Students visiting the Cary White library in the FSDB Blind Department on February 1, 2019, had a big surprise in a petite package—St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver came to read them a story as part of Literacy Week! Dr. Seuss is one of her favorite authors, and so, of course, she picked a Seussian tale, "Horton Hears a Who."
Several adults also attended, including a friend and colleague of Mayor Shaver’s, none other than FSDB President Dr. Jeanne Glidden Prickett. Students listened to the story and saved their questions for afterward. They appreciated the story’s message, which Mayor Shaver summarized, “You take care of everybody no matter how small!”
Blind Elementary/Middle School Assistant Principal Jim Della Penna kicked off the Q & A session by asking students, “Do you know what a mayor does?” They listened raptly as Mayor Shaver explained that she has to go to many meetings and she gets to use a gavel (a small wooden hammer), which she simulated. The fascinated students wondered if she had brought her gavel, which unfortunately she had not.
Dr. Prickett stepped in and further detailed Mayor Shaver’s various job duties, which include guiding city staff on how to work with businesses and regulations, and how to make sure our wonderful city stays beautiful. A student asked, “What kind of government are you in?” Mayor Shaver praised this excellent question, explaining she is in the “executive” branch, and that she mostly works from home. Not Washington, DC as another student had surmised!
Then questions became more personal, and Mayor Shaver shared some of her experiences. She was born in New York and came to St. Augustine with her husband so he could enjoy the remaining months of his life in sunny Florida after his cancer diagnosis. Her father was in the Navy, so she went to many schools as a child, and her family moved around frequently. She loves St. Augustine, being a mayor, and pot-bellied pigs.
At the end of her visit, Mayor Shaver related that although she has previously been to FSDB, this was her first opportunity to read a story and she hoped she did okay. A student piped up immediately, “You did GREAT!”
By Christi Boortz, Instructional Services
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit www.fsdbk12.org