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Sarasota County Schools News

FHSAA Fall 2018 Academic Team Champions Announced

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Athletics

Sarasota County Schools Boasts Six Teams in Top Three Rankings

November 29, 2018 – The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has announced its Fall 2018 Academic Team Champions, including six athletic teams from Sarasota County Schools. For a complete list of Fall 2018 Academic Team Champions, click here.

“I am thrilled for all our qualifying schools,” said James Slaton, director of athletic for Sarasota County Schools. “This is a collective effort from our student athletes, coaches, families, teachers and volunteers. We stress to our athletes that their academics cannot suffer because of athletic participation, and always encourage them to push their productivity both on and off the field and court. It takes great care, balance and dedication— trademark traits of successful student athletes— to achieve this level of academic and athletic accomplishment. I cannot thank our school leaders and teachers enough for holding our athletes to rigorous standards that enable them to develop into well-rounded young people.”

The following Sarasota County Schools athletic teams were recognized with top three placements in their respective categories:

  • Football – Class 8A Schools
  • Football – Class 7A Schools
  • Girls Golf – Class 3A Schools
  • Boys Swimming – Class 4A Schools
    • (2) Riverview High School, 3.660 Cumulative Team GPA
  • Boys Swimming – Class 3A Schools
    • (3) Venice High School, 3.673 Cumulative Team GPA
  • Girls Swimming – Class 4A Schools
    • (3) Sarasota High School, 3.728 Cumulative Team GPA

About the FHSAA Academic Team Champion Program

The FHSAA Academic Team Champion recognition program honors teamwork not only in competition, but in the classroom as well. The program recognizes teams in each of the Association’s sanctioned and recognized sports, naming an Academic Team Champion in each classification.  For the 2018-19 school year, the 698-member senior high schools have been divided into nine classifications for administrative purposes based on the enrollments submitted to the FHSAA Office in October 2014, which were used to discern the classifications as they are drawn up now (as per basketball).

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Chief of Police Tim Enos Takes SCSPD Oath of Office

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Time Enos

November 28, 2018 – On Tuesday morning, Tim Enos took his Oath of Office amidst beloved family and friends, Sarasota County Schools personnel, law enforcement officials, public officials, students, members of the media and the public. The crowd heard remarks from Superintendent Todd Bowden, Sheriff Tom Knight and Florida Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools Executive Director Damien Kelly. The Honorable Judge Lee Haworth presided over the ceremony, which was held at the Riverview High School Performing Arts Center.

“I am humbled and honored to begin my service as Chief of Police of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department,” noted Enos. “I am a proud product of Sarasota County Schools, and it has been my joy as a parent to see my children thrive in this community. Most of my law enforcement career has been focused on working with students and helping them reach their goals. I am passionate about continuing the exemplary care and service that Sarasota County Schools has always put forth for its students. I will strive to provide the most up-to-date training and resources for our officers, and look forward to working with school leaders and community partners to further deepen the district’s connections in the community. We have achieved many successes as a department so far, but it’s going to take all our parents, students, teachers, staff and local law enforcement working together to make sure our schools remain safe.”

“Tim Enos is an incredible wealth of law enforcement knowledge and has immense school safety experience,” said Todd Bowden, super indent of Sarasota County Schools. “He is a natural fit for this position and we are thrilled to have him as our Chief of Police. Over the years, Tim has established many ties in various organizations and municipalities in Sarasota County and beyond, all of which I know will be assets in furthering the SCSPD’s safety and security initiatives. We are thankful for his dedication to our students and school communities and look forward to seeing how he continues to improve Sarasota County Schools’ safety and security efforts.”

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Pine View School to Host “Supercharging Gifted Education” Seminar on Saturday, December 15, 2018

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gifted creativity

Please join Sarasota County Schools on December 15 for a morning seminar designed for any educator interested in learning new ideas to encourage creativity in the classroom. Guests will have the opportunity to attend four engaging presentations from expert classroom teachers.

Presenters/Topics/Levels include:

  • Robin Melton—Pine View School
    • Exploring Creativity in Social Studies (High School)
  • Brittany Domiano—Glenallen Elementary
    • Road Trip Around the Regions: A Collaborative Social Studies Project (Elementary)
  • Freda Williams—Pine View School
    • Supercharged Arts Integration Strategies to Ignite Creativity (Elementary)
  • Kerry Golumbeck & Mary Ryan—Sarasota Middle School
    • Let the Games Begin! Games that Can Engage Students at All Levels, in All Subjects! (All Levels)
  • Jay Skipper—Pine View School
    • Using Technology to Promote Creativity in the Gifted Science Classroom (Middle/High)
  • In-Ja Beutl—Fruitville Elementary
    • Nearpod in the Math Classroom. (All Levels)
  • Christine Braun & Carol Lavallee—Pine View School
    • Embracing our Differences in the Classroom (All Levels)
  • Dr. Kacie Nadeau—Lakeview Elementary
    • Political Cartoon Possibilities in the Elementary Classroom (Elementary)
  • Ashley Byington & Kelly Hawking—Pine View School
    • Reverse Brainstorming and SCAMPER: Strategies for the Classroom and Beyond (Middle/High)
  • Shannon Wynne—Tatum Ridge Elementary
    • Forget the Box, Just Think Outside (Elementary)
  • David Wing—Woodland Middle School
    • Arts Integration in Cross Curricular Lesson Plans (All Levels)
  • Shane Sweezy—Oak Park School
    • Music for Gifted Learners: Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Your Classroom (All Levels)
  • Melissa Barber—Booker Middle School
    • Developing Differentiated Assessments for Gifted Learners (All Levels)
  • Sara Kolsky—Pine View School
    • Ideas on How to Get Your Students to Think Creatively (Elementary)Elizabeth Lewis, ESE Program Specialist

Locations & Times:

Saturday, December 15:  9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pine View School

1 Python Path, Osprey, FL 34229

Registration:

To register, please visit:  http://scs-webapps2.sarasota.k12.fl.us/pds/

*Non-District employees: At login, click on “Non-Employee”

Contact Information:

Please contact Kim Seth, FDLRS Parent Services Specialist for questions or assistance with registration:  941.927.9000 ext. 32234 or Kim.Seth@SarasotaCountySchools.net

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Jane Goodwin Elected as School Board Chair

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Jane Goodwin

November 26, 2018 – Members of the Sarasota County School Board elected Jane Goodwin as Chair at their annual reorganization meeting on November 20. Goodwin will serve a one-year term ending in November 2019. Caroline Zucker was elected Vice Chair and will also serve a one-year term.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as Chair of the School Board,” commented Goodwin. “Our board is committed to high standards for academic, emotional and civic growth for every student, every day. I remain acutely focused on closing the achievement gap, increasing reading proficiency in elementary schools, STEM education for middle schoolers as well as career and college readiness for high schools. I look forward to working with my fellow board members, district administrators, school leaders, community partners and statewide school board members to ensure our voice is heard in Tallahassee and resources are readily available to help Sarasota County remain a top-ranking district in Florida.”

Goodwin was elected to the Sarasota County School Board in 2010. She also serves on the board of the Florida School Music Association, is Chair of the Florida School Board Association’s Legislative Committee, Secretary Treasurer of the Florida Consortium of School Boards, is a board member of the Venice Regional Bayfront Hospital and a board member of the Venice Performing Arts Center. Jane is a former teacher and her two grandchildren attend Sarasota public schools.

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Workshops for Parents of ESE Students Planned December 10 & December 13

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ESE Student

Please join the Pupil Support Services team of Sarasota County Schools on December 10 for a morning or evening workshop (or December 13 for an evening workshop) designed for parents of ESE students to learn about transition for students receiving support and services attending middle and/or high school. The workshop will provide an in-depth review and allow for questions with guest panelists.

Speakers include:

  • Elizabeth Lewis, ESE Program Specialist
  • Jody Smith, School Social Worker

Locations & Times:

Monday, December 10:  9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The Landings – Blue Bldg. #221

1960 Landings Blvd., Sarasota, FL  34231

 

Monday, December 10:  6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Laurel Nokomis School

1900 East Laurel Blvd., Nokomis, FL  34275  

 

Thursday, December 13: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Oak Park School

7285 Proctor Rd., Sarasota, FL 34241

Child care will be provided during the evening sessions.

Registration:

To register for the December 10 morning session, please visit:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/tranisitionam

To register for the December 10 evening session, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/transitionlnspm

To register for the December 13 evening session, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OakParkpm

Contact Information:

Please contact Kim Seth, FDLRS Parent Services Specialist for questions or assistance with registration:  941.927.9000 ext. 32234 or Kim.Seth@SarasotaCountySchools.net

For questions regarding inclusive education, please contact Florida Inclusion Network Facilitator, Mandi Coker: 941.927.9000 ext. 31185 Amanda.coker@sarasotacountyschools.net

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Adult & Community Enrichment at Suncoast Technical College Annual Art Sale

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ACE at STC

The Adult & Community Enrichment Center at Suncoast Technical College (ACE at STC) will be hosting their annual Art Sale from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday, December 5 in the Center Lobby or Building 3 at Suncoast Technical College.

ACE at STC is known in the community for arts and community enrichment classes with 40% of these classes being devoted to the arts. The program’s annual Art Sale is a full day dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of the instructors and students alike. With over 4,000 students in the ACE at STC Art Program, there is sure to be a perfect holiday gift for anyone on your shopping list! Attendees will see a wide selection of handmade ceramics, paintings, fiber art, photography, baskets, jewelry and much more. Guest vendors and artists at this year’s Art Sale will include 12th grade students from the Extended Transition Program at STC. A portion of the Art Sale proceeds will benefit the ACE at STC Art Program as well as the ACE at STC Scholarship Program.

For more information, please contact Danelle Gilberti or Robin Rosen at 941-361-6590.

Sarasota County Schools Provides Crisis Text Line Awareness Campaign to Help Students in Need

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Crisis Text Line

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for children ages 10 to 18. Many sources cite that schools are a hub for connecting teens to valuable preventative resources. In addition to existing mental and behavioral health services, the district’s Crisis Text Line Awareness Campaign will ensure that Sarasota County’s middle and high school students have even more wraparound services available to them. Created by child advocate Nancy Lublin, Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 support system for those in crisis. Users can text 741741 from anywhere in the US to instantly start a text conversation with a trained Crisis Counselor. The organization has processed over 62 million messages to date, and notes that 75% of their users are under the age of 25 and 10% of their users are under the age 13.

Sarasota County Schools (SCS) will place several informational signs in high-visibility areas on campuses, such as main hallways and restrooms. These signs will direct students to text the keyword “HERE4U” in their initial message, enabling the service to track trends to better inform Sarasota County Schools about student needs. SCS is proud to partner with Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to launch the Crisis Text Line Awareness Campaign for the 2018-2019 school year.

“We deeply appreciate this investment from Barancik Foundation,” commented Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Mental and behavioral health has come to the forefront of conversation nationwide, and it is important that our students have many resources to meet their needs. Our students need to know that help is always available. We are optimistic that our Crisis Text Line Awareness Campaign will connect students to an experienced counselor, enabling them to express themselves and overcome any challenges that would keep them from fulfilling their potential.”

Sarasota County Schools Announces 2019 Principal of the Year and 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year

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2019 Principal of the Year2019 Assistant Principal of the Year

SARASOTA COUNTY, November 15, 2018 – Sarasota County Schools is pleased to announce that Booker Middle School’s Dr. LaShawn Frost is the 2019 Principal of the Year, and Riverview High School’s Kathy Wilks is the 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year. Both recipients were surprised with balloons and flowers at their respective campuses by fellow school and district administrators.

“Sarasota County Schools prides itself on having home-grown, strong leadership,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “LaShawn Frost and Kathy Wilks exemplify the high standards we expect from all our school leaders. Dr. Frost and Mrs. Wilks have each been instrumental to the various schools they have served during their respective tenures within the district. We want our principals and assistant principals to thrive, and inspire their teachers and staff to always pursue professional development. Opportunities are readily available in a variety of growth tracks throughout the district and we continually look to elevate and retain talented educators. This continuity of stellar leadership enhances our students’ learning experiences and further solidifies our district’s reputation as a pacesetter for educational achievement.”

“We are fortunate to have an incredible group of administrators leading our school communities in Sarasota County,” said Dr. Laura Kingsley, assistant superintendent and chief academic officer of Sarasota County Schools. “Both Dr. Frost and Mrs. Wilks personify dedication and commitment to their students, parents and staff. It is rare to find school leaders with their loyalty and drive. Both LaShawn and Kathy have each made great strides this year, championing for their schools and upholding our district’s pledge to provide exemplary academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. I could not be more proud to have them represent Sarasota County Schools.”

“I am honored and filled with gratitude,” commented Frost. “I do not consider what I do a job, I think of it as a calling. I love witnessing student success at Booker Middle School every day, and that is largely due to my fantastic teachers and staff. It is a privilege to lead such a strong team – our students know they are special and valued, and that comes from the example my teachers and staff set. I will always strive to deliver the very best opportunities for our school community. This award comes after a year of much success, including Booker Middle being named a College For Every Student (CFES) Brilliant Pathways School of Distinction. I am excited to see what the year ahead has in store.”

Dr. Frost has been an educator for over 15 years. LaShawn received two Bachelor Degrees from Florida State University, a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Norwich University, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida and a Doctorate in Counseling and Leadership from Cornerstone University. She is an alumna of the “Art of Leadership” Institute at Harvard University, an immersive educational experience that helped to foster her appreciation for and understanding of the complexities of leading in 21st century schools. Before assuming her role as principal of Booker Middle School, LaShawn served as an assistant principal at both Booker Middle School and Venice High School, where she oversaw curriculum, master scheduling, Small Learning Communities, professional development and other critical aspects of the learning environment. Dr. Frost has notably received the Freedom Education Award from the NAACP, the Outstanding Educator Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Community Leader Award from Rotary Club of Sarasota, the Community Impact Award from The Junior League of Sarasota, the She Knows Where She’s Going Award from Girls Inc. of Sarasota County and the BIZ 941 Women to Follow Award from Sarasota Magazine, among others.

“I am thrilled to receive this award and serve as a representative of Sarasota County Schools,” noted Wilks. “I have been an educator for 29 years and love supporting teachers instructionally, as well as supporting students as they successfully graduate with the ability to pursue their future goals. It has been exciting to see all the gains Riverview High School’s students have made in various fields of study and to have a role in this process. I am focused on pushing curriculum forward to ensure that our students have access to tools and invaluable learning experiences. I am proud of all our amazing teachers that diligently care for the learning needs of our diverse school community. It is a joy to work with such a steadfast team that whole-heartedly embraces the district’s mission to exceed the educational needs of all students.”

Mrs. Wilks received her Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education from Georgia State University and has a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from the University of West Georgia. She has 20 years of educational experience with Sarasota County Schools, 6 years as a math teacher and 14 years as an administrator. Before assuming her role as Assistant Principal of Curriculum at Riverview High School (tenure that included several months as Acting Principal of the school), Kathy served as an assistant principal at North Port High School, where she supervised various departments and oversaw the Advanced Placement and AICE programs, professional development and master scheduling. She also served as the principal of Brookside Middle School, overseeing the implementation and review of the Middle Years IB Program, among other leadership responsibilities. Kathy is an avid learner and has attended many seminars for professional development, including the Visible Learning Conference with Professor John Hattie in San Francisco, and IB conferences and workshops in Princeton, Chicago, and Toronto. Additionally, Mrs. Wilks is currently one of five administrators in the state serving as a Commissioner on the Florida Education Practices Commission, hearing teacher and administrator panels throughout the state.  Mrs. Wilks’ previous awards include Sarasota County High School Teacher of the Year in 2004-2005, North Port High School Teacher of the Year in 2003-2004, and numerous grants as a classroom teacher.

Dr. LaShawn Frost and Mrs. Kathy Wilks are now in the running for Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year, respectively, at the state level. The Florida Department of Education’s (FLDOE) Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership (Principal of the Year) was established in 1988 to recognize Florida principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. FLDOE’s Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award (Assistant Principal of the Year) was established in 1997 to honor assistant principals that have utilized teamwork and leadership to increase student achievement and greatly improved school environments. FLDOE Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart, will announce three state-level finalists for each award this coming spring at the Commissioner’s Summit for Principals. The finalist for each award will be revealed in the coming summer at the FLDOE Celebration For School Leaders.

Sarasota County Schools has received two prior Florida Principal of the Year awards. Alta Vista Elementary’s Dr. Barbara Shirley received the honor in 2014, and Booker High School’s Dr. Rachel Shelley received the honor in 2017.

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

PHOTO CAPTIONS:

Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Laura Kingsley, Executive Director of Secondary Schools Steve Cantees and Director of Leadership Carol Kay Brown led the charge for surprising Dr. LaShawn Frost (Photo 1) and Kathy Wilks (Photo 2).

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Sarasota County 2019 Teacher of the Year Finalists Surprised at School

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2019 Teacher of the Year Sarasota High2019 Teacher of the Year Wilkinson2019 Teacher of the Year Oak Park

This news release is from Sarasota County Schools and the Education Foundation of Sarasota County:

Sarasota, Fla. (Nov.13, 2018) – Three Sarasota County teachers were surprised Tuesday, Nov. 13, when they were revealed as finalists for the district’s elementary, middle and high school 2019 Teacher of the Year honors.

The 2019 finalists are: Tessa Healy, Wilkinson Elementary School; Shane Swezey, Oak Park School; Ashlee Middleton, Sarasota High School.

(Note: A detailed summary of the teacher surprise school visits follows.)

One of the three finalists will be named the district’s overall 2019 Teacher of the Year at the Education Foundation of Sarasota County’s Ignite Education Awards Celebration on Dec. 12. The Sarasota County Teacher of the Year will represent Sarasota County Schools at the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program and will serve as a spokesperson for and representative of the teaching profession at various events throughout 2019.

The annual Teacher Tribute Tour team travels to each finalist’s school together on a bus. This year’s team included Superintendent Todd Bowden, Sarasota County School Board members, Education Foundation President Jennifer Vigne, 2018 Teacher of the Year finalists Es Swihart, Allison Cohen and Bethany Burnett, other representatives of the foundation and school district,  sponsors and special guests. The team congratulated finalists as students, principals and fellow teachers helped celebrate the honorees.

First Stop:

The first stop for the Teacher Tribute Tour bus was Sarasota High School where Superintendent Todd Bowden announced Ashlee Middleton as the High School Teacher of the Year. Principal David Jones told the crowd, “Our staff is full of difference makers like Mrs. Middleton. We are so incredibly proud of you.”

Middleton, who teaches English, journalism and intensive language arts, told the cheering crowd, “It's the students who have worked so hard to help me receive this honor.”

Middleton earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida. She has taught for over seven years, first at Manatee High School before moving to Sarasota High School in 2013. In addition to teaching, she serves in various school and community leadership roles, including as Sarasota High’s professional development coordinator.

Designated a “highly effective teacher” by the Florida Department of Education, Middleton says she develops a positive classroom environment where students become a team and support one another in reaching goals.

Before the assembly ended, one of Middleton’s students ran up to the stage, beaming with pride, and asked, “Can I take a picture with her?” 

Second Stop:

Next, the bus pulled into Wilkinson Elementary School where Principal Susan Nations welcomed the group and Superintendent Bowden announced to an assembly of students and teachers, “This morning, we’re going to let one of your teachers know she’s the Elementary School Teacher of the Year!” Music and cheering erupted as Tessa Healy, fourth grade STEAM teacher, was welcomed to the stage.

Accepting the honor, Healy said, “When I came to Wilkinson, I told my family that I felt like a little fish in a big pond, so I’m excited to represent all of these amazing teachers. I love you guys!”

Healy began her career as an educator in 2012 at Student Leadership Academy in Venice, Fla., and moved to Wilkinson Elementary in 2016. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Phoenix and a master’s from St. Leo University.

Healy said she never had imagined being named the district’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year after having graduated from a Sarasota County dropout prevention program while pregnant at age 17.

“No matter where you start, Sarasota County Schools has programs in place to help you reach your goals–whether you are a student, parent or teacher,” she said. “You just must be brave enough to rise to the challenge.”

Healy enthusiastically shares her passion for reading and technology through various leadership roles, including presenting at local and state conferences and serving as vice president of the Sarasota Reading Council. She plans to enroll in the district’s Leadership Academy next year.

“Developing my instructional practices began by turning inward, determining what excited me and finding professional development opportunities based on those interests, and eventually evolved into seeking out practices that my students can use to be more successful, both now and in the future,” Healy shared.

Third Stop:

The final stop on the tour was Oak Park School. Cheerleaders and marching band members from Booker High School joined a gymnasium full of Oak Park students to help surprise Shane Swezey, Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Oak Park School Principal Jamie Lowicz welcomed Superintendent Bowden and announced to the crowd: “What we’re doing today is a bit of a surprise. You have a very special teacher in your midst. Mr. Swezey, come join me!”

Students and staff adorned with “Shane Swezey is my hero” buttons and giant signs of his face cheered Swezey as he accepted the honor. As the school’s music teacher, Swezey had been sitting with his student choir and admitted, “I thought this assembly was for the choir, so I’m really confused!”

“I’m just a regular guy who tries to come in every day and show the kids here the love, kindness, grace and sacrifice that I’ve been so kindly shown,” he continued. “I’m privileged and honored not just to work with these kids but to be part of the Oak Park family.”

Swezey originally studied aerospace engineering at Florida State University but a change of heart led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music therapy. He later earned a master’s in music from the University of Kentucky and his teaching certification from State College of Florida. Swezey previously worked as a music therapist and research assistant with UK Healthcare. He has served as a music teacher and therapist at Oak Park School since 2013.

“My background has given me a unique lens to look at music as a tool to help support student learning more holistically,” Swezey explained. “Music is an engaging, motivating and accessible medium that I can use to buttress the communication, motor, social-emotional and academic goals my students have.”

As a music educator and therapist for students with special needs, Swezey often refers to a Claude Debussy quote, “Music is the space between the notes.”

“Often there are a lot of spaces between Oak Park students’ notes,” Swezey said. “Students with special needs may have longer spaces between their notes, but if you listen closely, their music is truly inspirational.”

The overall district Teacher of the Year for 2019 will be announced from among the three finalists at Ignite Education Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration.

The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota. More information and tickets are available at http://www.EdFoundationSRQ.org/ignite.

To further amplify the importance of teachers on their students and the community, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County will also recognize the nominees and crown the recipient of the second annual Alumni of Distinction award.

About the Teacher of the Year Program

The Teacher of the Year program is produced by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County in partnership with Sarasota County Schools and is made possible through the funding and support of many corporate and community partners. Each of the three finalists will receive a cash award from the Education Foundation.

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is an independent partner working to advance philanthropic support for Sarasota County Schools. Its mission is to enhance the potential of students, promote excellence in teaching and inspire innovation in education. Guided by the belief that education changes lives, the Education Foundation strives to match each donor’s passion with high-impact projects created to ensure students graduate with purpose and are prepared for a postsecondary pathway. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County and its philanthropic investors are champions for students, teachers and schools. For more information on how to be a champion for education, visit EdFoundationSRQ.org.

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

PHOTO CAPTIONS (Please include this credit: Photos by Rod Millington)

First image: Sarasota High School teacher Ashlee Middleton is surprised as the 2019 High School Teacher of the Year.

Second image: Tessa Healy, 2019 Elementary School Teacher of the Year from Wilkinson Elementary, poses with Superintendent Todd Bowden, 2018 Elementary School Teacher of the Year Bethany Burnett, School Board Members Jane Goodwin and Caroline Zucker, Executive Director of Elementary Schools Chris Renouf and Education Foundation President Jennifer Vigne.

Third image: Surprises all around as Shane Swezey from Oak Park School is announced as 2019 Middle School Teacher of the Year.

(High resolution versions available at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kDgoBDI0sgyiFArFdloHVAbCk-Injcv3)

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SPARCC Issues Apology for Use of Non-approved Materials in Class

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SCS News

The Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) has issued an apology to the students, staff and administration at Pine View School for the use of inappropriate materials to seniors last Wednesday. SPARCC has conducted classes on healthy relationships in the school district, and until now, has always used pre-approved materials that conform to curriculum guidelines and School Board policy.

 On November 7, an unsuitable video was shown to Pine View students that was not approved by the school district. After observing the video in class, a teacher notified school administration of their concern about the contents of the video, and an investigation was conducted. Previously, SPARCC had used an approved video to teach this coursework. After an initial investigation, it was discovered that a SPARCC counselor took it upon herself to show this video, knowing it had not been previously vetted, and broke curriculum protocol. In addition, school staff at Pine View did not follow the correct process for guest speakers by admitting this counselor in the school in advance of their appointment and showing materials that had not been approved. 

 In a statement from SPARCC, President and CEO, Jessica Hays wrote, “We sincerely apologize for the incident last Wednesday at Pine View. The staff member did not follow established protocol regarding the programming presented, and the organization has acted to ensure that this does not happen again. SPARCC has had a positive relationship with Sarasota County Schools that has spanned more than 15 years and we take the trust placed in our organization very seriously. Preventing domestic/dating violence and sexual assault is central to our mission and SPARCC aims to be a trusted resource for our community.”

 “We appreciate SPARCC’s shared concerns regarding this incident,” noted Dr. Stephen Covert, principal at Pine View School. “I am thankful for their swift review of the events and apology to our students, staff, school leaders and families. Until now, SPARCC has been a trusted resource for our students and school community, however, I am disappointed that the action of one resulted in an unacceptable situation for our students. I want to assure our school community that we will follow district guidelines and will take extra precautions in the future to ensure only pre-approved materials are used in the classroom.”

 Until a complete review is conducted, the school district has suspended SPARCC from presenting programming in Sarasota County schools. The district has also reinforced guest speaker protocols with school leaders and staff to ensure anyone presenting to students has a pre-approved set of curricula that is reviewed and accepted by the school principal.

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North Port Schools to Host ESOL Family Night November 15

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Universal Families

Please join North Port schools on Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. for an ESOL Family Night at the Suncoast Technical College in North Port. Many of our local schools will be participating in this fun-filled family event, including:

-          Cranberry Elementary

-          Glenallen Elementary

-          Lamarque Elementary

-          Toledo Blade Elementary

-          Heron Creek Middle School

-          Woodland Middle School and

-          North Port High School

The evening’s festivities will include resources for parents about iReady, assessments, English classes for adults and more. School supplies will be available for students and there will be food and door prizes. Interpreters will be in attendance and available for families.


Custom invitations in multiple languages, including Haitian Creole, Spanish, Russian and English are available online:  https://tinyurl.com/esolflyer. Registration forms are due to your student’s school on Monday, November 12.


We hope you can join us to celebrate the uniqueness of our students and North Port families and look forward to seeing you on November 15!
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Sarasota County Schools Celebrates Professional Development and Leadership

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SCS Logo 2018

SARASOTA COUNTY, November 8, 2018 – Sarasota County Schools’ Leadership Academy recently held its Leadership Legacy event. The event’s theme, “Sowing the Seed of Success”, not only honored the accomplished tenure of former superintendent Wilma Hamilton Delp, it also served as a celebratory fundraiser to further expand the leadership opportunities of aspiring leaders in the school district. Co-chaired by Lori Butters and Shannon Fleming, the festive evening also highlighted the district’s collaborative projects and recent professional development milestones.

“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to give back to a program that has offered us so much,” said Lori Butters, state reports analyst for Sarasota County Schools. “The Leadership Academy allows participants to interface with a group of like-minded leaders that otherwise might not have met. In a district so large, it is rare to see such a detailed and encompassing training program that spans all departments within the organization. We are grateful to have the support of our community partners and leaders, and are pleased to continue the legacy of growth for future participants.”

“Sarasota County Schools emphasizes “home grown” leadership, and it shows,” commented Shannon Fleming, high school math program specialist for Sarasota County Schools. “Nationally there is a high level of teacher and administrator turnover. The turnover rate is much lower in Sarasota County, with the average principal serves for 8 to 9 years. A district that cultivates talent from within, at various levels and within many departments, will ultimately have stronger morale and retain personnel. Our students and school communities deserve the very best, and the Leadership Academy provides unparalleled training.”

Founded in 2003, the Leadership Academy is an intensive, two-year program primarily comprised of teachers and other district employees who express a desire to become administrators and achieve growth in their respective school communities and departments. The program explores various career pathways and delivers on the district’s commitment to offer professional development opportunities to its employees. Please join us in congratulating the latest participants, Leadership Academy Cohort 8:

  • Bethanie Adams, Lamarque Elementary School
  • Danielle Ard , Fruitville Elementary School
  • Laura Busenburg, Alta Vista Elementary School
  • Lori Butters, Information Technology
  • Mary Cantillo, Phillippi Shores Elementary School
  • Alicia Charbonneau, Elementary Math Program Facilitator
  • Holly Chesnoff, ELA Elementary Program Specialist
  • Gina Cirillo, Glenallen Elementary School
  • Matthew Delaney, Laurel Nokomis School
  • Jade Ellis, Wilkinson Elementary School
  • Shannon Fleming, High School Math Program Specialist
  • Valerie Fletcher, Venice High School
  • George Goodfellow , Data Analyst - Research, Assessment, Eval.
  • Carly Gordon, Program Evaluation and Assessment
  • Ryan Lee, Sarasota Military Academy
  • Jessica Lucas, Venice High School
  • Katie Martin, Sarasota Military Academy
  • Kellyann McWilliams, Alta Vista Elementary School
  • Nicole Meo, Oak Park School
  • Georgia Plath, Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences
  • Tracy Prince, Middle School S.S. Program Specialist
  • Maria Schaedler-Luera, Arts Integration Specialist
  • Scott Schafer, Venice Middle School
  • Betsy Summerlee, Riverview High School
  • Brooks Tracey, Sarasota Middle School
  • Stephanie Vlahakis, Wilkinson Elementary School
  • Beth Walters, Venice Middle School
  • Emilie Webb, Garden Elementary School

 

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

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PUBLIC NOTICE: Proposed School Year Calendars Now Available for Public Comment

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Calendar

 

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the Sarasota County School Board voted to make the proposed 2019-20 and 2020-21 school year calendars available for public comment before they are finalized and adopted. Parents, students, staff and members of our community are encouraged to visit the school district’s website:  https://sarasotacountyschools.net/calendar.aspx to view the calendars, which take into consideration various breaks and student testing. 

A committee composed of parents, administrators and teachers developed the recommended calendars. For each school year, school would begin the second Monday in August and conclude after Memorial Day. In addition, the proposed calendars would provide a full week off for Thanksgiving instead of the three-day holiday break currently observed by students.

Comments and feedback can be sent to the school district via email to:  Calendar.Comment@SarasotaCountySchools.net

The deadline for the public to convey thoughts and feedback regarding the proposed calendars is noon on Monday December 10.

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Workshops for Parents of ESE Students Planned November 12

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ESE Student Learning

Please join Sarasota County Schools and FDLRS on November 12 for a morning or evening workshop designed for parents of ESE students to obtain tips and ideas to access and understand assessment data. The workshop will provide an in-depth review and allow for questions with guest panelists.

Speakers include:

-       Robert Lees, School Psychologist

-       Krista Nelson, School Psychologist

-       Charlene Meyer, Program Specialist 

-       Brittany Shurley, Program Specialist

 Locations & Times:

Monday, November 12:  9 a.m. – 11 a.m. 

The Landings – Blue Bldg. #221 

1960 Landings Blvd.

Sarasota, FL  34231

 

Monday, November 12:  6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Laurel Nokomis School

1900 East Laurel Blvd.

Nokomis, FL  34275

Child care will be provided during the evening session.

Registration:

To register for the morning session, please visit:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Assessmentam

To register for the evening session, please visit:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Assessmentpm

Please contact Kim Seth, FDLRS Parent Services Specialist for questions or assistance with registration:  941.927.9000 ext. 32234 or Kim.Seth@SarasotaCountySchools.net

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Notice of Public Meetings to Discuss Projected Student Growth and Expansion Opportunities for Venice High School

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Venice High School

Please join the Sarasota County Schools’ Planning department for a series of public workshops concerning the potential expansion of Venice High School. Each workshop will begin with a brief presentation covering the current enrollment at Venice High School, charting the projected enrollment and detailing the upcoming residential developments that will impact population growth in the area. An interactive Q&A will follow the presentation, allowing the school district to better assess and compile the community’s feedback. Outcomes from these discussions will help shape and inform the school district’s planning committee on options for student growth that best fit the greater Venice community.

For community convenience and accessibility, the following schedule has been established:

  • Monday, November 12, 2018
    • Venice Middle School – 2:30 pm in the Media Center
      • 1900 Center Road, Venice, FL  34292
    • Venice High School – 4:30 pm in the TEL Studio
      • 1 Indian Ave, Venice, FL 34285
  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018
    • Venice Elementary School – 3:45 pm in the Cafeteria
      • 150 East Miami Avenue, Venice, FL 34285
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2018
    • Laurel Nokomis School —3:30 pm in the Cafeteria
      • 1900 East Laurel Road, Nokomis, FL  34275
    • Taylor Ranch Elementary School – 6:00 pm in the Media Center
      • 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail, Venice, FL 34293
  • Thursday, November 15, 2018
    • Garden Elementary – 4:15 pm in the Media Center
      • 700 Center Road, Venice, FL 34285
  • Wednesday, December 5, 2018
    • Venice Chamber of Commerce – 8:00 am
      • 597 Tamiami Trail S, Venice, FL 34285

Brad Porinchak Named Principal at Cranberry Elementary

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Principal Brad Porinchak

SARASOTA COUNTY, November 5, 2018 – Brad Porinchak has been named the new principal of Cranberry Elementary School in North Port, pending School Board approval. He replaces current principal, Linda Daniels, who is retiring at the end of December. An employee of Sarasota County Schools since 2005, Mr. Porinchak has served as an assistant principal at Cranberry Elementary since 2017 and as assistant principal at North Port High School from 2014 – 2017, where he was responsible for instruction, administration and promoting the use of technology in the classroom. He is highly regarded among the Cranberry school community and has been an instrumental part of the leadership team to maintain Cranberry Elementary’s A-grade for the 2017-18 school year.

“I am pleased to announce Brad Porinchak as the new principal at Cranberry Elementary,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Brad is well regarded at Cranberry and is the perfect candidate to lead the school’s future. He has an incredible knowledge of the North Port community and works extremely hard to ensure the success of his students. I am confident he will inspire this next generation to excel even more, and I look forward to the accomplishments his students will experience under his leadership.”

“I am so excited to serve the Cranberry school community,” commented Brad Porinchak, new principal at Cranberry Elementary. “I am honored to work alongside such amazing school leaders, staff and teachers who inspire our students to excel every day. Our students are really remarkable, and I look forward to serving the North Port community at Cranberry Elementary for years to come.”

“Brad Porinchak is the perfect selection to lead Cranberry Elementary as principal,” said Christopher Renouf, executive director of Elementary Schools. “The students, staff and parent community have a deep affection for him. Having served as the assistant principal at Cranberry since 2017, Brad has taken full advantage of the opportunity to build relationships and get to know and understand the culture of high expectations and tradition of excellence that exists amongst the staff and within the school. Mr. Porinchak is committed to promoting the school’s vision of preparing its students to “make tracks toward excellence” in a safe, caring and respectful environment, which promotes life-long learning and grows socially responsible citizens.”

Mr. Porinchak will be the second principal at Cranberry Elementary since the school opened in 2002. He will work alongside Linda Daniels and assume the role of principal effective December 20, pending School Board approval. Prior to his assistant principal positions, Mr. Porinchak served as the school district’s K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist from 2011 – 2014. He was also an Honors Physics, Honors Chemistry, Physics, Chemistry and AP Chemistry teacher at North Port High School from 2005 – 2011. Prior to his tenure with Sarasota County Schools, Mr. Porinchak was a Biology and Anatomy/Physiology teacher at South Range High School in North Lima, OH. Mr. Porinchak has a master’s degree in Education and Administration from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA and a bachelor’s degree in Science and Secondary Education from Youngstown State University. He has collaborated with organizations, including the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, to advance STEM and science throughout Sarasota County schools. Mr. Porinchak lives in North Port with his wife and two children – all of whom are involved with North Port schools.  

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time and do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

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Search News Articles


Communications and Community Relations
Tracey Beeker, Director
tracey.beeker@sarasotacountyschools.net

Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist
kelsey.whealy@sarasotacountyschools.net

Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
Public Records Custodian, Peachjar eflyers    
caroline.lee@sarasotacountyschools.net 

Digital Communications
Mina Ajrab, Manager
mina.ajrab@sarasotacountyschools.net

Torie Ewald, Social Media Strategist
torie.ewald@sarasotacountyschools.net

Katy Ellis, Social Media Producer
kathryn.ellis@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: 941-927-4009 or
941-927-9000 ext. 74009
Fax: 941-927-2539
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Education Channel 20/33
John Flowerree, Manager
john.flowerree@sarasotacountyschools.net

TBA, Engineer

Phone: 941-361-6355
Fax: 941-361-6358
4748 Beneva Road
Sarasota, Florida 34233

Community Involvement
Lyndsey Cantees, Coordinator  
lyndsey.cantees@sarasotacountyschools.net

Jennifer Anderson, Administrative Assistant
CommunityInvolvement@sarasotacountyschools.net
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
Fax: 941-361-6539
Green 1st Floor

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