News Slices Governor Crist Honors Megan Allen as the 2010 Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year Megan Allen, a fourth year teacher from Cleveland Elementary School in Hillsborough County, was announced as the Florida Department of Education/Macy’s 2010 Teacher of the Year on July 9. Mrs. Allen will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for education, visiting schools throughout the state to share information on educational opportunities and challenges in Florida. She will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from Macy's, a customized trophy and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
Explore Adoption Day Declared by Governor Crist In recognition of the families who have opened their hearts and homes to Florida’s children, Governor Charlie Crist declared July 22, 2009, Explore Adoption Day. While attending adoption ceremonies around the state that day, Crist emphasized that Florida’s children are our state’s most precious resource and encouraged potential adoptive parents to consider providing a loving and nurturing permanent home for Florida’s children. Crist also touted the state’s Adoption Benefit program for state and public school employees who adopt children from Florida’s child welfare system. Through the program, state and public school employees may be eligible to receive a one-time $5,000 or $10,000 stipend for adopting. For more information about adoption in Florida, visit www.adoptflorida.org or call 1-800-96-ADOPT.
Nationally Renowned Posse Foundation Establishes Services in Miami State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair joined education advocates from throughout south Florida July 8 to celebrate the grand opening of the new Posse Foundation office in Miami. The new office brings special distinction to the city by making it only the seventh location in the nation to house the nationally-recognized college access and youth leadership development program. The Posse Foundation identifies dynamic student leaders who come from culturally diverse backgrounds to form a “posse” that will receive support and encouragement from select colleges and universities. Thanks in part to the support network established, Posse participants have achieved a 90 percent graduation rate from elite postsecondary schools.
Florida’s Workforce Programs Garner Nearly $1 Million The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the Florida Department of Education and Workforce Florida, Inc., $933,944 for exceeding their target performance levels for education and employment activities. Dispersed under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the grant was awarded to nearly a dozen states for continued achievement in improvements in literacy levels, job placement after training, and retention in employment.
The funds are available through June 30, 2011, to support innovative workforce development and education activities. In accordance with the grant, the activities will establish demonstration projects for developing and/or improving postsecondary transition services for adult education students or to develop an alignment model linking workforce, education and economic development.
College and Career Readiness Initiative Creates New Opportunities for High School Seniors Rising seniors in Brevard County who are interested in a postsecondary education but are in need of extra academic support are invited to participate in the new College and Career Readiness/Success Initiative. Through a partnership with Brevard County Schools and Brevard Community College, qualifying students can take courses in mathematics, reading and writing to become more proficient in the skills necessary for postsecondary success. Eligible students will be identified based on scores from their ACT test taken in April.
Qualifying students will receive a parent notification form from their child’s school. Parents with questions about the new initiative and how it will benefit their child may contact the school’s guidance counselor for more information.
Obama Administration Proposes Increased Funding for Community Colleges President Barack Obama recently unveiled a $12 billion plan to help community colleges throughout the country prepare millions of Americans for a new generation of jobs over the next ten years. Dubbed the “American Graduation Initiative,” the plan aims to bolster the two-year community college system which serves as a launching point for millions of students working toward a career or their continued higher education. The Obama administration placed significant emphasis on the need to train future employees in emerging industries such as new green technologies.
The President’s community college plan also calls for five million additional community college graduates by 2020, and for the development of new measures of community colleges' success. The plan will offer competitive grants to colleges seeking to improve instruction, build ties with businesses for career pathways and offer students more personalized services.
Great Florida Teach-In Goes Virtual Throughout the month of July, educators were able to search and apply for job opportunities posted through The Great Florida Teach-In without leaving their homes. Traditionally staged in a large conference center, the Teach-In provided teacher candidates seeking employment in Florida with a convenient virtual forum to obtain interviews with school and district personnel responsible for hiring teachers.
From July 15 through July 21, candidates were able to search Teach-In vacancy listings and apply for the positions that interested them. On July 22, a 10-hour virtual window enabled candidates and employers to conduct real-time interviews by communicating via instant messaging, telephone and e-mail. Attendees were also able to upload employment documents, such as resumes, transcripts, and teaching certificates as well as download employer information into a virtual briefcase for future reference.
This year’s virtual Teach-In provided an economical way to match school districts and charter schools with high quality educators to meet the diverse needs of schools.
Pensacola Junior College Awarded Grant to Improve Instruction Through Technology Pensacola Junior College has been awarded a $1.85 million grant to help mostly first-time-in-college students and those in need of remediation by purchasing classroom technology and providing faculty training for developmental and general education programs. The Title III "Strengthening Institutions" grant from the U.S. Department of Education will be used to help stock classrooms with technology that instructors need to aid in their teaching.
An affiliate of the American Health Management Association, the FHIMA is a membership organization for health information management. Its goal is to foster the professional development of its members through education, communication and advocacy.
Tallahassee Community College Awarded Innovation Generation Grant The Motorola Foundation announced that Tallahassee Community College (TCC) has received an $18,700 Innovation Generation grant. These funds were received through the TCC Foundation and will support programs that engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to build confidence and skills they need for success.
Seeds of Success
Florida Schools Shine in National Healthy Schools Program The Alliance for a Healthier Generation will honor 114 schools from across the nation at their Healthy Schools Forum Aug. 4-6, 2009. Schools that meet national school health best practices are recognized with platinum, gold, silver or bronze level awards, based on their range of healthy eating and physical activity programs and policies.
Twenty-five schools from Alachua, Escambia, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade and Pinellas counties have earned silver and bronze level awards by promoting a healthier school environment for students and staff. Florida’s schools represent more than 20 percent of all schools receiving awards. For a list of winners, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/07-20.asp.
Manatee County School Wins First Place at National Technology Competition Southeast High School’s Technology Student Association (TSA) team proved itself worthy of a championship crown when the 18-member team won six first place, three second place and two third place awards at the 31st Annual TSA National Conference in Denver, Colo. July 28-July 2. The Manatee County school finished as Florida’s top high school at the conference.
In Denver, Southeast’s TSA team entered 25 of the 37 high school competitions offered and finished in the Top 10 in 20 competitions with a total of 71 student finalist positions.
At the Florida TSA State Conference in Orlando last April, the Southeast team won the distinction of becoming Florida’s number one high school after winning 12 first place, seven second place and four third place awards, a state TSA record. To learn more, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/07-13.asp.
Florida Teachers Receive Presidential Awards President Obama named more than 100 science, math, and engineering teachers and mentors as recipients of two prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence this month. Two Florida teachers were recognized for their hard work, expertise and outstanding teaching accomplishments. Congratulations to Sara Rebecca Pittard, a teacher at Pine Trail Elementary in Ormond Beach, and Wendy Shelden, fourth grade teacher at Ralph Williams, Jr. Elementary in Rockledge, for receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). To read more on the winners, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/07-13-2.asp.
Civil Rights PSA Contest Winners Announced To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), Florida's state civil rights agency, recently held a statewide Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest for high school students (grades 9-12). The contest allowed students to create a 25-second video PSA focused on human and civil rights and what it meant to them.
Congratulations to the following student winners:
Commission District One
First Place – “Unity in the Community”
by John Davis, Justin Cormier, and Micah Keiser of Godby High School (Tallahassee)
Commission District Two
First Place – “Equal Rights”
by Kasie Cheney, Crissi DeJiulio, Luiz Cruz, and Johnathan Tant of Belleview High School (Belleview)
Commission District Three
First Place – “We’re Not That Different”
by Joseph White, Brianna Waggett, Cassi Finch, Chelsea Flanagan, and Ryan Fried of Dunedin High School (Dunedin)
Commission District Four
First Place – “Equality”
by Liliana Garcia, Nicole Mcinnis, Chrystal Llanusa, Nicole Glick, and Shanique Castro of Archbishop McCarthy High School (South West Ranches)*
*This was the highest scoring PSA in the competition.
Madison County School District Receives Federal Grant to Promote Safe Schools, Healthy Students More than $32.8 million in grants has been awarded to 18 states and the District of Columbia as part of a joint effort by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice to support schools in creating safer and healthier learning environments. Congratulations to the Madison County School District for receiving one of the grants worth more than $720,000, which will help serve more than 2,900 students in nine schools. Some of the proposed activities, programs and services that will be implemented in Madison County include bullying prevention, positive action, mentoring, school-based mental health services, and a Positive Parenting Program.
The 43rd Annual Florida Association for Career and Technical Educators Conference & Trade Show will be held August 4-6, at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, Fla. Career and Technical Educators will gather to share best practices, receive updates on state and federal initiatives and regulations, and attend a variety of workshops geared toward improving student performance in specific technical programs. To learn more or to reserve your hotel, visit www.facte.org.
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 Dr. Janet Allen, Dr. Richard Gentry, Dr. Judith Irvin, and Dr. Dorothy Strickland will be presenting sessions. To learn more, visit www.flreads.org.
The annual Florida Association for Staff Development (FASD) Leadership Conference will be held at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., Sept. 21 – 23, 2009. Educational personnel who have an interest in receiving, delivering or supporting high-quality professional development are invited to join FASD members to participate in professional learning surrounding issues related to implementing professional development; teacher and school leadership principles which align with high quality professional development; and structures for supporting new educators. The conference will offer a blend of learning opportunities from experts as well as school-based practitioners. For more information, please visit www.fasdonline.org.
The Florida Council for the Social Studies' 52nd Annual Conference, Go For Broke! will be held Sept. 24-27, 2009, at the PGA Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Supervisors’ meetings will be held September 24-25. Pre-conferences will be held September 25, and will focus on literacy, economic and financial literacy, technology, and civic education. To learn more, visit www.fcss.org.
The 37th Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) Annual Conference is a professional development opportunity for those in the education field and a chance for educational professionals to freely exchange educational information and ideas. Media specialists, teachers, reading coaches, administrators, public librarians, and support staff are encouraged to attend. To learn more about the conference, please contact the FAME Offices at
or call (850) 531-8351.
The Florida Center for Research in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) has teamed up with the Duval County School District to host a three-day statewide conference for district instructional leaders, school principals/assistant principals, and district mathematics/science coordinators. To learn more, or to register, visit www.lsi.fsu.edu.
The 2009 Florida School Counselor Association Convention will be delivered by leaders from Florida and throughout the United States. Topics in student academic advancement, career and vocational awareness, as well as counselor education and development will be explored by industry advocates, state officials, counselor educators and professional school counselors. To learn more or to reserve your hotel, visit http://www.fla-schoolcounselor.org/.
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