Charlotte Sun: Students gather to have their voices heard

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 12.38.27 PM (2)More than 100 students from Port Charlotte High School, Charlotte High School, The Academy, Lemon Bay High School, and Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School, participated in the Charlotte County Voice of Local Teens summit on Oct. 28. The youth summit held at Port Charlotte Beach Park gave them an opportunity to tell adults how they could make them feel more engaged. Students said they needed more career-based programs, and more support and encouragement from school staff and parents. Eliminating barriers to post-secondary education is part of the mission of FutureMakers Coalition, its release states.

“The student voice is important to the future of our community, workforce and economy,” said Tessa LeSage, director of social innovation and sustainability for Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the anchor organization for FutureMakers.

Drug Free Charlotte County oversees the summit, which involves the School Board, parks and recreation department employees, policymakers and nonprofits in pre-summit meetings. “Anytime we get to hear what kids think is a good thing,” said Superintendent Steve Dionisio, who attended CCVOLT’s morning session, in the release. “Students are our primary customer and all too often we forget about them. It’s important to ask them their opinions and let them have a voice. It’s always surprising what they come up with.”

CCVOLT was formed to give students a voice after its 2014 survey reported only 19 percent felt adults valued their opinion.

PCHS student wins art and poetry contest

Brandon Pham of Port Charlotte High School recently won the Peace River Seafood’s 2015 Art and Poetry contest. The 10th-grader is part of Hilary Davey’s two-dimensional art class. Peace River Seafood requests art work from local high school students each year which blends literary and visual expression. The inspiration for this year’s art contest was 20th century modernist poet, T.S. Eliot.

Local teachers’ union awards grants to 10 teachers

Charlotte Florida Education Association, the local teachers’ union, recently awarded five mini-grants to public school teachers. The grants assist with the costs of implementing learning initiatives.

The CFEA had a large increase in teacher submissions this year, according to the release. Over $2,000 was requested ranging from materials for specific lessons not available within the school, to student progress monitoring, and school-wide management.

Teachers were allowed to submit their applications individually or collectively for the 2015-16 mini-grants.

Scott Courtney, music teacher, Punta Gorda Middle School, received one of the mini-grants for sheet music.

Other individual grant recipients included Catherine Fedonni, art teacher, Punta Gorda Middle School, for art supplies; Sandy Buehn-Sohl, speech and language, Myakka River Elementary School, to increase vocabulary in grades kindergarten through fifth; and Susan Heneka, all fifth-grade students, Deep Creek Elementary, for thumb drives for science and history fairs for multiple years.

East Elementary’s kindergarten teaching team — Kristine Durning, Jenna Caspian, Susan Theriault, Ashley Pancic, Robyn McQueen, Erin Herndon and Steve Wilkinson — also received a grant for all its classrooms to have materials for active math learning centers.

LBHS teacher wins world language award

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 12.37.54 PM (1)Spanish Teacher Emilio Baradith of Lemon Bay High School recently won the Teacher of Promise Award at the Florida Foreign Language Association conference. The awards celebration was held at the St. Augustine Renaissance World Golf Village Resort.

Teachers are selected for the award based on their potential for success. Past President and former FFLA Teacher of the Year, Linda Markley, helped prepare new teachers for their early years in the profession at the conference. “We were so excited to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of Emilio Baradith at this year’s conference,” Markley said. “Each year I am amazed at the dedication and creativity of our world language teachers in Florida. It’s a privilege and pleasure to honor Emilio Baradith this year.”

PCHS Bands
 Fall Concert 
scheduled soon

Port Charlotte High School Bands presents a fall concert featuring Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. in PCHS’ auditorium. Admission is free. Jose Lopez Jr. will be directing the concert.

CCREA holds special meeting

The Charlotte County Retired Educators Association will hold a special meeting on Veterans Day at 10:30 a.m. at Fishermen’s Village to tour the Military Heritage Museum, followed by lunch in one of the village’s restaurants. “This special meeting is our way of honoring the veterans who gave so much for our country,” said spokeswoman Arlene Kincaid of the CCREA. The association promotes fellowship among retired school employees, encourages them to volunteer, and provides future teacher scholarships.

—Compiled by Sommer Brokaw
PHOTO PROVIDED BY MELINDA ISLEY

Port Charlotte High School students Gardy Marcel and Ross Bruglio participated in the Charlotte County Voice of Local Teens summit held on Oct. 28 at Port Charlotte Beach Park.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MELINDA ISLEY

Port Charlotte High School students Gardy Marcel and Ross Bruglio participated in the Charlotte County Voice of Local Teens summit held on Oct. 28 at Port Charlotte Beach Park.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY CROSSROADS

Students from Crossroads nonprofit home and charter school for foster boys recently recieved certificates of completion in financial responsibility after lessons from SunTrust employees.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY CROSSROADS

Students from Crossroads nonprofit home and charter school for foster boys recently recieved certificates of completion in financial responsibility after lessons from SunTrust employees.