October 20, 2023

IN THE NEWS            

In This Issue

Principal Leadership Award

Exemplary Science Teacher Award

FCSS Conference

Rocktober 5K

Viera High School Wind Ensemble

Honoring Excellence in Education: Principal Mary Beth Myers Receives 2023 Principal Leadership Award

On Friday, October 13, Principal Mary Beth Myers of Riviera Elementary School was honored with a 2023 Principal Leadership Award by Florida TaxWatch.

Ms. Myers was awarded the Principal Leadership Award during a surprise ceremony for her hard work in enriching the lives of the students at Riviera Elementary and helping them achieve and succeed!

As part of her award, Ms. Myers will be recognized at the official Principal Leadership Award ceremony in Winter Park in April 2024. She will also receive a $1,000 cash prize, a plaque for her school, and, perhaps most exciting of all, she will have the opportunity to nominate one student from Riviera Elementary to receive a two-year Academic A+ Challenge Match Scholarship.

Florida TaxWatch, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government and taxpayer research institute, organizes its annual Principal Leadership Awards. Established in 2013, this prestigious award is given to nine different principals across the state in schools with a large population of at-risk students who have outperformed other schools with similar demographics through the meaningful impact they have made on the students they serve.

The only program of its kind in the nation, Florida TaxWatch selects three elementary school principals, three middle school principals, and three high school principals to receive a Principal Leadership Award, whose leadership skills have made a difference not only in the lives of their students but in their communities as well.

Florida TaxWatch selects its Principal Leadership Award winners through weighted data collected from the Department of Education.

This is the fourth year in a row that Brevard Public Schools have had the privilege of surprising one of our very own principals with this accolade.

Last year, Mike Mahl of Palm Bay Elementary School was honored, and in 2021, Dr. Rachel Roberts took home the prize for her impact at Columbia Elementary. In 2020, Riviera won under the leadership of Kori Hurst.

Exemplary Science Teachers Recognized

Six outstanding science teachers received the distinguished Exemplary Science Teacher Award from the Space Coast Science Education Alliance (SCSEA). The award is given in recognition of Brevard County teachers who go above and beyond to foster a love of learning and develop science literacy among their students.

The 2023 Exemplary Science Teacher Award winners are:

  • Dr. Peter Gay of Astronaut High School
  • Aaron LeBlanc of Rockledge High School
  • Cheryl Hanneman of Quest Elementary School
  • Angel Alexander of Stone Magnet Middle School
  • Rhonda Ripperger of South Lake Elementary School
  • Natalie Marshall of Eau Gallie High School

In addition, Ms. Marshall and Ms. Ripperger were inducted into the SCSEA Science Teacher Hall of Fame. This recognition pays tribute to science teacher leaders with a long and distinguished record of inspiring excellence in science among their students and colleagues.

BPS Social Studies Teachers Shine at FCSS Conference

Fourteen Brevard Social Studies teachers attended the annual Florida Council for the Social Studies (FCSS) Conference in Orlando, Florida. Brevard dominated the FCSS Excellence in Education Awards Dinner, taking home three district awards and three state awards. Brevard’s 2023 District Teachers of the Year were Lisa Burke (Lewis Carroll Elementary School), Emily Jensen (Kennedy Middle School), and Megan Terseck (Palm Bay Magnet High School).

Two Brevard teachers were also recognized as the state’s Teachers of the Year. Jeffrey Draves (Viera High School) and Mrs. Burke each received the Dr. Theron Trimble Florida Teacher of the Year Award, which recognizes exceptional social studies teachers for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Adding to the accolades, Christina Uttlinger, Brevard’s Elementary Social Studies Content Specialist, received a state award, the Dr. J. Doyle Casteel Outstanding Leadership Award. This award recognized her many years of devoted service as a member and current president of the Florida Association for Social Studies Supervisors (FASSS).

Rocktober 5K: Racing for Education and Community Wellness

On Saturday, October 7th, the City of Rockledge hosted its second annual Rocktober 5K event. This fun-filled event welcomed people of all ages to participate in a delightful walk/run along the Don Griffin Trail at Lake Betsi.

However, the event was about more than just physical activity; it was also about giving back. The proceeds from the Rocktober 5K were directed toward benefiting the Golfview Elementary Magnet School PE Program, demonstrating the power of collective efforts in supporting education and community wellness.

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

Learn more!

Viera High School Wind Ensemble to Take the Stage at Two Esteemed Conferences

On January 11, the Viera High School Wind Ensemble will perform at the 2024 Professional Development Conference hosted by the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA). The VHS Wind Ensemble will be performing during the FMEA Concert Hour from 8:30 am to 9:00 am at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

On March 1, the ensemble will perform at the 2024 College Band Directors National Association/National Band Association (CBDNA/NBA) Southern Division Conference at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee. The VHS Wind Ensemble is scheduled to perform from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center.

Heart of Brevard

Marina Middleton 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!


Support to Teacher Informational Night

Calling all Brevard Public Schools support employees! Discover your path to becoming a teacher at our Support to Teacher informational meeting. Learn about teacher certification options, meet representatives from Eastern Florida State College and the University of Central Florida, and get valuable financial aid insights. Join us on Thursday, October 26th at 5:30pm and take the first step towards a rewarding new career!



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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 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 [email protected]

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 [email protected]g

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 [email protected]. 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

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