In the News

2014 - 2015 News and Announcements


Under the direction of Dr. Brett Lauren, PhD Director of Graduate Training Professor of Psychology at FAU, Grade 3 through 5 students at Palm Pointe will be participating in a research study entitled " School Experiences in Childhood and Adolescence." The purpose of this project is to examine how individual characteristics of friends shape child adjustment and school achievement.

Mrs. Callejas' and Mrs. Lloyd's second grade classes are learning and practicing the T.E.A.M. expectations. The teachers know the "recipe for success" and that begins with cooperation from all. The students were supplied with a baggie of all the right ingredients for a successful year! Aren't their little chefs adorable?


Palm Pointe teachers, along with Principal Debra Snyder traveled to Gainesville as invited guests to the Best Practices Developmental Research School conference. Teachers presented at different sessions to over 100 participants.

Teachers from Palm Pointe are involved in many Summer Learning Opportunities. These teachers are participating in The Coaching Cohort while honing their craft to increase student achievement.


Kyle Kryak joined Colby Kuba and the entire fifth grade at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently to share his experience living with Tourette Syndrome. Kyle shared his adventures in traveling across the United States raising awareness and promoting acceptance. Palm Pointe recently raised $600 to contribute to finding a cure! Some inspiring words to the students, "People are good, never give up, follow your dreams, treat everyone with respect, persevere, embrace who you are, accept others". Pictured from left is Colby Kuba and Kyle Kryak.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition would like to congratulate the following students for placing recently in the Dr. Samuel S. Gaines Essay Contest. Annarose Hilhorst a fourth grader in Ms. Perry's class placed First in the Elementary School Category, Riley Holtzclaw a fifth grader in Ms. Patton's class placed Second in the Elementary School Category, and Laney Keys a third grader in Ms. Clancy's class placed Third in the Elementary Category. Athresha Kalluri a sixth grader in Mrs. Fazzalaro's class placed First in the Middle School Category. These students will be recognized at the St Lucie County School board meeting on April 28, 2015. Pictured from left is Athresha Kalluri, Laney Keys, Principal, Ms. Debra Snyder, Annarose Hilhorts and Riley Holtzclaw. Way to Go Rockets!


Palm Pointe Educational Research School won the St. Lucie County Middle School Soccer Championship on Saturday, February 7. The coach of the team was Mr. Robert Santoro, Physical Education teacher and athletic director at the school. "It was truly a team effort throughout the day as both the offense and defense had outstanding performances," said Mrs. Santoro. This was their first soccer championship. Ms. Debra Snyder, principal at Palm Pointe, and Mr. Santoro, are very proud of the athletes who worked so hard. Congratulations, Rockets on this outstanding accomplishment. Pictured from left is: Back Row (standing) - Nemuel Robinson, Nicholas Gebert, Michael Smith, Rian Jamai, Martin Alvarez-Quiorga, Keaton Hall, Coach Santoro. Middle Row - Sebastian Fernandez, Alexander Antonakos, Mark Allen and Front Row (kneeling) - John Sarullo, Alessandro Tavera, David Zepeda and Andre Gomes-Lopez.

Recently, Palm Pointe school finalists in the 2015 History Fair from grades six and eight celebrated their achievements in a special ceremony and exhibit gallery. This year's theme - Leadership and Legacy - challenged the students to research an individual in history who demonstrated extraordinary leadership in his/her respective field, and left a legacy which impacted future generations. Students selected one of five project options to showcase their research and historical analysis. Each finalist's project was then judged using the National History Day criteria, and a maximum of three students were selected from each category to advance to the district competition. The St. Lucie County Schools District History Fair will be held at Palm Pointe on Saturday, February 21st from 8:00am to 1:00pm.


Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition is so honored to win first place for the Martin Luther King Jr. “Week of Kindness”. The school did several activities during that week. Students in all grade levels K-8 decorated their doors with the Kindness theme. A school wide Diversity of Kindness wall was created by students who submitted kindness drawings and sayings. Teachers were given Kindness Coins to pass out to students and teachers for random acts of kindness throughout the week. To end the week students and staff dressed in one of the Kindness Colors for our Diversity of Kindness Day! The Week of Kindness was sponsored by the Treasure Coast Charmettes and the participants were from schools, churches and other organizations. The winners were chosen based on the quality of acts of kindness demonstrated during that week as well as how many people were impacted by the acts of kindness. Ms. Luvenia Morgan, Assistant Principal of St Lucie West K-8 came to Palm Pointe and presented the first place trophy to Palm Pointe Principal, Ms. Debra Snyder and Chairperson of the MLK Committee, Mrs. Debborah Estrada. Pictured from left is; Deborrah Estrada, Debra Snyder and Luvenia Morgan.

These four fifth grade students from Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition were selected to attend "Saturday with a Scientist" on Saturday, 10, 2015 at V.G.T.I. (Vaccine Gene Therapy Institute). Students were able to do several hands on science experiments. The students all learned valuable lessons and enjoyed the experiments that they did. Pictured from left is one of the V.G.T.I. Scientists, Bernol Roache, Matthew Tucker, Kate Barcelona, Aryan Vashishta and another V.G.T.I. Scientist.

Students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition participated in a Mismatch Day sponsored by the P.B.I.S. (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) program. Students used their earned rocket fuel for good behavior in the classroom to be able to dress mismatched. Pictured from left is sixth grade student Nadia Mihajlovski, fifth grader Sara Al-Turk and fifth grader Kailee Larmon.

St. Lucie Educators Recently Presented in China

Two years ago, St. Lucie County hosted a visit for RISE (Riverdeep Immersion Subject English) representatives from China. Observations of best practices and student engagement throughout the county made a lasting impression on our visitors. Our very own St. Lucie County educational leaders were invited to share their expertise in China at this year’s Sino-US Principals Summit. On August 14, 2013, Debra Snyder, Kathleen Perez, Principal and Assistant Principal from Palm Pointe Educational Research School, Lydia Martin, Principal of Southport Middle, and Liz Pruitt, St. Lucie County Math Curriculum Specialist traveled to China. They were given the opportunity to present to families of RISE students at several different venues. Presentations included sharing of best practices used in St. Lucie County Schools, comparisons between United States and Chinese schools and cultures as well as beliefs on how to prepare students to be productive, global citizens. The trip was hosted and funded by RISE, one of the premier children’s English learning companies in China.


Elementary students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition enjoyed a Holiday Chorus Concert as part of a Positive Behavior event. Students used their earned rocket fuel for good behavior in the classroom to attend the special program put on by music director, Christine Hill and her chorus students. The holiday songs were a great way to begin the upcoming holiday season and the students and staff loved it. Pictured is the chorus performing on stage and the students enjoying the show.

Recently at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition two West Point people came to speak with eighth grade students that were interested in attending West Point in the future. Mr. Chris Slate is an alum and in charge of admissions in this area. A sophomore cadet, Madison Crum also came to speak with students about the program. A video was shown about West Point, information given to the students and a question and answer session at the end. The students at Palm Pointe were very interested in the program and appreciated them coming to enlighten them on the procedures. Pictured from left is Cadet Madison Crum, Area Admissions Chris Slate and Guidance Counselor from Palm Pointe, Andrea Tang.


Recently, the kindergarten students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition spent some time learning about how to be a good citizen, and about the importance of rules. To enhance the lesson, Mrs. Rubel’s Kindergarten class had a visit from Chief Pruitt of the Jupter Inlet Colony Police Department. Chief Pruitt spoke to the students about the importance of rules and how they keep citizens safe. Chief Pruitt also discussed various safety topics such as: stranger safety, gun safety, fire safety, and bicycle safety. Chief Pruitt finished his presentation by fitting each of the students in the class with their own bicycle helmets that the students were able to take home. The class received many safety related items and materials all from a grant funded program. After Chief Pruitt’s visit, the kindergarten students in Mrs. Rubel’s class at Palm Pointe now feel even more prepared to be safe citizens!

Recently, the Palm Pointe Media Center was transformed into Sir Read-A-Lot's Castle. One Tuesday morning, Donuts for Dad was the theme and Princess Paige Turner (Mrs. Garber, Media Specialist) and Sir Read-A-Lot (Mrs. Ferguson, Media Clerk) welcomed our Rockets and their male role models to a bountiful banquet of books. Almost 40 families participated to show our students that "Real Men Read." This activity was held in conjunction with the district initiative to encourage men to be involved in our schools as well as our school-wide literacy focus this quarter. It was so rewarding to see our students and dads choosing books together and then sitting down to share them (and a donut) before school began for the day. Pictured from left is Media Clerk, Kathy Ferguson, Media Specialist, Elsie Garber and Dads with their children.

As a way to help out a Palm Pointe family who recently lost their home due to an electrical fire an eighth grade teacher, Mr. Demarais volunteered to have his head shaved. Students were asked to donate in order to help the family begin to rebuild. The class K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 with the highest donations would receive an ice cream party and were invited to watch the head shaving. One student was randomly selected from each winning class to cut a pony tail from Mr. Demarais head. Great Clips Hair Saloon donated their time to assist with the hair shaving. The pony tails were donated to Locks of Love, the national organization which provides wigs with children with cancer. Along with the fundraiser, household items and clothing were collected and donated for the entire family. Pictured from left is Olivia Scott, Jessica Lee, Emily Williams, Nick Stagg, Olivia Donnelly, Kris Demarais and Osee Lagrandeur.

The second grade classes at Palm Pointe Educational Research School had a Thanksgiving performance for family and friends. The students in all the classes sang a variety of songs under the direction of Christine Hill, music teacher and also played the drums and sticks for one song. After singing, the students presented a poem about Thanksgiving with different students taking part. It was a great performance and the guests loved it. Pictured is a group photo with students dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians for the show.


Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently held a workshop “Homework Help” for parents. St Lucie County’s Parent Academy came to Palm Pointe to provide parents with the tools to help them deal with common homework problems such as: refusing to do homework, talking, or waiting until the last minute. All parents with students in grades K-8 were invited to come to the event. This workshop was very informative for the parents and was well attended. Pictured is Craig Perry and Nancy Brown from the Parent Academy as they present information at the workshop.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition third graders have been studying character traits and how they affect the sequence of events in a story. The children decorated pumpkins to match the character in their story along with creating thinking maps and writing an essay. Pictured is Jackson Register with his book and pumpkin “Duck for President”.

Several pumpkins decorated with the book that the students read.

Kindergarten students and teachers at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition participated in the annual Storybook Character Parade. Students chose a book that they had read and dressed up like that character. Parents were invited to come and watch the parade. The parade route went around the school as the excited students waved to everyone. This event was awesome! Pictured from the front is teacher Cheryl Petrino, paraprofessional B-J Gallo, and teacher Heather Knapp along with students from both of their classes.

Students in the Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition Jazz Band recently spent their afternoon jazz period carving out musical pumpkins in their second annual Jazz O Lantern carving competition. Patterns ranged from original to store bought patterns. A great time was had by all. Pictured from left is Caleb Molina and Orret Hall.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition’s first grade students participated in Vocabulary Day. These proficient pupils transformed into vocabulary words for an audience of perfectly pleased parents. This performance task was a great success as students’ demonstrated understanding of tier 2 vocabulary, an essential skill for comprehension of complex text. Palm Pointe's first graders are feeling fabulous about their foundation in reading! Pictured from left is; Reese Parrish, Kayleigh Murnane, and Jaycie Mera students from Glenna Sigmon's first grade class.

Students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition were excited to participate in a Publix Math Night. A math skill scavenger hunt was held at the Tradition Square Publix. Clues and strategies to solve real world problems were given to the students in grades K-5. The problems were matched to the grade level of each student. Parents accompanied their kids and helped them with the scavenger hunt. This was a fun way to practice math! Pictured is; fifth grader Max Simco, his mother Marie Simco and fifth grader Sophia Tovar as they look for clues for the scavenger hunt.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition held their very own, Million Father March on October 7, 2014 to recognize all male role models. The event consisted of these men signing a pledge, being pinned by our staff and participating in a march, with their children, around the perimeter of Palm Pointe. Mr. Houston Tate, along with his father Bishop Tate and father-in-law, Henry Miller, were our guests of honor as well as our very own Palm Pointe male faculty and staff who shared the Million Father March: Men Bring You Child to School Day Proclamation. Our band honored these male-role models by playing a special tune and our faculty and staff surrounded the perimeter of our school holding signs and cheering as the parade marched on. We emphasized that although today was just a "moment" in time, our goal is that this becomes a "movement". Pictured is the march around the school with the male role models, administration, staff and students.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently held a school wide “Fun Run” for Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (P.B.I.S.) as a fundraiser. Each grade level had a special day where they went outside for activities such as walking, dancing, team sports, hula hooping, jump roping, etc. Students were able to bring their own I-pods to listen to as they were getting exercise at the different stations set up for them. At the end of the event students were given drinks and healthy snacks. The money raised will go back to the classrooms to purchase positive rewards for the students. The event was a huge success and the students had a blast! Pictured is all the students in third grade that participated along with their teachers at the end of the event.

Jeff Cross, retired former Miami Dolphin's player came to visit the sixth grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition and spoke about perseverance, organization and staying on track with academics with their years to come. He stressed to the students how important organizational skills are and how pertinent they will be for them in the future. Teachers are here to help you form good study habits and continue to follow rules and procedures later in life. Jeff interacted with the students by having them give their definitions of "a professional football player" and what "scholarships" are. He stressed the importance of getting good grades and following through with their goals. Sports and academics go hand in hand. Students asked him a variety of questions related to academics and his football career. Overall, it was a great way for our students to really see the importance of academics and taking school seriously from a professional athlete who DID work hard from the very start. He said "you are going to close your eyes one day and wake up and it's going to be over."

Dr. Mark Rendell kicked off Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition's yearlong reading initiative entitled, "Real Men Read" which encourages all students to read but emphasizes the importance of boys reading. During his 2 minute video presentation he discussed his love of reading and shared several books that he thinks students would enjoy as well as what he is currently reading.

Recently, Fifth grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition participated in The Hobe Sound Nature Center Owl Pellets Lab. Students learned about food chains, ecology and natural history. Students found small skeleton parts from rodents, birds and more! They loved this hands on activity and enjoyed being scientists for the day. Pictured is fifth grader Braylen Lopez with a Barred Owl and a Red Tail Hawk from the Hobe Sound Center.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition first grader, Bryan Quackenbos, honors custodians with a special treat to celebrate National Custodian Workers Day on October 2, 2014. Bryan and his family know that a clean, safe learning environment is an important part of an effective education, and Palm Pointe's custodians always give their best effort to make this happen. Palm Pointe's custodians ROCK!

Seventh grade civics students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition invited Representative Larry Lee to speak with them in relation to this year's Project Citizen class project. Students have selected public policy problems in the community to research, brainstorm alternative policies, design or modify a public policy solution and implement a plan of action. Mr. Lee spoke with students about his experience as a representative of the people and discussed the process of passing state laws.


Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently celebrated our P.P.E. bus drivers during our 4th Annual Bus Driver Breakfast prepared by one of our volunteers, Ms. Pam Molner. The bus drivers were treated to a delicious breakfast and a short Positvie Behavior Intervention Support (P.B.I.S.) presentation given by Dean Debborah Estrada and Dean Matthew Kovach. Diana Hight,(P.B.I.S. parent volunteer) collected gifts from area businesses that were used as raffle gifts for drivers to win. Pictured is Assistant Principal, Mrs. Kathleen Perez as she welcomes the bus driver’s to the breakfast. Thanks to the many parent volunteers that helped to make this celebration a success!

Recently at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students were treated to a visit by David Mark Lopez, author of the Maddie's Magic Marker historical fiction series. Mr. Lopez amazed students by reciting and acting out entire chapters from two of his books and engaged them with a question and answer session. In their Media class, prior to his visit, students learned or reviewed what makes a book fit the genre of historical fiction and cited examples of other series they had read that fit the description. Students and parents were so engaged in Mr. Lopez's presentation that they broke his record for book purchases at a school - over 600 autographed copies were purchased! Students are now creating emails thanking Mr. Lopez and citing evidence from his visit to rate his books and performance. Pictured are students with their new autographed books and the author David Lopez.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition parents and students met recently in the morning morning for a Cultural Heritage Breakfast. Families enjoyed breakfast while the English Speakers of Other Languages (E.S.O.L.) program was explained and questions were answered. Pictured from the left in the back row is Mrs. Sinclair, Mrs. Takata and Mr. Takata. Front row from the left is Tyler Sinclair, Lyla Sinclair and Hinaki Takata.

Together kindergarten students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition learned all about Johnny Appleseed and how he was a good citizen, we also recognized that he was an important part of our history. Students were invited to dress up like Johnny Appleseed and bring an apple dessert/treat to school to share with their class. Parents were invited to attend and join us in our adventure through history to the past! Families researched special events in Johnny Appleseed’s life and we created a whole class timeline of those events.
Pictured is:Front Row (left to right) : Dominic DiMarco. , Danasia Batson-Phinn, Aidan Massman, Brooke massman, Xander Arvary, Elizabeth Castelo. Middle Row (left to right): Rosie Van Name, Ethan Byrnes, Ava Versaci, Jayden Rippy-Strassel, Natalia Gonzalez, Nathaniel Guas. Top Row (left to right): Madison Edinger, Jayden Alcineus, Breanna Weiser, Elyjah St. Fleur, Jaycee Mead, Bryan Regnault, Ariana Costanzo (teacher)

Students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently had a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) event. Students were able to turn in five rocket fuel tickets that they had earned for positive behavior and dress up as a twin for Twin Day. Students were very excited for this event and many students participated. Pictured is Dean Matthew Kovach and first grader Kyle May. This is Kyle’s second year dressing up as a twin with the dean. Way to go Kyle!

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition held a Volunteer/Business Partner Orientation on Tuesday, September 16th. Volunteers and Business Partners were oriented to the application process and responsibilities of being a volunteer for St. Lucie County and Palm Pointe. Volunteers jumped right in and signed up for events while business partners, Smallcakes and Bagel Brothers, donated scrumptious breakfast goodies! Everyone working together...that's the Pointe. Pictured is Karol Carvelli as she explains all about being a volunteer.

Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently celebrated their first Citizen of the Month awards. These students go above and beyond the expectations of the classroom and school. They are good helpers and always strive to do their best. Pictured below is Ms. Debra Snyder with the Kindergarten students selected for this honor. Great job Rockets!

On Thursday, September 11, 2014, sixth grade students at Palm Pointe Elementary Research School @ Tradition participated in a special lesson about using oral histories to present multiple perspectives of an historical event. World History teachers, Mrs. Melanie Larsen and Mr. Dennis Keane (former NYFD fireman), and St. Lucie County fireman Ray Reiprecht shared their personal accounts of September 11, 2001, and students also viewed a compilation video featuring the oral histories of other sixth grade teachers and PPE principal, Debra Snyder. Students then discussed the merits of oral histories as primary sources and how the various perspectives aided their overall understanding of the singular event. Pictured from left is; Mr. Dennis Keane, history teacher and retired firefighter, Mrs. Melanie Larsen, history teacher and St Lucie County fireman, Ray Reiprecht.

The Exceptional Student Education Department at Palm Pointe Education Research School @ Tradition prepares for a successful 2014 - 2015 school year. This photo on the first day of school captures their passion and enthusiasm for assisting students with special needs. Looking forward to an exceptional year at Palm Pointe!