October 27, 2023

IN THE NEWS            

In This Issue

Ribbon Cutting

Employee of the Year Finalists

Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High's Aqua Science Program

Principal for the Day

Wildcat Snack Down

Ribbon Cutting: BPS Opens New Classroom Building at Viera High School

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Brevard Public Schools celebrated the expansion of Viera High School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its impressive new 20,000-square-foot building. The new building, 11 months in the making, will have 350 student stations and will include eight classrooms, three science labs, and space for Brevard Learners Achieving Success Transition (BLAST). The 20,000-square-foot building will also house Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs and the Choir program.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell said that, while the district is fortunate to have a beautiful new building, the inside is what is important because that is where the teaching and learning will happen.

Brevard Public Schools is thankful to partner with The Viera Company and W+J Construction Corp. on this project. The cost was roughly $8,500,000 and was funded through educational impact fees.

School Board Chair Matt Susin said the new space is needed for the school's growing enrollment and will allow students to better prepare for their post-secondary lives.

This is the latest example of BPS’s growth, which includes a new building at South Lake Elementary and a new cafetorium at Mims Elementary that opened this school year. The new middle school being built in Viera will be completed by August 2024, and an expansion at West Melbourne School for Science will begin soon. A new classroom building at MILA Elementary is also on the horizon.

Unveiling Excellence: Celebrating the BPS Employee of the Year Finalists

It has been a BIG week in Brevard Public Schools. This week, we revealed our six Employee of the Year Finalists:

  • Ruth TeMaat, ESOL Instructional Assistant at Westside Elementary School
  • Kelli Szymanski, Clerk at Discovery Elementary School
  • Jessica Reed, Instructional Assistant at Kennedy Middle School
  • Timothy Cannon, Foreman at Transportation (Titusville)
  • Valerie Lance, Bookkeeper at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School
  • Terri Bagby, Brevard After School Coordinator at Quest Elementary School

Tara Harris, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and James Rehmer, Chief of Schools surprised each finalist at their respective schools/compound with the news.

Congratulations! You are all amazing and we are proud to honor you!

Launching the Future: Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School's Aqua Science Program Gets a Boost from Brevard Public Schools and State Leaders

Brevard Public Schools and tate leaders are helping Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School launch their new Aqua Science program.

Senator Debbie Mayfield and Representative Tyler Sirois joined School Board member Gene Trent, District 2, Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell, and school leaders at the groundbreaking for the district's newest Career & Technical Education program.

The groundbreaking is the latest step in expanding classroom and laboratory space for students.

The Cocoa Beach Aqua Science (CBAS) program began in August and offers an excellent educational opportunity for students interested in researching and solving problems related to the Indian River Lagoon or pursuing careers in Marine Biology or Environmental Science. This program provides valuable hands-on experience right on the Cocoa Beach campus, with access to aqua tanks and a greenhouse.

Additionally, students will cultivate seagrass and raise oysters, clams, and mummichogs, which are fish found in the Indian River Lagoon.

Students participating in the program will have the opportunity to earn various certifications, preparing them to be leaders in this field upon graduation.

The Aqua Science program will work closely with the Brevard Zoo to provide student internship opportunities and real-world engagement with professionals in our community.

Empowering Dreams: A Heartwarming Tale of Young Leadership

Students at Lockmar Elementary School were invited to participate in a unique activity: writing a letter describing what they would do if they were the principal for a day. The author of the most compelling letter would earn the remarkable opportunity to shadow Principal Campione and become 'Principal for the Day.'

Out of a total of 140 students, it was fourth-grader Ezra Wiltshire who was chosen as Principal for the Day! In his letter, he expressed his intention to spread positivity throughout the school, emphasizing his plan to go around, complimenting students, offering hugs, and sharing fist bumps to boost their spirits and foster happiness and inclusion.

Principal Wiltshire had the privilege of working alongside Ms. Campione in the Principal’s Office, conducting a campus security check, and assisting the cafeteria staff.

Wildcat Snack Down: A Flavorful Contest for Healthy Snacking

Staff members at West Shore Jr./Sr. High School recently participated in a delightful competition known as the "Wildcat Snack Down." The primary objective of this friendly contest was to raise awareness and promote the importance of healthy snacking.

The competition encouraged staff members to get inventive in the kitchen by submitting their own snack recipes. Their culinary masterpieces were expected not only to be delicious but also to emphasize the significance of choosing nutritious snack options.

Once the recipes were submitted, it was time for the taste test. The snacks were judged based on three essential criteria: taste, texture, and creativity. The competition turned into a delicious showdown as the panel of judges sampled each delectable creation, carefully considering how well they satisfied these three categories.

After some fierce and tasty competition, the winning recipe emerged as "No Bake Energy Bites," created by ELA teacher Shalene Bartlett. The event showed that a commitment to healthy snacking can be both fun and delicious.

Congratulations to all the participants and, especially, to Ms. Bartlett on her well-deserved win!

Student Spotlight: First-Grader's Artwork Shines in Hispanic Heritage Month Contest

Let's celebrate Claire Aguilar, a talented first-grader at Golfview Magnet Elementary School, for her remarkable achievement! Claire's artwork, 'Romero Britto Inspired Artwork,' has earned her well-deserved recognition as one of the 2023 Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest winners. In acknowledgment of her exceptional creativity, Claire has been awarded a $100 gift card for school supplies and a year-long pass to Florida state parks. Congratulations, Claire!

From Spanish to Keyboards, there is something for everyone. Click the button for more information.

Learn more!

Heart of Brevard

J.T. Hassell is the Heart of Brevard!

The Heart of Brevard is a person who puts their heart and soul into teaching, inspiring, and supporting our children in whatever role they play in BPS.

If you know of a BPS staff member or community partner who is the “Heart of Brevard,” nominate them HERE!


Military Veterans & First Responders, Teach with Us

Calling all military veterans and retired first responders: Become a teacher and make a lasting impact! Get a $4,000 sign-on bonus with a two-year teaching commitment, plus an extra $1,000 for high-needs subjects. Inspire young minds as you embark on a rewarding journey in education. Interested in more information? Connect with a recruiter today!



Mel Gallie Orchestra Festival

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 28th, when the Melbourne High School Orchestras and the Eau Gallie High School Orchestras come together for their annual collaborative concert – the Mel Gallie Orchestra Festival. 

The concert will take place in the EGHS Auditorium at 3pm. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $5 for students. BPS employees can enter for free with their ID.

Tickets can be purchased here or at the door.


This week's school board meeting proved to be an inspiring evening. The school board honored employees who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom and who have also gone above and beyond outside the classroom. The school board witnessed a remarkable performance by students from Sunrise Elementary.

The school's group, 'Sunrise Inspiration,' will perform in Tampa during the Florida Music Educators Association conference in January. They performed two pieces with xylophones, movement, and drums.

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxZVVqzyCYQ

The school board honored Amanda Choplin of Endeavour Elementary School for being named the Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Choplin has left an unforgettable mark on Endeavour by introducing a groundbreaking Girls in STEM program, which has sparked the curiosity and ambitions of young girls in the field of STEM. She has also breathed new life into the science fair program, inspiring students to showcase their scientific prowess. A true champion of innovation, Mrs. Choplin has spearheaded the creation of a Destination Mars team and expanded Endeavour's Innovation Games teams, providing students with a platform to explore their creative potential and push the boundaries of scientific thought.

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDXsdh1n9sI

Instructional Assistant for Atlantis Elementary, Peyton Petty, and school bus driver Heidi Erickson were honored for helping save a child who wandered away from home. They did not hesitate when they saw the child in danger, with Ms. Petty running after the child and getting him to safety.

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF4vvke-ve8

Sheriff Ivey attended the board meeting to honor two more heroes who acted when they saw a child in need.

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd8x2axCQIM

Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin  Youtube  Instagram

Follow us on social media!



The School Board of Brevard County, Florida does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation, transgender status, or gender identity), disability (including HIV, AIDS, or sickle cell trait), pregnancy, marital status, age (except as authorized by law), religion, military status, ancestry, or genetic information or any other 

factor protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. The district also provides equal access to its facilities to youth groups, as required by the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act. The School Board of Brevard County is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAA), the Florida Education Equity Act of 1984, Age Discrimination Act of 1967 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Civil Rights Act of 1964 including: Title II, Title VI, and Title VII, United States Education Amendments of 1972 - Title IX, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). If you have questions, concerns, or wish to report 

possible violations of any of the above, please contact the below for proper assistance and handling. For concerns involving:

The public or students, including Title IX, IDEA, 504, and Equity and Diversity matters contact: Title IX Coordinator Jacqueline Saxenmeyer 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way Melbourne, FL 32940 (321) 633-1000, Ext. 11280 saxenmeyer.j@brevardschools.org

Employees or job applicants contact: Director of Professional Standards and Labor Relations Gail Williams, Ed.S. 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way Melbourne, FL 32940 (321) 633-1000 Ext. 11265 williams.gail@brevardschools.org

Reasonable accommodations are available for persons with disabilities to complete the application and/or interview process. Applicants and/or individuals with disabilities requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may contact the Director of Professional Standards and Labor Relations for assistance. Educators are required to follow the Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida (State Board of Education Rule 6B1.006, FAC). To report alleged educator misconduct, contact Gail Williams, Ed.S., Director of Professional Standards and Labor Relations at 321-633-1000, ext. 11265 or williams.gail@brevardschools.org. In the event that the district is not able to resolve your concerns, consider contacting the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights for assistance. This Publication or portions of this publication can be made available to persons with disabilities in a variety of formats, including large print or audiotape. Student requests for this information should be made to the Office of Exceptional Student Education Program Support, (321) 633-1000, ext. 11520, at least two (2) weeks prior to the time you need the publication

BPS HEADLINES is a publication of Brevard Public Schools.
2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way * Melbourne, FL 32940 * 321-633-1000