Local students to be featured in renowned Christmas festival
Winter Park students Michael Creighton and Alexandra Mascolo will participate in the internationally renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival Dec. 1 to 4. Both are members of the St. Olaf Choir. Tickets to the highly anticipated concerts are limited and in high demand – but this year, for the first time, friends and family can watch these students perform through a live video stream of the Dec. 4 concert. Visit stolafchristmas.com for more information. The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States. Started in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department, the festival features more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra. The theme of this year's St. Olaf Christmas Festival is "Light Dawns, Hope Blooms." Participating ensembles include the St. Olaf Choir, Viking Chorus, Chapel Choir, Cantorei, Manitou Singers, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. Each group performs individually and as part of a mass ensemble. The festival, which is regularly broadcast nationwide on public television and radio, has been featured nationally in such publications as TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times.
OCPS names hall of fame inductees
Orange County Public Schools has announced its second class of inductees to the Orange County Public Schools Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is a new tradition created by the School Board in 2014 to honor people who have made a name for themselves and the school district throughout its long history – since December 1869, 147 years ago. The Hall features inductees in three categories: distinguished educator, community champion and distinguished alumni.
The gala dinner and ceremony will be held Saturday, March 4, 2017, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Information about sponsorships and tickets to the induction ceremony and dinner are available at HallofFame.ocps.net. From a lengthy and remarkable list of nominees by citizens, parents, alumni and employees, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee chose its five new members to be inducted. Meet the 2017 Inductees:
Wayne Brady (Dr. Phillips High ’89) is best known as a prime-time Emmy Award-winning actor, singer, comedian and television personality, known for his work on “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” and currently as host of “Let’s Make a Deal.” He started performing in community theater and at the Orlando improv school Sak Comedy Lab.
Professor S. James Gates Jr. (Jones High ’69) is a theoretical physicist, known for work on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory. He is currently the professor of physics at the University of Maryland and serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2013, he received the National Medal of Science.
In the Community Champion category, Toni Jennings (Winter Park High ’67) was Florida’s first female lieutenant governor, two-term president of the Florida Senate, successful businesswoman and former fifth-grade teacher, Toni Jennings is among the most prominent public figures in Florida’s history, dedicating more than 27 years to the citizens of Florida.
David “Deacon” Jones (Hungerford High ’57) was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame after a stellar career as a defensive end with the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. A native of Eatonville, he and his wife Elizabeth established the Deacon Jones Foundation when he retired from football to assist young people. Jones died in 2013 and will be represented at the induction by his wife.
In the Distinguished Educator category, Jim Schott served as Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools from 1980 to 1992. He was responsible for forming the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, developing the first magnet and International Baccalaureate programs and nurturing a leadership team of future superintendents like Donald Shaw, Ronald Blocker, Eric Smith, Joseph Joyner and Barbara Jenkins.
66 schools designated as Five Star Schools
The Florida Commissioner of Education announced 66 schools in Orange County Public Schools have been designated Five Star Schools. The Florida Commissioner of Education presents this symbol of achievement each year to schools that have demonstrated and documented the importance of community involvement for student success. Orange County School Board members and Superintendent Barbara Jenkins lauded the school leadership for their efforts at a luncheon, held Nov. 11, at the B Hotel, a Partner in Education with one of the awardees. A Five Star School shows evidence of exemplary community involvement in the areas of business partnerships, family involvement, volunteers, student community service, and School Advisory Councils.
OCPS administrators honored for achievements
Orange County Public Schools is celebrating honors for two of its administrators: Codeye Woody, director of legislative and congressional relations, who has been selected as a member of the UCF 2016 30 Under 30 Class; and Christina Savino, interim senior administrator for the McKinney-Vento Program who won the Distinguished Service and Leadership award for 2016 from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
Local principals graduate from NISL program
If you’re going to teach children to be lifelong learners it’s important to be one yourself. This month, Orange County Public Schools celebrated 10 principals who graduated from the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program as part of a multistate effort to increase school leader effectiveness and improve student learning. The National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program is now the most widely used, rigorous school leadership development program in the country with some 10,000 school leaders trained across 27 states. Multiple research studies have shown that students in schools led by NISL-trained leaders outperformed their peers on state tests in both math and reading. The following principals are now graduates of the program:
Gotha Middle School – Patrice Knowles
Union Park Middle School – Melanie May
Bridgewater Middle School – Lisa James
Lee Middle School – Cynthia Haupt
Chain of Lakes Middle School – Ron Anderson
Odyssey Middle School – Ann Hembrook
Sunset Park Elementary School – Janet Bittick
Sun Ridge Middle School – Patricia Bowen-Painter
Discovery Middle School – Gloria Fernandez
Piedmont Lakes Middle School – Edward Thompson