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Laurence S. Pender

HQ Phone: (850) 482-9003

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Sneads High School

1961 Lockey Drive

Sneads, Florida 32460

United States

Company Description

Sneads High School serves students in grades 9-12 and has approximately 370 students. SHS has a long history of excellence in academics, with some of the top scores in Jackson County, every year. We also have numerous extracurricular activities for our st ... more

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Background Information

Web References (24 Total References)

Laurence Pender, currently ... [cached]

Laurence Pender, currently the principal at Sneads High School, will become the principal at Jackson Alternative School.

Laurence Pender, currently ... [cached]

Laurence Pender, currently the principal at Sneads High School, will become the principal at Jackson Alternative School.

Jackson Alternative School Principal Jeff ... [cached]

Jackson Alternative School Principal Jeff Bryant, Malone School Assistant Principal Connie Brisolara and Sneads High School Principal Laurence Pender accepted their schools silver awards from Superint

Jackson Alternative School Principal Jeff Bryant, Malone School Assistant Principal Connie Brisolara and Sneads High School Principal Laurence Pender accepted their schools silver awards from Superint
Sneads High School principal Laurence Pender said this volunteer program gives elementary students a mentor. Among other programs, Sneads High School football players and cheerleaders had breakfast with the elementary school students in the fall.
"It just has an effect on those kids and it's always positive," Pender said.

Sneads High School Principal ... [cached]

Sneads High School Principal Lawrence Pender said his school sometimes donates concession stand proceeds to the United Way cause, along with ticket sales to talent shows and other events.

It was impossible, Sneads High ... [cached]

It was impossible, Sneads High School Principal Lawrence Pender was told by some, but with a lot of work, that goal was achieved.

Now, the state will send the school recognition money; a portion of it to go toward faculty and staff bonuses and the rest for the school to use to purchase additional things for the FCAT, said Pender.
"But the recognition for me came when this little girl came up to me and said 'Mr.Pender, we're an A school.' And her face just beamed," he said.
He said teachers and staff were equally proud, some coming to the school laughing, yelling or crying with joy.
"When Danny Sims told me we made an A, I was driving a had to pull over because I was in tears," said Pender.
"It took everybody," said Pender."The faculty, the staff, the students the parents, even the lady making sandwiches in the cafeteria: We all did what we had to do, and it worked.It was a humongous group effort."
What they had to do in the 2007-2008 school year, said Pender, was make the FCAT a team effort.
He said his faculty and staff were major contributors to the success.
"Oh, we utilized every trick in the book.We learned something new everyday by talking to other principals who were helpful in sharing advice.Our teachers took a lot away from in-service programs and shared them with everybody.We asked questions everywhere we went," said Pender.
"Our assistant principal Faye Parker, our secretary Paula McClamma.I was visiting classes everyday, so Paula would be up at the office practically running the show for us," said Pender.
Short a math teacher, the staff arranged for other math teachers to sub in that math class for at least one period each day.
"We needed to make sure the kids got the teaching they needed," said Pender.
SHS scored the second-highest in science on the FCAT.
"The science teachers obviously did an excellent job," said Pender.
"Our librarian even redid the library to work with what we needed for testing," said Pender.
Coaches and agriculture teachers also did their part, he said.
"All of the staff was so important in this, from the custodian to the lunchroom lady, because they took care of the daily functions of school so well so that the rest of us could take care of what needed to be done for testing," said Pender.
Even the school resource officer, said Pender, helped make the A happen.
"Jason Lipford, the students just respond to him well and he helped me maintain order so that the classes were places the kids could come and learn without distraction," said Pender.
Larry Moore was always just a phone call away," said Pender. He said the community was equally supportive.
Two churches, he said, lent their fellowship halls as places for students to retake the test.
"Anything we asked of from anybody, they gave it.It was true support," said Pender.
"Most importantly, the students did this.I asked them to step up to the plate and they hit a home run.They were a little stressed at first, but they got used to the idea and knew that everyone supported them," said Pender.
Pender said the school used a large variety of tactics to encourage kids to do their best at the test.
"I asked the kids what their favorite food was and told them to make sure that someone cooked them that meal after they took the test as a reward for working hard," said Pender.
He said every student got a bottle of Smart Water on each day of the test.
"It's just water that's got electrolytes in it, but if the thought of that Smart Water had a positive effect on at least some students, that was a plus for us.Also, we'd give the kids candy, quotes of the day; anything to uplift them, ease any stress and get them in the right mindset," said Pender.
Guidance counselors and parents were also key, said Pender.
He said it was important to get the conditions as stress-free as possible for students.
So, I'm going to have to raise a lot of money this fall to make sure that they get it, but it's definitely worth it" said Pender.
He said the school also encouraged students to take the ACT prior to taking the FCAT.
"The kids can use that test to graduate with if they fail the FCAT and we've found that once a kid takes the ACT, they get over that FCAT anxiety.Every child at the school graduated this year with either FCAT scores or ACT scores.We had no certificates of completion," said Pender.
"Everybody has heard the phrase 'Teach to the test,' and some don't agree with that.But, look: To be a lawyer, you have to pass the Bar; to be a driver, you have to pass a driver's test and so on.Florida Department of Education says this is what kids need to know to make it to the next grade.People don't need to be afraid of the FCAT," said Pender.

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