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Updated: 04/28/2013 08:00:22AM

Fab 5 Superheroes visit the students

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Christine Roslow


Spessard Holland Elementary teachers helped students stay loose for the FCAT tests was with Super Hero Day. It was Friday, April 11 and these five third grade teachers dressed up like the “Fab 5.” These teachers are Christen Alvarez, Melinda Dorman, Wendy Walters, Rachael Bowen and Rebecca Charlet (standing in the back.


The Character Education classes at Gibbons Street Elementary School have been learning about gratefulness. We are grateful for our friends and the earth. The gifted class celebrated Earth Day by giving peace lily plants and cards to three area convalescent centers. These centers include: Savannah Court, Bartow Center, and Rhor Home. The students are, from left, Caleb, Jason, Skyla, Hannah and Daniel.

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Third graders at Spessard L. Holland Elementary got a special visit from the “FCAT Superheroes” a couple of weeks ago.

To help ease some of the anxiety the students were feeling about sitting for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, the elementary teachers got dressed up as the “Fab 5” to motivate students to do well on the test. Students were also encouraged to dress in their favorite superhero costumes.

Spessard L. Holland Elementary Assistant Principal Tammy Cress says, “The kids loved it and it put a positive spin on things. It was great, because I think it helped motivate them and helped them come in relaxed and focused. I think the kids had lots of fun.”

The third graders completed their testing on Thursday, April 18. It is mandatory third graders in Florida pass the FCAT in order to not be retained. Students in other grades are currently taking the FCAT.

BHS student gets second place award

Bartow High School student Robert Gerber got a second place award in Impromptu Speaking contest at the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda state leadership conference in March in Orlando.

Gerber was one of five Polk County students who earned awards at the conference. Others included Alicia Cunningham, Lakeland who won second place in Sales Presentation; fourth place in Justice Administration; fifth place in Retail Management; Jim Harmon of Lakeland, who won second place in Help Desk; third place in Accounting Principles; third place in Macroeconomics; Sally Rugg of Winter Haven, who earned first place in Database Design; Cedriss Saint-Louis of Winter Haven who won third place in Networking Concepts; fifth place in Cyber Security; Rugg and Saint-Louis who won second place in Desktop Publishing; and Diane Thomas of Lakeland and Brent Wiseman of Davenport who won second place in Business Decision Making.

Cunningham, Gerber, Harmon, Herbig, Rugg, Saint-Louis, Thomas, and Wiseman all qualified to compete at PBL’s National Leadership Conference in June in Anaheim, Calif.

Phi Theta Kappa students bring home Five Stars

One student from the Bartow resident was among the students from Polk State College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa who attended the 95th Annual Convention in San Jose, Calif., where they participated in numerous educational events and earned the highest possible rating from the international honor society.

Robert Gerber was the student in the fraternity that serves students in two-year colleges. The organization’s annual convention took place April 4-6. It featured keynote speaker Billie Jean King, a world-renowned tennis player, and a busy slate of educational workshops and forums on topics such as leadership, public relations and community service.

Others from PSC from Polk who attended were Brandon Bielefeld and Whitney Bielefeld, both of Winter Haven; Donna Grant of Lakeland; Sandra Garcia of Lake Wales; Jim Harmon of Lakeland; Josh Roach of Haines City; Jake Wilson of Lake Alfred; and Christina Urbina of Winter Haven. Alumni Jim Lilly of Lakeland and Sierra Lieffort of Lakeland also attended.

During the event, Polk State Phi Theta Kappa achieved its second consecutive five-star rating from the international organization; the rating is based on community service, research projects, and other criteria.

United Way, coalition partner

The Early Learning Coalition of Polk and United Way of Central Florida have partnered to offer the Nemours BrightStart.

Complete Program for Early Literacy Success to 34 school readiness and voluntary Pre-Kindergarten programs for the 2012-13 school year.

Through the use of current research and best practices, the partnership’s goal is to expand vocabulary and pre-reading skills so that children are more prepared for starting kindergarten.

The Coalition initially conducted a pilot study in 2011-12 utilizing the Nemours Brightstart! program at five participating childcare centers. Of the 90 children who were initially screened in the pilot program, 30 percent demonstrated delays in early literacy skills and received Brightstart! instruction. Post screening scores for those children increased 62 percent over their initial evaluation scores.

Because of this success, 29 additional childcare centers volunteered to participate in the expanded program in 2012-13.

The Coalition realized that it could not support the teachers in the program without assistance, and reached out to the United Way of Central Florida’s Master Teacher program. One Master Teacher was assigned to the project, and the workload of meeting teachers’ needs was shared.

The Early Learning Coalition of Polk serves more than 12,000 students in either a school readiness or voluntary Pre-K program. The Coalition provides leadership, direction, and integrated resource management for quality services that support their vision of success for children.

Registration for summer classes at PSC to start

Students currently enrolled at Polk State College can register for the summer term online through the College’s Passport.

Prospective new students should first submit an online application to the College at After that, they will be scheduled for an orientation session, during which they will register for their first classes.

A complete, step-by-step guide to the admissions process is available at the College’s website, under the “Admissions” tab.

Priority registration for students who have completed at least 30 credits began April 1.

Registration for dual-enrollment students — those who are taking college classes while still in high school — begins April 15.

Summer classes run from May 8-Aug. 6. Summer classes are offered in six-, eight- and 12-week sessions.

Christine Roslow can be reached at

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