February Issue - Manatee County School District

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February Issue - Manatee County School District Powered By Docstoc
					                                     February | 2011
                                     SEPTEMBER     2010/11

The Manatee

                                             “MOVE THAT BUS!”
We Believe in
                M      embers of the Key Club at
                Manatee High School, under the
                                                             The project was overseen by the Kiwanis
                                                             Club of Bradenton and received
                direction of advisor Charlie Mills, worked   important assistance from many area
                hard during the month of December to         businesses and organizations including:
                make life better for a Bradenton family.     NDC Construction Company, N & M Cool
                Modeled after ABC’s hit TV show              Today, Hide Away Storage, HB
                “Extreme Home Makeover,” the Key             Windows, SS/20 Building Systems, Ugarte
                Club at Manatee High teamed up with          Architects, Armstrong Brothers Plumbing,
                more than two dozen local businesses to      Jakes Automotive, Rice's Appliance,
                totally renovate a decaying home in East     Reynolds     Electric,  PGT      Windows,
                Bradenton. They called the project:          Manatee County, Turner Tree &
                “Extreme Home Key-Over.”                     Landscape,       Amberjack      Sanitation
                                                             Systems, Bradenton YMCA, Hampton
                The home received new flooring, new          Painting, Scott Paint, Probuild, Manatee
                plumbing, new electrical wiring, new         Furniture, Jeffcoat Blueprint and more.
                heat and air-conditioning, new furniture,
                new landscaping and much, much more.



                  2011 Legislative Town Hall Meeting
                       Thursday, February 10th
                               7:00 p.m.
                   Palmetto High School Auditorium

      The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you,
      who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau,
      sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called "truth."
                                               Dan Rather

                   Prohibition of
No employee, student, applicant for admission or
applicant for employment, volunteer, vendor, or member
of the public, shall, on the basis of race, color, national
origin, sex, disability, marital status, age, religion, or any
other basis prohibited by law, be excluded from
participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected
to discrimination or harassment under any educational
programs, activities, services, or in any employment
conditions, policies or practices conducted by the Man-
atee County Public School System.
                                                                                    Please Call
Any employee, student, applicant for admissions, or
applicant for employment, volunteer, vendor, or member                     Larry Stults: 961 3837
of the public who believes he/she has been discriminated                             or
against or has been harassed by an employee, student,                      Mary Stults: 374-1222
or other third party who is subject to control of the School
Board, is encouraged to use the appropriate grievance
procedures set forth in this policy. Please forward              Securities offered through Lincoln Investment Planning, Inc.
complaints to:                                                               16241 N. Florida Ave., Lutz, FL 33549
                                                                                  Date of first use, April 2007

                 Rebecca Wells, Director
                   Human Resources

The monthly Manatee Educator is produced by
Community & Press Relations to keep School District                        The inclusion of any advertisement in
of Manatee County employees informed about the                             this publication does not constitute an
                                                                           endorsement of any of the advertisers
people, events, and achievements within our school
                                                                           or their services by the School Board
system. Contributions may be sent to Deb                                   of Manatee County.
Gambino at

  Page 2                                                    
WE           BELIEVE                             IN           M A N AT E E
                                  February 2011

 M    ost people in our community are aware the Manatee County School District is
 currently working on developing a budget for the 2011-2012 school year. We have cut
 $46 million from our Operating Budget over the last three years. We estimate we will
 need to cut an additional $15 million from the budget in 2011-12.

 In accordance with our EdVantage Core Values – “All people have value and can add
 value” and “Honesty and integrity are vital” – we have purposely made our budget-development process very
 open, public and inclusive of people inside and outside of the School District. I want to let you know why.

 In my mind, there are two ways to make decisions regarding the budget.

 The first way is to get as many people involved, from all kinds of backgrounds, and gather as much input and as
 many ideas as you possibly can. You form committees with those people and you get them to ask questions, and
 in answering those questions, you gather more ideas and additional ways to look at things. You hold
 conversations and weigh the merits of those ideas and you begin to build a consensus on how to address the
 budgetary needs of this extremely enormous and very complex organization. You then form recommendations
 that you post on the School District’s website for all to see and you then take those recommendations, as well as
 other input gathered during the process, and you present it to the School Board for their consideration.

 That is how we have been building our School District budgets for the past three years. Although the process is
 open and accessible, it can also be painful; especially when ideas for suggested cuts, or discussion of particular
 personnel positions or departments get published in the newspaper. I want you to know I understand an open
 budget process can produce some anxiety, but I also want you to know that much of what you may hear or read
 in the next few months may be far from official or written in stone.

 The second way to build a budget would be for me, Jim Drake and the District’s Finance Department to go
 behind closed doors and grind out a proposed budget based on our own ideas and focus. It would all be very
 secretive and nobody would know what is going to happen until the proposed budget was actually presented to
 the School Board.

 Obviously, I strongly support an open budget process and I think it has served our District well during some pretty
 tough times. We have invited Community Members into our budget process to ask probing questions and make
 suggestions on how we can operate more efficiently.

 One way to reduce worry or anxious feelings about this process is to get involved. If you have ideas or suggestions,
 send them to me or post them on the School District’s website on the “Budget Review Committee” link.

 Also, remember all of the Budget Review Committee meetings are open to the public and you are welcome to
 attend and see first-hand what is taking place.

  Tim McGonegal
  Manatee County Schools

Page 3                                                          
     Williams Has The EdVantage                                    USF Teachers Intern at Gullett

W       illiams Elementary has created a school-wide
                                                                G    ullett Elementary partnerships with the University of
                                                                South Florida College of Education, as a host school for
EdVantage bulletin board. Staff members and                     teacher      interns. Highly qualified teacher mentors are
students display work that relates to the District's four       matched with USF interns to model, guide, and support their
strategic objectives: Goal Setting, Enthusiasm for              development as future elementary educators. Currently, ten
                                                                USF interns are practicing at Gullett and they are shown
Learning, Democratic Processes, and Global
                                                                below with their mentoring teachers.
Outreach. The EdVantage Ambassadors, Michele
Danowski, (left) Kindergarten teacher and Sheri
Sauerbier, (right) 4/5 grade teacher, designed the
bulletin board at the beginning of the school year to
encourage staff and students to display how we
model the behaviors of the four strategic objectives.

                                                                Kneeling Left to Right: Samantha Tietjen, Karin Byrne, Maria Martinez,
                                                                Nicole Schmidt, Angelica Alvarez, Janet Stincer, Kellie Mckenzie.
                                                                2nd Row Left to Right: Jennifer McGloin, Lauren Willett, Sara Garger, Joy
                                                                Bauknight, Karen Tardiff, Tanyia Brown, Teryl Curry, Jenna Cusano, Nikki

         EdVantage Shout out

                                       Wende Pendleton-Wicks
                                       Assistant Principal
                                       Louise R Johnson Middle School of International Studies

    Strategic Objective                 I  just wanted to commend two employees from Human Resources for
                                        going the extra mile recently. A few weeks ago I arrived to H.R. at 4:35 p.m.
      Actively Engage in                to find the office closed. My intention was to drop off my certification
       Global Outreach                  renewal with payment. As I was talking to my principal on the phone, a
                                        gentleman approached my car to see if he could assist. This gentleman and
                                        Susan from H.R. helped me tremendously by taking my application and
                                        payment. I was elated and very appreciative of their efforts. When we
                                        speak about our core mission that, "People have value and can add
                                        value" they truly made me feel extremely valued. Thank you to the staff
                                        at Human Resources for going above and beyond!

 Page 4                                                            

                   Making and Managing Promises
                           M i s s i o n
                           A t t e n t i o n      t o    d e t a i l
                           K e e p
                           I n t e g r i t y
                           N e g o t i a t e
                           G r a t i t u d e


                           M u t u a l l y      r e s p e c t f u l
                           A c c e p t a n c e
                           N u r t u r i n g      e n v i r o n m e n t
                           A c t i o n
                           G r o w t h
                           I n d i v i d u a l
                           N e t w o r k
                           G i v e   a     l i t t l e    G e t      a    l o t

                           P u r p o s e f u l       c o n v e r s a t i o n
                           R e l a t i o n s h i p s          b u i l t
                           O p p o r t u n i t i e s
                           M e n d i n g       r e l a t i o n s h i p s
                           I n t e n t i o n a l
                           S i n c e r e
                           E f f e c t i v e
By Dr. Cheryl Hughes
Harllee Middle School
                           S t a r t s     w i t h      M E

 Page 5                               
                                     SCHOOL NEWS
                                  Buffalo Creek “Steels” the Show
B   uffalo Creek’s Malissa Baker instructs the only full steel
drum band in Manatee County.
                                                                 Thank you to Principal Matthew Gruhl for his continued

The course originated when Ms. Baker presented the steel
drum band idea to the principal at the time, Scott Cooper,
who gave the green light to purchase the drums the first year
Buffalo Creek opened. The drums arrived from Trinidad at
the end of the first academic school year and the course has
been offered to seventh and eighth graders who have a
prerequisite of at least one full year of orchestra.

Students currently enrolled in the steel drum course must
rotate rehearsal days to accommodate the size of the class.
This particular group started performing together last year,
their seventh grade year, and collaboratively arranged a steel
drum version of "Stand by Me" which was performed at the
Monday, January 10, 2011 school board meeting.

The students have also performed for their business partners
UTC Fire & Security and the grand opening of the 1st              Back Row (left to right): Mrs. Malissa A. Baker, Director, Dylan
                                                                  Krage, Lead, Patrick Healy, Bass, Nicholas Contessa, Double Second
Manatee Bank in Parrish.

Brainstorming Session at Williams                                     Speech Teacher Publishes Book

N      ineteen VPK and Integrated Pre-Kindergarten
teachers, from all over the county, voluntarily assembled
                                                                  G      ullett Students were treated to a visit by local
                                                                  author/teacher, Maria Sevilla. Maria just completed her
at Williams Elementary on the recent scheduled Record             first book, a bilingual book, about a girl in Ecuador and
Day to plan and share ideas to be used in their                   her family's celebration of All Soul's Day. Many of the
classrooms. Many Pre-K topics were discussed, among               students are familiar with Maria because she also teaches
them: classroom organization and management, new                  speech classes here at Gullett. Students learned about the
idea brainstorming, and finally a question and answer             journey an author travels on the way to completing a
period. The meeting was enjoyed by all who attended,              book. Maria shared the process of hiring an illustrator and
many benefitting from new ideas and the support of                contracting a publishing company to print the book. The
their peers.                                                      experience showed students how much work goes into
                                                                  creating one book.

                                                                                                                     Maria Sevilla
                                                                                                                     with student

  Page 6                                                              
                                     SCHOOL NEWS
                                  Bashaw Elementary is seeing Red!

W       illiam H. Bashaw Elementary School will be
welcoming the “Red Wood Log House” to their school
on February 11 & 12. The tour project was made
possible by a grant provided by the Manatee
Education Foundation. On February 12th the house
will be open to the public between 10:00 a.m. and
4:00 p.m. on a "donation" basis.
                                                                                   The Red Wood Log House
The Redwood Log house is a unique exhibit. A fully
furnished, three room house hand carved inside a                           
1900 year old giant California redwood tree. It took
two men nearly a year to construct this beautiful
home. It is truly one of Americas most unusual

                          The Trojanettes visit Williams Elementary

W       illiams Elementary was recently visited by the ladies
of the "Trojanettes Lunch Group" who are graduates of
                                                                The group meets once a month for lunch at different
                                                                restaurants in the Manatee County area. They decided to
Lincoln Memorial High School, which was the only high           visit Annie L. Williams Elementary School because Mrs.
school for African-Americans in Manatee County from 1948        Annie L. Williams taught many of them and they had not
-1969. The school was located where Lincoln Middle School       seen the school named for her. Daughter of Annie Lucy
stands today in Palmetto. The mascot for the high school        Williams, Johncyna McRae, is also a member of their group.
football team was the "Trojans". The girls basketball team
was called the "Trojanettes" so the group picked that
name to represent themselves.

When member, Doris Robertson retired and moved back
to Manatee County she wanted to re-connect with her
former classmates. She called one, they went out to lunch
and enjoyed it so much they called another former
classmate. She called another and the group was born. It's
been said about their group that they are like the "Red
Hat" Ladies only their colors are blue and gray ( the old       The "Trojanettes Lunch Group" Ladies pictured left to right, Back Row:
Lincoln Memorial High School colors). The members of            Shirley Jones, Johncyna McRae, Cora Woodard, Marie Clark, Alberta
                                                                Smith, Rosa Bacon, Juanita Adams, Louise Rue, Minnie P. McDan-
their group support the activities of the Lincoln Memorial      iel. Front Row: Beatrice Ziegler, Charlie Mae Owens, Myrtle Riley, Imo-
High School Alumni Club.                                        gene Campbell, Wilma Stewart. Seated: Doris Robertson, Dorothy

 Page 7                                                               
                                  SCHOOL NEWS
                                               Gullett’s News

G     ullett Elementary 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders had the
opportunity to visit with New York Times bestselling
                                                              S    tudents in Ms. Vixamar's 1st Grade class at Gullett
                                                              Elementary have been working for the past several
author Patrick Carman. Their Media Specialist, Angie          months on publishing a class book. The book created was
Sasse, hosted the event as a culminating activity to their    based on the Positive Behavior System implemented this
author study. So many students went out to purchase his       year at Gullett. Students were very excited to complete
books that a bookstore in Lakewood Ranch ran out and          their final copies, send them to the publishing company,
had to order more. During the Skype chat, the students        and then receive their final bound copies when they
had the opportunity to chat with the author and ask him       returned from Holiday Break. The parents were invited in
questions about being an author, writing Skeleton Creek       for an Authors Tea on Thursday, January 13th and the
and 39 Clues, working with a film crew and various other      turnout was outstanding. Using the ELMO, each student
questions that they had. This was a very exciting activity    shared their writing and illustration from the published
and has definitely re-energized students about reading.       book If You Give A Student A Gator Bait... Following the
Students displayed lots of Enthusiasm for Learning!           student reading, a copy of the book was presented to
                                                              Principal Ms. Kathy Hayes with much appreciation for her
                                                              tie and effort put into making Gullett a PBS School.

                                                                Shelley Talarico and Dante Talarico

                             Green Light For Williams Elementary

 W       illiams Elementary goes "green" with their
 implementation of a paper recycling program. The Green
 Team, which consists of Principal Paul Hockenbury and a
 selected group of fifth grade students, recycle paper from
 classrooms every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The
 recycled paper is sent to a mill in Georgia that breaks it
 down to pulp and uses that pulp to make new paper
 products. To date, the Green Team has recycled over 1 ton    Pictured are Principal Hockenbury, and 5th grade students,
 of paper.                                                    Cameron Waters, Victoria Malacarne, KC Herbert and Westin Maye.

 Page 8                                                           
                                        SCHOOL NEWS
                              “Every Day Counts” At Oneco Elementary

A     s educators, we know that students who regularly
attend school are more likely to succeed. We also know
that frequent absences can increase the risk of a student
falling behind or losing motivation to learn.

EVERY DAY COUNTS is a new school-wide initiative at
Oneco Elementary designed to help students improve
and/or become aware of their attendance. Principal
Jeanne Grazioli and School Social Worker Susan Nachand
created and implemented the program in an effort to
raise students’ and parents’ awareness of daily, weekly,
and monthly attendance rates.

EVERY DAY COUNTS teaches students to apply their                       Principal Grazioli and Lindsay McDonald’s 5th grade class.

math skills to track their daily attendance and to
calculate their monthly attendance. Principal Jeanne
Grazioli presents the “Principal’s Pencil” trophy or the “Al
E. Gator Award” to the two classes with the highest
overall monthly attendance

                                                                      Principal Grazioli (right) and Rachel Bailey’s 2nd grade class
                                                                      with the Al E. Gator Award.

Principal Grazioli (right) awards the “Principal’s Pencil” Award to
Lindsay McDonald, 5th grade teacher at Oneco Elementary.

                               DON’T FORGET VALENTINE’S DAY!

  Page 9                                                                 
                                      SCHOOL NEWS
       Literacy Week At Gullett

O    ne of the ways Gullett Elementary students                                            Teacher's
and staff celebrated Literacy was by dressing up as                                         Wishing
their favorite book character.           This also
demonstrated their enthusiasm for learning.

                                                                                    CLOSED MARCH

                                                                     Open April 2
                                                                      (7-10 a.m.)

                                                                 Closed May, June, July

                     The Biggest             Loser Comes To Williams Elementary
U    nder the direction of our Wellness Committee, staff
members have committed to eight weeks of weighing in
to help them reach or begin to reach their weight goals
while enjoying some friendly competition with their peers.

The initial “weigh in” began on Friday, January 14. In
order to participate, staff donated $1.00 to play and will
                                                                                                       Oh No!!!
weigh in each Friday until March 4. The penalty for any
gain up to one pound is $1.00 and a $2.00 penalty for any
gain over one pound. Clinic staff calculate the staff
member's percentage of weight lost. The Winner with the
greatest percentage lost will receive a prize.

Results are posted each week by staff ID number. We
have 29 staff members participating and so far a total
weight loss of 68.5. It's amazing to see how well our staff is
doing toward reaching healthy weight goals!
                                                                    Teacher aide, Charity Applegate and Clinic nurse,
                                                                    Connie Haygood having fun getting weighed.

  Page 10                                                       
                                    SCHOOL NEWS
                                   Cash For Cla$$room Grants

  M      ore than 100 Manatee County teachers received
  funds for special projects inside their classrooms and
                                                             Some of the projects that received funding this academic
                                                             year included a project at Palmetto High School that
  schools when the Manatee Education Foundation              will allow students with disabilities to receive hands-on
  distributed more than $48,800 as part of its annual Ca$h   experience in learning how to garden; funding for the
  for Cla$$room Grants program during a ceremony on          award-winning Technology Student Association at
  January 12, at Rogers Garden Elementary School.            Southeast High School and a project that will allow
                                                             students from several schools to visit the Sarasota
  The goal of the Ca$h for Cla$$room Grants program is to    Orchestra.
  provide funding for supplies and costs that tax dollars
  cannot provide. Funds for the grants are raised through    The mission of the Manatee Education Foundation is to
  the Manatee Education Foundation's Partners in             provide funding for innovative programs and enhanced
  Education program, from local businesses and               educational opportunities for the teachers and students
  individuals, and from annual fundraising efforts such as   of Manatee County Public Schools beyond allocated
  the Heart & Soul Gala and Live Art Auction and the Phil    state dollars. The Ca$h for Cla$$room Grants Program
  Galvano Golf Classic. Grants are awarded for items such    offers grant opportunities for teachers in the following
  as books, field trips, technology, art supplies, musical   areas of study: Children with Disabilities, Disadvantaged
  instruments and microscopes. The average grant award       and At Risk Youth, the Environment, Health and Fitness,
  is $500.                                                   Teacher Development, Literacy, STEM (Science,
                                                             Technology, Engineering and Math) and Youth Devel-
                                                             opment. Teachers across the Manatee School District
                                                             apply for the grants and propose projects for funding
                                                             that are considered innovative and creative.

                          Gene Witt Gives Back To The Community

G     ene Witt Elementary is giving back to our community
by growing a Giving Garden. Mrs. Haney has been
                                                             Mrs. Haney has been using water wise techniques, weed
                                                             free gardening, recycling, and growing some beautiful
teaching her students how to grow vegetables in recycled     green cabbage. Mrs. Haney has also mentored Mrs. Howe’s
five gallon pickle buckets. Approximately seventy-five       pre-school class with growing peas in a container garden.
pounds of cabbage was harvested to donate to their local
Salvation Army. This cabbage will be used and served to
citizens right here in our community.

                                    Mrs Haney

 Page 11                                                        
                                    SCHOOL NEWS
                                  Williams Elementary Gets Gold

W      illiams Elementary is the only recipient of the
2009/10 Gold Level for Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
                                                               Williams Elementary is also assisting other schools in the
                                                               District to develop their own PBS program by providing
Model Schools in the School District of Manatee County.        information and school tours that offer support and
Williams was awarded the Silver Level Award for 2008/09.       guidance.
Instrumental in documenting and submitting the required
information was their Kindergarten teacher, Michele            This award is a great honor to the hard work of their staff
Danowski and their Assistant Principal, Beth Campbell.         and excellent behavior of their students. If your school is
Mrs. Danowski is the school’s PBS Coach and Ms. Campbell       interested in PBS, please contact Pat Bernhart, Supervisor
is the PBS Team Leader. Florida’s Positive Behavior            of Student Services, at 751-6550 ext 2282. For more
Support Project: Response to Intervention for Behavior         information on PBS, visit the PBS website at
(PBS-RtI B) is sponsored by the University of South Florida.
Manatee currently has 17 schools participating in the PBS

Specific documentation was required to show how
Williams implemented PBS-RtI B and included: high
Benchmark of Quality scores, reasons the school should be
awarded Model School status and other required detailed

By participating in PBS, Williams is able to focus on
improving student behavior by teaching expectations,
using data to monitor progress, and support classroom
teachers and staff with a creative incentive system.
Teachers use positive rewards (Wolf Howls) and focus on
the positive behavior instead of the negative behavior.        Assistant Principal, Beth Campbell and Kindergarten teacher
                                                               Michele Danowski with students: Jacob Danowski, Kaitlyn Hoyer,
PBS is free, easy to implement and is supported through        Ava Galletta, Mallory Carriker, Sarah Walters, Kaitlyn Danowski,
trainings by USF PBS staff and by PBS project and district     and Kaylee Cooper.

             Manatee Education Foundation Grants Wish to Williams
W       illiams Elementary Art teacher, Nancy Seagle
submitted and received a grant request to the
Manatee Education Foundation for "Increasing
Community Conservation Awareness through Duck
Stamp Contest". The grant in the amount of $475.56
will be used to supplement art supplies in the
classroom. The students' duck stamp artwork will be
on display at the Ellenton Post Office.
                                                                  Nancy Seagle, Art Teacher, and Principal Paul Hockenbury.

Page 12                                                             
                                    SCHOOL NEWS
                        Orange Ridge Teacher’s Host Literacy Night

P    rincipal Doug Dupouy reads to students during Orange
Ridge Bullock’s Literacy Night. Students enjoyed listening
                                                              Mrs. June West who was Orange Ridge Bullock’s School
                                                              Related Employee of the Year welcomed hundreds of
to the evening’s story. A good time was had by all.           families to Literacy Night.

Olivia Smith shares a reading story to Mr. Greg Sanders
during Orange Ridge Bullock’s Literacy Night.                 Mrs. Alane Enderle is a Literacy Specialist at Orange Ridge
                                                              Bullock Elementary School. She planned and organized the
                                                              successful event that was enjoyed by many families.

                                                              Mrs. Marie Masferrer shows her spirit at Literacy Night.
Ms. Danielle Battaglia demonstrates a literacy video that     Mrs. Masferrer is the Media Specialist at the school and
teaches students to phonetically say words while students     enjoyed getting her face painted with a heart.
follow an exercise routine. Ms. Battaglia is a kindergarten
teacher who uses the phonetic video in her classroom.

                                                              Mrs. Lenora Parfrey and her alumnae daughter Elizabeth
                                                              Parfrey taught students how to make bookmarks to
                                                              celebrate literacy in the family home. They made over 200

  Page 13                                                        

D     iscovery Education provides engaging digital
resources with high-quality video content to enhance
                                                             Expanding the Discovery Education Streaming
                                                             Experience. Once you have created your user account,
instruction. Engage in hands-on activities to explore the    you can register to join the Discovery Education Network
unique features of this district provided resource:          (DEN), a community of dynamic educators who are
Assignment Builder, Quiz Center, Writing Prompt Genera-      passionate about integrating digital media and
tor and more. Develop a plan to enhance your curriculum      technology in their classroom instruction. DEN members
through differentiated instruction and standards based       have access to a greater range of resources in the area of
learning.                                                    professional development, networking and Discovery
                                                             Educator events such as webinars. You can then move on
New user? See your Media Specialist for login information.   to become a STAR Discovery Educator by offering
Once logged in, click on New User beside your name.          professional development opportunities to your
Discovery Education Streaming has many resources to          colleagues.
help you navigate through the variety of services offered.

Explore Discovery. Once logged in, view instructions in      Sign up for Instructional Technology’s workshop featuring
the Making the Most of DE widget. You will be guided         Discovery Education Streaming, course # 3886 in FirstClass
through the abundance of resources offered to you            by clicking on the Professional Development Course
through Discovery Education Streaming.                       Registration icon on your desktop. Class meets on 2/16,

I   ntroducing netTrekker,             a district-licensed
subscription, and safe search engine for students and
                                                             Your media specialist can help with account information.
                                                             School login codes can be created to share with students
                                                             and parents for safe searching at home.
teachers to use as they do online research and explore       The Instructional Technology Department created a
new learning opportunities. netTrekker helps users find      podcast series to help users become familiar with
relevant content organized by grade, reading level, state    netTrekker features:
standards and content appropriate for individual learning
needs. Spend less time having to sort through irrelevant
content and devote more time accomplishing tasks. All
listed sites are peer-reviewed and are categorized into      Instructional Technology will offer netTrekker, course
websites, learning aids, multimedia, readability, and        #3910 on 2/28, 4:45 - 7:30 at PSC. Register using
languages.                                                   Professional Development Course Registration in

Page 14                                                         
           Orange Ridge-Bullock                                           Rogers Garden Elementary

M     arie Masferrer, Media Specialist at Orange Ridge-
Bullock was asked to tutor a group of 6 students who were
                                                                   A     t Rogers Garden, the Strategic Objectives are
                                                                   spotlighted biweekly in an effort to cultivate culture,
non-proficient in writing. The student’s attitude toward           develop common language and build community. 1st
writing was that it was “a chore and no more.” Marie had           Grade teachers Kristi Uhlinger and Rebecca Garcia have
learned to use a Wiki and thought the forum would allow            been utilizing Turn and Talk strategies to help students
students to collaborate in support of one   another. She           learn how to reflect and to justify connections. Their
began to see greater enthusiasm for writing when students          students love to use the iPod and the LiveScribe “Magic
were working on the Wiki.                                          Pen” for audio recordings and PhotoBooth for video as
                                                                   platforms for reflection. Kristi is building student capacity
“Students couldn’t wait to talk about their writing and see        by infusing a particular application, like Kidspiration or
each other’s comments on their work.” The combination of           Comic Life until students have achieved a certain degree of
using technology and being able to reach an audience               independence with it and then introduces a new
(even their own classmates in the same room) is very               application. Then she allows for student choice when
motivating. It puts their “it’s all about me” syndrome to          documenting learning.
good use. (It’s significant to note that prior to participation,
neither of these students had scored higher than a 2 on            Students at Rogers Garden are even planning to use
previous writing assessments. Just prior to Christmas break,       technology to thank their friends at Willis for the generous
two of the six scored a 4!)                                        donation of books. They will use Skype, a voice and video
                                                                   over internet protocol to “visit” with students at Willis and
                                                                   express their thanks and appreciation.

 Page 15                                                               
                                   The ITS Support CYC by Mac Aldrich

I  ndividually, each member of the Instructional
Technology team supports one or more community
                                                                 associated with the Manatee Education Foundation.
                                                                 Adults who meet program criteria attend training and
                                                                 upon completion, receive assistance in the purchase of a
outreach programs such as, regular blood bank donations          computer as well as subsidized internet access. The
or the Susan B. Komen Foundation for the Cure. This year,        Instructional Technology team volunteered time and
however, the department determined that we would                 elbow grease to clean up and wipe the drives of several
select a cause that all of us could rally behind in support of   Windows machines surplussed by the district for donation
the District’s Global Outreach objective. After considering      to the program. For more information on Connect Your
a variety of options, we selected the ‘Connect Your              Community, visit:
Community’ project. Funded through the Presidential    
stimulus program to assist households without internet
                                                                 or call Sherry Knowles at 941-751-6550 ext. 2292
service, CYC is coordinated by Sherry Knowles and is

                            Moving Students toward Independence
                              Gradual Release of Responsibility

T    he gradual release of responsibility is a research-
based instructional method developed by Pearson and
                                                                 not linear; it is recursive and can cycle through each step
                                                                 multiple times before students own the skill.

Gallagher over twenty-five years ago. The method                 Manatee Core Curriculum is based on the gradual
begins with the teacher modeling a concept or skill to the       release of responsibility method. Each model lesson begins
whole class (I do); the teacher slowly releases responsibility   with teacher-directed instruction and moves students
to the students through guided instruction and                   toward independence using different cooperative groups
collaborative practice (we do); and finally students             and support mechanisms. As Manatee’s teachers know,
independently practice the skill (you do). The process is        strong initial instruction in the Manatee Core Curriculum is
                                                                 what makes our district GREAT.

                                                                                                          Fisher and Frey (2007

Page 16                                                              
                            Florida Studio Theatre’s Write a Play Program

    A    pplause! Applause! Nineteen district schools
    are participating in Florida Studio Theatre’s Write a
                                                                           Designed to inspire the imagination, increase
                                                                           communication skills, and instill greater participation
    Play Program.                                                          in the Arts, the Festival offers our students an
                                                                           opportunity to explore a passion for learning. Our
    The playwriting program is supported through                           Manatee County young playwrights are thriving with
    Florida Studio Theatre’s art, education, and literacy                  EdVantage!
    departments. For the competition, thousands of
    original plays are submitted from around the world,                    For more information regarding the Write a Play
    leading to a Young Playwrights Festival held in the                    Program, contact Dr. Sherry Lawrence, Arts and
    Spring. Winning plays are produced and student                         Gifted Specialist at 751-6550 ext. 2107.
    writers are honored at an awards ceremony.                             You may also visit the FST website:


                            Manatee Core Curriculum: The RtI Foundation
R    esponse to Intervention (RtI) begins with (and depends
upon) effective core curriculum and instruction. Core
                                                                           The teacher regularly monitors the struggling reader’s
                                                                           progress. If the child is responding to the core instruction, the
instruction (Tier I) is the foundation to ensure that all                  teacher continues. If not, the teacher may adjust the plan or
students receive a high quality education. Without a strong                may decide to add an intervention. The foundation is the
foundation, research shows that additional interventions                   child’s core instruction.
have little or no effect on student achievement. This is the
reason RtI focuses on general education, rather than special                Based upon their test data, some students automatically are
education. You may ask:                                                    placed in an additional intervention above and beyond the
                                                                           core classes. Examples are READ 180 at the secondary level
•     What am I doing to strengthen core curriculum and instruction?       and an additional 30-60 minutes above and beyond the 90
                                                                           minute reading block at the elementary level. As noted
•     How are my students responding to the instruction?
                                                                           earlier, if the student is not receiving effective, differentiated
•     Within the core instruction, how am I differentiating for students
      who need more support?
                                                                           core instruction, the added intervention has little chance of
                                                                           making a difference.
RtI in action: A second grade student is struggling in reading.
Based upon the student’s FAIR and other assessment data,                    The Manatee Core Curriculum is a significant effort to
the teacher places the student in a guided reading group                   implement a research-based approach to target the needs of
that targets the child’s deficits. During the 90 minute reading            all students and is the RtI foundation. For more information,
block (core instruction), the child receives explicit, small group         contact Dr. Linda Fowler, Curriculum Specialist, on First Class
instruction followed by targeted practice.                                 or call 751-6550 ext. 2218. You may also visit the district’s RtI

                            h p://

    Page 17                                                                     

T   he Curriculum Team collaborates to make purposeful decisions in providing leadership and district
support for curriculum, assessment, and instruction. The team encourages you to contact them for assistance,
as we all work together to inspire our students to learn, dream, and achieve!

                                Curriculum Team Welcomes Dr. Fowler
T    he Curriculum Team is proud to welcome Dr. Linda
Fowler, Elementary Language Arts Curriculum Specialist.
                                                                Linda feels fortunate in her new position to have the
                                                                opportunity to continue supporting schools and advancing
With a Michigan and Colorado background that includes           the district EdVantage mission.
working as a classroom teacher, elementary principal, and
middle school principal, Linda has served our district as a
Literacy Coach and Response to Intervention (RtI) Specialist.

One of many projects she looks forward to working on is K-5
Manatee Core Curriculum Development and Design that will
focus on unit overviews, model lessons, and unit assessments.

Page 18                                                             
                       Project STAGE and Schooltime Performances
P   roject STAGE (Students, Teachers, Artists: Goals in
Education) mentor teachers met recently with the staff of
the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall to discuss the slate of
proposed Schooltime Performances for next year.

Project STAGE is a three year federal grant designed to
increase literacy in Title I elementary schools through the
performing arts. The thirty-five teachers participating in
year two of the grant attend workshops facilitated by
teaching artists from the Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts Partners in Education program, receive
classroom coaching, and work together with their
students to create theatrical scripts.

Director of Project STAGE, Dr. Sherry Lawrence, notes:
“The workshop activities involve the Project STAGE
teachers in planning, writing, rehearsing, staging, and
assessing Curriculum Based Readers Theatre. Our work
fully supports the writing initiative in the district.”

Project STAGE mentor teachers include: Kathy Abney             Project STAGE Mentor Teachers meet at the Van Wezel Performing
(Moody ES), Dr. Zadda Bazzy (Oneco ES), Dr. Dennis             Arts Hall
Henzen (Bayshore ES), Marsha Juday (Blackburn ES),
                                                               Standing: Angie Williams (Tillman ES), Allison Rekow (Manatee ES),
Sarah Mitchell (Rogers Garden ES), Sawyer Ramsey               Dr. Dennis Henzen (Bayshore ES);
(Palmetto ES), Allison Rekow (Manatee ES), Terri Rohde         Sitting: Dr. Zadda Bazzy (Oneco ES), Marsha Juday (Blackburn ES)
(Samoset ES), Rebecca Zion (Daughtrey ES), and Angie
Williams (Tillman ES).

                                         Music Leadership Team
A      Music Leadership Team has been formed to explore
and identify Professional Development opportunities that
will support music teachers at all grade levels. Outcomes of
the team’s work will include recommendations based on
needs and priorities for professional growth that will best
serve students and music teachers at all grade levels across
the district.

Music Leadership Team members include Dr. Zadda Bazzy
(Oneco ES), Julie Hebert (Witt ES), Dr. Dennis Henzen
(Bayshore ES), Malissa Baker (Buffalo Creek MS), Daniel
Boyd (Haile MS), Kathy Cook (Braden River HS), and
Tommy Jomisko (Manatee HS).

                                                               Left to right--Kathy Cook (BRHS), Daniel Boyd (Haile MS), Malissa
Dr. Bazzy noted “By assessing and addressing professional
                                                               Baker (Buffalo Creek MS), Dr. Dennis Henzen (Bayshore ES), Julie
development needs, the Music Leadership Team will help         Hebert (Witt ES). Not available for photo: Dr. Zadda Bazzy (Oneco
district music educators become more effective in increasing   ES) and Tommy Jomisko (Manatee HS)
student achievement.”

Page 19                                                             
                  Professional Development for Writing Instruction
J anuary 3, 2011 in-service day provided Manatee
County teachers with numerous opportunities to
                                                              •   Elaine Graham “Scoring 4 on FCAT-Writes / Mini
                                                                  Lessons that Matter”
learn more about writing instruction. Elementary
and secondary teachers gleaned valuable                       •   Lisa Fehling and Jessica Reid, “The Research Paper”
information about the art of writing as they refined
                                                              •   Dr. Lindy Carlson and Glencoe Representative,
their teaching skills.                                            “Write Traits: Creating Writers Through 6-Trait
                                                                  Writing: Assessment and Instruction”
The following workshops were offered at various sites:
                                                              Workshops in the spring will be offered to continue
•   Dr. Melinda Lundy and Michelle Bleicher, “Using
    Mentor Texts to Support Writing Instruction”              this initial presentation of the traits for writing.

•   Dana Mills, “FCAT Writes! Beyond Scoring: Applying
    the Instructional Implications of Writing Assessment in
    the Classroom”

                                       McGonegal is Tech-Savvy
Manatee County Schools Superintendent Tim McGonegal was recently named a finalist for eSchool News’
national Tech-Savvy Superintendent award. eSchool News is a monthly print and digital newspaper that
covers education technology in all its aspects. Kudos to Tim!!!

 Page 20                                                          
                              FOOD & NUTRITION

F   ood & Nutrition Services is active. Schools are doing some
wonderful things. Congratulations to all of the food service
                                                                      The high schools are currently holding a Superbowl competition
                                                                      to see who can predict the winner of the upcoming game. It was
employees that were nominated by their schools for School             so great seeing the staff all decked out in their favorite team
Related Employee of the Year: Tania Vidal at Prine Elementary,        gear! Tillman Elementary went the extra mile by bringing
Brian Schultz at Braden River High, Jacque Allen at Haile             Palmetto High football players to talk to the students about
Middle, Dawn Kitchner at Witt Elementary, JoEllen Termaat at          goals.
Gullett Elementary, Rhonda Aylward at Sea Breeze Elementary
and Debra Scholl at Palma Sola Elementary. We are very proud
of them all and all they do for the kids and community every                          Palmetto HS

Five schools are participating in the HealthierUS School
Challenge. The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a
voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools
participating in the National School Lunch Program that have          February 10th is the 1st Annual Play with your Fruits & Veggies
created healthier school environments through promotion of            Day. There will be teams of 3-5 students who will use fresh fruits
nutrition and physical activity. In February 2010, First Lady         & veggies to create art. They can do something one dimensional
Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the              on paper or make a 3D model. The school will pick a winner and
HUSSC into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids.      that winner will move on to the district level and there will be a
There are award levels for the HUSSC: Bronze, Silver, Gold and        grand prize winning team. We are looking forward to seeing
Gold Award of Distinction. The schools that are participating this    how creative our kids can be. Keep a look out for pictures of the
year are Rogers Gardens Elementary, Kinnan Elementary, Abel           winners in the coming month.
Elementary, Sea Breeze Elementary and Haile Middle. We wish
all of the schools the best of luck in embarking on the challenge     Harllee Middle School received a grant from the Dairy Council
and know that they are all winners to Manatee County!                 that is enabling them to provide breakfast to all students in the
                                                                      classroom. The cafeteria staff preps all the breakfasts and they
                                                                      are bagged and taken to the classes for the kids to enjoy.

                                   Palmetto ES                        Wellness is alive and well in the school cafeterias. A Biggest Loser
                                                                      competition is going on in some of the schools. The entire
                                                                      cafeteria staff at the schools are participating and reporting their
                                                                      losses each week. Currently we have 14 schools participating,
                                                                      Wakeland Elementary, Sugg Middle, Miller Elementary, Braden
There are theme days each month in the school cafeterias.             River High, Willis Elementary, Manatee Elementary, Tara
January was a football celebration. The elementary and middle         Elementary, Blackburn Elementary, Haile Middle, Williams
schools all celebrated two College Championship games on              Elementary, McNeal Elementary, Nolan Middle, Lee Middle and
January 10, 2011.                                                     Myakka Elementary.

                                                                      The winner of the Biggest Loser will get superstar treatment for a
                                                                      day, Limo ride, lunch and a massage and while they get
       Braden River HS                                                pampered the entire office staff will be running their kitchen! So
                                                                      far, we have had reports of 20 pound losses already!! What an
                                                                      effort of the employees to start a better lifestyle for themselves
                                                                      and their families!!

  Page 21                                                                   
                                               District In-Service Day
                                           Submitted by Donna Timmons

T   housands of district staff increased their skills and
knowledge on District In-Service Day. The entire day
                                                                      Over 150 courses were offered by district departments
                                                                      in the areas of Adult, Career, and Technical
was devoted to professional development. The state                    Education, Assessment, Classroom Management,
statues mandates districts that all instructional                     Curriculum, On-going District Support, EdVantage,
personnel engage in professional development                          ESOL, Exceptional Student Education, and
activities that will primarily focus on subject content               Technology.
and teaching methods that will improve student
achievement.                                                          In general, the professional development courses
                                                                      offered were thought provoking, research-based, and
The courses slated for staff, supported district goals                relevant. The knowledge and skills obtained are
and substantiated one of the Core Values, “Lifelong                   immediately applicable to improve student
learning is essential for individuals and communities                 achievement.
to flourish.”

                                          January 3, 2011 District In‐Service
                        Professional Development Offerings by Departments / Specialty Areas
              Adult Career & Technical Education    Curriculum                        Exceptional Student Education
              ESOL                                  Guidance                          Instructional Technology
              Library / Media Service               Measurement & Test Anaylsis       Professional Development
              School Improvement & Accountability   Teaching American History         Title 1

                                                    4%      1%   2%        7%




                        9%                                                                                54%


 Page 22                                                                
                           HEALTH VANTAGE
                      New Wellness Specialist — Jennifer Robertson

W       ith a blended background in education and
health and wellness, Jennifer is very excited and honored
to join the Manatee School District’s HealthVantage
Family.     Starting out as a classroom teacher, she          In addition to her experience in education and the health
completely understands the stressful lifestyle that           and fitness industry, Jennifer comes to us from the Florida
educators face today. After furthering her education in       Department of Health as a Regional Coordinator. Over
exercise science and health promotion, there was no           the last year, she has worked with 7 counties to help
doubt that the combination of worksite wellness and           make positive health impacts for school districts and park
education was where she was meant to make a                   and recreation departments through implementing
difference.                                                   systems and policy changes. This position has helped
                                                              prepare Jennifer even more for the patience, persistence
She grew up and resides in Sarasota, FL with her husband      and determination necessary to be a successful wellness
of 12 years and her two sons, Dylan (9) and Brady (6).        specialist for school district employees.
Jennifer has her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary
Education from the University of South Florida and has        Jennifer hopes to help every employee set and reach
taught in both Sarasota and Manatee County public and         personal goals that they maybe never thought possible of
private schools over the last 10 years. After having her      themselves, and realize along the way that they are
second child, Jennifer started a quest to become a            worth it and CAN make dreams become reality.
healthier person, wife and mother. She joined the             Whether it is to lose those last 5 lbs., run a half marathon,
Sarasota YMCA and quickly became certified in multiple        or find peace and balance in your life, remember “Life is
areas eventually losing 45 lbs. She then decided to take      a Journey…Not a Destination!”
her passion for health and wellness even further and help
motivate others to do the same and earned her Master’s        Success means having the courage, the determination, and the
Degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from           will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.
California University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Jennifer                             -- George Sheehan
has been teaching classes for the last 6 years in spinning,
kickboxing, aquatics, muscle works, personal training and

During this time, Jennifer found a love for running and
the sport of triathlon. She is a very active board member
of the Manasota Track Club and Sarasota Storm Tri Club.
Jennifer is also a member of the Sarasota New Balance
Running Team and participates in road races throughout
                                                              Jennifer Robertson, Wellness Specialist, drawing team names for
the year. She has been coaching track and cross country       the Maintain Don't Gain Challenge (January 2011)
and leading speed and agility clinics for the last three
                                                              Jennifer will be working with our District Wellness Coordinator,
years. Jennifer has run 2 full marathons and is currently
                                                              Kristi Dickerson. In addition to supporting Kristi with
training for her third one in February. Her next quest is     coordinating HealthVantage programs, Jennifer will be offering
an “ultra” marathon 50K race…that’s 31 miles. In talking      Personal Training and Exercise programs to the employees of
about her journey to health, wellness and optimal fitness,    the District. Jennifer works on the 4th floor at the School
                                                              Support Center. Stop by and say hello to the HealthVantage
one of her favorite quotes is, “It is by tiny steps that
we ascend the stars.” Jack Leedstrom

Page 23                                                            
                          District Payroll Department Helps
                      Manatee High Students Bring Home The Gold

M     ore than 100 Manatee High students learned
valuable, real-life lessons about how people get paid
                                                         Steve Peebles thanked everyone for coming to his
                                                         class. He stated, “It is nice to see us all work together
when they work, during a special program presented       for the best for our students.”
in Steve Peebles’ Advanced Algebra and Financial
Applications class on Thursday, February 3, 2011. The    To inquire about having this program presented in
program is named Bring Home the Gold, and was            other high school classes, please contact Rita Zazzaro
taught by professionals who work in the Manatee          via email: or call
County School District’s Payroll Department.             708-8770 x2112

Bring Home the Gold is a free program offered
through the American Payroll Association. Employees
in the District’s Payroll Department volunteer their
time to present the materials that teach high school
students about essential forms that need to be filled
out, how to compute simple payroll deductions, how
to calculate a paycheck, Direct Deposit, Minimum
Wage and more. Bring Home the Gold student
take-home materials were made possible through a
Partnership In Education between the District and
Manatee Community Federal Credit Union.

                                                                         Rita Zazzaro & Steve Peebles
 “One of our District’s Strategic Objectives for
students is to articulate personal goals, create plans
to achieve those goals and exhibit progress toward
their attainment,” said Rita Zazzaro, Director of
Payroll for the District. “These students will be
graduating in a few months and need to be
prepared for the additional responsibility they will
face and we are pleased we can help them be more
prepared for the work place.”

 Page 24                                                  
                   EDVANTAGE AMBASSADORS
                                                EdVantage Trust

W     e are very busy here in Manatee County with
many new and exciting things taking place.
                                                                 The teachers made a commitment/promise that they
                                                                 would be willing to present, met as a group, broke the
                                                                 presentation into different parts, and fulfilled their
One new addition to our district is the GOAL Program.            promise by presenting a fabulous Professional
This is the “Growing Our Aspiring Leaders” program,              Development to their staff. If one person had not been
which is designed for those who have successfully                able to keep their commitment the rest of the team
completed the Aspiring Leader Cadre and want to                  would have been put under enormous stress.
continue cultivating their leadership skills. It is comprised
of 4 Pillars and Trust Building is one of the pillars that the   Trust is truly the key to ensuring a safe, nurturing, and
program focuses on. This program would not even be in            welcoming environment is created for all stakeholders in
existence without the trust and collaboration from               the organization. This organization could be the school,
various stakeholders. The idea was brought to Dr. Lyn            SSC, PSC, Matzke, etc. Regardless of where you are
Boyer who made a commitment before she retired to                located, using the Making and Managing Promises/
pass along the GOAL program idea to Mr. Mike Wilder. I           Language of Trust is ideal to demonstrate the Core Value
trusted that Mr. Wilder would support my endeavor for            of “Honesty and Integrity are vital”. After all, trust does
the program and help me with those things that I could           require one to be honest and have integrity.
not do on my own. A committee was put together and a
lot of trust took place in those individuals to meet, plan,
                                                                                  Candi Horsting, Ed.S. Leadership
and execute those plans. Many times we do everything                              EdVantage Ambassador, Trust Committee
on our own, yet things are so much easier when we                                 Member
collaborate with others and trust that they will keep the
promise/commitment that they made. During our GOAL
Orientation, Superintendent Tim McGonegal reiterated
how important trust is within an organization and how
the orientation could not have been made possible if the
committee lacked trust.

At the school level, trust is crucial to ensure that the
organization runs effectively. One example of this is
preparing for the Wednesday Professional Development
held at each site. At James Tillman Elementary, a group
of teachers were asked if they would present.

                    "Imagination is more important than knowledge.
               Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
                                                                                                  Albert Einstein

Page 25                                                             
                   HUMAN RESOURCES

                                                       Thank you to the Bradenton Herald for
                                                      sponsoring the 2011 HeArt and Soul Gala.

              The Manatee Education Foundation has a new website address

                                Annual Retirement Workshop
                                     Wednesday, March 2, 2011
                                             4:30 p.m.
                                Braden River High School Auditorium

If you are considering retiring or entering the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) in the near
future, this workshop will be beneficial to you. The workshop will include representatives from the Florida
Retirement System, Social Security Administration, Bencor, Risk Management, Manatee County Retired
Educators Association and our Human Resources Department. All aspects of entering DROP and retiring will
be discussed.

Please RSVP prior to February 10, 2011, if you plan to attend this workshop (feel free to include a guest). You
may RSVP to Lisa Montanye at (941) 708-8540, extension 3059, email her on First Class or at

Should you have any questions or concerns about the workshop or your retirement plans, please feel free to
call Lisa Montanye at the phone number listed above or by contacting Chuck Banks at ext. 3039. We are
here to assist you in making an easy and stress free transformation into retirement.

Page 26                                                    
                               National Career Academy Awards
                                                By Angie Grassberger

O     ne of the highlights of the National Career Academy
Conference each year are the Academy awards given to
                                                               Lt. Ruffing is a Charter Member of the Manatee High
                                                               School Academy of Medical Arts & Sciences Advisory
“model” academies, to an exemplary business partnership,       Council. Since its inception, he has been an active leader,
exemplary academy alumni, and exemplary academy                advocate and driving force for the program as well as
educator.      At its 14th annual conference this past         being involved in all aspects of the Academy. He actively
November in Austin, Texas, NCAC honored one of our             recruits new members, provides thoughtful insight and
business partners.                                             experiences for the Academy students, and coordinates
                                                               valuable career shadowing and internship experiences for
Lt. Jerome Ruffing, was selected from all of the nominations   them.
submitted as the Henk Koning Exemplary Partnership
Award recipient for the 2010-2011 school year. This award      During any given semester, Lt. Ruffing assists between
is given to the organization, governing board or board         50 -100 MHS students with these hands on experiences. He
member that exemplifies a true working partnership             handles all of the coordination and logistics of the
between the school and its business partners.                  “Ride-Alongs”, for the high school academy students to get
                                                               “real-world” clinical experience with the Manatee County
                                                               EMS Department.

Jerome Ruffing is Lieutenant of Operations & Training for
the Manatee County Department of Public Safety, Division
of Emergency Medical Services. He serves as adjunct facul-
ty for the EMS program at St. Petersburg College and is the                        Lt. Jerome Ruffing and Angie Grassberger
Medical Continuing Education & EMT/Paramedic Instructor
for Manatee Technical Institute.

                                 TAKE STOCK IN CHILDREN
T   wenty seven new scholars were selected to participate
in the Take Stock in Children college scholarship and
                                                               Karen Carpenter, Take Stock in Children Chair, along with
                                                               Diana Dill, Take Stock in Children Executive Director,
mentor program.                                                present the awards to the selected students at a recent
                                                               School Board Meeting.
The students, along with their parent or guardian have
signed an agreement to remain drug-free, crime-free,
maintain good grades and behavior and meet with a
mentor on a weekly basis, on the school campus, during
the school day. Take Stock in Children has a 96
percent success rate of keeping students in school,
graduating high school, attending college and entering the

 Page 27                                                          
                                2011 Legislative Town Hall Meeting

    T   he Mandates Committee is hosting the Annual
    Legislative Townhall Meeting to discuss potential
                                                           The Legislative Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for
                                                           Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm and will
    Education Legislation that will impact our School      be held in the new auditorium at Palmetto High
    District. We will begin with a review of the           School. Palmetto High School is located at 1200 17th
    Supervisor of Elections website providing insight on   Street West in Palmetto.
    everything from how to look up where to vote to
    who contributed funds to elected officials             This Legislative Townhall is an opportunity for
    campaigns. We will provide inside information on       students, parents, employees and the community to
    the best way to contact your legislator so you can     get involved in our democracy. You will leave this
    make a difference! Our Superintendent, Tim             program with an understanding of available
    McGonegal and School Consultant, Juhan Mixon will      resources to help you make a difference and an
    address Governor Rick Scott’s Education Proposals      understanding of potential new laws that WILL
    and the impacts they would have on our School          impact Education in Manatee County.
                                                           Please join us at the Legislative Townhall Meeting.
    Governor Rick Scott’s Education Proposals              We look forward to seeing you there.
•     Reduce School Property Tax = estimated $1.46         Remember, YOU can make a difference.
      Billion loss in education funding

•     Supports Teacher Merit Pay System (2010 Senate
      Bill 6 - Vetoed by Governor Crist)

•     Expanding Private, Charter and Home School

•     Revision of Florida Retirement System (FRS)

•     Revision of Collective Bargaining Provisions

    Do you have questions on legislation and impacts
    to Education in our County? At the end of the
    program there will be an opportunity for questions
    and answers with the expert panel to address your

    Page 28                                                  

Page 29
                      Buffalo Creek Middle School Wins A Pilot Grant

B     uffalo Creek Middle School has received a Florida
Learn & Serve grant of $6,250 that will allow students to
                                                                  Principal Matthew Gruhl says, “I’m excited about this great
                                                                  opportunity for students to serve the community with the
learn the true definition of service learning, participate in a   knowledge they learn at school. This is a great example of
learn and serve project, educate the whole school about           our strategic objective to actively engage in global
service learning, and develop a rubric for other school           outreach.” Lead teacher Claudine Ruppal says, “Our class
groups to apply for mini-grants, which will fund their own        is working hard to share the benefits of serving others
learn and serve projects.                                         through learning. We hope to involve every student on
                                                                  campus, approximately 900.            Our EXSL Program
Florida Learn & Serve is a federally funded grant program,        (Extreme Student Leaders) is a great example of service
supported by the Corporation for National and                     learning in action. It involves over 50 of our middle school
Community Service, which awards grants to schools and             students who spend 40 minutes of their time before school
school districts to engage youth in service learning and is       tutoring elementary students at Virgil Mills in reading and
part of the Florida Alliance for Student Service (FASS).          math every day. I’m really looking forward to watching
FASS is a collaboration among several statewide programs          our students grow into strong community leaders.”
dedicated to infusing service learning into the curriculum        Anticipated projects include community education about
of all Florida schools, from Kindergarten to Higher               hurricane preparedness, students advocating for Sandhill
Education.                                                        Cranes and other Florida wildlife, providing landscaping
                                                                  for Habitat for Humanity, educating the whole school
                                                                  about healthy habits while raising money for the
                  Legal Eagle
                                                                  American Heart Association, and performing music for
                 Debra Vangen                                     retirement communities. These are just a few of the

P    lease join us in welcoming Debra Vangen as
Scott Martin’s legal assistant. Debra has an A.A.S. in
                                                                  projects The Hawks Youth Council plan to contribute to
                                                                  our community.

Legal Assisting, Mental Health Technology and                     Buffalo Creek Middle School is the first school in Manatee
                                                                  County to receive a Florida Learn & Serve grant. More
Humanities and comes to us from the law firm of
                                                                  information about Florida Learn & Serve is available at
Greene, Hamrick, Perrey, Quinlan & Schermer
where she served as paralegal to attorney, Lisa Bell
after working with Ms. Bell at the lawfirm of Roger
P. Conley, P.A.

Her experience in the field of law is widespread from
estate planning to probate, guardianship, criminal
defense, family law, adoption, personal injury,
insurance defense, worker’s compensation and
matters involving the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. Originally from the state
of Indiana, Debra and her husband have settled
permanently in the Bradenton area after living in
                                                                  Students reading with their buddies at Mills Elementary.
various locations throughout the south.

Page 31
                                       Inspiring our students to
                                      Learn, Dream and Achieve

               Marilyn Clark & Deborah Revell recently retired from the
                          School District of Manatee County.

               Good Luck Marilyn & Deborah in your future endeavors!

   Marilyn & Tim McGonegal                                             Deborah & Doug Wagner

Thank you for enjoying the “Manatee Educator.”

I would love to hear from you. If you have news to share from
your schools or department, a staff member to recognize or
just feel like introducing yourself to the district! Send me an

                       (941) 708 8770 x2045.

                                                                            Deb Gambino
                             215 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205    (941) 708-8770

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