Putnam Pulse: Around the District 10-23-2017

Putnam Pulse: Around the District 10-23-2017
Posted on 10/23/2017

PCSD’s Hurricane Heroes 

Jay Torres was recognized at the October 17th School Board Meeting for his Service Above and Beyond the call of Duty aiding those in Puerto Rice effected by Hurricane Maria. This storm hit close to home for Jay who has family who live on the island of Puerto Rico. The day after Hurricane Maria hit the country he was unable to reach his loved ones on the island. It was then that he and his family knew they needed to make a difference for people that were experiencing so much pain and loss. Jay reached out to his administrators at Ochwilla Elementary School and together Jay and the Ochwilla Owls began collecting donations for Puerto Rico. “The amount of donations started slow but as the days went by, more and more people wanted to help!” Torres said of the relief donations efforts. 

For two weeks, after putting his two young children to bed, Jay would spend approximately four hours a night organizing and labeling boxes full of supplies, donations, and canned goods. Jay attributes his ability to perform this selfless act to his “caring daughters and his amazing wife”. 

The Putnam County School District donated a vehicle so that Jay Torres could drive all of the collected donations to Course of Action, PR, a non-profit organization in Tampa. Course of Action, PR has flown over two million pounds of food and water, and over 20,000 lbs. of medical supplies. Jay expressed his gratitude to PCSD, “Thank you to PCSD for allowing me the use of the vehicle to deliver donations to Tampa. It was a great gesture of kindness and generosity for the People of Puerto Rico in a moment of crisis.” 

In total, Jay, the Ochwilla Owls, and PCSD collected: 2,000 bottles of water, 4,600 diapers, 100 boxes of baby wipes, 50 cans of baby formula, 250 containers of baby food, 30 can openers, and over 1,000 pounds of canned goods! Clothing and personal items were also collected and sent to Puerto Rico. Thank you, Jay Torres, for your Outstanding Act of Service. PCSD is proud to have you as a part of our family. 

A Hero Among Us 


Jehdeiah Santmyer, of Miller Middle School, was recognized for his courage and valor at the October 17th School Board Meeting. Jehdeiah and his family were victims of a house fire this past June. At 11 years old Jehdeiah took action during this terrifying moment and went into a smoke filled room to ensure his family members were not inside. He then went and notified everyone in the house they needed to get out of the home. Fire Marshall Anthony Gedris was at the School Board Meeting and presented a certificate to Jehdeiah for his act of heroism and bravery. Jehdeiah learned important fire safety skills through PCSD’s partnership with Putnam County Emergency Services. We are so proud of this young man and his remarkable actions during such a tragic event. 


Fire Prevention Week (October 8th-14th) 


During Fire Prevention Week, the East Palatka Fire department visited Browning Pearce Elementary school and taught the first graders about fire safety. The students learned about smoke detectors, what to do in case of a fire and explored the fire truck and ambulance. About a hundred first grade students practiced stop, drop and roll, as well as, how to crawl out of a burning structure. The firefighters provided the students with important tips about fire safety. 



“Cops and Cookies” at Interlachen Elementary School 


Officers from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office participated in a Community Helper Unit the students were learning and visited Kindergarten classes at Interlachen Elementary School. The officers read stories, ate cookies and talked about their jobs. Students were able to see the different tools the officers use and even got to go inside the squad cars. The kids had a great time learning about the important role police officers play in our community. 


Flag Dedication Ceremony at
James A. Long Elementary School 

The brothers of Pineland Masonic Lodge #86 presented James A. Long Elementary School with an American flag that flew over the United States capital in Washington, D. C. on the morning of October 12th. Student representatives from third, fourth and fifth grade classes were on hand to receive the flag from the Masons and watch as it was raised over the school for the first time. Masons participating in the presentation were Raymond Winters, Bobby Rivers, Bob Trump and Jackie Arrington. Principal Mary Beth Hedstrom thanked the Pineland Lodge for the special flag, “We will fly it with American Pride!” 


Jenkins Middle School has the Right Tools for Success 


Jenkins Middle School has a new class and it is making a huge impact in the lives of their students. The new ‘Fundamentals of Architecture and Construction’ class taught by Sonia Guy is giving young men the hand’s on tools they need to pursue man-ufacturing careers later on in life. Sandy Hurst, a guidance counselor at Jenkins Middle, had a passion for making this type of class a reality when she noticed the lack of inter-est some students, specifically young men, had in school. She felt that a class that could teach these students fundamental hands-on skills and spark their engagement could make a huge difference in their lives. Mrs. Hurst contacted Home Depot and asked if they would be interested in sponsoring this type of class. Home Depot agreed that this class would prove to be invaluable and donated tools, lumber, and approxi-mately $1,700.00 in gift cards to ensure Jenkins would have everything they needed to begin the class. The young men taking this class are learning everything from safety, to measuring, to respecting their tools and workspace. On October 13th the class invited Home Depot to Jenkins to present them with a poster of the first ’Fundamentals of Ar-chitecture and Construction’ class to hang at the local store and to say “Thank you for believing in us”. Two representatives from Home Depot demonstrated how to use a power drill and saw and built a table with the class in which each student had the op-portunity to come up and participate. PCSD is happy to have such engaged staff willing.


Stay tuned for the next issue of ‘Around the District’ and remember to submit your pictures and stories and you could see your school or class featured!