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District News
Sunshine State Scholar
Congratulations to Seth Landry, Monroe County School District's Sunshine State Scholar!
Marathon High School junior Seth Landry was recognized as one of Florida's top STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) 11th graders.  He selected Marathon HS teacher Carrollyn Cox to accompany him as he attended the awards event in Orlando and was introduced to an array of postsecondary opportunities in Florida.

EPIC Meeting
The Monroe County School District Educational Performance Incentive Compensation (EPIC) Committee will meet on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 4:00 PM.  The meeting will take place via videoconference.  Sites include:  
 Upper Keys - Key Largo School
            Middle Keys - Marathon High School
            Lower Keys - Trumbo Administration Building
Key Largo School Celebrates Literacy!
Key Largo School celebrated Literacy Week with fun activities such as Character Dress up Day, Making Bookmarks, a Literacy Band Performance, and Guest Reader Day.  Among many community members and district personnel who read to the students were Superintendent Porter and Representative Holly Raschein and her assistants Erin Muir and Kate DeLoach.

Superintendent Porter Celebrates Literacy!

On Thursday, January 30th, Superintendent Mark Porter read to 5th grade students from Stanley Switlik Elementary  for the Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida initiative. The students truly enjoyed this opportunity to discuss the importance of literacy as well as listen to one of their favorite stories.  

Coral Shores HS Teacher Selected as Monroe County Schools' Teacher of the Year
Mr. Wellington "Todd" Gideon, Science Teacher at Coral Shores High School was chosen as Monroe County School District's 2015 Teacher of the Year for his immeasurable contributions to the lives of hundreds of students and families.  A former student wrote "...Simply put, once upon a time you (Mr. Gideon) took the effort to try to inspire a below average student, and it has made all the difference, for that I am eternally grateful."  Mr. Gideon inspired that student to successfully pursue and earn a Ph.D.
Mr. Gideon started his teaching career in 1993 as a Science and Mathematics teacher in Jackson, Michigan.  In 1995, he found his way to the Florida Keys and has been teaching at Coral Shores, where he has become a highly skilled and respected professional member of the Coral Shores team.  During his tenure at Coral Shores, Mr. Gideon has taught Physical Science, Principles of Technology, CPO Physics, Earth Space Science and Earth Space Science Honors, Physics Honors, Drafting, Mathematics and was also a Teacher for Peer Counselors. Mr. Gideon is dedicated to his profession and feels investigative laboratory experiments are an important part of science education.  His experience has taught him that science becomes much more interesting when students are engaged with the science and it is relevant to their lives. In addition to teaching, Mr. Gideon's commitment to students goes beyond the classroom. He has served as coach of the Coral Shores High School football team and coach and stats keeper for the Upper Keys Youth Baseball and Football leagues.
"Each year we have the opportunity to identify an outstanding educator as The District Teacher of the Year and each year I am tremendously impressed with the individual selected.  This year's selection for Teacher of the Year is another exemplary teacher – Mr. Todd Gideon.  Mr. Gideon engages his students and is a well-respected member of the Coral Shores High School faculty." stated Superintendent Mark Porter.
A “Teacher of the Year” exemplifies the best instruction in the District and the choice was a difficult one as all candidates excel in instruction, student engagement and community connections.  We congratulate each Teacher of the Year selected from each of our schools.
2015 Monroe County School District Teachers of the Year by School
Todd Gideon, Coral Shores High School
Maggie Jones, Gerald Adams Elementary
Kaitlyn Leeman, Horace O’Bryant School
Wendi Sullivan, Key Largo School
John Moeller, Key West High School
Martha Paulson, Marathon High School
Dana Beal, Plantation Key School
Julie Curry, Poinciana Elementary School
Nancy Lunsford, Stanley Switlik Elementary School
Blake Smoot, Sugarloaf School
Catherine Sembert, Adult Education
Monroe County School District Announces 2015 District School-Related Employee of the Year

Monroe County School District Superintendent Mark Porter is pleased to announce that Ms. Kathleen Shriver has been chosen as the 2014-2015 District School-Related Employee of the Year from a field of over thirty nominations.  Ms. Shriver has been an employee of the Monroe County School District since September 2006 and has faithfully served as a School Bus Aide since that time.

As a School Bus Aide, Ms. Shriver works in partnership with the School Bus Driver and assists with transporting students safely and comfortably to and from school.  Ms. Shriver is recognized by her coworkers for her professionalism, initiative and her patient and caring demeanor.  “Kathleen knows her students, can recognize when students are not having a good day, and often prevents problems from occurring.  She also goes the extra mile, taking the initiative to post all students pictures over their assigned seats.  This not only makes the students fell special, but helps substitute drivers and aides manage the bus.” says Mr. Randy Fabal, Director of Transportation.

In addition to the 2014-2015 District School Related Employee of the Year, Mr. Porter proudly announces the following 2014-2015 School Related Employees of the Year in the following five categories: Food Services Group, Maintenance Group, Office/Clerical Group, Teacher Support Group and the Transportation Group.  School-related employees enhance the educational experience for the children whose lives they touch, and they are essential to the successful operation of a school or school district office.

The nominees were chosen for the significant contributions they have made in their schools and community, and to the school district as a whole. Criteria for the award includes exemplary job performance, dedication on the job, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, in-service/training to upgrade skills and contributions to the school and school district environment. 

The 2014-2015 School Related Personnel of the Year by category are:
Food Service Group, Gloria Suarez, Cashier, Sugarloaf School
Maintenance Group, Jorge Hernandez, Maintenance Worker, Plantation Key School
Office/Clerical Group, Jocelyn Cabrera, Data Entry Clerk, Gerald Adams Elementary
Teacher Support Group, Jane Orr, Paraprofessional, Key Largo School
Transportation Group, Kathleen Shriver, Bus Aide, Middle Keys Transportation Department
These employees were selected by the School Related Employee of the Year committee which has an equal representation of District staff and United Teachers of Monroe members.  “I congratulate each of the selected employees and am proud of their commitment and dedication to the students of Monroe County” says Superintendent Mark Porter.
District Academic Challenge Results
Congratulations to the Marathon High School Academic Challenge Team who, for the second year in a row, was recognized as the first place winners in the Monroe County School District Championship held on Tuesday, January 27th at Marathon HS.  Key West High School received 2nd place and Coral Shores High School 3rd place.  Marathon High School will represent Monroe County in the Commissioner's Academic Challenge in Orlando in April.  Many thanks to the coaches and judges who assisted in the competition.

Pictured, left to right:  Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Theresa Axford, MHS Team Members John Galjanic, Reef Landrum, Sharon Rodriguez, Seth Landry, Collin Marrs, Janie Guo, Coach Lyn Cox, Superintendent Mark Porter
Mock Trial District Competition
The Coral Shores mock trial team will be advancing to the state finals in Orlando after winning the district competition Wednesday afternoon in Marathon.  The team is coached by Assistant State Attorney Jonathan Raiche.

Pictured, back row from left to right: Superintendent  Mark Porter, Danielle Christmas, Cooper Hoag, Sam Kraus, Albert Comeforo, Phillip Atkin, Coach Mary Jo Fry.  Front row left to right: Sacha Franks, Dominic Cianciolo, Alicia Ornelas-Perez, Rachael Britton  

Photo courtesy of Mary Jo Fry

KeysSchools Technology Expo 2015

On Saturday, January 31st, nearly 100 school district teachers and staff met at Marathon High School for the 3rd Annual KeysSchools Technology Expo. "The enthusiasm of those in attendance was contagious," said Monroe County Schools Superintendent Mark Porter.  "Whether it was learning from students how they use iPads in their classroom, hearing from an Apple Distinguished Educator, learning about across-curriculum STEM efforts by a 4th grade team of teachers, completing a hands-on science experiment or trying to fly drones using a simulator (or the real thing), everyone was learning something new!"
Thanks to all who participated in the Expo, either by presenting, providing support, or attending!  A special thanks to Mrs. Albury's students who showed teachers and administrators how they are using iPads in their "paperless classroom."  KWHS teacher Ed Smith created a video of those who were still around at the end of the Expo using the drone camera - CLICK HERE.
Everybody loved the IT Department's "I've Got Your Back!" t-shirts!!
2014-2015 ESE Parent Survey

We need your help to make Florida's 2014-2015 ESE Parent Survey a record success
Each year, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) surveys parents of children with an individual educational plan (IEP) to determine how well your child's school is partnering with you and promoting your involvement in your child's education. All states must collect this data as part of their State Performance Plan, as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Make your voice heard!
The web-based survey will open February 1, 2015.
You can complete the survey online at or request a paper survey from your child’s school.

Your feedback is important in helping the state and local school systems continue improving educational programs for children with special needs. Thank you!

For questions about the survey, please contact Aimee Mallini at FDOE Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, 850-245-0916 or via email at


News from TSiC

On January 27th the City of Marathon City Council proclaimed the month of January, 2015 National Mentoring Month. Take Stock in Children college success coach Katrina Wiatt and program coordinator Chuck Licis were on hand to accept the proclamation along with several students, mentors, and parents.  Currently, sixty-two volunteer mentors meet each week for at least thirty minutes with their Take Stock in Children scholar attending Marathon Middle High School.  

Thank You, Monroe County Voters!

THANK YOU to the voters of Monroe County who overwhelmingly approved an extension of the ˝ cent sales tax for capital improvements. Your support is greatly appreciated by our students and by our staff. I can assure you that your trust in our ability to properly invest these resources as promised; to enhance and improve our buildings, to assure safety and security for students and staff, and to deploy student technology in a way that improves student learning, will be kept, measured and well communicated. Again, thank you on behalf of our students and our staff.
~Superintendent of Schools Mark T. Porter
MCSD Mobile App Now Available!

The Monroe County School District (MCSD) has announced the launch of MCSD Mobile, a free mobile district application that brings vital district and school information directly to smartphones and mobile devices.  MCSD Mobile keeps the MCSD community connected wherever they are.  Developed by Blackboard, Inc., the app offers  mobile access to district news, calendars,  and more. It even provides one-touch access to district/school phone lines, as well as third-party applications such as social media feeds.

Parents and students can download the application for free through Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores. Look for the app in Google Play by searching for MCSD Mobile and in iTunes using the keyword keysschools.  Be sure to select the app with the Monroe County School District's Charting the Course logo.  Once you have downloaded and installed the app, swipe to the right to view resources that include access to Gradebook, Facebook, Meal Pay, and the full website.  To follow a school, tap on My Profile, then Follow School.  Type in the school name, then select it from the list and tap “Finished.”  The news feed and calendar will now show items from both the district and all schools that you follow.

For additional information regarding the MCSD Mobile app, please contact the district webmaster.

GEMS stands for Great Educational Moments for Monroe County Students. It is an effort to shine a light on the great things happening in the District Schools.  This is an initiative from the Curriculum Department led by Mrs. Theresa Axford, Chief Academic Officer, which recognizes the GEMS in Monroe County. 
In order to create a GEM, it takes the leadership of a great principal, the expertise of wonderful teachers and the commitment of outstanding students.

December 2014 GEM was Jessica Koval. 
Click Here to view the GEMS web page and see the latest MCSD GEMS for 2014-15!  

Professional Growth Plan Development

The link below is a video prepared by Theresa Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, and Holly Hummel-Gorman, President of the United Teachers of Monroe. Holly and Terri collaborated on the video to help teachers and principals with understanding the development of Professional Growth Plans. They wanted to make sure that everyone in the district had the same information regarding the process for not only developing, but also implementing the plan to increase learning for both students and teachers. Also included are two supporting documents: the script and a step by step guide to create the PGP.
Professional Growth Plan Video
Video Script
Step-by-Step Guide to Create a PGP

"Like" MCSD on Facebook!
Monroe County School District

The "official" Monroe County School District Facebook page is now available.  Information posted on the MCSD website will be available through Facebook.  Click on the image to "Like" our page!

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