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May 2016
Mary Lou Darczuk was recognized as a GEM at the May 26th meeting in Marathon. Mrs. Darczuk who is retiring from her position as school counselor this year was recognized for her work at Stanley Switlik Elementary in the PBIS Program. Switlik was recognized at the Silver Level as a model school in the University of South Florida Model School Designations Program. Only about 10% of the schools implementing school wide PBS in the state receive one of three levels of distinction. Pictured presenting the award to Mrs. Darczuk are Mark Porter, Superintendent and Theresa Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning.
April 2016 - KWHS Ninth Grade Center
Receiving GEMS for their work in the Ninth Grade Center were both teachers and student mentors. Working many hours beyond school time, they endeavor to ensure that the new 9th graders feel comfortable, confident and able to contribute at KWHS. The teachers have supported their students outside of the classroom adding many hours to their work day. Student mentors have gone above and beyond to help Ninth Grade Students be successful.

Pictured are: Beth Zelms (Alg 1), Tara Whitehead (Science), Traci Culiver (Geography), Kaci Sublette (Eng 1), Jessy Archer (Assistant Principal), J.T. Keane (KWH Senior Mentor), Kristin Ayala (KWH Senior Mentor), Shiloh McPherson (KWH Senior Mentor)

April 2016 - Five Star Schools
The Prestigious Five Star School Award for Community and Business Partnerships conferred by the Florida Department of Education was presented on April 26th to two schools in the Lower Keys: Poinciana Elementary School and Key West High School. Schools must document through a portfolio their extensive business and community partnerships to receive the award. 


Pictured are Terri Axford; Jessy Archer, KWHS Assistant Principal; Christina McPherson, Principal Poinciana Elementary School and recently named Principal of HOB for 2016-17; Daliana Goins, Poinciana School Counselor; Mark Porter, Superintendent; and Chairman of the Monroe County School Board Andy Griffiths.
April 2016 - PBIS Coaches (Key West schools)
Recognized as GEMS at the April 26th Board Meeting were three PBIS Coaches who were instrumental in their schools achieving Model School Designations from the University of Florida. Poinciana and Gerald Adams received the Gold Designation and HOB received the Silver. These designations represent may hour of work on the part of the staff and students at each school.
 
Pictured are Terri Axford, Marianne Nickel, District PBIS Coordinator; Andy Griffiths, Board Chairman; Daliana Goins, Poinciana School Counselor and PBIS Coach; Nicole Smith, HOB PBIS Coach and Monroe County Teacher of the Year; Alex Sorrentino, Gerald Adams, School Counselor and PBIS Coach; and Superintendent Mark Porter.​
April 2016 - HOB Student Divya Navani
Superintendent Mark Porter recognized Divya Navani of HOB who is the first Monroe County Student admitted to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundations Young Scholars Program as a GEM. Divya was selected for her outstanding academics, her high test scores and for the qualities of determination and persistence. The young scholars program provides support for students in the career pathways.
 
Pictured are Terri Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning; Andy Griffiths, Chairman, Monroe County School Board; Mark Porter, Superintendent; Divya Navani, Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar and HOB Assistant Principal, Denise Santiago.
March 2016 GEMS - Kelley Steinmetz (KLS)
Also claiming Model School Designation is Key Largo School who was recognized in the "Bronze" category. PBIS Coach Kelley Steinmetz was recognized as a GEM for her contribution to this recognition. This is a first time recognition for Key Largo School. Pictured are Terri Axford, Superintendent Mark Porter, Kelley Steinmetz, and School Board Chairman Andy Griffiths.
March 2016 GEMS - Jackie Patterson (PKS)
Jackie Patterson was recognized as a GEM for her Outstanding work as PBIS Coach at Plantation Key School. Plantation received a "Gold" Model School Designation from the University of South Florida, the PBIS center for the state. Pictured are Terri Axford, Superintendent Mark Porter, Jackie Patterson, and School Board Chairman Andy Griffiths.
March 2016 GEMS - Five Star School Awards
The Prestigious Five Star School Award for Community Involvement is all aspects of the school life was presented to two Upper Keys Principals on March 15, 2016. Receiving the award for Plantation Key School and Key Largo School are Principal Lisa Taylor and Principal Laura Lietaert; also pictured are Terri Axford, Superintendentt Mark Port Porter and Andy Griffiths, School Board Chairman.
March 2016 GEMS - Anne O'Neil, State Volunteer of the Year
The State Volunteer of the Year in the Senior Division, Mrs. Anne O’Neil was recognized at the School Board Meeting at Coral Shores High School on March 15, 2016. Congratulations to Anne for her support of both Key Largo and Plantation Key Schools. Pictured are Laura Lietaert, Principal of Key Largo School; Terri Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning; Anne O’Neil, Award Winner; Superintendent Mark Porter, Lisa Taylor, Principal of Plantation Key School; and Andy Griffiths, Chairman, Monroe County School Board.
November 2015 - Poinciana Odyssey of the Mind
Poinciana Elementary’s Odyssey of the Mind Program was recognized at the Monroe County School Board meeting on November 17th in Key West. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition involving students from kindergarten through college and has teams from across the United States, and internationally as well, compete in its events.
Poinciana Odyssey of the Mind Team
Top Photo, from left to right: Renee Ullom (Teacher Coach), Felicity Delostrinos (Student Coach), Denise Delostrinos (Parent Coach), Eithne Saunders (Parent Coach), Mr. Andy Griffiths (Board Chair), Superintendent Mark Porter

Bottom Photo, from left to right: Renee Ullom (Teacher Coach), D. Miller, Felicity Delostrinos, S. Oropeza, M. Hamilton, A. Saunders, D. Bittner, Denise Delostrinos, M. Delostrinos, Eithne Saunders, J. Baeder, Mr. Andy Griffiths (Board Chair), Superintendent Mark Porter

 
 
October 2015 - Kelly Sereikas
Recognized at the October 27, 2015, School Board meeting: CSHS teacher Kelly Sereikas, for her stellar community involvement for Homecoming Activities.

Pictured, from left: Executive Director of Teaching & Learning Theresa Axford, Superintendent Mark Porter, School Board Chairman John Dick, CSHS teacher Kelly Sereikas
October 2015 - CSHS Videographer
Recognized at the October 27, 2015, School Board Meeting: Javier Exposito, for his countless hours volunteering as the Coral Shores Videographer 

Pictured, from left: Superintendent Mark Porter, School Board Chairman John Dick, CSHS student Javier Exposito
October 2015 - CSHS Fundraising
Recognized as GEMS at the October 27, 2015, School Board Meeting for their fundraising for injured Coral Shores alumnus: Nancy Truesdale and Trish Biondoletti

Pictured, from left: Executive Director of Teaching & Learning Theresa Axford, Superintendent Mark Porter, School Board Chairman John Dick, CSHS teacher Nancy Truesdale, and CSHS staff member Trish Biondoletti
October 2015 - Purple Pinkie Project
Recognized at the October 27, 2015, School Board Meeting: Bernard Lietaert and Melissa Helphrey for their work with the Purple Pinkie Project at Coral Shores High School.

Pictured, from left: Superintendent Mark Porter, School Board Chairman John Dick, CSHS students Bernard Lietaert and Melissa Helphrey and CSHS Principal Blake Fry
October 2015 GEM - CSHS Student Emily Perrotti
Senior Emily Perrotti was recognized as a GEM for her work with the Coral Shores Pantry which serves the needs of the community.

October 2015 GEM - Lorie Lalonde
Pictured above is Theresa Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Mark Porter, Superintendent, John Dick, School Board Chair and GEMS honoree, Lorie Lalonde. Lorie has served the District as the Chair of the District Advisory Council for three years. Her leadership has made the DAC experience for everyone a rewarding one. Lorie also served on the Coral Shores High School SAC for a number of years.
October 2015 - KLS GEMS Eva Brown and Tiffany Wheaton
Recognized as GEMS from Key Largo School are two teachers who have spearheaded a college-going culture at the school by displaying banners from colleges all over the country. The women sent 500 letters this past summer to get the banners so that students would see all the great colleges available in the United States.

Pictured (from left): Mark Porter, Superintendent, John Dick, School Board Chair, teachers, Eva Brown and Tiffany Wheaton
Michelle Franck Receives GEM Award as Volunteer of the Year
Pictured: John Dick, Chairman Monroe County School Board, Michelle Franck, Volunteer of the Year, Mark Porter, Superintendent and Theresa Axford, Executive Director Teaching and Learning
 
The Monroe County School Board recognized Marathon parent Michelle Franck for her outstanding volunteering at the Marathon High School as Volunteer of the Year. Michelle participates as a volunteer in Homecoming Festivities, does a daily e-mail communication to staff and students, chaperones dances, attends SAC meetings, seeks donations for Teacher Appreciation Week - the list goes on and on. Superintendent Porter also recognized Michelle for her significant contribution to the Strategic Planning Committee. Mrs. Axford praised Michelle's efforts and noted that it's difficult to put a price tag on the work, but there is a way of equating volunteerism with a hourly amount and Michelle's' contributions though priceless in their impact would represent at $15,000 contribution to the school.
August 2015 - Historic Tours of America
Historic Tours of America was recognized as Monroe County School District’s Business Partner of the Year for 2014-15 at the School Board Meeting on August 25th. Historic Tours generously supported Monica Munoz’s work for the district. They also support transportation to a variety of district events on the Conch Train and give student and teacher discounts and free admission to their attractions. We appreciate their support and value our partnership with them. Accepting for Historic Tours are President, Ed Swift and CEO, Chris Belland.
 
Pictured from left to right are: Theresa Axford, Executive Director, Teaching and Learning; Ed Swift, President, Historic Tours of America (HTA); Christ Belland, CEO (HTA); Monica Munoz, Creative Director (HTA); Mark Porter, Superintendent, and John Dick, School Board Chair
August 2015- Monica Munoz
Monica Munoz, Creative Director of Historic Tours of America, was recognized as a GEM at the August 25th School Board meeting in Key West. Monica’s designs have propelled programs forward in the Monroe County Schools. Her work is seen in our “Charting the Course to Excellence” logo and also in the iBElieve logo and guide. She also developed the logo for the Superintendent’s new initiative My Monroe County School District (#mymcsd). The District greatly appreciates her service and is proud to recognize her as a GEM. Monica is picture holding her GEMs certificate and Mrs. Axford is presenting her with flowers.

July 2015 - Harry Russell, Sugarloaf School
Harry Russell received a GEMS award for his recognition by the Florida Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals in receiving the Little Red School House Award for Sugarloaf School's iBElieve implementation. The Little Red School House Award is given to five districts throughout the state for projects that impact the school and the community in a positive way fostering student success. The Award was accepted for Sugarloaf by Theresa Axford at the FASA Summer Conference and presented to her by Ms. Sandi Bisceglia, former Principal of Plantation Key School and president of Florida Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals (FAEMSP). Mrs. Axford presented the award to Mr. Russell and the staff at Sugarloaf at the Board Meeting on July 28th.
Last Updated: 9/22/16
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