News from 2013-14
Middle School Academic Challenge
Congratulations to the Key Largo Middle School Academic Challenge Team who was recognized as the 1st Place winners in the Monroe County School District Championship held on Thursday, May 22nd at Marathon High School. Sugarloaf Middle School received 2nd place and Marathon Middle School 3rd place. Many thanks to the coaches and judges who assisted in the competition as well.
Key West HS Solar Energy Team Wins State Awards
Congratulations to the Key West HS Solar Energy Team, along with teachers Ed and Joy Smith, for their first place WOW and second place honors at the FSEC/UCF Energy Whiz Olympics in Orlando. The Solar Search And Rescue Drone won 1st Place in the state! The Solar Racer won the coveted “WOW” Award Grand Prize. The “Solar, Turtle, Hydroponic Critter Comfort Habitat” won 2nd Place in the state as well.
Pictured: Lexi Galvan, Ed Smith, TJ Acevedo, Savannah Grayson, Leo Martinez, Brian Flores, Marcus Brisson, Joy Smith, and Summer Smith
Photo courtesy of Joy Smith
Poinciana Elementary "Florida State Fair"
Poinciana Elementary School students wrote and published Florida State Facts books and displayed them along with dioramas at their “Florida State Fair” on Thursday, April 24th. Poinciana Principal Ms. Christina McPherson, History and Social Sciences Curriculum Specialist Jennifer Barrios, and MCSD Superintendent Mark Porter were on hand to see the published Florida history books created by the 4th grade students. These hard-cover books were researched, written, and illustrated by students on a variety of State of Florida historical topics.
Photos courtesy of Renee Ullom
KWHS Singers Earn Superior Ratings
The Key West High School Chorus participated in the State Music Performance Assessment in Plantation, Florida, on Tuesday, April 22. The Women’s Chorale and the VIP’s (men) both were awarded the highest possible rating of Superior. Congratulations to Mr. James Carter and the KWHS singers for their outstanding accomplishment of earning Superior ratings five times in the last three years!
Monroe Students Make a Noticeable Appearance in 59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair 2014
Monroe County School District entered eight students into the 59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair held in Lakeland, FL April 8-10, 2014. The students were accompanied by Jennifer Richey (SLS Science Teacher) and Alesa Rehmann (CSHS Science Teacher). All Monroe students met the rigorous requirements to qualify for participation in the state competition. Our students performed well for MCSD's first time appearance in the competition, with 6 of the 8 students receiving awards and recognitions in the competition.
Pictured, left to right:Juliana Selca (TVM), Atlantis Hoffstetter (TVM), Carolyn Barrow(CSHS),Taurean Perkins (HOB),Lili Torres (CSHS), Madeline Chilton (KLS), Georgia Sexton (CSHS), and Stephanie Reyes (MHS)
We are extremely proud of each student for representing Monroe County schools at the state level competition. We look forward to increased participation of students, schools, and our community as we continue to improve the quality of science education in the Florida Keys. Job well done by all who participated in making this initiative a success!
Photo courtesy of Camilla Burton
Florida Commissioner's Academic Challenge
Congratulations to the Marathon High School Academic Challenge Team for their Division 3 second place win at the Florida Commissioner's Academic Challenge!! The competition was held April 9-12, 2014, in Orlando. It was MHS's first time at the state competition - they certainly represented Monroe County well!!
For more information, visit the Commissioner's Academic Challenge website at http://www.academic-challenge.org/cac/.
Pictured, from left: Collin Marrs, Reef Landrum, MHS teacher Carrollyn Cox, John Galjanic, Carlos O'Farrill, Seth Landry, and Sharon Rodriguez.
Photo courtesy of Carrollyn Cox
District Chorus MPA
On Tuesday, March 4, the Key West High School chorus participated in the District 16 Florida Vocal Association Music Performance Assessment (MPA) in Miami. The Conchs had four choruses entered this year: The Conch Singers (mixed), The Mistys (women), The VIP’s (men) and the Women’s Chorale (pictured). All four groups earned SUPERIOR ratings (highest possible) and will move on to State in late April. Key West again had the most choruses in the largest district (all of Dade and Monroe counties) in Florida qualify for State. Their average of three per year the past six years is in the top 1% for Florida.
Photo courtesy of James Carter
Miami Marlins Visit Key Largo School
Key Largo School’s Business Partners, The Miami Marlins, recently kicked off their “Ayudan” tour at KLS. Each year, the Marlins promote literacy at KLS by sending staff and “Billy the Marlin” to read to the students. They also donate towards the KLS playground fund each year. During this visit, the Marlins pitchers served as coaches for grade level relay races at the school, and MCSD Superintendent Mark Porter participated as the referee. Later in the year, the KLS band will perform at one of the Marlins Games.
Pictured from left to right are Miami Marlins pitchers Chris Hatcher, Mike Dunn, AJ Ramos
Photo courtesy of The Miami Marlins
Marathon High School Team Wins Mock Trial
The Mock Trial Team competition was held on February 10, 2014, at the Plantation Key Courthouse. Marathon High School Mock Trial Team competed against Coral Shores Mock Trial Team, winning a berth in the state competition in Orlando, Florida, on March 6, 7, and 8. Teams develop and perform the prosecution and defense sides of a trial based on information modified from an actual case. The case is heard by an actual judge and rated by a jury of attorneys according to strict rules. The state Mock Trial competiton is sponsored each year by the Florida Law Related Education Association.
Pictured, from left to right: Mark Porter, MCSD Superintendent; Patrick Stevens, Legal Advisor; Brittney Cunningham; Mackenzie Helms; Rebekah Smith; Liam Griffin; Melanie Ornelas; Hannah Gracy; John Galjanic, Team Captain; Elizabeth Bayerl, Faculty Sponsor.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Helms
KWHS Civil War Reenactment
Key West High School students, along with the Friends of Fort Taylor and many others, recently reenacted the Civil War at Fort Zachary Taylor. Fifth grade students across the district also attended and were able to see how the soldiers lived during the Civil War, hear a volunteer band play instruments from that time period, witness cannons explode, and attend a Civil War Chemistry class, just to name a few of the many attractions there for them to see.
Pictured: Daniel Gilleran, Patrycja Paprocka, Spencer Cook, Olivia Maliki, Annastacia Cassidy
MHS Wins District Academic Challenge
Congratulations to the Marathon High School Academic Challenge Team who was recognized as the 1st Place winners in the Monroe County School District Championship held on Tuesday, February 4th at MHS. Coral Shores High School received 2nd place and Key West High School 3rd place. Marathon High School will represent Monroe County in the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge in Orlando in April. Many thanks to the coaches and judges who assisted in the competition as well.
Pictured, from left: MHS coach Lyn Cox, Sharon Rodriguez, John Galjanic, Seth Landry, Collin Marrs, Reef Landrum, Carlos O'Farrill, and District Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Theresa Axford
Jazz Guys! at Key Largo School
Jazz Guys! John Baxter and Chris Ypsilanti recently visited Key Largo School to introduce students to jazz concepts from multiple eras. Artists included John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and hit songs such as the Pink Panther theme. Students from all grade levels attended and enjoyed the music.
Photo courtesy of Joseph Burns
Take Stock Wins Highest Award
“Monroe’s Take Stock in Children (TSiC) program is the model program for Florida,” said Madeline Pumariega, President of Take Stock Florida said yesterday in Key West.
Pumeriaga presented Leslie Holmes, TSiC county coordinator, and her team with the Excellence in Program Managementaward for receiving the highest score on the Balanced Scorecard. To receive recognition, a local program must have a comprehensive total “Outstanding” scorecard. Success is measured by evaluating the following seven areas: Percent of students recruited in grades 6-9, distribution of students by type, mentor match rate, mentor contacts, maintaining good data, maintaining good finances and showing growth. Monroe County scored “Outstanding” in all seven categories.
Click here for press release.
Pictured (from left): Lois Van Lent (College Success Coach), Chuck Licis (College Success Coach), Madeline Pumariega (President, TSIC), Leslie Holmes (Program Coordinator, TSIC), Katrina Wiatt (College Success Coach) & Jill Williams (College Success Coach)
Photo courtesy of Leslie Holmes
Gerald Adams Students Visit LKMC
The fifth grade Challenge Program students at Gerald Adams Elementary School participated in their annual community service project to Lower Keys Medical Center (LKMC). The students decorated nurses stations and shared handcrafted cards and ornaments with patients. This year the students had a wonderful opportunity to receive an extensive tour of the various departments of the hospital by Mrs. Mary Jackson, where they learned about various health-related careers.
Photo courtesy of Katrina Madok
Sugarloaf Students Receive Awards in VFW Essay Contest
Sugarloaf School students have placed 2nd and 3rd in the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) essay contest. The third place winner was K. Nguyen, who received a certificate and $100 check, and the second place winner was G. Meyer, who received a certificate and $200. SLS Principal Mr. Russell states, "I am very proud of the 56 students at Sugarloaf who participated in the contest, and congratulations to our winners.” All of the students pictured will have their essays entered into the regional round of judging.
Pictured, from left to right: (first row) L. Hausenfluck, K. Nguyen, G. Meyer, Mr. Rod Delostrinos; (back row) SLS teacher Karen McKenzie, SLS teacher Scott Smoot, SLS teacher Victoria Fairbrother-Smith and SLS Principal Harry Russell
Photo courtesy of Harry Russell
KAPOW at Marathon Middle School
Sixth and seventh grade students from Marathon Middle School recently visited Bank of America and Publix as part the Kids and the Power of Work (KAPOW) program. In this unique program, teachers and business volunteers collaborate to teach lessons that connect classroom learning with the real-world workplace and expose students to career options.
Click here to view details about their visit and photos.
For more information about the KAPOW program contact John Casbarro, President, Learning for Success, Inc. at email@example.com. See their web site at www.kapowlfs.org.
Dion's Quik Mart Grants
Dion’s Quik Mart has once again secured Exxon Mobile’s $500 school grants for all four Key West area schools as well as for Plantation Key School. These funds can be used to help schools purchase items to support math or science initiatives in their schools and the schools greatly appreciate the efforts of Mrs. Gilda Niles in obtaining these funds.
Pictured above (from left): Dion representative Gilda Niles, MCSD Principals Amber Bosco (KWHS), Mike Henriquez (HOB), Fran Herrin (GAE), Christina McPherson (Poinciana) and Dion representative Kristi Hernandez.
Pictured right: Kristie Hernandez, Teresa Regelmann (PKS) and Gilda Niles
Photos provided by Gilda Niles
2012-2013 High School Graduation Rates
Monroe County School District has released its Federal High School Graduation Rate for the 2012-2013 school year. The Florida Department of Education has reported the state and district federal graduation rates for last school year. “Beginning in 2011, federal regulations required states to calculate a four-year graduation rate that includes only standard diplomas. Previously, Florida’s official graduation rate included both standard and special diploma recipients. Students who earn a special diploma, a GED-based diploma, a certificate of completion, or who have been retained and are still in school are not included in the federal graduation rate.” Florida provides this rate as the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has required that all states adopt a uniform calculation since 2010-2011. Monroe County’s Federal Graduation Rate for 2012-2013 is 70.84% showing a 2.2% increase from the 2011-2012 high school graduation rate of 68.64%.
Monroe County School District
Florida’s Federal High School Graduation Rate
“Raising our high school graduation rate continues to be a point of great emphasis and importance for the Monroe County Schools. While I am pleased with the positive trending of our data we still are not where we want to be with regard to our graduation rates. While this data is reported by high schools, the challenge goes far beyond just our high schools and our improvement efforts must effectively reach down into our elementary and middle schools as well. Our 2012-13 improvement in our graduation rates is a success we can all share in and our efforts to improve will require focused efforts across our PK-12 system. Together I know we can continue to improve upon this important measure of student success. Our goal has to be a 100% high school graduation rate,” stated Superintendent Mark Porter.
Sugarloaf Student Receives Heroes Award
Captain Leonard from Monroe County Fire Rescue recently presented Emma S. a Heroes Award for her heroic efforts in September. Late one evening, Emma's grandfather had an accidental fall. In a heroic act of bravery, Emma swam across a canal to her aunt’s house to call 911 for help. Her grandfather was later airlifted to the hospital for life-saving treatment. Captain Leonard states, “Emma is great example of what you should do if there is an emergency. If something is not right, don’t hesitate to call 911.” Principal Russell states, “I am very proud of Emma, and she exemplifies the quality and character of students at Sugarloaf School.” We are all very proud of Emma!!
Dolphin Research Contribution to Switlik Elementary
Mandy Rodriguez, Chief Operations Officer and co-founder of Dolphin Research Center (DRC), Rita Irwin, President and CEO of DRC, and Kirsten Donald, Director of Education for DRC, together with their families, were recognized at the October Stanley Switlik Parent to Kid “PTK” night for providing the Media Center with a $2000 donation to update the Science library collection. Both print books and eBooks were purchased with the funds. Students and teachers now have access to some of the most current Science resources both in school, at home, and online. All books purchased with the funds were dedicated in memory of former Switlik student Shawn Rodriguez, son of Mandy Rodriguez and the late Jayne Shannon Rodriguez. The students and staff are truly excited to have these new resources to support classroom learning as well as personal interests. Thank you DRC for your generous support of Switlik students.
Pictured, left to right, back row: Jose Castro, Kelly Rodriguez, Rita Irwin, Della Rodriguez, Mandy Rodriguez. Front row: Kirsten Donald, Rowan, Skyler, Riley and Bryson
(photo courtesy of Kerri Worthington)
Sugarloaf School Box Tops
Sugarloaf School PTO is pleased to announce that $377.60 was raised through the Box Tops for Education® Program in the first nine weeks of school. The winning classrooms for both Elementary (Mrs. Diaz) and Middle (Mrs. Richey) were awarded a popsicle party on October 29th.
Click here to read how the Sugarloaf PTO Uses the Box Top Program as a Key Fundraising Effort!
(Photo courtesy of Harry Russell)
Sunshine State Scholar
Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter has announced John Galjanic from Marathon High School will represent the Monroe County School District at the Sunshine State Scholars Program in February 2014. John Galjanic was recently recognized at the November school board meeting in Marathon. Each year the local high schools nominate a junior who is distinguished in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to be their representative for the District Sunshine State Scholar. One outstanding student represents each high school, and the three nominees were Phillip Atkin from Coral Shores High School, Alexandria Lichtl from Key West High School, and John Galjanic from Marathon High School.
Click here for the press release.
Coral Shores Principal Selected as District's Distinguished Educator
Dave Murphy, Principal of Coral Shores High School, has been chosen as the Monroe County School District selection for the 2013 University of Florida Distinguished Educator Award. The Distinguished Educator Award is granted to a select few individuals who are identified by their colleagues as exceptional educators. This program was created by the University of Florida in 1988 to honor the important role teachers and school administrators play in shaping the lives of Florida's children.
Click here for the press release.
KWHS Students Receive Community Service Recognition
Riley Schill (pictured, left) was recently named the Key West High School Prudential Spirit of Community Award recipient. Cayla Deabreu received a Certificate of Merit for her volunteer community service.
Schill was selected for his over 850 hours of community service to the SCPA in addition to numerous hours of volunteer work for several other organizations. He is now eligible for the Florida Youth Volunteer of the Year award. Deabreu was given the Merit award for her work as the founder and president of the 2nd Family Club.
“Young people who contribute their time and talents to their communities are role models for all of us,” said John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. “We salute their dedication, their achievements and their spirit of community.”
Photo courtesy of Amber Archer Bosco
First State Bank Presents Framed News Article to PKS
Nola Acker, First State Bank Branch Manager, Key Largo, presents a beautifully framed news article from The Key West Citizen to Lisa Taylor, Plantation Key School Principal. The article was a full page write-up reporting PKS’s school start, noting a new principal leading the way and the focus of “positivity” for all our students this year. The framed art work was hung in the school lobby for all to see. Thank you First State Bank for your community support and to The Key West Citizen for the uplifting article!
Photo courtesy of Teresa Regelmann
PKS Students Trick or Treat for UNICEF
Plantation Key School students in Mrs. Brinkman’s and Mrs. Carter’s third grades classes participated in Trick or Treat for UNICEF. The money collected goes to the Kiwanis and UNICEF Eliminate Project. This project provides women in need with vaccinations to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. $1.80 provides a series of three vaccine doses to protect a woman and her future newborns. The Kiwanis Club of the Upper Keys would like to thank these students for making a difference in the lives of children around the world.
Photo courtesy of Teresa Regelmann
KLS Red Ribbon Week
Key Largo School students rounded out Red Ribbon Week with a message that says it all! For the week of October 28th, students and staff have been saying “No to Drugs” with a variety of anti-drug activities and celebrating being drug-free!
Photo courtesy of Julia Hoar
Sugarloaf School Administrative Superheroes don costumes to support the Anti-Bullying efforts at Sugarloaf School. With these heroes on the scene, surely their anti-bullying efforts will be successful!
From Left, Rebecca Palomino, Guidance Counselor, Harry Russell, Principal and Wendy McPherson, Assistant Principal
Photo courtesy of Harry Russell
MKMA Supports Marine Propulsion Programs
The Middle Keys Marine Association, Inc. (MKMA) recently presented $500 awards to Marathon High School (MHS) and Coral Shores High School (CSHS) Marine Propulsion Programs.
Pictured, from left to right, MKMA Treasurer Dave Foley, CSHS teacher Chris Catlett, MHS teacher Glenn Naklicki, and MKMA Director Steve Pearson
Photo courtesy of David Foley
Key West High School Student Recognition
Key West High School Principal Amber Archer Bosco is proud to announce recent outstanding accomplishments by Key West High School students.
Pictured above are some of the outstanding students recognized including Ashley Nathan, Kaitlyn Rahming, Patrycja Poprocka, Riley Schill, Ramon Arza-Sosa, Morgan Denhart, Caleb Hiller, Michael Burgner, James Carter, James Howanitz, Erik Vinson, Shaun Buchman, Frederick Carter and Queenie Tabag
(photo courtesy of Amber Bosco)
Poinciana Elementary "Donuts with Dads"
Monroe County Superintendent of Schools Mark T. Porter recently joined Poinciana Elementary students Tate G. and Jennifer P. as they participated in Poinciana’s annual Donuts with Dads event. Students were encouraged to invite any important man in their lives. A huge thanks to Mr. Porter for coming and filling in for some working dads. Great books were read and delicious donuts were devoured!
(Photo courtesy of Sarah Garr)
Constitution Day at HOB
On September 17, 2013, students in Ms. Garrido’s 5th grade class at Horace O'Bryant School (HOB) worked with 8th grade teacher Mr. Nelson to celebrate Constitution Day. Constitution Day is celebrated every year by reciting the Preamble to the Constitution. Students and staff are also encouraged to remember the importance of the Constitution, which was signed by many members of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. Mr. Nelson dressed as the “father” of the Constitution, James Madison. While the Preamble was being read aloud, Ms. Garrido’s class signed the words to the Preamble for both the elementary students and then again for the middle school students.
Pictured: Mr. Nelson with HOB students K. Bender, B. Rieck, J. Bayley, N. Skinner, and G. Ewing
Constitution Day at KLS
Mrs. Brown’s second grade class at Key Largo School celebrated Constitution Day by examining artifacts from the time period. The artifacts were from a traveling trunk assembled by Reading Coach Sandra Prew on her visit to Philadelphia as part of the Teaching American History Grant. The students excitedly discussed, used and asked questions about the artifacts.
(Photos courtesy of Eva Brown)
MHS Dolphins @ American Legion
American Legion Post 154 treated Marathon High School Dolphins football players and coaches to a steak dinner before their Sept 20 home game. Pictured with the team is the Legion's Richard Mattick, who coordinated the event.
(Photo courtesy of Kathy Lancaster)
FKCC Course for Upcoming Educators
Florida Keys Community College is offering a course at their Upper Keys campus called "An Introduction to the Teaching Profession." Monroe County School District teachers Mrs. Lindsay Poetz (Plantation Key School) and Ms. Michele Zofchak (Coral Shores HS) recently visited the class as guest speakers.
Pictured are Mrs. Poetz, Ms. Zofchak, FKCC Instructor Ms. Sandi Bisceglia, and some of the local Keys students taking the class, who are exploring becoming teachers.
Photo courtesy of Sandi Bisceglia
United Way "Stuff the Bus" Program
Plantation Key School (PKS) students were excited to see United Way volunteers drive up to their school recently with loads of school supplies donated from throughout the Keys communities. PKS Principal, Lisa Taylor, and PKS staff and students are very thankful for the United Way's support of education. The supplies provided in this Keys-wide effort will go a long way to help student academic success at all schools in the district. Thanks to the United Way, its community partners, and the Florida Keys community!!
(Photo courtesy of Teresa Regelmann)
Congratulations to Stacey Milchman!
Florida Governor Rick Scott recently recognized four 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year for their commitment to improving Florida’s education system by presenting them with the Governor's Shine Award. The purpose of the award is to highlight teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of educational excellence.
Governor Scott said, “Florida teachers are the cornerstone for this state’s education system. Through their innovative teaching techniques and understanding of how children need to learn, they are helping to nurture an educated, college and career-ready workforce.”
Recognized from Monroe County was Stacey Milchman (pictured, third from the right), second grade teacher at Plantation Key School. Stacey has been teaching for more than 19 years. She believes it is her duty to provide her students with the highest level of learning. "In my classroom, I work tirelessly to foster a sense of respect, community, and belonging so each student is aware that he or she is an important, integral part of the group," Stacey said. "I also strive to create a nurturing and challenging environment with high expectations that are realistic. As a second grade teacher, I am enthusiastic, caring, patient, and flexible. I provide choices to empower my students and try to plan lessons with hands-on activities and real world application. Personally, I have a love of learning and constantly collaborate and incorporate new learning styles, technologies, and research-based strategies to inspire my students and keep them engaged in the learning process."
MCSD Employees Are Charting the Course to Excellence
All Monroe County School District employees were welcomed back for the 2013-14 school year at a district-wide professional development day on Tuesday, August 13. Teachers and school and district staff attended a series of workshop sessions centered around the implemention of Common Core State Standards. Sheldon Suga, General Manager at Hawk's Cay Resort shared his customer service expertise, and Superintendent Mark T. Porter spoke about the district's strategic planning process. “This first-ever event was a great success due to the efforts of many people in the school district and in our communities," said Superintendent Porter. "It was a great way to build rapport and to celebrate the beginning of what we believe will be an outstanding year in the Monroe County Schools in 2013-14.”
MCSD Welcomes New Teachers
Teachers who are new to the Monroe County School District participated in New Teacher Orientation on Thursday, August 8th. "As educators, we never know the full measure of the learning we inspire," said Dr. Ramon Dawkins, MCSD Executive Director of Human Resources. "The thing of which I am certain is that these new educators will touch generations of young minds. Theirs is a responsibility to lead the future. The preparedness they demonstrated during this year’s New Teacher Orientation proves the best and the brightest will continue to lead the learning in MCSD classrooms.
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