News Slices:
Governor Crist Announces Plan to Increase High School Achievement
2008 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Announced
Lieutenant Governor Kottkamp Recognized Community College Month
Florida Districts and Schools Recognized For Exceptional Performance
Education Commissioner Recognizes Florida’s Outstanding Business Partners
Phi Theta Kappa 2008 All-Florida Academic Team Honored During Awards Ceremony
Miami Dade College Commencement Ceremony To Feature U.S. House Speaker
Florida Math Day To Focus on Financial Literacy
Department of Education Seeks Survey Input

Seeds of Success:
Marion County Teacher Recognized for Her Animation
Sixth Grader Wins National Art Award
2008 Flight of Teacher Liaisons Selected
Gulf Breeze Schools Set To Compete In National Event
Rutherford High School Senior Wins State Voice Competition
Orange County Public School Student Achieves Perfect Score On ACT

Branching Out:
2008 Florida Literacy Conference
Advanced Placement Summer Institute for Administrators
7th Annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference

 


April 25, 2008

Vol. 2, Issue 9

News Slices

Governor Crist Announces Plan to Increase High School Achievement
Governor Charlie Crist announced Florida’s participation in the American Diploma Project Network, a nationwide movement designed to improve preparation of high school students for higher education and the 21st century workforce. Governor Crist designated Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith to lead Florida’s participation in the American Diploma Project.

In October 2007, the Go Higher, Florida! Task Force recommended that Governor Crist join 32 other Governors whose states are currently participating in the American Diploma Project Network. The task force developed recommendations for preparing all Florida students for a successful transition to college or other career preparation. For more information, visit www.flgov.com/release/9970.


2008 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Announced
Elizabeth Stephens was announced as the 2008 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year (SREY) by State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair and Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith during the April State Board of Education (SBE) meeting in Tallahassee. Stephens is the manager of the SuccessMaker Lab, a reading and mathematics computer lab, at Springfield Elementary School in Bay County. The SREY Program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for the significant contributions they make to their school systems.

The SREY receives an award check of $1,000 from the Department of Education. Each finalist receives an award check of $500 and each district nominee receives an award check of $200.

For all the finalists, visit www.fldoe.org.


Lieutenant Governor Kottkamp Recognized Community College Month
Lieutenant Governor Kottkamp recognized Florida Community College Month during the April State Board of Education meeting in Tallahassee. The Lieutenant Governor read Governor Charlie Crist’s Community College Month Proclamation, which celebrates the many contributions community colleges have made to Florida over the years.

The proclamation also recognizes the “Go Higher – Get Accepted” campaign. Sponsored by FACTS.org and the Department of Education, the goal of the campaign is to ensure that all high school seniors who are not university-bound apply for and receive a letter of acceptance from their community college prior to graduating from high school. The campaign encourages students to log onto FACTS.org where they can complete a step-by-step admissions application for their local, open-door community college. In its second year, the “Go Higher – Get Accepted” campaign has already helped nearly 2,000 students pursue their dream of a higher education.

For more than 50 years, Florida’s community colleges have served a unique higher education mission – to provide affordable access to college and workforce training to ensure a highly-skilled, competitive workforce.


Florida Districts and Schools Recognized For Exceptional Performance
Twelve Florida Reading First school districts and 13 Blue Ribbon Schools (BRS) were honored by the State Board of Education (SBE) and Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith at a special awards breakfast in Tallahassee. The Reading First school districts were acknowledged for their effective use of Reading First grant funds to improve literacy skills within their schools. The Blue Ribbon Schools were recognized for being named to the federal BRS program based on the high academic performance of their students.

For more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org.


Education Commissioner Recognizes Florida’s Outstanding Business Partners
More than 80 of Florida’s top business partners were honored by Commissioner Eric J. Smith at the 21st Annual Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards ceremony in Jacksonville. Sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation, the awards ceremony salutes businesses throughout the state that have shown a commitment to improving the academic success of all students.

Universal Orlando® Resort received the top honor when it was presented with the “Commissioner’s Statewide Award of Distinction” for its outstanding contributions to education and educators statewide. For more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_04_11/2008_04_11.asp.


Phi Theta Kappa 2008 All-Florida Academic Team Honored During Awards Ceremony
Members of the 2008 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Florida Academic Team were honored by Florida Community Colleges Chancellor Will Holcombe and several college presidents during an awards ceremony held at Florida State University in Tallahassee. This year’s team consists of 104 students representing Florida's 28 community colleges, one independent college, and one independent university. Students named to the All-Florida Academic Team are chosen based on their exceptional academic achievement, leadership, and service to the community.

The All-Florida Academic Team is composed of students who were nominated by their respective colleges to the All-USA Academic Team competition sponsored by USA Today and PTK, the International Honor Society for two-year colleges. As part of the awards ceremony, team members were presented with PTK medallions and certificates. They also received special recognition by the Florida Legislature and other state leaders during a visit to the Capitol. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_04_15-3.asp.


Miami Dade College Commencement Ceremony To Feature U.S. House Speaker
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will deliver the keynote address during the commencement ceremony on the North Campus of Miami Dade College (MDC) May 3.

Pelosi, the first woman to hold the post of speaker, follows a long list of marquee names who have spoken to graduates at the college. Others who have spoken at MDC's commencement include President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush and Sen. Mel Martinez.

MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the United States, with more than 165,000 students enrolled. More than 9,000 students will graduate May 3 at seven commencement ceremonies representing eight campuses.


Florida Math Day To Focus on Financial Literacy
The Florida Department of Education Office of Math and Science will recognize its first-ever Math Day on May 1. On this day, every school in the state is invited to teach a specific mathematics lesson relating to financial literacy.

The Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) and Florida Association of Mathematics Supervisors (FAMS), in support of Florida Math Day will also be offering an award to the writers of each of the four selected lessons for implementation. Teachers and other interested mathematics educators were asked to submit lesson plans to be considered for the State Math Day lessons.

To learn more about Florida Math Day, visit www.fldoestem.org/page290.aspx.


Department of Education Seeks Survey Input
The Florida Department of Education will be distributing surveys this May to more than 170,000 parents of children with disabilities receiving special education services. The confidential survey will allow parents of children with disabilities to rate characteristics of teachers, administrators, and schools that facilitate their involvement in their children’s disabilities.

Once data is collected, it will be analyzed and submitted to the USDOE. This is a unique opportunity for parents to provide input directly to the Department.

The survey is part of the Florida Annual Performance Report that is submitted to the USDOE. Parents are encouraged to submit survey responses by May 30, 2008.

 




Seeds of Success



Marion County Teacher Recognized for Her Animation
Karin Gunn, a West Port High School photography and digital animation instructor, has been named one of the nation’s best by the National Art Education Association. The honor was given to two secondary teachers who demonstrated excellence in incorporating digital design and technology into their curriculum. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/03-26-4.asp.


Sixth Grader Wins National Art Award
Sixth grader Amanda Tutera from Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, won the national award in the Unilever International Schools Art Project (USIAP). The USIAP is a competition that is part of a series of annual contemporary art commissions at the Tate Modern, Britain's museum of international modern art in London. Amanda’s entry incorporated science, geography, social studies, history, math, language arts and Spanish into an art project of creating butterflies with dot painting technique native of the Aboriginal Tribes of Australia. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/03-28.asp.


2008 Flight of Teacher Liaisons Selected
Six Florida public school teachers were selected by the Space Foundation as 2008 Flight of Teacher Liaisons. The Teacher Liaison program selects teachers who actively promote space and science education in the classroom and the community. The teachers will travel to Colorado Springs, CO, for a symposium and professional development workshop.

The Flight of Teacher Liaisons are: Laurie Hess, Timbercrest Elementary School in Deltona; Jeffrey Kaloostian, TR Robinson High School/MacDill Aeronautical Academy in Tampa; Kimberley Klein, Union Park Elementary School in Orlando; Frank Lock, Lemon Bay High School in Englewood; John Poe, Samuel W. Wolfson High School in Jacksonville; and Kathleen Poe, Fletcher Middle School in Jacksonville Beach.


Gulf Breeze Schools Set To Compete In National Event
Students from Gulf Breeze Middle School and Gulf Breeze High School are preparing to represent their schools and the entire state of Florida at a national science, math and technology-based academic competition in Washington, D.C.

After winning first place in a recent state competition in Orlando, Science Olympiad teams from Northwest Florida will compete with more than 60 U.S. teams at the National Science Olympiad. For details, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/04-07.asp.


Rutherford High School Senior Wins State Voice Competition
Rutherford High School senior Darius Jackson in Panama City, Fla., recently won first place in the Grady-Rayam Negro Spiritual Competition in Lakeland, Fla. Darius received a college tuition assistance grant for $3,000 and a concert tour of Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville with the chance of performing in Washington, DC. For more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/04-10.asp.


Orange County Public School Student Achieves Perfect Score On ACT
This year, only one Florida student out of 29,000 statewide earned a perfect 36 on the ACT exam which assesses high school students’ knowledge and ability to complete college-level work.

Ryan Jepson, a junior at Winter Park High School, joins an elite group of 56 students nationwide who received a perfect score of 36 on the exam. Nearly 300,000 students took the test the same month that Jepson took the exam.


Branching Out

2008 Florida Literacy Conference
May 7 - 9, 2008
The Regal Sun Resort at Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando

Join hundreds of adult and family literacy practitioners, volunteers and adult learners this May to network, develop new skills and share promising practices during the 2008 Florida Literacy Conference. This literacy event offers a wide range of sessions presented by local, state and national educators. Sessions are designed to energize you with new ideas and hands-on strategies that you can put to work for your program and students. For more information, call the Florida Literacy Coalition at (407) 246-7110 or visit www.floridaliteracy.org.


 

Advanced Placement Summer Institute for Administrators
June 25-27, 2008
Clearwater Beach

The Advanced Placement (AP) Summer Institute for Administrators will take place at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort on June 25-27, 2008. Teachers, principals and district personnel are invited to participate to discuss a variety of topics about AP programs. This year's institute will focus on building equity in AP programs, teaching strategies and the relationship of the course to the AP Exam. For more information, please e-mail sro@collegeboard.org.


 

7th Annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference
June 29 - July 2, 2008
Orlando

The Just Read, Florida! office is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference to be held June 29 - July 2, 2008 at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

This year's Leadership Conference will combine forces with the Office of Mathematics and Science to present a strand of curriculum sessions focusing on innovative best practices for K-12 curriculum and implementation of the new standards (in lieu of the annual fall K-12 Conference). This year's conference is expected to be the largest ever with an audience of more than 5,000 educators.

Registration and additional information on the conference is available at www.justreadflorida.com/conference/.


 
 
 
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