December 19, 2018
BPS Teacher & Employee of the Year
Finalists Announced
Six of Brevard County's finest have have been named as finalists for the 2019 Teacher of the Year and Employee of the Year distinctions:

BPS Teacher of the Year Finalists

Kimberly Heming, School Counselor (3-6)
Meadowlane Intermediate Elementary 

Melissa Vincent, VE-SLD Teacher (K-6)
Ralph Williams Elementary

Angela Barrons, Teacher (Title 1, K-6)
Challenger 7 Elementary

Megan McGivney, Chorus & Orchestra Teacher
James Madison Middle School

Shannon Kraeling, Art Teacher
Eau Gallie High School (9-12)

Carrie Friday, Media Specialist (7-8)
Southwest Middle School

BPS Employee of the Year Finalists

Jessica Abreu, Office Cleark
Sunrise Elementary

Jeffrey Brown, Brevard After School Site Coordinator
Meadowlane Primary

Carmen Martin, Office Clerk
Gemini Elementary

Jennifer Lumpkin, School Secretary
Astronaut High School

Heather Spinneweber, School Secretary
Rockledge High School 

Diana Long, School Secretary
Central Middle School

Winners will be announced at the 8th Annual ABC Awards on January 23, 2019 at the King Center. Congratulations and best of luck to all!
BPS Spending Sales Surtax the
Way Voters Mandated
Brevard Public Schools continues to spend money from a one-half-cent sales surtax for facility renewal and repairs the way voters were promised when they passed the levy in 2014. That’s the main finding by the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, an 11-member watchdog group from across Brevard County that was established by voters as part of the tax initiative. Committee Chairman Gary Shiffrin called its most recent annual report “good news” for taxpayers.

Ever wonder where that extra half-cent surtax goes? BPS Facilities Services is keeping track of every dollar that is spent! To learn more about our surtax projects, visit Brevard Schools' Capital Projects or check out our Facility Services' Facebook page.
Breward Schools Celebrating 50 Years
Imperial Estates Elementary, Titusville
Lewis Carroll Elementary, Merritt Island
Brevard Schools Foundation Receives
$120K Grant from Boeing
Brevard Schools Foundation is the recipient of a $120,000 grant from The Boeing Company that will fund the expansion of STEM initiatives centered around the augmentation and expansion of the Destination Space program, as well as the development and implementation of the new Destination Mars program and space exploration education curriculum.

The great “space race” is being revitalized with Mars in mind, and the monies provided by The Boeing Company will expand the curriculum surrounding the Destination Space Program (formerly known as Space Week) for sixth grade students at Brevard Public Schools.

A new program called Destination Mars, will feature an innovative pilot program that extends Space Week with STEM activities and two competition days. Several BPS departments are collaborating to host a Destination Mars Innovation Day in February 2019 for students and teachers representing fourteen pilot schools.

“Boeing is committed to supporting our youth through STEM initiatives that will inspire and engage them with hands-on projects tied to space education,” said Ingrid Piedrahita, Boeing community investor. “We want students to be curious, engaged and passionate about their pursuits and be inspired to become lifelong learners, dreamers and doers.”

For more information, click here.
Palm Bay Magnet HS Takes 1st Place in
Business Ethics Competition
Last month, FIT College of Business and Community Credit Union sponsored the Annual Business Ethics Team Competition. The following high schools participated for a total of 11 teams: 
Melbourne High School (2 teams), Rockledge High School (2 teams), Melbourne Central Catholic (3 teams),
Astronaut High School, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School (2 teams), and Palm Bay Magnet High School.

Students representing Palm Bay Magnet High School took first place and won the competition. Congratulations to Bianca Ingram, Ayah Saleh, and Dania Saleh who each earned a $16,000 scholarship to FIT and $500 cash.

Melbourne Central Catholic earned second place, while third and fourth place went to teams from Rockledge High School and Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School, respectively.
Heritage High's AEWT Students Attend Orlando Conference to Learn About Water Professions
On November 27 th , Heritage High School’s Academy of Environmental Water Technology (AEWT) students went on a field trip to the American Water Works Association (AWWA) conference in Orlando, Florida.

This is a trip that our academy takes every year and the students always have a blast. We explored the exhibit hall, where students completed a fun scavenger hunt. Lunch included round table discussions with water treatment plant professionals and engineers. AEWT students gained meaningful insight into the everyday responsibilities of drinking water operators and engineers, as well as pros and cons of their professions.
Williams Elementary Students Take 1st in State
at FAME Media Festival
Six students from Ralph M. Williams Jr. Elementary were recognized for their student created films at the 2018 Jim Harbin Student Media Festival. 

The Awards are part of the state convention for FAME (Florida Association for Media in Education). An awards ceremony was held November 30 at the Orlando Hilton Lake Buena Vista- Disney Springs.

Williams students took 1 st place at the state level for two categories:
  • 1st Place in State: "Framed!" (Book Trailer: grades 3-5), created by Justin DeSimone, Annalise, Rosario, and Reilly Halsey
  • 1st Place in State: "A Snowman Story; the fight for Winter" (Animation: grades 3-5), created by Gavin Amedro, Veronica Peters, and Blake Stellmon.

The red carpet awards ceremony gives recognition for films that are written, filmed, and edited by the students. Mr. Kurowski, a teacher at Ralph Williams, facilitates the TV production program.​
A Picture Perfect Partnership:
Junior League & Sabal Elementary
The Junior League has been an integral partner and supporter of students at Sabal Elementary for the past six years by providing funding for school programs, volunteering and contributing needed supplies.

Junior League helps fund Sabal's Back Pack program, which supplies weekly food to more than 30 deserving students every Friday, so that they have food over the weekend that is specifically for them.

The organization also donated recess equipment to grade levels to promote fitness and sportsmanship and provided supplies and volunteers for Sabal's annual field day, their biggest school-wide event.

During this holiday season, Junior League donated entire Thanksgiving dinners and provided essential items, books, toys, and clothes to 25+ Sabal families. 
Manatee Elementary Gives Back in
Big Ways for the Holidays
Manatee Elementary is in the 5 th year of its annual “Manatee Gives Back” holiday outreach program. Each year, the school selects three deserving Brevard County-based non-profits to support with donations. Each grade (K-6) is assigned an organization and the school holds a week-long collection period in December culminating in grade-level presentations to representatives from those organizations, where students can learn about the their mission and purpose and see first-hand the fruits of their generosity.

Manatee kindergarten and first grade students donated wagon-loads full of pet food, supplies, litter and toys for the Brevard Humane Society. Second, third and fourth graders fulfilled the holiday wish lists of nearly 300 children in the foster care system, on behalf of Friends of Children of Brevard; and students in grade five and six contributed basic household needs to fill two car loads of welcome home baskets for families in transition with Family Promise of Brevard.
Endeavour Launches School Pantry to
Assist Families in Need
As one of the first Community Partnership Schools implemented in Florida, Endeavour Elementary in Cocoa strives to increase student success at school, provide access to resources to improve physical and emotional health, increase parental involvement and empower students to shine.

As many Endeavour students struggle with food insecurity, which can significantly impact their ability to concentrate in class, the school recently launched its first Endeavour Community Partnership School Food Pantry.

Open the second and fourth Friday of every month from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, the pantry is housed in the school cafeteria and provides supplies of non-perishable food, toiletries and community resources in a location that is comfortable and convenient for Endeavour families.

Local community groups such as from the Church of Viera, Satellite High School-ROTC, West Shore Junior/Senior High School, Keiser University and The Children’s Hunger Project are supporting this effort by hosting food drives and organizing donations. The Central Brevard Sharing Center provided additional assistance by helping the Community Partnership School Operations Team determine a process for the pantry, and UCF students assisted by sorting donations.

Endeavour is hoping to expand its community partnerships to help establish the necessary connections to ongoing food sources, funding, community resources, and volunteers.
Ocean Breeze Students Receive Donation of Computers from Launch Federal Credit Union

Christmas came early for the faculty and students of Ocean Breeze Elementary, thanks to Launch Federal Credit Union in Merritt Island. Victor Maldonado, the business development specialist, and his team donated 59 computers to Ocean Breeze students.
BPS Ensembles Sing at Christmas on the Green
School ensembles from Madison Middle School, Jackson Middle School, and Astronaut and Titusville High Schools lent their musical talents to play at the annual "Christmas on the Green" at La Cita Country Club in Titusville. The event was sponsored by the Titusville Rotary Club and helped to raise funds, food, and awareness for the Children’s Hunger Project. Chorus and orchestra teacher, and 2019 BPS Teacher of the Year finalist, Meg McGivney, served as the music director for the event, organizing and gathering musicians from the north area, with help from her music educator colleagues Ian Schwindt, Jennifer Zahn, Justin Davis, Alex Reetz. The event concluded with the Madison Middle School Buddy Choir singing while Santa Claus was flown in by helicopter. 
Local Donor's Generosity Brings Thanksgiving to Deserving Families at Titusville Schools
Oak Park Elementary was the recipient of a very generous donation by a Titusville company wishing to remain anonymous. With their help, the school was able to provide Thanksgiving meals for 43 of its deserving families, as well as many other families from Astronaut High School, Fairglen and South Lake elementary schools. Volunteers and community members participated in a huge packing party to assemble all of the meals into boxes to prepare them for pick-up/delivery. 
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life
by what we give." - Winston Churchill
Spotlight on Benefits
Spotlight on Benefits, an Office of Employee Benefits and Risk Management publication, provides information and reminders about the many benefit options and features within the BPS employee benefits program to help participants get the “biggest bang for their benefit buck.”

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