April 14, 2023

IN THE NEWS            

In This Issue

L3Harris STEM Challenge

Thrive By Five Book Drive

68th State Science and Engineering Fair

Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High Teacher Receives Prestigious Award

Tropical Elementary Recognition Breakfast

L3Harris STEM Challenge

On April 12, the BPS District Office hosted 10 middle schools for the L3Harris STEM Challenge. Students participated in the design challenge to showcase the collaboration, communication, coding, and engineering skills they have developed throughout the school year.

The goal of the challenge was to expose students to STEM and engage them in real world experiences. The lessons and challenges were designed to expose students to high demand career skills and provide rich learning opportunities in the classroom.

Teams completed the following challenges:

  • Collaborate/Escape Challenge: In teams of six, students worked together to complete challenges at five succeeding stations. The challenges involved working as a team, finding hidden clues, solving science problems, and thinking creatively to find codes that unlocked and opened boxes at each station to retrieve new information. The final act for each team was to find their flag and wave it to signal completion of the mission.
  • Communication Challenge: Students competed in a challenge to test their ability to communicate in different ways. The challenge was similar to the game ‘Telephone’ but with an interesting twist.
  • Coding Challenge: Students had to code four Circuit Playground boards using Microsoft MakeCode to illuminate and sound in sequence. Students then had to place the four Circuit Playgrounds on the Low Earth Orbit Placemat provided. Finally, students were given the location to place the remaining three Circuit Playgrounds on the placemat in the locations indicated.
  • Create Challenge: Teams had to utilize one or both of the container prototypes that were previously built during the school year. Students had to understand what cargo their containers would be carrying, how the cargo would be utilized, and what other materials would be available to purchase in their build. Students were given time to shop for materials and then incorporate them before testing. Each additional revision that led to a new attempt at launching the cargo resulted in a loss of points.

Thrive By Five Book Drive

BPS and BRPH collaborated on a book drive for the Thrive By Five program. BRPH donated more than 140 copies of the book, "Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar."

The Thrive By Five initiative promotes literacy and school readiness by providing a new book to every child in Brevard County from birth through age five.

68th State Science and Engineering Fair

Recently, 79 students participated in the 68th State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, Florida. 

Brevard students took home 83 awards, including scholarships to the University of Florida, worth $2,500 per year for four years, Florida Institute of Technology, worth ½ tuition for 4 years (approximately $72,000), and many other cash prizes, totaling almost $1,000.

In addition, two high school Grand Awards were won by BPS students, Dillen Scott of Satellite High and Rushil Shah of West Shore Jr./Sr. High. These awards came with a bid to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Dallas, Texas. Dillen also won a bid for the ISEF at the Runner Up Best of Show runoff in March, so his ISEF bid will be transferred to RJ Zrallack of Titusville High, who was the next place student from that runoff. This means that 11 students will be representing Brevard County at the ISEF in May.

Other awards include:

5 middle school and 3 high school Recognition awards

5 middle school and 4 high school Honorable Mention awards

4 middle school and 5 high school 4th place

2 middle school and 9 high school 3rd place

6 middle school and 3 high school 2nd place

2 middle school and 3 high school 1st place

Brevard’s delegation comprised 11% of the fair, but took home nearly 14% of special awards and 12% of place awards. 

Congratulations to all the winners!

Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High Teacher Receives Prestigious Award

Congratulations to Dwayne Kennedy of Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School for winning the Florida Council on Economic Education's Regional Economic Education and Leadership (REEL) Award!

“It’s truly an honor to be selected as this year’s award winner. I pride myself on giving my students real life material which they can take and apply in the real world. I am extremely grateful for my students and staff as they continue to push me to become better daily," Kennedy said.

The REEL Awards honor outstanding teachers across Florida that deliver personal finance and economic education in their classrooms each day.

While Mr. Kennedy serves as CBHS' Economics teacher, he is also an Assistant Varsity Football Coach and Assistant Track & Field Coach.  

Tropical Elementary Recognition Breakfast

On April 11, Tropical Elementary hosted a recognition breakfast to express gratitude for the school's bus drivers and crossing guards.

The cafeteria manager prepared a wonderful breakfast for them, and each were presented a special tumbler made by PTO and cards designed by students.

Thank you to all the bus drivers and crossing guards!

Heart of Brevard

Kristopher Hershman 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!


Learn More About BPS' BAS Programs

Have you ever wondered about BPS' BAS (Before & After School) Programs? Jen Balletti joins the BPS Smart Podcast to tell us all about it! BPS offers great opportunities for students throughout the school year and even during Summer Break. Take a listen as we chat with Jen & discuss all BAS has to offer you and your students.

Listen Here!

From ParaPro Prep to Google Suite, there is something for everyone. Click the button for more information.

Learn more!


Russell Cowan of Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School, Tucker Hanson of Titusville High School, and Hannah Ferguson of Astronaut High School were each named the Titusville Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Young Adult for the month of April.

The Outstanding Young Adult (OYA) program is sponsored by Community Credit Union and the Jess Parrish Medical Foundation. It seeks to celebrate North Brevard seniors who excel in academics, extracurricular activities and community service, and is open to Astronaut, Space Coast, and Titusville High Schools.




The Brevard School Board unanimously approved a plan to increase compensation for district transportation employees.

For several months, the Board has researched strategies to support and thank BPS Transportation employees for their dedication to our students. After passage tonight, Vice Chair Megan Wright said, “To our Transportation team we appreciate you. This is a thank you for all that you do. We cannot get our babies to school without you and we celebrate with you. This is a victory.”

The following incentives are retroactive to January 5, 2023, and will last through the last day of school on May 26, 2023.

• $25 per run for carrying extra students due to a split bus route. If the route is split between two drivers, the $25 would be split between two drivers; if the route is split between four drivers, the $25 would be split between four drivers; etc.

• $25 for all drivers having to “double back” for any uncovered routes after their first route has been completed. This is not inclusive of those drivers who have double backs on their assigned/selected routes.

• $25 per run for routing, dispatch, and assistant supervisors when required to drive.

• An incentive of $2,500 for mechanics, assistant foremen and foremen due to current vacancies. To qualify for the pay, employees must be active on April 11, 2023, and on the date of the pay-out, expected to be May 31, 2023.

School Board Chairman Matt Susin added, “Thank you to all our bus drivers who worked extra and who filled the gap for our students. We celebrate your work.”

Also, our School Board proclaimed April as Month of the Military Child Month. The Board encourages people to participate in "Wear Purple Day for Military Kids" in Brevard on April 19th.

We loved having members of 45 FSS Patrick SFB join us Tuesday evening. Lt. Col. Brett Kuhrt, Pamela Jordan, and Susan Clark helped us celebrate our military families.

We thank every military family for their service and sacrifice for our country.

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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 the Boy Scouts and other patriotic youth groups, as required by the Boys Scout 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 Stated 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 involving any of the above or below items, please contact either individual below for assistance:

For concerns involving the public or students, including IDEA and 504 matters contact:

Title IX Coordinator

Jacqueline Saxenmeyer

2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way

Melbourne, FL 32940

(321) 633-1000, Ext. 11280

[email protected]

For concerns involving employees or job applicants contact:

Director of Professional Standards and Labor Relations

Karyle Green

2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way

Melbourne, FL 32940

(321) 633-1000 Ext. 11265

[email protected]

Reasonable accommodations are available for persons with disabilities to complete the application and/or interview process. Applicants/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 6B-1.006, FAC). To report alleged educator misconduct, contact Dr. Karyle Green, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer, at 321-633-1000, ext. 11266 or [email protected]. In the event that the district is not able to resolve your concerns, consider contacting the 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