Five St. Mary’s School students’ have bragging rights this year. Their academic success has qualified them for the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP). The students are Christian Guirgis, Damien Martin, Olivia Voll, Jonah Draves, and Nico Rodriguez. They have been invited to join the program based on their high standardized test scores. Students at St. Mary’s school qualify for the 7th Grade Talent Search by scoring above a 95% in one or more ELA or Math subtests on the ITBS test taken in sixth grade. “We are very proud of our students and their teachers,” said Sandra Basinger, principal of the school. “Our teachers are dedicated to our students and always looking for ways to encourage them to do their best. We couldn’t be happier for them and will continue to support them so they can achieve their full potential.” Five out of 19 seventh-graders at St. Mary’s made the Duke list – a little more than 25 percent of the class. Duke Tip is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically talented youth. It offers a variety of programs and opportunities for identified students. The 7th Grade Talent Search, which focuses on the identification, recognition, and support of high-ability students, offers qualifying seventh grade students the opportunity to take college entrance exams alongside high school students. Many 7th Grade Talent Search participants go on to earn exceptionally high scores and are recognized for their advanced intellect. Two years ago St. Mary’s alumna Ashley Carter, now a high school student, was recognized in a statewide ceremony for posting one of the highest test scores on the ACT among her peers in Florida. As a global leader in gifted education, Duke TIP works with students, families, and educators to identify, recognize, challenge, engage, and support gifted youth in reaching their highest potential. More than 2.8 million students have benefited from TIP programs and resources since 1980. Duke TIP is committed to providing services and programs beyond what is offered in the classroom to meet the individual needs of gifted children. For example, qualifying students may have the opportunity to spend three weeks during the summer taking specially tailored classes for them at the Duke campus. There are also on-line classes available to them that go beyond the traditional courses offered at most comprehensive high schools.
St. Mary’s National Junior Honor Society thanked Rockledge police officers for keeping the community safe by delivering dinner to the police station, earlier this week. The middle school honor society used its own money to purchase dinner for the officers. The students also baked desserts and served the meal. With all the attacks on police officers, the children wanted to say thank you. “They are protecting us and risking their lives for us,” said seventh-grader Nico Rodriguez. “It’s the least we can do.” For some members of the society, the dinner was very personal. “My uncle’s a cop and they risk their lives to protect us,” said eighth-grader Victoria Turner. “We need to respect what they do.” The NJHS students aren’t the only ones who appreciate law enforcement. Dozens of other students at St. Mary’s wrote thank you cards or created artwork expressing their feelings, which NJHS members delivered to the police station along with dinner on Wednesday, Aug.17. Way to go St. Mary’s NJHS. Special thanks to the the society’s adviser, Nancy Potchka and all the parents who helped make it happen.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey recognized one of St. Mary’s fifth-graders for starting a national movement. Samantha has been showing her appreciation for law enforcement one cupcake at a time since early July. She delivered homemade cupcakes to deputies and other law enforcement personnel and took to Facebook to challenge others to do the same as a way to give back to those who protect us. Dozens of children from across the nation have met her challenge. Officers in Polk, Orange and Seminole counties have been posting photos as they receive cupcakes. Pictures have been showing up all over social media from children in as diverse places as Arkansas to California, giving officers cupcakes. Check out Samantha’s #giveacopacupcake
So what can you expect at Cougar Call this Friday? A chance to meet a few of the school’s teachers and staff, an opportunity to sign up for clubs and other activities at the school, a chance to purchase uniforms at the Used Uniform Shop, NUT Day passes and St. Mary’s School swag and a moment to ask questions about what to expect this year. Oh and classrooms will be open so you can drop off your child’s school supplies. Don’t miss it, Friday from 3- 7 pm at the Parish Hall.