December 8, 2023

IN THE NEWS            

In This Issue

Cocoa Tigers Football

Florida JROTC Raider Championships

Brevard Academic Team District Tournament

Gifted Education Week

School Spirit Shines Bright as Cocoa Tigers Head to State Championship

On Dec. 1, Cocoa High School's football team advanced to the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) 2S State Championship game for the third straight season after defeating Booker High School, 41-3, in the semifinals. Cocoa looks to win back-to-back state titles as they prepare to face off against Bradford High School in the championship game. The game will be a rematch of last season’s semifinal game between Cocoa and Bradford. Cocoa defeated Bradford 31-21 before claiming their State Championship last season against Florida State University High School.

To celebrate the momentous occasion, the community came together on the morning of Dec. 7 to show their support for the team with a spirited pep rally; reminiscent of Cocoa's triumphant send-off last year. The event was a dynamic display of school spirit, as students and staff united to boost the morale of the football players. Cheers, chants, and the school band resonated through the school, setting the stage for an unforgettable departure.


As the excitement reached a fever pitch, the entire high school population gathered to bid farewell to the players. The sight of the student body decked out in the school colors, donning Tiger Pride gear was a testament to the unbreakable bond between the team and its fans.


The grand send-off didn't end there, however, as the team, on their journey to the state championship, made a heartwarming stop at Saturn Elementary School. The young students, wide-eyed and full of admiration, lined the courtyard to catch a glimpse of their hometown heroes. The football players, now seasoned champions, shared excitement and high-fives with many future Tigers, leaving an indelible mark on the young minds.


Head Coach Ryan Schneider expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support from the community. "It’s all about the community.”

The FHSAA 2S State Championship game will be played on Dec. 8 in Tallahassee, FL at Bragg Memorial Stadium on the campus of Florida A&M University. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. The game can be watched on Spectrum TV, Channel 50.

Go Tigers and good luck!

For more photos and videos, click here.

BPS Cadets Dominate the Florida JROTC Raider Championships

JROTC students from across the state showcased their exceptional skills and unwavering determination at the Florida JROTC Raider Championships in Hudson, FL. The competition served as a proving ground for cadets, subjecting them to a gauntlet of physically demanding challenges that tested their endurance, teamwork, and resilience.

Cadets had to endure a series of challenging events, including a 3-mile team run, a fitness test requiring Raiders to carry 35-pound kettlebells for 25 meters, the construction of a rope bridge, and the execution of a 1-mile cross-country obstacle course featuring an 8-foot wall and a 100-pound litter. Additionally, cadets participated in a fitness challenge where they had to carry and move multiple items over a quarter mile.

Outshining a tough field of 54 teams, BPS had four teams secure positions in the top 5:

  • Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High: 1st Place (Male) and 1st Place (Female)
  • Merritt Island High: 3rd Place (Mixed)
  • Viera High: 5th Place (Female)

Cocoa Beach, in particular, deserves special recognition, with their female team clinching their third State Championship and their male team securing their first!

"1SG. Staddie and I are incredibly proud of the Raiders and their performance at the State championship. Practicing daily at 0630 is something that not all High School students are willing to commit to. Our Raiders are committed not only to the system but to each other, and that is special," Cocoa Beach's LTC. James DesJardin said.

In addition to their 3rd place finish, Merritt Island secured two 2nd place finishes - one in the team run event and another in the fitness challenge. Notably, the team also placed 1st in the fitness test. "It was an outstanding performance, due to their hard work and dedication this year,” Merritt Island's 1SG. Juan Torres exclaimed.

Furthermore, Viera finished in 2nd place in the cross-country rescue event and 2nd place in the team run event. “SFC. Thomas and I are very proud of the hard work and dedication required for our Female Raiders to make it to the Raider State Championship. They are truly incredible athletes,” Viera's LTC. Tim Thomas proclaimed.

The achievements of these cadets have not gone unnoticed. Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell expressed his admiration for the cadets.

“I was so impressed with the effort that all of our teams put forth at the state championship. The competition is physically demanding, and the teams must work together to complete each event. No individual events – all team events. To witness the level of success that Brevard achieved is amazing ... Certainly, it was a great day for Brevard County and for all of these young people. I am extremely proud of them,” Dr. Rendell stated.

The district congratulates each cadet, instructor, and school for their outstanding performance at the Florida JROTC Raider Championships! Their hard work, dedication, and indomitable spirit have not only brought glory to their respective schools but have also upheld the proud tradition of JROTC in Brevard County.

Brevard County High School Academic Teams Excel in District Tournament

Since September, high school academic teams from across Brevard County have been competing in quiz bowl-style competitions against each other for the chance to participate in the final championship event. On Dec. 4, the top six teams competed in the Brevard Academic Team District Tournament.

Winners were crowned for both the tournament and the season. The tournament winners were as follows: Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in first place, Merritt Island High School in second place, and Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School in third place. For the overall season, the winning teams were Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School in first place, West Shore Jr./Sr. High School in second place, and Holy Trinity in third place.

Out of the six students selected to join Team Brevard, five of them are from BPS:

Joel Freeland from Merritt Island, Philip Baptist and Vincent Stone from West Shore, and Andrew Matsoukis and Omkar Subramaniam from Edgewood.

Additionally, out of the three alternates, two are from BPS: Wisper Reynolds and William Struble, both from Edgewood.

Congratulations to all the students and coaches for a job well done!

Brevard Public Schools Celebrates Gifted Education Week

This week, Brevard Public Schools celebrated Gifted Education Week. The Florida Department of Education created Gifted Education Week to highlight Florida’s commitment to nurturing talent and fostering excellence in education. 

Elementary schools across Brevard County celebrated Gifted Education Week with a variety of engaging activities. At Fairglen, Manatee, Quest, and Westside, students coded Spike Prime robots and created robot drawings using littleBits. Freedom 7 students participated in a Socratic Seminar, while at Columbia, students crafted a mini-golf course out of cardboard. At Cape View, students used paper bags to create snowflakes, and at Imperial Estates, students delved into the history of gnomes, creating gnome figures, composing riddles with dialogue, and hand-sewing gnome ornaments.

Meadowlane Intermediate students researched the history of food trucks, designed model food trucks, selected optimal locations, priced menus, and included merchandise like T-shirts and stickers in their projects. At South Lake, students learned to use a multimeter to check copper pathways, test diodes, and build circuits to create paper circuit holiday cards.

Oak Park, Mims, and Pinewood students formed groups to utilize Ozobots in designing a parade route, experimenting with different paths, lines, and designs to create the longest functional route possible. They also explored tessellations using tracers and a 3-D doodle pen. Additionally, they used Canva to craft a menu inspired by the 'Dork Diaries' book series and prepared a meal based on the 'Sailor Moon' manga series.

Suntree Elementary's Heartwarming Initiative for National Diabetes Month

In a touching display of solidarity and support, Suntree Elementary School dedicated November to honoring National Diabetes Month. The school community rallied together to make a difference, raising an impressive $555 for a kindergartener recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The fundraising effort was nothing short of creative, as the school organized the sale of stickers and mustaches for $1 each. Every contribution played a crucial role in enabling the young student to attend their first diabetes camp.

The spirit of unity extended beyond the fundraising initiative. On Wednesday, Nov. 29, students, faculty, and staff participated in 'Blue Out Day,’ donning blue to symbolize their commitment to raising awareness about diabetes.

Through creative fundraising and community engagement, Suntree Elementary has proven that a small act of kindness can make a significant impact.

Student Spotlight: Former BPS Student Takes Center Stage in ‘Science Fair: The Series'

Former Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School student Erin Gaydar will star in National Geographic’s ‘Science Fair: The Series' television show. The docuseries showcases students from around the world working to solve the most complex and pressing global issues using science, all while competing for a coveted spot at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)—the most competitive science fair on the planet.

The series will consist of three episodes, all premiering on Dec. 10, starting at 8 pm on National Geographic. It will also be available for streaming on Disney Plus and Hulu starting Dec. 11.

Click here to watch the trailer.


We are incredibly proud. Join us in celebrating Erin and her outstanding achievements!

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

Learn More!

Heart of Brevard

Jennifer Balletti 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!


How to Become a Teacher - Virtual Meeting

Interested in teaching but no education background? Great news! - You can become a certified teacher in the state of Florida with any bachelor’s degree! Join us on December 14th for a virtual meeting to learn about the different certification pathways for teachers here in the sunshine state.

Pre-register here: or contact [email protected]


Stuff The Bus


Christmas Movie Night

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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 Rosemary Browning

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 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 6B-1.006, FAC). To report alleged educator misconduct, contact Rosemary Browning, 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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