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President of the Florida Senate Mike Haridopolos recently appointed Palm Beach County School Board Member Chuck Shaw to serve as a member of the K-12 Public School Facility Funding Task Force. He will serve as a representative who is a member of the district school board from a large sized school district based on student population. 

Mr. Shaw’s appointment is effective July 1, 2012 and expires June 30, 2013.  Mr. Shaw has been involved in education for over 35 years, serving as a teacher, principal and administrator.  He also served on the City of Greenacres Council.

For more information please contact Public Affairs Specialist Vickie Middlebrooks at 561-357-7661 or .

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School may be ending soon, but learning won’t stop for the students at Diamond View Elementary School this summer.  The school is preparing for its second annual Summer Reading Challenge and over 900 students get to select four books each from over 4,000 books on hand. Supported by the Pew Foundation, classroom teachers and other staff will be on hand Friday, June 1, to help students select “just the right books” that they can read independently.  Diamond View Elementary School Reading Coach Rachel Roche said each student will also get a summer reading folder. “Each folder contains a reading log, summer book lists, and information about the Destination Reading/Math online summer tutorial program,” she explained.  Research shows that each summer, students who don’t read can lose up to two reading levels.

In addition to providing take-home books, the media center will be open through the summer each Monday, from 12:00-3:00 p.m. to allow students access to books.  Students who read daily will turn in their reading logs when school resumes in August and participate in Boogie for Books—a special school dance—to celebrate their summer reading accomplishments.  For more details, contact Ms. Roche, 561-304-4200 or email

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The School District of Palm Beach County is offering the Summer Food Service Program weekdays starting June 11, 2012 through August 8, 2012.  The School District has sponsored this program for the past 14 years.

List of Feeding Sites for the Summer Food Service Program

Nutritionally balanced meals will be provided to all children regardless of  race,  color,  sex,  disability,  age,  or   national  origin  during  summer vacation  when  school  breakfasts  and  lunches  are  not available.  All children 18 years old and younger are eligible for meals at no charge and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. The  programs  are  only  approved  for  geographical  areas  of   need where 50  percent or more of  the children qualify for  free and reduced price meals during the school year.

Summer Food Service sites that are located at schools provide meals to all children in the immediate vicinity in addition to those enrolled in summer school.                                   

Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA related activity should immediately write or call:


Director, Office of Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C.  20250-9410

(800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY)

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

For more information please contact School Food Service Field Manager Peter Wood at 561-383-2003 or .

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BBHS Jenny CraigeJenny Craige, reading teacher at Boynton Beach High School was recently awarded as the 2012 Reading Teacher of the Year (novice designation) by the Secondary Reading Council of Florida (SRCFL). Author Terry Trueman presented the award to Ms. Craige at the SRCFL Annual Conference held in Deerfield Beach, FL.

Ms. Craige is a reading teacher for grades 11 and 12, under the administration of Karen Whetsell.  Winning the novice category of the secondary reading teacher of the year places her in a unique circle of exemplary reading educators. 

“The 2012 recipients represent the overarching view that reading education for secondary students must not only be unique to the students’ needs, but also recognizes what the students bring to the literacy instructional table,” said SRCFL president Dr. Joyce Warner, who is Chair of the Reading and Literacy Studies Department at Barry University.  

Each of the recipients brings this unique perspective to her reading instruction. “Jenny shows a passion for reading, reads everywhere and all the time.  She models her love of reading in so many ways and daily differentiates techniques and strategies for her students to address their varied needs and interests,” said her colleague Rachelle Savitz about Ms. Craige’s reading instructional style. 


The Secondary Reading Council of Florida has been an affiliated charter of the International Reading Association since 1980.  For more information about SRCFL, visit the website at

For more information contact Joyce Warner at (561) 706-8577.  






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

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Based on Newsweek Magazine’s Best High Schools In America 2012 article, Suncoast Community High School is ranked 9th, Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts is ranked 37th, Boca Raton Community High School is ranked 200th and Spanish River Community High School is ranked 362th.   To determine the rankings, Newsweek factored in six criteria: the school’s four-year gradation rate, college-acceptance rate, number of AP and other high-level exams given per student, average SAT/ACT scores, average AP/college-level test scores and the number of AP courses offered per student.

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Northboro Elementary Montessori Magnet School will be the site for a Career Day Fair, June 1st from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.  Among the honored guest will be Florida State Representative Jeff Clemons, Judge Debra Stephens and Marit Bohbot, Consulate of Sweden. 

This distinguished group will be joined by 40 other professionals in presenting mini career sessions to student from kindergarten to fifth grade.  In addition, student will have the opportunity to explore construction equipment, police cars, fire engines and other professional vehicles.

For more information please contact Principal Gayle Harper at 561-494-1600 or .

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Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields.  Watson B. Duncan Middle School is number one in the FBLA Middle School Big Ten Chapters ranking with 284 members.  Independence Middle is ranked tenth nationally with 118 members

With more than 20,000 members nationwide, FBLA has exploded at junior high and middle schools. Schools participate in a variety of activities including job shadow programs, community service projects, and American enterprise projects.  Member schools can earn recognition on the local, state, and national levels.

For more information please contact Watson B. Duncan Middle School Principal Jose Garcia at 561-776-3500 and or Independence Middle School Principal Lori Bonino at 561-799-7500 and .

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The results are in! Maya Kedmi, a seventh grade student at Bak Middle School of the Arts is the first place winner of the SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® student essay competition, sponsored by the SIFMA Foundation and SIFMA member firms. Maya claims top prize for the middle school division of the Spring 2012 national competition.

As a culminating activity for the country’s 600,000 annual Stock Market Game™ participants, InvestWrite® challenges 4th-12th graders to analyze an investment scenario, think critically and write a long-term financial plan. Students address real-world economic factors and trends, better preparing for their own financial futures. Maya Kedmi is one of 20,000 students each year across the nation who takes the InvestWrite challenge.

The Spring 2012 winning InvestWrite essay composed by Maya was chosen through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals who evaluate students’ analysis of asset allocation, the investment potential of various publicly traded stocks, their overall understanding of the stock market, and the manner in which they express their investment ideas in essay form.

Maya and her teacher, Lisa Hanser, were recognized at an event held on the campus of Florida Atlantic University Thursday, May 17th.  Another Bak Middle School of the Arts student, Melanie Pincus, received honors for submitting the tenth place national essay. Melanie and her teacher, Lillian Dooies, were also recognized at the event attended by school officials, parents, and representatives of the SIFMA Foundation.  

For more information please contact Bak Middle School of the Arts Principal Elizabeth Kennedy at 561-882-3870 or .

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Five secondary students from the School District of Palm Beach County were selected to read their winning essays about environmental issues on the radio program Radio Green Earth which airs on WQCS 88.9 FM  at 9 a.m. on Thursdays and repeated on Seaview Radio 960 AM at 6 p.m.  They participated in an essay contest as part of the 2012 Florida Green, Energy & Climate Conference.  In their essays, students shared their thoughts on how young people can make a positive difference in helping reduce our impact on the environment.  Students included specific examples of what could be done to effect positive change. 

A podcast of the radio program is now available for streaming or download at

Sandra Jinks, principal of Palm Springs Middle School, said, “I am very proud that three of Palm Springs Middle School students won and that their essays will be read on Radio Green Earth.  I believe it is important for students to think about how to save energy and keep Earth green.  The younger people are aware of how to keep the environment green, the better the future will be for all.”

The essay winners of the 2012 Florida Green, Energy & Climate Conference Essay Contest were:

  • Jordyn Saccone, Palm Springs Middle School
  • Hector Sanchez, Palm Springs Middle School
  • Valentina Hernandez, Palm Springs Middle School
  • Sanjay Poonaising, Forest Hill High School
  • Amber Rutstein, Jupiter High School

 “I am so impressed by the knowledge and environmental awareness being instilled in students today.  The essays reflected that these young people are fully engaged and paying attention to what’s happening in the environment today.  They realize that not only do they themselves need to be accountable to make eco-friendly choices, but that businesses have the greatest ability to effect positive change on a global level, and if they haven’t already, they should be.  We are very fortunate to have such bright, caring, knowledgeable young people that will be at the helm of our future before we know it,” said Missy Tancredi-Strauss, host of Radio Green Earth.

Approximately 65 students from Palm Beach County schools attended as special guests of the conference.  They had an opportunity to tour the expo center to meet and interview local business leaders – individuals from organizations such as Waste Management, South Florida Water Management District, FPL, and engineering and construction firms.  The theme of the student program was Energy, Energy, Energy!  Speakers and educators from Sugarland Wind, FPL, University of Florida Extension Service, and FAU’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center provided hands-on science experiences that focused on energy.  Students from Jupiter and Forest Hill high schools’ environmental education programs presented as well.

According to Wendy Spielman King, K-12 Science Manager for the School District of Palm Beach County, “The students who attended the conference and those who shared their essays on Radio Green Earth are our environmental ambassadors.  They have a strong commitment to the environment.  These students are setting an example for all of us, and they are making our community a better place.”

Shelley Vana, Palm Beach County Commissioner, stated about the conference as a whole, “As an educator and a policymaker, it is very encouraging to see so many government entities cooperating with businesses to achieve a better environment and a green community.”

For more information contact Gregory Goebel at (561) 357-1128 or via email at  






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

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Morikami Park EL 2

Morikami Park Elementary School PTA’s Green Task Force is thrilled to announce the planting of hundreds of trees and shrubs to complete the final phase of the Habitat Restoration Project located in the two-acre field adjacent to the school’s playground and Lawton Chiles Park.  During the development of a construction project overseen by Collins Development and A Delgado Realty & Gov’t Consulting Group in West Palm Beach, trees were removed from a natural area in order to create a new campus for Kidsanctuary, a not-for-profit organization committed to providing a safe home for abused, abandoned and neglected children in Florida.  As native trees are cleared, funding is required for the allocation of new plantings within the county. 

We are extremely grateful to Palm Beach County’s Environmental Management Group, Collins Development, A Delgado Realty Group, Inc. and Kidsanctuary Campus, Inc. who directed the funding to the Habitat Restoration Project at Morikami Park Elementary School.  The school is also very thankful to be the recipient of a $5000 Toolbox for Education grant from Lowes for the remainder of the costs to finish the project.  The newly restored area will include an Oak Hammock and Pine Forest that will connect to the native wetland that was restored by the Green Task Force in 2010-11.  Interpretive signs will help teach students about the importance of protecting local habitats for native species and the role of wetlands in helping to replenish our drinking water supply.  Environmental Quality, Inc. began working on the project during the first week of May and will complete the project over the summer,’ said Cindy Papadoyianis, PTA chairperson at Morikami Park Elementary.

For more information about the project, please contact Cindy Papadoyianis or Sandra Gibson, PTA Green Chairpersons at Morikami Park Elementary School at

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Last fall Tim Hulett, owner and CEO of Hulett Environmental Services, read about homeless students here in Palm Beach County. He immediately called the School District’s HEART (Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team) in Safe Schools/Student Intervention Services.  HEART serves homeless students and their families which have rights in regards to public education mandated by the McKinney-Vento federal law.

Mr. Hulett invited members of HEART to present to his leadership team about how to help homeless students: the issues, concerns, and unmet needs. His team devoted well over an hour listening and then convened to talk about how to assist.  Just before the holidays, Hulett Environmental Services made a generous donation of $5,000 through the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County to help our homeless students and youth. In addition, Mr. Hulett has personally mentored a homeless student and helped him with a football camp scholarship.

Mr. Hulett and his team have stayed in touch with HEART, and recently donated an additional $6,974.60 to the Education Foundation for HEART.  The donations to HEART help the neediest students in our district.

HEART is made up of a group of committed social service professionals who help homeless children and youth enroll, attend, and succeed in school. Each school in every geographic area of the District is served, as well as family homeless shelters, and state identified “neglected” shelter sites. The team serves homeless children and youth, unaccompanied youth, students awaiting foster care placement, and those “aging-out” of the foster care system.

For more information, please contact Margaret Kallman with the Department of Safe Schools/ Student Intervention Services at or click here  to see how you can help.

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Evaluation will inform $1 million Broad Prize decision of nation’s “most improved” urban district; Best practices to be shared with school districts nationwide







 National educational experts will tour the School District of Palm Beach County on Wednesday to gather information for a jury of former U.S. secretaries of education, governors, university presidents and CEOs to decide whether Palm Beach Schools will win the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education, the nation’s largest education award that carries with it $550,000 in college scholarships.  This four-day “site visit” will include interviews with district officials, principals, teachers, staff, parents, students and community representatives, as well as classroom observations.  Best practices collected during the site visit will also be shared with urban districts nationwide. 


When: Wednesday, May 30 10:30 a.m. School and classroom tour with Superintendent E. Wayne Gent, panel of national education experts, and Principal Jeffrey Pegg. 

11:15 a.m. Media availability, Q&A with researchers, Broad Foundation rep and superintendent. Press kits will be available at the media availability.







 Wynnebrook Elementary School  1167 Drexel Road

 West Palm Beach, 33417



The School District of Palm Beach County is one of only four urban school districts in the nation to be in the running for the 2012 Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize for Urban Education and $550,000 in scholarships. Palm Beach was chosen as a finalist in April for having topped 71 other large urban districts nationwide in making student gains. This is Palm Beach County’s first time as a finalist for the national award. 

 The Broad Prize is awarded annually by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, a national education philanthropy based in Los Angeles that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed.  The award honors urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement in the nation while reducing income and ethnic achievement gaps. 

 The winning school district, which will be announced on Oct. 23 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors who graduate in 2013.  Each finalist district will receive $150,000 in scholarships.  Seventy-five large urban school districts nationwide were eligible for the 2012 Broad Prize.  Other finalist districts this year are:  the Corona Norco Unified School District in Southern California, the Houston Independent School District, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.  For more information, please visit

 The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation was founded by self-made entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools.  Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive.

Contact: Karen Denne, The Broad Foundation,310.702.4280

Nat Harrington, Palm Beach Schools, 561.434.8227




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Jeans and Jewels was the theme of the County Council of PTA/PTSA’s Awards and Recognition Program this year. The jeans acknowledges the hard work contributed by each of the units and members;  the  jewels are symbolic according to President Jen Martinez.  “We felt the jewels reflect that each of the 58 units is a precious jewel in the fabric of our schools and community,” she stated.  “ Collectively the units are  comprised of over 14,000 PTA members who  volunteered well over 330,000 hours this year– valued at over 6 million dollars.”

The Council thanked and recognized all units for their membership and wonderful programs and events they hosted for their members.  These wonderful volunteers do not host local programs to garner recognition for themselves, but to help parents and the community realize the importance of their participation in every child’s education. 

The event is a way for the Council to say Thank you to the local units for displaying incredible teamwork and supporting the mission and purpose of PTA.  The following awards were presented (some previously announced):

Advocacy – Spanish River Community High PTSA               

Communication – Sandpiper Shores Elementary PTA      

Community Connection – Hidden Oaks Elementary PTA

Environmental – Eagles Landing Middle PTSA

Family Engagement – Sandpiper Shores Elementary PTA

Health & Safety – Del Prado Elementary PTA

Literacy – Pine Jog Elementary PTA

Spotlight – Del Prado Elementary PTA and Sandpiper Shores Elementary PTA

Superman Unit – Eagles Landing Middle PTSA

Outstanding Service Award – Sandy Roth (Del Prado Elementary PTA)    

Wellness Ambassador – Eric Stern (School District of Palm Beach)

Student Ambassador – Ian Mellul (Boca Raton High PTSA)

Student Scholarship – Setutsi Dennis (Spanish River High PTSA)

 Student Scholarship – Wallis Stormont O’Hagan (Suncoast High PTSA)

Adult Scholarship – Larry Harris (Omni Middle PTSA)

President’s Team Award – Spanish River Community High PTSA

President’s Team Award – Pine Jog Elementary PTA

President’s Team Award – Poinciana Elementary PTA     

Rising Star – Whispering Pines Elementary PTA

School Administration of the Year – Eagles Landing Middle PTSA

PTA Strong School Partnership – Del Prado Elementary PTA

PTSA Strong School Partnership – Spanish River Community High PTSA

PTA of the Year – Sandpiper Shores Elementary PTA       

PTSA of the Year – Eagles Landing Middle PTSA

Business Partnership – SimplePons

For more information and a brief description of the award winners programs please visit our website  Join us on facebook to view the Jean and Jewels photo album .  If you are interested in joining the largest advocacy group for children send an email to  (Special Note: As a reminder, you do not need to have a child in school to be a member!)

About PTA

The Palm Beach County Council of PTA/PTSA is a member of the largest advocacy group for children in the nation. PTA comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

 For more information, contact Ms. Martinez, 561-254-9513 or

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Palm Beach County is proud to have the top two State Science and Engineering Fair finalists, Christopher Wan and Youssif Hassanein, who represented Palm Beach County at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) that was recently held in Pittsburgh, PA. Approximately 1,549 finalists from 69 countries participated in the ISEF, which is sponsored by Intel and is considered one of the most prestigious science competitions held in the world. 

Christopher Wan attends A. W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts as a Junior;  His project was “Modeling Salinity to Evaluate Saltwater Intrusion: A Case Study of the Loxahatchee River”. Youssif Hassanein attends Suncoast High School as a Junior; His project was “The Art of Chess; Strategy and Artificial Intelligence.”

Christopher Wan received a Fourth Place Grand Award and $500.00 for the overall competition, a Second Place Special Award from the American Geosciences Institute along with $750.00, and a Full Scholarship to Drexel University. Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania awarded full tuition scholarships for projects in the categories of Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Medicine and Health, and Physics or projects aligned with Drexel’s curriculum.  The scholarship is valued at $150,000.

The awards, exciting special events, opportunities to meet Nobel Laureates, and meeting and exchanging ideas with their peers all make the competition an event to be remembered. Christopher and Youssif are already planning their research for their Senior year in hopes of returning to the International competition in 2013.

Christopher Wan and Youssif Hassanein at the 2012 ISEF

Christopher Wan and Youssif Hassanein at the 2012 ISEF

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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An information packed luncheon for local businesses will focus on successful Mentor Protégé programs, in which subcontractors learn marketing and business operations from large, established general contractors. Sponsored by The Weitz Company, the free event will provide local businesses an opportunity to explore building mutually beneficial relationships.

 Presenters:   Jim Wells, P.E., Vice President: The Weitz Company

                         Derrick Dukes, President: Dukes Construction

Friday, June 1, 2012

Time:   12:00 noon—2:00 pm

Location:   School District of Palm Beach County

3300 Forest Hill Boulevard, West Palm Beach

Thurber Training Rooms A & B

The program will include: 

 Facilities Services Update

 Purchasing Department Update

 Office of Diversity in Business Practices Update


RSVP:    Carline Dumornay at 561-434-8508


 Limited Seating—PLEASE RSVP for each attendee, by Wed, May 30, 2012

(Reservations will be accepted until maximum capacity is reached)

Please Limit Attendance To Two Persons Per  Company. Bring your business cards

 For more information, contact Michelle Andrewin or Carline Dumornay at 434-8508.


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Betty Thomas, the first principal of Galaxy Elementary and a well-known member of the Boynton community for over 60 years, will be honored when the “new” Galaxy Elementary opens its doors in August 2013.  As fund-raising efforts continue for the “green” campus, the Historical Society of Boynton Beach has announced it will pay the cost of furnishing the principal’s office and the office will be named after Mrs. Thomas who passed away last summer at the age of 86.  “Betty Thomas was one of our most active and dedicated members who often worked on various projects for the Boynton Beach Historical Society.  We are so pleased to be able to honor her many contributions,” remarked Boynton Beach Historical Society President, Voncile Smith.

Betty Thomas and Principal Joseph Schneider

Betty Thomas and Principal Joseph Schneider

Groundbreaking for the reconstruction of Galaxy Elementary took place last spring and Mrs. Thomas was on hand for the ceremony.  As Galaxy Elementary School’s first principal, Mrs. Thomas served there from 1976 to 1987. Mrs. Thomas began her teaching career in Florida at South Grade School. Later, she joined Boynton Beach Elementary, where she eventually became Assistant Principal. She then went on to lead Galaxy and finished her career in education as Principal of Calusa Elementary.

After retiring from the School District in 1993, Mrs. Thomas was involved with various education committees, city government, and community clubs with Galaxy Elementary always one of her top priorities. Galaxy Elementary Principal Joseph Schneider believes Mrs. Thomas would be extremely proud of the new Galaxy, “The school’s goal is to offer incoming PreK-5th graders an amazing educational experience and introduce a lifelong love of learning in all areas, especially in science and math, a goal Mrs. Thomas was committed to each and every day.”

The new replacement school has a LEED Platinum certification target and is designed for a unique E3 “Choice” curriculum in Environment, Energy and Engineering. At the heart of the school’s design is the Wonderment Center, with interactive science exhibits and four skills labs. The “Project Based Learning” curriculum at the new school will prepare students to better compete for college and job choices with above average competency in science, math and technology. Energy, Environment and Engineering will be the focus of the educational program at Galaxy Elementary, with the building itself serving as a “3-D” textbook. 

Galaxy-PictureThe School District has funded the basic construction of the project with over $22 million. According to Carrie Parker Hill, former School Board member and a Galaxy All Star volunteer, “We are within reach of our goal of raising an additional $1.4 million, allowing for this extraordinary elementary school and a future showpiece for downtown Boynton Beach. Grants from supporters such as the Quantum Foundation, FPL, the Lattner Foundation, the Batchelor Foundation, and the City of Boynton Beach have contributed to this success.”

Mr. Schneider added, “With the generosity of our supporters and the community, Mrs. Thomas’ commitment and dedication to Galaxy will soon be reflected in the joyous faces of every student that attends our new state of the art school.”

Historical Society Trustee and Galaxy All-Star Virginia Farace said “A group of community leaders, the Galaxy All-Stars, has been formed to assist with the project’s fundraising.  We encourage other individuals or organizations to memorialize or honor someone with a donation to the project.” 

For more information on other naming opportunities or to make a donation please visit the Galaxy Green website at or contact Principal Joseph Schneider at 561-739-5600 or .

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Woodlands Middle School’s Medical Academy is hosting a 5K Run/Walk at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Sunday June 3, , at 7:00 a.m. .  The money raised will be used to purchase equipment and supplies to build the Medical program and enrich the experiences of the academy students.   Assistant Principal, Rigo Gamez  said the event is a way for families to have fun and help students at the same time. “ Whether they walk or run, participants will have a chance to enjoy the course and raise their heart rates—which  is recommended as part of everyone’s  fitness regimen,” he stated. “The funds we collect from sponsorships and  entry fees will help us prepare the students in the Medical Academy for their careers in medicine.”

The public is invited to attend.  Pre-registration is recommended although walk-up registration will be available the day of the event.   To register, or for more information, call Mr. Gamez at 561-357-0324 or email .

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Marlon Murasko of Jupiter High School and Amanda Price of Royal Palm Beach Community High School are the two recipients of the 2011-2012 Annual Palm Beach County Art Teachers Association Scholarships of $1000.00 each.  Marlon Murasko will be attending the University of Florida and Amanda Price will be attending The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale.

The Scholarship Committee met to review the portfolios of the applicants for the 2011-2012 school year.  Nine applicants from six different high schools in the county submitted portfolios to be reviewed.

“We wish to offer our congratulations to these students and their art teachers: Brian Kovachik, Elizabeth Christian, and Cindy Oakes,” said Britt Feingold, PBCATA President.

It is the mission of the Palm Beach County Art Teachers Association to support art education and to promote art as a means of communication for each individual. It is the right of each individual to develop his own creativity and aesthetic potential. It is our purpose to strengthen the position of art education in Palm Beach County. We support programs in art which meet the needs, interests and abilities of each individual student. We will promote and maintain the highest quality of art education in Palm Beach County. 

Amanda Price - Wellington High School

Amanda Price - Royal Palm Beach High School

Marlon Murasko - Jupiter High School

Marlon Murasko - Jupiter High School

For more information contact Britt Feingold at (561) 882-7600 or via email at






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

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 The following graduating seniors are among 2500 students nationwide who have been selected to receive college-sponsored National Merit scholarships.

Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Jillian T. Adams   Delray Beach resident  University of Florida Probable career field: Research

Donald W. Meyers, IV   Wellington resident  University of Florida  Probable career field: Materials Science

Courtney S. Wayne       Jupiter resident    University of Miami   Probable career field: Research

Atlantic High School

Rebecca S. Abraham      Atlantis resident   University of Florida               Probable career field: Biomedicine/Research

Laura N. Vander Meiden    Boca Raton resident  University of Miami   Probable career field: Marine Biology

Boca Raton Community High School

Daniel J. Livingston       Boca Raton resident   University of Florida      Probable career field: Computer Science/Engineering

Jupiter Community High School

Alexa M. Rimmer  Jupiter resident   Florida State University  Probable career field:  Law

Spanish River Community High School

Ariel B. Brown     Boca Raton resident  Tufts University Probable career field: Surgical Medicine

Suncoast Community High School

John C. Trimble   Palm Beach Gardens resident   University of Florida    Probable career field: Finance

West Boca Raton Community High School

Evan J. Dorundo  Boca Raton resident  University of Central Florida Probable career field:  Computer Science

Officials of each sponsor college chose their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend tehir institution.  The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.

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Alexander Dreyfoos piano major Chris Wan has proven he has talent in other areas with his 4th place finish in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). Held recently in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chris competed against over 1500 students from 68 countries. His project, Modeling Salinity to Evaluate Saltwater Intrusion: A Case Study of the Loxahatchee River, was ranked 4th Place in the Environmental Science Category and received a $500 cash prize. In addition his project was ranked 2nd Place by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) special award and received an additional $750 cash for being one of three projects selected that best reflect the study of Earth and the mission of the organization.  The Wellington resident has already been awarded a full tuition scholarship to Drexel University totaling about $150,000.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition and provides an annual forum for more than 1,500 high school students to showcase their independent research as they compete for over $3 million annually. The Intel ISEF is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12.

For more details, contact  Dreyfoos Dean of Science Stephen Anand at 561- 802-6000, or email

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Brianna Hollins, a senior in the Medical Academy at Palm Beach Lakes High School recently received the prestigious Palm Beach County Medical Society 2012 Heroes in Medicine Student Award at a ceremony at the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion. The Palm Beach County Medical Society recognized Brianna’s tireless efforts and expression of concern for economically disadvantaged families in Palm Beach County.

Brianna was instrumental in creating the Rise and Shine Food Co-op that provides economically disadvantaged families with a wide array of healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables. The Rise and Shine Food Co-op provides families with a food distribution every other week. Families purchase either a $30.00 or $15.00 package, but are guaranteed the packages will be worth a minimum of twice the purchase price.

This teen operated food program is highly successful and was featured nationally on a NBC Nightly News Making a Difference Segment. In February 2012, Brianna presented the Rise and Shine Food Co-op program to graduate students enrolled in public health at the University of Miami School of Medicine. There is hope the Rise and Shine Food Co-op can be reproduced in other areas to help increase the health and wellness of the general population.

Brianna was nominated by Barbara Gissenter, Palm Beach Lakes High School Health Science Educator and Mary J. O’Connor, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.

For more information please contact Ms. Gissenter at 561-640-5000 or .

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Fifteen students and two science teachers from high schools across Palm Beach County have been selected to join the biomedical research laboratories of The Scripps Research Institute from June 11 to July 20, 2012, as participants in the Institute’s eighth annual Scripps Florida Kenan Fellows summer research internship program.

Since its inception, more than 100 high school students and science teachers have completed the prestigious six-week program, which places interns in the biology and chemistry labs of the Institute’s Florida campus. Working alongside Scripps Research scientists and engineers, Kenan Fellows make important contributions to the Institute’s research initiatives while learning critical scientific skills and gaining valuable laboratory experience.

“We’re excited to welcome our newest Kenan Fellows to the Scripps family,” said Deborah Leach-Scampavia, director of education outreach for Scripps Florida. “Every summer we’re amazed by the level of sophistication we see in the interns, and every summer the positive feedback we receive from their faculty mentors is overwhelming. The scientists invest a great deal of time working with these students, but the incredible enthusiasm the interns bring to the labs they join makes it all worthwhile.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for our high school students and science teachers,” stated Wendy Spielman King, K-12 Science Manager for the School District of Palm Beach County.  “This internship gives our students an advantage as they apply to the top post-secondary science programs in the country.  It also provides our science teachers with valuable professional development experiences.”

Interns assist with research on diverse topics ranging from neuroscience and cancer biology to medicinal chemistry and infectious diseases. Each Kenan Fellow is assigned a specific research project by their faculty mentor and presents the results of their project at an all-day seminar on the final day. During the course of their internship, Kenan Fellows learn basic laboratory techniques, experimental design, data analysis, and more. In addition, interns attend special weekly seminars presented by Scripps Research faculty, offering an in-depth look at the latest research taking place on the Florida campus.

The 2012 Kenan Fellows represent schools located throughout Palm Beach County, from Belle Glade and Boca Raton to Jupiter and West Palm Beach. Also this summer, three previous Kenan Fellows will return to Scripps Florida as college undergraduates for a second, more intensive research internship. All three participated in the program as Palm Beach County high school students. The ten-week undergraduate program includes workshops exploring research topics and offering guidance on applying for graduate school. Undergraduate interns also are required to develop and present a scientific poster at the end of the summer that describes the results of their research project.

The Scripps Florida Kenan Fellows summer research internship program is sponsored by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, a foundation with a special interest in supporting K-12 education.


Complete List of 2012 Scripps Florida Summer Interns (Kenan Fellows)

Palm Beach County High School Students

1. Sofiya Andreyeva, Palm Beach Gardens Community High School, Molecular Therapeutics Intern

2. Lorena Benitez, Atlantic Community High School, Metabolism and Aging Intern

3. Ricardo Canelo, John I. Leonard High School, Translational Research Institute Intern

4. Randell Doane, The Benjamin School, Metabolism and Aging Department Intern

5. Claire Dykas, Spanish River Community High School, Chemistry Intern

6. Lauren Fremont, Jupiter Community High School, Cancer Biology Intern

7. Kristina Garcia, Boca Raton Community High School, Infectology Intern

8. Alexandra Kaye, The Benjamin School, Neuroscience Intern

9. Angela Liang, Suncoast High School, Cancer Biology Intern

10. Hashna Manoharan, Florida Atlantic University High School, Neuroscience Intern

11. Courtney McEwen, Jupiter Community High School, Metabolism and Aging Intern

12. Ryan Meingasner, Seminole Ridge Community High School, Molecular Therapeutics Intern

13. Adrienne Propp, The Benjamin School, Metabolism and Aging Intern

14. Julia Rothschild, Suncoast High School, Cancer Biology Intern

15. Jordan Zeldin, Spanish River Community High School, Infectology Intern


Palm Beach County High School Science Teachers

1. Lucas Basso, Palm Beach Central High School, Metabolism and Aging Intern

2. Samuel Jackson, Glades Central Community High School, Translational Research Institute Intern


Undergraduates – Returning Palm Beach County High School Students

1. Sergine Brutus, Emory University (Palm Beach Gardens Community High School graduate), Chemistry Intern

2. Yimin Chen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Atlantic Community High School graduate), Cancer Biology Intern

3. Kasey Haugen, University of Central Florida (William T. Dwyer High School graduate), Chemistry Intern


About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world’s largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. Over the past decades, Scripps Research has developed a lengthy track record of major contributions to science and health, including laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. The institute employs about 3,000 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including three Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute’s graduate program, which awards Ph.D. degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see

For more information contact Wendy Spielman King, K-12 Science & Social Studies Manager at (561) 357-1152 or via email at  





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

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The elementary chess team at Elbridge Gale has surpassed all others in Palm Beach County during the 2011-2012 school year.  Mrs. Pasterczyk, the Elbridge Gale Principal, noted during the Palm Beach County tournament recently held at her school that she was pleased with the progression of school wins across tournaments for District, Regional, Palm Beach County and the Florida Super State Championship…and looking forward to Nationals as the natural competitive progression.

A team of 15 students and more parents made travel arrangements to compete in the National Elementary K-6 Tournament in Music City, Nashville, TN, sponsored by the USCF and held May 11th to May 13th.There were 10 sections and 2223 players.  Major competitors included prestigious schools from NY and 3 southern, neighboring elementary schools from Miami, FL. 

Elbridge Gale student players competed well and returned to Wellington, FL bringing home team trophies of 6th place in the K-5 division, out of 65 participating elementary schools and 24th place in the K-3 division, out of 58 participating elementary schools!

While this was the first National Tournament attended by the Elbridge Gale Elementary School, parents were impressed with the hours of chess played by the students over the 3-day tournament that included 7 rounds.  “Even after the last chess match and before dinner, my son and his classmate wanted to play chess!” said Kelly Brenner, a chess parent with a son in the K-3 division.

Chess lessons were put into action as students notated the games in scorebooks and used chess clocks to assist with assessing the board for best moves.  The diversity of players from across the country made the tournament interesting and added to real-life instruction on Sportsmanship. 

“You would think playing a solid game would be enough, but players also learned how to deal with the personality and style of the person on the other side of the board”, remarked Meralie Dupuis, one of the parent-coaches, whose daughter was in the K-5 division. 

Virtues, such as obedience to the rules and TD (tournament directors) and consideration/respect for the opponent, by not talking during play, may be covered in a single tournament game of chess. Mr. Antonis Loudaros, Chess Program Director, tirelessly coached students before and after games, acknowledging achievements and providing details to students and parents on areas for improvement for games played. 

Elbridge Gale Elementary Chess Academy leads Palm Beach County and Florida by challenging competing schools to play chess for Excellence and be the Best. 

For more information contact Antonis Loudaros at (561) 422-9300.






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

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Seven students from Palm Beach County Schools who are bound for their college of choice were awarded $1,000.00 and $500.00 scholarships by the Caribbean-American For Community Involvement in Florida, Inc. (CAFCI) during their annual student assistance ceremony at the Kevin Harvin Center in Royal Palm Beach.

This year marks the 20th year of CAFCI’s Student Assistance program recognizing students’ achievement in Palm Beach County schools and colleges. To date, CAFCI has given 85 monetary awards totaling $35,490.00. 

The seven students awarded 2012 scholarships are: 

Alexandra D’Haiti – Graduated from Glades Central High School and plans to attend University of Florida

Anthony Woodside – Graduated from Suncoast High School and plans to attend Stetson University

Ashley Connor – Graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts and plans to attend Emory University

Bernadine Simeus – Graduated from Atlantic Community High and plans to attend Florida Atlantic University

Natalya Miller-Odum – Graduated from Atlantic Community High School plans to attend Simmons College

Tiffany Williams – Graduated from Suncoast High School and plans to attend University of Florida

Wilderson Vernet – Graduated from Glades Central High School and plans to attend University of Florida 

The student assistance awards are made possible through the contribution and dedication of members and supporters of the organization’s annual ball and family picnic. Through the generosity of lifetime members of CAFCI Mr. and Mrs. Lauriston Simms, Bernadette Simeus who plans to pursue studies in nursing, received the Simms Award for Academic Excellence. 

The Winn-Dixie Foundation partnered with CAFCI and provided funds through a grant written by CAFCI Student Committee Chair, Dr. Elaine Ealy. It is the second year of partnership between CAFCI and Winn-Dixie in providing assistance to students in Palm Beach County. 

“We are pleased to partner with CAFCI, as together we work to make our neighborhoods a better place.” said Mary Kellmanson, marketing group vice president of Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. and president of the Winn-Dixie Foundation. Ms. Mary Deniliack representing Winn-Dixie Foundation presented the $2,500.00 check to CAFCI. 

Donations to the scholarship fund were also made by Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Wayne Richards; Royal Palm Beach Councilman Jeff Hmara; Ledlo and Junette Powell, founding members of CAFCI; and Peter and Helen Inniss and Dr. Colette Brown-Graham, community business partners. 

Each year students graduating from Palm Beach County schools are invited to apply for CAFCI assistance. Applications are posted on its website in January as well as, the Palm Beach County School District’s website. Requirements include an accumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, having a letter of acceptance from the college they plan to attend and writing an essay to demonstrate their interest and knowledge of Caribbean culture and affairs. 

Students who meet the requirements are invited to an interview after which the selection for awards is made. This year’s interviewing was done by Dr. Elaine Ealy, chair of the student assistance award committee, Nadine White-Boyd, Esq. committee member and Dr. Cedric Lynch, a retired principal and member of CAFCI. 

Mayor Matty Mattiolli of the Village of Royal Palm saluted the recipients and wished them well. Past award recipients Cassandra Knaggs and Rochele Brown shared their college experiences. Knaggs who graduated from Boca Raton High School had just completed her first year at Florida State University offered valuable advice to the current recipients and Rochele Brown who graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts, now a Junior at Darmouth College shared via skype, all about her three exciting years of college life experiencing immersion into several cultures – Arabic; Scottish; Danish and Spanish.  

Contributors to the student assistance fund were presented with certificates of appreciation. In their speech, Commissioner Wayne Richards urged others to make pledges to the worthy cause so that CAFCI may continue with its good work. Dr. Colette Brown-Graham expressed how moved she was with the speeches of the recipients of the awards and congratulated CAFCI on helping the community in the field of education. Lauriston Simms applauded all the recipients and thanked the recipient of his award for choosing to enter the medical field. 

By the end of the ceremony, contributions, including an annual pledge, were made to the Student Assistance Fund for 2013 scholarships to graduating students in Palm Beach County Schools. 

From left to right: Bernadine Simeus, Tiffany Williams, Anthony Woodside, Natalya Miller-Odum and Ashley Connor.

From left to right: Bernadine Simeus, Tiffany Williams, Anthony Woodside, Natalya Miller-Odum and Ashley Connor.

Mary Deniliack, representative from Winn-Dixie Foundation presenting check to Dr. Ealy chair of Student Assistance and Nadine White-Boyd, Esq. committee member.

Mary Deniliack, representative from Winn-Dixie Foundation presenting check to Dr. Ealy chair of Student Assistance and Nadine White-Boyd, Esq. committee member.

Guest speaker Marcia Andrews, School Board member addressing the award recipients

Guest speaker Marcia Andrews, School Board member addressing the award recipients


For more information contact Dr. Elaine Ealy at (561) 753-5000 or via email at  






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

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Boca Raton Community MiddleWHAT :      Veterans Speakers Forum

WHEN :      Tuesday,  May 29, 2012 –   9:20 AM – 4:05 PM

WHO :        Veterans Speakers

WHERE :   Boca Raton Middle School  -     1251 NW 8th St.  Boca Raton

WHY :        Many students do not understand the meaning of memorial day and just see it as a day off. The Social Studies department felt it was important to show students the reason for memorial day. Having veterans come and speak to the students should help bring alive the experiences that students have previously just read about to life. The objective is that students gain a new value for the freedom that they enjoy and a new respect for current and past military personnel that helps to protect this country.

About the Veterans Speakers Forum

The Veterans Speakers Forum is an organization of veterans founded by Cpl. Burt Richards to “teach our kids patriotism” with videos, books, and most importantly our veterans themselves. Hosting the event is Cpl. Burt Richards an award winning speaker, who along with multiple other veterans will discuss their war experiences with the students. These different stories will bring to life the many experiences of the veterans and armed forces. On the day following the event each student will be shown a video about the Tuskegee Airmen and then will be given a choice to write a reflection of the experience, a letter to a veteran, or a letter to an active duty military person.

For more information, contact Jo Feller at (561) 416-8700.