Officials from around the county gathered this week to launch the new Health Sciences Collegiate Academy (HSCA), which will allow students in south Lake County to earn a high school diploma while taking health sciences classes at Lake-Sumter State College.
Health Sciences Collegiate Academy Signing

Health Sciences Collegiate Academy Signing

The program is a collaborative effort involving five partners – Lake County Schools, Lake-Sumter State College, South Lake Hospital, the University of Central Florida and Montverde Academy. It is designed to prepare students for careers and/or additional college study in one of the fastest growing fields in the nation.

“These entities have worked together to forge a partnership that will spur a passion for health care and science, technology, engineering and math in our young people in Lake County,’’  David Christiansen, Ed.D., Chief Academic Officer at Lake County Schools, said during a ceremonial signing event on March 3 at Lake-Sumter State College. “It’s exciting to consider how the future of our county will be impacted by this partnership.”

Initially, the HSCA will accept students in south Lake schools who will enter the ninth grade in the fall of 2015. While attending their zoned high schools as freshmen and sophomores, students will participate in health science exploration activities and events at South Lake Hospital and Lake-Sumter State College. As juniors and seniors, students will take classes at the college’s South Lake Campus and participate in internships at South Lake Hospital.

Parents in south Lake will receive more information about the HSCA in the mail and at their students’ schools this month.

Students districtwide can register now for Advanced Placement (AP) Seminars planned for Saturday, April 11, at Tavares and Lake Minneola high schools and Saturday, April 25, at Eustis and South Lake high schools. The sessions are 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

AP_logoThese three-hour districtwide sessions are designed to give students extra practice and review for AP exams. The seminars include test-taking strategies, practice exam questions and content overviews. They will be designed and taught by AP teachers from across the district.

Students can select times and subjects for the sessions they want to attend. AP Human Geography, US History, World History, Psychology, and English Language Composition will be offered both dates. AP Calculus, Statistics and Environmental Science will be offered April 25.

Thirty seats are available for each session. Use the links below to register.

• Registration for the April 11th seminars runs through April 8, 2015 at

• Registration for the April 25th seminars runs through April 20, 2015 at

Students can receive more information about the seminars from their AP teachers.
Lake County Schools is the 19th largest school district in the state of Florida, serving approximately 41,000 students across 45 learning sites including conversion charter schools and a virtual school. Our mission is to provide every student with individual opportunities to excel. For more information, visit http://www.lake.k12.fl.us. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LakeSchools.

Title I hosts Family Fun and Resource Fair

Title I hosts Family Fun and Resource Fair

Lake County School’s Title I program I hosting a Family Fun and Resource Fair on Saturday, March 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Leesburg High School Cafeteria, 1401 Jacket Way, Leesburg. The event is open to families with students in Lake County Title I schools only. Families will be given information on medical services, food pantries, clothing, educational support, housing and employment opportunities. They will also have the opportunity to participate in educational games and win door prizes. Lunch will be provided.

Families participated in a similar event in November. The Families in Transition Resource Fair at Lake-Sumter State College featured several hours of free health screenings, registrations for free cell phone service, gas card giveaways, free backpacks, games, craft projects and more.

Title I is the federal program that provides funding to local school districts to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students. Lake County has 18 Title I schools where at least 70 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch.

Members of the South Lake High School wrestling team pose for a picture earlier this season.

Members of the South Lake High School wrestling team pose for a picture earlier this season.

Three members of the South Lake High School wrestling team posted top-four finishes at the Class 2A-District 5 meet on Feb. 28 in Inverness. Justin Acevedo, Ivan Gonzalez and Kaliph O’Neal will advance to the Class 2A-Region 2 tournament this weekend, March 6-7 at Brandon High School. The program is on a first-year comeback after being on hiatus for the last six years.

See the full story in the South Lake Press.

Congratulations to Justin Crouch of Umatilla High School! He is Lake County’s Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made at a celebration dinner presented by the Educational Foundation of Lake County on Feb. 28.

Pictured from left, Umatilla High School Principal Randell Campbell, Teacher Justin Crouch, Superintendent Dr. Susan Moxley, School Board members Rosanne Brandeburg and Marc Dodd)

Pictured from left, Umatilla High School Principal Randell Campbell, Teacher Justin Crouch, Superintendent Dr. Susan Moxley, School Board members Rosanne Brandeburg and Marc Dodd)

Crouch began his teaching career four years ago as a social studies teacher at Umatilla High School. He continues in that role and serves as the department chair, mentoring other teachers and facilitating weekly Professional Development meetings. He works with a wide range of students, from those scoring at lower reading levels to those in his upper level Advanced Placement Macroeconomics course and uses innovative ways to help all of them achieve. He wrote lesson plans that are being used for a unit in Economics and AP Macroeconomics throughout Lake County. It centers on a chapter in Terry Anderson and Donald Leal’s book Free Market Environmentalism and is focused on the effects of the privatization of public parks. He was the 2013-14 Rookie teacher of the Year for Umatilla High and is the 2014-15 Social Studies Teacher of the Year for Umatilla High.

Crouch was one of three finalists for the award. The others were Julie Forgie of Windy Hill Middle School and Melissa Meadows of Treadway Elementary School.

BGMC-Like-us-on-facebook-big-banner (1)

Please visit and Like: https://www.facebook.com/Lakeschoolshr

Mary Ellen Griffith-Russo, a Mount Dora Florida Standards Teacher.

Mary Ellen Griffith-Russo, a Mount Dora Florida Standards Teacher.

Lake Legal News will publish an investigative report in their March issue by Mary Ellen Griffith-Russo, a Mount Dora Florida Standards Teacher and published author. Taken from her Master’s thesis research, the non-fiction article examines the case of Leo Schofield, a man who was convicted of his wife’s brutal murder based solely on circumstantial evidence. Schofield has always maintained his innocence and years after his incarceration the fingerprints of another convicted murderer were found in the victim’s car.

Griffith-Russo has been teaching in Lake County for six years and writing for local publications including Lake Healthy Living and Lake Sumter Style. She earned her MFA in non-fiction creative writing in 2013, after Atlantic Publishing put out her co-authored instructional softcover How to Be Successful in Your First Year of Teaching Middle School. Griffith-Russo lives in Eustis with her dog Charlie Barker, and two cats, Atticus Finch and Boo Radley.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,369 other followers

%d bloggers like this: