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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Jul. 2, 2015 4 years ago

Class Notes 07.02.15

by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

+ Bekemeyer completes high school

Matthew Cody Bekemeyer, grandson of George and Nancy Bekemeyer, graduated with honors from Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia, on May 20.

Cody, who is the son of George Jr. and Diane Bekemeyer, also earned several awards as a scholar athlete, All-American and All-Star athlete in swimming for Collins Hill. He is ranked as the No. 14 college recruit nationally by SwimSwam magazine and ranked No. 1 in the state of Georgia and No. 2 nationally in the 500 freestyle. 

He received an athletic scholarship to continue his swimming career at the University of South Carolina in the fall, where he plans to major in exercise science. He also plans to swim in the Olympic Time Trials next summer in Omaha, Nebraska.

+ OCPS boosts recycling efforts

Classrooms and hallways might be quiet at Orange County Public Schools while students are on summer break, but a flurry of activity began last week with the goal of boosting recycling in the nation’s 10th largest school district.

Thanks to the $35,000 donation from Bank of America, custodians affixed informational labels to new recycling bins in each of the district’s 186 schools. Although it seems like a simple thing, one of the greatest ways to increase successful recycling is to make it easy for consumers to understand what can and can’t go into a bin. That’s where the labels come in.

“Our students, teachers and custodians are motivated to do the right thing, but we can help them recycle by clearly displaying what should be dropped in the blue bins,” explained Jennifer Fowler, OCPS Environmental Compliance and Sustainability director. “If their item isn’t listed on the bin’s label, it goes in the trash.”

The labels indicate that paper, plastics, cans and glass bottles are recyclable. The bins will be co-located with garbage cans for greater efficiency in answering the trash vs. recycling bin question. OCPS expects to also see a greater return on recycling refunds, which will put more money directly into classrooms. 

“Last year OCPS recycled almost four million pounds from our schools, which saved the district over $200,000,” Fowler said. 

Beginning July 1, the school district will pay $2.55 per cubic yard for waste hauling and $2 per cubic yard for recycling. Each Dumpster holds approximately eight cubic yards. 

“The win-win proposition of the labeling effort is great for the community, said Jodie Hardman, Bank of America market manager for Business Enterprise & Community Engagement. “This means fewer trips of garbage trucks going to the landfill, which helps our environment, and more money for Orange County Public Schools.”

Freedom High was chosen to kick off the effort because of the school’s commitment to sustainability. 

+ Hunter Chard earns STEM honor

Hunter Chard, a ninth-grader at Central Florida Preparatory School of Gotha, was nominated to attend the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston this week.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). 

Chard was nominated by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, science director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, to represent Florida based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology.

During the three-day Congress, Chard joined students from across the country and heard Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading scientific research, and he learned about cutting-edge advances and the future of science and technology.

+ Area students shine in college

Austin Beltz, of Windermere, was named to the spring dean’s list at Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Laura D. Nassiff, of Windermere, was named to the dean’s list at Boston University for the spring semester.

Sara Ladanne Ghassemi, of Ocoee, was named to the dean’s academic honor roll for the spring semester at Baylor University. The school is in Waco, Texas. 

Robert Duran, a Windermere resident and graduate of The First Academy, graduated from Dominican University in May with a degree in post-Baccalaureate pre-medical studies. Dominican University is in River Forest, Illinois.

Valerie Hardoon, of Orlando, graduated from Hofstra University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Hofstra is just outside of New York City.

Jorge Dominguez and John Joo, both of Windermere, were named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Florida Institute of Technology. Dominguez is majoring in civil engineering, and Joo is a mechanical engineering major. Florida Tech is in Melbourne.

Anthony S. Mattson, of Winter Garden, was named to the dean’s list at Herkimer College for the spring semester. He is a travel and events management major. The school is in Herkimer, New York.

Jamie Marie Murbach and Blair Raleigh Ray, both of Windermere, were included on the spring semester dean’s list at Clemson University. Murbach is majoring in materials science and engineering, and Ray is a marketing major. The university is in Clemson, South Carolina.

Alexa Wilson, of Ocoee, was named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Pratt Institute, located in Brooklyn, New York.

+ Congregation Sinai to offer free tuition

All children of new and existing members at Congregation Sinai Religious School will receive free school tuition for ages 5 to 11 for the year 2015-16.

Congregation Sinai offers a comprehensive program of religious training for children both in lower and upper grades. They become fluent in Hebrew music and reading, Torah studies and future preparation in Jewish teachings and ethics. The classes are taught by spiritual leaders Joe and Lynn Goldovitz, along with retired teachers Michele Sobel, Karen Miller and Andrea Mack, who teaches Jewish arts and crafts.

For further information, contact Gwen Levy, director of education, at [email protected] or (352) 243-4890 or call the synagogue at (352) 243-5353.

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