Schools headlines

Commentary: Teens talk Parkland impact; toddlers abused by separation

Commentary: Teens talk Parkland impact; toddlers abused by separation

Christie: Yes, separating migrant children from parents at U.S.-Mexico border is child abuse UPDATE: Days after the following blog post, President Trump signed an executive order reportedly fixing his own zero-tolerance immigration policy that had resulted in more than 2,300 migrant children being separated from their parents who had illegally crossed the U.S. southern border. Some children were reunited...
POINT OF VIEW: Grand jury recommendations will make our schools safer

POINT OF VIEW: Grand jury recommendations will make our schools safer

The day after the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, police arrested a student who brought two guns to Palm Beach Lakes High School, and a wave of local copycat threats frightened parents and frayed the nerves of our community. The law enforcement response was swift and certain: even if it was only a sick joke or a cry for attention, every threat against a...

POINT OF VIEW: Bring county teacher pay into the 21st century

Conditions have changed rapidly in the teaching profession over the past two decades. Once a desirable profession that came with a healthy dose of autonomy and creativity, some financial stability, and basic safety is now a radically different occupation. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post FREE weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999 Florida’s legislative mandates, drafted oftentimes...
School police chiefs: Incoming, outgoing, retired under one roof

School police chiefs: Incoming, outgoing, retired under one roof

The Palm Beach County School Police Department has gone from one chief to three – one incoming, one outgoing and one former. And a major to spare – at least for now. In making over its in-house police department, school district leaders this week hired Jupiter’s Frank Kitzerow Jr. to preside over what will eventually be a much larger force. But the man he’s replacing,...
Use reserves to hire school cops? The district says it’s not so simple

Use reserves to hire school cops? The district says it’s not so simple

Everyone has ideas about how public schools should spend their money. Grand jurors are no exception. More police officers. Higher salaries. New police cars. Self-locking doors. More police dogs. More counselors. More psychologists. More training. Magnetized ID cards for every student. And impact-resistant glass in thousands of classroom doors. On Wednesday, a 21-person grand jury convened by Palm...

POINT OF VIEW: Combat societal vileness with ‘kindergarten rules’

Children today can hear or read horrifying reports about despicable things. They want to know what those unfamiliar words mean. Our society is trading in childhood innocence, a time of guilelessness and purity of emotion, in order for so-called adults to behave badly and licentiously in public. Some historians say Victorians invented childhood by coddling their children. Of course, that would refer...
School board cuts ties with counseling service that left kids in lurch

School board cuts ties with counseling service that left kids in lurch

The Palm Beach County School Board has severed ties with the company that promised free mental health counselors to hundreds of students in dozens of schools but whose services were constantly interrupted by rampant turnover, as a Palm Beach Post investigation revealed this month. The Wednesday night vote was swift and without comment. The Miami-based Motivational Coaches of America operates in several...
BREAKING: Former middle school teacher accused of sending sexually explicit text to student

BREAKING: Former middle school teacher accused of sending sexually explicit text to student

A former Congress Middle School social studies teacher has been arrested for reportedly sending a sexually explicit text to a 14-year-old student in September 2015, court records show. Eric Wakeley, 34, was booked Wednesday into the Palm Beach County Jail on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. He was being held there Thursday morning in lieu of a $100,000 bond.  Wakeley...
School board delays decision for month on property tax increase

School board delays decision for month on property tax increase

The Palm Beach County School Board on Wednesday night delayed by a month a decision to ask voters to raise school property taxes by $150 million a year. Specifically, they want to sort out whether the wording on the ballot should expressly give or deny charter schools a chunk of the proceeds. School leaders began contemplating a November ballot question in the spring. But a last-minute...
“Understaffed, underfunded, underpaid”: Grand jury blasts school police

“Understaffed, underfunded, underpaid”: Grand jury blasts school police

A grand jury convened to investigate school security lambasted Palm Beach County’s public schools for investing too few resources in keeping students safe, admonishing the school district to either “adequately fund” its police department or let the sheriff’s office take control. In a critical report released Wednesday by State Attorney Dave Aronberg, the grand jury accused...
PBC public schools may share $150 million tax hike with charters

PBC public schools may share $150 million tax hike with charters

Facing political pressure and a legal threat, Palm Beach County public school leaders are considering giving charter schools a slice of a $150-million-a-year property tax increase if it is approved by voters. After days of behind-the-scenes debate, school district officials this week quietly removed language that explicitly excluded charter schools from the proposed tax increase, clearing...

Editorial: Fake op-ed was our mistake; don’t let it cloud the issue

A “Point of View” op-ed titled, “I am a county teacher who’s not complaining about pay and benefits,” ran Saturday on The Palm Beach Post Opinion-Editorial page, written by “John Montezuma,” of West Palm Beach. We have subsequently been unable to confirm that such a person works as a Palm Beach County School District teacher, is licensed to teach in the state...
Schools set to split from counseling service suffering high turnover

Schools set to split from counseling service suffering high turnover

Palm Beach County school leaders are seeking to end their contract with the company that promised to put mental health counselors in the district’s 39 middle and seven alternative schools for free but failed to do it with consistency, as revealed by a Palm Beach Post investigation this month. The move comes two weeks after The Post reported that Motivational Coaches of America’s program...
Armed security guards may patrol some PBC elementary schools after all

Armed security guards may patrol some PBC elementary schools after all

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy said he is considering using private security guards to safeguard some of the county’s elementary schools this year, a turnaround from earlier assurances that every school would be staffed by a law enforcement officer. The potential change of plan comes after Sheriff Ric Bradshaw rebuffed Fennoy’s request to provide 50 overtime deputies...
Defending champ Brooks Koepka rallies to tied for 4th U.S. Open

Defending champ Brooks Koepka rallies to tied for 4th U.S. Open

If any of his fellow competitors were foolish enough to think Brooks Koepka was going to relinquish his U.S. Open trophy without a fight this week at Shinnecock, they were wrong. The West Palm Beach native and Cardinal Newman High School graduate went on a birdie barrage on his closing 11 holes Friday and in the process went from flirting with the cutline to positioning himself for a run at a repeat...
Should PBSO police the county’s schools? Here’s what you need to know

Should PBSO police the county’s schools? Here’s what you need to know

Every few years, a debate reignites about whether Palm Beach County’s public schools should hand over control of their campus police force to the county sheriff’s office. Each time, the proposal is aborted by a lack of interest from the school board and superintendent, but somehow the matter is never quite settled. In the wake of February’s school shooting in Parkland &mdash...
More PBC students passed Florida’s reading and math exams this year

More PBC students passed Florida’s reading and math exams this year

Palm Beach County public school students passed the state’s math and language-arts exams at higher rates this year, including the two exams required to graduate high school, newly released test scores show. The county’s improvements on the Florida Standards Assessments outpaced growth across the state overall, an encouraging sign for the county’s schools after two years of tepid...
POINT OF VIEW: Achieving student safety requires working together

POINT OF VIEW: Achieving student safety requires working together

Several initiatives are currently underway in the School District of Palm Beach County to address the issue of safety. First, a team of experts from the Council of Great City Schools has visited campuses, interviewed staff and district police, and inspected our safety mechanisms and protocols against best practices of large urban districts. Hundreds of security enhancements are in process and scheduled...
Letters: Kudos for ‘Explainer’ to crystallize and provide facts

Letters: Kudos for ‘Explainer’ to crystallize and provide facts

Kudos for ‘Explainer’ to provide facts How wonderful to see your new feature, “The Explainer,” in the front section of the Post. I applaud this effort to crystallize world events into absorbable facts — especially now when straight reporting on certain subjects is needed most. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post FREE weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999 Also...
Storms assault South Florida with lightning, funnel clouds and hail

Storms assault South Florida with lightning, funnel clouds and hail

South Florida’s stretch of riotous weather continued its assault Monday, striking down a man in Margate with the flash bang of lightning, dropping a funnel cloud along Southern Blvd., and drenching a suburban Lake Worth neighborhood with nearly 3.5 inches of rain in an hour. Provoked by an upper-level twist of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico and colliding sea breezes unique...
JUST IN: Former Boynton daycare worker pleads guilty to negligence

JUST IN: Former Boynton daycare worker pleads guilty to negligence

A former Boynton Beach daycare worker pleaded guilty Monday to culpable negligence after video showed her “becoming too aggressive” with two toddlers, court records show. Amelia Jones, 31, was arrested in February on multiple child cruelty charges. However, she pleaded guilty to lesser, misdemeanor charges of culpable negligence for both inflicting injury on a child and...
Editorial: School, sheriff security-staffing standoff is unacceptable

Editorial: School, sheriff security-staffing standoff is unacceptable

The adults in the situation aren’t looking after the kids. Although 11 city police departments have tentatively agreed to patrol half the county’s elementary schools, at overtime pay rates, until the Palm Beach County School District can add staff to its own police department, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has made it abundantly clear that he will spare no more deputies on overtime to protect...
Southern Living names this resort best in the South

Southern Living names this resort best in the South

Southern Living recently polled its readers to discover their picks for the top places to visit in the South. Blackberry Farm, in Walland, Tennessee, south of Knoxville, took home the top prize. Southern Living noted, "Blackberry Farm emanates hospitality, from its farm-to-table offerings to the porches on guest cottages." Blackberry Farm is a luxury hotel and resort...

Letters Legislature ties county’s hands on school funding

Legislature ties county’s hands on school funding A May 21 letter to the editor discussing the School District’s request for a budget increase blamed elected officials for not having the courage to “rein in or question” the Sheriff’s Office budget. The state Legislature does not give the County Commission authority to determine how the sheriff spends money; we can only...
Parkland shooting got young voters motivated here, official says

Parkland shooting got young voters motivated here, official says

As Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students get ready to embark next week on a national get-out-the-vote bus tour, enthusiasm among young people to sign up to vote is already bursting in Palm Beach County, the county’s election supervisor said. In the 10 weeks after the school massacre in Parkland, nearly 4,000 youth under 21 registered to vote in Palm Beach and Broward Counties...
PBC schools chief calls for $150 million hike in school property taxes

PBC schools chief calls for $150 million hike in school property taxes

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy wants to ask voters to raise school property taxes by $150 million a year, a move that could generate an influx of cash for security, mental health services and higher teacher salaries in the county’s public schools. The high-stakes proposal, more than a year in the making, calls for asking county residents to quadruple a special...
EXCLUSIVE: High turnover of firm’s counselors at schools: Frail teens left behind

EXCLUSIVE: High turnover of firm’s counselors at schools: Frail teens left behind

Two days after a gunman stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and killed 17 people, a Miami businessman stepped forward and offered to send a pack of mental health counselors to the school for free. This was in his company’s wheelhouse. Motivational Coaches of America already had people embedded in 78 schools from Miami to Palm Beach County – and even more statewide. The company boasts...
School police should continue campus-safety efforts, report says

School police should continue campus-safety efforts, report says

On the heels of a report highlighting the potential benefits of letting the Palm Beach County sheriff police the county’s public schools, a new, rival report makes the case for leaving school-policing to the county school district. The new report, commissioned by the district, is the second in as many days to be released on the topic of school safety. It comes as the sheriff’s office and...
Parkland shooting: Building at Stoneman Douglas preserved for evidence

Parkland shooting: Building at Stoneman Douglas preserved for evidence

The most notorious building in South Florida won’t be coming down anytime soon. The freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the Feb. 14 massacre that left 17 students and faculty members dead, is fenced off and bolted shut, never to be used again, but it cannot be demolished and appears likely to remain standing for years. Michael Satz, the Broward State Attorney,...
Eagle Arts charter school may reopen despite vote to close it

Eagle Arts charter school may reopen despite vote to close it

It stiffed its landlord for months and withheld teachers’ paychecks for weeks, but Eagle Arts Academy managed to finish a turbulent school year without closing its doors. Now the controversial charter school may get the chance to open again in August, despite the Palm Beach County School Board’s vote to shut it down this summer. Eagle Arts has appealed the school board’s March 14...
SouthTech Academy students bring home medals from state competition

SouthTech Academy students bring home medals from state competition

SOUTHTECH ACADEMY Nineteen students earned medals at the annual SkillsUSA Florida State Leadership and Skills Conference competition held in Pensacola. Medalists include: Robre’ana Hutchinson, gold, Nurse Assisting; William Lee, gold, Graphic Communications; Mathew Koegler, gold, Practical Nursing; Johane Aceus, gold, Basic Health Care Skills; Eduardo Guzman-Alonso, gold, Automotive Refinishing...
Polo Park Middle inducts students into National Junior Honor Society

Polo Park Middle inducts students into National Junior Honor Society

GOVE ELEMENTARY The school has been named by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2018 Green Ribbon School honoree for its commitment to student and community wellness, as well as environmental conservation and sustainability. ELBRIDGE GALE ELEMENTARY Audubon Everglades awarded its $500 Habitat Improvement Judge’s Choice Award to the school. With the money, students hope to enhance and add...
Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society awards eight scholarships

Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society awards eight scholarships

The Women’s Chamber Foundation awarded $1,000 scholarships to Skylar Anthony, Whitney Blanchat, Brianna Brooks, Amani Burden, Felicia Cooper, Cassondra Corbin-Thaddies, Angela Crawford, Dulce Diaz Roa, Talia Fradkin, Amanda Gancarz, Pamela Gores, Ariel Gordon, Christian Holmes, Kehtia Istache, Shermanda Jean-Francois, Kayla Kummerlen, Paula Lugo, Selene Norman, Selena Paul, Rose-Lorna Pierre...
PBSO-school police merger? They can’t even agree on patrolling schools

PBSO-school police merger? They can’t even agree on patrolling schools

While a police think tank recommends considering a merger of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the school district’s police, the two sides say they are dubious about the idea and are having trouble even coming to terms on assuring an armed officer in every school. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw this week rejected the school district’s request that he provide a rotating team of deputies...
Cerabino: County schools chief sounds his horn about arts education

Cerabino: County schools chief sounds his horn about arts education

You probably don’t know what a euphonium is. Even some musicians don’t. Think of a euphonium as the tuba’s little brother, or maybe what would happen if a French horn and a sousaphone had a baby. It’s a low-brass instrument you typically find in marching and concert bands but practically nowhere else. I got to thinking about euphoniums while listening to the graduation...
Jupiter Chief Kitzerow among 6 finalists in school police top job

Jupiter Chief Kitzerow among 6 finalists in school police top job

The national search to fill the new, broader job of Palm Beach County Schools Police chief has been narrowed to six candidates, all but two of whom are local and only one of whom is truly an outsider who has never worked in the county. The most prominent name on the list released by the school district Friday is Jupiter Police Chief Frank J. Kitzerow Jr., who has been the town’s chief since...
Stoneman Douglas graduation: ‘The world has heard your voice’

Stoneman Douglas graduation: ‘The world has heard your voice’

Patricia and Manuel Oliver, parents of Joaquin Oliver, were ascending the steps of the stage inside the BB&T Center on Sunday afternoon. They were seconds away from receiving a framed diploma for their late son, Joaquin, during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High’s graduation ceremony. Silence had fallen over the arena, but the loudest message was about to be delivered. Without a word being spoken...
A cop in every public school by August? Easier said than done

A cop in every public school by August? Easier said than done

After the Parkland school shooting in February, the state’s mandate was simple and swift: Put an armed officer in every public school by August. But the new state requirement — passed three weeks after the February school massacre in the hopes of deterring future campus shootings — is proving difficult for schools to carry out in Palm Beach County and elsewhere around the state....
On last day of class, in a time of school shootings, resolve, relief

On last day of class, in a time of school shootings, resolve, relief

When the final bells of the school year rang out Friday afternoon, students from Boca Raton to Jupiter, from Lake Worth to Belle Glade, poured out of their classrooms one last time, free of textbooks and teachers and term papers … and, at last, fear. The close of this school year marks a merciful end to the bloodiest year of school shootings, including a horrific one just the other side of...
City cops will patrol dozens of PBC elementary schools under new deal

City cops will patrol dozens of PBC elementary schools under new deal

Palm Beach County’s public schools this week took a step closer to ensuring an armed officer on every campus by the start of the new school year with help from several city police agencies. Eleven city police departments have tentatively agreed to provide officers to patrol 47 elementary schools within their city limits when school starts on Aug. 13, school district leaders announced Friday...
Schools police chief claims he’s keeping job. His bosses say he’s not.

Schools police chief claims he’s keeping job. His bosses say he’s not.

Two months after being told he was likely being replaced, Palm Beach County School District Police Chief Lawrence Leon surprised his officers last week with some jarring news: The veteran cop was keeping his job after all. “I did finally receive confirmation that I am reappointed into my current position,” Leon wrote in an email Friday to his department. RELATED: School district considers...
Olympic Heights student arrested after Snapchat threat to school

Olympic Heights student arrested after Snapchat threat to school

An Olympic Heights High School student was arrested Wednesday after reportedly posting on Snapchat a picture of cars in the campus lot implying he put plastic explosives on them.  “I’ve strapped C-4 to every car in the student parking lot. If you try to leave early it will detonate,” the post read. Jose Calderon, 19 who lives west of Delray Beach, faces an intimidation...

POINT OF VIEW: Champion gender equality, social decency with action

The Palm Beach County Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOWPBC) was created in 1972 by female professors at Florida Atlantic University to fight for equal pay and tenure Sign up for The Palm Beach Post weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999. This was also the year that Congress passed Title IX (prohibiting sex-based discrimination in schools and providing women equal opportunities...
‘On my way. School shooter’: ex-Spanish River High student arrested for Snapchat threat

‘On my way. School shooter’: ex-Spanish River High student arrested for Snapchat threat

A former Spanish River High School student was arrested Tuesday after posting a Snapchat video that afternoon captioned, “On my way, school shooter,” authorities said.  David Puy, 19, faces a charge of intimidation. A Spanish River High student alerted a teacher to Puy’s Snapchat video that seemed to threaten a school, Palm Beach County sheriff’s authorities...
Saint Andrew’s ‘Water Walk’ teaches lessons in world problems

Saint Andrew’s ‘Water Walk’ teaches lessons in world problems

CHRISTA MCAULIFFE MIDDLE Physical education teacher Kristen Frazer was selected as a Shape Florida Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. The program recognizes outstanding teachers in adapted physical education, school health education, dance education and physical education at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Registration for the district’s Teach Palm Beach Job...
Rosarian Academy students celebrate Science Mania Day

Rosarian Academy students celebrate Science Mania Day

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH The annual summer Edgenuity credit recovery program is open to all Hawks who need to make up course credits for graduation. Sign up with school counselors by Friday, then attend the required preregistration session from 6-8 p.m. June 7 in the media center. The program offers two open computer labs for credit recovery coursework 4:30-8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday beginning June...
St. Lucie West K-8 students win awards at State History Day event

St. Lucie West K-8 students win awards at State History Day event

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS FAITH LUTHERAN SCHOOL A fundraiser, Dog Days of Summer, takes place Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the school, 555 U.S. 1, North Palm Beach. Activities include a dog wash, bounce house, a midway for kids, fitness demonstrations for people and dogs, free blood pressure screenings, auctions, raffles and refreshments. ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY The summer reading program kicks off 5-7...
Cerabino: Rocky reception for Florida school lesson on raccoon killing

Cerabino: Rocky reception for Florida school lesson on raccoon killing

I’m generally in favor of schoolteachers enriching the curriculum by bringing their own expertise into classroom discussions and lessons. But not when it involves demonstrating the proper technique to drown a raccoon. That’s what happened this month at a Florida public high school when Dewie Brewton, an agricultural science teacher at Forest High School in Ocala, took his class outside...
PBC third-graders improve on Fla. reading exam, but fall short of state average

PBC third-graders improve on Fla. reading exam, but fall short of state average

Palm Beach County’s third-graders bucked a statewide dip in scores on Florida’s reading exam this spring with the number reading on grade level or above jumping 2 percentage points over last year. But with 56 percent hitting a score of 3 or better on a scale of 5, the rate still fell short of the state’s average of 57 percent and remained behind scores posted in neighboring Broward...
Cops probe report that West Boca High teacher struck student

Cops probe report that West Boca High teacher struck student

Police are investigating a report that a West Boca High teacher struck a student this morning on the school’s campus, The Palm Beach Post has learned. The alleged incident reportedly happened Thursday morning on the school campus, on Glades Road west of Boca Raton. The teacher has been assigned to their home while investigators probe the incident, a school district spokeswoman confirmed. An...

POINT OF VIEW: Confront bullying in schools, not just access to guns

As a 47-year veteran teacher, it is immensely disheartening to see that schools are no longer safe havens for children. Particularly disturbing is the relative lack of action to address this problem. I will leave it to others to debate the merits of gun control and campus policing. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999 Instead, I want to address what students...
Suit: District denied overtime pay to school bus drivers for years

Suit: District denied overtime pay to school bus drivers for years

Five Palm Beach County school bus drivers say that the school district systematically denied them overtime pay for at least two years as they worked long hours transporting children. In a federal lawsuit filed last week, the drivers allege that they routinely worked 50 hours a week and were legally entitled to higher overtime wages for the last 10 hours worked each week. The drivers’ normal...
Sons and Daughters of Italy award scholarships to high school seniors

Sons and Daughters of Italy award scholarships to high school seniors

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS FAITH LUTHERAN SCHOOL A fundraiser, Dog Days of Summer, takes place 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 2 at the school, 555 U.S. 1, North Palm Beach. Activities include a dog wash, bounce house, a midway for kids, fitness demonstrations for people and dogs, free blood pressure screenings, auctions and raffles and refreshments. ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY The spring music show begins at 5:30 p.m...
Office Depot heads up revitalization effort at Pine Grove Elementary

Office Depot heads up revitalization effort at Pine Grove Elementary

VILLAGE ACADEMY Head Start teacher Carmen Vazquez has been named the Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year by Florida Atlantic University College of Education. Vazquez is the lead teacher in the classroom that serves the 3-year-olds and was instrumental in securing a PNC Grant for the school’s STEAM Learning Lab. MORIKAMI PARK ELEMENTARY The school has been recognized as a 2018 National Magnet...
Equestrian Trails students explore creativity with 3Doodler pens

Equestrian Trails students explore creativity with 3Doodler pens

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH The annual summer Edgenuity credit recovery program is open to all Hawks who need to make up course credits for graduation. Sign up with school counselors by June 1, then attend the required preregistration session from 6-8 p.m. June 7 in the media center. The program offers two open computer labs for credit recovery coursework 4:30-8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday beginning June...
Editorial: FAU must do better job explaining false Title IX numbers

Editorial: FAU must do better job explaining false Title IX numbers

“We believe the cause was simply a clerical error.” That was the gist of the explanation given by Florida Atlantic University officials when confronted with an embarrassing discovery by The Palm Beach Post that the school reported false numbers greatly exaggerating how many women played for its sports teams — numbers that instantly brought the school into compliance with Title IX...
King’s Academy’s valedictorian’s life goal is to help people

King’s Academy’s valedictorian’s life goal is to help people

At 18, Kelly Ahkee, of Lake Worth, says she doesn’t have her entire life figured out yet, but knows she wants to help people. “I want to positively impact society with research or help people with prosthetic limbs,” said Ahkee, King’s Academy’s valedictorian. “My main goal in life is to help people.” Ahkee has already started chiseling away at her goal. Besides...
Haitians ask for answers as Gardens High teacher probe continues

Haitians ask for answers as Gardens High teacher probe continues

James Leger’s phone keeps ringing. But it’s not the call he’s looking for. Leger, a local Haitian radio-show host, said that after he organized a demonstration outside Palm Beach Gardens High School to protest a teacher’s recent comment about Haiti, families have called him daily to share how their children have faced discrimination. “This is what my children possibly...
District: Boca Raton High swim coach Eric Hill under investigation

District: Boca Raton High swim coach Eric Hill under investigation

Boca Raton boys and girls swimming coach Eric Hill has been removed from his coaching and teaching positions at the school due to a Palm Beach County School Police investigation, a school district spokesperson confirmed Monday The spokesperson did not comment on the type of investigation, and Boca Raton athletic director Matt Ryder had no comment. Hill, a 41-year-old math teacher, has worked for the...

POINT OF VIEW: Science teachers sacrifice to provide lab materials

Whatever salary the science teacher at your local public school makes per year, subtract $450. That’s how much money the typical middle and high school science teacher spends out of pocket each year on science lab materials. The $450 figure is based on a study we recently conducted to determine whether science teachers have adequate funding to teach laboratories and science investigations. In...
Joining robotics club helped American Heritage valedictorian find path

Joining robotics club helped American Heritage valedictorian find path

Meghana Vemulapalli, of Delray Beach, wasn’t trying to be American Heritage’s valedictorian. She just wanted to absorb as much knowledge as she could during high school, while finding a way to apply it to her everyday life. But now that the 17-year-old finished at the top of her class, she couldn’t be more excited. “It feels really good to be valedictorian after four years...
NEW: ‘When is it going to stop?’ Students react to Santa Fe shooting

NEW: ‘When is it going to stop?’ Students react to Santa Fe shooting

For Emily Pacenti, Friday was supposed to be a happy day — she graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts. But when she got out of the ceremony and turned on her phone, she saw a news alert. There had been another high school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. “In the time that it took us to walk across the stage and get our diploma, eight people were killed,” Pacenti said...
Public school kids to get more than 100K books for summer reading

Public school kids to get more than 100K books for summer reading

Captain Underpants, Harry Potter and Wonder Woman are a few of the characters being sent home with Palm Beach County elementary school students this summer, thanks to the Children’s Services Council. These fictional heroes are supposed to encourage students to pick up a book and read over vacation to help stop the “summer slide,” which is when students return to school in the fall...
Tilt toward male athletes at big Florida schools violates federal law

Tilt toward male athletes at big Florida schools violates federal law

Florida Atlantic University is not the only Florida school that falls short of meeting participation and scholarship requirements for women athletes under Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. Four of Florida’s seven major sports schools disproportionately award athletic scholarship money to male athletes: University of Miami, University of Central Florida, University...
Gender equality? FAU gave feds false numbers, ranked near bottom

Gender equality? FAU gave feds false numbers, ranked near bottom

Florida Atlantic University reported false numbers to the government, exaggerating how many women played for its sports teams, just a year after it ranked among the worst in the country for female representation in sports. In 2016, women represented more than half of the Boca Raton school’s enrollment but only 31 percent of its athletes. The percentage was the lowest of all 127 schools participating...
PHOTOS: 35th Annual Pathfinder Scholarship Awards 5/17/2018

PHOTOS: 35th Annual Pathfinder Scholarship Awards 5/17/2018

The Pathfinder High School Scholarship Awards are presented each year to those high school seniors in Palm Beach and Martin counties who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in 18 academic, vocational and athletic categories. Each year, more than $171,000 in scholarships is awarded to 54 of the best and brightest high school seniors in Palm Beach and Martin counties. Pathfinders is sponsored...
Students find winning at 35th annual Pathfinder Awards ‘surreal’

Students find winning at 35th annual Pathfinder Awards ‘surreal’

They were novelists and scientists, playwrights and polyglots. Teenagers all, they gathered Thursday to bask in the collective glow of their supersized achievements at the 2018 Pathfinder High School Scholarship Awards. Each year, the event, sponsored by The Palm Beach Post, is an awe-inspiring get-together of the region’s most impressive high school students. This year – the annual...
Dwyer High valedictorian sees future in business

Dwyer High valedictorian sees future in business

“Work hard so that you get to make the decision and they don’t get to make the decision for you,” said a teacher at William T. Dwyer High School to a class of students about getting into college. To many, it was just another lecture. But to Annie Levitt, it would “ring in the back of my head when I was staying up late studying for this test or working on a paper,” the...
Young people with autism gain tech skill — and more — at Code Camp in Boca

Young people with autism gain tech skill — and more — at Code Camp in Boca

In a conference room, tucked away in the corner of a sixth-floor workspace in Boca Raton, a group of students on the autism spectrum were hard at work alongside a team of mentors analyzing data, identifying trends and creating visualizations of their findings. The activity, which mimicked collaborative efforts commonly found in workplaces, was part of the inaugural iRISE2 ECL Code Camp, that was created...
Music tamed the savvy West Boca valedictorian

Music tamed the savvy West Boca valedictorian

Balancing schoolwork with dual enrollment, high school band and independent band was a major struggle for West Boca Raton High School valedictorian Zachary Novack. “I wish I had some amazing way that I overcame them, but the truth of the matter is that it was a combination of little sleep and a boatload of coffee,” said Novack, 18. Among all his many accolades, Drum Corps was his favorite...
Seminole Ridge High School recognized for top blood drive efforts

Seminole Ridge High School recognized for top blood drive efforts

LAKE WORTH HIGH The Air Force Junior ROTC has been selected to receive the 2017-18 Air Force JROTC Distinguished Unit Award. This award recognizes Air Force JROTC units that have performed well above and beyond normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community. GLADES CENTRAL HIGH Jada Diogostine has received a full scholarship to...
St. Joseph’s Episcopal School students learn about starting a business

St. Joseph’s Episcopal School students learn about starting a business

Registration for the district’s Teach Palm Beach Job Fair is now open. The job fair is June 7 at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center East. Candidate sign-in is 7:30-8 a.m., and a welcome/orientation is 8:30-9 a.m. Candidates can browse school booths, share resumes and request interviews from 9 to 10:30. Interviews with principals take place 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Job offers may be made on site...
Editorial: Weigh property tax hike for teacher salaries carefully

Editorial: Weigh property tax hike for teacher salaries carefully

We suppose it was inevitable. The Palm Beach County School Board is considering whether to ask voters this fall to raise their property taxes as much as $153 million a year to pay for, among other things, better salaries for teachers. RELATED: PBC public schools test the waters for another tax hike campaign To be sure, if voters approved a ballot initiative, some of the extra money would be used for...
Wellington High valedictorian has eyes on Silicon Valley

Wellington High valedictorian has eyes on Silicon Valley

While most Palm Beach County high school students were able to establish a name for themselves starting in elementary school, valedictorian Sophia Sosa had to start from scratch. But before the Wellington High School student rose to the top of her class, she reigned supreme in the school’s chapter of DECA, a student marketing organization as part of its marketing academy, finding both social...
Commentary: Urge graduates to create a culture of kindness and respect

Commentary: Urge graduates to create a culture of kindness and respect

Graduates will enter a country offering boundless opportunity. More than ever before, they will have the ability to define and pursue their own versions of happiness. But they know that already. They’ve been hearing calls to lean in and dream big throughout their lives. American society today does not lack for people eager to make a difference. What we lack today is a culture of kindness. We&rsquo...
Commentary: Twenty-somethings enter the workforce

Commentary: Twenty-somethings enter the workforce

We are at that time of year when we salute our newly minted college graduates and breathe a sigh of relief for having crossed the finish line. This is, after all, the culmination of hard work and big dreams. Yet after the dust has settled — after the commencement speakers have packed up and the bubbly toasts have been drunk — what can we expect of our newbie grads? If they enter the workforce...
Age is just a number to Suncoast High valedictorian

Age is just a number to Suncoast High valedictorian

While most 16-year-olds will be going back to high school as juniors this fall, Rachel Cherelstein is off to college. Yes, you read that right. Cherelstein, who is the valedictorian of Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach, is heading to Washington to attend Georgetown University. Cherelstein’s parents — mother, Yang and father, Stan — recognized their daughter, who was born in Stuart...
Spanish River valedictorian put helping others first

Spanish River valedictorian put helping others first

At just 17 years old, Taher Khambati already has many accomplishments he’s proud of. He placed top 20 in the world at an international DECA competition, starting his own non-profit called “More Than a Scholar Inc.,” and successfully working on a research team at Florida Atlantic University that reverse-engineered a protein to detect a counterfeit drug. “Everything and anything...

POINT OF VIEW: Student safety on campus remains a top priority

As our hearts still ache for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community, the Palm Beach County School District continues to study the details from the Parkland tragedy to identify opportunities to improve the safety of our campuses. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post weekly Opinion newsletter: Pbpo.st/opinionsignup As educators, we know the importance of safety and security in our schools. Students...
A Fairgrounds address to (remember / forget ) for the Class of 2018

A Fairgrounds address to (remember / forget ) for the Class of 2018

Dear High School Graduates of the Class of 2018: You made it! You’ve come all the way to the ( end / South Florida Fairgrounds), for this, your commencement ceremony. You thought you’d never get here, with all the (obstacles / traffic) you had to face, passing all those (tests / junk yards) and the ( final projects / Double Dee’s strip club) along the...
Boca football star survived Haiti earthquake, now he’s heading to Yale

Boca football star survived Haiti earthquake, now he’s heading to Yale

Sebastian Bruno is going to Yale. His mother, the mother with whom he speaks weekly, but last saw three years ago, was proud but didn’t realize how proud until she Googled Yale. Now she’s over the moon. Not bad for a boy who left his home and his parents in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and arrived by military transport in Palm Beach County at the age of 9, not knowing...
Seminole Ridge valedictorian follows in brother’s talented footsteps

Seminole Ridge valedictorian follows in brother’s talented footsteps

There are a couple of things that Shreya Patel can point to as reasons why, when the Seminole Ridge senior class assembles for graduation, she will be the one giving the valedictorians’ address. She’s seen it happen before. Her brother, Parth, was salutatorian of Seminole Ridge in 2015, laying a path that Shreya was more than happy to follow and, eventually, surpass. “Being valedictorian...
US News: 2 PBC high schools fall but remain among the nation’s 100 best

US News: 2 PBC high schools fall but remain among the nation’s 100 best

Suncoast High School and Dreyfoos School of the Arts fell slightly this year but remained among the nation’s top 100 public high schools in a new ranking by U.S. News and World Report. In its annual ranking published this week, the magazine ranked Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach 61st in the nation, down from 53rd last year. Dreyfoos, located in downtown West Palm Beach, rated 80th, down...
Santaluces valedictorian: hard work, dedication keys to her success

Santaluces valedictorian: hard work, dedication keys to her success

Santaluces High School valedictorian Sireen Hilo says hard work and dedication are the keys to success. She said there’s no substitute for a good work ethic and having a positive role model also helps. Hilo said her greatest achievement so far was becoming valedictorian. “As I go on in life, I hope that I achieve more than this but right now this is it,” she said. “I set a...
NEW: Shotgun found in student’s truck at Seminole Ridge High

NEW: Shotgun found in student’s truck at Seminole Ridge High

A Seminole Ridge High School student had a shotgun in his truck on campus Tuesday, according to administrators. In a message sent out to parents, Principal James Campbell said the gun violated the Palm Beach County School District’s policy. “Parents, this is an important reminder that district police prohibits any guns on school campuses, even if they are locked inside a vehicle...

Alamanda Elementary makes plans for annual Pirate Bingo, Family Night

ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY Volunteers will be recognized at the School Advisory Council meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the media center. The annual Pirate Bingo, Silent Auction, Book Fair Family Night will be 5:30-7 p.m. May 17. There will be food and prizes. The Book Fair takes place Monday through May 18 at the school. The spring music show begins at 5:30 p.m. May 24. Chorus, keyboard, and other instrumental...
Wellington Elementary School theater students to stage ‘The Lion King’

Wellington Elementary School theater students to stage ‘The Lion King’

WELLINGTON ELEMENTARY The Fine Arts Academy Musical Theater Group will present “The Lion King” at 7 p.m.Tuesday and Wednesday in the auditorium. SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH The National Honor Society elected officers for the coming school year: Shane Laurent, president; Bethany Seltzer, vice president; Kacey Repici, secretary; Rocco Abuisi, treasurer; Carly Swanson, historian; Magali Nicho, editor...

Boynton Beach High Medical Academy seniors pass personal trainer exam

BOYNTON BEACH HIGH Twenty seniors in the Medical Academy beat the national average when every one of them passed the National Academy of Sports Medicine Sports Medicine-Certified Personal Trainer Industry Certification exam. The exam, typically offered to students at a college level, has an overall pass rate of 61 percent across the country. The students, members of the first graduating class of the...
Dwyer awards: Six teachers honored for excellence in education

Dwyer awards: Six teachers honored for excellence in education

Teaching television production to students whose disorders drive them to avoid eye contact or decline public speaking may sound counterproductive, but Alicia Laurence-Bersch figures her job is to turn seeming impossibilities into achievements. Laurence-Bersch’s success in that conversion has paid off repeatedly for her students at Indian Ridge School in West Palm Beach. Tuesday night, they paid...
Cerabino: Bullied Palm Beach County Schools misfires on safety forum

Cerabino: Bullied Palm Beach County Schools misfires on safety forum

The Palm Beach County School District has become gun shy. And by that I mean shy about gun discussions. That’s why the district rescinded its previously granted permission for a school safety forum this week at Olympic Heights High School, a forum titled “Town Hall for Our Lives.” The name, the district belatedly noted, mirrored the name used in dozens of gatherings around...
Royal Palm Beach valedictorian overcomes apprehension to blossom

Royal Palm Beach valedictorian overcomes apprehension to blossom

The road to becoming the valedictorian of your high school’s graduating class is a long and, oftentimes, windy one. Class rankings shuffle each year and it’s not usually until part way through your senior year that things finally get settled. Making it to the top requires a fortitude that is found only in the elite of all students. Focus, determination and the willingness to pile AP classes...
Jupiter Middle teacher accused of ‘foot fetish’ loses teaching license

Jupiter Middle teacher accused of ‘foot fetish’ loses teaching license

For six years, suspicions persisted about Kenneth Phillips’ relationship with his adolescent students at Jupiter Middle School and his seeming infatuation with bare feet. Nearly a decade after the first concerns were documented, the 60-year-old former teacher has now been compelled to give up his teaching license. His co-workers began worrying about his behavior as early as 2009, when a school...
How high schoolers learn leadership — and get a new suit, too

How high schoolers learn leadership — and get a new suit, too

Mohammad Shatara said he was never “a program kid.” He went to school, football and home every day. The same routine for all four years of high school — school, football, home. Until, his athletic director suggested he go to “some meeting” after school. “When I walked in, Mr. Edmonds had a suit on and all these folders. He was asking us questions about what we wanted...
Palm Beach Lakes valedictorian credits parents for work ethic

Palm Beach Lakes valedictorian credits parents for work ethic

Academic and athletic success came with determination and a lot of hard work for Palm Beach Lakes High School valedictorian Ty Hands. He credits his parents, Tera and Lorenzo Hands, who are both teachers and were once athletes, with having been a good example for working hard to achieve success. “I think my work ethic derives from my parents,” Hands said. “They just preached to me...
Park Vista valedictorian has the write stuff

Park Vista valedictorian has the write stuff

Shannon Chamberlain is a published poet and plans to immerse herself in the humanities at the University of Florida. “I love poetry with a passion,” said Chamberlain, valedictorian at Park Vista High School. “Emotions, stories and visions are only some of the many topics available to poets, and I believe this broad spectrum makes poetry less of a task and more of an adventure.&rdquo...
School safety forum canceled over complaints of gun-control ties

School safety forum canceled over complaints of gun-control ties

Palm Beach County public school leaders have pulled the plug on a school safety forum scheduled Monday at Olympic Heights High School, saying the event’s title appeared to link it to a nationwide movement for tighter gun control. The forum at the high school west of Boca Raton was titled “Town Hall for Our Lives” and was intended to be focused on school safety. Approved by the school...
State: Test-answers-for-nude-pics exchange costs teacher his license

State: Test-answers-for-nude-pics exchange costs teacher his license

A former social studies teacher at a Boynton Beach charter school is barred from teaching in Florida after he was accused of offering an 18-year-old student test answers if she sent him nude photos. The state revoked the teaching license of Christopher Fisher, 31, who worked at Quantum High. The state also reprimanded and fined one of Fisher’s colleagues, Khemrajee Kangal, 57, for...
Award-winning high school journalists ‘believe in the facts’

Award-winning high school journalists ‘believe in the facts’

Palm Beach Central High School senior Addison Pezoldt wasn’t expecting to win one of The Palm Beach Post’s most prestigious awards at Thursday’s 38th annual Excellence in High School Journalism Awards luncheon. In fact, she didn’t even know she was in the running for the General Excellence Student Award. “My adviser submitted me without me knowing,” said Pezoldt...
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