Lake County Schools Congratulates Three Finalists for Rookie Teacher of the Year

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altTAVARES — Last month, School Board members, Lake County Schools Superintendent and Educational Foundation of Lake County Board members made a surprise visit to three teachers selected as finalists for the Teacher of the Year award. The group of dignitaries reprised their role as bearers of good news on Thursday, February 10th, as they caravanned to three school sites to personally congratulate the finalists for the Rookie Teacher of Year award: Natalie Bridgewater at Gray Middle School in Groveland; Harold Nelson at Triangle Elementary School in Mount Dora; and Kimberly Peterson at Clermont Middle School.

The finalists were selected based upon a panel of judges’ review of their application. To be eligible for the award, teachers must have three years of experience or less. The final selection will be announced at the Educational Foundation’s “Rookie Teachers of the Year Celebration” on March 29th at Lake-Sumter Community College’s Everett A. Kelly Convocation Center in Leesburg after another panel of judges’ conducts on site interviews and observes the three finalists in the classroom. More information about the three finalists includes:

Natalie Bridgewater — She began her career with Lake County Schools three years ago as a guidance counselor at Gray Middle School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from Oakland University. An active volunteer, she has helped out various organizations as a crisis counselor and intervention specialist, but is currently volunteering with Cornerstone Hospice. “Natalie is very personable,” said Dr. Janice Boyd, Principal of Gray Middle School. “She is willing to do anything she is asked, and she is very child oriented. She rounds out our guidance department.”

Harold Nelson — He is in his second year of teaching fifth graders at Triangle Elementary School after starting at Lake County Schools as a teacher in an Emotional Behavior Disorder classroom. A former instructor and operator for a U.S. Navy nuclear power plant training facility, Nelson earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2008 while serving as a substitute teacher. “Teaching, in its purest form, is a gift,” he wrote in his nomination application for Rookie Teacher of the Year. “Part of this gift is sharing the joy of learning with students whose minds are eager to embrace the mysteries and hidden treasures of the world around them and to revel in their excitement of discovery.”

Kimberly Peterson — She is currently in her second year of teaching an Emotional Behavior Disorder class at Clermont Middle School. In her application, she writes that she creates a safe and nurturing teaching environment that delivers individualized academic instruction that’s interactive and supports diverse styles of learning and promotes success for all. “We’re very pleased to have her,” said David Coggshall, Principal of Clermont Middle School. “She’s working with children with special needs, and if those needs are not met, it’s not good for them or the school.”


Volunteers Honored for their Service

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altTAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners recognized 21 volunteers on Tuesday, February 15th for their contribution of 200 or more hours of documented service in 2010.

The list of volunteers who were recognized includes: Milan Barabas; Michelle Brady; Louie Brewer; Angel Crosas; E. Gail Currey; Peggy Ekberg; Sally Fisher; Dolores Greenhalgh; Lea Greer; Ellen Janetka; Charles Keller; Carolyn Long; Natalie Manley; Patricia Miller; Donald Roy; Donald Schreiner; Elizabeth Schwarten; John Walton; Neil Wasserman; George Wingate; and Howard Youngmeyer.
“Volunteers are an integral part of our ability to effectively serve our citizens,” said Susan Irby, Employee Services Director. “They help fulfill Lake County’s vision of offering an unsurpassed quality of life, and we sincerely appreciate their efforts. “

Last year, more than 500 volunteers gave over 24,000 hours of service to Lake County. The contributions made by volunteers included assistance in programs such as adult literacy, teen court, animal services, agricultural education, courtesy shuttle transportation and libraries.

For more information on the County’s Volunteer Program, contact Jeannine Nelson, Employee Services Specialist with the Lake County Department of Employee Services at (352) 343-9784 or log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov, keyword search “volunteer”.


Commissioners Cadwell and Campione Help Break Ground on Welcome Center for Camp Boggy Creek

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Left to right: Tom Warlow, Chairman, The Andersen Foundation (primary funder of the project), Pat Cooper, Chairman of the Board, Camp Boggy Creek, June Clark, President & CEO, Camp Boggy Creek, County Commissioner Leslie Campione, District 4, County Commissioner Welton Cadwell, District 5.EUSTIS — County Commissioners Cadwell and Campione joined other officials, donors and contractors on Wednesday, February 9th to help break ground for a new Welcome Center at Camp Boggy Creek, located at 30500 Brantley Branch Road, Eustis.

The 18,000 square-foot, $2 million facility will be located at the entrance to the 232-acre property and will be the first point of contact for arriving camp-goers and visitors. The facility includes 13,686 square-feet of interior space to house the Camp’s administrative, fundraising, marketing and accounting staff, along with a 4,441 square-foot covered porch.

The project is expected to be complete in July 2011.

Camp Boggy Creek opened in 1996 and is a year-round medical camp for children ages 7-16 who suffer from chronic or life-threatening illnesses. The Camp offers week-long summer sessions and family retreat weekends at no charge to the children or families. Since opening, over 50,000 children and their family members have participated in programs at the Camp.

Funding for Camp operations is made possible through donations received by individuals, corporations, foundations and healthcare partners.

For more information about Camp Boggy Creek, log on to www.BoggyCreek.org, or contact Sarah Gurtis at (352) 483-4200 x688.


Cypress Ridge Elementary Lottery Applications

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Cypress Ridge will begin accepting lottery applications on March 1st for students who will be entering kindergarten through fifth grades during the 2011-12 school year.  CRES is a magnet school for the South Lake community with curriculum emphasizing Math, Science and Technology.  Cypress Ridge serves the student population in the following elementary school zones:  Astatula, Clermont, Grassy Lake, Groveland, Lost Lake, Mascotte, Minneola, Pine Ridge and Sawgrass Bay Elementary.  If you currently live in one of these school zones and would like to enter the lottery for our school, please stop by the office and complete an application beginning March 1st.  Bus transportation is not provided to Cypress Ridge students.  Parents must provide transportation.  These applications will be accepted through March 31st, 2011.  The deadline will be at 3:00 p.m. on this day.

Applications are available on normal school days from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM in the front office.  Completed applications must include:
•    A recent utility bill (power or water) for proof of residence
•    Birth certificate for Kindergarten (to verify age)
•    Recent report card for grades 1-5 (to verify grade level)
•    Self-addressed, stamped envelope (long, letter size)

Lake County Government Offices to Close for President’s Day

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altTAVARES— All offices of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Clerk of Courts, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector will be closed Monday, February 21st in observance of President’s Day.

The following Lake County Library System libraries will be closed for President’s Day and will reopen on Tuesday, February 22nd, with regularly scheduled hours:
•    Astor County Library, 54905 Alco Road, Astor
•    Cagan Crossings Community Library, 16729 Cagan Oaks, Clermont
•    Cooper Memorial Library, 2525 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont
•    East Lake County Library, 31340 County Road 437, Sorrento
•    Lady Lake Public Library, 225 W. Guava St., Lady Lake
•    Marianne Beck Memorial Library, 112 W. Central Ave., Howey-in-the-Hills
•    Marion Baysinger Memorial County Library, 756 W. Broad St., Groveland
•    Minneola Schoolhouse Library, 100 S. Main St., Minneola
•    Paisley County Library, 24954 County Road 42, Paisley
•    Umatilla Public Library, 412 Hatfield Drive, Umatilla
•    W.T. Bland Public Library, 1995 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora
Libraries that will remain open on Feb. 21 include:
•    Fruitland Park Library, located at 205 W. Berckman St.
•    Helen Lehmann Memorial Library, 17435 Fifth St., Montverde
•    Leesburg Public Library, 100 E. Main St., Leesburg
•    City of Tavares Public Library, 314 N. New Hampshire Ave., Tavares

The Lake County Department of Public Works, Solid Waste customer service and administrative offices will be closed February 21st. The Lake County Central Solid Waste Facility, located at 13130 County Landfill Road in Tavares will remain open, with hours of operation being 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last load accepted). All residential garbage and recycling collection will have normal operations on February 21st, but all drop-off centers will be closed as normally scheduled.

LakeXpress, Lake County’s fixed-route bus service, along with Lake County Connection, the County’s door-to-door paratransit service, will operate as normal on February 21st.
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