Q & A with Duval County School Board Member Lori Hershey, District 7

Q: Can you give an update on Saturday’s school exhibition?

A: The date of this year’s school choice showcase, titled “Saturday at School Showcase” has been moved to January 7, 2023 to avoid a conflict with ACT testing that will be held on the original date I announced in last month’s column . This will give parents even more time to research and prepare for school visits. As a refresher, this year parents and students have the opportunity to visit their school(s) of choice in person, meet the principal and tour the school instead of the virtual events that have been held for the past few years. Each school will open on January 7, 2023 and I encourage parents to keep neighborhood schools in mind when considering school choices.

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Q: What are some of the career and technical education (CTE) options available at District 7 high schools?
A: In addition to the Cambridge Accelerated Learning programs AICE (at Mandarin High School) and AP (at Atlantic Coast High School), these schools offer a number of CTE programs. On the Atlantic coast they are: Digital Video Technology, Engineering, Information Technology, Medical Academy and Teaching Academy. Both the Medical Academy (which focuses on nursing) and the Teaching Academy are offered in partnership with the University of North Florida.

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At Mandarin High School, the academies are the Center for Medical Studies,

Culinary Art and ViStar Academy for Business and Entrepreneurship. I believe the Medical Academy at Mandarin High School is one of the best kept CTE secrets in Duval County Public Schools. It offers an excellent opportunity for students to experience the medical field before going to college, and some students can go directly into the workplace after graduation.

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Q: What can you tell us about the Academy of Medicine’s new anatomy table?

A: This is very exciting. It is the only one we have in the district and was purchased with a grant. It is the most technologically advanced 3D anatomy visualization system for anatomy and physiology education and is adopted by many of the world’s leading medical schools and institutions. It should arrive in the spring and is especially exciting as we look forward to a new wing being added to Mandarin High School as part of a half-cent sales tax that will expand the medical arts and film programs at the school.

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Q: Do you have anything else to share with District 7?
A: I would like to congratulate the Mandarin Mustang football team, who won the district championship. They advanced to the Florida High School Athletic Association Region 1-4M high school football quarterfinals (which were delayed a few days due to Tropical Storm Nicole) and narrowly lost to the Sanford Seminoles, 30-28.

Finally, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Q: How can our readers contact you?

A: You can email me at [email protected] or call me at (904) 390-2375.

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