Sept Education ArticleOur month-long “Celebration of Public Education” was kicked off at the September Cool Topic, where Dr. Jeraline Johnson, Director of Choice Programs for the School District of Palm Beach County, presented an overview of the choice programs in the district. She spoke to an audience of 35 members, 10 school board employees and over 25 students. Our school district is a recognized national leader in providing varied, exciting and innovative avenues to learning. The majority of the schools in Palm Beach County offer a choice program to their students. Career Academies are available to secondary students. Programs such as Biomedical & Veterinary Technology, Dual Language, Automotive Service Technology, Construction and Engineering are offered throughout the district. Many students graduate with certification in a number of areas that allow them to join the workforce upon graduation or begin their path to a career.

Students and teachers from Lake Worth High School, Palm Beach Lakes High School and Santaluces spoke enthusiastically about their programs and the opportunities they provide. Junior ROTC, Culinary, Medical, Bio-Medical, Pre-Law and Criminal Justice programs were represented. An award-winning robotics team, Children of the Swamp, made up of students from a number of schools presented their program as well as their award-winning robot.

The audience members were able to ask questions of both the students and teachers and learned that one of the most valuable parts of the Choice Program, in secondary schools, is that the students in these programs have a home base. Students in these programs are more likely to attend school and graduate. Our members were truly surprised by the variety and depth of the programs presented.

Dr. Kathi Gundlach-Co-chair, Education Committee