CKS students share poems at School Board

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By Sean Arnold

A group of three Cedar Key School students joined Principal Joshua Slemp at the School Board of Levy County meeting Nov. 14 to discuss recent school projects, including the 28th Annual Young Author’s Conference.


Sophomores Michele Debari, Michael Smith and Zander Stanley each read poems they authored and submitted for the conference. The templates for the poems by the middle and high school students were inspired by ‘Where I’m From’ by George Ella Lyon.

The young authors used to share observations about their upbringing and signature memories, with Debari setting the tone with lyrical reflections on his Cuban background and the tropical landscapes of his childhood.

The entire school participated in the event; the elementary students even published their own individual books.

SBLC chair Chris Cowart, whose district covers Cedar Key, introduced the Slemp and the students.

“It’s a great tradition, it’s the first year we did it K through 12,” said Slemp, who also noted that the conference tied into the school’s curriculum.

Slemp and his students presented a slideshow with photos covering the event as well as those relating to other recent school projects. Debari detailed his and his classmates’ recent activities in their Marine Science course, as they’ve collected sea creatures for lab study.

Stanley described the work CKS students are doing on the school’s recently acquired, grant-funded microscopes.

The school is also raising tilapia and goats, the former of which are part of an aquaponics project at the school.

The presentation also covered the school’s involvement in the Cedar Key Seafood festival as well as projects by the school’s AVID class, which challenges students to come up with solutions for construction and craft projects from limited resources.