BPS Focus

BPS Focus
April 20, 2017

BPS Students Named National Merit Scholarship Winners


BREVARD COUNTY, FLA. – Three Brevard Public Schools seniors have been named 2017 national corporate-sponsored merit scholarship winners, one of the nation’s highest academic honors.



More than 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.  Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. BPS’ scholars are as follows:



  • Eric Beck, Viera High – National Merit Southwest Airlines Co. Scholarship
  • Summer Jasinski, Viera High – National Merit Rockwell Collins Scholarship
  • Benjamin Olsson, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High – National Merit Southwest Airlines Co. Scholarship


Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.  Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice. 


Funding for these National Merit Scholarships is provided by corporate organizations that represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the business community have underwritten awards offered in all 62 competitions, expending or committing more than $767 million to support the intellectual development of the nation’s scholastically talented youth.


For more information, please visit www.nationalmerit.org



Sea Park Takes First Place in Odyssey of the Mind


SATELLITE BEACH, FLA. – Sea Park Elementary took home first place in its team’s division at the 2017 State Odyssey of the Mind (OM) competition held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on April 8, 2017. The team of seven girls was also awarded the Ranatra Fusca Award, the highest honor for creativity, at both the regional and state tournaments. 


OM is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Sea Park’s team engaged in the performance problem titled “Classics… It’s Time, OMER,” where the students had to create and present an original performance about time travelers looking to discover the inspiration for great works of art.


Sea Park’s team members include fifth graders Sophie Bailey, Kate Bloom, Lana Stout, and Lauren Williams and fourth graders Eva Bradley, Victoria McDine, and Sarah Miller. Catherine Bloom, a Sea Park teacher, serves the team as head coach and parent coaches are Ken and Sophie Williams.  The team will now advance to the world finals which will be at Michigan State University from May 23-28, 2017. This is the second year in a row that a Sea Park team has made it to the state finals.   


“We are very proud of our team and the tremendous work they have done to advance this far,” said Principal Ena Leiba.  “Millions of kids around the world have been working hard all year perfecting their OM solutions but, only a few advance to world finals — these teams represent the best of the best creative minds.  Students like these at Sea Park will be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.”


For more information, please contact Leiba at leiba.ena@brevardschools.org.



Westside Students Showcase Waste 2 Wonder Fashion Designs


PALM BAY, FLA. – Students from Westside Elementary’s Modern Artists Club recently participated in the inaugural Youth Runway Waste 2 Wonder fashion show, which was held at the Central Florida Fair Grounds in Orlando last month.  


The Waste 2 Wonder show tasks aspiring fashionistas and designers to create and showcase innovative clothes made out of waste items.  Participants are required to use items headed to the landfill or recycling facility or that have become useless and no longer serve a purpose. 


Prior to the show, sixth grader, Alexis Campbell, and fifth grader, Jadyn Milo, submitted their fashion designs to the show coordinator, Stacy Redditt.  Campbell’s design was inspired by the Blue Morpho butterfly, while Milo’s design was inspired by the jelly fish. Some of the items they used for their designs included bubble wrap, plastic, newspaper, soda can tops, spray paint, and LED lights. The students also selected models to display their creations. Campbell won the judges’ choice award and Milo received the most creative use of materials award.


“We appreciate our administrators for their tireless support in the arts,” said Westside’s art teacher, Carline Campbell-Ceasar.  “I am very proud of my young designers. I hope their works will grace Project Runway in the future.”


For more information, please contact Campbell-Ceasar at campbell.carline@brevardschools.org.



WESH 2’s Sweezey Visits Lewis Carroll, Shares Picture Book


MERRITT ISLAND, FLA. – WESH 2 meteorologist, Amy Sweezey, recently visited Lewis Carroll Elementary to read her children's picture book It Never, Ever Snows in Florida to kindergarten, first, and second grade students.


Sweezey is a veteran meteorologist, with nearly 20 years on the job.  She holds the prestigious Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) seal awarded by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Weather Association (NWA) seal of approval. She is also a recipient of “Best Weathercast” and “Best Weather Reporting” awards from the Florida Associated Press. According to Sweezey’s website, her children’s book “combines her experience with weather, kids, and living in both the cold, snowy Midwest and warm, sunny Florida, to create a fun, educational story for children everywhere.”


In addition to reading to the primary students, Sweezey donated a copy of the book to the school and then spoke with all sixth grade classes about weather and her job as a meteorologist. 


For more information, please contact Laura Anania, assistant principal, at anania.laura@brevardschools.org.



Jupiter Elementary Receives Digital Classroom Grant, Buys Laptops


PALM BAY, FLA – Jupiter Elementary students and teachers are moving technology to a new level, as the school recently purchased 300 Lenovo laptops, through the Digital Classroom Plan grant, which has enabled 15 classrooms to provide every student in grades 2 through 5 with devices.


The grant has provided Jupiter Elementary with the opportunity to help build 1:1 technology ratio classrooms. Teachers are creating new lesson plans which incorporate the blended learning model, which aims to have students interact with their peers, the instructor, and with content through the integration of online and face-to-face environments.


"I am constantly finding new ways to integrate technology to extend and deepen my students’ learning,” said Crystal Rice, fourth grade teacher.  “From whole group to small groups, the laptops have allowed me to see teaching and learning in a whole new way."



Second grade student, Qualyn Grant shares Rice’s excitement,  “I feel good about having my own computer because it gives me the opportunity to learn at my own pace and to do different things."  


For more information, please contact Virginia Campbell, media specialist, at campbell.virginia@brevardschools.org.




Satellite Senior, Sea Park Staff Collaborate on Buddy Bench Project


SATELLITE BEACH, FLA. – Tyler Bexfield, a senior at Satellite High and a former Sea Park Elementary student, recently partnered with Sea Park’s guidance counselor, Kim Anders, to complete his Eagle Scout project – to design an area on the elementary school’s grounds to install a Buddy Bench.



Buddy Benches promote both inclusion and kindness at schools. The goal of the bench is to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.  Bexfield, who is a member of Boy Scout Troop 309 in Satellite Beach, located the best area on the grounds for installation and also created a sign displaying the Buddy Bench rules.


“We want all students to feel welcome at Sea Park.  If a student doesn’t have anyone to play with, he or she can sit on the bench and students will know to go over and ask that student to play with them,” said Anders. 


The bench was donated by BPS partner in education, eAngels, and was constructed by a team of school staff, students, and community volunteers.


For more information, please contact Anders at anders.kimberly@brevardschools.org.  



Challenger 7 to Hold Second Golf Classic


PORT ST. JOHN, FLA. - Challenger 7 Elementary’s School Advisory Council will hold its second golf classic event, to help raise funds for the school, on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Turtle Creek Golf Club in Rockledge.


The registration cost is $55 per person and includes greens fee, cart, lunch, range balls and on-course contests. Registration will begin at 7:00 a.m. with the tournament officially starting at 8:00 a.m. After the golf classic, participants will enjoy lunch, an awards ceremony, and a raffle for prizes.  In addition to prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, there will be two “long drives,” two “closet to the pin” challenges, and a putting contest.  A hole-in-one wins a Buick Verano sponsored by Ron Norris Buick/GMC. 


Anyone who does not play golf can still participate by sponsoring a golf hole for $100 or attend the awards luncheon for $10.  Challenger 7’s sponsors include Subway, Domino’s, Something Sweet, Happenings, Allstate Insurance, Al’s Trophy Shop, Anderson Barber Shop, Launch Credit Union, Ron Norris Buick/GMC, Wells Fargo, Remax Elite, Allegra Printing and All Golf Courses. 


For an application or for more information, email challenger7golf@cfl.rr.com or visit http://c7golf.wix.com/challenger7. The deadline to register is Friday, April 21, 2017. 



Kennedy, Southwest Middle Named Best Florida Public Schools for the Arts


VIERA, FLA. – Brevard Public Schools is pleased to announce that The Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) has recognized John F. Kennedy Middle in Rockledge and Southwest Middle in Palm Bay, as two of the best public schools for arts in the state. Both were named as Florida Arts Model Schools. Kennedy received the designation for its outstanding programs in music and Southwest was selected for its excellent visual arts program.


The FAAE evaluates and approves schools based on criteria development by the Florida Department of Education, FAAE and Florida’s professional service associations for dance, music, theater and visual art. Florida Arts Model Schools offer exemplary arts and arts integration programs, instructional settings, and community connections.


“Excellence in arts education is still very much a vital goal of the Florida Department of Education,” said Julie Hebert, executive director of FAAE.  “Through the Florida Arts Model Schools program, we’re ensuring that schools who have made a commitment to providing the highest quality arts programs for their students not only receive the recognition they deserve, but also receive the support they need in order to share the models for their success with schools that want to improve.”


Kennedy’s team is comprised of principal, Richard Myers, and music teachers, Michael Sperr, Jacqueline Brooks, and Tabitha Bennett. Southwest’s team is represented by principal, Todd Scheuerer, and visual art teacher, Janet Tucker. Both teams were awarded full conference scholarships to FAAE’s annual leadership summit in Daytona Beach, to further strengthen their engagement with arts education best practices. The Florida Arts Model Schools awards will be presented to both schools at the summit during a special luncheon in their honor on June 24, 2017.  


For more information, please contact Hebert at 407-488-9951 or director@faae.org.


BSF Now Seeking Sponsors for Sunset Moonlight, Music Fundraiser


VIERA, FLA.  - Brevard Schools Foundation (BSF) will host its annual Sunset Moonlight and Music Fundraiser on April 28, 2017. This year’s theme is Midnight in Mumbai. The event benefits the Supply Zone for Teachers, a resource center that provides Brevard’s most vulnerable children the school supplies they need to succeed. BSF is currently seeking sponsors to help make this year’s fundraiser even more successful than the last.


Sponsor support ensures the Supply Zone for Teachers can fulfill its mission of serving the educational and creative needs of children, in Brevard Public Schools, by providing free school supplies to teachers at high-poverty schools.  The event will transform Ambika and Ravi Palaniyandi’s ocean front estate into an enchanting representation of Midnight in Mumbai, where guests will enjoy cocktails and live entertainment. In addition to the native music of India, guests will enjoy a dazzling display of authentic Bollywood dancing, a wine pull, raffle, silent auction, and a lively public auction featuring auctioneers, school board member Andy Ziegler, and News 13’s Greg Pallone.


Tickets are limited. For ticket or sponsorship information, please visit the event’s sponsor page. For more information on the event, please visit BSF’s website.



2017-2018 Voluntary Prekindergarten Registration: April 17-28, 2017


BREVARD COUNTY, FLA. – Brevard Public Schools will hold voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) registration from April 17 – 28, 2017.


In collaboration with the Early Learning Coalition of Brevard, BPS offers VPK at selected schools with limited enrollment.  VPK is a free early learning program used to prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten and to build the foundation for school success.  Students must be four (4) years old on or before September 1, 2017 and reside in Florida to qualify for the program.  Registration for VPK is a two-step process:


STEP 1 - Parents obtain a VPK certificate of eligibility

In order to obtain a VPK certificate of eligibility, parents must visit the Early Learning Coalition website at www.elcbrevard.org to complete the on-line registration process.  For more information, please call the Early Learning Coalition at 321-637-1800.


STEP 2Parents register their child at a school site

Please note that registration does not guarantee a VPK slot.  If there are more registrations submitted than space available at the school site on April 28, the VPK slots will be filled by a lottery or needs-based selection process.  Registration will continue for programs with openings.  The items needed for registration at the school are the VPK certificate of eligibility, child’s original birth certificate, immunization record, current physical examination and two (2) forms of residence verification.


Brevard Public Schools with VPK Programs are listed below:


Step FOURward VPK

Eligible students must reside in the attendance area of the school.


Roy Allen Elementary

Cape View Elementary
Columbia Elementary
Dr. W. J. Creel Elementary
Croton Elementary
Fairglen Elementary
Golfview Elementary
Harbor City Elementary
MILA Elementary
Pinewood Elementary
Riviera Elementary
Sabal Elementary
Sunrise Elementary
Turner Elementary
Westside Elementary



Blended VPK

Open to eligible students unless the school is frozen to students outside the school’s attendance area.


Atlantis Elementary (frozen)

Audubon Elementary
Columbia Elementary
Longleaf Elementary (frozen)
McAuliffe Elementary
Oak Park Elementary (frozen)
Pinewood Elementary (frozen)
Riviera Elementary
Sea Park Elementary
Sunrise Elementary (frozen)
University Park Elementary


Early Childhood Education VPK

Open to all eligible students


Eau Gallie High School

Merritt Island High School

Palm Bay High School

Satellite High School

Viera High School


Please note attendance limitations and space availability at VPK schools.


For more information, please contact the Office of Early Childhood at 321-633-1000 ext. 340 or visit www.brevardschools.org



Eau Gallie Library Hosts Literacy Program, Targets Local Students


MELBOURNE, FLA. - The Eau Gallie Public Library branch of Brevard County Libraries recently received a grant from the Florida Humanities Council to host a family literacy program, in Melbourne, called PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME®. Many local schools are partnering with the library to help support the program.


“PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME®, targets children aged 6 to 10 who may be experiencing difficulty with reading and their parents in an effort to foster a lifelong love of learning through reading,” says Jenny Morrison, Eau Gallie library director.


PRIME TIME, a six week series of reading and discussion programs, includes sessions on such themes as leaving, identity, encountering the other, community, and discovery. A discussion leader and a storyteller introduces parents to the benefits and pleasures of reading and discussing stories with their children.


The program aims to expand participants’ understanding of reading through the use of children’s literature with substantial humanities content. It focuses on expanding the teaching of literature, history and cultural values.


“PRIME TIME introduces families to the pleasures and benefits of reading together and the many resources and services of the public library,” said Florida Humanities Council program coordinator, Tyler Tarrant. “We’re pleased to be working with the Eau Gallie Public Library to bring this exciting family literacy program to the citizens of Melbourne.”


PRIME TIME programs are sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council (FHC) and Shell Oil, with local funding from Friends of the Eau Gallie Public Library and Brevard Library Foundation.  Space Coast Rolling Readers is partnering with the library with additional support from Melbourne High’s culinary arts program and 2-1-1 Brevard.  Croton Elementary staff assisted with registration for this first session.


For more information, contact Morrison at 321-255-4306 or jmorrison@brev.org.




Community Invited to Review BPS’ Wellness Policy May 10


VIERA, FLA. – Brevard Public Schools’ district level School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) will host its annual wellness policy review at the next quarterly meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the Educational Services Facility in Viera from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. in the training rooms 7 and 8. 


The mission of SHAC is to promote optimal health within in our school community. SHAC consists of district staff members who represent:  nutrition services, health promotion for staff, physical education, family and community involvement, counseling, psychological and social services, healthy school environment, school health education, and health services. Additional representatives include school board members, community stakeholders, students, and parents. 



Meetings are held four times a year to provide an opportunity for collaborative work in creating a healthy school environment combined with community support, to enhance learning and encourage the development of lifelong wellness practices—for all students, staff, and the community.  The focus of this meeting will be to review the current BPS Wellness Policy and its related procedures, as well as results from the annual survey. The district is seeing valuable input and suggestions from the public.



BPS is recognized as a silver level healthy school district by the state of Florida. This achievement places Brevard as a leader in being committed to meeting the needs of students and staff to provide healthy learning and working environments. Brevard is one of 11 school districts in the state of Florida that have been awarded the silver level.


For more information please contact SHAC Chairperson, Rachel Winsten at 321- 633-1000, ext. 387 or winsten.rachel@Brevardschools.org. You may also contact Kevin Thornton, director of food services, at 321-633-1000, ext. 690 or thornton.kevin@brevardschools.org.



BPS Students Win at State Future Problem Solving Competition


BREVARD COUNTY, FLA. – Brevard Public Schools students recently participated in the state Future Problem Solving (FPS) competition in Orlando from March 26 – 29.


The state level FPS competition invites students who place in the top at their district FPS competitions.  Based on their performance at the state competition, some students earned an invitation to the international FPS competition in Wisconsin this June.  Those teams and individuals are highlighted in red and noted with a * below. 




Schools that earned one or more invitations to the international Future Problem Solving conference in June include: Edgewood Jr./Sr. High, Freedom 7 Elementary, Gemini Elementary, Meadowlane Intermediate, Melbourne High, Palm Bay Elementary, Stone Magnet Middle, and West Shore Jr./Sr. High.


Brevard’s champions and their winning competition components are as follows:


Global Issues Problem Solving Teams

Junior Division

*2nd place Gemini A

Team members: Jake Crush, John Demari, Jake Reisinger, and McKenna Slaughter


4th place Roy Allen

Team members: Sophia Cooper, Sarah Boles Cox, Druso Fulford, and Hunter Delaney


5th place Gemini B

Team members: Kate Burgess, Ashley Grant, Chloe Jaynes, and Izzy Pearson

6th place Meadowlane A 

Team members: Abbigail Lupe, Emma Myers, Regan Swayze, and Cooper Thomson, 



Middle Division

*2nd place West Shore Jr./Sr. High A

Team members: Lasya Damuraju, Marlee Krause, Sophia Pliego, and Pooja Shah


4th place West Shore Jr./Sr. High C

Team members: Justin Foster, Ali Hussain, Andrew Kohler and Isaac Pierre



Senior Division

4th place Melbourne High C

Team members: Madison Ahrendt, Isabel Cordero, Wesley Harris and Zachary Mendolla


Global Issues Problem Solving Individuals

Junior Division

*1st place Meadowlane Intermediate, Unnathi Prakash


Senior Division

*2nd place Edgewood Jr./ Sr. High, Allison Williams

4th place Edgewood Jr./Sr. High, Sydney Sinclair


Community Problem Solving Teams

Junior Division

1st place Health and Environment Category

Palm Bay Elementary, Project TOOTH Fairies

Team members: Jaiden Birdsall, Liani Couture, Jacquelyn Hancock, Madalyn Newport, Rhea Nibert, Aidaliz Rosadopadilla, Gabriella Sanchez, and Jacee Werle

Community Problem Solving Individuals

Junior Division

*1st place Palm Bay Elementary, Nicole Lee - Project Cough It Up


Middle Division

*1st place Stone Magnet Middle, Abigail Perez - Project Social Profile

*2nd place Stone Magnet Middle, Emily Ogborn - Project Put Your Electronics Away


Senior Division

*1st place Melbourne High, Kate Deffenbach - Project Breaking Down Walls


Long-term State Scenario Writing Competition

Junior Division

*2nd place Palm Bay Elementary, Rhea Nibert

3rd place Westside Elementary, Catherine Vogel

4th place Westside Elementary, Hailey Turner

5th place Westside Elementary, Wyatt Robertson

7th place Gemini Elementary, Ivy Oswald

8th place Gemini Elementary, Isabelle Pearson


Middle Division

*2nd place West Shore Jr./Sr. High, MacKenzey Kologlu

4th place Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, Ada Yumiceva

5th place Merritt Island High, Crystal Murr


Senior Division

*1st place Melbourne High, Isabel Cordero

2nd place Melbourne High, Zachary Mendolla


Scenario Performance

Junior Division

*1st place Freedom 7 Elementary, Jasmine Francik


Middle Division

3rd place West Shore Jr./Sr. High, Marlee Krause


Senior Division

3rd place West Shore Jr./Sr. High, Tena Gordan


On-site Group Scenario Writing

Junior Division

Part of 1st place team Freedom 7 Elementary, Kennedy Coleman

Part of 2nd place team Palm Bay Elementary, Rhea Nibert

Part of 2nd place team Westside Elementary, Evan Murray

Part of 2nd place team Freedom 7 Elementary, Anika Vaishnay

Part of 3rd place team Westside Elementary, Mikyla Payton


Middle Division

Best Writer - Cocoa Beach Jr./ Sr. High, Tessa Colaiacovo

Part of 1st place team Southwest Middle, Jackson Jost

Part of 2nd place team Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, Ada Yumiceva

Part of 2nd place team Southwest Middle, Kiersten Blaylock

Part of 2nd place team West Shore Jr./Sr. High, Channon Macom

Part of 3rd place team Southwest Middle, Michaela Chua


Senior Division

Part of 1st place team Melbourne High, Alexis Braun

Part of 1st place team West Shore Jr./Sr. High, Calista Foo

Part of 1st place team West Shore Jr./Sr. High, Joanna LaTorre

Part of 2nd place team Melbourne High, Zach Mendolla

Part of 2nd place team West Shore Jr./Sr. High, Yoosang Park

Part of 3rd place team Melbourne High, Isabel Cordero

Part of 3rd place team West Shore Jr./Sr. High, Tena Gordan


Multi-School Global Issues Problem Solving

Junior Division

Part of 1st place team Meadowlane Intermediate, Gabriel Lupe

Part of 1st place team Tropical Elementary, Joel Freeland

Part of 3rd place team Meadowlane Intermediate, Brayden Kirby

Part of 3rd place team Tropical Elementary, Julie Gordon


Middle Division

Part of 2nd place team Merritt Island High, Sam Johngrass


Senior Division

Part of 2nd place team Edgewood Jr./Sr. High, Kyle Thurow


Presentation of Action Plan

Junior Division

1st place Freedom 7 Elem. A – Coach Lucy Haddock

2nd place Gemini Elementary A – Coaches Holly Hays, and Anne Nichols

3rd place Audubon Elementary – Coach Ivy Taylor

4th place Gemini Elementary B – Coaches Holly Hays, and Anne Nichols

6th  place Freedom 7 Elem. B – Coach Lucy Haddock

7th place Meadowlane Intermediate A – Coach Beverly Boss

8th place Sunrise Elementary B – Coach Alicia Gillaspie


Middle Division

6th place Rockledge High – Coach Jackie Insalaco


Senior Division

1st place Melbourne High C – Coaches Pam Bress and Diane Grover