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District News
Conchette Capers

In Memory of Kerry Highsmith

The District has recently lost yet another torchbearer -- Mr. Kerry Highsmith. We are sad to see a dynamic leader within the District, Mr. Highsmith, pass away.

Serving as a school counselor, principal, then serving on former MCSD Superintendent Dr. A.J. ‘Bookie’ Henriquez's Executive Leadership Team, he put in countless hours during his tenure with the Monroe County School District towards ensuring student success.

Mr. Highsmith’s legacy will continue to live on in the form of leadership, integrity, and high character.

Amanda Ban Selected to FHSAA Academic All-State Team
Amanda Ban
Congratulations to Marathon High School senior Amanda Ban! Amanda has been selected as a member of the 2017 FHSAA Academic All-State Team. This distinguished award honors Sunshine State Athletes with bright minds as well as superb academic and athletic achievement.  According to the FHSAA website, "Each Academic All-State Team member will be recognized at a commemorative banquet on Monday, June 12 in Gainesville, Fla. Each student honored will receive a $1,700 scholarship. Out of the 24 All-State Team members, one male and one female will garner the title of “Ron Davis Scholar-Athlete of the Year,” the FHSAA’s most prestigious honor bestowed on any active student-athlete. The winners of this award will earn an additional $4,600 in scholarship funds – $6,300 in total."
For more information, visit

GEMS logoGEMS 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, Executive Director of Teaching & Learning, 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.

April 2017
April GEMS
Click Here to view the GEMS web page and see the latest MCSD GEMS for 2016-17!  

In Memory of Phyllis Allen

Phyllis Allen
This past week, the Monroe County School District lost someone who dedicated her life to educating the students in Key West and around the county -- Ms. Phyllis M. Allen.

Ms. Allen gracefully wore many hats within the District. She served in roles as teacher, principal of Gerald Adams Elementary School, and deputy superintendent. She tirelessly advocated for the students and people in the community who needed assistance.

Her 50 years of leadership and service still resonates throughout the Monroe County School District. She will be greatly missed.

Inclusion Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Michelle Ryan, first grade teacher at Sugarloaf School, for being selected as the 2016-2017 MCSD Inclusion Teacher of the Year!
Pictured, left to right: Dr. Lesley Thompson, Director of Student Services, Michelle Ryan, Inclusion Teacher of the Year; Harry Russell, SLS Principal; Kelley Lanier, SLS Assistant Principal

For more information about ITOY and to see a list of all schools, please visit the Employee Awards page.

Monroe Computes
HOB Students
Monroe Computes recently presented nine Horace O'Bryant Middle School students with checks ranging from $400-$500 for successfully earning their Microsoft Office Certification tests.
Pictured from left to right:  HOB principal, Christina McPherson, Director of Career and Adult Education, Dr. Jerry Caputo, William Niles, Monroe Computes, Jacob Dekker, Ainsley Cunningham, Skylar Larmel, Bryan Urbay, Sarah Karch, Jessica Nitti, Hunter Nitz, Christian Harnish, Microsoft Instructor, Phillip Baucom, Monroe Computes, John Padget.  Not pictured:  Dylon Michaud
In addition to the cash award and industry certification the Steven also earned 3 college credits and funds for his classroom. Monroe COMPUTE$, thanks to Mr. Padget, has contributed (more than $25,000) in resources and cash awards for students, along with additional dollars for classroom funding. Monroe COMPUTE$ is a facet of the Career and Technical Education Training offered within Monroe County School District.

Coral Shores and PKS students receive Monroe Computes awards
Students from Coral Shores High School and Plantation Key School were presented with $400 from Monroe Computes for completing their Microsoft Office Certifications.  In addition to the cash awards and industry certification, the students also earned 3 college credits and funds for their classroom.

Pictured from left to right. John Padget (Monroe Computes), Brittany Beyer, Blakely Harden, Leo Snell, Dr. Jerry Caputo (Director of Career and Adult Education), Adam Dykes, Carolina Mather, Alexandra Hardison, Rebecca Galvan.
Marathon HS student receives Monroe Computes award
Marathon High School freshman Cory Bisson was presented with a $500 check from Monroe Computes for successfully completing his Microsoft Office Certification

Pictured, left to right: Wendy McPherson, (MHS Principal), John Padget (Monroe Computes founder), MHS 9th grade student Cory Bisson, Dr. Jerry Caputo (Director of Career and Adult Education), Paul Davis (MHS Microsoft Instructor)
Sugarloaf Student receives Monroe Computes award
Sugarloaf middle school student Steven Winemiller was presented with a $500 from Monroe Computes for completing his Microsoft Office Certification.  In addition to the cash award and industry certification, Steven also earned 3 college credits and funds for his classroom.

Pictured from left to right. Dr. Jerry Caputo (Director of Career and Adult Education), Janet Vazquez (SLS Microsoft Office Instructor, Steven Winemiller, John Padget (Monroe Computes)

Photos courtesy of Sibba Mira

CSHS Key Club Attends State Convention
CSHS Key Club students

On March 30th through April 2nd the officers of the Coral Shores High School Key Club attended the Kiwanis – Key Club Florida State District Leadership Convention in Orlando, FL, along with 2,500 other students from across the state. Students participated in workshops to learn various aspects of leadership, caucused to select the next Florida Key Club Student Governor, and met other members of the Kiwanis family.

Coral Shores HS senior James Britton served District 26C as Lieutenant Governor for the 2016-17 year, a first for any student in the history of the school, and presented at the conference.

Monroe County Students Compete in the 62nd Annual State Science and Engineering Fair
Twelve students from Monroe travel to compete in the 62nd Annual State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, FL.  Four of the eight projects entered in the State competition obtained awards.

Pictured left to right:  Noah Ross, Chris Gaskill, Chris Anderson (MHS), Sarah Maschal, Sophie Williams (CSHS), Rachelle Magdaong (CSHS), Matthew Darrow (CSHS), Alexis Martin (PKS), Isabel Betancourt (PKS), Alison Woltanski (PKS), Emma Kost (TVM), Bodie Robbins (TVM), Elisabeth Bendall (Sigsbee), and Courtney Oliver

Emma Kost (TVM):  Awarded 4th Place Environmental Engineering
Bodie Robbins (TVM):  Awarded Honorable Mention Plant Sciences
Chris Gaskill, Chris Anderson, and Noah Ross (MHS):  Awarded Collier County Regional Science and Engineering Fair $50 cash for research demonstrating outstanding creativity, scientific thought, technical skill and clarity of presentation. 
Elisabeth Bendall (Sigsbee):  Awarded Brevard Intercostal Regional Science and Engineering Fair $25 cash for research demonstrating outstanding scientific and creative thinking.   
Photos courtesy of Courtney Oliver
Keys to Be the Change Youth Leaders Attend PeaceJam
Youth leaders from Key West High School, Marathon High School and Marathon Middle School attended the annual Southeast PeaceJam Leadership Conference held at Florida State University. Students met and worked side by side Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi from Iran. They learned about social justice​ and ​ human right​s. They ​were made aware of the many problems our world faces today including lack of education, ​extreme ​poverty, and ​wide spread ​hunger. The PeaceJam mission is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills and wisdom they embody. 

Photo courtesy of Heidi Golightly
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Monroe County School District

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The "official" Monroe County School District Facebook page includes announcements and information regarding Monroe County schools.  Click on the image to "Like" our page!


FOCUS Parent Portal Registration
FOCUS logo

The FOCUS Parent Portal is a tool designed to enhance communication and involvement for you in your child's education.  This portal will allow you to monitor your child's progress in school by providing timely access to both assignments and grades that are entered by the teacher throughout the grading period. This communication tool will improve your ability to assist your child and to communicate with the teacher if necessary.
In order to create a Parent Portal Account, you will need these three things:
1.  Your child's 10-digit ID number - this information is available from your child, from their portal page, or on their report card.
2.  The last 4 digits of your child's Social Security Number.  The SSN must be on file with the school in order for online registration to be completed.
3.  Your child's date of birth.

Once you create your FOCUS Parent account, you will need to contact the school to complete the verification process.  If you do not have the information listed above, or your child's SSN and/or date of birth are not in the FOCUS system, you will need to register in person at your child's school.

Once you have created your FOCUS Parent Portal account, you will be able to view your child's grades and attendance information by visiting the FOCUS login page (also linked under the Parents drop-down menu above).

Florida Department of Education Parent Survey - Exceptional Student Education
Florida Department of Education Logo
Florida’s 2016-17 ESE Parent Survey: Make Your Voice Heard!
Who? All Parents of Students with an IEP (PK-22)
When? February 13th - May 31st , 2017
Let the Florida Department of Education know about how your school partners with you, the parent, to promote parent involvement in your child’s education.  A paper survey will be sent home to parents of children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) within the next two weeks. If you prefer to complete the survey electronically, click here. Please take the time to complete this brief survey to help us continue to meet your family’s needs.

Monroe County Academic Challenge
Coral Shores High School Academic Challenge Team
Congratulations to the Coral Shores High School Academic Challenge Team, the 1st Place winners in the Monroe County School District Championship held on Wednesday, January 18th at Marathon HS.  Marathon High School was the 2nd place team and Key West High School 3rd place.  The Coral Shores team will represent Monroe County in the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge in Orlando on April 27-29, 2017.  Many thanks to the coaches and judges who assisted in the competition.

Pictured, from left:Dave Murphy (Director of Assessment and Accountability), Daniel Walker, Preston Holt, Keeley Catarineau, Alan Thomson, Chris Harris (Coach),Lauren Rabe, James Britton

Photo courtesy of Barbara Cavanah


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