District Headlines

  • Boost Program will give younger kids a chance to learn new skills in the age of Covid-19

    The Monroe County School District will begin it’s summer “Boost” program next week. Kids from Kindergarten to second grade, and some third graders, will return to a classroom setting for three weeks of learning. The program will be the first in-person learning for kids since mid-March, when school buildings closed due to Covid-19.

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  • Monroe Virtual School Enrollment Now Open for those Considering Virtual School for 2020

    Enrollment for the 2020-2021 School year through Monroe Virtual School is now open until September 15, 2020 for full time enrollment.

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  • BRETT UNKE NAMED SUGARLOAF SCHOOL’S NEXT PRINCIPAL

    Current Stanley Switlik principal, Brett Unke, has been chosen as Sugarloaf School’s (SLS) next principal, according to Superintendent Mark Porter. Unke, will take over for current principal Harry Russell, who moves to the district’s Executive Director for Personnel Support and Instructional Leadership role beginning 2020-2021 school year. “Mr. Unke is an exemplary leader and a strong advocate for public education,” Porter said. “His dedication and commitment to the students and professional educators he works with make him the ideal candidate for SLS.” While he is proud of the great strides made at Stanley Switlik during his tenure, Unke is looking forward to his new journey at the school where he first started his lifelong passion as a career educator. “I am excited to return to where it all started,” Unke said. “My first priority, as always, will continue to be providing educational programming that serves the needs of all students equally.”

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  • School Board GEMs Recognition

    Monroe County School District G.E.M Awards were given out a recent school board meeting. The recipients of the June 23rd awards are Krishna Lowe a Kindergarten Teacher and Virtual Victor for Horace O’ Bryant School, Mike Forster of Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors and Martha Wyker an EL Teacher at Poinciana Elementary School. We are thankful for the efforts these GEMS put out to support our students and families as well as what they do to make our County and school system a better place. Please Click “Learn More” to see specifics about each honoree.

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  • Monroe County Schools win awards in this year’s State Celebrate Literacy Week Contest.

    Marathon Middle High School and Sugarloaf School both were recognized during this year’s state Celebrate Literacy Week Contest this school year! They were able to do so even during the Covid-19 shutdown. Students created PSAs about how literacy takes you on adventure and the contest was based on public interaction with those PSAs on Social Media, so both schools want to thank all of you that liked and or shared one of the many Literacy in Monroe County Schools posts submitted by these schools. Along with their award recognition, Marathon High School will receive a $500 cash award and Sugarloaf School will receive $300. Congratulations to both schools and their creative students.

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  • COVID-19 SCHOOL CLOSURES DON’T STOP MONROE COMPUTE$ STUDENTS Eighty-Five MCSD Students Earn Over $15,000 in Awards While Attending School Virtually

    “Monroe County School District (MCSD) computer science students did not let COVID-19 school closures deter them from earning valuable Internet Technology (IT) industry certifications,” according to Sibba Mira, Career and Technical Education Coordinator. “Eighty-five students earned over $15,000 in Monroe COMPUTE$ prizes during the fourth quarter school closures, and they are not done yet.” The latest round of certifications brings the Monroe COMPUTE$ prize total to $69,550 year to date. “Our teachers were very motivated to ensure that students had the opportunity to complete their certifications during this unprecedented time of school closures,” explained incoming Superintendent Theresa Axford. “We were able to transition their classes to an online learning platform which gave our students the ability to train and certify virtually.” One such example is Key West High School 10th grader Nataly Cisneros pictured, who proudly displays her passing Microsoft Office Specialist score. Cisneros will receive a $250 incentive check from Monroe COMPUTE$ for her accomplishment.

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  • HARRY RUSSELL NAMED MONROE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT’S NEXT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR PERSONNEL SUPPORT AND INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP

    Sugarloaf School Principal and veteran educator, Harry Russell has been chosen as Monroe County School District’s Executive Director for Personnel Support and Instructional Leadership, according to Superintendent Mark Porter. Russell, will take over for retiring Executive Director of Human Resources, Dr. Ramon Dawkins beginning 2020-2021 school year. In addition to coordinating the human resource functions for the district, Russell’s new position comes with an expansion of duties that include the development and enhancement of creative leadership opportunities in schools. Russell will serve as a member of the district’s Executive Leadership where he will be tasked with high levels of accountability and decision-making responsibilities in the areas of organizational policies and compliance. “The position of Executive Director for Personnel Support and Instructional Leadership is an expansion of the Executive Director of Human Resources role,” Porter said. “Mr. Russell will not only supervise the human resources department, but also provide critical support to our district mentor and volunteer programs, as well.” Porter also noted that Russell will serve as a liaison with the larger community on school district matters, a role that is perfectly suited for the life-long keys resident. While Russell is very excited for his move to the downtown district offices, he is deeply appreciative of his 26 years spent in the school buildings. ““I have enjoyed working in every school during my career in Monroe County trying to impact the lives of all students,” Russell stated. “I have had the great pleasure of working with very talented teachers and staff over the years who have an unwavering commitment to helping students reach their full potential. I will deeply miss the Sugarloaf School community whom I have served the last decade, but look forward to my new role working to support our schools.”

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  • MCSD NAMES 2019-2020 DISTRICT MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES OF THE YEAR Kristen Condella and Joy Nulisch Co-Winners of the District Honor

    Kristen Condella and Joy Nulisch are the 2019-2020 District Management Employees of the Year, according to Superintendent Mark Porter. Condella and Nulisch share the award which goes to the district’s top management employee. “We have been faced with many new challenges this year,” Porter said. “Both Kristen Condella and Joy Nulisch have stepped up to meet the needs of our students, parents and faculty during this unprecedented time and are equally deserving of the honor.” Kristen Condella has served as MCSD’s Instructional Materials and Technology Integration Coordinator for the past four years. While her main role is to procure and manage all K-12 print and digital textbooks and materials, Condella wears many hats in Monroe County. The twelve year veteran is also the district’s Advancement Via Individual Determination Coordinator, as well as the Virtual Instruction Coordinator. “Kristen’s work ethic is and commitment is unparalleled,” said incoming Superintendent Theresa Axford.” In addition to her normal duties, she is always willing to help whenever needed. She has been instrumental in the planning, implementation, and management of our new online learning platform and is a valuable part of our district.” Joy Nulisch is in her seventh year as MCSD’s Director of Instructional Technology. The 31 year veteran has held nearly every IT job in the district including lab manager, technician, and system administrator. Nulisch’s plans, directs, and supervises the implementation, integration and maintenance of all technology systems throughout the district. “Joy’s dedication and commitment to the students and staff is unmatched,” said Axford. “Joy’s vision and experience in all aspects of technology is vital to our students’ success.

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  • Congratulations, Mrs. Lucy Andrews Kuszewski!

    District lead Counselor Daliana Goins states, Lucy, your school counseling efforts for our MCSD students, families, and staff have been noted among the numerous write-ups you received from your school colleagues, and you are well deserving of this recognition. As a quick back story for everyone, I’d like for you to all know that Lucy was actually in the final running for “Teacher of the Year” at HOB this school year which speaks volumes to the impact she has had on the teachers and staff. Lucy, I’m so sad that you won’t have an Employee Recognition Banquet to attend to receive this award (due to COVID-19). Today, your fellow school counselor and school social worker colleagues celebrate you!

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  • Monroe County School District's Back to School Task Force

    Monroe County School District is creating a task force composed primarily of education and public health officials, along with parent and community representatives, to assist in gathering input and formulating recommendations for reopening schools with the understanding that these plans may change depending on how the Pandemic evolves. The task force is being led by Theresa Axford, incoming Superintendent. Key elements the group will review include: density reduction, transportation, hybrid/blended learning models, and protocols for wellness and health reporting. Please Click “learn more” to view the entire press release for additional information.

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  • DR. KYLE SHEER NAMED GERALD ADAMS ELEMENTARY’S NEXT PRINCIPAL

    Current Gerald Adams assistant principal, Dr. Kyle Sheer, has been chosen as the school’s next principal, according to Superintendent Mark Porter. Sheer, will take over for current principal Dr. Fran Herrin, who moves to the district’s Executive Director of Teaching and Learning role beginning 2020-2021 school year. “Dr. Sheer has been a stellar educator in Monroe County for the past 12 years,” Porter said. “He is a natural leader, who encourages growth and development among his staff and students, alike. His exemplary work as GAE assistant principal, makes him the ideal candidate for the job.” Sheer has spent the last six years as Gerald Adam’s assistant principal, where he is revered for his dedication, focus, and calm demeanor, while purposely ensuring that each individual student can learn and develop as a whole child. Dr. Fran Herrin, who is more than confident in handing him the reins. “I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Sheer for six years. During this time, Kyle has made a true impact on Gerald Adams School,” Herrin stated. “He is caring, genuine and has a true love of students and our staff. He is passionate about learning and providing all students with the optimal opportunities for success. I am thrilled that Dr. Sheer will lead this amazing staff to continued success.” Sheer and his wife Sarah, also a MCSD educator, have two children, Hudson (age 4) and Kennedy (age 2). He is honored to be selected as the new principal of the school where his children will start attending soon. “I am excited to be entrusted to carry on the long, rich tradition of Gerald Adams. Whole-child education has been, and will always be, the cornerstone of our school,” Sheer said. “We have a powerful team of educators who share an appreciation of diversity and believe that their students’ potential is limitless. I consider myself lucky to be part of this school community.”

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  • Monroe County Community Resources

    MCSD has prepared Quick Link guides with Quick Guide to Monroe County Community Resources – COVID-19. These guides have resources available throughout Monroe County aimed at supporting our County's residents. Please Click “Learn More” to access the links to the quick guides that are available in English, Kreyòl Ayisyen y Español. Additional information on School Social Work services available to our District’s Parents and Students is available as well.

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  • Sugarloaf School Principal Harry Russell Named MCSD 2020 Principal of the Year.

    Superintendent Mark Porter has announced that Mr. Harry Russell is the Monroe County School District 2020 Principal of the Year. Mr. Russell is in his tenth year as the Principal of Sugarloaf School and received multiple nominations and accolades from his staff and the community to earn him this honor and recognition. In addition, Sugarloaf School has recently demonstrated significant growth in student academic growth while maintaining their “A’ grade as a school. Harry is also one of our “go to” principals when it comes to school safety and security issues and has piloted several efforts in this regard. Safety Day at Sugarloaf School, Harry’s idea, is a tremendous demonstration of community partnership and support as representatives from law enforcement agencies across Monroe County come and bring with them some of their most specialized and impressive equipment. After being notified about earning the recognition Mr. Russell said, “I am honored to receive this nomination and would like to share this award with the amazing teachers, staff, students and parents of Sugarloaf School. It takes an amazing team to have a successful school and I am very blessed to be surrounded by the best." Congratulations Mr. Russell.

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  • Poinciana Elementary School Assistant Principal Ms. Leslie Holmes named MCSD 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year

    Superintendent Mark Porter has announced that Poinciana Elementary School Assistant Principal, Ms. Leslie Holmes is the Monroe County School District 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year. Ms. Holmes has been with our district for 20 years and is in her 6th year at Poinciana Elementary School. MS. Holmes is well respected by her Principal Dr. Schmeigel, her staff, students and the Poinciana Community who helped make this nomination possible. Selected from an outstanding field of nominees for this honor, Mrs. Holmes was recognized for her leadership role at Poinciana Elementary School in moving from a “C” grade in 2016 to and “A” grade in 2019 and being recognized as an FDOE 5 Star School for community involvement, an area where Mrs. Holmes provides outstanding leadership through her familiarity with the Key West Community. Upon receiving this award Ms. Holmes stated, “This is a wonderful recognition. I am truly blessed to work with wonderful teachers. I have amazing students and staff that I work with every day. I am thankful to be a product of Monroe County School District and proud to work for this school district. Thank you to my husband Doug, son Cruz, family and friends for all of their support and love. I would not be the person I am without their support.” Congratulations Ms. Holmes on your well-deserved award and recognition.

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  • Want a Quick glimpse into the great things happening in MCSD? Follow us on Social Media

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  • MCSD Sumdog Competition Winners

    Plantation Key School participated in the MCSD Math Sumdog Contest competition that ran from Friday, April 24, 2020 through Thursday, May 1, 2020. PKS students took the top 12 spots in the district! Ms. Sarah Brown's grade 1 class took 1st place! As a reward to the top 3 students in each grade level, students are getting a $10.00 prize of their choice from Amazon, compliments of our Principal, Mrs. Taylor! The Jamboard pictured shows the top 3 winners in each grade level. Congratulations to all the students that participated.

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  • DENISE SANTIAGO NAMED HORACE O’BRYANT SCHOOL’S NEXT PRINCIPAL

    Life-long Buccaneer, Denise Santiago, is Horace O’Bryant School’s (HOB) new captain, according to Monroe County School District Superintendent Mark Porter. Santiago, who is the school’s current Assistant Principal, will serve as the school’s new principal beginning the 2020-2021 school year. “Mrs. Santiago has devoted her entire career to HOB,” Porter said. “Her 31 years of experience in a variety of positions within the school, along with her close relationships with the school’s students, parents, and staff, make her the ideal candidate to lead the next generation of HOB learners.” Porter stated. During her tenure as Assistant Principal, Santiago has played an essential role in the implementation of many innovative programs at HOB, including Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Where Everyone Belongs (WEB), MCSD School Threat Assessment Protocol and Youth Mental Health First Aid. Many of these programs have achieved national recognition under her leadership. Santiago was instrumental in successfully transitioning the Reynolds Pre-K program, Glynn Archer Elementary, and Horace O’Bryant Middle School staff, students, and parents into what is now known as the Horace O’Bryant School Pre-K-8 School and campus. While Santiago is well versed in all facets of administration, it is her decisive, honest, team-centered, approach that earns her the respect and admiration of her colleagues, who praise her for cultivating a family-like atmosphere at HOB.

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  • Dr. Fran Herrin Named Monroe County School District’s Next Executive Director of Teaching and Learning to Replace Incoming Superintendent Theresa Axford.

    Longtime Gerald Adams principal and veteran educator, Dr. Fran Herrin has been chosen as Monroe County School District’s next Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, according to Superintendent Mark Porter. Herrin, will take over for current Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Theresa Axford, who moves to the district’s Superintendent role beginning 2020-2021 school year. “The position of Executive Director of Teaching and Learning encompasses many facets,” Porter said. “Dr. Herrin’s knowledge and experience in the development, implementation, and supervision of curriculum instruction, as well as her passion for student success, makes her the right candidate to continue the outstanding tradition of exemplary, innovative leadership set forth by Theresa Axford.”

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  • Sugarloaf School Receives some FINTASTIC News

    Mrs. Callie Harris, Sugarloaf Schools Marine Science teacher received information from Marlies Tumolo, NOAA’s Ocean Guardian School field coordinator of Florida that Sugarloaf will be designated as a NOAA Ocean Guardian School for the 2019-2020 school year. There were only 53 schools in the country, as of 2019, which met the criteria for this distinguished designation. Mrs. Harris would like to thank her Shark family you all for the support that lead to this honor. Sugarloaf’s Marine Science program will continue their longtime goal of becoming better ocean stewards with the support of the grant they will receive next school year due to this designation. Congratulations, Sugarloaf Sharks!

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  • Key Largo School earns an AVID National Demonstration School designation.

    Congratulations to Key Largo School's administration, staff and students whose hard work and dedication to the AVID program, school wide, has resulted in them becoming a National Demonstration School. AVID National Demonstration Schools are exemplary models of the AVID College Readiness System. Demonstration Schools undergo a rigorous validation process and are required to be revalidated every few years to ensure high levels of implementation, with quality and fidelity to AVID strategies school wide.

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