OKEECHOBEE- The Okeechobee County School Board held a slew of community, staff, and student recognitions at their Oct. 5 meeting.
Superintendent Ken Kenworthy led off the meeting by recognizing the individuals and local businesses that helped make the new teacher orientation possible this year.
“We like to grow our own teachers here in Okeechobee,” said Kenworthy after bringing up the orientation sponsors . “When that is not possible we have teachers from outside of our district come and visit us. And it’s because of these individuals who give them such a warm welcome that makes the first year for our teachers such a success.”
The school district’s new teacher orientation was held at Osceola Middle School in early August. There were 41 new teachers welcomed into the community at the event. OMS principal Sean Downing was thanked for hosting the orientation in the OMS gymnasium.
Making the orientation possible was Brennan Eye Care, Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce, Delta Kappa Gamma, The Education Foundation of Okeechobee County, Equitable, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Heartland Educational Consortium, Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, Indian River State College, Krista Stanley, MidFlorida Credit Union, More2Life Church, Our Village, Peace Lutheran Church, and Seacoast Bank.
The Okeechobee County Republican Executive Committee was recognized for providing a copy of the constitution for all eighth graders.
Okeechobee students were recognized for achieving perfect scores on the Florida State Assessment, and received a certificate from the school board as well as a letter from Governor Ron DeSantis.
Emily Hildebrand and Jaden Van Ness were honored by the school board for their work over the summer with the Girls Who Code program. Emily and Jaden learned how to build and code websites, and gained exposure and skills needed for the type of tech jobs available now in the job market.
Lori Bandi was recognized for being named the 2021 Program Advisor of the Year by the Florida Council on Economic Education.
Central Elementary, Everglades Elementary, North Elementary, Okeechobee Acgeivement Academy, the Freshman Campus, Seminole Elementary, and South Elementary were all recognized by the board for earning the 2021 Florida Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Resilience Award.
Okeechobee director of mental health and behavioral supports Kathy Williams said each of the schools went above and beyond in continuing positive behavior interventions and support initiatives while also navigating the challenges of virtual instruction and activities that had to be modified due to the pandemic.