CHS Public Service Academy competes at state conference

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Kristine Petersen
CLEWISTON — The Clewiston High School Public Service Academy students who competed in the Florida Public Service Association State Competition in Kissimmee this week, left to right: Llandel Saint-Hilaire, Abby Claude, Nadia Galiano, DeeDee Gallo, Migueysha Eschavarria, J’Shai Taylor, Adam Chavarria, Chony Diaz, Omar Martinez, Aracely Hurtado, Luke Smith, Juan Vera, Luke Smith, Jan Sanchez, Maritza Valadez, Kayleigh Davis, Adamaris Hurtado and Annie Oakley.

CLEWISTON — Recently, the Clewiston High School Public Service Academy returned from the Florida Public Service Association State Conference in Kissimmee. While there, they had the opportunity to compete against 19 schools, from all over the state.

“We brought 16 students and they competed against schools that brought 50 to 60 students,” said Kristine Petersen, retired law enforcement and criminal justice teacher at Clewiston High School.

The Public Service Academy is an organization designed to prepare local students for a wide range of careers in the criminal justice field through academic studies, role-playing scenarios and hands-on experiences.

“We have had a good run and we got Most Professional Chapter back. We have won that award every year but one!” exclaimed Petersen proudly, upon returning from their conference.

The students did well, and brought home awards from the following competitions:
• E911 Exam — third place: Juan Vera
• Emergency Go Kit — second place: Maritza Valadez
• Job Seeking Skills — first place: Aracely Hurtado
• First place Parliamentary Procedures: Aracely Hurtado, Juan Vera, Kyleigh Davis, Mygyeshia Eschavarria, Chony Diaz, Maritza Valadez, Luke Smith and Omar Olguin
• High Risk Traffic — fourth place: Juan Vera and Aracely Hurtado
• Use of Force Advanced Firearms — fifth place: Luke Smith, Juan Vera, Llandel Saint-Hilaire and Kyleigh Davis
• Criminal Response — fifth place: Maritza Valadez and Migueysha Eschavarria
• Brain Bowl fourth place: Aracely Hurtado, Abby Claude, Kyleigh Davis and Adamaris Hurtado

Working hard, every day up until their competition, these kids were determined. Ms. Petersen had even posted on Facebook, “We have had something every day for the last couple of weeks. Same thing next week. Practice today for conference after a late night cleaning up after Night to Shine. Glad they are willing to support their community the way they do. Still working with some on promptness … but overall, getting tasks done!”

Two of the students were selected to be on the Florida Public Service Academy (FPSA) State Board of Governance. Congratulations to the newly appointed Adamaris Hurtado, South Region vice president, and Historian Kyleigh Davis.

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