Palm Lake Elementary
Palm Lake Elementary’s Beta team, led by teacher Abigail Carter, competed at the National Beta, where more than 12,000 people were in attendance, and placed in the top 10 for Tower of Power. Sydney Bush, Eren Fakioglu, Ella Irwin, Ricky Kelley and Max McLaughlin placed in the top 10 for the Tower of Power division. Runner-up for special talent was Yana Peneva. The Site Up team, composed of Grace Grant, Jonah Proulx, Dalton Robertson-Manor and Christopher Winiewicz, won first place. This team created a website throughout the course of two days, including video, informational graphics and more. The children were not allowed to use any templates and wrote the code themselves. They competed against middle schools in this category and beat them all.
Thornebrooke Elementary is gearing up for a successful year. It received another “A” grade from the state for the 2016-17 term, along with a state top 10 percent award. TES has been honored as a Gold School and is one of the few schools to gain recognition as a Five Star School for the past 12 years. The school’s principal, Christopher Daniels, contributes its success to parental and community involvement.
Gotha Middle offered a summer program called the YMCA of Central Florida Summer Zone. Program offerings included team sports, culinary arts, STEM — science, technology, engineering and math; digital media; and performing arts. Incoming sixth-graders through outgoing eighth-graders were welcome to attend. There was also a special Transition Camp Week, where students followed rotations to learn about the basics of middle school life: who their guidance counselor is, who their administrators are, how to go through the cafeteria line, where to catch the correct bus at the end of the day, how to use the locker room, etc.
Windermere High will soon begin its first school year. In an introductory letter, Principal Douglas Guthrie stated, “We know that [2017-18] will be a wonderful new start for students here at Windermere High School. Our teachers and staff have worked hard to establish a rigorous curriculum based on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). We challenge you to strive to achieve the highest levels in all your endeavors. We believe all students have the potential to complete college-level courses or even earn an Associate of Arts degree while at Windermere High School. We encourage you to challenge yourself with honors, advanced placement and Valencia College courses. Course selection allows you to begin an adventure through which you will learn and define, not only who you are, but also what you can become.”
The school will be offering a sneak peek, hosted by Southwest resident and Orange County School Board member Pam Gould, on Aug. 2.
Bishop Moore Catholic High School’s Lion & Hornet Society members continue their charitable efforts.
During Bishop Moore Catholic High School’s 60th anniversary fundraising campaign in 2014, a group of freshmen created the Lion & Hornet Society in tribute to their current school and alma mater, Holy Family Catholic School. The group has continued its charitable efforts. This year, L&HS members will donate more than $6,000 to the annual fund. They have also expanded their efforts into other charitable works, including fundraisers and community service projects. In 2017, the group contacted the Orlando Rescue Union and held a winter clothing and personal hygiene donation drive. In addition, the classes of 2018-20 have self-organized their own societies for a combined L&HS membership of nearly 100 students.
Several 2016-17 Southwest Orlando students were named as National Merit Scholarship winners. The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. Local winners included Benjamin Anouge, Jay Desai, Madison Kelberman, Kyle Ramos, Arjun Singh and Julia Wright of Olympia High; Dominic Canora, Valeria Chavez and Bryan Fu of Lake Highland Preparatory School; Serene Shbaklo of Windermere Preparatory School; and Jessica Meena of The First Academy.
Many schools throughout the area are holding Meet the Teacher nights next month. Contact your local school for details and exact times. Those that have released dates are Bay Meadows Elementary, Aug. 11; Palm Lake Elementary, Aug. 10; Thornebrooke Elementary, Aug. 11; Westbrooke Elementary, Aug. 10; Whispering Oak Elementary, Aug. 10; Windermere Elementary, Aug. 11; and The First Academy, Aug. 7.
The Florida Afterschool Network hosted a statewide municipal summit about after-school and expanded learning in conjunction with the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Learners to Earners Education Summit in Orlando. Supported by the National League of Cities, the event highlighted a wide range of local elected officials from cities across the state. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer served as host and was joined by featured speaker Chancellor Hershel Lyons from the Florida Department of Education, Florida League of Mayors Incoming President and Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn, and Jacksonville City Council President-Designate Anna Lopez Brosche.
“After-school and summer programs improve school performance, increase work preparedness, reduce juvenile crime and promote healthier lifestyles,” Mayor Dyer said.
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