Crist visits Cypress Lake Middle School
Gov. Charlie Crist made a special visit to Cypress Lake Middle School Monday afternoon to thank all the teachers for doing an outstanding job teaching their students.
The governor’s short visit at CLMS provided him with the opportunity to visit four different classrooms.
Crist said he made a visit to CLMS because he wanted to thank the principal and teachers for the great work they are doing at the school. He said he also wanted to honor them.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Larry Tihen said they choose an algebra 1 honors class, dance, art and reading/language arts class for the governor to visit because it demonstrates how classes are designed around the needs of the students.
While visiting Theresa Bulanda’s algebra 1 honors class, Crist told the students that having a “great teacher is a blessing” and that he wanted to come by and thank Bulanda for the job she is doing.
After leaving the math class, Crist then made an appearance in Kerri Peters’ dance class, where he said he could not compete with the dancing students.
Before making his last stop, students in Carolyn Gora’s art class also had the opportunity to see Crist.
The last classroom that Crist made an appearance in was the reading and language arts class, which is taught by Lisanne Thomas. While there he told the students a story of when he was attending elementary school in St. Petersburg.
He told the class that students did not receive a letter grade on their report card until 4th grade. Crist said he remembered that he received mostly Cs on his report card, which changed once he entered 5th grade. He said he could tell his 5th grade teacher really cared, which made a huge difference in his grades.
Crist said he remembered receiving his first report card in 5th grade and not wanting to open it, in fear of what grades who appear. After walking a good distance home, he got the courage to open the report card, which displayed all As and Bs.
The purpose of his story was that every student remembers a teacher that has made a great impression on them. He told the students that he is sure all of them can remember a teacher that has made a difference in their life that really matters.
Crist said he has to give credit to all the principals and teachers in the Florida schools because they have achieved the highest graduation rate in the history of Florida.
Tihen said he is glad Crist came to the school instead of the district’s building because “this is where the teachers and children are.”
“What you saw today was excellent teaching and student involvement,” Tihen said.
Principal Jeananne Folaros said it was a pleasure to have the governor visit her school, so they could share what the school is doing. She said she did the majority of the talking and Crist mostly listened whiled they visited the classrooms.
She said whenever visitors come from Tallahassee it is exciting for the students. Folaros said it is exciting because it shows the students when they work hard and are doing the right thing the governor will come and visit their school.
Folaros said it is a “very memorable moment” for the kids to see the governor at their school. She said Crist was extremely friendly and very complimentary of the teachers in front of the students, which she thought was important.
Folaros said she has been a huge fan of Crist since he took a stand for education.