On Wednesday Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement that he has signed a bill that will allocate $500 million to increase teachers’ salaries.“Today what we will be signing is a bill that will provide $500 million directly to teachers, all public school teachers — school district or charter — and it will take Florida from number 26 in the nation to number five in the nation for average minimum salary,” he said.DeSantis said the bill will also include another $100 million for more experienced teachers who are making more than the average minimum.DeSantis said the budget will go into effect in July.
Submitted by Olympia School DistrictMichael Havens has been named Principal of McKenny Elementary School in the Olympia School District. Havens has been Principal at Boston Harbor Elementary School since 2008. In addition to serving as principal at Boston Harbor, Havens has served as for the past six years as the Professional Development Coordinator for the school district. The position of McKenny Elementary principal became vacant with the news that Brendon Chertok had accepted the position as principal of Garfield Elementary on Olympia’s west side.“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be principal at McKenny,” said Havens. “It’s a bit of a homecoming for me as my daughter attended preschool, Kindergarten and first grade there. I have really enjoyed my six years at Boston Harbor and am very proud of our accomplishments. The principal duties have always been the best part of my job and I look forward to being able to do that full time.”Olympia School District Superintendent Dick Cvitanich said he was confident Havens would be an excellent leader for McKenny Elementary.“Michael is a great fit for McKenny students, families and staff,” Cvitanich said. “He clearly has a passion for children and the ability to work collaboratively with staff to create systems for student success. He is also highly respected for his knowledge of the new Teacher and Principal and Evaluation System.”Havens began his teaching career in the North Kitsap School District in 1995. He joined the Olympia School District in 1997 as a teacher at Marshall Middle School, where he served until becoming Assistant Principal at Jefferson Middle School in 2006. In 2008 Havens was named principal of Boston Harbor Elementary.Havens earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Washington in 1993, his Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University in 1995 and his Principal’s Certification from Seattle Pacific University in 2005.McKenny Elementary serves about 350 students in preschool through fifth grade. Havens will assume his new responsibilities at McKenny Elementary on July 1. Facebook66Tweet0Pin0
Facebook4Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Joint Animal ServicesSpring has sprung and our thoughts turn to spring cleaning and home improvement projects. Before you embark on seasonal chores, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your furry friends.Fertilizer, insecticide, and herbicide ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully. Many popular springtime plants are also toxic to pets and can prove fatal if eaten.Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades, and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, immediately contact a veterinarian.
For those who celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes (also called La Vigilia), The Lusty Lobster is a one-stop shop for the meal many families of Italian heritage enjoy on Christmas Eve. By Eileen Moon Then there’s The Lusty Lobster crowd, the folks who make picking up seafood for the Feast of the Seven Fishes – or maybe just a tray of cocktail shrimp – a not-to-be-missed part of the holiday. A large lobster, bedecked with Christmas decorations, greets customers purchasing oysters, crabs, octopus and yes, lobster, for their Feast of the Seven Fishes menu Christmas Eve. Photo by Eileen Moon “We have an elf thatgoes out with hot chocolateand popcorn,” he said. The Lusty Lobster store in Highlands, 88 Bay Ave. In any case, celebrating the holiday requires a lot of fish. Although, Douty points out, many seafood buyers are OK with counting two different recipes using the same fish in calculating the seven. Say, shrimp cocktail and fried shrimp. Or crabcakes and crab claws. However it adds up, it’s worth standing in line for, apparently. So Douty and his staff work hard to keep their customers entertained. McDonough heralds theopening of the doors with afew bars of “The HallelujahChorus.” And often it’s the men who are in charge of the seafood errand while the rest of the family is presumably engaged in other tasks. There are various interpretations why the number seven comprises the family feast, including that it’s based on the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church or that it’s based on the biblical account of the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis, in which God rested on the seventh day. But when the business closes at 3 p.m., they all rejoice in a job well done. Doug Douty, owner of The Lusty Lobster, has been supplying Two River-area homes with fish and seafood for 40 years. Photo by Eileen Moon “By then, the line is down the street,” he said. “They sing along, make requests and share the popcorn and hot chocolate served by The Lusty elves.” Meanwhile, Douty and his staff are working hard to make sure all the customers go home with the requested makings of their holiday feast. “We don’t open until 10, but people start getting in line at 8 a.m. to make sure they get a good place in line,” said Doug Douty, who has owned the seafood emporium for 40 years. And along about 10 a.m., musician Andy McDonough arrives with his keyboard to entertain the crowd. “It’s a riot,” McDonough said. “I’ve had the pleasure to do it for a few years now and it’s just a special morning. There’s a crew that gets there early in cold, rain, whatever. They joke around about having been sent by their respective families and they huddle around the door until it opens up.” But there’s plenty of fun to be had while waiting to pick up orders that range from fresh lobster, crabs and oysters to octopus, squid and baccala, a salted cod that is a beloved part of many Italian American Christmas feasts. Rain, shine, sleet, snow, it doesn’t matter. They’ll be there. It’s not just an errand. It’s a tradition. It’s a long, busy day for Douty and his staff. “We open a lot of clams and oysters,” he said. HIGHLANDS – Some people celebrate Christmas Eve with one last trip to the mall. Others are all done by then and enjoying making cookies, wrapping gifts or watching one of the Hallmark Christmas movies that always have a happy ending. “We have a nice little family here,” Douty said. Once the doors close on Christmas Eve, Lusty Lobster won’t re-open until Dec. 27. “We let all the hard-working elves take an extra day off,” he said.