My vision is to move the Putnam County School District from 65 out of 67 districts in the state to the upper half in terms of student achievement.
One way I hope to achieve this is by providing acceleration opportunities for all areas of our district, thereby providing a pathway to success for all of our students.
Each of our area middle and high schools offers courses of study that challenge students. These include Honors Programs, Cambridge Programs, Advanced Placement classes, and Dual Enrollment classes.
Honors and Cambridge Programs are available at the elementary school level as well. Our district is in the process of adding additional programs in order to provide our students with advanced educational opportunities.
We have parent nights set up throughout the district to discuss additional acceleration opportunities available for our students for the next school year. We met with parents at Miller Middle School in Crescent City Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m.
We also have a parent night set up for Feb. 23 for the Palatka region at 6:00 p.m. and the Interlachen region at 7:00 p.m. Locations of these meetings will be announced on our website at putnamschools.org.
The Veterans Council of St. Johns County donated copies of video documentaries they produced about veterans from the northeast Florida area at the Feb. 7 school board meeting. Bill Dudley and Michael Rothfield of the Veterans Council of St. Johns County, along with Dr. Dianne Taylor of Palatka Rotary Club, presented the videos to the board for use in our high school media centers. Mechele Higginbotham, principal at Crescent City High School, and Lynn Jones, media specialist at Interlachen High School, were present to accept the videos for their schools.
We held the first meeting of our Superintendent’s Advisory Council for the Central Area Thursday night. It was an opportunity for me to present my vision for our district to our stakeholders. Our district leadership team also had a chance to listen to the needs and concerns of the members representing our community. We exchanged important information about what our schools are doing and what resources we can all share. Those who attended said it was a very productive meeting. The first meeting of the advisory council for the west area will be Feb. 27 at Interlachen High School, and the first meeting for the south area will be Feb. 28 at Crescent City High School.
At the Feb. 7 school board meeting, Putnam Federation of Teachers President Mark Motl told the board that PFT, the American Federation of Teachers and Florida Education Association have partnered with the First Book organization to bring 40,000 “high-quality, age 0-18-appropriate books” to students in Putnam County before the end of school this year. Motl said the effort will take many volunteers to receive and distribute the books and he will let the board know the details of how people can help when they become available.
Middleton-Burney Elementary School
Crescent City High School students recently delivered hand-painted ceiling tiles to brighten classrooms at Middleton-Burney. The artwork was created by the talented high school students and was commissioned by the teachers at MBES.
The Women's Club recognized Mrs. Terrah Pugh for her dedication to the students of Crescent City and South Putnam.
We are very proud of Antonia McGaughey for representing MBES and being a Mission Family member at the recent March for Babies Kick Off in Palatka. Her testimonial was inspirational and she moved many to work hard to raise funds for this wonderful cause.
Melrose Elementary School
University of Florida softball players visited the school to read to the students during Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!
Interlachen Elementary School
A group of parents at IES had an idea to help improve school culture. The parents are making Valentines for the teachers to give to each other to post on their classroom doors.
Interlachen High School
Congratulations to the three IHS weightlifters who competed at state Feb. 3.
Daisy Masciale medaled with a fourth place finish with a bench press of 140 and clean and jerk of 115 for a total of 255 in the 110 lb. class. The bench press and total were personal bests.
Kaci Polk finished tied for seventh with a bench press of 125 and a clean and jerk of 135 for a 260 total in the 119 lb. class. All three were personal bests.
Makayla Cody tied for ninth in the 169 lb. class with a 150 bench and 145 clean and jerk for a 295 lb. total. The bench and total were both personal bests.
Price Middle School
Students who are “TOPS” at Price Middle School held their annual American Art Show and Silent Auction Feb. 3.
TOPS stands for “Terrific Outstanding Performing Students.” These students are selected because of their academic accomplishments, their character and their excellent attendance.
The American Art Show and Silent Auction features art and craft projects students create, together with their families. These projects are "silent auctioned" to the highest bidders. Patrons enjoy refreshments and great conversations with the TOPS students. This year's show was a great success, raising more than $1100.00 for the students.
Students in TOPS work all year to raise money for a trip to our nation’s capital in May. During the trip, they will see the monuments and experience first hand the things they’ve learned in seventh grade Civics and eighth grade American History. They also will visit the Smithsonian Museums, Arlington National Cemetery and the National Archives.
Books and more books were given out at the yearly Bingo for Books this past week at Price Middle School. Some students were lucky enough to win as many as eight books.
Mellon Elementary School
Putnam County Tax Collector Linda Myers announced the top five student entries in the Tag Art Project and presented the license plate tags they designed to the school board at Tuesday’s meeting.
First place: Y'mira Passmore (Principal’s winner)
Second place: Dustin Hawkins (not pictured)
Third place: Simorra Wall (not pictured)
Fourth place: Zamy Vasquez
Fifth place: Lilleon Griffis (Seminole Electric winner)
Principal Libby Weaver, Assistant Principal Tiffany Scranton and Media Specialist Michelle McCullough presented the winners to the audience.
Moseley Elementary School
Reading practice is one of the best predictors of achievement in school and in life.
With this in mind, Moseley staff planned Literacy Week activities to help create a culture of reading at school and at home.
Students used their artistic abilities to design bookmarks for Moseley’s Book of the Month, “Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution”.
The media center was “rocking” on Read Around the Clock Day. Media Specialist Sydney Breton’s story time rocking chair was filled all day as classes visited to hear special guest readers share their stories.
Student athletes from St. Johns River State College visited classrooms to read stories and talk with students about the importance of reading, focusing on goals, and working together.
Literacy Night was all about friendly competition as families played Bingo for Books while enjoying a delicious lasagna dinner.
Finally, to help fill the bookshelves at home, all kindergarten students were given their own copy of the book, “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.”
Jenkins Middle School
On Friday, Jenkins Middle School hosted Putnam’s portion of the 10th Annual 2017 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Florida State Tournament.
More than 130 archers representing Jenkins, Palatka High School, C.L. Overturf Sixth Grade Center, Price Middle School, Putnam Edge High School and Putnam Academy of Arts and Sciences participated in the tournament.
Their performances will be compared to those from similar meets around the state. Their score may be high enough for state honors and the opportunity to advance to the national archery competition. The state tournament will be held in Bartow Feb. 25.
Jenkins’ theatre and music departments presented the show, “What Really Happened When Man Landed on the Moon” at the Jim Pignato Theater at C.L. Overturf Sixth Grade Center last week.
A comedy about the first men on the moon finding some very friendly moon creatures when they arrived, the show featured the E.H. Miller Signing Chorus, countywide cast members of all ages, music and creative special effects.
Sonia Guy directed the show, with music direction by Andrea Wells. Camille Falconer directed E.H. Miller’s Signing Chorus for the performance.
A very special thanks you to Ed Killebrew, who bought the entire cast lunch after their Thursday performance.