May 29, 2009
Vol. 3, Issue 10
Governor Appoints New State Board Member
Governor Crist appointed John R. Padget to the State Board of Education earlier this month. Mr. Padget, a Key West resident, is a self-employed private equity investor and devotes much of his time to philanthropic organizations. Currently, he serves several charitable programs including Florida's Take Stock In Children program, the Monroe County Education Foundation, the Florida Keys Educational Foundation and the Lower Florida Keys Hospital District. Mr. Padget replaces Phoebe Raulerson, a former Okeechobee County Superintendent, whose term of appointment ended in December.
Department of Education Releases 2009 Third Grade FCAT Results
The percent of Florida third-graders performing at or above grade level in math reached its highest point to date according to Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results released May 21, 2009. The results build on the state’s long-term progress in math where the percentage of third-graders performing at or above grade level has increased 26 percent in only nine years. Additionally, African-American and Hispanic third-graders continue to close the math achievement gap with their White counterparts. Florida also continues to experience long-term reading progress. To learn more, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2009/2009_05_21.asp.
State Board of Education Selects Top School-Related Employee
The State Board of Education and Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith announced Jannette Thompson-Irwin as the 2009 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year. Ms. Thompson-Irwin earned the award for her exceptional work at Pompano Beach Middle School in Broward County, where she serves not only as the Confidential Office Manger, but assists as a school nurse, counselor, and community liaison and security specialist. For more details, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2009/2009_05_19.asp.
Florida’s Top Education Business Partner For 2009 Announced
Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith, along with Florida Education Foundation Chairman Alan J. Levy and members of the State Board of Education presented AT&T Florida President Marshall M. Criser III., with the “Commissioner’s Statewide Award of Distinction” for his company’s outstanding contributions to education throughout Florida. Sponsored by the Florida Education Foundation, the Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards saluted more than 70 businesses across the state for their commitment to improving the academic success of all students. To see the listing of all businesses recognized, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2009/2009_05_19/LocalBPWinnersminichart.doc (Word).
The Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards are administered by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation to encourage successful alliances for the benefit of Florida’s students. This year, the AT&T Foundation awarded a $525,000 grant to the Florida Education Foundation to supply laptops to select elementary schools across the state as part of the state’s new reading assessment. AT&T also developed a partnership to donate a portion of new wireless activations in Florida to support ongoing educational initiatives.
For 25 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have been committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through their philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs.
Five Finalists Announced For Teacher of the Year
Several Florida teachers were chosen as finalists for the 2010 Macy’s/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Award. During the surprise announcements, Macy’s and the Department of Education presented teachers from Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Orange, Leon and Miami-Dade counties with a $5,000 check and a $500 Macy's electronic gift card. Each school was also awarded a check for $1,000.
Congratulations to the following finalists for this year’s Teacher of the Year Award:
- Megan Marie Allen of Cleveland Elementary School, Tampa (Hillsborough County)
- Marilynn Rose Pedek of Suncoast Community High School, West Palm Beach (Palm Beach County)
- Melissa Reiker of Apopka High School, Apopka (Orange County)
- Emily Barbacci of Lawton Chiles High School, Tallahassee (Leon County)
- Patricia Fairclough of Air Base Elementary School, Homestead, (Miami-Dade County)
Summer Feeding Programs Available For Communities
As the school year comes to a close, students and families who regularly benefit from school breakfast and lunch programs will no longer have this resource. The Summer Food Service Program, available through the United States Department of Agriculture, helps provide meals for school-aged children. Various summer programs, including parks and recreation, camps, and bible schools are just some examples of potentially eligible sponsors who may be able to offer these vital meals to our students.
The Florida Department of Education Food and Nutrition Management Staff are available to assist communities with the Summer Feeding Programs. Simply call 1-800-504-6609 to learn more about this wonderful opportunity to help the children in your communities this summer.
Miami Dade College Celebrates Opening of Health Clinic
Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Medical Center Campus and the Miami Rescue Mission (MRM) have collaborated for many years on initiatives aimed at serving the community while also providing students with the real, hands-on experience they need to be successful in their careers and civic lives. The latest partnership involves the MRM’s new onsite clinic, which will serve as a clinical site for MDC’s physician assistant, nursing, and other health science students.
MDC and MRM officials joined elected officials, including Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and State Representative James Bush, community leaders and Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Ana M. Viamonte Ros, to celebrate the opening of the new clinic May 14, 2009.
Polk State College Awarded $718,000 Grant to Expand Corporate College Programs
Polk State College (formerly Polk Community College) has been awarded a $718,000 grant through the federal Department of Education to establish degree and certification programs relating to the Corporate College’s supply chain management, advanced manufacturing and green construction and retrofitting.
Polk State College will use this funding to develop short and long term training programs leading to industry certification and an Associate of Science in Engineering Technology degree. Funding will be used to develop, beta-test, revise curricula, hire staff and acquire lab equipment applicable to a wide range of industries, including solar and photovoltaic energy.
Chipola Auto Program Recognized As Top 20 School
The Chipola College Automotive Technology program was named one of the Top 20 Schools in the country by Tomorrow’s Technician and Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company. More than 130 programs from 60 technical schools and colleges entered this year’s competition. Chipola’s Automotive Technology Program is certified by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) program.
Florida Teacher of the Year Attends National Ceremony Honoring Educators
Jean Lamar, 2009 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year, attended the Rose Garden Ceremony to honor the nation’s top teachers. The White House ceremony held April 27, 2009, recognized the National Teacher of the Year and celebrated the service of teachers from across the nation. Lamar represented Florida well and was proud to represent Florida on a national stage. During her visit, Lamar was able to meet President Barack Obama, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the Vice President’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden. To learn more, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/05-06-2.asp.
Florida Middle School Places Third in National Science Competition
Congratulations to Abraham Lincoln Middle School of Alachua County for winning third place in the U.S. Department of Education National Science Bowl for designing, building, and racing its team’s hydrogen-fueled model car. Eighth-graders Keshav Vemuri, David Liu, and Emilie Song and seventh-graders Kyung-seok Oh and Robin Xu, represented their school at the national competition, going up against 35 other states. For the full story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/05-11.asp.
Orlando Senior Selected As Top Youth Volunteer
Shardy Camargo, a senior from Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, was chosen as one of America’s Top 10 Youth Volunteers for 2009 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. She led a group of 40 high school students in writing and publishing a book about homeless people after experiencing homelessness herself a few years earlier.
As her school’s Beta Club vice president, Shardy encouraged fellow club members to help write a book to raise awareness of homelessness. She and fellow students went to the homeless shelter to interview 30 adults, and then attended two workshops with University of Florida professors to begin the writing process. Afterward, Shardy spent several months editing the students’ chapters, and the book, “Everyone Has a Story to Tell,” which was published in 2007.
Florida Students Honored As Presidential Scholars
The Presidential Scholars program was created in 1964 to honor academic achievement and was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. For the past 45 years, this prestigious program has honored more than 6,000 of the nation's top-performing students. Congratulations to the following public school Presidential Scholars:
Fedja Kadribasic, West Boca Raton Community High School, Boca Raton
[*] Priscilla S. Aleman, Design & Architecture Senior High School, Miami Lakes
[*] Ernest F. Baker, Miami Carol City Senior High School, Opa-Locka
[*] An asterisk indicates a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Florida Sophomore Awarded U.S. Government Grant to Study Abroad
Nicole Green, a Palm Beach Central High School sophomore in Wellington, Fla., is one of 14 students to receive a U.S. Department of State-sponsored full scholarship to study abroad in Mali through the YES Abroad (Youth Exchange & Study) Program, implemented in part by AYUSA (Academic Year in the USA).
The Youth Exchange & Study Program was originally developed as an inbound program in response to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, to build bridges of understanding between the United States and countries with significant Muslim populations. For the 2008-2009 school year, more than 850 international YES students are living across the nation, attending local high schools and participating in community service projects. For more details, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/05-15.asp.
Indian River State College Instructor Named 2009 Adult Basic Education Teacher of the Year
Indian River State College instructor Judy Bracken has been named the recipient of the Commission on Adult Basic Education’s (COABE) 2009 Edgar M. Easley Award to the Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Bracken is an adjunct instructor in the Indian River State College GED Department.
Bracken has worked at the College for more than 20 years and has been in adult education for more than a decade. Bracken is highly enthusiastic and passionate about helping others improve their lives through education.
Orange County School Recognized for Counseling Program
Grand Avenue Primary Learning Center in Orange County is one of 72 schools from 15 states that will be recognized June 29, 2009, for making exemplary commitment to comprehensive school counseling programs according to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).
The schools, which reach across the K-12 spectrum, will receive the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation during a special ceremony at ASCA’s annual conference in Dallas, Texas. For the full story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/05-18-2.asp.
Brevard Schools Receive Music Demonstration Designation
Seven Brevard County schools were designated by the Florida Music Educator’s Association (FMEA) and the Florida Department of Education as Music Demonstration Schools. Congratulations to Audubon Elementary, Cambridge Elementary, Central Middle, Croton Elementary, Gemini Elementary, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School of the Arts, and Saturn Elementary for their accomplishments. These schools received awards at the FMEA conference in January for offering music programs worthy of recognition as instructional exemplars. Oak Park Elementary, also in Brevard County, was also recognized as an Honorable Mention.
Palm Beach County School Wins National Sports Contest
Panther Run Elementary School in Palm Beach County recently won a heart monitor package by earning 8,325 points in the Physical Education Fun For Everyone contest sponsored by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Students, staff and parents entered the contest as part of National Physical Education and Sport Week held May 4-8, 2009. For the full story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/05-20.asp.
NASDTEC Annual Conference
May 31 – June 3, 2009
Hyatt Regency Riverfront
The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) 81st Annual Conference, Shifting Sands: Sculpting the New Face of Education, is designed to highlight the changes expected as the new administration begins its efforts to fulfill pledges to reshape public education in the United States. In addition to general sessions, the conference will provide breakout sessions, interactive discussions, and networking opportunities focusing on the areas of Educator Preparation, Certification, Professional Standards and Practices, Program Approval, Technology, and Leadership.
All those interested in the preparation and certification of teachers and other educators are invited to attend. Teacher educators, school superintendents, personnel directors, and others will benefit from the current, up-to-date knowledge provided in matters relating to professional standards and practices and the preparation or certification of professional school personnel. For additional information or to register for the conference, please visit the NASDTEC Web site at http://www.nasdtec.com/.
The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification is dedicated to licensing well-prepared, safe and wholesome educators for our nation's schools. NASDTEC represents professional standards boards, commissions and state departments of education in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Educational Activity, the U.S. Territories, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario, which are responsible for the preparation, licensure and discipline of educational personnel. Associate members include Canadian provinces and representatives of other constituent groups with an interest in the preparation and certification of educational personnel.
2009 SACS CASI Summer Conference
June 15-16, 2009
The Florida Hotel & Conference Center
The 2009 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) Summer Conference will be held June 15-16, 2009 at the Florida Hotel & Conference Center in Orlando, Fla. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about school improvement, accreditation Processes, preparation for the SACS CASI Quality Assurance Review (QAR) team visit, and qualifying for a QAR team. To register or to learn more, visit www.advanc-ed.org/florida.
Florida Reading Association 47th Annual Conference
Sept. 10-13, 2009
Shingle Creek Resort
The Florida Reading Association’s 47th Annual Conference, Reading: Rockets You to the Future will be held Sept. 10-13, 2009, at the Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. Topic areas will span PreK-12 grade and will cover all aspects of literacy. Literacy leaders such as Dr. Janet Allen, Dr. Richard Gentry, Dr. Judith Irvin, and Dr. Dorothy Strickland will be presenting sessions. To learn more, visit www.flreads.org.
Florida School Counselor Association 2009 Annual Convention:
Oct. 29 - 31, 2009
Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld
The most focused program in school counseling in Florida, the 2009 Florida School Counselor Association Convention will be delivered by thoughtful leaders from Florida and throughout the United States. The hottest and most relevant topics will be explored by leading industry advocates, state officials, counselor educators and, most importantly, professional school counselors. To learn more or to reserve your hotel, visit http://www.fla-schoolcounselor.org/.