Dr. Cronin of IRSC selected for leadership program Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Dr. Marta Cronin

The National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) has announced that Dr. Marta Cronin, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Indian River State College, is participating in the NCHCC Leadership Development Program as a 2017 Fellow.

Dr. Cronin joined IRSC in 2001 as a faculty member and has been appointed to positions of increasing responsibility.  The Port St. Lucie resident holds a Doctorate from the University of Sarasota and was promoted to IRSC Vice President of Academic Affairs in 2016.

Dr. Cronin is one of twenty-two members of the 2017 Hispanic Fellows cohort selected from college candidates from around the country.  The program is hosted by the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences and engages participants in leadership training and new strategies to help students succeed.  It is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified Latinos interesting in educational career advancement.

More than 120 high school diplomas presented at IRSC ceremony Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Approximately 121 Indian River State College High School and GED Preparation graduates participated in the Adult Secondary Education Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, May 25, at 6:00 p.m. in the McAlpin Fine Arts Center at the Main Campus in Fort Pierce. Commencement speaker Ann L. Decker, Executive Director of IRSC Foundation, addressed the graduates with inspirational remarks about their educational journey and career paths.

Many of these graduates will continue their education in one of IRSC’s certificate or degree programs. As Dr. Kelly Amatucci, Assistant Dean of the School of Education, explained, “Students enrolled in the IRSC Adult Education program have the opportunity to simultaneously begin their career while completing their high school credential. Ongoing support is provided through mentoring and career inventories. Financial support is also available for students in need who would like to register for college courses.” More…

IRSC announces winner of Entrepreneurship Challenge Reply

Gabriel DeAvila (left) and his brother Daniel demonstrate the glass vial prototype their U-Labs business created during the Entrepreneurial & Innovation Challenge at Indian River State College.

NEWS RELEASE

Business expansion is now possible for the student winners of the inaugural Indian River State College Entrepreneurial & Innovation Challenge.  Five teams were guided through the entrepreneurship process to develop a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) product, with support funded by the National Science Foundation.  Following a Shark Tank presentation, the originators of three student-developed businesses took home $6,000 in prizes. More…

More than 200 high school diplomas to be presented at IRSC ceremony Reply

NEWS RELEASE

IRSC LogoApproximately 223 Indian River State College High School and GED Preparation graduates will participate in the Adult Secondary Education Graduation Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, in the McAlpin Fine Arts Center at the Main Campus, 3209 Virginia Avenue, in Fort Pierce. Commencement speaker Suzanne Ensmann, Director of Program Effectiveness for Adult Secondary Education at Indian River State College, will address the graduates with inspirational remarks about their educational journey and career paths.

Many of these graduates will continue their education in one of IRSC’s certificate or degree programs. As Dr. Marta Cronin, Assistant Dean of the School of Education, explained, “The IRSC Adult Education program prepares students to enter a career field while they are still enrolled in Adult Education classes. Support for students is provided through career inventories, mentoring, and financial support to attend college classes.” More…

IRSC’s manufacturing program gains national attention 1

Harry Brubaker, Production Trainer, Piper Aircraft, provides direction to Antonio Rivera, during IRSC’s Fast Track to Manufacturing Program.

Harry Brubaker, Production Trainer, Piper Aircraft, provides direction to Antonio Rivera, during IRSC’s Fast Track to Manufacturing Program.

NEWS RELEASE

The Fast Track to Manufacturing Program at Indian River State College earned national attention for outstanding workforce preparation and economic development by the League for Innovation in the Community College. The IRSC program is featured in the April Member Spotlight of the international non-profit organization as a proven training ground for manufacturing companies and individuals gearing up for employment on the Treasure Coast More…

Justice declares School Board candidacy Reply

Beachland Elementary parent, Tiffany Justice, announces intention to file for District 5 School Board seat

NEWS RELEASE

Tiffany Justice

Tiffany Justice

Tiffany Justice, lifelong Vero Beach resident, announced her candidacy to run for the Indian River County School Board Seat in District 5, currently held by Claudia Jimenez, who has chosen not to run.

“Thursday morning I’ll be filing my paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections to run for School Board,” said Justice. “As the mother of four children, all of which will be in public school next year, I think it’s time we put our children ahead of politics,”

Justice successfully led the charge for the Beachland Elementary Revitalization Project that replaces multiple buildings at the school that were built in 1957. While initially there were concerns over the costs and logistics of the project, the Board unanimously approved the plan, 5-0.

“I am an advocate for school choice for all students and parents, whether they are in the traditional, charter or private school setting” Justice said. “We have to focus on the best way to educate our children and put those ideas into practice.”

The public is invited to a “Milk and Cookies” kickoff rally from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday April 2nd at Humiston Park. Come out and help Tiffany celebrate our children and the future of education in Indian River County.

Mathletes compete in local olympics Reply

The St. Edward’s Team #2 swept the 2016 Math Olympics at Indian River State College. Pictured from Left to Right: Dr. Paul Horton, IRSC Assistant Dean of Mathematics, Natural Science, Performing and Visual Arts; Peter Zheng; Nishanth Chalasani; Zane Zudans; and Lei Zhang

The St. Edward’s Team #2 swept the 2016 Math Olympics at Indian River State College. Pictured from Left to Right: Dr. Paul Horton, IRSC Assistant Dean of Mathematics, Natural Science, Performing and Visual Arts; Peter Zheng; Nishanth Chalasani; Zane Zudans; and Lei Zhang

NEWS RELEASE 

Students from 12 high schools in St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties flexed their mathematical muscles last month in the annual Math Olympics hosted by the Indian River State College Math Department. Participants competed both individually and as teams from Fort Pierce Central, Fort Pierce Westwood, Jensen Beach, John Carroll, Lincoln Park Academy, Martin County, St. Edward’s, St. Lucie West Centennial, Sebastian River, South Fork, Treasure Coast and Vero Beach high schools. More…

IRSC volleyball team named academic all-stars Reply

The IRSC Volleyball team receives the annual Skull Award as the 2015 Academic All-Stars, with team members earning an average 3.41 GPA.

The IRSC Volleyball team receives the annual Skull Award as the 2015 Academic All-Stars, with team members earning an average 3.41 GPA.

NEWS RELEASE

Members of the Indian River State College Volleyball team were named Academic All-Stars for achieving the highest grade-point average for any athletic team at the College during the Fall 2015 Semester. The 15-member team earned an average 3.41 GPA.

“The ‘Academic All-Stars’ designation recognizes the importance of academic achievement for athletes, and I’m proud to see our volleyball team receive this academic honor,” said IRSC Athletic Director Scott Kimmelman. Continue reading…

Teachers say ‘enough is enough’ Reply

TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT

Throngs of angry, frustrated public school teachers filled the Capital Courtyard Thursday demanding lawmakers listen to their complaints about high-stakes testing, low pay and being held to different standards than charter schools.

“It’s sad. So sad. Greed is driving education policy,” said Mary Maxwell, a Key West High School English teacher. “It is so much about buying and selling the test. Textbook manufacturers are benefiting from telling us what to do and when to do it. It is total baloney.” Continue reading…

Tackling poverty in Indian River County with a moonshot 3

NEWS ANALYSISMoon Shot

MILT THOMAS

The statistics on poverty in this county are difficult to comprehend in a county famous for its beautiful beaches, quality of life and wealth. Poverty begins at birth for 52% of all babies born in Indian River County. That is the percentage of childbirths paid through Medicaid.

Based on 2014 Indian River County Children’s Needs Assessment, 21.3 percent of children under 18 years were living in poverty. More than fifty six percent of all Indian River County students were eligible for free or reduced price lunch (at Dodgertown Elementary School the rate is 85 percent).  As if this situation wasn’t bad enough, in January 2014, 317 students in this county were homeless.

More…

Vero Beach High School Golden Grads “mass” reunion/picnic May 9 1

MILT THOMAS

Old Vero Beach High School on 19th Street, site of Freshman Learning Center today.

Old Vero Beach High School on 19th Street, site of Freshman Learning Center today.

High school class reunions are nothing unusual, but this one could break records. Instead of celebrating one class year at a time, the VBHS Golden Grads Reunion/Picnic is set to include everyone who attended Vero Beach High School at least 50 years ago. The event will be held on May 9 at the Indian River County Fairgrounds. Over 500 class members and guests have already signed up to attend. Hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and starting at 10:30 a.m. it will feature a traditional Florida barbecue of beef, pork, chicken, catfish, gator tail and more.

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Experience what it is like to suffer from dementia Reply

Partially obstructed glasses, gloves with fingers taped and headphones help simulate dementia.

Partially obstructed glasses, gloves with fingers taped and headphones help simulate dementia.

MILT THOMAS

Did you ever wonder what it is like to suffer from dementia? Not that anyone would want to, but if you knew how this debilitating affliction can change the life of a loved one, you might better understand how to deal with it. And chances are fairly good you will deal with it at some point in your lives, either with a parent, or spouse or yourselves.

You can go to a place right here in Vero Beach and experience what it is like to have the illness by taking a Virtual Dementia Tour. No, this is not an Edgar Allen Poe theme park. It is a service provided at the Center for Memory and Motion in the offices of the Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County located at 2300 5th Avenue, Suite 150.

According to Executive Director Peggy Cunningham, “It is important for caregivers or potential caregivers to know what the sufferer is dealing with, so that’s why we developed the Virtual Dementia Tour.”

More…

Who cares about our kids? Reply

Who cares about our kids?

D. LORNE COYLE, MDiv.

The Recession is over?

Commercial space is being occupied. New restaurants are opening. Hotel occupancy is way up from two years ago. Gas prices are down. Giving to the United Way is up. New home construction is booming again.

The Great Recession is over.

Or is it?

Not for everyone in Indian River County:

  • While unemployment is down from its 14% peak in 2010, it is still almost twice as high as in pre-recession 2006
  • The number of Indian River County citizens in poverty has increased to 14% from 10% in 2006
  • The number of homeless in the County has grown to 1048 from 741 in 2006
  • Births to single mothers have increased to 47% from 43%
  • And the children? Today 21% of our children under 19 years old live in poverty vs. 16% in 2006.

When a wildlife rehab center regulates charter schools: Inside the wild world of charter regulation 1

Charter School Regulation 2-22-15Charter school “authorizers” are charged with making sure schools can be trusted with kids and with public money. Problem is, many lack the tools to do the job.

Related coverage: Read about how some charter schools “sweep” nearly all their public dollars directly into private firms, or our piece on how a chain of charter schools is channeling millions of public education dollars to for-profit companies controlled by the schools’ founder.

If you have information about charter schools and their profits or oversight — or any other tips — email us at charters@propublica.org.

MARIAN WANG/PROPUBLICA.ORG

More…

School Board members are responsibile to ALL the children of Indian River County 4

COMMENTARY

“The challenge is to support school choice and encourage innovation through competition in ways that will lead to a better education for all of America’s children.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Shawn Frost

Shawn Frost

If you want to understand the average politician’s loyalties, simply follow the money.

Take, for example, newly elected Indian River County School Board member Shawn Frost, who this past week helped establish a new organization to rival the Florida School Board Association.

By supporting the new association, or lobbying organization, or electioneering communications organization, or whatever else the group may become, Frost is almost surely delivering on his debt to state and national pro-voucher advocates. At least two such groups invested tens of thousands of dollars to support Frost’s successful 2014 challenge to incumbent Karen Disney-Brombach. More…

Frost helps found new school board association 6

PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL

Editor’s note: The Florida Federation for Children and the American Federation for Children, both of which oppose the Florida School Board Association’s effort to prevent further expansion of Florida’s school voucher program, heavily funded Frost’s campaign. An electioneering communications organization supporting Frost, which was set up by Laura Zorc, wife of County Commissioner Tim Zorc, received $20,000 of its $20,100 in  contributions from the Florida Federation for Children. See: Outside money dominated local School Board race

Jeff Borgosh

Jeff Borgosh

Shawn Frost

Shawn Frost

Escambia County School Board member Jeff Bergosh will head a new statewide association of school board members.

Citing a frustration with the direction of a lawsuit filed by the Florida Teachers Union and the Florida School Board Association regarding Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program, a group of individual school board members have banded together and will announce the formation of the Florida Coalition of School Board Members in a conference call with media Monday. More…

Charter High School Choir invited to perform at Carnegie Hall Reply

Celebrity chefs to hold fundraiser for choir

The Indian River Charger HIgh School Choir has been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall over Memorial Day weekend.

The Indian River Charger HIgh School Choir has been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall over Memorial Day weekend.

NEWS RELEASE

On February 24, eleven “celebrity chefs” will participate in a special fund raiser at Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse to help support the Indian River Charter High School Choir who have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall over Memorial Weekend. More…

2016 Teacher of the Year and 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year winners announced Reply

NEWS RELEASE

The School District of Indian River County’s 2016 Teacher of the Year and 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year were announced at the January 29th Gala held in the Performing Arts Center at Vero Beach High School. The evening was charged with excitement and anticipation, as each of the participants was recognized and applauded. The auditorium was filled with family, peers, friends, and students who were there to cheer on their favorite teacher or employee. Commissioner Pam Stewart, Keynote Speaker, joined Dr. Fran Adams, Superintendent of Schools, in honoring the winners. And the winners are… More…

IRCHS to celebrate National School Choice Week with special event Jan. 30 Reply

 Juniors Sarah Ramos (left) and Sophia Faust (right) are creating artwork for the IRCHS upcoming production of Tarzan,

Juniors Sarah Ramos (left) and Sophia Faust (right) are creating artwork for the IRCHS upcoming production of Tarzan,

Indian River Charter High School participates in nation’s largest-ever celebration of educational opportunity

NEWS RELEASE

Indian River Charter High School will hold a special event on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 11:45 AM to celebrate National School Choice Week. A special preview of IRCHS’ upcoming production of Tarzan, The Stage Musical, based on the Disney Film and an introduction of our Board of Directors will be held at the school. More…

On the importance of prayer in American history and freedom of religion 8

GUEST COMMENTARY

GREG SEMPSROTT

Editor’s note: The Reverend Greg Sempsrott serves as the Senior Pastor of the First Church of God in Vero Beach. 

Greg Sempsrott

Greg Sempsrott

I attended the recent IRC School Board meeting where the issue of prayer was on the agenda. The primary issue was not whether we would allow an invocation at the meetings, but rather, who would offer the invocation. The resolution called for the invocation to be offered by clergy of our community. After several citizens and school board members spoke to issue, the resolution passed 4-1.

What I found interesting was the reason behind the dissenting vote. Ms. Jimenez stated that if the resolution passed as read, she would not be allowed to participate in the invocation. She clearly stated that she does not believe we should have clergy praying before meetings, even though these clergy represent a wide spectrum of belief systems, including her own, I suspect. More…

School Board of Indian River County seeks community input on superintendent search Reply

NEWS RELEASE

The School Board of Indian River County would like to notify the public that there will be an opportunity for community input in regard to the Superintendent Search that is in progress to replace Dr. Fran Adams when she retires on June 30, 2015. The public is invited to attend the January 27, 2015, School Board meeting to give input as to the desired attributes of a new Superintendent. The floor will be open for input for up to one hour, starting at 6:10 p.m. If you have questions, please contact Judy Stang, Executive Assistant to the School Board, at 772-564-3200.

40 more judges needed for regional science and engineering fair Reply

NEWS RELEASE

science-fair-logoThe Education Foundation of Indian River County is seeking 40 more judges for the upcoming Indian River Regional Science & Engineering Fair (IRRSEF) on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at Gifford Middle School. Volunteers are needed to judge Kindergarten through 5th grade projects. Additional help is needed to judge secondary projects in grades 6th – 12th grades in the areas of Botany, Behavioral Sciences, Biochemistry, Computers/Math, Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, and Physics. More…

Reader Comments: School Board members could use some history lessons – Column missed “interesting” news elements 2

This reminds me of the embarrassment caused by two former members of COVB Council and their insulting behavior and statements to a secular humanists’ presentation. Most folks who spout about the “Founders” religious beliefs or their positions on religion in the public sphere are woefully uninformed. Thomas Jefferson, a Unitarian, and Benjamin Franklin, a Quaker, both disdained public displays of religion. James Madison wrote “Religion and Government will exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” The school board would be better served using the opening minutes of their meeting for some lessons in history and civics. – Bob Swift

It would seem that you missed some interesting news elements. An ACLU attorney who doesn’t seem to know the difference between the Constitution of the United States and a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Conneticut Baptists assuring them that the government was not going to interfere with them. And a school board member who appeared to want to squash free speech by defining what a person can say and what they should not in addition to misrepresenting a Supreme Court ruling. And lastly an entire group of people who got up and walked out as soon as they did not get what they apparently had come for despite a young mans plea at the beginning of the meeting for those who had come for the one issue to have enough concern for the schools and the students that they would stay for the entire meeting.  – Roger Ball More…

Frost writes radio station attempting to silence blogger 7

MARK SCHUMANN

Shawn Frost

Shawn Frost

According to WTTB radio host Bob Soos, Indian River County School Board member Shawn Frost sent an email threatening the station with loss of advertising revenue through his consulting firm if blogger Bea Gardner were not removed from her weekly slot on the Morning Magazine program.  Soos said Frost offered “other stuff” as well, and requested an opportunity to respond to Gardner “lies.”

Frost objected to Gardner’s reporting on questions raised about his residency qualifications to have run last Aug. for the District 1 seat on the Indian River County School Board.

Frost’s email to WTTB management is not the first expression of his frustration with Gardner. On Aug. 28, using the same IP address from which Frost communicated with Gardner in January, an anonymous commenter wrote,  “Still butthurt about being destroyed by both Wilson and Zorc in previous political ventures?” Frost has so far been unwilling to confirm or deny that he wrote the off-color comment to Gardner. (See Story)

Related stories:  More…

Did School Board member post crude comment on local blog? 2

MARK SCHUMANN

On Jan. 17, a person who identified himself as Shawn Frost posted a comment on blogger Bea Gardner’s site, Bea-Isms. Posting from IP address 69.247.236.10, and using the email address frost@shawnfrost.com, the commenter wrote, “Hi Bea, I hope we can meet in the future, but we wrote a bit about the logo on our campaign page. It was buried way behind the “about” menu.  I’m very proud of the logo my fellow Former-Marine-turned-graphic-designer created.  He used Gov. Romney’s 2012 logo for additional inspiration.  Here’s the story behind it…”

On Aug. 28, responding to a blog headlined “Frost might need GPS tracker…,” a commenter writing from the same IP address (69.247.236.10), using the email address fedora tip@buttmad.com, and identifying themselves as XxXL3_Fedora_TipXxX wrote to Gardner, “Still butthurt about being destroyed by both Wilson and Zorc in previous political ventures?” (In 2012, Gardner lost to Tim Zorc in the Republican primary race for the County Commission District 3 seat.)

Frost did not respond to an email inquiry from InsideVero for comment or clarification about whether he was the source of the Aug. 28 comment directed to Gardner.

 

Frost Comment To Beaa-Isms 2 Frost Comment to Bea-Isms 2

Brombach drops challenge to Frost’s residency qualifications 2

At least for this reporter, questions remain

COMMENTARY

Editor’s note: Though the Press Journal and the island weekly reported that former Indian River County School Board member Karen Disney-Bromback filed at legal challenge to Shawn Frost’s residency qualifications and has now dropped her lawsuit, neither publication pursued the facts in the case.  The following commentary includes links to several earlier published reports explaining more fully why questions remain about the veracity of Frost’s residency claims. 

MARK SCHUMANN

Shawn Frost

Shawn Frost

Former Indian River County School Board member Karen Disney-Bromback Friday dropped her legal challenge to Shawn Frost’s residency qualifications to serve District 1 on the School Board.

With heavy backing for the Florida Federation for Children and the American Federation for Children, Frost defeated Bromback in the Aug. 26 Republican primary election. Disney-Bromback, who was serving at the time as the president of the Florida Association of School Boards, was targeted by the two groups because of the Association’s opposition to the expansion of Florida’s school voucher program. (See: Outside money dominated local School Board Race)

Disney-Bromback filed her complaint in Circuit Court Sept. 19, but Circuit Judge Cynthia Cox could not find room on her docket for even a preliminary hearing until January. Frost was sworn in as a member of the School Board on Nov.18. They say the right decision made too late is the wrong decision. By failing to act more expeditiously on Disney-Bromback’s complaint, Judge Cox may have done the voters of Indian River County a terrible disservice. More…

Paul Horton appointed assistant dean at IRSC Reply

NEWS RELEASE

DR. PAUL HORTON

DR. PAUL HORTON

Dr. Paul Horton has been appointed Assistant Dean of Mathematics, Natural Science, Performing and Visual Arts at Indian River State College. He will oversee all mathematics, science, performing and visual arts programs with a focus on active learning and internship opportunities.

“Dr. Horton is committed to student success,” said Dr. Anthony Iacono, IRSC Vice President of Academic Affairs. “With his extensive experience in science education and his personal appreciation for the performing and visual arts, Dr. Horton will play an important role in the College’s continuing focus on science, technology, engineering and math while also maintaining focus on culture and the arts.” More…

Charter High School travels through ancient lands Reply

 

 

NEWS RELEASE

AncientLands_poster_1_150dpiOur 2014 fall fundraiser on November 19th through the 21st is titled, Journey into Ancient Lands. Indian River Charter High School’s semi-annual fundraiser will showcase the dedication and passion of our students. The mission of the Indian River Charter High School is to give its students the opportunity to develop a new set of competencies and foundational skills that will help them enjoy a productive, full, and satisfying life. This school is a high performance organization, which provides quality education to our young people through innovation and creativity.

The fall semester script is written by senior, Cheyenne Dong. Her script, accompanied by song, music, dance, and theatre, will carry the audience through ancient lands. Living statues will transition each performance piece across the ancient times  including work from Tarzan the musical, 19thcentury French composer Leo Delibes, Jesus Christ Superstar, and more ancient influenced compositions. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities available online at IRCHS.org or the direct link is http://www.showclix.com/events/irchs Tickets and sponsorship opportunities also available by phone772.567.6600 ext. 235

Changing of the guard at IRSC’s Mueller Center Reply

MILT THOMAS

David Sullivan

David Sullivan

Casey Lunceford

Casey Lunceford

Dr. David Sullivan, who has served as provost at the Indian River State College Mueller Center in Vero Beach, has retired after 18 years at the helm. Anyone who lived here 18 years ago is familiar with the monumental growth that has occurred on that campus. Sullivan has had his hand in virtually all that growth and every other change in that period of time. “When I came here, people wanted to know why we put this campus in the middle of nowhere. Now it is the heart of everything.” More…

Educational reform and accountability: What is best for ALL children? 2

GUEST COMMENTARY

CLAUDIA JIMENEZ

Editor’s Note: Claudia Jimenez is a member of the Indian River County School Board and co-chair of Connected4Kinds.

Claudia Jimenez

Claudia Jimenez

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court determined that the voucher program then in place, the Opportunity Scholarship Program was, “… fostering plural, nonuniform systems of education in direct violation of the constitutional mandate for a uniform system of free public schools” and was therefore unconstitutional (Bush v. Holmes, 919 So. 2d 392 – Florida Supreme Court 2006).

Since then, the debate over public education has become divisive with opposing camps supporting ‘choice’ (virtual, charter or vouchers for private, including religious schools) or traditional public schools. Well-meaning, caring individuals are found on both sides of this issue. More…