We had a BLAST tonight at the Evening in the Garden Benefit Concert! Thank you so, so much to all the incredible musicians - Hartley Leacock, Jr., Damaged Daughters, Other Voices, and Idylwild - and all the donors and volunteers who made the event possible. Thank you to all the staff and students who helped prepare the building and garden and who worked, performed or spoke tonight. Thank you to all the amazing parents and community members who showed up and gave so generously to support our school!
Some pics from our trip to Cedar Key to view the damage from Hurricane Hermine. Dr. Mark Clark, of the UF Soil & Water Sciences Department, spoke to the students about the impact of the hurricane on the shoreline. He showed the kids how a Living Shoreline works. It was a great conclusion to our project on climate change!
January marks some changes here at Resilience.
We are saddened to say goodbye to Mr. Jones, who has left us to pursue other opportunities. We wish him all the best and the kids are glad that he promised to stop in and say "Hi" from time to time. Dr. Baslanti will be taking over the Math class. He's already got some ideas to shake things up!
We welcome Ms. Melanie Grogan to the position of Instructional Director. Ms. Grogan has an extensive background in Project-Based Learning, and has already inspired us in this area. She also has created charter schools before, so we know her assistance and guidance are going to be invaluable. Many of the students have already bonded with her!
Sadly, Ms. Fox had to move due to family obligations. We will miss her and we wish her all the best! Safe travels.
Resilience Charter School is proud to announce our New Curriculum Specialist. Dr. Ugar Baslanti has been involved in education for over 15 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry Education and a Master of Science degree in Secondary School Science and Mathematics Education. He later pursued further studies at the University of Florida and earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum & Instruction with specialization in Educational Technology.
He worked as a research and teaching assistant for nine years at prestigious colleges of education during his academic studies; involved in educational research and taught various undergraduate and graduate level courses in teacher education programs.
He later joined the K-12 charter education system in Florida and Georgia and served as a mathematics teacher, assistant principal, principal, and high school college counselor for seven years. He also taught in summer programs designed specifically for gifted and talented students by the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Baslanti has extensive experience in the areas of technology integration in instruction, science and mathematics education, teacher professional development, charter school management, higher-order thinking and problem solving, assessment strategies, mentorship, underachievement among students, gifted education, STEM education, high-stakes testing, data-driven decision making, and school improvement.
He has been invited to serve as a mentor on the Florida Turnaround Leaders Program sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the Florida Department of Education to prepare future school leaders to turn around chronically underperforming middle grades and high schools in Florida.
Dr. Baslanti has always been a very student and parent-oriented educator and helped design academic programs and college mentorship programs to address the needs of his students and to increase the effectiveness of academic programs implemented at the schools he worked at.
He is looking forward to continuing his career here at Resilience Charter School. He is married with two children.
We had an exciting opportunity for Resilience supporters to participate in a life-changing experience with our students and faculty, on Thursday, October 20, from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. The Challenge Day Program will be led by professional facilitators as an important culture and trust-building event at Resilience Charter School.
Challenge Day describes the program as an opportunity "to build connection and empathy, and to fulfill our vision that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved, and celebrated. Challenge Day is more than a one-day program. Their programs go beyond traditional anti-bullying efforts, building empathy and igniting a movement of compassion and positive change, known as the Be the Change movement.” The full Challenge Day website is here.
Challenge Days are powerful, high-energy programs in which youth and adult participants are guided through a series of experiential learning processes. The overall goals of the program are to increase personal power and self-esteem, to shift dangerous peer pressure to positive peer support and to eliminate the acceptability of teasing, violence and all forms of oppression. Challenge Day programs are designed to unite the members of the school and/or community and to empower them to carry the themes of the program back to the greater school population. Challenge Days successfully address the issues of violence, teasing, social oppression, racism, harassment, conflict management, suicide, peer pressure, alcohol and drugs.
During the program, youth are given several opportunities to speak out about what’s really going on for them, and what they need from one another. Please note that while our program focuses primarily on global and community issues and concerns, individual students can and often do share personal difficulties and experiences with the group. The process of sharing is often both empowering and emotional. For this reason, it is important that your child/ward be aware that while confidentiality is one of the primary norms for program participation, we can never guarantee confidentiality on a large group level following the day. (We will remind the participants of the importance of confidentiality throughout the program).
At the conclusion of the program, the majority of youth leave feeling bonded, empowered and committed to making a positive difference. At times youth may need additional support. We will share possible resources with parents and students; however it would be a great gift to your child/ward if you can be
available to listen to any feelings or responses they may have following the program.
Thank you for your support of important programs like these at Resilience Charter School!
We have an addition to our faculty and some changes to share with you! Ms. Makeda Meeks has decided to teach Leadership and Life Skills as an elective, and to work as a paraprofessional with us this year so she can gain more experience in the English classroom before becoming a full-time English teacher. We are thrilled that she will still be part of the family, and excited to announce our new English Language Arts teacher, Julie Greene! Here is an introduction from Ms. Greene in her own words:
Hi, my name is Julie Greene and I am the English Language Arts Teacher at Resilience Charter School this year! I love teaching English because reading gets kids to think critically about the world around them, and it’s awesome to be a part of those experiences with students.
I grew up in Naples, FL and graduated from the University of North Florida with a major in English and a minor in Religious Studies. After receiving my teaching certificate through Florida State College of Jacksonville, my husband and I moved to South Carolina where I taught 9th and 12th graders for the next two years. We moved back to Florida in 2013 and I have spent the last three years teaching 9th grade English and Reading at Eastside High School. I love being outside, going kayaking, hiking, traveling, and hanging out with my husband and crazy dog.
My classroom is a place where students are actively engaged in their own learning, and Resilience is a perfect place for that. I’m excited about bringing my experience and love of teaching to Resilience, as well as being a part of the strong Resilience community.
We are pleased to announce that we have hired our four core teachers. Let's let them introduce themselves...
Introducing our Math instructor, Kevin Jones. Mr. Jones was educated in the public schools of Michigan and Texas and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a master’s in electrical engineering from Florida A&M University. He has worked in industry as a systems and software programmer and a digital designer. He is certified to teach secondary math as well as information technology.
He has worked as a substitute teacher for Alachua County Public schools for the past two years. He believes everyone can learn math and he wants to teach with interesting real-world applications such as personal finance, electronics, programming and probability & statistics. He is looking forward to embarking on this new adventure and desires to develop effective and efficient uses of technology to engage and teach students. He is a long time resident of Gainesville, Florida, is married to an Alachua County teacher, and has three children who have all attended school in Alachua County.
Resilience Charter School is thrilled to announce that Jenny Hill has accepted the position of Operational Director!
Jenny brings more than 15 years of experience in the legal, education and human resources fields to this position. She most recently led the HR Department at Sun Country Sports Center, where she promoted the importance of a supportive environment and clear, compassionate communication in the workplace. Jenny is a Gainesville native and obtained her undergraduate degree in drama with a dance minor at Duke University. She worked as a Legal Assistant for several years before returning to school at UF to earn a Master’s in Secondary English Education. Jenny taught English language arts, theater, dance, yoga and creative writing to youth of all ages. She also designed and delivered management-training on the topics of interviewing & hiring, communication, conflict resolution, goal-setting and organizational skills. She continues to use theater and improvisation to lead professional development workshops with UF Executive Education on diversity issues, communication and innovation.
Ms Hill joined the Founding Board of Resilience Charter in January, and her experience in education and business management has been extremely valuable. We are excited to welcome her into the role of Operational Director where she will work closely with Instructional Director, Leah Fox, to make the vision for Resilience Charter School a reality!
Resilience Charter is now accepting applications for teachers, both part time and full time!
We need teachers! ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies! We need full-time teachers in all core subjects and part -time too!
Also looking for part-time elective teachers. Do you have a skill, passion, or training in a subject that you would like to teach to Resilience students? Put in an applications. All ideas considered.
For complete details and to apply, click here.