Youth Corner

Health Occupation Students at Tavares High Excel at Regional Competition

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TAVARES — In its first year of existence, the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter at Tavares High School, which includes students in the school’s Health Careers Academy, brought home an impressive array of honors from the HOSA Regional Leadership Conference at Cypress Creek High School this past weekend.

This conference is a forum for students to compete in events involving health careers. Competitive events at the conference included medical spelling, CPR skills, epidemiology, pharmacology knowledge tests, forensic medicine, biomedical debate, HOSA (brain) bowl and about 25 other events. Most of the competitions are interactive supporting hands-on skills.

The Tavares High students matched their learned knowledge against other students from the region, which includes Lake, Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Fourteen of Tavares High’s HOSA Chapter qualified to participate at the State Regional Conference, which be held on March 31-April 3 in Jacksonville.

“This is the inaugural year for our HOSA Chapter, and to have such an impressive showing is very commendable and it did not go unnoticed by other established chapters taking part in the conference,” said Carlos Reyes, Lead Instructor for the Health Careers Academy at Tavares High and HOSA Advisor. “With a projected job growth of 24 percent by the year 2018, these future health care professionals are already making great strides toward what are sure to be rewarding careers.”

Students who qualified to participate in the HOSA State Regional Conference include:

•    Biomedical Debate — Sydney Moyer, Blake Nutt & Megan Wallace
•    HOSA Bowl — Stephanie Doyle, Kristin Lloyd, Ananya Rajan & Sandy Wang
•    Interview Skills — Cameron Reid

•    Extemporaneous Speaking — Miranda Beck
•    HOSA Bowl — Coral Lozano, Pop Nanthakijar & Div Solanki
•    Medical Spelling — Kallie Santos

•    Pharmacology Knowledge Testing — Anthony Tran

The Tavares High HOSA Chapter is in need of sponsors to assist the group in covering expenses for its trip to the State Regional Conference. The registration fee for the conference is $77 for each participant and this cost does not include accommodation or travel expenses. Individuals or business interested in sponsoring the Tavares High HOSA Chapter are encouraged to contact Carlos Reyes by calling (352) 343-3007 or e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Two Lake County High school Teams Advance to State Finals in Florida FFA Event

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TAVARES — Florida FFA recently announced the results of the 2010-2011 Agricultural Business Management Career Development Event (CDE) preliminary and two high schools from Lake County Schools (South Lake High & Umatilla High) will be competing at the state finals on April 22nd at the University of Florida.

Twenty-eight teams from throughout Florida gathered to compete for a spot in the State Agricultural Business Management CDE Finals at the preliminary event held on January 20th. The top 11 high schools advanced with South Lake High placing seventh and Umatilla High coming in at 10th.

“This ag-business team has been together for the past three years and it’s nice to see them going to state their senior years and to know that all their hard work paid off,” said Wayne Lively, Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at Umatilla High.

Students on the two teams include:

•    Kyler Watts, 11th grade
•    Clayton Willis, 11th grade
•    Shelby Galladay, 11th grade

•    Paul Lengemann, 12th grade
•    Jessica Lee, 12th grade
•    Amber Perrick, 12th grade
•    Amber Tsirnikas, 11th grade

The purpose of the Agricultural Business Management CDE is to foster information assimilation, critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to successfully manage a farm or pursue agricultural business management careers.

The FFA is a national organization that promotes agricultural education and youth in leadership in its 523,309 FFA members, aged 12-21 in 7,487 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. The FFA operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st U.S. Congress and is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. FFA challenges its members to excel through its model of Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve. For more information, log on to www.ffa.org.


STEM Bowl Deemed a Success by Organizers

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The winning teams posed for a group photograph after each day of competition at the inaugural Lake County STEM Bowl. The fourth-grade top finishers (top) included first place Clermont Elementary (middle), second place Eustis Heights Elementary (left) and third place Grassy Lake Elementary (right). The fifth grade top finishers included (above) first place Eustis Elementary (middle), second place Clermont Elementary (left) and third place Cypress Ridge Elementary (right).TAVARES — When the dust settled at Lake County Schools first inaugural STEM Bowl hosted at Golden Triangle YMCA on February 3-4, teams of fourth and fifth graders from many local elementary schools cheered not only for the winners, but for the success of the academic competition.

“We’re proud of you for many reasons,” said Rhonda Hunt, Director of Elementary Curriculum for Lake County Schools, to the crowd of fourth graders on Thursday. “You are the academic leaders at your school and I look forward to seeing you next year at the STEM Bowl as fifth graders.”

Lake County Schools first-ever STEM Bowl pitted teams of five students from area elementary schools testing their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Teams were given five minutes to solve a problem and each team received 10 questions. If a team solved the problem correctly in the first minute it received 10 points. If the team solved the problem in the second minute, it was worth seven points, and with each minute that ticked off the team received fewer points.

One of the primary purposes of the competition was to foster more problem solving and higher-order thinking in elementary schools. Based upon murmurs throughout the audience, it was apparent some of the questions even stumped the crowd. An example of one of the tougher questions from Thursday’s bowl was:

“Arielle is paddling her kayak up the river against the current. Every time she paddles 300 yards she has to rest. While resting, the current pushes her kayak back 20 yards. If this pattern continues, how many times will Arielle rest before she travels 1,400 yards?”

Seventeen elementary schools participated in the fourth grade competition on Thursday while an additional four elementary schools had teams for the fifth grade event on Friday. Perhaps even more impressive than the participation by students was the outpouring of support for STEM Bowl from the community. Hundreds of parents, grandparents and other members from the community filled the YMCA’s gymnasium on both days to cheer on their favorite team.

In addition, the local business community provided support for the event. Contributing to the competition was Rotary Club of Eustis, Florida Hospital Waterman, Cecil Clark Chevrolet, Danny Len Buick, Van Gannaway Chevrolet, Chick-fil-A, Sonic, Froggers, Harden-Pauli Funeral Home, Tom Grizzard ERA Realty, Data Graphics, Educator’s Outlet, Golden Triangle YMCA, Bill Carter and Amy Townsend.

Results from both days of competition are as follows:


FIRST PLACE — Clermont Elementary, Sponsor: Venessa King, Fourth Grade Teacher
•    Eugenia Cashman
•    Anjali Jokhulall
•    Alec Weigel
•    Liliana Vela
•    Laramie Leamon

SECOND PLACE — Eustis Heights Elementary, Sponsor: Mona Lataille, Third & Fourth Grade Teacher
•    Zev Karve
•    Christian Lopez
•    Ashley Sage
•    Kaderia Walker
•    Isaac Ranson

THIRD PLACE — Grassy Lake Elementary, Sponsor: Tracy Wood, Math Coach
•    Koby Smith
•    Eric de Quevedo
•    Caitlyn Matthews
•    Alicia Dean
•    Dylan Ianuzzi


FIRST PLACE — Eustis Elementary, Sponsor: Debbie Hartog, Curriculum Resource Teacher
•    Ricky Edins
•    Audrey Houstoun
•    Haylee Rasmussen
•    Marion Harper
•    Amala Ekpunobi

SECOND PLACE — Clermont Elementary, Sponsor: Deb Dvorak, Fourth Grade Teacher
•    Chase Coon
•    Samantha Christopher
•    Will Nowak
•    Madison Fabber
•    Tony Vidakovic

THIRD PLACE — Cypress Ridge Elementary, Sponsor: Virginia Schoenthaler, Science Enrichment Teacher
•    Nico Corbo
•    Robby Gonzalez
•    Steven Horn
•    Aimee Munoz
•    Jonathan Small


Fifth Graders at Minneola Elementary Provide a Magical Music Experience

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MINNEOLA — What do you get when you combine an entire fifth grade class, an energetic teacher and one the most popular theme parks? A day the 162 fifth graders at Minneola Elementary School will not soon forget.

On January 20th, fifth graders from Minneola Elementary performed for Disney Magic Music Days at Downtown Disney. The opportunity that was afforded to these students isn’t something that comes easy and was the result of their talent and their teacher’s hard work.

“Through an audition process, I sent Disney a video of a musical they learned in fourth grade,” said Angelo Caponi, Enrichment Teacher at Minneola Elementary. “With some fine tuning, we were accepted to perform in front of a live audience. In exchange, my students were able to attend EPCOT for the rest of the day.”

The group sang The Disney Spectacular by Mac Huff. This revue in four sections includes “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” “How D'Ye Do and Shake Hands,” “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo,” “I've Got No Strings,” “Feed the Birds,” “Chim Chim Cheree,” “Step in Time,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Heigh-Ho,” “Whistle While You Work,” “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” “Candle on the Water,” “Give a Little Whistle,” “The Bare Necessities,” “Ballad of Davy Crockett,” “I'm Late,” “It's a Small World,” “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Mickey Mouse March.”

All of the numbers were performed with choreography. “Candle on the Water,” for example, was performed using sign language.

“The kids got to go ‘backstage,’ which was a thrill for them,” Caponi said. “I had a ball teaching them and it will be an experience they will never forget.”


Astatula Elementary Students Rock, Roll & Read

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ASTATULA — Second grade at Astatula Elementary School had a rocking good time at its Accelerated Reader Celebration on January 21st.

The school celebrates a theme each nine weeks to encourage reading. Astatula Elementary’s recent theme was “Reading Rocks!” During the Accelerated Reading Celebration, students were rewarded for their hard work with a chance to unwind playing an assortment of rocking games, including Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Just Dance and musical chairs. Students also performed karaoke and hula hooping.

“Usually the last day of the nine weeks is set aside to celebrate the students who have met their Accelerated Reader goals for the nine weeks,” said Annette Miller, a teacher at Astatula Elementary. “It is a day full of fun to celebrate reading. Students get very excited about reading for the Accelerated Reader program and meeting their goals. Each student reads Accelerated Reader books on his or her individual reading levels and takes Accelerated Reader tests to work toward the goal.”

Astatula Elementary thanks the many parent volunteers who helped to organize the Accelerated Reading Celebration.

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