October 15, 2010
Vol. 4, Issue 22
Hispanic Heritage Month Contest Winners Announced
Gov. Charlie Crist announced the winners of the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award and student contests at the Governor’s Mansion on Oct. 11, 2010, in Tallahassee. Three outstanding educators and five students were honored during the annual celebration of the contributions of Hispanic-Americans in Florida’s diverse culture. Congratulations to the winners!
The following educators were recognized for their outstanding abilities and talents. Each received a $1,500 award check.
- Ms. Milagros “Millie” Brinson, St. Luke’s Lutheran School, Seminole County
- Mr. Obeth Diaz, Apollo Elementary School, Brevard County
- Ms. Fallon Melendez, Island Coast High School, Lee County
The following students were recognized for their exceptional artwork in the Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest. The inspirations for this year’s contest were the Luis Núñez paintings Egret and Mangroves, Blue Heron and They’re Humans Junior, Let’s Go. Students drew a picture of their favorite animal in its natural habitat and received a $250 gift card.
- Antony Reboucas, Pinecrest Academy Charter School, Miami-Dade County
- Karynah Peña-Quintana, John M. Sexton Elementary School, Pinellas County
The following middle and high school students were honored for their essay about a Hispanic-American who has devoted his or her life to the service of others. Each student received a four-year full tuition scholarship to any Florida state college or university provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.
- Isabella Gonzalez, Coral Gables K-8 Preparatory Academy, Miami-Dade County
- Andrew Gueits, Lakeview Middle School, Orange County
- Andrea Garrido, St. Francis Catholic School, Alachua County
Florida Celebrates School Bus Safety Week
School Bus Safety Week kicked off in Florida yesterday in Tallahassee to remind motorists and students to be safe around school buses. During School Bus Safety Week Oct. 18 – 22, 2010, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and the Florida Department of Transportation, urge Floridians to show their support by obeying all traffic laws and taking extra precautions when school buses are present. As part of the celebration, school districts and communities throughout the state are conducting motorist awareness activities and recognizing dedicated transportation professionals and bus operators who work hard each day to ensure the safe and dependable transportation of students. For more information about School Bus Safety Week, visit www.floridaschoolbussafety.gov.
2011 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster and Video Contests
The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross are again teaming up to sponsor the Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign that includes a poster and video public service announcement contest. Students are encouraged to submit an entry about how to be prepared for the natural hazards that affect the Sunshine State. Entries for both contests must be received by Jan. 10, 2011.
Florida fourth and fifth grade public, private and homeschool students are invited to submit an entry for the poster contest. The winner’s artwork will be displayed in the State Emergency Operations Center the first full week of Feb. 2011. Prizes include tickets for the winner and his or her family to Walt Disney World, weather radios and other prizes. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, and must arrive at the American Red Cross office in Tallahassee by Jan. 10, 2011.
Video Public Service Announcement Contest
Florida middle and high school students in grades 6-8 and 9-12 in public, private and homeschools are invited to produce a 30-second public service announcement that incorporates a safety or preparedness message about one of the following topics: Hurricane Preparedness, Flood Safety, or Building a Disaster Supply Kit. One individual or group (limit four individuals per group) winner will be chosen for both middle and high school videos with the winning video to be professionally reproduced for broadcast by the Division of Emergency Management in their statewide public awareness campaign. Prizes include professional production of the video in the winner’s hometown with the winner serving as project director, tickets for the winner and his or her family to Walt Disney World, weather radios and other exciting prizes. Final digital videos must be mastered as a DVD, postmarked by Friday, Jan.7, 2011, and received by the Florida Division of Emergency Management by Jan. 10, 2010.
Complete contest rules and information for both contests can be found at www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW/2011.
Finalists Announced for the 2010 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Six outstanding Florida educators have been named as finalists for the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The awards recognize exemplary K-12 teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession, and are administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. One state winner for each subject will be chosen next summer. Congratulations to the finalists!
The following educators were named as finalists:
- Nancy Bourne, Beacon Cove Intermediate School, Palm Beach County
- Timothy Kenney, Mandarin Oaks Elementary School, Duval County
- Deborah Perry, Poinciana Math/Science/Technology Magnet School, Palm Beach County
- Janet Acerra, Forest Lakes Elementary School, Pinellas County
- Ruth Markham, Chocachatti Elementary School, Hernando County
- Megan Tucker, Kenwood Elementary School, Okaloosa County
For more information about the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, visit http://www.paemst.org/controllers/home.cfc?method=view.
Miami-Dade College President Participates in National Community College Summit
Miami-Dade College President Dr. Eduaro J. Padrón participated in the first-ever Summit on Community Colleges at the White House on Oct. 5, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The summit was chaired by Dr. Jill Biden and focused on the critical role community colleges play in developing America’s workforce and reaching the nation’s education goals. Dr. Padrón was joined by community college leaders from around the country in addition to business and philanthropy leaders, federal and state policymakers, and students to discuss how community colleges can help meet national job training and education needs. For more information about the Summit, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/10/07/shining-a-light-a-best-kept-secret.
Florida Trend’s NEXT Magazine Now Available
Florida Trend’s NEXT is a magazine designed to help Florida teens prepare for their future after high school, whether that involves college, technical school or the workforce. Copies of the 2010-2011 edition have been provided free of charge to over 900 high schools across the state. Students may contact their guidance counselor to obtain a copy, or visit www.FloridaNEXT.com to view the complete digital e-dition. While at the website, students can also sign up to receive monthly eNEXTletters, request more information from magazine sponsors and advertisers and register for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card.
For teachers and counselors, NEXT also provides an accompanying Classroom Activity Guide filled with engaging lessons to help students apply information from the magazine to their own lives. The Classroom Activity Guide is available exclusively at www.FloridaNEXT.com under the “Teachers’ Lounge” heading. Here, educators can also register to receive their own monthly eNEXTletters; those who register by Oct. 31, 2010, will be entered in a drawing to win one of five $50 Amazon.com gift cards.
For more information about NEXT, please contact Tanya Creneti at editor@FloridaNEXT.com.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Seeking Nominations
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honor middle and high school student volunteers in grades five though 12 for their community service and the search is on to identify young Floridians for their contributions during the past year. The awards, presented by Prudential Financial, Inc., in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, are the nation’s largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer community service. Interested students, principals and community members are encouraged to nominate individuals in recognition of their volunteer service. The deadline for applications is Nov. 1, 2010. Visit http://spirit.prudential.com or www.principals.org/spirit for more information and an application packet.
Celebrate Literacy Week Public Service Announcement Contest
The Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! Office encourages all students in grades K-12 to create a 26-second public service announcement on the topic “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! – Champions Read, Readers Lead.” The contest is part of 2011 Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!, a week-long salute that celebrates and promotes the importance of literacy in Florida. Entries should be created with a combination of video and audio effects, must include credits and may not include any copyrighted music, footage or images. All entries must be received by the Just Read, Florida! Office by Dec. 17, 2010. Complete contest details can be found at http://www.justreadflorida.com/literacyweek.asp. If you have any questions, send an e-mail to email@example.com or contact Kevin Smith at (850) 245-0503.
College Week Live!
CollegeWeekLive! is coming to a computer near you on Nov. 3 – 4, 2010. The free online event is designed to connect prospective students with colleges and universities in a live interactive environment. Attendees will be able to navigate through a virtual exhibition hall, visit virtual booths, and learn about scholarship resources and networking capabilities, as well as win prizes and take advantage of special discounts from event sponsors and participating organizations. More than 300 colleges and universities will be represented and students can chat with admissions officers and students on topics such as filling out their application, how to write a winning application essay and how to pay for college. Registration is free at www.CollegeWeekLive.com.
Careers in Energy Week Essay Contest
Careers in Energy Week, led by the Florida Energy Workforce Consortium (FEWC) with the support of Florida Governor Charlie Crist and the Center for Energy Workforce Development, is a week dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of energy careers and their importance to our communities, state, and nation. The weeklong recognition is Oct. 18-22, 2010, and will be highlighted by an essay contest for Florida high school students (grades 9-12) around the theme, “Energy Workers Make a World of Difference.” The contest guidelines and registration form are available at http://www.fewc.org/?page_id=136. iPods will be awarded to the top three winners in the state, and winning entries will be published on the FEWC's websites at www.fewc.org and www.getintoenergyflorida.com.
Two Florida Colleges Among the Nation’s Best
North Florida Community College and Florida Gateway College have been named as two of America’s best community colleges in Washington Monthly magazine’s 2010 College Rankings edition. The Washington Monthly ranking is based on information found in the Community College Survey of Student Engagement housed at the University of Texas at Austin and graduation rates published by the U.S. Department of Education. The publication used the information to compare more than 650 community colleges throughout the nation to identify the top 50 community colleges. More on the study including a complete list of rankings can be found at http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2010/community_colleges.php.
Students Recognized For Promoting Bus Safety
Three Florida students were recognized by the Florida Departments of Education, Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Transportation for going above and beyond to promote the importance of school bus safety. The students received awards from the Florida Association for Pupil Transportation for taking first place in each of three divisions of a statewide poster contest. The contest theme, “Be Aware – Know the Danger Zone” reminds motorists to be safe around school buses. The first place winners in each division of Florida’s poster contest will be submitted to the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s competition.
The following students are winners in this year’s poster contest:
Division I – Grades K through 2
- First Place – Jennifer Russell, Cypress Creek Elementary, Grade 1, Volusia County
- Second Place – Iris Qi, Cypress Creek Elementary, Grade 1, Volusia County
- Third Place – Mikaela Guzman, Palm Cove Elementary, Grade 2, Broward County
Division II – Grades 3 through 5
- First Place – Mary Silvestro, Hollywood Central Elementary, Grade 5, Broward County
- Second Place – Aleena Jackson, Palm Cove Elementary, Grade 5, Broward County
- Third Place – Paula Rodriguez, Hollywood Central Elementary, Grade 5, Broward County
Division III – Grades 6 through 8
- First Place – German Salazar, Jackson Heights Middle School, Grade 8, Seminole County
- Second Place – Madison Slage, Jackson Heights Middle School, Grade 8, Seminole County
- Third Place – Jada Brown, Jackson Heights Middle School, Grade 8, Seminole County
For more information about School Bus Safety Week, visit www.floridaschoolbussafety.gov.
Polk County Schools Awarded Federal Grant to Enhance Magnet Programs
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $11.3 million grant to Polk County Schools to enhance magnet school programs. The Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant will allow the district to develop new and enhance existing magnet programs at four elementary and four middle schools over the next three years. Polk is one of 40 school districts nationwide to be funded through the grant. For more information, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/magnet/index.html.
Brevard County School Gets Grant to Keep Kids Moving
MILA Elementary School in Brevard County is the only Florida recipient and one of only 60 nationwide for a $2,000 grant from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education to inspire students to be more active and adopt healthy choices. The grant, in partnership with the ING Run for Something Better School Awards Program, helps to introduce students in grades four through eight to the benefits of running and active lifestyles through school-based running programs. For more information, visit http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/grants/grants/ING/index.cfm.
Miami-Dade College Receives Multiple Awards for Service and Faculty Excellence
The prestigious Washington Center recognized Miami-Dade College (MDC) in two areas on Oct. 4, 2010, the only institution in the country to receive two awards and one of only six institutions to be honored. The Higher Education Civic Engagement award honors the college’s Center for Community Involvement’s efforts to coordinate civic engagement on campus, encouraging partnerships with local agencies and working with faculty and staff to ensure that service-learning is widely incorporated into the curriculum. The Faculty Leader of the Year award was bestowed on Mercedes Medina, a teacher at MDC’s Law Center, for her work in providing students with a rewarding learning experience. For more information, visit http://www.twc.edu/civicengagement and http://www.twc.edu/partnerships/colleges-universities/academic-affairs-awards. For more information on MDC’s Center for Community Involvement, contact the Center’s director Josh Young at (305) 237-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pensacola State College Awarded Grant to Provide Access for Needy Students
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Pensacola State College an $8.5 million grant to improve postsecondary access for needy students over the next five years. The grant will allow the college to provide eligible individuals with education, training, and supportive services that will help prepare them to enter or advance in employment in nursing and other health care fields. The grant was developed in partnership with local health care and community organizations. For more information, contact Debbie Douma, the college’s Director of Institutional Research and Grants, at (850) 484-1705 or email@example.com.
Tallahassee Community College Opens Advanced Manufacturing Training Center
The Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (AMTC) at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) is now open and offering a full schedule of courses. The new AMTC is part of TCC’s Center for Workforce Development and offers a unique training resource for local existing and emerging manufacturing and industrial businesses. The AMTC offers customized courses and services to enhance employee careers, programs to improve business effectiveness, and support for returning adult learners in the manufacturing, information technology, allied health and business, construction and trade fields. For more information about the AMTC, visit http://workforce.tcc.fl.edu/manufacturing/amtc_competitive_edge.
Working with the Experts for Occupational and Physical Therapists
Oct. 27 – 29, 2010
Miami, Orlando and Gainesville, Fla.
Practical strategies for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders is the focus for regional Working with the Experts for Occupational and Physical Therapists Oct. 27 – 29, 2010. The two-day training will be provided in three regional locations and is free of charge for participants. Interested individuals should contact their school district Occupational or Physical Therapist Coordinator to register. If you have questions about the workshops or need assistance, contact either Peg Sullivan at Florida Gulf Coast University at firstname.lastname@example.org or (239) 590-7748 or Sheryl Sandvoss with the Florida Department of Education at email@example.com or (850) 245-0478.
First Annual STEMtech Conference
Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, 2010
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Sponsored by the League for Innovation, the first annual STEMtech conference will be held Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, 2010, in Orlando. STEMtech is an interactive learning conference with a strong focus on the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – in general education and workforce training. Numerous STEM and tech tracks will allow participants to discuss and exchange ideas with hundreds of colleagues. For more information about the STEMtech conference, visit www.league.org/stemtech.
Florida School Counselor Association 2010 Convention
Nov. 4 – 6, 2010
Hyatt Pier 66
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The Florida School Counselor Association’s 2010 Conference theme of “Recognizing School Counselors: Educators and Leaders” will give school counselors and educators the opportunity to share best practices, receive updated information on state and national initiatives and attend a variety of informative and educational sessions during preconvention and general conference activities. For more information, visit www.fla-schoolcounselor.org.
2010 Florida Charter School Conference
Nov. 8 – 10, 2010
The DoubleTree Hotel at Universal Studios
“Florida’s Charter Schools: Rising to the Challenge” is the theme for this year’s Florida Charter School Conference Nov. 8 – 10, 2010, in Orlando. Over the past 14 years, the number of charter schools in Florida has grown from five to more than 400 today. Parents, educators and interested individuals are encouraged to attend the conference and find out how charter schools provide effective programs and school choice to Florida’s diverse student population. For more information about the 2010 Florida Charter School Conference, visit http://charterschoolconference.com/.
National Council of Teachers of English 100th Annual Convention
Nov. 18 – 21, 2010
Disney Coronado Springs Resort
The 100th Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English will be held Nov. 18 – 21, 2010, in Orlando, Fla. with the theme “Teachers and Students Together: Living Literate Lives.” On the program are hundreds of concurrent sessions and workshops focusing on all aspects of the teaching and learning English language arts. The conference will be of interest to educators of English language arts, librarians, reading specialists, administrators, consultants and students studying to be educators. For more information, visit http://www.ncte.org/annual.