Posted on

The School District’s Division of Support Operations will sponsor paid summer internships for Palm Beach County high school and college students. Position descriptions, qualifications and application procedures are provided below. The internship program will last six weeks, with 10-hour shifts, Monday through Thursday. The stipend interns receive will be determined after all fundraising efforts are completed. Worksite locations are listed with the position descriptions below. In some cases, there are multiple openings for each intern classification. Positions can also be made available for interns wishing to work at the Facilities Services maintenance compound in Belle Glade. Students are responsible for transportation to their work locations each day. Note that the Forest Hill Boulevard and Summit Boulevard locations are accessible by Palm Tran busses. Questions should be directed to Ms. Judyann Terrell at (561) 687-7170 or judyann.terrellj@palmbeachschools.org.

All applicants must have exemplary behavior records. High school applicants must currently be enrolled in the 9th, 10th or 11th grade. Positions are open to high school and/or college students as specifically indicated in the descriptions. To be eligible, students, high school and college, must currently be freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. High school seniors who are accepted to college may also apply.

To apply to the Internship Program, you must fill out the Student Intern Application Form obtainable at http://pbforms1.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/lfserver/_2310 . This form must be submitted online. Applicants will also need to submit three (3) references from their teachers/professors or business/community officials. The link for the Employment Reference Form (PBSD 0606) is at the bottom of the online application form. Have each person you use as a reference complete the required form; then FAX it to (561) 357-7569; or scan and e-mail it to ana.sanchez@palmbeachschools.org

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2012. Applicants will receive a reply confirming that their registration form was received. The selection process involves screening the applications and references and, for finalists, a job interview. All applicants will be notified of their selection status by May 25, 2012. Email is the preferred means of communication.

Locations & Job Descriptions

Building Department Intern (3661 N. Interstate Park Road, Riviera Beach) Open to high school students only. The intern in this position will work with architects, engineers, building and health-and-safety inspectors on construction projects and existing district facilities. The intern will assist office staff in organizing blueprints and permit records. The intern will also assist in the field conducting scheduled inspections of construction work. The intern may be tasked with taking notes and preparing reports. Applicants should have good math and writing skills and an interest in building design and construction.

HR Certification Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite A-152) Open to high school and college students. The intern chosen for this position must work well with the public and have good clerical and computer skills. The intern will serve as an office assistant working in a professional, fast-paced environment. Duties include, but are not limited to, greeting the public, providing customer service, answering phones, updating files, and providing general clerical support.

Division of Support Operations Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite B-302) Open to high school students only. This intern will perform research and writing assignments assigned by the Chief of Support Operations. The intern also provides support to the division secretaries. The student intern will work at a computer the majority of the time and needs to be familiar with Microsoft Office suite applications.

Environmental Sustainability (“Green”) Intern (3300 Summit Blvd.) Open to college students only. This intern will assist the Sustainability Coordinator with projects that may include developing a Sustainability Management Plan, performing a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and conducting staff interviews to collect baseline data. The student intern needs to be familiar with Microsoft Office suite applications and possess strong research and writing skills. Preference will be given to students currently studying in the field of environmental sciences and/or policies.

Environmental & Conservation Services Intern (1400 N. Florida Mango Road) This position is based at the McKesson Building, which is just north of the airport. Open to high school and college students. The intern will receive training on environmental issues to include wetlands, protected species, recycling, demolitions, asbestos abatement, and indoor air quality. This position will at times involve moving materials to/from work locations; such that, the intern must be able to lift up to 50-lb loads and be willing to spend time outdoors. Preference will be given to students currently studying in the field of environmental sciences.

Facilities Services Intern (3300 Summit Blvd. or Belle Glade office, if desired) Open to high school students only. Interns will serve as apprentices to various trades such as carpentry, HVAC, plumbing, etc. in Facilities Services. Interns may also perform general office duties and other responsibilities. Applicants with shop training in their curricula are preferred.

Information Technology Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite B-257 or B-332, or 1400 N. Florida Mango Road) Open to high school and college students. Interns in this position will assist IT personnel in servicing equipment and maintaining software applications. They will participate in application development and system maintenance and troubleshooting. Basic knowledge of PC hardware, peripherals, software and databases is required.

Legal Services Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite C-323) Open to high school and college students with preference given to pre-law coursework. The intern will serve in the Office of Chief Counsel assisting legal staff. Duties will include, but not be limited to, photocopying, filing, answering phones and when appropriate observing various legal proceedings. Applicants should be individuals who are looking at a career in the legal field. Computer technology skills are desired.

Planning & Real Estate Services Intern (3300 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite C-110) Open to college students only. Preference will be given to applicants with coursework in urban planning, public administration and geographical information systems. The intern in this position will assist district planners with functions that assess the need to provide new schools in diverse areas of the County. There will be opportunities to work with demographic data and governmental inter-local agreements. The student intern will assist staff members with preparing presentations and reports. The intern will also update policies and procedures and work with the school-based leasing programs. He/she will learn to read and understand title work, surveys, and how to perform property research using parcel maps and aerial photographs. Applicants must be familiar with using a computer for word processing and spreadsheets. Preference will be given to students with business curriculum interests.

School Food Services Intern (3661 Interstate Park Road, North, Suite 100, Riviera Beach) Open to high school and college students. The intern will assist central office staff with preparing for school opening in August. Duties will include but not be limited to filing, manage box preparation and content, photocopying, and answering phones. The intern will also spend part of the day working in school cafeterias preparing and serving summer meals in the Summer Food Service program. Applicants must have computer skills. Preference will be given to students with food service experience.

Transportation Services (3376 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406) Open to high school students. The internship is expected to be at the Central Transportation Facility, but could be moved to any of six facilities throughout the county, if that is more convenient to the intern. The intern will receive training in basic vehicle mechanical practices for light, medium, and heavy duty vehicles to include some basic school bus repairs. The intern can also receive training in vehicle paint and body repairs. This position will require lifting up to 50 lbs and require working outdoors. Preference will be given to students currently studying in the field of automotive repair.

Disclosures

The Summer Intern Program seeks particularly to train students who are interested in careers in construction, facilities management, and other support functions. Our positions are appropriate for future tradespersons and professionals. Applicants who are enrolled in certain high school technical courses are eligible for a preference in the hiring process. The preference given will be automatic advancement to the interview stage, if the application is complete. This preference will not affect other students who are invited to be interviewed. The Summer Intern Program has won two state awards. It is highly competitive, but students should not be discouraged about submitting their qualifications for review. The application, interview and selection process used mimic procedures job seekers regularly experience and will be instructive for all applicants.

The District prohibits discrimination against students, employees, and other applicants on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, color, gender, marital status, age, parental status and disability in any of its programs, services or activities.

Media should contact Joseph Sanches, Chief of Division of Support Operations, at 561-357-7573 or joseph.sanches@palmbeachschools.org for more information.

Posted on

Twenty-two students from Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts will head to New York City this June after winning in various categories of the 2012 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers in the nation.

This year’s National Celebration of the Awards will kick off in New York City on the night of May 31 when the top of the Empire State Building will be lit in gold. The Dreyfoos students will join other winners from across the country at a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on June 1 and participate in subsequent showcase events at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan. 

Dreyfoos Principal Susan Atherley said the entire school family is thrilled for the winning students. “We’re definitely in celebration mode after learning so many of our students’ talent and creativity were recognized by an illustrious panel of professionals,” she stated. “These students are excellent ambassadors for the entire county as well as the State of Florida.” 

The following students’ entries were selected as winners from over 200,000 submitted in 28 categories.

 American Visions Award Medal

Jessica Garcia – Film & Animation

Best in Grade

Gaetano Icangelo –  Painting

Gold Medals

Hannah Berger – Painting

Jessica Garcia – Film & Animation

Gaetano Icangelo – Painting and Printmaking

Taylor Krauser – Photography

Vanessa Leiva – Sculpture

Alec Nguyen – Architecture

Megan Schmunk – Printmaking

Carolina Vogt – Mixed Media

Silver Medals

Andy Bennett – Portfolio

Madeline Bertelson – Photography

Valentina Cabezas – Portfolio

Kelly Creef – Photography

Taylor Goldenberg – Painting

Heather Grace – Painting

Maeve Hedstrom – Photography

Ashley Obel – Drawing

Joseph Parrella – Architecture

Cate Sans – Photography

Stephanie Weil – Photography

Kimi Yonamine – Painting

Silver Medals with Distinction

Gaetano Icangelo – Portfolio

Megan Schmunk – Portfolio

For additional information, contact Magnet Coordinator Jane Grandusky, 561-805-6203 or email jane.grandusky@palmbeachschools.org.

Posted on

Spanish RiverA hilarious music and dance explosion accompanied by a live orchestra

Get ready for some fun, laughs and good times as Spanish River Theatre Arts proudly presents a bright, spirited and fun-filled classic, Sweet Charity, the celebrated Neil Simon, Bob Fosse, and Cy Coleman musical!

Meet Charity Hope Valentine, dance hall hostess, eternal optimist, and unlucky romantic, as she searches for true love in all the wrong places. Charity’s world is the all too real one of Times Square populated by the most charming group of characters that has ever graced a stage. This consistently funny musical comedy is filled with snappy Neil Simon dialogue and show-stopping numbers including “Big Spender”, “If My Friends Could See Me Now”, “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This”, and “Rhythm of Life.”

“We took on Sweet Charity because the music is great, the dancing is fantastic and the humor is top notch”, said Rocco D’Attolico, Program Director of Spanish River High School’s Theatre Arts Department. “This production truly lends itself for showcasing the artistic talent among our student body through the singing, unique Bob Fosse dance style, and live musicians featured in the show.”

Sweet Charity was nominated for 12 Tony Awards for its 1966 Broadway production, and Bob Fosse, its director choreographer, won the Tony Award for best choreography. The show was revived in 1986, winning four Tony awards, and again in 2005 when it was nominated for Best Revival.

This spring, treat yourself to Spanish River High School’s Sweet Charity, a musical production featuring the talents of  nearly 100 student performers, stagecraft technicians and musicians, including a live student orchestra, as well as 100% student cleverly-designed and built sets.

Performances are at 7:30 PM on April 12, 7 PM on April 13 and 14, and 2 PM for our Sunday matinee on April 15 at the beautiful state-of-the-art Countess de Hoernle Theatre at Spanish River Community High School located at 5100 Jog Road (corner of Jog and Yamato roads) in Boca Raton. Ticket prices are $12.00 for Reserved Early Bird Seating purchased before April 1 and $15.00 for Regular Reserved Tickets after April 1.  Student tickets are $10. Running time is 2 ½ hours including intermission. For your convenience, there is free parking onsite, handicapped access and a concession stand.

Purchase tickets online now at spanishrivertheatre.org, or call (561) 241-2020.

For more information, contact Sylvia Granet at rivertheatrearts@aol.com or call (561) 241-2020.

Posted on

Students at the Northboro Elementary Montessori Magnet School recently held a competition between classes and students raised over $2,000 to support the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma.  To teach the valuable lesson of helping others Northboro held the fundraiser with $2,318.11 being donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Palm Beach Chapter.

The class that raised the most money will now enjoy lunch from Olive Garden on Monday, April 2 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM in the Parent Resource Center at Northboro.  According to Parent Liaison/Reading Resource teacher Margaret Bess, “The Parent Resource Center will be turned into an elegant Italian restaurant and students from the winning class will be served a delicious meal.

Northboro Elementary Principal Gayle Harper said, “Our students continue to learn the valuable lessons about the importance of helping others. I’m extremely proud of all our students and look forward to acknowledging the winning class for all its hard work.”

For more information please contact Ms. Bess at 561-494-1625 or margaret.bess@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

Superintendent Wayne Gent surprised Mary Monroe with the announcement that she is the Macy’s/Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) Teacher of the Year for The School District of Palm Beach County.    Ms. Monroe, an English and Intensive Language Arts Teacher at Park Vista Community High School, is a resident of Lake Worth, Florida.

Park Vista High Principal Reginald Myers, Teacher of the Year Mary Monroe and Superintendent Wayne Gent

Park Vista High Principal Reginald Myers, Teacher of the Year Mary Monroe and Superintendent Wayne Gent

Park Vista Principal Reginald Myers said, “Mary Monroe exemplifies the Department of Education’s selection criteria by contributing to the continuous improvement of student learning and by maintaining a record of superior teaching performance.”  Ms. Monroe helped increase Park Vista’s reading learning gains by providing her students additional after school tutoring, convincing some of her low-level readers to participate in Battle of the Books, posting home-based computer FCAT practice on Edline, and regularly communicating with parents.   Mr. Myers also stated, “Ms. Monroe’s personal and professional relationship with students and their parents is extraordinary and reinforces student motivation in learning.”

Brigitta McTigue, Media Specialist at Park Vista, wrote in Ms. Monroe’s letter of recommendation, “Mary inspires her students with her own dedication to reading and creative writing.”  As a nationally-known author of Miracle at Monty Middle School, Krazy White Girl and Tagger, she speaks about her books to students, faculty, parents and the community by participating as a guest for “April is for Authors” celebrations.

Ms. Monroe’s career includes 14 years of teaching in Florida, with three of these in her current position.  She is National Board Certified and serves as a mentor to new teachers.  As a lead teacher in Project SMaRT, a technology initiative in the school district, she produces vodcasts of instructional videos. 

As Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year, Ms. Monroe will receive a cash award of $1,000 through funds contributed by district business partnerships.   The Macy’s Foundation also presents each District Teacher of the Year a cash award of $1,000, of which $250 goes to the teacher’s school.   As Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year, Ms. Monroe represents the district in the Florida Department of Education-Macy’s Teacher of the Year Roundtable.  The Roundtable affords Teachers of the Year the opportunity to network with colleagues, share ideas, and provide input on educational issues of state and national importance.

For additional information, contact Sue Walters at sue.walters@palmbeachschools.com.

Posted on

golden grove elStudents from Kindergarten to fifth grade will get a glimpse of a cross-section of careers that may capture their interest when Golden Groves Elementary School holds its Eighth Annual Career Fair April 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lion Country Safari comes with a few animals and presentations about caring for animals and the training required to work on the preserve that’s located in the western part of the county.  The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has representatives on hand to talk about careers in law and specifically the role of State prosecutors in our community. Undoubtedly students and staff alike will be buzzing around the folks from the Association of Beekeepers who will have bees and honey on hand to discuss the joys and challenges of professional beekeeping.  

Guidance Counselor Lori Bednarek and Instructional Technology specialist Susan Rizzolo take on the extra job of coordinating the event. “It’s a spectacle to behold,” said Ms. Rizzolo. “Throughout the day all 565 students rotate among the classrooms to hear the presenters and see exhibits and we have a separate vehicle area that captivates students every year.” Ms. Bednarek said the effort involves contacting a lot of people–but many of the more than 50 community and business partners are repeat participants. “They understand that early exposure and understanding about what the careers involve and the kind of preparation required can get students interested and engaged while they’re still young,” she explained.

The list of participants also includes: the Palm Beach County Firefighters, the United States Marines, Bedner’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Animal Care and Control, Walmart, McCarthy’s Wildlife, Community Animal Hospital, and Honeybee’s Hydroponics.  Also expected to participate: the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Publix (a Sushi- maker), Florida Fish And Wildlife Commission, and others.

 For more information, contact Ms. Bednarek or Ms. Rizzolo at 561-904-9700 or  Lori.bednarek@palmbeachschools.org or Susan.rizzolo@palmbeachschools.org.

Posted on

Cresonia Hsieh, a Junior at Spanish River Community High School has taken third place in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Civil War Essay Contest for her essay on The African American’s War. The highly competitive competition is sponsored nationally by the Institute each year.  Ms. Hsieh will also receive $500 as part of her winnings.

The Institute’s website states:  “The Gilder Lehrman Institute joins the Civil War Round Table of New York to co-sponsor an annual essay contest for Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School students. Students examine the nation’s most divisive conflict through letters, speeches, songs, photographs, newspapers, military orders and other documents, conducting research with primary as well as secondary sources.”

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will host Ms. Hsieh, her parents and English teacher, Dr. Bettina Hoffman, who sponsored the contest at Spanish River Community High School. They will be going to New York City in April 2012. 

More information about the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History can be found at their website at www.gilderlehrman.org. 

Further information about Spanish River Community High School’s participation as an affiliate school may be directed to Mara J. Goron, Assistant Principal, Gilder Lehrman Coordinator for Spanish River Community High School at the school:  561-241-2201 or mara.goron@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

TEN intern headshotsThe Education Network (TEN) has kicked off the first semester of its Bright, Energetic Students of Television and Technology (B.E.S.T.) initiative that is designed to increase student involvement with the District’s television production activities. One of the highlights of the effort is the student internship component which currently involves two high school students who spend time at the station every other school day.  Rigo Beltran and Alyson Murphy, both from Atlantic High School are students who already have TV production courses under their belts. 

The two have worked on a couple of TEN projects including one shot at U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts called Arts, Civics, and Engagement (working title) which is currently in the editing phase. The finished project will be uploaded to the District’s Home page, as well as on the B.E.S.T. webpage and is expected to be used in various professional development presentations. The two were also involved with a production about the District’s recent Technology Conference which typically requires the involvement of most of the station’s professional staff because of the size and nature of the conference. 

Amanda Orndorff, coordinator of TEN’s B.E.S.T. program, said the students are involved with all levels of production. “From script-writing to shooting to post-production—these students are working with TEN staff and having a hands-on experience with all of it which they can put on their resumes,” she stated.

Other aspects of B.E.S.T. involve going to schools to present to and meet with students, helping students with school-based productions, and getting students to TEN for field trips and group visits. Ms. Orndorff recently visited Christa McAuliff Middle School’s TV Production Club and then invited members to visit the District station where they watched on a bank of monitors as a TEN professional directed a production.  In another instance, the TEN crew shot a show on location at Suncoast High School and some of the school’s Production students helped with staging and running cameras.

The B.E.S.T. coordinator who has been on the job since November said the station will soon launch its own version of youtube. TENtube will be a site on the station’s webpage that will spotlight student productions from public schools all over Palm Beach County.  In addition, a new show called Spotlight on Student Films features schools that have been recognized for their productions. The most recent schools highlighted were Seminole Ridge High School and Canal Point Elementary School for their respective award-winning productions.

Opportunities will be available for additional interns. Ms. Orndorff said the station is seeking third or fourth year TV production students who have demonstrated trustworthiness, a sense of responsibility, and the capacity to be self-starters.  For more details, contact Ms. Orndorff at 561-738-2761 or email Amanda.orndorff@palmbeachschools.org.

Posted on

Beth Lefler, Lisa Kaputa, Honor Society Adviser, Kristin Walters, Honor Society President and Horacio Ochoa

Beth Lefler, Lisa Kaputa, Honor Society Adviser, Kristin Walters, Honor Society President and Horacio Ochoa

The National Elementary Honor Society of Hammock Pointe Elementary held a school wide fundraiser to support HEART (Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team).  Students donated $1 and wore red and jeans to school in support of the worthy cause.

HEART is made up of a group of committed social service professionals who work to address problems often faced by homeless children and youth in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Each school in every geographic area of our School 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.

Hammock Pointe Elementary raised $518.00 and recently presented the check to Beth Lefler and Horacio Ochoa with Safe Schools and Student Intervention Services. 

For more information please contact Ms. Kaputa at lisa.kaputa@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

The Career Academies at Olympic Heights Community High School, in partnership with the Boca Raton Resort & Club, will hold the fifth annual Olympic Heights Golf Scramble on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. The event is open to the public, and the school is seeking the support of both golfers and sponsors.

All funds raised and donations received will assist in funding the six Career Academies that call Olympic Heights home. They include the Academy of Engineering, Academy of Teacher Education, Academy of Finance, Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, Culinary Academy and Fashion Academy.

“The tournament allows community members the opportunity to play golf on a spectacular golf course while also benefiting the students in the Career Academies at Olympic Heights,” said Anita Foster, academy coordinator. “Last year was a huge success—the golfers loved it, the sponsors loved it, and we raised a lot of money for the students.”

Registration for the Golf Scramble starts at 11:30 a.m., with a shotgun start slated for 1 p.m. The Scramble, which will be followed by an Award Dinner, will take place at Boca Country Club, 17751 Boca Club Boulevard, Boca Raton. The cost is $100 per golfer or $350 for a foursome. Sponsorships are welcome and run from $75 for a Hole Sponsor to $1,000 for a Platinum Sponsor, which includes golf for four, recognition banners, press releases, signage and more. Donations of goods or services that can be used as raffle prizes or auction items are also appreciated.

Registered participants will not only enjoy a great day of golf but will also receive a goody bag, free beverages and snacks, and much more. The Award Dinner will feature delectable cuisine, a silent auction and the announcement of the winners.

The event is being offered in partnership with the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a business partner of Olympic Heights that has been supporting the Career Academies since their inception at the school. “The Boca Resort and Club has a long standing commitment to supporting the community,” said Sandra M. Tagliavia, the Resort’s director of human resources. “It has been our pleasure to host the annual Golf Scramble at our fabulous Boca Country Club each year. This is just one of the many ways we can willingly give back to our community.”

Proceeds from the Golf Scramble will benefit the Career Academies at Olympic Heights. Career academies are small learning communities within a high school that offer a curriculum with a career focus. These college preparatory programs, some of which have industry certification, offer students the opportunity to delve deeply into their career interests while they are still in high school. Through programs such as job shadowing, mentoring, internships, field trips and guest speakers, students in the Olympic Heights Career Academies not only learn and get a leg up on other students applying to college but also network, learn about career opportunities and make lifelong contacts and connections that will prove invaluable to them as they progress through their careers.

“Our Academies provide so many wonderful opportunities for the students,” Foster said. “They are rigorous, but they provide students with a high-quality education that equips them to attend college and earn a degree in a field of study in which there are substantial job opportunities.”

For more information about the Olympic Heights Golf Scramble, contact Anita Foster, academy coordinator, at 561-852-6610.

About Olympic Heights

Olympic Heights Community High School is a public high school located at 20101 Lyons Road in Boca Raton. It serves students in West Boca, parts of Boynton Beach and parts of Delray Beach as part of the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida. The school offers six academy programs: Tourism and Hospitality Management, Finance, Engineering, Teacher Education, Culinary and Fashion Design. For more information about Olympic Heights, call 561-289-9726 or visit www.ohlions.com.

Posted on

Palm Beach Gardens High School’s inaugural Swamp Stomp 5K Road Race will take place on Sunday, April 1st at 7:30 am on the Gardens Mall property, thanks to presenting sponsor The Gardens Mall. The race is a project of the sophomore Sports Management and Recreation Magnet students under the direction of their teacher, Mary Testa.

Funds raised will support all five of the magnet programs at Palm Beach Gardens High School. To register please go to http://www.active.com/running/palm-beach-gardens-fl/palm-beach-gardens-5k-swamp-stomp-2012 .

For more information please contact Palm Beach Gardens High School Magnet Coordinator Ava Pence at ava.pence@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

Los Dragones de Dreyfoos”, the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Spanish tournament team won the Division II—4A   Championship performance at the state Spanish competition.  The team is led by Dreyfoos Spanish and French teacher, Michael Anand. The team earned 967 points out of 1000 possible. The 2012 Florida State Spanish Conference was held at the Orlando Wyndham Resort. The tournament of impromptu speaking, poetry declamation, theatrical performance, and musical entertainment involved the top 50 Spanish programs among Florida’s high schools.

Los Dragones have been competing every year since 2000, and have won first place twice before (2004 and 2009), second place seven times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010), and third place once (2000).  Dreyfoos also has a Spanish National Honor Society, sponsored by Barbara Smith, which is very active in teaching both Spanish and English to elementary school children. Many of the students who competed are members of both groups.

Amongst the many wonderful performances, Dreyfoos won 1st Place in the State in both Instrumental and Vocal Music: Alex Ramírez won Best of Show for his Saxophone performance of “Salsipuedes”and Daniela Childers won Best of Show for her Vocal performance of “La violetera”.  They also earned a perfect score for their performance of Federico García Lorca’s La casa de Bernarda Alba.  

Mr. Anand acknowledged the support of several people, saying “A special thanks to Alicia Childers, who designed the best costumes in all of 1930s Spain.  A special thanks is also given to our Assistant Impromptu Coaches Alessio Villa and Angélica Moreno, whom we credit 100% for our team’s storybook season. And a special thanks to our Assistant Head Coach Melissa Gifford, who made our experience exceptionally fun.”

Please peruse the event photographs at this link http://www.palmbeachschools.org/community/PDFs/Conf_2012.pdf , documenting the team’s successes and their delight in the competition.

For  more information please contact Mr. Anand at michael.anand@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

Nearly one hundred students from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts descended upon downtown Tampa to participate in the Florida State Thespian Festival, the largest high school theatre festival in the world.  The festival, held March 14-18 at Tampa’s David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts and the Tampa Convention Center, hosted over 7,000 high school theatre students from across the state of Florida.  Dreyfoos theatre students took the festival by storm with full-length and individual event performances, presentations, and college/scholarship auditions.

 MIDSUMMER, a new rock musical interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream that incorporates the music of The Moody Blues, was one of fourteen high school productions in the state selected to perform on the mainstage of the festival.  Students were allotted six hours to install complicated scenery that included rigging for aerial arts and a motorized revolving turntable before the performance at 7:00pm on Friday, March 16.  At the play’s conclusion, a sold-out audience of 2,600 high school students and guests from across Florida rewarded the cast and crew’s deft performance with a rousing standing ovation.

 Junior theatre student Lexi Carter, 17 of Jupiter, was nominated for the Straz Center’s “Broadway Star of the Future” award for her work playing Helena in MIDSUMMER.  Carter was one of four female high school students in Florida nominated for this honor.  She plans to continue her studies in theatrical performance so that she may pursue a career as a musical theatre actress.

 Another junior theatre student, Sam Leopold, 17 of Palm Beach Gardens, received a Critics’ Choice award in the category of Student-Directed Scene.  Leopold, who also portrayed the role of Bottom in MIDSUMMER, described the experience of winning one of two Critics’ Choice awards in the directing category and performing on the Festival’s mainstage as “surreal, unforgettable, emotional, and a tremendous honor.”

 Senior theatre major Erick Fields, 18 of West Palm Beach, received a $1,000 scholarship from Florida State Thespians.  Fields, a technical direction student, will use his scholarship to attend a theatre program at either Carnegie Mellon University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Webster University, or Purchase College.

 Three Dreyfoos students represented District 15 Thespians (central and northern Palm Beach County as well as Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties) at the Festival’s opening ceremonies: Sarah Belcher, 17 of Loxahatchee, was the District’s representative for technical theatre and design; and, Melissa Gonzalez, 16 of West Palm Beach, and Sarah Hardwick, 16 of Lake Worth, performed a scene from the play Stop Kiss for over 2,000 students as the District’s performance representative. 

 Additionally, Dreyfoos students earned nine Superior ratings and three Excellent ratings in the Festival’s individual event competition.  Individual event categories included: large group musical theatre, duet musical theatre, duet acting, scenic design, student directed scene, costume design, and publicity direction. 

 ABOUT DREYFOOS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS THEATRE

The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts was founded in 1989 as the premier arts high school in the School District of Palm Beach County. The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts offers its students intensive study within their art area and a rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum. Alumni from the Dreyfoos theatre program are working as performers, designers, and technicians on Broadway, in television and film, and in regional theatres across the country.

Posted on

West Palm Beach Attorney Lynn Szymoniak who uncovered the “robo-signing” fraud perpetrated by some of the nation’s largest mortgage banks, will share her personal story with the Gerald A Williams Esq. Law Academy students at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School. 

Ms. Szymoniak will address the students on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 from 9:00am -10:40am. Her presentation will focus on public interest law and her successful whistleblower case where she uncovered fake documents in regards to foreclosure cases. There will also be a question and answer period.

Ms. Szymoniak first appeared on 60 Minutes in April of 2011, claiming that the country’s four largest mortgage services had defrauded the federal government by creating fake documents to replace lost or nonexistent ones in order to receive government-funded payments. Recently those banks settled and under the False Claims Act, a private person, also known as a “whistleblower,” is entitled to a share of the money recovered by the U.S. Government.

Ms. Szymoniak was awarded an $18 million settlement after blowing the whistle on the “robo-signing” forged mortgage documents.   It has been reported that she will donate some of the funds to housing related charities.

This story has recently been featured on numerous news programs and magazines.  Her law office has been flooded with calls from clients and media outlets. The Pre-law students are eager and grateful that this local attorney is volunteering her time to share her amazing case.

For more information, contact Melanie Lee at 561-640-5000 or melanie.lee@palmbeachschools.org

Posted on

The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife and natural resources.  In an effort to teach students about respect for wildlife and as a community service project, 18 classes at Lighthouse Elementary will be adopting a wild friend (animal) for the sanctuary. 

For the past two months, students have collected coins for an animal chosen by the class.  They have emptied piggy banks and change drawers to support this worthwhile endeavor to help the animals at Busch Wildlife.

The 18 classes participating have raised just over $1200.00.   Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is scheduled to come to the Lighthouse Elementary cafeteria on Thursday, April 5th at 8:30 a.m. Participating classes will go to the cafeteria, drop off their money, and listen to a short explanation about how the money will be used.  Busch will also be bringing animals who will be helped through their donation for the children to see.

This project was begun by teacher Caroline Tarter and opened to the entire school for participation.

For more information please contact Lighthouse Elementary Principal Leslie Bolte at 561-741-9404 or leslie.bolte@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

Palm Beach Central High School is presenting its second annual Shattered Dreams program on Thursday, March 29th starting at 9:30am. The program will highlight the dangers of distracted driving and will be presented to the Senior Class of 700 students.

The multi-media program will begin in the auditorium and continue in the stadium where a prom night accident will be played out on the field complete with fire rescue and police responding to the crash. 

For more information about the program, please contact Student Activities Director, Donna Baxter at 561-433-7929 or donna.baxter@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

On Friday, March 30th, four rival high schools are teaming up at Village Park in an effort to raise an astounding $100,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Beginning at 4:00 pm, students and teachers from Palm Beach Central High School, Wellington Community High School, Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Cardinal Newman High School will say goodbye to their luscious locks at this massive head shaving extravaganza.

This exciting, family-friendly event, dubbed “Wellington Kids Care 2012,” will also feature a “Dream Big” carnival featuring games, inflatables, food and prizes. Whether you decide to shave your head, cut you hair for Locks of Love, volunteer or make a donation, your participation will go a long way to help save lives.

Village Park is located at 11700 Pierson Road. For more information about this event or to make a donation, visit www.stbaldricks.org.

About the St. Baldrick’s Foundation: According to its mission statement, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. For more information, visit www.stbaldricks.org.

For more information please contact Donna Baxter at Palm Beach Central High School at donna.baxter@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

As Brazil prepares to host the World Cup and the Olympics, the American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese (ATOP) has launched a Cultural Contest for all students K-12 and those now in college in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.  This year’s theme for the Focus-Brazil Cultural Contest is: “Soccer- A Brazilian Passion”.

The purpose of the contests is to showcase student’s talents as well as to provide students with an opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture. All competing work shall be presented in text or image. The Focus Brazil contests consist of the following categories: essays (written in Portuguese or English) and arts (drawing, photography, or painting). A total of $2,400 will be distributed among each category’s winners (first, second and third places).

The deadline to deliver all competing work is 5:00 pm April 16, 2012, at the following location: Fundação Vamos Falar Português, 7122 NW 74th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33166.

All participants are invited to attend a free workshop organized by AOTP on “Soccer – A Brazilian Passion,” followed by the contest award ceremony.

The workshop and award ceremony will take place on May 2nd, 2012, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, from 9:30 am to noon.

If you would like to receive more information about the contests and to register your school or university e-mail the American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese (AOTP) at info@aotpsite.org .

For more information please contact School District World Languages Program Planner Jackie Bronkie at 561-434-8695 or jacqueline.bronkie@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

Markus White, a linebacker for the Washington Redskins, took time out of his busy schedule to speak to a group of students at Grove Park Elementary.  Mr. White is a Florida native, who graduated from John I. Leonard High School and Florida State University. 

Grove Park ElementaryIn his speech, he motivated the students to do their best, to overcome the obstacles that life will bring, and to always strive for excellence.  The students were elated and were able to see first hand, that success is a matter of perseverance and hard work. 

For more information please contact Grove Park Elementary Principal Eric Gross at 561-904-7700 or eric.gross@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

Golfers should save Friday, June 15, 2012, to hit the links in support of the Student Summer Intern Program, a great fundraising cause for students. The School District’s Division of Support Operations will hold its annual fundraising Golf Outing at The Fountains Golf & Country Club, in Lake Worth, FL.

Date: Friday, June 15, 2012

Time: 7:30 a.m.

Location: Fountains Golf & Country Club, 4467 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 33467

Early Registration: $150 per player; $600 per foursome; $35 Luncheon Guest

Late Registration: (After May 11, 2012): $175 per player; $700 per foursome

Contact:  Sandra Bridges, Phone 561-386-1350; e-mail at signatureaffair@aol.com

Event proceeds benefit the Student Summer Intern Program, which introduces students to career opportunities in various trades and professions. Through this opportunity, high school and college interns gain valuable workplace experience that will serve them throughout life.

The golf event begins at 7:30 a.m., with a continental breakfast and practice on the driving range and putting green. Prepare for a fun-filled morning of golf on a picturesque golf course and opportunities for networking. After 18 holes, golfers will feast on a delicious lunch and end the day with awards and exciting raffle prizes.

Sponsorships and registrations are available at www.pbdsdsogolfouting.com.

Contact Sandra Bridges at (561) 386-1350 or by e-mail at signatureaffair@aol.com.

Posted on

The final four in the Battle of the Bands PBC 2012 will compete for the high school and middle school Swing Jazz top spot sponsored by the Swing and Jazz Preservation Society (SJPS) on March 30, 7 pm at the Spanish River Performing Arts Center, 2400 Yamato Road, in Boca Raton.

Out of an original field of 16 public schools, 22 bands and over 400 students, the four finalists are:  Don Estridge High Tech MS vs. Omni MS, and Park Vista HS vs. Dreyfoos School for the Arts.  The winners will be presented by Palm Beach County School Board Chair Frank Barbieri Jr., assisted by School Board member Karen Brill.

“We are proud to be associated with this first time event”, declares School Board Chair Frank Barbieri. “The current economy does not allow sufficient funds for all enrichment programs in our school system. This makes the Swing and Jazz Preservation Society’s donations to the schools particularly meaningful.”

The competition judges will be Michael Fagien, publisher of JAZZIZ Magazine, Dr. Sam Lussier, professional musician and music educator and Jerry Fischer, nationally renowned musician and musical producer.

At each stage of the competition every participating school received prize donations from SJPS to their respective music programs, so that the grand total of monies donated will be $22,800. The program was done in cooperation with District 14 of the Bandmaster’s Association and was open to all Palm Beach County public schools.

Tickets to the event are free and may be picked up at the Spanish River Presbyterian Church Main Office, 2400 Yamato Road, 2nd fl, from 9 -5 pm.

The Swing and Jazz Preservation Society is a 501 (c) 3 not for Profit Corporation producing six concerts a year from November through April at the Spanish River Performing Arts Center, in Boca Raton.

For further information contact Mikki Royce, Media Goddess Worldwide, 561 829-3222 or email at themediagoddess@pobox.com.

Posted on

Interest in learning the Chinese language and culture has surged in the past decade as American economic and cultural ties to China have deepened.  Chinese is now taught in five Palm Beach County and recently many of our students competed with other Florida students studying Chinese for proficiency awards. The competition was held at the Pinecrest School in Ft. Lauderdale.

Olympic Heights Students

Olympic Heights Students

Yinjie Qian, the Chinese teacher at Olympic Heights High School, took 18 students to participate in the 7th Annual Statewide Chinese Competition. The students competed in the Reading, Writing, and Speaking categories at different levels with over 300 students from around the state. They won four Superiors (1st place), 14 Outstanding (2nd place), and 12 Excellent (3rd place).  Paulkey Fu’s students from Spanish River High School earned seven Superiors, eight Outstanding, 10 Excellent and 10 Good.

Jackie Bronkie, World Languages Program Planner and Chen Amanda Arthur, Chinese teacher at Dwyer High School, recently attended the 2nd Annual Chinese Conference for teachers and administrators at the University of South Florida in Tampa, sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the Asia Society.  Ms. Bronkie was able to network with other Districts who have Chinese programs in Florida, to learn more about the Chinese language and culture and to grow to appreciate the challenges facing teachers of Chinese.  Ms. Arthur attended many valuable workshops, including one on the AP Chinese exam.  70% of students in Palm Beach County who take the AP Chinese exam pass, due to dedicated efforts of their teachers.  The other two schools in the District where Chinese is taught are Morikami Elementary and Watson B. Duncan Middle School.

Bloomberg Rankings report languages most used for business are:
#1 English
#2 Mandarin Chinese
#3 French
#4 Arabic
#5 Spanish
Published Aug 2011

For more information please contact Jackie Bronkie, World Languages Program Planner at 561-434-8695 or jacqueline.bronkie@palmbeachschools.org

Posted on

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, an idyllic setting beside the Atlantic Ocean, was magically transformed into a little slice of France, courtesy of the efforts of 15 devoted teachers and 32 enthusiastic students. The annual French Immersion Weekend was again a rousing success.

Co-coordinators, Caron Morton of Suncoast High School and Marci York of The Benjamin School, recently transformed a youth camp in Ft. Lauderdale into an environment encouraging students to practice their French skills in every waking minute.

French Immersion WeekendThroughout the weekend, the students, who are all in levels 3, 4, or 5 of their study of French, are required to interact with each other and the teachers only in French. There is a system of reward with buttons, but no grades are given; as only four students may come from a given school, the demand for places is fierce and often competitive at some schools.

The teachers also look forward to the opportunity to exchange best practices and to encourage those new to the profession.

The schools that participated and the teachers who volunteered their time at the French Immersion Weekend are:

Suncoast HS Caron Morton; Silvia Demarchi

Dwyer HS Myria Rylee

Dreyfoos School of the Arts Michael Anand

Atlantic HS Sheri Faber

Santaluces HS AnneMarie Bouchard

Palm Beach Lakes HS Ludie Milhomme; Rosmary Izquierdo

Boca Raton HS Hakima Mancheri

Royal Palm Beach HS Holly Casto

Benjamin School Marci York

The food for the weekend, expertly provided by Ms. York, was abundant, delicious, and decidedly French. In fact, several students mentioned the food as one of their favorite parts of the weekend. But it’s not just a food fest; there were games, races, crafts, canoeing, a camp fire, and a trip to the beach to round out the active weekend. All this is made possible through the efforts of as many as fifteen teachers from different schools throughout the county, who volunteer for as much as the whole weekend or as little as a couple of hours. But each brings his or her own talent and interest to the project, and it takes on a life of its own. One student noted on her evaluation, “I loved the challenge of speaking to not only teachers, but other guests as well who spoke French.”

Begun by a group of three now retired teachers who envisioned a way to give students the chance to practice and build confidence in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam as well as for the state French competition, the French Immersion program is in its 21st year.

For additional information, contact Caron Morton at Caron.morton@palmbeachschools.org .

Posted on

algebra2Algebra instruction is headed to a whole new level at Conniston Middle School thanks to a partnership effort between Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) and a $10,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation—the philanthropy arm of AT&T.  The initative launches a two-year effort with the West Palm Beach middle school that  utilizes technology and new instructional strategies that are expected to take student algebra learning through the roof.

 Some Conniston Middle School students are already involved in the project which allows them to work individually and in groups using interactive TI-Nspire handheld devices that are part of PBA’s pilot program. The devices are equipped with TI-Navigator software that allows the teacher to view each student’s work on a computer screen and to offer feedback electronically. If a student arrives at a unique or interesting solution, the teacher is able to capture and highlight that student’s work for the other students in the class.

 Conniston Middle’s Mathematics Department Chair Gloria Royle said the partnership has already benefitted students. “Our Algebra 1 and 2 Honors students have had the opportunity to sit in on the College Algebra class at PBA and collaborate with both the professor and college students,” she explained.  “The technology has been extremely useful in lesson presentation not only for our Algebra 1 and 2 Honors students but also for our 8th grade ELL students since having that concrete visual has helped with the learning of abstract concepts” she stated.

 Dr. Marsha Guntharp, associate professor of mathematics at PBA and a former middle- and high-school teacher said she and Ms. Royle first learned how to use  the technology and then collaborated to discuss issues and resolutions with the technology.  “I have already presented some of our work and findings at the Teachers Teaching with Technology annual International Conference in Chicago earlier this month as well as at PBA’s Inaugural Interdisciplinary Research Conference this week,” she said. The two are working in concert with PBA research assistants and are using an abbreviated technique from Japanese teachers called Lesson Study.

 The students are keeping journals indicating their level of understanding each day, as well as their level of mathematics anxiety and their level of interest in mathematics. Using the journals and classroom notes, the team can refine the lessons as needed. Their findings later will be submitted for publication in an academic journal.  The initiative, which began at the start of the 2011-2012 school year will run through the 2012-2013 year.  For more details, contact Ms. Royle, 561-802-5400 or email Gloria.royle@palmbeachschools.org or Dr. Guntharp, 561-803-2360, email Marsha_Guntharp@pba.edu.

 Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, with campuses in West Palm Beach, Orlando and Wellington. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service. For additional information, visit our Web site: http://www.pba.edu.

 *AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

 About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2010, more than $148.2 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.

Posted on

The School District website has received the Sunny Award and an “A” transparency grade.  The Sunny Award is presented by the Editors of Sunshine Review to honor the most transparent government websites in America. 

This year, only 214 of the more than 6,000 government websites ranked by Sunshine Review earned a sunny Award.  Sunshine Review is a non-profit that collaborates with individuals and organizations across America to promote state and local transparency.  The Sunshine Review collects and shares information about state and local transparency using a 10-point Transparency Checklist to evaluate 6,000 state and local government websites.

Deepak Agarwal, Chief Information Officer for Information Technology (IT), applauded the IT staff’s collaborative accomplishment and said, “This is the second consecutive year the District has received the Sunny award.  There are many systems supports, web design, and maintenance tasks performed by the IT staff to ensure it is highly available and transparent to the public.  Only through their diligent efforts in working with the District’s stakeholders for content delivery on the website was this Award able to be realized once again this year.” 

For more information about Sunshine Review and the Sunny Award go to www.sunshinereview.org .

For additional information please contact Chief Information Officer Deepak Agarwal at 561-434-8773 or deepak.agarwal@palmbeachschools.org.