeps for Interpretation, which means once again, that Royal Palm Beach High School is the top placing team in Palm Beach County.  

For more information contact Eric Jeraci at (561) 753-4021or via e-mail at






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

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Saxophonist Ron Blake, Julliard Professor and member of the “Saturday Night Live Band” will visit Jupiter this week to provide workshops and to perform in concert with Jupiter Middle School, Independence Middle School and Jupiter High school band students. Mr. Blake has gained international acclaim as a clinician, artist and performer. He has appeared on more than 50 recording and sound tracks, including El Cantante starring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.

This event is being sponsored by Jupiter Performing Arts Fund through a grant from Target, and by Music Man, Inc. Local students from Jupiter Middle School, Independence Middle School and Jupiter High School will enjoy two days of workshops with Mr. Blake. The students will explore various jazz styles, gain insight into jazz improvising and share in Mr. Blake’s wide experience and artistry.

In addition, students will have the unique opportunity to perform in a concert with Mr. Blake this Friday night, January 20th at 7:30PM in the Jupiter High School Auditorium. The concert is free to the public and will feature the North Palm Beach County All Star Middle School Jazz Band which is made up students from both Jupiter and Independence Middle schools. The second half of the program will feature Mr. Blake performing with the Jupiter High School Jazz Band.

“It is so rare to have an artist of this caliber come to work with our children”, commented Paul Destito, Director of the Jupiter Middle School Jazz Band. “This would not be possible without the generous support of the Jupiter Performing Arts Fund and Target. These folks are helping our kids aim high and dream big. All of the North County Band Directors are very thankful for helping us make a dream come true.”

You can read and learn more about Ron Blake at You can also read and learn more about the Jupiter Performing Arts fund at

For more information please contact Independence Middle School Band Director Julie Murray at