Palm Beach Lakes Community High School

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Palm Beach Lakes Community High School, also known as Lakes or PBL, is a coeducational public high school located in the Palm Beach Lakes community of West Palm Beach, Florida. It is under the jurisdiction of the School District of Palm Beach County. The school has the Teacher's Academy Program and serves as the Law Magnet for the entire county.

Once having an enrollment of over 3,500, Palm Beach Lakes was once one of the largest schools in its district. However, due to Florida's Class Size Amendment and the continuous building of high schools in the district, Palm Beach Lakes has a school enrollment of just over 3,000. However, it still remains one of the largest high schools in South Florida.

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Palm Beach Lakes Community High School was established in 1989 after the closing of Twin Lakes High School (a merging of Palm Beach High School and Roosevelt High School) in downtown West Palm Beach. Palm Beach High School served as the original site of Palm Beach Junior College, now Palm Beach State College. County school superintendent Joe Youngblood and Howell Watkins, the principal of Palm Beach High School who later became the college's first dean, were instrumental in opening the college. The college's initial goal was to provide additional training to local high school graduates who were unable to find jobs during the Great Depression. PBJC was founded in 1933 and is the oldest community college in the state of Florida.

At the start of the 1970-1971 school year, Palm Beach High School merged with Roosevelt High School forming Twin Lakes High School. The latter, Roosevelt High, was established as the high school for African Americans in West Palm Beach. They were athletic rivals with John F. Kennedy High School, the High School for African-Americans in Riviera Beach. This school would go on to become part of Suncoast Community High School. Roosevelt High was located at the site of the current Roosevelt Service Center, on the Northwest corner of Tamarind Avenue and L. A. Kirksey Street (15th Street). This site would also become known as Roosevelt Junior High School in the 1960s.

The name of the new school was Twin Lakes High School, derived from the fact that the merging of the schools had integrated them, and also that the new school setting was diverse with differing groups of ethnicities merging into a future that was united. The site was located in Downtown West Palm Beach at the current Dreyfoos School of the Arts site. Palm Beach High School then ceased to exist, as did Roosevelt High School. Graduates of Palm Beach High School have never considered themselves to be anything but proud PBHS Wildcats and trophies and other memorabilia are now stored in a small museum in downtown West Palm Beach.

In 1988, Twin Lakes High School was closed and was due to be demolished. It was only by heroic efforts by PBHS Alumni that the buildings were saved and subsequently reinvented as Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

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Academic programs

Students have seven classes, called hours. The school is on block scheduling, which means classes alternate every other day in what are called Odd Days and Even Days. On an Odd Day, students will attend their 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th hour classes, and on Even Days, they will attend their 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 6th hour classes. First hour is a daily class, and it is shorter than the other hours.

Teacher's Academy

The school established the Teacher's Academy in the 1990s. The purpose of the program is to train and prepare future teachers for the world of tomorrow. Requirements to gain entry into the program are top notch, and students must maintain a certain GPA and other credentials to gain access into the magnet program.

Requirements include having a 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale, and maintaining this average throughout high school. Students who enter this program take courses through dual enrollment with Palm Beach State College, earning college credit hours that may be applied toward their college degree. Upon graduation, if a student is serious about majoring in education, it is possible for them to enter a Florida state institution with junior-level college credits.

Medical Magnet

The Medical Magnet at Palm Beach Lakes Community High has earned many accolades for its achievements. For many years its students have finished first in Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) county competitions and many have gone on to compete at the state and national level. Led by two certified Registered Nurses (Barbara Gissenter and Julie Joyner), the Medical Magnet's main goal is to better prepare students for when they arrive at their professional careers in medicine.

The magnet offers classes in several specialized areas of medicine, including Sports Medicine, where students have to opportunity to assist injured players on the sidelines of both home and away American football games, First Responder, where students learn the basics of emergency rescue, participating in eight-hour shifts at West Palm Beach Fire Station 6, working in the rescue truck as Emergency Medical Technician assistants, Nursing Aide & Pharmacy Aide, learning the basics of nursing and pharmaceuticals as nursing assistants at nursing homes. As seniors, students will engage in Independent Studies, getting a chance to work at Clinics, Doctors Offices, and Hospitals.

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Clubs and activities

Palm Beach Lakes Advanced Chorus

Under the direction of Leanora Wilkinson, a graduate of Berklee College of Music, the advanced chorus (also known as "Voices of Unity") received Superior marks at their Music Performance Assessments at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in the year of 2013-2014. "Voices of Unity" consists of 50+ talented students that all have a mutual, if not greater, passion for music. The chorus showcases an annual concert on the school's campus, composed of various solos, choreography-infused numbers, group numbers, and an all-member finale involving mixed parts and simultaneous choreography.

Other activities

  • Florida Future Educators of America (FFEA)
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
  • Future Homemakers of America (FHA)
  • Key Club International
  • National Honor Society
  • Palm Beach Lakes Chess Club
  • Palm Beach Lakes Superior Chorus
  • Palm Beach Lakes Drama Club
  • Palm Beach Lakes French Club
  • Palm Beach Lakes Hispanic Club
  • Palm Beach Lakes Debate Team
  • Palm Beach Lakes Mock Trial Team
  • Florida Law Honor Society
  • Palm Beach Lakes Spanish Honor Society
  • Palm Beach Lakes Key Club
  • Palm Beach Lakes Student Council
  • Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD)
  • Quill and Scroll

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The school's major sports rivals are Palm Beach Gardens Community High School, William T. Dwyer High School,and Suncoast Community High School. Lorenzo Hands, the school's men's basketball coach, was a finalist for the 2006 Palm Beach County Men's Basketball Coach of the Year award and was presented with a Certificate of Congratulations for being named Palm Beach County Coach of the Year that same year.

Sports at Palm Beach Lakes

  • Baseball - Men 6A
  • Basketball - Men and Women 6A (Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman)
  • Bowling - Men and Women
  • Cheerleading - (Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman)
  • Football - 6A (Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman)
  • Flag Football - Women
  • Golf - Men and Women
  • Tennis - Men and Women
  • Track and Field - Men and Women 4A
  • Soccer - Men and Women (Varsity and Junior Varsity)
  • Softball - Women 6A
  • Swimming - Men and Women (Varsity)
  • Volleyball - Men and Women (Varsity and Junior Varsity)
  • Wrestling - Men and Women (Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman)

Palm Beach Lakes holds an annual basketball tournament, known as the Derek Harper Holiday Tournament. It is named after the retired NBA guard Derek Harper,. Teams from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties participate in the tournament which draws thousands each year. The event is held the week after Christmas for 4 days.

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Notable alumni

  • Malcolm Knowles - Adult Education
  • Fabrice Noël - Haitian international soccer player
  • Dick Howser - Former Major League Baseball player and manager; played for Kansas City A's 1961-63, Cleveland Indians 1963-66, New York Yankees 1967-68. Major League Baseball manager; New York Yankees 1978, 1980, Kansas City Royals 1981-86.
  • Vinny Sutherland - former NFL player
  • Rice Brothers - Local businessmen; former holders of the world record for being the shortest living twins
  • Scott Lusader - Former Major League Baseball player; Detroit Tigers 1987-1990, New York Yankees 1991
  • Jarrett Brown - Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers
  • Eddie Lovett - American hurdler

Source of the article : Wikipedia



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