Take Stock in Children of Lake and Sumter Counties received a generous donation of $25,000 at the Rotary Club of the Villages weekly membership meeting this month.

tsic1The Rotary Club and its members have been a longtime supporter of the Take Stock in Children program, not just through donations but many of the members are mentors for the program as well. The Rotary Club held its 17th Annual Firefight Chili Cook-Off in February 2014 at Sumter Landing in the Villages. The Take Stock in Children team took third place for best booth with this year’s themed booth being “Peace, Love and Chili.”

“The award of $25,000 will be used to provide a two-year Florida Pre-Paid Scholarship to six students in our community”, said Gail Weidner, Program Manager of Take Stock in Children.

Take Stock in Children, a program of the Educational Foundation of Lake County, identifies financially at-risk students in the eighth grade, provides them with a mentor and an advocate and then rewards them at high school graduation with a college tuition scholarship.

For Information on volunteering, mentoring or becoming a donor, please contact weidnerg@lake.k12.fl.us, or visit www.edfoundationlake.com.

Community members and business partners are invited to meet Dr. Rhonda Boone, newly assigned principal at Mount Dora High School, and her administrative team on Thursday, July 31, at 9 a.m.

Students and parents will have an opportunity to meet Dr. Boone during orientation on Thursday, Aug. 14, from 8 to 11 a.m.

Dr. Boone started working with Lake County Schools in 1997 as a dean at Leesburg High School. Her stops as assistant principal included Leesburg High, Treadway Elementary, Fruitland Park Elementary, East Ridge High and Eustis Middle. She most recently was principal at Treadway Elementary.

For more information about either event at Mount Dora High, located at 700 N. Highland Ave., call 352-383-2177.

Art_Fair_005_2014Lake County Schools is seeking sponsors for its first-ever Arts & Cultural Festival, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Wooton Park in Tavares.

The event will showcase the innumerable arts and cultural activities happening at local schools. In addition to promoting the arts (performing and visual), the festival will provide schools an opportunity to fundraise for needed supplies and equipment for arts and cultural programs.

“Lake County Schools appreciates its business partners and wants to offer an opportunity for companies to benefit from its engagement with sponsorship levels at the 2014 Lake County Schools Arts & Cultural Festival,” said Brian Payne, Community Resource Liaison for Lake County Schools. “A strategic partnership with Lake County Schools provides high-profile exposure allowing you to reach top community leaders, corporations and families through ongoing promotional and sponsorship opportunities.”

$100 – Supporting Sponsorship

    • Company name and logo on all materials related to events
    • Company listing in the sponsorship page of the LCS Arts & Cultural Festival website
  • $500 – Presenting Sponsorship


    • Benefits of Supporting Sponsorship
  • Plus…


    • Recognition of company with placement of company name on festival T-shirts
    • Recognition in event program
  • $1,000 – Premier Sponsorship


    • Benefits of Presenting Sponsorship
  • Plus…


    • Prominent logo placement on LCS Arts & Cultural Festival T-shirts
    • Prominent logo placement on LCS Arts & Cultural Festival website
    • Sponsorship of pre-event media release
  • $5,000 – Presidential Sponsorship


    • Benefits of Premier Sponsorship
  • Plus…


    • Stage sponsorship of a performance
  • $10,000 – Platinum Sponsorship


    • Benefits of Presidential Sponsorship
  • Plus…


    • Booth placement at event
    • Premiere platinum seating at event

For more information about Lake County Schools’ Arts & Cultural Festival, log on to http://artfair.lake.k12.fl.us or contact Brian Payne at 352-253-6517 or payneb@lake.k12.fl.us.

EMS-Site-Traffic-Redesign-ModelSchool district officials are extending the car rider line at Eustis Middle to help relieve traffic congestion on Bates Avenue during school start and ending times.

From east to west on Bates Avenue, the first two driveways for the school are reserved for the entrance and exit for buses. The third and final driveway into the school’s staff parking lot will be the entrance and exit for the car rider line. Vehicles will enter the school campus, travel around the parking lot, proceed around the back of the school and end up on the paved school track. Students will be picked up at a sidewalk on the east side the school’s courtyard.

To exit the campus, vehicles will traverse around the school track and proceed the same way they entered the campus. To complete the new car rider line, the Maintenance Department is installing a new gravel connector road between a small parking lot at the back of the school and the school track.

Remember, Lake County Schools is standardizing bell schedules for the 2014-2015 school year. The new bell schedule for the start of school on Monday, Aug. 18, is:

    • High school — 7:20 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.
    • Elementary school — 8:25 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. (exception is Beverly Shores Elementary, Eustis Heights Elementary and Leesburg Elementary)
    • Middle school — 9:20 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.

For more information, contact Eustis Middle School at 352-357-3366.

The communities of Sorrento and Tavares will have the opportunity to meet and greet new principals at Sorrento and Tavares elementary schools during events, both hosted on Tuesday, July 29, at 5 p.m.

Brenna Burkhead is the new principal at Sorrento Elementary, located at 24605 Wallick Road. She started working with Lake County Schools in 1988. Her experience includes media specialist at Fruitland Park and Villages elementary schools, assistant principal at Treadway Elementary and assistant principal & principal at Eustis Heights Elementary.

“I look forward to working with the school and community to become a part of the Sorrento Elementary Family,” Burkhead said. “As a product of Lake County Schools, being a part of a local school community is important to me. I know as a team we will make the coming year one of the best yet.”

Durenda McKinney is the new principal at Tavares Elementary, located at 720 E. Clifford St. She began working with Lake County Schools as a kindergarten teacher at the former Skeen Elementary. Her administrative experience includes assistant principal at Fruitland Park Elementary and principal at Leesburg Elementary.

“I am so excited for the opportunity to work with the school and community of Tavares,” McKinney said. “I look forward to being a part of the local school community. I know that by working together, great things are in our future.”

For more information about the meet-and-greet events, call Sorrento Elementary at 352-385-1140 or Tavares Elementary at 352-343-2861.

Join Superintendent of Lake County Schools Dr. Susan Moxley at an open forum on Tuesday, July 29, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Clermont Community Center, located at 620 W. Montrose St.

During “Innovation Exchange,” Dr. Moxley will share updates and insights regarding Lake County Schools. Participation at the forum is encouraged for business leaders, community members and parents. The forum is an opportunity to exchange ideas, insights and challenges.

“The goals for Innovation Exchange are simple,” said Dr. Moxley. “I want to share what is happening in the schools with parents, families, staff and our entire community. The school district needs to create a sense of connection to the schools for everyone, not just the students and families. We can unite and work together for the betterment of all students and schools.”

Participants are encouraged to visit http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/innovation to suggest a topic for the forum. Some suggested topics for the forum include: changes to state assessments and accountability system; school district’s capital and operating finances; and community & volunteering.

For more information about Innovation Exchange, contact the Superintendent’s Office at 352-253-6515 or email pattonc@lake.k12.fl.us.

Innovation Exchange

Some of Lake County’s top elementary schools in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) were recognized last month as part of the school district’s STEM School Challenge.

STEM schools“Each year elementary schools participate in Lake County Schools’ STEM School Challenge,” said Kathlene Jarvis, Director of the Curriculum Department for Lake County Schools. “In order to qualify there are several rigorous criteria that schools have to complete.”

Fourteen elementary schools — Astatula Elementary, Cypress Ridge Elementary, Eustis Heights Elementary, Grassy Lake Elementary, Groveland Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Round Lake Elementary Conversion Charter, Sawgrass Bay Elementary, Seminole Springs Elementary, Sorrento Elementary, Tavares Elementary, Treadway Elementary, Triangle Elementary and Umatilla Elementary — were recognized at the Lake County School Board meeting on June 23 for earning the distinction of becoming a Lake County Schools’ designated STEM School. To receive the designation of 2013-2014 STEM School, schools were required to complete five STEM-related components:

    • Construct a STEM Professional Learning Community that focuses on STEM implementation.
    • Conduct a STEM related practice team that meets at a minimum once a week to provide enrichment opportunities and prepare the students for the annual STEM Bowl Competition.
    • Participate in the Lake County STEM Bowl.
    • Hold a STEM Family Night with interactive STEM activities and community involvement. Plan and implement a minimum of four problem-based learning experiences in all grade levels

A national initiative to support STEM activities in schools is helping to increase the ability for students to think critically, solve complex problems and, hopefully in the future, drive advancements in science and technology. Lake County students participate in a variety of STEM programs and competitions, such as LEGO Robotics, science fairs, STEM Bowl, Math Counts and Mu Alpha Theta. In addition, a host of Career and Technical Education programs offered at high schools support STEM initiatives.


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