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Category: Education

Marathon artist strikes the right chord

In the heart of the Florida Keys, I recently discovered a hidden treasure. I was not out on Sombrero Beach with a metal detector, nor did I uncover it while snorkeling out on Looe Key reef. This treasure I found in the corridors of Stanley Switlik Elementary School. Christopher Willis is the school guidance counselor by job title, but he is so much more. He serves as a mentor to countless students, helping them find their way to success in the classroom and in life. Honored by the Monroe County School District as a Counselor of the Year and respected by all who know him, when I first met Chris...

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BREAKING NEWS: SCHOOL DISTRICT INVESTIGATING RACISM ALLEGATIONS

School district officials acted quickly on Friday to investigate allegations of racism at Sugarloaf School.  “We have zero tolerance for bullying and harassment in our schools,” Superintendent Theresa Axford told the Keys Weekly at 6 p.m. Friday after confirming that an investigation is underway. She added that the school district “will cooperate with law enforcement to solve this.”  Jwanna Powell, the mother of two Black students at the school — one in middle school and one in elementary — told school officials and the Keys Weekly about the two incidents after she had spoken with her...

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COMMUNITY HELPS MARATHON LIBRARY STAFF MOVE INTO NEW BUILDING

“Goodbye Week” at the old Marathon library facility runs through Friday, April 30 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The library staff needs help moving books to the new library building, and patrons can use this as an opportunity to catch up on reading. The public is welcome to go inside the old building, write on the goodbye wall and check out up to 50 books and 25 DVDs from the collection, then return them to the new library building when it opens in early June. For more information, call 305-743-5156. The old library building is located at 3251 Overseas Hwy, Marathon. The post COMMUNITY HELPS MARATHON...

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Keys students earn awards at state science competition

Five entries by Keys students earned state recognition in the virtual State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF). Sebastian McCoy, from Key Largo School, placed third in the junior division for his “Lighting Up the Sky” experiment and received a nomination to Broadcom Masters Middle School Science Competition. Special award designations at the state level were earned by Robert Aleman of Key Largo School; the duo of Kevin Nguyen and Nathaniel Cabrera from Sigsbee Charter School; and the trio of Laira Gomer, Diana Diaz and Brook Barrow of Coral Shores High School.  Eight projects were submitted...

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SCHOOLS SUPER: SOCIAL DISTANCING ‘HAS BECOME A PROBLEM

At the April 27 Monroe County School District board meeting, Superintendent Theresa Axford announced that more than 100 Key West High School students have been quarantined in just the fourth week of the school district’s reopening to five days of in-person instruction. “The social distancing at 3 feet, which is what we’re able to do now with more students returned to school, has become a problem when there is a positive case and contact tracing goes on,” she told the assembled board members. “There are 126 students who are out at Key West High School right now, not because they are positive...

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THE COLLEGE OF THE FLORIDA KEYS INTRODUCES NEW MASCOT, SHEL THE TUGA

There is a new face — and flippers — on the campus of The College of the Florida Keys: Shel the Tuga. The college’s new mascot, the Tugas, is an abbreviation of “tortugas,” the Spanish word for turtle. The fictional sea turtle mascot sports CFK’s colors: an ocean blue body with lightning bolts and a sunset-orange shell. The college’s marketing team worked with local graphic designer Seth Mularz to create the design.  The introduction of the Tuga comes as athletics return to campus after a 45-year hiatus. Women’s and men’s swim teams made their competition debut earlier this semester at both...

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SCHOOLS ON TAP TO GET $20 MILLION IN FEDERAL AID

Just as many U.S. citizens have been receiving stimulus payments from the federal government throughout this pandemic, the Monroe County School District has received emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had at its elementary and secondary schools.  According to Amber Archer Acevedo, coordinator of community relations for Monroe County School District, the district so far has received $1.3 million for the first round of stimulus payments. The district has also applied for and will probably be approved for a $5.8 million second-round stimulus payment.  In the near future,...

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EARTH DAY 2021: WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

Every year, Earth Day celebrates all things wild on this big blue planet of ours. Here in the Keys, there’s no shortage of amazing places and animals. From our turquoise blue seas to our hardy mangrove forests, our resilient coral reefs to our incredible chain of misfit islands, there is so much beauty to behold and protect. Here are some of our favorite ways to get involved on this Earth Day and beyond: UPPER KEYS Apr. 22 – 24 at Rainbow Reef Dive Center (100 Ocean Dr., Key Largo) – Earth Day Eco Fair and Conservation Dives: Apr. 22 at 8:30 a.m. – Coral Restoration...

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KEY WEST TEACHER RUTH HOLLAND NAMED OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR

Veteran teacher Ruth Holland has received a statewide award for teachers of students with disabilities. CONTRIBUTED Key West High School veteran teacher Ruth Holland has been selected by the Florida Division on Career Development and Transition (FL DCDT) as the recipient of the Debra Husted Memorial Award for Outstanding Educator for the many hours she has spent providing exemplary transition services to her students.   The Debra Husted Memorial Dreams Can Come True Award is given to an educator who exemplifies tenacity and caring and has a strong belief in the ability of individuals with disabilities....

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SCHOOL DISTRICT PONDERS STATE GRADES

Monroe County school officials say they are undecided about whether to seek the annual grade assigned to the district by the state, until they see what other districts plan to do. The grade affects staff bonuses and state funding. At the April 13 meeting, the school board also heard that the long-awaited renovation of the Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium is a year away. Under an April 9 emergency order, state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran told school districts that the state is waiving some course requirements due to the pandemic: High school seniors in Florida will be able to graduate...

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