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District News
New Administrators Announced: Poinciana, Horace O'Bryant, Coral Shores

Superintendent of Schools, Mark T. Porter has announced the names of the newly selected administrators for Poinciana Elementary School, Horace O’Bryant School and Coral Shores High School.  The selected individuals will be recommended to the School Board at their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 27,
 when all principal and assistant principal recommendations for the 2014-15 school year are presented to the Board for approval. The selected candidates are as follows;
  • Ms. Christina McPherson will be recommended for the position of Principal at Poinciana Elementary School.
  • Mr. Steve Vinson will be recommended for the position of Assistant Principal at Horace O’Bryant School.
  • Ms. Kristy Bedell will be recommended for the position of Assistant Principal at Coral Shores High School.
“I am excited to add these outstanding leaders to our leadership team for the 2014-15 school year”, states Superintendent Mark T. Porter, “They were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates and are clearly the best choices to meet the needs of students in the Monroe County Schools.”  Successful candidates were selected from a pool of applicants that included candidates from New York, Philadelphia and several high-performing Florida school systems. In addition to a complete written portfolio of application materials, the selection process consisted of two personal interview opportunities and follow up reference checks on selected candidates. Each candidate was initially required to meet with a committee comprised of a parent from the school community, a school business partner, a district representative, and an administrator. All initial interviews were facilitated by the Executive Director of Human Resources. The results of these sessions led to the selection of two to three finalists who were invited to meet with the Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter and the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Theresa Axford.  “The recruitment and selection process is designed to empower as much as it informs the decision making process”, notes Dr. Ramon Dawkins, Executive Director of Human Resources.

ESE Parent Meeting

There will be an ESE Parent Meeting on Thursday, April 24
th, from 6-8 pm in the Key West High School Media Center.  The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) will deliver another dynamic presentation on Teaching Your Child Skills for Independence.  Please join us!

Florida Commissioner's Academic Challenge

Congratulations to the Marathon High School Academic Challenge Team for their Division 3 second place win at the Florida Commissioner's Academic Challenge!!  The competition was held April 9-12, 2014, in Orlando. It was MHS's first time at the state competition - they certainly represented Monroe County well!!

For more information, visit the Commissioner's Academic Challenge website at

Pictured, from left:  Collin Marrs, Reef Landrum, MHS teacher Carrollyn Cox, John Galjanic, Carlos O'Farrill, Seth Landry, and Sharon Rodriguez.  

Photo courtesy of Carrollyn Cox

Monroe Students Make a Noticeable Appearance in 59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair 2014

Monroe County School District entered eight students into the 59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair held in Lakeland, FL April 8-10, 2014. The students were accompanied by Jennifer Richey (SLS Science Teacher) and Alesa Rehmann (CSHS Science Teacher). All Monroe students met the rigorous requirements to qualify for participation in the state competition. Our students performed well for MCSD's first time appearance in the competition, with 6 of the 8 students receiving awards and recognitions in the competition. 
Senior Competition
Carolyn Barrow Behavioral and Social Sciences $100 Cash Award
Lili Torres Chemistry Honorable Mention
Junior Competition
Madeline Chilton Botany $50 Cash Award
Atlantis Hoffstetter Environmental Sciences Honorable Mention,
$25 Cash Award
Juliana Selca Environmental Sciences Fourth Place
$50 Cash Award
Taurean Perkins Physics and Astronomy Certificate of Accomplishment
Pictured, left to right:Juliana Selca (TVM), Atlantis Hoffstetter (TVM), Carolyn Barrow(CSHS),Taurean Perkins (HOB),Lili Torres (CSHS), Madeline Chilton (KLS), Georgia Sexton (CSHS), and  Stephanie Reyes (MHS)
We are extremely proud of each student for representing Monroe County schools at the state level competition. We look forward to increased participation of students, schools, and our community as we continue to improve the quality of science education in the Florida Keys. Job well done by all who participated in making this initiative a success!

Photo courtesy of Camilla Burton

April is School Library Month
This April celebrate one of our most important resources – the school library media center.  Research shows that students who achieve have quality school library programs.  Students learn not only how to find answers for school they also learn how to find answers for a lifetime. Every student succeeds at your library.  To learn more, call or visit your child’s school library. 

Click here to read Florida Governor Rick Scott's proclamation.


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.

2014 GEMS have included Sigsbee principal Eli Jannes, Marathon HS award-winning students, and district and school science coordinators.
Click Here to view the GEMS web page and see the latest MCSD GEMS for 2013-14!  

Head Start Open Enrollment
Will your child be 3 or 4 years of age on or before September 1, 2014?  Head Start Program Open Enrollment will be held from April 1, 2014 thru June 2, 2014 for the 2014-15 school year.  Applications are available online (click here), or may be picked up from a Head Start Site Coordinator at:
  • Horace O’Bryant School
  • Gerald Adams Elementary School
  • Stanley Switlik Elementary School
  • Key Largo School
There is NO COST to Parents.  Families must meet the eligibility criteria for the program.  Transportation is available, ask a Site Coordinator for more details.
Head Start programs promote ‘school readiness’ by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. They engage parents in their children's learning.
Give your child a HEAD START!  CALL TODAY! (Se habla español). 
In Key Largo
Key Largo School, call Barbara Booth (305) 453-1255 x 57354
In Marathon
Stanley Switlik Elementary, call Isabel Vargas (305) 289-2490 x 59309
In Key West
Horace O’Bryant School, call Elizabeth Alvarez (305) 296-5628 x 65392
                      Or Toni Rodriguez x 65393
Gerald Adams, call Jessica Delgado (305) 293-1609 X51329

Summer Programs
The last day for students is Friday, June 6th.  Children will be out of school and ready for an exciting summer! Monroe County agencies, community leaders and businesses are providing summer camps and programs that will provide your child with activities, fun and educational experiences.

Click here for a listing of flyers and brochures that have been sent to the Superintendent's Office, Monroe County School District.

"Like" MCSD on Facebook!

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!

District Chorus MPA

On Tuesday, March 4, the Key West High School chorus participated in the District 16 Florida Vocal Association Music Performance Assessment (MPA) in Miami. The Conchs had four choruses entered this year: The Conch Singers (mixed), The Mistys (women), The VIP’s (men) and the Women’s Chorale (pictured). All four groups earned SUPERIOR ratings (highest possible) and will move on to State in late April. Key West again had the most choruses in the largest district (all of Dade and Monroe counties) in Florida qualify for State. Their average of three per year the past six years is in the top 1% for Florida. 

Photo courtesy of James Carter

District Teacher of the Year

Monroe County School District Superintendent Mark T. Porter has announced that Ms. Karen McKenzie, Language Arts Teacher at Sugarloaf School was chosen as Monroe County School District’s 2014 Teacher of the Year for using dynamic instructional techniques, creating a positive climate in her classroom and school and for taking leadership roles with both colleagues and students.

ESE Survey

School Year 2012-2013 SPAR

School Public Accountability Reports (SPAR) have been linked on each school's website.  On a school website, click on the "Our School" link on the left navigation panel, then on "NCLB/SPAR Report" to view information for the school from the 2012-2013 school year.

SPAR reports are also available directly on the Florida Department of Education website.  Click here to access 2012-2013 reports for districts and schools state-wide.

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