Broward County names Teacher, Principal of the Year

Broward County Public Schools announced its Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year award winners Wednesday night.  

Eleanna Hurst, a third-grade teacher at Collins Elementary School took the Teacher of the Year prize, and Panther Run Elementary School principal Elaine Saef won the Principal of the Year award.

“Sometimes I’m the only person that may encourage students to become anything that they want to become,” Hurst said in a media release. “Teaching offers the opportunity to be that spark to so many students.”

The release said her mission is to develop well-rounded problem-solvers and critical thinkers.

“Hurst is a phenomenal teacher and a tremendous asset to our school,” Tracy Jackson, who is the school’s principal, said in a media release.

Saef, who is known for creating and implementing programs and activities to inspire her students, said in a release that she views her role as one of removing barriers.

Her goal is to develop an “inclusive school environment” and a positive school culture that puts students first, emphasizes academics, and builds teachers’ trust and adaptability.

In addition to Hurst and Saef, Patricia Brown of Coral Springs High School won Assistant Principal of the Year and Terri Cainelli, a secretary at Seminole Middle School, won Employee of the Year.

 

 

 

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West Broward High School student with cancer wins Make Her Mark award

A Broward County high school student who has cancer was honored Monday for all of her hard work in her school and in her community.

Samirah Khan had a look of shock on her face as she won the third annual Make Her Mark award in a surprise ceremony with family and classmates watching on.

“I was incredibly surprised. I thought it was just a regular senior assembly to talk about prom and graduation, so I didn’t expect anything like this,” Samirah said.

“We’re very proud of her,” Samirah’s father, Feizool Khan, said. “It’s a tremendous award. It represents exactly who she is.”

Samirah walked to the stage in crutches, still recovering from surgery.

The West Broward High School student was recently diagnosed with epithelial sarcoma, a rare tissue cancer.

She’s missed many days of school because of doctor’s appointments and radiation treatment. But she still makes time to volunteer with the homeless, tutor classmates in Spanish and work in student government.

She even organized a custodian appreciation day.

“It’s something that gave me a lot of hope and joy, helping other people, and that definitely didn’t go away after cancer. It only strengthened, because I knew that life is short and that we have to make the best of what we have,” Samirah said.

The 18-year-old accepted the award from U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), beating out 44 other students who were nominated.

The judges, including Local 10’s Liane Morejon, were blown away by her dedication and perseverance.

“She’s already making her mark, and the purpose of the award is to help use it to encourage a young woman in my congressional district — young people — to lift others up,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Samirah said she wants to be a pediatrician so she can give children the same hope and comfort that her doctors gave her.

Samirah said she does not know whether she’s cancer-free or not, but feels blessed for every day she lives.

She said she also wants to be an inspiration to all boys and girls facing adversity.

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Student’s cellphone battery ignites at Deerfield Park Elementary School

A student’s cellphone battery ignited Tuesday morning in class, causing students to briefly evacuate from Deerfield Park Elementary School, authorities said.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said a 9-year-old boy suffered a minor burn on his leg and was released to his parents.

According to Jachles, the boy heard his phone beeping, so he took out the battery and noticed that it had a hole in it.

Thinking nothing of it, the boy put the battery in his pocket, but then took it out when he felt it burning his leg.

Jachles said the boy dropped the battery on the floor and it ignited.

Jachles said the fire burned itself out and firefighters ventilated the hallway near the classroom.

Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman Cathy Brennan said students and staff were evacuated from the school at 650 SW Third Ave. for 15 to 20 minutes.

The cellphone was reportedly a Coolpad Catalyst, a cellphone mainly used for new smartphone users, like children, or older people who are looking for a simple smartphone. 

“They are delicate electronics and they do have high voltage, so it’s important to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to any devices,” Jachles said. “If a battery is damaged, and you know that, don’t use it (and) safely dispose of it.”

The state fire marshal is investigating what caused the battery to ignite.

The incident came a week after an overheated cellphone charger sparked a brief evacuation at Shenandoah Middle School in Miami.

No injuries were reported in that incident.

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Student’s cellphone battery ignites at Deerfield Park Elementary School

A student’s cellphone battery ignited Tuesday morning in class, causing students to briefly evacuate from Deerfield Park Elementary School, authorities said.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said a 9-year-old boy suffered a minor burn on his leg and was released to his parents.

According to Jachles, the boy heard his phone beeping, so he took out the battery and noticed that it had a hole in it.

Thinking nothing of it, the boy put the battery in his pocket, but then took it out when he felt it burning his leg.

Jachles said the boy dropped the battery on the floor and it ignited.

Jachles said the fire burned itself out and firefighters ventilated the hallway near the classroom.

Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman Cathy Brennan said students and staff were evacuated from the school at 650 SW Third Ave. for 15 to 20 minutes.

The cellphone was reportedly a Coolpad Catalyst, a cellphone mainly used for new smartphone users, like children, or older people who are looking for a simple smartphone. 

“They are delicate electronics and they do have high voltage, so it’s important to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to any devices,” Jachles said. “If a battery is damaged, and you know that, don’t use it (and) safely dispose of it.”

The state fire marshal is investigating what caused the battery to ignite.

The incident came a week after an overheated cellphone charger sparked a brief evacuation at Shenandoah Middle School in Miami.

No injuries were reported in that incident.

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Vandal breaks into public school in Miami’s Gladeview neighborhood

Miami-Dade Schools police officers responded to D.A. Dorsey Educational Center on Saturday morning in Miami’s Gladeview neighborhood. 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Miami-Dade Technical Colleges runs the center, now known as the D.A. Dorsey Technical College at 7100 NW 17 Ave.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho went to the school, where a vandal reportedly damaged a computer room. 

“An assault on this school is really an assault on the community,” he said. “It’s really unacceptable.” 

The robber made off with about $60,000 worth of equipment, which included tools and computers. 

“We’re educators, not just children, but adults and this is part of the adult community and it’s really a menace to our education environment to have this happen,” Chief Ian Moffett of Miami-Dade Public Schools said. 

Local 10 News Marcine Joseph contributed to this report. 

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Students behind distasteful ‘inside joke’ prom proposal sign suspended

Two South Florida high school students have been suspended after a distasteful sign they were holding in a prom proposal picture was placed on the internet.

The father of one of the students holding the sign said it was an unfortunate inside joke that was never meant to be seen on social media.

Through their parents, all the girls have apologized.

Yahoo! featured the sign in an article titled, “Here’s how not to ask your black friend to prom.”

The picture shows three students, two of which are from Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, holding a sign that reads, “You may be picking cotton, but we’re picking you to go to prom with us.”

According to Yahoo!, the picture was made public via a tweet from Jon Aro, a former student at the school. Aro grabbed a screenshot of the photo from a friend’s Instagram page.

The father of the girl on the right of the picture told Local 10 News that it was an inside joke made to the girl in the middle who was originally not going to prom. The father said the girl in the middle, a friend of the other two who is homeschooled, is the heir to her grandmother’s cotton farm in Alabama.

“They really want to apologize for their extremely poor choice of words in this situation,” said a father of another student. “They would like to take it back. They would like to find a different way to express this invitation to prom.”

The girls who attend Monarch have been suspended until the investigation into the incident is completed.
A Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman said the district is working with the administration at Monarch High School and the students and their families regarding this matter.
 
“Broward County Public Schools is proud of its diverse student population and community,” district spokeswoman Tracy Clark said. “Our district is committed to providing learning environments that foster inclusion and respect.”
 
One of the fathers told Local 10 he understands the controversy over the sign and why it would be seem by some to be racist. However, he said there was never a malicious intent and now the girls are afraid to attend the prom.
 
The other father said he hopes everyone learns the true story about the sign and how sorry the students are over the matter.

“There have been consequences,” he said. “We understand the reality of that, but the girls really want people to know what the truth is behind this.” 

Students at the school who spoke to Local 10 News on Friday said they believed the suspension was too harsh and that they didn’t believe the girls had any malicious intent with the sign.

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