Out2News Education News

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LEADERship Martin County Alumni Foundation for Youth, Inc.

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37 students of this year’s Martin Youth LEADERship Program, known by the class name “Operation 23”, participated in Economics Day on November 19. This was the third monthly session of the year and was coordinated by Kate Muscarella from the Business Development Board of Martin County. Economics Day offered students a full day to learn about banking, taxes, economic resources and macroeconomics on the Treasure Coast.

The day began at Seacoast Bank in Stuart where Banking Center Managers Patty McAuley (Stuart branch) and Dana Owen (Palm City branch) provided the students with banking basics and how to establish credit. Students learned about the benefits of checking and savings accounts, how to write out and endorse a check, and why establishing good credit is so important for future financial and career goals.

Students traveled to the Martin County Tax Collector’s office where Ruth Pietruszewski reviewed a typical tax bill, how taxes are processed in the County, and to where tax dollars are applied. Students learned that taxes are lower in Martin County than many of our neighboring counties and the benefits of the Homestead tax exemption.

Operation 23’s next stop was to the House of Hope, where CEO Rob Ranieri covered a multitude of needs of economically challenged people on the Treasure Coast, and the ways in which House of Hope responds to those needs. These needs include issues with food scarcity, language barriers, health issues, social programs and much more. Students learned about volunteer opportunities, scholarship opportunities and internships with HOH.

The day concluded at the Witham Field airport, where members of Operation 23 enjoyed a lunch, underwritten by HBK CPAs and Consultants. Two members of the Stuart office, Kyle Offringa and Chris Jensen, presented their bios as recent graduates of local high schools, who traveled, work and received their degrees before making the choice to return to the Treasure Coast to begin their careers. George Stokus, Assistant Administrator of Martin County, wrapped the session up with a macroeconomic look at Martin County, and the importance of primary jobs and services in our local economy.

Martin Youth LEADERship for high school students is in its 23rd year and is an opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors throughout Martin County to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students must apply, and a maximum of 40 are selected to participate in this comprehensive nine-month program that is modeled after LEADERship Martin County. Upon completion, these young Leaders have learned about their community including history, government, business, arts and culture, criminal justice and more. Class members are given the opportunity to reach their highest leadership potential through sessions focusing on leadership enhancing activities. For more information on how you, your business or your high school aged students can become involved in Martin Youth LEADERship, please contact Jeanne Dunn at martinyouthleadership@gmail.com or call 772-486-4695. We are constantly seeking individuals and organizations which will help us inform, challenge and stimulate students to develop the qualities necessary to become the next generation of Treasure Coast leaders.

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Grant to Expand Apprenticeship Programs

19 Nov Welding a

Indian River State College (IRSC) will expand apprenticeship opportunities by 59% with funds awarded through the Florida Department of Education Pathways to Career Opportunities grant program. The $10 million grant program was established as part of Workforce Education legislation passed in early 2019. The initiative promotes career readiness and workforce opportunities for students and working adults, ensuring alignment between Florida’s education and workforce needs. The College will receive grants totaling $298,948.

“Since becoming a comprehensive college in 1970, Indian River State College has offered skill- and career-training programs to meet the ever-changing workforce needs of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties,” states IRSC President, Dr. Edwin Massey. “The new funds will help IRSC expand the regional workforce pipeline through apprenticeship programs designed to meet growing demand for welding fabricators, culinary operations managers, pharmacy technicians and electricians.”

The grants will allow IRSC to increase capacity of two of its state registered programs—Electrician Apprenticeship and Culinary Operations Management Apprenticeship—and develop new apprenticeship programs for Pharmacy Technicians and Welding Fabricators. These registered apprenticeship programs enable participating employers to provide on-the-job training to meet industry standards, creating highly qualified employees. Certifications earned through registered apprenticeship programs are recognized nationwide.

Programs are scheduled to begin in 2020.

To enroll at IRSC, or learn more about these programs, visit www.irsc.edu.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com would like to congratulate and welcome the school district to their new location in the community!

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Martin County School District Ground Breaking

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Stuart - On November 14, 2019 a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the new location for the now Martin County School District. They are officially located at 1939 SE Federal Hwy. in Stuart. The ceremony started with a presentation of Colors presented by the South Fork High School Army JROTC Bulldog Battalion.

The National Anthem presented by the Martin County High School OPUS Choir. The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by the South Fork High School Arym JROTC Bulldog Battalion.

The Speakers for today's ceremony were Laurie J. Gaylord, Superintendent and Christia Li Roberts School Board Chair. School Board who were in attendance were:
Christia Li Roberts - Chair, District 1, Michael Diterlizzi - Vice Chair, District 5, Marsha Powers - District 2, Victoria Defenthaler - District 3, Tony Anderson - District 4.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com would like to congratulate and welcome the school district to their new location in the community!

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St. Lucie Public Schools Outstanding Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year Named

19 Nov St Lucie 3a

In Photo: Principal Jackie Lynch - Bayshore Elementary.

St. Lucie - Cheers, hugs and applause were shared by the school teams at Bayshore Elementary School and White City Elementary, as their leaders, Principal Jackie Lynch and Principal Alexandra Laoutas, were surprised with the news that they are, respectively, this year’s Outstanding Principal and Assistant Principal for St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS).
Lynch and Laoutas are both veteran educators in SLPS and were selected to represent SLPS for the academic gains achieved at their schools last year. When selected, Lynch was principal at Bayshore Elementary and Laoutas was assistant principal at Sam Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies. Both schools increased their school grade by a whopping 52 points, earning Bayshore an “A” rating while Sam Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies earned its first ever “B” rating.
“These outstanding school leaders are changing the lives of boys and girls every day. Both administrators have a proven track record of establishing and maintaining a collaborative and positive school culture,” said Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. “Great leaders are learners and both Mrs. Lynch and Ms. Laoutas are no strangers to professional learning. Their tenacity enables them to quickly implement research based, best practices in their schools.”

Both nominations from SLPS will be shared with the Florida Department of Education’s statewide pool of nominees. State winners will be announced later this year. The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988 to recognize Florida principals for contributions to their schools and their communities. The Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award was established in 1997 to honor assistant principals who have utilized teamwork and leadership to increase student achievement and greatly improve school environments.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com would like to congratulate and welcome the school district to their new location in the community!

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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“Treasure Coast Photo Journal”

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 In Photo: Principal Alexandra Laoutas - White City Elementary.

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St. Lucie Public Schools Awarded Pathways to Career Opportunities Pre-apprenticeship Programs Grant

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St. Lucie - St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) was just awarded $408,310 from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) for the Pathways to Career Opportunities Pre-apprenticeship Programs Grant. This grant award follows other recently obtained grants. This time, the grant award will fund pre-apprenticeship programs in Building Construction Technologies and Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing. These programs were designed to aid in our continuous effort to fill the skills gap in our local community.

The Building Construction Technologies Program, already established at Port St. Lucie High School, will be enhanced through this grant. The grant will fund a pre-apprenticeship opportunity for students to include: Learning Lab Work Stations, industry standard tools, field trips, Learning Lab Safety equipment and recognized certification exam fees for students.

The Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program at Treasure Coast High School, will be augmented by the pre-apprenticeship component which will include laptops for students with ACU Autodesk LearnKey software, manufacturing materials and supplies, and training in the areas of mechanical drive system, electro-pneumatic systems and robotic pick and placement systems.

Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE), Aliesha Seitz stated, “We are thrilled to receive these dollars from FLDOE. These funds will amplify both the Building Construction Technologies Program and the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program by providing pre-apprenticeship opportunities.”

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"Treasure Coast's Photo Journal"

The Education Foundation of Martin County & Martin County School District Announce Angela Roberts Named 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year

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The winner was announced during the Education Foundation of Martin County’s Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration on Friday, November 8, at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center. The event is presented annually by Audi Stuart and Infiniti Stuart.

Ms. Roberts, a third grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, has 28 total years of teaching experience, including 21 in the Martin County School District. Beyond her classroom walls, Ms. Roberts serves as a Youth Life Coach and soloist at her church, high school debate team judge, member of the Keep Martin Beautiful beach clean-up crew, and as an Advanced Choir parent volunteer for both Jensen Beach and Martin County high schools. She has served as a member of the District's English Language Arts (ELA) and Math Frameworks committees, as a mentor for the National Board Certified Teacher Program, Clinical Education field teacher, and as published co-author of a text used by education majors at Florida Atlantic University.

Ms. Roberts' inspiration as an educator comes from making genuine connections with her students. “Each [child] deserves a champion, and I gladly accept that responsibility,” she shares. “I understand that before I can educate their minds, I must first connect with their hearts. Really knowing my students as individuals inspires me to design innovative lessons that bring them into the heart of the subject matter, sparking their interests and letting them feel the joy of success.”

The inclusive environment Ms. Roberts fosters in her classroom begins with her students' families. At the start of each school year, she asks each of her parents to download the ClassDojo app, which allows them access to individual or group communication about classroom happenings each day. She proudly leads workshops during the school's Literacy Nights, modeling interactive methods to engage children through strategic questioning and conversation during reading.

"As educators, we have the honor and awesome responsibility of influencing a captive audience of future generations," she says. "Time spent in grade school encompasses the most formative years of one’s life when most students spend more waking hours in the presence of their teachers than their parents. Sometimes what students need most is not what is in our lesson plans, but what is in our hearts. Fostering students to become well-adjusted citizens is every educator's responsibility."

Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord was proud to see Ms. Roberts take home this year’s award. “Angela Roberts is an outstanding educator who recognizes that being a great teacher involves so much more than the presentation of concepts and standards. She understands that children need someone to truly be there for them and inspire them. These intrinsic qualities are what define Ms. Roberts as a stellar educator, and I am honored to recognize her as the Martin County School District’s 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year.”

“The board members, staff and volunteers of the Education Foundation would like to sincerely congratulate Angie Roberts for winning this year's Martin County Teacher of the Year award,” said Linda Fitzpatrick, president of the EFMC. “Angie is a shining example of the best of the best in Martin County’s schools. She is a wonderful representative of the extraordinary teachers who are so committed to improving the lives of our students. We look forward to supporting Angie as she represents Martin County in the running for Florida’s Teacher of the Year award.”

"There is a certain magic and beauty on the face of a child as they enter the classroom for the first time,” said Mario Murgado, President/CEO of Infiniti Stuart and Audi Stuart. “The teacher may not even understand what is happening as they greet the children on that first day as they look into the eyes of a future president, scientist, firefighter, Nobel peace prize winner, teacher, architect or nurse. The possibilities of what these children can become are limitless. One book, one child, one teacher can change the world!”

“Ms. Roberts builds her classroom community with the understanding that her class is a team where everyone tries their best and celebrates each other's successes,” said Principal Deborah Riley of Felix A. Williams Elementary School. “Ms. Roberts always has a positive outlook that overflows into her classroom and our school setting. Her students thrive from her positive attitude, which improves their self-esteem and, in turn, improves their academic success.”

Ms. Roberts will now represent the Martin County School District in the competition to become the Florida Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year.

In addition to honoring the District’s 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year; winners were named in the categories of Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers of the Year:

Elementary Teacher of the Year – sponsored by Publix Super Market Charities

Angela Roberts, Felix A. Williams Elementary School, Third Grade English Language Arts & Social Studies teacher

**Winner of the 2019-2020 Martin County School District Teacher of the Year Award.

Middle School Teacher of the Year – sponsored by Education Foundation of Martin County

Laura Leister, Indiantown Middle School, Reading Coach/Intensive Reading Teacher

Ms. Leister has been an educator for seven years, four of which have been spent serving the children of Martin County. In addition to teaching reading, she has taught visual arts and served as a Positive Behavior Support (PBIS) leader.

Our students, staff and families have developed a great level of respect and admiration for her dedication to the children of Indiantown," Principal Jeff Raimann shares. "There is truly nothing Laura won’t do for her students or our school. In addition to being a rock-star reading teacher, Laura has served as our PBIS Leader and goes all-in with her leadership style! She will dress up in any theme necessary, all in the name of generating school spirit and is the ultimate cheerleader for our students. This year, she added the role of serving as an Instructional Team Leader, where she supports fellow teachers to enhance their ability to best serve our young Thunderbirds." Ms. Leister is a proud member of the Kappa Delta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Gamma Sigma Alpha educational honors societies, and serves as a middle school track coach and director of Indiantown Middle's Summer Reading Program in her spare time.

High School Teacher of the Year – sponsored by Keiser University, Port Saint Lucie

Jennie Bellone, Willoughby Learning Center, ESE Social Science Teacher (Grades 6-12)

Ms. Bellone has been an educator for two years, both at Willoughby Learning Center. Graduating from Florida State University with degrees in Psychology and Communication Science and Disorders, Ms. Bellone wholeheartedly believes in the importance of educating the whole-child. "I am fully aware of the importance of establishing trust and how developing the proper relationship with each child facilitates their academic performance and therefore success." Understanding that many of her students struggle with their communication skills, Ms. Bellone has set her sights on obtaining a Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology to better serve their needs. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Bellone serves as a co-coordinator of mental health group counseling at Tykes & Teens, and as a Career Resource Outreach Program student liaison.

"No one ever skips Ms. Bellone's class," Principal Laura Husnander shares. "She is interesting, caring, engaging and involved with her students. I know these are the reasons the kids love her class, but I also know the technique she is using to make the students feel this way. She is truly excellent in and out of the classroom because she is always focused on the kids."

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"Treasure Coast's Photo Journal"

Learn How to Get Started on Your Bachelor’s Degree with IRSC at Upcoming Information Sessions

19 Oct IRSC Logo

Indian River State College (IRSC) is hosting a series of Bachelor’s Degree Information Sessions for everyone who wants to learn more about how to get started on a Bachelor’s Degree at IRSC.

IRSC offers 21 Bachelor’s Degree programs—with some offered entirely online—at tuition rates that are 40% less than Florida public universities and 88% less than private career institutions.

Information Sessions are at the following days, times, and locations:

Tuesday, November 19, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Main Campus, Fort Pierce, in W-227
Mueller Campus, Vero Beach, at the Richardson Center Auditorium

Tuesday, November 19, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Mueller Campus, Vero Beach, Richardson Center Auditorium
Pruitt Campus, Port St. Lucie, at Schreiber Conference Center

Wednesday, November 20, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Main Campus, Fort Pierce, in W-227

Thursday, November 21, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Chastain Campus, Stuart, in the Johnson Auditorium
Dixon Hendry Campus, Okeechobee in B-111

A Bachelor’s Degree is a valued credential that provides a competitive advantage and the opportunity to earn a higher income. Bachelor’s Degree graduates typically earn $1 million more over a lifetime than high school graduates.
For more information, call 1-866-792-4772, visit irsc.edu, or email info@irsc.edu.

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"Treasure Coast's Photo Journal"

2019 Martin County Teacher of the Year

19 Nov School 3

Port St Lucie - On November 8, 2019 The Teacher of the Year for 2019 was held at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center in Port St. Lucie.

Sponsors for this year's Teacher of the Year were: Arati Hammond -Keller Williams,Proctor Construction, Keiser University, Audi Stuart, Colorado Pawn & Jewelry, Kirchman Construction, Cleveland Clinic Martin, Health Publix.

The 2019-2020 Martin County School District Teachers of the Year were:

Elementary - Ms. Angie Roberts, Felix A Williams Elementary School/ Felix A Williams Elementary PTA

Middle - Ms. Laura Leister, Indiantown Middle School

High - Ms. Jennie Bellone, Willoughby Learning Center

The overall winner won a vehicle lease from Audi Stuart/ INFINITI Stuart and will represent MCSD in the Florida Department of Education’s state-level competition.

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Enrollment Open for Year Two at Treasure Coast Classical Academy

19 Nov Classroom 1

Palm City – With a successful start on Year One, Treasure Coast Classical Academy (TCCA) is already looking ahead to the 2020-2021 school year.
Applications are available now at http://www.treasurecoastclassical.org for the charter school’s enrollment lottery. TCCA is a tuition-free public school; new students are chosen through a random lottery process. The first lottery will be held on January 2, 2020 for applications received through December 31. Lotteries will be held monthly thereafter until all seats are filled. The 2020-2021 school year will welcome students in kindergarten through 7th grade.
Currently, the school’s approximately 600 students attend classes on a temporary campus in Palm City but will begin 2020 at their newly constructed school on Cove Road in Stuart after the winter break.
“If parents don’t want to wait until next school year, we have availability now for most grade levels,” said Janine Swearingin, TCCA founding principal. “We’ve enrolled more than 60 students since the beginning of the school year in August. We get calls daily from parents wanting to tour the school; 99 percent of the parents who take a tour enroll their children.”
Swearingin observed that this year is the best year for students to begin their studies at the school. “Students who enroll this year may be able to start school right away instead of going on a waiting list. We still have some spots available; I don’t think we’ll be able to say that at this time next year,” she said. “In addition, this first year was designed to help students transition to the classical education model. Everyone is learning that this year, even those who started after the beginning of the school year. By the time school starts next year, most students will have completed the transition.”
Rachel Boland Pérez, the mother of second-grader Asher Pérez, acknowledged that being part of a brand new school’s inaugural year was nerve-wracking but, just over two months since school started, she is extremely happy with the decision her family made to enroll Asher at TCCA. “We’ve seen a drastic difference in our child’s overall attitude about school,” she said. “He comes home happy. He does his homework without protesting and enjoys reading daily as well. It’s truly wonderful to see our boy thriving academically, emotionally and socially at TCCA.”
Boland Pérez is impressed with the curriculum. “It is rich and rigorous and, in many ways is customized to each scholar. Last week my son was having conversation with his dad about the Great Wall of China, Confucius and other fascinating facts about ancient China, confidently and with excitement in his voice. Then, yesterday, he was writing in Chinese! He’s truly enjoying every minute of it.”
Beyond the academics, TCCA is forging a new community of teachers, students and parents. “There is a family feel to the school,” said Swearingin. “This is a school of choice and that is reflected in our culture. The support has been overwhelming.”
Regular, responsive communication between teachers, leadership, staff and parents is another difference Boland Pérez noted. “Communication has been phenomenal. There are two active Facebook pages for the parents and the TCCA community, a regular informational email is sent out to parents, and weekly newsletters from my child’s teacher keep us up to date.”
Boland Pérez has already enrolled her second son, entering kindergarten next year, in the lottery for 2020-2021.
Informational meetings for parents will be held on November 7 and 19 at 5:30 p.m. at TCCA’s temporary campus, 1848 SW 34th Street, Palm City. Those interested in a tour can call 772-419-7680 for an appointment.

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19 Nov Classroom 2

Get on the Road to a Rewarding Career with the Commercial Vehicle Driving Program at IRSC—New Classes Forming Weekly

19 Oct IRSC Logo

With classes forming weekly, now is the time to get a new career on-the-road by enrolling in the Commercial Vehicle Driving Program offered by SAGE at Indian River State College (IRSC).
Qualified drivers are in demand, and there is an abundance of employment opportunities in the commercial trucking industry today. The median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is $43,680—according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Commercial Vehicle Driving program prepares students for entry-level employment as a truck driver. The program focuses on safety issues, federal rules and regulations, private one-on-one driver training instruction, acquiring class "A" CDL License, and local or over-the-road job placement. Job placement assistance is also available after completing the program.
Information sessions are held every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. and every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the IRSC Indian River Academy site located at 5900 Tedder Road in Fort Pierce. For more information call 772-462-4255.
For more information call 772-462-4255, email tbond@sageschools.com, or visit sageschools.com.

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IRSC Now Accepting Applications for Spring Pharmacy Technician Program

19 Oct IRSC Logo

The Indian River State College (IRSC) Pharmacy Technician program, which prepares students to work in hospitals or community based pharmacies in less than a year, is accepting applications for the spring semester now through Monday, December 2.

Those interested in learning more about the Pharmacy Technician program are encouraged to attend an upcoming information sessions offered on Thursday, November 14, at 4 p.m. in the Mary L. Fields Health Science Center in H-254 on the IRSC Main Campus located at 3208 Virginia Avenue in Fort Pierce.

Pharmacy technicians have many responsibilities. They work behind the counter, take prescription orders both in-person and over-the-phone, interact with health professionals and customers, help mix medicines, count pills, measure medication, label and give instructions for medicine, and more. Graduates of the IRSC Pharmacy Technician Program are prepared to work in both retail and hospital pharmacies. Coursework includes hands-on classroom lab work and a 14-week internship (7 weeks in retail, 7 weeks in hospital).

Once a student completes the 1,050 clock-hour program, they are eligible for a state license to practice in Florida and have the opportunity to sit for the national licensing exam. They can find employment in retail or hospital pharmacies in both full-time and part-time positions. The average starting pay for trained Pharmacy Technicians is $14 per hour with the potential to make up to $25.

Students entering the program must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Financial aid opportunities are available for those who qualify. For more information on the Pharmacy Technician program contact Jessica Fulton at jfulton@irsc.edu or 772-462-7086.

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Festival of Trees & Lights Begins November 17th in Downtown Stuart

In Photo: 4 year old Aedan Callahan presents a letter he wrote to Santa & Mrs. Clause at the 2018 Festival of Trees & Lights. This Year’s free Breakfast and Photos with Santa will take place on Saturday, November 23rd from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Stuart - For 12 years, Tykes & Teens has been kicking off the holiday season in Martin County with a spectacular display of decorated trees and wreaths, and this year is no exception! The 12th Annual Tykes & Teens Festival of Trees & Lights will be the largest yet, with approximately 80 trees, wreaths and holiday decor items on display and available for raffle, silent, or live auction. The event runs from November 17th- 23rd at Flagler Place, 201 SW Flagler Avenue in Stuart, and is open to the public at no cost Sunday-Friday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and Saturday 8:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m.

There are several special ticketed events throughout the week including the Joy to the Girls! Ladies Night, Afternoon Champagne Tea, and A Not-So-Silent Night Strolling Supper & Live Auction. The week wraps up with the very popular and always free Breakfast and Photos with Santa on Saturday, November 23rd from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Get there early to see Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive on a City of Stuart Fire Rescue Truck!
The Festival is the signature fundraiser for Tykes & Teens, whose mission is to prioritize children's mental health in our families, schools and communities through prevention, education and treatment. The event is made possible by the many generous businesses, schools, organizations and individuals who decorate and donate trees, wreaths and holiday decor, and our sponsors. Major sponsors include Sonas Home Health Care, Coral Shores Behavioral Health, David Smythe, Commissioner Ed Ciampi, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Mondello, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, RV Johnson Insurance, Auto Owners Insurance, Bank of America, Bart's Blue Star Foundation, FResch Perspective/Babes & Bubbly, HBK CPAs & Consultants, Loving Chiropractic - Dr. Brian & Laura Moriarty, Macy's, Mark Brechbill, The Gordana Uscumlic Foundation, Premier Realty Group, Rick Carroll Insurance, Senior Solutions of the Treasure Coast, Skin Serenity Spa, and the Christen M Price Memorial Fund.
Tykes & Teens was established in 1996 with the goal of strengthening local families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status. The agency provides a comprehensive range of programming in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties and has helped more than 40,000 local families. Funds raised from the Festival of Trees & Lights provide counseling and other vital mental health services to children in need on the Treasure Coast.
For the complete Festival schedule and more information visit www.tykesandteens.org or call 772-220-3439.

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19 Nov Tykes & Teens Logo
19 Oct Fest of Trees Photo 2

In Photo: Community ambassadors to the 12th Annual Tykes & Teens Festival of Trees & Lights include Grande Dame Kelly Johnson, Head Reindeer Dr. Brian Moriarty and Dame & Deer Wrangler Cathleen Owen

19 Oct Fest of Trees Photo 1

SFHS Teacher Wins $100,000 Prize From Harbor Freight Tools!

19 Oct SFHS Teacher

Photo credit: Saul Martinez for Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

A Career & Technical Education teacher at South Fork High School received the surprise of a lifetime this morning, having been named one of three national winners of Harbor Freight's "Tools for Schools" Prize for Teaching Excellence.

Ms. Wendy Schepman, who teaches Landscape Operations and Turfgrass Management at South Fork, was surprised at the beginning of the school day with a $100,000 prize - $70,000 to support the school's Career & Technical Education programming and $30,000 for her personal use.

Harbor Freight's Prize for Teaching Excellence was started in 2017 to recognize extraordinary public high school skilled trades teachers and programs with a proven track record of dedication and performance.

Ms. Schepman's lessons cover a broad curriculum - she teaches general agriculture and horticulture principles before moving on to design, installation, maintenance and mechanics. Her work comes to life thanks to a unique learning environment - rather than a shop with four walls, her classroom spans 75 acres and includes a three-hole golf course, a workshop, an equipment barn, a nursery and an orchard. In a county with more than 160 golf courses, Ms. Schepman ensures her students develop the skills necessary to find career opportunities close to home. Students can earn up to 18 dual-enrollment college credits through their participation in the Landscape Operations program.

“My students often tell me that my class is the only reason they came [to school] that day,” Ms. Schepman shares. “If I make my class interesting enough that they never want to miss a day, they will subsequently end up going to more of their other classes such as English or math, which are needed to graduate.”

Schepman, who grew up on her family’s small farm and was the only woman in her college’s turfgrass science major, took over for her own former trades teacher at South Fork when he retired. Her lifetime of experience in and near Stuart has helped her develop close industry and alumni networks to benefit her students.

“This is why I love teaching agriculture,” she says. “I can incorporate all of my favorite things into one class and still be outside all day.”

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Clark Advanced Learning Center Earns School of Excellence Designation

In Photo: The Clark Advanced Learning Center been designated a School of Excellence by the Florida Department of Education. This is the third consecutive year the school has earned this prestigious recognition from the state. Due to its unique location in a college setting, Clark students take full advantage of the resources of a college campus and many earn tuition-free college credits through dual enrollment at IRSC.

Stuart -The Clark Advanced Learning Center, a charter high school serving Martin County, has again been designated a School of Excellence by the Florida Department of Education. This is the third consecutive year the school has earned this prestigious recognition from the state. To achieve this honor a school must excel on Florida’s grading system for at least two of the last three school years.

Located at the Chastain Campus of Indian River State College (IRSC) in Stuart, the Clark Advanced Learning Center is organized in partnership with the Martin County School District—an “A” rated district ranked 12th out of the 67 school districts in Florida.

“We are so proud of our students and our team of educators at the Clark for all they do to make our School of Excellence designation possible for the third year in-a-row,” shares Debra Kohuth, Executive Director and Principal, Clark Advanced Learning Center. “The partnership that IRSC and the Clark Advanced Learning Center has with our parents, the school district, and community of Martin County makes this type of achievement a reality.”

Additionally, the Clark Advanced Learning Center has received an A ranking for 11 years in a row from the Florida Department of Education, and the agency ranks the Clark among the top ten high schools in Florida.

Due to its unique location in a college setting, Clark students take full advantage of the resources of a college campus and many earn tuition-free college credits through dual enrollment at IRSC. Availing themselves of academic and technology programs that meet the requirements for a high school diploma while having opportunities to enhance studies with college classes and internships, students attend Clark free of charge for coursework and books. Graduates are ready to complete their advanced degrees at IRSC or transfer to a university.

For more information, visit www.clarkadvancedlearningcenter.org or call 772-419-5750.

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IRSC Spring Registration Opens October 29

Spring registration at Indian River State College (IRSC) opens for all students on Tuesday, October 29. Students are encouraged to register early to ensure they have the best selection of courses to choose from and are ready for class this Spring. Classes for the 16-week full-term and eight-week Spring A semesters start Wednesday, January 8, and Express Schedule courses start on January 22. Spring B eight-week classes will begin on Monday, March 2. Students are encouraged to view the Spring term course schedule at www.irsc.edu prior to registration.

Offering more than 100 programs leading to Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate Degrees, Technical Certificates and Applied Technology Diplomas, IRSC is for everyone! Students can choose educational options that range from Quick Job Career Training (developing skills in a year or less) to four-year Baccalaureate Degree programs.

Identified by the United States Department of Education as the most affordable college in Florida and the third-most affordable college in the country, tuition at IRSC is 40% less than public universities and thousands of dollars less than private universities and career colleges or institutes. Approximately $40 million in financial aid and scholarship programs is awarded to students annually, and in a recent report by U.S. News and World Report shares that 91% of IRSC students graduate without debt.

Five IRSC campuses are within a 20-minute drive for every Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County resident, and through its Virtual Campus, students may choose from hundreds of online courses. Evening, and weekend course offerings are available on all campuses in response to working adults seeking to advance their careers.

Indian River State College is the 2019 winner of the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, an honor that recognizes outstanding quality in the areas of completion and transfer, labor market outcomes, learning, equity, and more. Ninety-six percent of IRSC graduates are either employed or continue their studies shortly after graduation.

New students can follow these five steps to get started at IRSC:
• Visit www.irsc.edu to complete the application for admission
• Submit their official transcripts from high school and other colleges
• Apply for financial aid and scholarships
• Sign up for New Student Orientation
• Meet with an advisor and register for classes

Important dates to remember for Spring semester:
• Oct. 29: First day to register for 2020 Spring classes
• Dec. 18: Registration and Payment Deadline: Full Term Schedule and Spring A
• Dec. 19: Late registration: Full Term Schedule and Spring A
• Dec. 20, 2019–Jan. 3, 2020: Winter Break
• Jan. 7: Last day to pay all fees: Full Term Schedule and Spring A
• Jan. 8: Classes begin: Full Term Schedule and Spring A
• Jan. 14: Last day to drop classes—Full Term schedule
• Jan. 21: Registration and Payment Deadline: Express Schedule
• Jan. 22: Classes begin: Express Schedule
• March 1: Registration and Payment Deadline: Spring B
• March 2: Classes begin: Spring B

For more information, visit www.irsc.edu/admissions/register-for-class, email info@irsc.edu, or call the IRSC Information Call Center at 1-866-792-4772.

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Martin Youth LEADERship’s Operation 23 Leaps to Success

On October 15, thirtynine members of Martin Youth LEADERship Class 23 participated in C.O.P.E Day, a Challenging, Outdoor Personal Experience ropes course at Tanah Keeta Scout Reservation.
C.O.P.E. is a youth development and leadership activity presented by volunteers and staff of Gulf Stream Council Learning for Life. Facilitators included COPE Day chairman Alec Connolly with the Gulf Stream Council Boy Scouts of America; Evan Reif, with Palm Beach Boys and Girls Club, Laura Haase with the Children’s Services Council; and other volunteers.

C.O.P.E. offered the class a series of outdoor challenges, beginning with basic group initiative games and progressing to more complicated low-course and high-course activities. The course is designed to help participants reinforce self-confidence and build leadership skills.

Some C.O.P.E. events involved group effort, whereas others focused on individual skills and agility. Participants climb, swing, balance, jump, and rappel all while devising solutions to a variety of problems. The program emphasized the “five finger” goals of safety, trust, respect, accountability and self-esteem, as well as teamwork, leadership, decision-making and problem-solving. While participation was completely voluntary, most students found that they could accomplish much more than they initially thought possible.

The highlight for most of the members of the class was the 30-foot high Confidence Pole. Wearing climbing harnesses attached to safety lines held by their peers on the ground, participants scaled the pole to reach a small platform at the top. Once at the top of the pole, students were challenged to take a “leap of faith” by jumping from the pole and touching a ball suspended out in front of them. C.O.P.E. Day gave the participants the opportunity to experience successes that come from taking calculated risks while applying basic leadership skills.
The Martin Youth LEADERship program was established and is partially funded by LEADERship Martin County Alumni, a program of the Stuart Martin Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Children’s Services Council and Martin County School District. For more information on MYL please see http://www.leadershipmcalumni.com/youth or contact Jeanne Dunn at martinyouthleadership@gmail.com to learn how your student can apply or how you or your business can become involved with this pivotal program.

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IRSC Foundation Hosts Second Annual Pioneer 5K Run/Walk in St. Lucie West

The Indian River State College (IRSC) Foundation announces the Second Annual Pioneer 5K Run/Walk at the IRSC Pruitt Campus in St. Lucie West on Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 a.m. The Pioneer 5k Run/Walk offers an exceptional opportunity for both beginning and experienced runners—as well as for those just coming out to enjoy themselves—all in support of scholarships for IRSC students.
Mike Melton from MCM Timing & Results LLC will conduct official course operations and timing, and award presentations occur in several categories. The $30 registration includes event shirts and finisher awards for participants. All event proceeds support IRSC student scholarships.
“We are looking forward the Second Annual Pioneer 5K Run/Walk and the opportunity to support scholarships for IRSC students,” shares John Crowe, IRSC Alumni Development Coordinator. He continues, “Events like this go the extra mile supporting our students and invite members of our surrounding communities to learn about the great things going on at IRSC.”
Participants can create a new team or join a current team as well as find more information and register for the Pioneer 5k Run/Walk at irscfoundation.org/5k.

2019–20 Fielden Institute Distinguished Lecture Series Examines Topics Ranging from Economic Outlook to Technology

Have the Experience of a Lifetime in 2020 with the IRSC Study Abroad Program

The Indian River State College (IRSC) Foundation announces the Second Annual Pioneer 5K Run/Walk at the IRSC Pruitt Campus in St. Lucie West on Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 a.m. The Pioneer 5k Run/Walk offers an exceptional opportunity for both beginning and experienced runners—as well as for those just coming out to enjoy themselves—all in support of scholarships for IRSC students.
Mike Melton from MCM Timing & Results LLC will conduct official course operations and timing, and award presentations occur in several categories. The $30 registration includes event shirts and finisher awards for participants. All event proceeds support IRSC student scholarships.
“We are looking forward the Second Annual Pioneer 5K Run/Walk and the opportunity to support scholarships for IRSC students,” shares John Crowe, IRSC Alumni Development Coordinator. He continues, “Events like this go the extra mile supporting our students and invite members of our surrounding communities to learn about the great things going on at IRSC.”
Participants can create a new team or join a current team as well as find more information and register for the Pioneer 5k Run/Walk at irscfoundation.org/5k.

IRSC Hosts College Information Nights for Parents

In Photo:
IRSC is hosting special Parent Information nights October 14–17 at all campus locations—and additional locations. IRSC Parent Information Nights will enlighten parents of prospective students on college costs and how to pay for college including financial aid and scholarship availability and more.

Parents who have questions about their child’s path to college success are invited to attend an upcoming Indian River State College (IRSC) Parent Information Night and see firsthand what the IRSC offers. From career-training programs that include automotive, welding and HVAC, to Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree programs, IRSC provides the education and training students need for success in rewarding, high-demand career fields.
IRSC Parent Information Nights will enlighten parents of prospective students on college costs and how to pay for college—including financial aid and scholarship availability. Representatives from IRSC will also share details on how to transfer to a university and about Florida’s 2+2 admissions program. Information on how students can earn credit for qualifying scores on AP and IB exams, successful completion of Dual Enrollment classes and Career Pathways academies, as well as for Gold Standard Industry Certifications will also be shared.
IRSC Parent Information Nights are planned for the following locations and dates:
Monday, October 14, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Historic Sebastian School, 1235 Main Street, Room 3, Sebastian
Monday, October 14, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Pruitt Campus, Schreiber Conference Center, 500 N.W. California Blvd., Port St. Lucie
Tuesday, October 15, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Mueller Campus, Richardson Conference Center, 6155 College Lane, Vero Beach
Tuesday, October 15, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Dixon Hendry Campus, Williamson Conference Center, 2229 N.W. 9th Avenue, Okeechobee
Wednesday, October 16, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Main Campus, Kight Center for Emerging Technologies, 3209 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce
Thursday, October 17, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Chastain Campus, Johnson Auditorium, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart

To reserve a spot at an upcoming Parent Information Night, visit https://tinyurl.com/IRSCParents. For more information email info@irsc.edu or call 1-866-792-4772.

LEADERship Martin County Alumni Foundation for Youth, Inc. Martin Youth LEADERship Initiates “Operation 23”

Stuart - 40 students of this year’s Martin Youth LEADERship Program held their first monthly session of the school year (LEADERship Day) on Tuesday, September 24 at the Kane Center in Stuart. Session Chairman Alec Connolly offered the students a full day of ice-breaking, team building, and leadership exercises that helped students find their leadership style and introduced them to goal setting. Connolly, from Gulf Stream Council Boys Scouts of America, worked with volunteers Jim Atkinson (aka Mr. H-A-P-P-Y) and Christina Wilson, also with Gulf Stream Council Boy Scouts of America. In conjunction with the volunteer leaders, the program would not be possible without the support of the individual high school staff that assist: Brett Hawkins, from Martin County High School; Jeanine Bushman, from South Fork High School; Marianne Vinette from Jensen Beach High School; Chris McCrory from Clark Advanced Learning Center; and Beth Lettengarver from the Pine School.

In October, Martin Youth LEADERship will travel to Tanah Keetah Scout Reservation and participate in Project COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience), for a day of learning on the ropes course.

Crystal Stile, Director of Economic Development from Florida Power and Light, spoke to the students during lunch, communicating the importance of leadership skills. She urged the students to go out into the world after high school, gain their educations, travel and bring back their gifts and talents to the Treasure Coast when considering where to make a permanent home. MYL is grateful to FPL for underwriting the lunch.

The Martin Youth LEADERship Program for high school students is in its 22nd year. The group is continually striving to better serve the students that have made application and have been accepted into the program. The Martin Youth LEADERship program is an opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors throughout Martin County to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students must apply, and a maximum of 40 are selected to participate in this comprehensive nine-month program that is modeled after LEADERship Martin County. Upon completion, these young Leaders have learned about their community including history, government, business, arts and culture, criminal justice and the environment. Class members are given a rare opportunity to reach their highest leadership potential through sessions focusing on Covey’s Effective Habits and other leadership enhancing activities. Every effort is made to select a racially, gender diverse class representing various levels of leadership experience.

Congratulations to the following students for their acceptance into this program: Kahli Aitken, Jacob Anderson, Kathryn Bakinowski, Izzy Bongino, Madi Boudreau, Celena Budd, Betsy Buntin, Ashley Carmody, Ella Carswell, Ryann Cooper, Cade Crook, Kendall Eaker, Dallas English, Ashlee Farias, Alexia French, Vivian Gobler, Sierra Holdren, Nell Hutchinson, Jordan LoSardo, Jamie Metzgar, Jess Metzgar, Julia Metzgar, Taylor Morris, Maddie Nield, Ava Norris, Aiden O’Connor, Josh Parks, Megan Pellerin, Mikey Powers, Sophia Pratt, Caroline Riggs, Simon Ross, John Sexton, Mariyah Smith, Conner Strom, Alec Von Aldenbruck, Tiernan Watkins, Ya Lana Weaver, Madeline Weiler, Celia Wilson,

For more information about Martin Youth LEADERship, and how you too, might become a sponsor, donor, event coordinator or advisory board member, please see the group web site at: http://www.leadershipmcalumni.com/youth_leadership.asp, or contact Jeanne Dunn at MartinYouthLeadership@gmail.com or at (772) 486-4695.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, "Who they are, what they do and where they do it".

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The program is completely underwritten and sponsored by many local businesses and in-kind donations, including but not limited to:

  • Ampersand Shirt Shack
  • Children’s Services Council
  • Florida Power and Light/Next Era Energy
  • Out2News/Out2martincounty.com
  • Hill, Barth & King
  • LEADERship Martin County Alumni Foundation for Youth, Inc.
  • Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith
  • Martin County REALTORS of the Treasure Coast
  • Martin County School District
  • Publix Supermarkets
  • Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce
  • Treasure Coast Legal
  • Treasure Coast Realty

Impact 100 Network, Project LIFT

With the amazing insight of Impact the Palm Beaches Impact 100 Network, Project LIFT has blasted off....After being awarded the 100k Impact award in 2017 we are excited to report that their growth continues to sky rocket. This past year Project LIFT in Belle Glade was able to increase their overall enrollment to seventy five, start the Pathway academy of innovation while adding two new vocations to their offerings. We are particularly proud of the recent graduations of the Pathway Academy of Innovation high school diploma and apprentice program. Three teens who had dropped out of high school entered the Pathway Academy of Innovation with only 5 credits of 24 needed to graduate High School. We are very proud to say that with a lot of hard work and within six months they had completed their High School Diploma requirements through Project LIFT's Nationally Accredited Program.
This year Project LIFT expects to increase enrollment to over 100 students annually focused on Mental Health Therapy, drug abuse counseling, vocational skills training and mentoring. Project LIFT credits a big part of its success to the visionary insight of the Initial Funding from the Women of Impact the Palm Beaches!

Project LIFT’s Pathway Academy of Innovation is a ground-breaking solution designed to address the needs of high-risk teens, who have dropped out of high school, attain their high school diploma while also focusing on vocational training, mental health and substance abuse issues to prepare them for the 21st Century workforce! With this unique approach we integrate the individual’s desired career pathway with high school curriculum while adding social-emotional support services. By offering a blend of on-line and on-site experiential learning, Project LIFT propels teens to graduation in less time and more efficiently than it would take them in a traditional classroom setting.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, "Who they are, what they do and where they do it".

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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2019-2020 Martin Youth LEADERship Program Orientation

Stuart - On Thursday, September 19th an Orientation of the Martin Youth LEADERship was held at the Martin County Realtor Association in Stuart.

The Martin Youth LEADERship program is an opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors throughout Martin County to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students must apply and approximately 40 are selected to participate in this comprehensive nine-month program that is modeled after LEADERship Martin County. Students from Clark Advanced Learning Center, Jensen Beach High School,Martin County High School, South Fork High School and the The Pine School and their parents were welcomed by Martin County Leadership Program. Students and parents participated in an ice breaker session coordinated by Jim Atkinson.

Upon completion, these Leaders have learned about their community including history, government, business, arts and culture, criminal justice and the environment. Class members are given a rare opportunity to reach their highest leadership potential through sessions focusing on Covey’s Effective Habits and other leadership enhancing activities. Every effort is made to select a racially, gender diverse class representing various levels of leadership experience. If you have any questions contact Diana Bruton at (772) 215-3613.

For more information on Youth LEADERSHIP visit http://leadershipmcalumni.com/youth-leadership/
Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, "Who they are, what they do and where they do it".

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Photo by: Robin Hall Out2News/Out2martincounty.com

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"The Treasure Coast's Photo Journal"

School Board Adopts Final Budget for 2019 - 2020 School Year

The Martin County School Board approved the District’s final budget for the 2019-2020 school year during its meeting on September 5, 2019. The final budget totals $385.99 million and includes $221.23 million allocated to the general (operating) fund and $130.19 million allocated to capital projects.

“I am pleased with the progress we’ve made to increase the financial health of the Martin County School District,” Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord shared. “I am proud to report that the District will once again meet the School Board's requirement that we maintain a 5% fund balance this year.”

The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) awarded the Martin County School District’s Finance Department its Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting in August. Presented to school districts that exhibit transparency in the preparation and issuance of their Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, the award reflects the District’s commitment to clarity and high-quality financial reporting.

“Our Finance Department appreciates the critical importance of fiscal accountability,” Superintendent Gaylord said. “All of our financial publications – from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report to the budget documents presented to the School Board last evening – reflect the District’s unwavering commitment to transparent, detailed reporting practices.”

Martin County Ranked Among Florida's Best School Districts by Niche

Niche, an online platform dedicated to providing data on America's best schools, colleges and universities, has included the Martin County School District on its 2020 list of the Best School Districts in Florida. Ranking at number six, the District is the only school district on the Treasure Coast or in the South Florida region to be listed in the top 10.

"I was thrilled to learn that Niche has once again included the Martin County School District on its list of top school districts in the state," Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord shared. "Niche takes a lot of data into consideration when compiling these rankings and recognizing outstanding school districts, and I am pleased to see that our position reflects the hard work our teachers, staff and administrators put in each day to ensure we are educating all students for success."

The 2020 Best School Districts rankings are based on an analysis of academic and student life data obtained from the United States Department of Education, Civil Rights Data Collection and the National Center for Education Statistics.

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Teachers Recognized as Microsoft Innovator Educator Experts for 2019-2020

ST. LUCIE – Laurie Boyer and Julia Hilburn, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) teachers, have been selected as Microsoft Innovator Educator (MIE) Experts for 2019-2020.
Chief Academic Officer Dr. Helen Wild explained that her team was delighted to learn of the recognition. “Laurie and Julia are the digital trendsetters in our district. It’s no surprise that Microsoft is recognizing their ability to effectively use technology to enhance the learning environment in classrooms across our schools.”

According to Microsoft, Boyer and Hilburn were selected for this prestigious recognition because they are “self-driven, passionate about their work, have a true collaborative spirit, and strive to inspire students with outside-the-box thinking on technology in education.” As MIE Experts, they will have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from other technology experts around the world, test new educational tools for Microsoft, and build capacity within SLPS. Microsoft describes recipients as “agents of change” tasked with “creating an environment of innovation in education using technology.”

Boyer works as a Recruitment and Outreach Specialist for the Magnet School MSAP Grant Team while Hilburn currently serves as a Technology Support Specialist on the Talent Development Team.

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