There was a time less than a year ago when Lee Early College senior Nery Villalba Martinez wondered if she'd be able to graduate. Not because of her performance in the classroom, but a tough situation at home meant that the young woman who is the daughter of immigrants and now set to be the first in her family to attend college had to work extra hard to strike a balance between school and home. “At first I was debating whether I would be able to graduate,” she said. “But at the end, all the hard work I was able to put in, it was worth the struggle.”
When Leslie Cottrell came to Greenwood Elementary as an AIG specialist in the fall of 2017, she quickly dubbed herself the students' “thinking coach.” Her diversity of instruction – and the enthusiasm which she brings with her – paid off Monday night when Cottrell was named Lee County Schools' 2019-20 Teacher of the Year.
Across Warren Williams Elementary School Tuesday, preschoolers eagerly listened to stories from special guests – volunteer tutors joined students to read to them on a regularly scheduled day and time in an effort to help boost their reading comprehension ability. “We went from 25 percent proficient in children who were learning English to 46 percent proficient – in one year,” Principal Silvia Huffer said. “We think a lot of that success is from the reading program.”
Monday was a day for heroes at the Floyd L. Knight/The Children's Center in Sanford. It was Hero Day at the school, and Charlotte Johns, a teaching assistant at the school who helped make the event happen, said the goal wasn't just to celebrate imaginary superheroes. Instead, the day was meant to show the kids that real heroes are all around them every single day.
To the eighth graders in Vincent Pienaar's AVID class at SanLee Middle School, Cameron Marks, Emily Murillo, Ross Peele, Jordan Schwab and Brittany Waters are more than familiar faces – they've been fixtures in the classroom ever since middle school started. Much like the eighth graders about to move on to high school, the AVID tutors — who are either attending a university, community college or are contemplating their options — are also moving on.
A seven-legged octopus. A tuna that can't carry a tune. A blowfish with debilitating allergies. A tiger shark who faces criticism for befriending non-sharks. “Go Fish” – a musical production currently set to be staged at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12 by a group of about 50 third, fourth and fifth graders from J. Glenn Edwards Elementary – is all about accepting yourself and celebrating diversity.
Hey Lee County Schools! If you missed the lotteries for either Tramway Elementary or W.B. Wicker Elementary, you can still apply for the waitlist! Click here to submit an application.
The Lee County Board of Education approved — at its regularly scheduled meeting — that the half-days on October 26, 2018 and February 15, 2019 are now full instructional days for students.