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The Dreyfoos School of the Arts Thespians are presenting a play with a modern take on the Greek myths of Ovid.   Mary Zimmerman’s play, Metamorphoses runs from February 16-26 in the Brandt Black Box theatre on the school’s campus.   Metamorphoses is a play about the enduring power love has to sustain us through the inevitable changes we experience throughout our lives.  While the stories are ancient, the themes and their impact still resonate today. 

 Fans of the 2002 Broadway production of the play at Circle in the Square will recall the beauty of the original concept – the show took place in and around a large pool of water.  Director and Dreyfoos theatre teacher Bruce Linser, along with fellow dance teacher Garry Q. Lewis, have re-imagined the piece through movement.  The result is a highly theatrical production that is both visually and emotionally stirring.  The technical wizardry of Dreyfoos teacher and technical director Ed Blanchette, scenic designer and Dreyfoos alumnus Michael McClain, and lighting designer Stuart Reiter, will leave audiences stunned by the versatility of the space and the talent and creativity of the cast, crew, and production team alike.

 Tickets are only $15 and can be reserved by visiting or calling the box office at 561.802.6052.  For directions to the theatre, click

 For further information contact Arts Coordinator Jane Grandusky, 561-805-6203 or email

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Marsh Pointe Elementary students recently participated in their annual PTO fundraising event.  The two week event featured daily prizes, drawings, and other incentives for students who helped raise money to support their school. 

Students were able to participate in the Marsh Pointe Prowl-a-Thon, featuring the school mascot, snow cones, and popcorn while enjoying time with their friends from other classes and participating in a “prowl” around the outside of the school. 

The administration and faculty challenged the students to raise $20,000 during this event and in return would be slimed, much like on the old Nickelodeon show.  “The entire event from the day of the run to the resulting Sliming of all faculty, staff, and administration made for a phenomenal sense of unity and school spirit.  We are TEAM MPE!!” said Maureen Werner, Principal. 

The students took the challenge and ran with it, raising nearly $30,000 in two weeks.  The top fundraisers received Toy’s r Us gift cards, black & white and color Nooks, as well as daily prizes.  The top fundraiser in each class received a prize and had the opportunity to slime their classroom teacher.  The top two fundraisers got to slime the principal (Mrs. Maureen Werner) and assistant principal (Mr. Ryan Scott). 

“To be able to raise nearly $30,000 in just two weeks for our school is an amazing accomplishment.  It is truly a testament to our students, parents, PTO, and teachers who really went out of their way to make this event a huge success,” added Ryan Scott, Assistant Principal. 

The Marsh Pointe staff prepared themselves to be slimed and the PTO made gallons of green slime.  As the staff was turning green from being slimed, the PTO organizers volunteered to join in the event, getting slimed themselves.  The sliming was a huge, messy celebration of the close knit Marsh Pointe community.

The money will be used to purchase technology items such as iPads, iMacs, software programs and other much needed supplies.

 Marsh Pointe Slimed 1


Marsh Pointe Slimed 2


 Marsh Pointe Slimed 3


Marsh Pointe Slimed 4


For more information contact Ryan Scott at (561) 366-6805 or via e-mail at






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

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 A Lake Worth elementary teacher who teaches students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is doing her best to increase awareness and understanding about the condition.  Hidden Oaks Elementary School teacher Alexis Gregory is determined to help raise funds to cure Autism and the entire school community is getting in on the act.  Last year she and her mother created a mascot named Puzz. The giant, cheery, yellow puzzle piece—similar to the logo used by the Walk Now Autism Speaks organization—was introduced to the school family through the morning announcements and helped generate excitement about raising money for a cure in addition to sparking discussion in classrooms about Autism and its impact on students.

  Ms. Gregory and her ASD team  made puzzles for each classroom at the school.  Puzzle pieces were sold for a dollar each and came with recognition cards that were hung in the school’s lobby.  Not realizing how successful the idea would be, pizza parties were promised to the first three classes that completed their puzzle by the end of February—Autism Awareness Month. 

 Forty pizzas (donated by Papa John’s and Marco’s Pizza), 14 pizza parties and many puzzle pieces later the school reported a grand total of $2,000!  Just like the pieces of a puzzle, the Hidden Oaks Elementary School family came together for this cause!

For the fourth year in a row the school is participating in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event, set for March 4. The ASD team is selling puzzle pieces again with the wildly popular Puzz providing daily encouragement. Customized wristbands have been added as fundraising merchandise, and the first 10 classes to complete their puzzles will win a pizza party.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills.  There’s currently no cure for the condition which is considered to have an active field of research.

 For more information on donating and registering for the school’s team, visit  For details about the school’s initiative and progress, contact Ms. Gregory, 561-804-3800 or email

 Puzz the Autism Speaks Mascot

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Atlantic High Logo102 student volunteers earn $1,000 awards, silver medallions and trip to nation’s capital

Samantha Kerker, 16, from Atlantic Community High School, was named one of America’s 102 most outstanding youth volunteers. Two students from each state and the District of Columbia were named State Honorees by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for exemplary acts of volunteerism. The awards program, now in its 17th year, is conducted by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Each of the 102 State Honorees will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., May 5-8 for several days of national recognition events. Ten of them will be named America’s top youth volunteers for 2012 at that time.

In addition to the State Honorees, the program’s judges recognized 234 students nationwide as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion. More than 500 other applicants were awarded Certificates of Excellence for their volunteer work. (See attached list of State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists.)

A large number of State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists this year – 20 percent – conducted volunteer activities to address needs overseas, especially in Africa, Latin America and Japan. Honorees traveled to volunteer in orphanages, build homes, and teach impoverished children. In their own communities, they collected food, medical supplies, clothing, books, school supplies, eyeglasses, teddy bears and soccer cleats to send overseas. And they raised money to finance school tuitions, refugee relief, AIDS medications, clean-water projects and other critical needs in desperate communities around the world.


There was a great deal of energy devoted to needs in the U.S., as well. Many honorees were recognized for assisting Americans who are sick or disabled, aiding the disadvantaged, tutoring or mentoring other young people and promoting health and safety. Others were cited for enhancing school or community resources, protecting the environment, taking care of animals and supporting U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Information on the volunteer activities of all of the honorees can be found at

“Through their selfless acts of service, these award recipients have greatly improved the lives of others,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We hope their stories and their dedication inspire other young people to do the same.”

“We are so pleased to celebrate these student volunteers,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “It’s important to highlight them as powerful examples of how young people can make a difference.”

About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. More than 5,000 Local Honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

While in Washington, D.C., the 102 State Honorees – one middle level and one high school student from each state and the District of Columbia – will tour the capital’s landmarks, attend a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and visit their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. In addition, 10 of them – five middle level and five high school students – will be named National Honorees on May 7. These honorees will receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

Since the program began in 1995, more than 100,000 young volunteers nationwide have been honored by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards at the local, state or national level. The program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland and India. In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also distributes President’s Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local Honorees on behalf of President Barack Obama.

For information on all of this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit or



NASSP is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. Reflecting its longstanding commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

For more information, contact: Harold Banks, Prudential Financial, (973) 802-8974 or (973) 216-4833, or

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Crystal Lang

Crystal Lang

Crystal Lang, 5th grade teacher at Frontier Elementary has received Governor Rick Scott’s Black History Month 2012 Excellence in Education Award.  The contest is open to all African-American, full time educators in Florida. 

Mrs. Lang teaches Mathematics daily to half of the 5th grade student population in addition to her ESE inclusion students. “Most teachers would find teaching students with special needs a difficult challenge, however, Mrs. Lang enjoys this challenge and works countless hours to ensure that her students have the best experiences in her classroom,” said Molly Harding, Science Teacher. 

She is very passionate about Mathematics and the importance of students understanding and applying math skills to their lives. Four times a week she gives up her lunch period to work with students who are struggling to provide them with activities and lessons to succeed. 

“During Black History month, we take time to recognize the many ways African-Americans have enriched Florida’s communities, culture and history. The achievements of African-Americans touch every community, in every field of study, including science and technologies,” said Governor Rick Scott. 

Mrs. Lang and one of her family members have been invited to the Governor’s Black History Month Celebration in Tallahassee to be recognized and participate in the celebration.

For more information contact Tina Malsbury at (561) 904-9904 or via e-mail at






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

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West Boca High
Resume Writing And Job Interviewing Program

Presented by
Kelly A. Blaggie
Associate Dean of Students & Director of Career Services
Northwood University
The Program will be held on
February 28, 2012 (Tuesday) @ 6:30pm
West Boca Raton Community High School, Cafeteria
12811 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL  33498
(561) 672-2000

Ms. Blaggie will focus on preparing and writing a Resume to best highlight skills, experience and education and suggest dos and don’ts for proper and successful Job Interviewing.   Whether you are already employed, seeking a new job or looking for a new career OR you are a student or first time job seeker just starting out, this program will help you prepare for YOUR future.

This event is free and is sponsored by Walgreens.

Information contact: Sharon at (561) 756-0810

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Nearly seven hundred students from 51 schools participated in the 2012 Palm Beach County SECME (Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics, and Enrichment) Elementary Olympiad that recently took place in Santaluces High School.  

The following schools were the overall district winners: 

Honorable Mention:    Belle Glade Elementary School

Third Place:                 Del Prado Elementary School

Second Place:              Diamond View Elementary School

First Place:                  Roosevelt Elementary School 


The following schools placed in individual events: 


Honorable Mention:    Poinciana Elementary – Carley Knotts

Third Place:                 Del Prado Elementary – Bruce Steinberg

Second Place:              Crystal Lakes Elementary – Nolan Ersoy

First Place:                  Roosevelt Elementary – Kanison Simms 


Honorable Mention:    Crystal Lakes Elementary – Gillian Dickinson

Third Place:                 Del Prado Elementary – Christopher Palumbo

Second Place:              Jerry Thomas Elementary – Anna Parets

First Place:                  H.L. Johnson Elementary – Harrison Dean 


Honorable Mention:    Belle Glade Elementary

Third Place:                 Del Prado Elementary

Second Place:              Rolling Green Elementary

First Place:                  Diamond View Elementary 


Honorable Mention:    South Grade Elementary – Emma Artero

Third Place:                 Everglades Elementary – Julie St. Germain

Second Place:              Diamond View Elementary – Antonio Ruiz

First Place:                  Pine Grove Elementary – Jamuel Samuels 


Honorable Mention:    Meadow Park Elementary – Mighty Eagles

Third Place:                 Del Prado Elementary – Powerful Panthers

Second Place:              Citrus Cove Elementary – SECME Rockets

First Place:                  Belle Glade Elementary – Soaring Eagle 1 


Honorable Mention:    Marsh Pointe Elementary – The Angry Birds

Third Place:                 Roosevelt Elementary – Team Mickey Mouse

Second Place:              Marsh Pointe Elementary – M.P. Motor Maniacs

First Place:                  Glade View Elementary – Rolling Eagles 


Honorable Mention:    Everglades Elementary – Panther Pride A

Third Place:                 Del Prado Elementary – PAW-fect Panthers

Second Place:              Roosevelt Elementary – Team London

First Place:                  Roosevelt Elementary – Team Brooklyn 


Honorable Mention:    Plumosa Elementary

Third Place:                 Indian Pines Elementary

Second Place:              Hidden Oaks Elementary

First Place:                  Freedom Shores Elementary 

The winning essay from Roosevelt Elementary School will be entered in the SECME National Student Competition in June 2012.  The winning mousetrap car from Glade View Elementary will also be recognized at the SECME National Competition.



SECME was founded in 1975 by the Engineering Deans from seven Southeastern universities: Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Tennessee, Tennessee State, and Tuskegee.  SECME competitions began in Palm Beach County with five schools in 1985.  Today SECME is a non-profit alliance that extends to 40 school systems, 39 major engineering universities, and industries and agencies in 15 states, the District of Columbia, and Grand Bahamas. SECME’s mission is to increase the pool of historically under-represented and under-served students who will be prepared to enter and complete post-secondary studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce. SECME provides teacher professional development and coordinates student competitions across the country. Its National Headquarters is housed on the campus of The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.  The School District of Palm Beach County supports the goals and mission of SECME. 

For more information, contact Bruce Wear, SECME District Coordinator, at (561) 357-1125 or






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

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Boca HighThe award-winning Boca Raton Community High School Drama Department is pleased to announce our 2012 spring musical!  We hope you will join us!  Our spring show is CRAZY FOR YOU  on March 1-3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., March 3 & 4, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. This Gershwin favorite is the perfect example of the big American musical, complete with spectacular tap numbers, a terrific musical score, and outrageous humor.  The plot revolves around the adventures of a stage-struck New York City playboy in a Nevada mining town — where romance, mistaken identities, and show-stopping musical numbers all add up to irresistible fun. Winner of three 1992 Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, this zany comedy is filled with high-energy singing and dancing, and hilarious plot twists. The classic score contains such memorable Gershwin songs as “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” CRAZY FOR YOU features a book by Ken Ludwig, music by George Gershwin, and lyrics by Ira Gershwin.

CRAZY FOR YOU sets the stage perfectly to end our season. Tickets for our shows are $8 in advance (before February 29, 2012) and $12 after February 29, 2012.  There is open seating in our beautiful Kathryn Lindgren Theatre with the house opening thirty minutes prior to curtain.  Group rates (for twenty or more) are available upon request for $7 each and VIP advanced reserved seating is available upon request (NEW this year!) for $15 each (limited to 150 tickets per show).  For more info, call (561) 338-1533 or go to  To get your tickets, fill out the “Ticket Order Form” with your payment and include a self-addressed stamped envelope.  We are located just east of 1-95 and just south of Glades Road (by University Commons Shopping Center.)

For more information, call (561) 338-1533 or visit

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Spanish RiverSpanish River High School commemorated the Holocaust during Holocaust Remembrance Day on February 7, 2012. The program has been created by Jason Jaroslavsky, sophomore at Spanish River, and sponsored by the No Place for Hate Club. 

The objective of The Holocaust Remembrance Day is to present the Holocaust as historic fact, to promote respect for and acceptance of differences in our society, and to educate future generations to prevent genocide that unfortunately still occurs today around the world. The program has the privilege of presenting members of the speaker bureau of the Child Survivors/Hidden Children of the Holocaust organization.  The survivors are eyewitnesses who have important life stories to share and the ability to answer questions from the students. 

The program started with a speech from Cammie Abram, co president of The No Place For Hate Club, followed by an historic presentation by Jason Jaroslavsky. Keynote speaker Norman Frajman, president of the Child Survivors/Hidden Children of the Holocaust organization, stated: “The purpose is to emphasize the reality of what the ugliness of hate has perpetrated on innocent people and teach the lesson of embracing all people with acceptance and respect.” Judith Goldstein, a Child survivor and artist, displayed her paintings during the presentation.  The Spanish River Silver Sound Ensemble Band, directed by Mr. White, performed.

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The 2012 Outstanding School Volunteers have been named by the Florida Department of Education in recognition of their exemplary dedication and commitment to quality education in Florida. Keli Hodges, a sophomore at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts is the Florida Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year and Kendra Palumbo from Eagles Landing Middle School and Del Prado Elementary is the Florida Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year. 

The winners were selected based on the number of volunteer hours of service, years of service, and a unique contribution or characteristic of their services. The award recognizes a youth, adult and senior volunteer in each of Florida’s five reporting regions. 

According to School District Volunteer Coordinator Debi Elfen, “Palm Beach County has had one or more Outstanding School Volunteers recognized at the state level for the past 20 years.  This extraordinary accomplishment is a testament to the quality of our remarkable volunteers.  We congratulate Keli and Kendra on receiving this statewide recognition and thank all of our 38,000 volunteers for their valuable service to our students and schools.” 

Keli  Hodges

Keli Hodges

Keli Hodges began her volunteer service while she was at Bak Middle School of the Arts when she and her older brother founded Students Supporting Other Students (SSOS).   SSOS, now a service club at Dreyfoos, provides students in need with uniforms, summer reading books, school supplies, clothes, and lunch money as well as support with their mathematics, science and language classes.  Keli is also a member of the American Sign Language Club, Speech and Debate Club and the International Thespian Society.  After Keli’s mother, other family members, and a family friend battled cancer, Keli decided to work on behalf of those impacted by the disease.  She volunteers with a group called “A Prom to Remember” which provides the ultimate prom experience for teens that have been affected by cancer.  Keli has a 4.6 HPA and is ranked first in her sophomore class out of 335 students.  She has earned the respect and admiration of her peers and faculty alike for her leadership abilities, giving nature, and sincere compassion for others.  

Kendra Palumbo

Kendra Palumbo

Kendra Palumbo serves on both Eagles Landing Middle School and Del Prado Elementary’s SAC committees and plans and implements Teacher Appreciation Week for both.   She also assists in the media centers at each school and successfully writes grants to increase funding within the classrooms at both schools.   Since the beginning of this school year, she has logged in close to 1,680 hours for her work at both schools. In addition, Kendra volunteers as a support coach for Del Prado’s Math Academic games team, Linguistiks Academic games team, Social Studies Academic games team, and for the Brain Bowl for SECME.  At Eagles Landing, Ms. Palumbo is the President of the PTSA.  But don’t think that she doesn’t do the “every day” volunteer jobs.  She is part of the copy/laminating team four hours per week.  She works on fundraising, even chairing an auction at both schools this year.  She volunteers on all Professional Development and teacher work days to provide staff with food and volunteers for all diagnostic and FCAT testing days.  In addition, this outstanding volunteer lends her support to several community outreach programs such as Food for Families.   

For more information please contact Ms. Elfen at 561-434-8789 or

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Superintendent Wayne Gent, School-Related Employee of the Year Cynthia King, Jupiter Elementary Principal Daniel Smith and North Area Superintendent Camille Coleman.

Superintendent Wayne Gent, School-Related Employee of the Year Cynthia King, Jupiter Elementary Principal Daniel Smith and North Area Superintendent Camille Coleman.

Superintendent Wayne Gent surprised Cynthia King, Confidential Secretary at Jupiter Elementary School, with the news that she is The School District of Palm Beach County’s School-Related Employee of the Year.  

Ms. King, a resident of Palm Beach Gardens, now represents all 13,000 Palm Beach County School District non-instructional employees in the Florida Department of Education School-Related Employee of the Year Program.  

Ms. King’s career with the School District spans 16 years, with 7 of the years at Jupiter Elementary School.   In the nomination letter, Principal Dan Smith wrote, “Cynthia King is an invaluable asset to Jupiter Elementary School, expertly completing all the regular duties of a confidential secretary while also serving as the Chairperson for the School Advisory Committee, producing the school newsletter, organizing and maintaining Title I records, and assisting with the School Age Child Care Program.”   

According to the nominating committee, Ms. King exceeds expectations by serving as the school’s Volunteer Coordinator, matching volunteers with appropriate classrooms and arranging the Volunteer Orientation and Volunteer Appreciation breakfasts.  Additionally, as the Five Star Coordinator, she compiles and maintains the records that ensure Jupiter Elementary School retains the Department of Education Five Star status. 

Ms. King demonstrates her dedication to the School District of Palm Beach County by assisting other district employees to achieve the CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) rating.  She taught study courses in the areas of Management, Communication, Finance, and Business Law.  Through the International Association of Administrative Professionals, Ms. King served as CAP (Certified Administrative Professional) exam administrator for South Florida.   

In addition to working full time and earning the CPS and the CAP certifications, Ms. King received an AAS degree in Business Administration/Management, with Presidential Distinction, from Palm Beach Community College.  She will graduate in May from the Bachelor Program for Business Administration & Supervision. 

Nancy Dower, Reading Coach for Jupiter Elementary School, stated that, “Cindi possesses an excellent work ethic and a number of qualities that earned this nomination, but I would like to recognize her because of her kindness and authentic caring manner that reaches even the most belligerent students serving detention outside of her office!” 

For additional information, contact Sue Walters by email at .

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Author James Patterson, the Palm Beach resident who holds the New York Times and Guinness World Book records for most hardcover fiction bestselling titles by a single author (75 total), will tell his personal story to 800 John F. Kennedy Middle and Suncoast High students during a special visit, 9:30 a.m., Friday, February 17, 2012 in the Suncoast auditorium.

Mr. Patterson is on a mission to get the students of South Florida reading.  He is giving a book to each of the 700 high school students and 100 middle school students who will gather for the assembly. He will speak with the students about his and his young son’s experiences as reluctant young readers and answer student questions.

Afterwards he will be available to sit for interviews, along with teachers from the schools to discuss the critical importance of reading to young people.

Suncoast Community High School is located at 1717 Avenue S, Riviera Beach, FL.

Some background on Mr. Patterson and his campaign to get kids reading.

In January, 2010 The New York Times Magazine hailed Mr. Patterson as having “transformed book publishing.” Time magazine named him “The Man Who Can’t Miss,” and he is a two-time Children’s Choice Book Award “Author of the Year” nominee, a designation decided on by more than 15,000 children and teen readers. In the past three years, Mr. Patterson has sold more books than any other author (according to Bookscan), and in total, his books have sold an estimated 260 million copies worldwide. Since 2006, one out of every seventeen hardcover fiction books sold was a James Patterson title. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at #1 on the list in one year—a record-breaking feat he’s accomplished every year since 2005. To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels.

All this is an impressive record of accomplishment, but what is really at the heart of Mr. Patterson’s story is what Jim considers his third act (after a career in advertising, followed by a career as a bestselling author).

Over the past few years he has started writing books for young readers.  James Patterson and his wife Sue were nervous about what a reluctant reader their son Jack (then 8, now 14) was.  Mr. Patterson decided to start writing books that Jack would find engaging, and he would say he’s found a new passion – getting kids reading.  His mission to get kids reading has included writing several young readers series (with 4 new series launching in the next couple of years), and a campaign funded by Mr. Patterson himself to get kids reading.  That campaign includes donations of books to needy schools, scholarships for college-bound kids who love reading, and the creation of his website , which is dedicated to helping parents and grandparents put the right books into kids’ hands.

Mr. Patterson, a resident of Palm Beach is no stranger to the students of Palm Beach County. In 2006, Patterson gathered several thousand  middle school students at the Kravis Center, gave each a preview copy of his latest book, Maximum Ride, which launched a new series, a wowed the students with his wit, humor and tales from his writing career.

In October of 2011, Patterson hosted a live webcast at Palm Beach Academy to discuss reading, writing, and to answer students’ questions, and over 1100 schools across the country tuned in from their respective classrooms.

Mr. Patterson has been personally funding a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is adults’ responsibility to get our kids reading.  The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today.  Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority.  Mr. Patterson believes that schools, teachers and the government need parents’ help to get our kids reading and that only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids.

For more information, contact Nat Harrington at 561-434-8227 or .

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“The team representing Circuit 15 at the 2012 Florida High School Mock Trial will be Palm Beach Lakes Community High School.  Congratulations and best wishes for an excellent experience at state finals in March,” with those words, Erin Crowe, Program Director of The Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc. in Tallahassee congratulated The Gerald A. Williams Law Academy Mock Trial Team at Palm Beach Lakes for its invitation to compete in the 2012 Florida State Mock Trial Competition in Orlando March 8-10.

To earn this honor, the team won first place in the 15th Circuit Mock Trial Competition at the Palm Beach County Courthouse on February 3.   In mock trial competitions, teams are given a hypothetical case to study and role play before a courtroom judge.  Students learn to act as both prosecuting and defense attorneys as well as expert witnesses.  By participating in Mock Trial, Palm Beach Lakes High School law students acquire important knowledge and skills: critical thinking, legal research, close reading and case study, persuasion, and rhetoric.   The ultimate goal is to obtain a complete understanding of the judicial process.

The members of the team are all juniors:  Marus Allen, Le’Otis Boswell Johnson, Spechyl Buchannon, Ganeesh Genus, Kyler Gray, Traveon Stewart, and Jacoya Wattley.  The coaches of Palm Beach Lakes’ Mock Trial team are Steven Sorenson (a former attorney with the Public Defender’s Office and current Law Academy instructor) and Susan A. Winston (former Law Academy instructor and current Family Law attorney).  Through their leadership, the coaches have demonstrated how hard work, dedication, perseverance, and confidence are the key to optimum performance.  Junior Marcus Allen remarks that the team remained “confident but not over confident.”  He went on to say that “we stuck to the script that was given, remained humble in our objections, and executed on what was taught.”  All of the members are anxious to compete on the state level.

For this stellar accomplishment, The Five Carat Choice Program at Palm Beach Lakes as well as the entire Palm Beach Lakes Rams Family congratulates the Mock Trial team members and coaches and wishes them the best of luck as they travel to Orlando for the state championship competition in March.

For more information, please contact Tera Hands, Choice Programs Coordinator, at 561-640-5014 or at .

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BocaHigh1 2 3

Boca High is proud to have a “Top in the World” and two “Top in the USA” scholars among its students, based on England’s University of Cambridge AS Level Papers, for which they sat  in June, 2011.

Top in the World  refers to the learner who has gained the highest standard mark in the world for a single subject. This learner will be awarded the University of Cambridge ‘Top in the World’ award.

Top in USA refers to the learner who has gained the highest standard mark in the country for a single subject. This learner will be awarded the University of Cambridge ‘Top in USA’ award.

The Top in the World Marine Science student is Alex J. Nusbickel, and his teacher is Becky Temple

The first ‘Top in the USA’ Art and Design student is Mari A Tamaccio and the teachers are: Jessica Berman and Ingrid Levy.

The second ‘Top in the USA’ Mathematics student is Meyer I. Kizner and the teacher is Rene Snyder

 For more information, contact Kelly Foss at 561-338-1515 or Geoff McKee at 561-889-9521 or email


In the pictures:

Top in the World Marine Science Alex Nusbickel and teacher Becky Temple

Top in the US Mathematics Meyer Kizner and teacher Renee Snyder

Top in the US Art and Design Mari Tamaccio and teachers (Left) Jessica Berman and (Right) Ingrid Levy






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Pink ShirtThe Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County in partnership with The Department of Safe Schools announces support for International STAND UP to Bullying Day. 

People across the world will join together in wearing a Pink Shirt on February 29, 2012, demonstrating  a clear and non-confrontational message of resistance to bullies;  identifying themselves as a source of support willing to help victims; and drawing attention to the effects of bullying. 

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, all school district administrators, employees, and students are encouraged to show their support by wearing a Pink Shirt.

To find out more information about International STAND UP to Bullying Day, please visit:


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Members of the Hidden Oaks Elementary School Student Council are counting on the generosity of students, staff, and parents at the school to fill tote bags with toiletry items to give to *homeless men, women, and children throughout South Florida. Working with the Broward Outreach Centers, the school is participating in Operation Hope Totes, but everyone is invited to participate by making donations for the bags during the next few weeks. Hidden Oaks Principal Sari Myers explained that Hope Totes are small plastic bags that will be filled with inexpensive items. “The students have come to understand that when people are homeless, even the mostly essential items—such as soap, toothpaste, and even clean, warm socks—can be hard to come by.”

 Each classroom will have a container to collect the travel size items donated. **Items will be accepted at the school through March 9.  Items on the Operation Hope Totes wish list include:

                        Toothbrush and toothpaste                  Tissues

                        Soap                                                               Hand or body lotion

                        Shampoo and conditioner                     Disposable razors

                        Deodorant                                                   Underwear

                        Socks                                                              Diapers

                        Brush and comb                                       Sunscreen

                        Visine                                                           Lip balm

                        Sanitary Napkins

Learn more about the Operation Hope Totes initiative at  For details about the Hidden Oaks project contact Dana Verbiest ( or Stacey Marcinkoski ( or call 561-804-3800.

 *District Student Intervention Services staff reported nearly 700 students and families categorized as homeless before the winter holidays.

** Hidden Oaks Elementary School is located at 7685 S. Military Trail in Lake Worth.

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The Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County in partnership with The Department of Safe Schools announces support for International STAND UP to Bullying Day. 

People across the world will join together in wearing a Pink Shirt on February 29, 2012, demonstrating  a clear and non-confrontational message of resistance to bullies;  identifying themselves as a source of support willing to help victims; and drawing attention to the effects of bullying.

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, all School District Administrators, Employees, and Students are encouraged to show their support by wearing a Pink Shirt.

 To find out more information about International STAND UP to Bullying Day please visit:

Please click this link,  Pink Shirt Day Flyer, to see the flyer.

For more information, contact Gail Verrigni, Department of Safe Schools, (561) 982-0901.


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Debbie TanguayDebbie Tanguay, a teacher at Boynton Beach Community High School, receives the Transitions Teacher Recognition Award from Lynn University.  

The Transitions Teacher Recognition Award is the result of a partnership with Lynn University’s Transitions Conference and the Palm Beach County School District.  The goal of the Transitions Teacher Recognition Award is to provide recognition to a distinguished individual in the area of secondary transition to post-secondary education of youth with disabilities.

Debbie began her journey with the School District of Palm Beach County in 1986 where she has held many positions involving Exceptional Student Education.

The joy of working with students is evident on her face.  Debbie often talks about her first classroom, an EBD class, and teaching students with challenging behaviors.  She was always doing something new and innovative to reach her students.  She spent 17 years at Lake Worth High School and you can see a sparkle in her eye when she talks about the students and staff she worked with there.

Debbie spends much time modeling best practices for students with disabilities to younger teachers.  She has implemented very successful inclusion and self-contained best practices.

Debbie has perfected the art of assuring all her students graduate at Boynton Beach High School.  A student under the tutelage of Debbie Tanguay is given no other choice than to follow her plan (she is extremely persuasive) and they always meet with success!

Debbie helped raise the graduation rate of Boynton Beach Community High School in one year from 64% to 80%.  This 16% gain is attributed to her hard work, dedication, specific attention to detail, and by far a creative educator.  Debbie always has an exciting and fresh idea in her head.

During the 2010-2011 school year, due to Debbie’s specific attention to detail, she was able to find over 60 students across the district that were eligible for Special Diplomas.  These students were initially told they did not meet the graduation requirements.

Due to her aptitude for discovering and inventing, there is only one word to describe Debbie and that is “ingenious”.

For more information, contact Pam Whigham at 

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AngelaPalm Beach School County Elementary School Teacher Angela Brent-Harris pens children’s story about naughty boy named Devon

Popular television shows like Nick Jr.’s award winning program, Yo Gabba Gabba!, instill America’s youth with important life lessons. In the song “Don’t Bite Your Friends,” children learn to treat their friends with respect. To further help teach children lessons about positive behaviors, Sunrise Park Elementary School teacher Angela Brent-Harris has penned Naughty Little Boy (published by AuthorHouse).

“Children nowadays have no boundaries and basically do whatever they want,” says Brent-Harris. “I see this everyday in supermarkets and other random places, as well as in schools as an educator.”

Devon was a naughty little boy who was a troublemaker and did not know how to behave. One day he got up early and snuck out of his house without his mother’s permission. Instead, Devon decided to go on a bout of destruction. He was on a spree of no-good until he got caught and punished. Because of his poor choices, he had to deal with the consequences of his actions.

“For a child, being allowed to randomly break the rules without suffering the consequences teaches them that they can do whatever they want and get away with it, creating discipline and authority figure issues when they are young,” Brent-Harris explains. “This may create even larger problems for the child as an adult when they discover too late that another word for rule is law, and another word for consequence is prison.”

Young readers are sure to enjoy reading Naughty Little Boy as they follow Devon and his often comical, mischievous actions. However, as they read, they will soon learn valuable lessons about the adult world, instilling in them lessons about proper behavior.

About the Author
Angela Brent-Harris is currently living in Boca Raton, Florida. She’s a first grade elementary school teacher who loves to instill the values of purity, love and integrate family values to her students. Brent-Harris also published a book titled Sweet Jamaican Summertime at Grandma’s which also teaches family unity.

AuthorHouse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is a leading provider of book publishing, marketing, and bookselling services for authors around the globe and offers the industry’s only suite of Hollywood book-to-film services. Committed to providing the highest level of customer service, AuthorHouse assigns each author personal publishing and marketing consultants who provide guidance throughout the process. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, AuthorHouse celebrated 15 years of service to authors in Sept. 2011.For more information or to publish a book visit or call 1-888-519-5121. For the latest, follow @authorhouse on Twitter.


EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact: Marketing Services Tel: 888-519-5121 Fax: 812-961-3133 or

Email: (When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)

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Odyssey MiddleOdyssey Middle will organize an evening for parents and students to learn about FCAT resources available and test taking tips for success. The event will be held in the media center on Tuesday, February 21 starting at 6:00 P.M. Edline tutorials will be offered in the computer lab. The evening will begin with a general session then parents and students will have the opportunity to attend three breakout sessions in reading, math, science, language arts, writing, social studies, v-math, and gizmos.

Sessions will also be conducted in Spanish and Haitian Creole.

Childcare will be provided for children ages 3 and up.

For more information contact Nuncia Lowery at (561)752-1306.

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In an effort to promote healthful eating along with physical activity and in conjunction with the National Nutrition Month®, the School Food Service Department has organized an educational health fair to be held at Palm Springs Middle School on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 from 10:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. 

This year’s them is: “Get Your Plate in Shape” eat right.® 

The health fair events will provide the students and staff of Palm Springs Middle School with an opportunity to view exciting health and wellness displays, receive educational materials, prizes, as well as free samples of colorful and tasty fruits and vegetables. 

A variety of booths will be available including Erneston & Sons Produce, Inc., School Food Service Department, GMG Tropical Fruits, Village of North Palm Beach Fire Rescue, Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Caridad Center, Drowning Prevention Coalition, District’s Employee Wellness, among many others.

 Palm Springs Middle School Health Fair Flyer

For more information contact Paula Triana, R.D, L.D./N., School Food Service Department, Assistant Director of Nutrition & Wellness Promotion at (561) 383-2026 or via e-mail at






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

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H.L. Johnson Elementary is pleased to announce the theatrical presentation of the union of “Q” and “U” to help students remember the spelling rule of these two letters. 

When? Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 12:45 p.m. 

Where? H.L. Johnson Elementary School – 1000 Crestwood Blvd. North, Royal Palm Beach, FL. 

This story helps young readers and spellers remember the phoneme /kwa/ in a creative and fun way. Principal, Sharon Hench will be officiating the ceremony. Mrs. Uffer’s kindergarten class is hosting the wedding where all kindergarteners will attend the wedding and reception as invited guests. 

For more information contact Karen Loebig at (561) 904-9304 or via e-mail at






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

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Spanish RiverSpanish River High School of Boca Raton, Florida announces its leadership of a grassroots effort to bring awareness to the dangers of texting and driving, by sponsoring an event that brings together over 8,000 schools and millions of students across the nation in one combined voice to save lives of their classmates.  

Spanish River High School (SRHS), a community-leading school in Boca Raton, Florida, has announced the School’s sponsoring of a National Day of Awareness to Not Text and Drive. The nationwide event will take place on March 10, 2012. The event, co-sponsored by Phoneguard and Channel One News, will be held at the Spanish River Campus in Boca Raton, and be televised in various markets across the United States Boca Raton-based PhoneGuard, Inc. who has partnered up with two-time Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Justin Bieber,  has developed a smart phone application which disables a phone’s texting functions whenever it detects the driver moving more than 10 miles per hour. Including the mobile application, PhoneGuard has a full suite of safety products that backs into a web-based portal for family peace of mind. 

Channel One News is the leading news network for teens nationwide. The dynamic 12-minute news broadcast is delivered daily to millions of teens in approximately 8,000 middle schools and high schools across the country. Channel One provides global and national headlines from a teen perspective. Channel One will broadcast 3 weeks of Public Service announcements featuring Justin Bieber, the School’s advocate to Not Text and Drive, leading up to the National Day Of Awareness on March 10th. 

The nationwide effort is the brainchild of Spanish River Sophomore Class President, Ross Brenner and Class Vice-President Dalton Holody, working in conjunction with the school’s Student Leadership Program, faculty, parental advisory team, and newly appointed Principal, William Latson. 

“This is a grassroots effort to send a message amongst our peers, to our fellow students, parents, and community leaders across the nation, that we need to come together and be responsible to our friends, family, and ourselves to Not Text and Drive….we need to save lives….” says Brenner, the event Chairman. 

“We are grateful to PhoneGuard, Channel One and all our supporters for their incredible contribution and partnerships. We will use every available means at our disposal to send our shared message across the country, starting with Channel One News, along with our Facebook and Twitter. Justin Bieber is in full support of “no texting while driving” and continues to campaign with PhoneGuard and Remember Alex Brown Foundation ( via interviews with local and national media, and news outlets…” added Brenner. 

“This is ‘Ground Zero’, and we are asking students as well as parents to sign a pledge not to text and drive, download the Phoneguard app, and become part of this movement” stated Holody, Sophomore Vice President. 

The effort has the full support of Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel and City Council, Boca Raton Police Department, U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch, State Representative Irv Slosberg, The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), The Alex Brown Foundation, and 23 regional Anti-texting groups in various parts of the country. 

The initial announcement of the Day of Awareness is expected to also be adjoined by the announcement of the ‘New Cool’ Rewards program, which will reward pledge members with media downloads, VIP experiences, and special event opportunities, at no cost to the students and families, as a means to reward the commitment to Not Text and Drive.  

The reward programs will carry-over into an annual program, extending incentives to those who make the pledge, with sponsor-provided extreme vacation getaways over a 13 month period. The reward promotion program also offers monthly VIP Concert Tickets, and flights and accommodations, at venues around the Unites States. The program’s promotion is highlighted by a week long ‘Taste Tour of Italy’ courtesy of PortaVia Italian Kitchen, Keys2Cash Instant Rewards, Ocean Properties, ProntoJet and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. 

“It’s a badly needed life saving message, one we support.  By encouraging pledges, we hope to create a reward like no other, and make those who support the cause part of the event and celebration.” stated Charles Coleman, President of ProntoJet. 

The music festival is being produced by Global Maximus Productions and will be made available “Live” around the world.  The event is being streamed “Live” at deep discount to the supporting public, to endorse the program and encourage national subscriptions to the events’ ceremonies and entertainment. 

“Our artists are very excited about showcasing their talents to the world, and for a great cause.  If we motivate one person to just think before they text and drive, and save one single life, then we have won.”  Randall James, CEO-Global Maximus Records.

One lucky subscriber, along with three friends subscribing to the viewing, will qualify for a chance to win a free trip to the National Day of Awareness. The winners will be flown by private jet, courtesy of ProntoJet, to hang out back stage with the artists and celebrities attending the event. 

The star-studded National “Day of Awareness” March 10th will feature a test track where attendees from around the region can experience the distractions and impairment of texting while driving. The City of Boca Raton is sponsoring a Food Truck Food-a-thon featuring a wide selection of the most well known Food Trucks in South Florida. 

The event will also feature various sponsor booths including the National Transportation and Safety Board, Best Foot Forward Foundation, Purple America, Channel One, PhoneGuard among others, expected to aid in the festival themed awareness event. 

The event will be capped by an afternoon through evening Interactive Music Concert produced by Global Maximus Productions. The concert is featuring rising stars Ryan Toby & ‘BadHorse’. Other nationally known and local artists, across all contemporary genres, will perform. Local and regional groups and individual artists will compete for the golden opportunity to record their music with and be distributed by Global Maximus Records (GMR). 

Global Maximus Record executives will ask the crowd to participate in selecting the best of the local artists participating in the event. The crowd, by level of applause, will provide that group or individual a full recording contract with Global Maximus Records-Nashville. 

Spanish River has been working with various celebrities, sports figures, politicians, musicians, and entertainers to be on hand in support of the event. The celebrity attendees will offer messages on the importance of Texting Responsibly, and never while driving. The celebrities will also sign autographs, take photographs, and speak via video conference to students across the nation via the interactive broadcast. 

If you have any questions, or would like to contact PhoneGuard, please email or call Dylan Rossi - Vice President of Business Development at: Office: 561.314.3466, email:

If you have any questions, or would like to contact Global Maximus Records, please email or call Randall James- Chairman at (615)-967-8048 or email

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A key step in deciding what to do after graduating from high school is  making plans before taking that walk across the stage to get your diploma. The fifth edition of the After High School, Now What? planning guide is hot off the presses with a limited number of hard copy versions available from the Department of Multicultural Education. Available in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and Portugese, the guide is intended to put a variety of resources and information into the hands of students and parents confronting the sometimes daunting task of applying to colleges and seeking financial aid. 

The guide includes a matrix listing the schools in the State University System with details about student enrollment, acceptance criteria and more; a college application checklist, a campus visit worksheet,  essay writing hints, listings of useful websites, tips on completeing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and many other details.

“We’re trying to remove every possible obstacle that might keep students from attending college,” said Margarita Pinkos, executive director of the Department of Multicultural Education. “The guide addresses issues ranging from how to write a resume to seeking scholarships on the internet.”  The department has only limited numbers of the hard copy version which was funded through federal grant money for students who are English Language Learners (ELLs). Many of the booklets are being distributed at Family Involvement Parent Nights that are conducted in conjunction with the  Federal and State Programs Department at schools across the county. Anyone can access the entire document online, however,  at , then click on the booklet cover in the middle of the  right- hand column.  Those who are interested are then able to click on the appropriate language.   For more information, contact Connie Berry, 561-434-7348 or email



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When the Dreyfoos School of Arts (DSOA)Theatre Department combined the works of Shakespeare and legendary classic rock group, The Moody Blues last November, the result was the creation of a musical called MIDSUMMER which had four sold out performances.  By popular demand, the Dreyfoos Thespians will hold an encore  presentation  March 9 at 7:00 p.m. and a special “Save the Arts” Gala performance  March 10.  Tickets ($15.00) for the March 9 performance may be purchased by calling 561-802-6052 or by going on-line to   The March 10 Gala performance tickets ($50.00-$100.00/includes reception) are available by calling 561-805-6298.  The show will be presented in the school’s Meyer Hall Theater (located one block north of the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach).

 Described by the Florida State Thespian Festival Main Stage Screening Committee adjudicators as “brilliant, creative, and beautiful,” the show has been selected as one of only ten representing   the state at the 2012 Festival with a performance in Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.  This is the largest high school theatre festival in the world with over 7,000 in attendance.The DSOA troupe will have five hours to load-in the set and only two hours to strike it.  DSOA holds the record for bringing the most Main Stage shows to this festival.

 The musical is based upon Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which tells the story of two pairs of star-crossed lovers who encounter faeries and pranksters in the forest of Athens.  Putting a new spin on the story, creator/director Beverly Blanchette (Dean of Theatre) has set the play in modern Greece and has added  “faerialists” to provide an illusion of flight. 

 Midsummer  features  Moody Blues’ favorites Nights in White Satin and Tuesday Afternoon. Musical direction and arrangements are provided by Bruce Linser (with special orchestrations by Anthony Espina), choreography by Garry Q. Lewis, scenic design by Michael McClain, scenic artistry by Cindi Blank Taylor, costume design by Penelope Koleos-Williams, lighting design by Stuart Reiter, and technical direction by Edward Blanchette.  Midsummer is produced by Marcie Gorman-Althof and managed by Wade T. Handy.

 Of special note is the aerial artistry choreographed by Rain Anya of The Paper Doll Militia.Anya, a 2002 Dreyfoos graduate, returned to her alma mater with the assistance of the Hearst Foundation which provides grants for guest artists to train/mentor young performers.   The Midsummer  “faerialists”  worked with Anya during the two month rehearsal process to be able to maneuver the hanging silks adorning the brightly-colored, wonderland set. 

 For more information, contact Ms. Blanchette, 561-802-6061 or email