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Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004


A-RATED SCHOOLS Together We Share The Wellington Pride


Wellington Lacrosse Boys Leave Their Mark Big Changes At Neighborhood Kids Preschool Parents Exploring Virtual School Options Senior Living With Style At Wellington Bay

A Perfect Blend of the Sporting Lifestyle & Family

Wellington’s Premier Golf, Tennis & Fitness Club Enjoy year-round amenities including: • Traditional golf with no tee times • Casual dining at Duke’s Restaurant & Veranda • Upscale dining at Stables Restaurant • State-of-the-art fitness center, exercise classes and personal training • Tennis, junior Olympic-sized pool, arcade room and movie theatre • Robust social calendar and child-friendly programs


To enroll or for more information call 561.795.3501 or email membership@wanderersclubwellington.com 1900 AERO CLUB DRIVE • WELLINGTON, FL 33414



LAKEFRONT HOTEL RESORT Your Safety is our Concern • Our Staff wear Masks and Gloves • Practice Social Distancing • Continuous Sanitizing of Rooms & Common Areas


Dog Friendly Rooms Available

(561) 793-3000


Orthopedic Care for your entire Family The Center for Bone and Joint Surgery is a multi-location medical practice devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system. Our eight locations feature a staff of twelve highly trained orthopedic surgeons each with a specific area of expertise. Our physicians are certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons and are sub-specialty trained in sports medicine, joint replacement surgery, conditions affecting the hip and knee, trauma and fracture repair, conditions affecting the hand and wrist, conditions affecting the foot and ankle and conditions affecting the elbow, shoulder, neck and spine.

Harvey Montijo, MD Hips, Knees & Total Joints

Robert Rochman, MD Foot & Ankle Surgeon

Garvin K. Yee, MD

Sports Medicine, Shoulders & Knees

Nicholas Sama, MD Trauma & Reconstructive

Mark A. Waeltz, MD Spine Surgeon

David R. Simpson, MD

Sports Medicine & General Orthopaedics


Veronica Pedro, MD Hand Surgeon

Anand P. Panchal, DO

Upper Extremity & Sports Medicine

José R. Ortega, MD

Sports Medicine, Shoulders & Knees

Harvey E. Montijo, MD Foot & Ankle Surgeon

(561) 798-6600 | www.boneandjoint.org 440 & 460 North State Road 7 • Royal Palm Beach, Florida 33411 10111 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 151 • Wellington, Florida 33414 10131 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 206 • Wellington, Florida 33414 8188 Jog Road, Suite 102 • Boynton Beach, Florida 33437 1100 South Main Street, Suite 101 • Belle Glade, Florida 33430 875 Military Trail, Suite 105 • Jupiter, Florida 33458 11211 Prosperity Farms Road, Building D-127 • Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 582 NW University Blvd., Suite 100, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34986

Robert Lins, MD

Hand Surgery & Orthopaedic Spine Care

Gavin Hart, MD

Hip & Knee Replacement

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August 2020


PRINCIPALS CREDIT TEACHERS AND UNIQUE PROGRAMS FOR STRONG SCHOOL GRADES If there’s one thing that attracts young families to Wellington, it’s the community’s top-performing, A-rated public schools. What makes Wellington schools so successful? Wellington The Magazine spoke to all 11 principals. Not surprisingly, they gave much of the credit to their teachers. BY DEBORAH WELKY


MEMBERS OF WELLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL’S BOYS LACROSSE TEAM LEAVE THEIR MARK Among the most competitive and close-knit lacrosse players in the nation are the eight seniors who formed the nucleus of the 2020 Wellington High School varsity boys lacrosse team. They were the backbone of what was perhaps the best boys lacrosse team in school history. BY MIKE MAY


ONLINE SUMMER PROGRAM PROVES A SUCCESS AT AMERICAN HERITAGE SCHOOL Learning never stops at American Heritage School. As soon as the final eight weeks of distance learning came to a close, the private, college prep school didn’t miss a beat. Beginning June 1, it launched a new Heritage Online summer education program with 116 live and interactive classes offered to students throughout the U.S. and abroad. BY MELANIE HOFFMAN


EDUCATION PLACE IS A SCHOOL DESIGNED TO FIT INTO THE MODERN BUSY LIFESTYLE Evolving from a private tutoring organization for young equestrians, Education Place today is a private school in Wellington teaching up to 100 students. It serves families for whom a traditional school setting does not work, and this unique education model has the school fully prepared to continue teaching students through the current pandemic. BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR


NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS PRESCHOOL NOW OFFERING A KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM Wellington’s oldest preschools will soon be offering a new kindergarten program. When the upcoming school year begins, Neighborhood Kids will be offering schooling for kindergarten-age children at its Greenbriar Blvd. location, courtesy of owners Frank and Olivia Toral. BY DEBORAH WELKY


AS DISTANCE LEARNING BECOMES THE NEW NORMAL, FAMILIES EXPLORE THEIR OPTIONS The current academic climate is causing many parents to reconsider how their children will be educated during the upcoming school year. While most will likely accept what is being offered by their home schools, some have been exploring their options, including Florida Virtual School. BY MIKE MAY



NEW INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY WELLINGTON BAY IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION Wellington Bay, an independent living community near the Mall at Wellington Green, is now under construction, offering seniors a great option to live life to its fullest in a maintenancefree lifestyle. BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR





on the cover

The 11 principals of Wellington’s A-rated public schools gather for a group photo. PHOTO BY KEN D’AGOSTINO/VILLAGE OF WELLINGTON

DR. RISHI PANCHAL’S NEW 57 CARDIOLOGIST PRACTICE SERVES THE WELLINGTON AREA Cardiologist and advanced peripheral vascular specialist Dr. Rishi Panchal recently opened the Ivy Cardiac & Vascular Center on the campus of Palms West Hospital, serving the Wellington area with his own distinctly client-focused approach to patient care. BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR


12 Local Rotarians Team Up With Back To Basics On School Uniforms 14 Relay For Life Presents Virtual Luminaria Ceremony In Wellington 16 Fair Eats Drive-Thru Proves Popular At South Florida Fairgrounds wellington the magazine | august 2020


from the

publisher BACK TO SCHOOL 2020: CELEBRATING SCHOOLS & EXPLORING NEW EDUCATIONAL POSSIBILITIES Let’s take our hats off to all 11 Wellington public schools for the wonderful accomplishment of being named A-rated schools. Wellington The Magazine spoke with all of the school principals to discuss the success of their individual schools. Not surprisingly, they gave much of the credit to their teachers. As the return to school draws near, many parents and educators are exploring new ways and options to provide the best possible scenario in allowing children to continue on in their educational journey in unprecedented times. We spoke to several area schools to discuss the online and virtual components that have become the “new normal” for most Wellington students. At American Heritage School, we look into the highly successful internet-based summer education program.At Education Place, we learn how this school catering to individualized learning was uniquely set up to deal with the current COVID-19 crisis. At Neighborhood Kids, we learn how Wellington’s oldest preschool is now offering a kindergarten program for the first time. Finally, we discover how some parents have been exploring other options, like Florida Virtual School. The 2020 Wellington High School boys lacrosse team, perhaps the best in school history, had their season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. This month, we spotlight the eight amazing seniors who made up the core of the team.We also salute Katherine Oung and Ashley Kulberg of Wellington, two amazing young women chosen for Bank of America’s prestigious Student Leaders program. This issue, we learn more about Wellington Bay, a new independent living community under construction near the Mall at Wellington Green that offers seniors a great option to live life to its fullest in a maintenance-free lifestyle.We also profile cardiologist Dr. Rishi Panchal, an advanced peripheral vascular specialist who recently opened a practice on the campus of Palms West Hospital. Finally, we salute Grant Ganzi and Teri Klotz, winners of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year competitions. As we go to press, Palm Beach County has delayed the start of the new academic year until Aug. 31, and then plans to begin with remote learning. We are hoping for the best as each family makes the best decision available for their children. In this unparalleled situation, we have to keep our faith, and to quote the movie Frozen II, we must rise, take a step and just do the next right thing. Here’s wishing a successful school year to all of our Wellington students.

Dawn Rivera

Dawn Rivera, Publisher

10 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

volume 17, number 7 AUGUST 2020

executive editor Joshua I. Manning


Dawn Rivera

senior graphic designer Stephanie Rodriguez

graphic designers Nancy Pobiak Yolanda Cernicky

account managers Betty Buglio Evie Edwards Joetta Palumbo


Jill Kaskel Carol Lieberman

photography Abner Pedraza


Matthew Auerbach Meredith Burow Denise Fleischman Melanie Hoffman Melanie Kopacz Mike May Callie Sharkey M. Dennis Taylor Y.A. Teitelbaum Deborah Welky

WELLINGTON Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004


12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33 Wellington, FL 33414 Phone: (561) 793-7606 Fax: (561) 793-1470 www.wellingtonthemagazine.com

published by

Wellington The Magazine. LLC


Barry S. Manning Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved by Wellington The Magazine, LLC. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisement errors beyond the cost of the portion of the advertisement occupied by the error within the advertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.

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Access. Anytime, Anywhere. ClevelandClinicFlorida.org/ExpressCare

Cleveland Clinic Florida offers 6 Express Care® Clinic locations in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

wellington | social scene


Local Rotarians Team Up With Back To Basics On School Uniforms Wellington Rotary Club members gathered at the Back to Basics warehouse in Wellington on Monday, July 20 to help the local nonprofit distribute new school uniforms to students in need. Representatives from different schools dropped by to pick up the uniforms. Learn more about the mission of Back to Basics, and how you can help, at www.backtobasicsinc.org.

(Left to right) Barton Elementary School’s Josette Boucard and Back to Basics Executive Director Kelle Enriquez with volunteers; Pahokee Elementary School’s Tarchur Tomlin and Sheila McKenzie (right) with volunteers; and Lauren Hitchcock, George Kinoshita, Maggie Zeller, Gail Williams, Jeanette Hitchcock, Megan and Ryan Enriquez, Back to Basics founder Beverly Perham, Tom Eastwood and Mickey Smith.

(Left to right) George Kinoshita, Gail Williams and Maggie Zeller with Jaime Castellanos of Binks Forest Elementary School; representatives of Crosspointe Elementary School load up uniforms; Belvedere Elementary School’s Deyanira Venereo; and Kim Depatie, Gail Williams, Lauren Hitchcock and Tom Eastwood with boxes of uniforms.


Conditions • • • • • • • • •

Arrhythmias Coronary Artery Disease Heart Failure Hypertension Cholesterol/ Lipid disorders Preventative Cardiology Valvular Heart Disease Structural Heart Disease Syncope

Services • • • • • • • • • • •

Exercise Stress Test Nuclear Stress Test Echocardiogram Transesophageal Echocardiogram EKG Holter and event monitoring Loop recorder implantation Pacemaker and ICD monitoring Viability Studies Cardioversion Cardiac Catheterization


Conditions • • • • •

Chronic Venous Insufficiency Varicose Veins Venous Ulcers Spider Veins Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome (May-Thurners) • Deep Vein Thrombosis • Superficial Vein Thrombosis


• Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) • Deep venous stenting • Radiofrequency Vein ablation • VenaSeal • Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy • Microphlebectomy

Rishi Panchal, DO, FACC, RPVI Cardiology & Advanced Peripheral Vascular Specialist


12983 Southern Blvd, Ste 205 Loxahatchee, FL 33470


1100 S. Main Street Belle Glade, FL 33430

P: 561-210-9495 | F: 561-210-9475 www.ivycardiovascular.com Currently accepting new patients and all insurances.

12 august 2020 | wellington the magazine



• Peripheral arterial disease • Critical Limb Ischemia


• Medications • Lifestyle modifications • Minimally invasive endovascular procedures • Peripheral artery angiography, angioplasty, and stenting • Laser atherectomy • Orbital atherectomy

wellington | social scene


Relay For Life Presents Virtual Luminaria Ceremony In Wellington The Relay for Life of Western Palm Beach County held a moving Virtual Luminaria Ceremony at the Wellington Promenade behind the Wellington Community Center on the evening of Monday, June 22. This American Cancer Society event honored those who are fighting or have lost their battles with cancer.Approximately $3,500 was raised from the 700 luminaria bags.This year’s Relay for Life, usually held at the South Florida Fairgrounds, was canceled due to the pandemic. For more info., visit www. relayforlife.org/westernpbfl.

(Left to right) Mandy Minitello explains the meaning of the colored candles; American Cancer Society Community Development Manager Lisa Noel with the Bill Lerner Award; and Cindy Drake, Mandy Minitello and Mailee Minitello set up the luminaria bags.

(Left to right) A close-up look at some of the luminaria bags; Cindy Drake takes bags to set out on the promenade; and Tyler Minitello collects the luminaria bags.

DISCOVER THE MEYER PREP DIFFERENCE! Traditional on-campus classroom learning and online synchronous programs available for the 2020-2021 school year! Now accepting applications for Lower School (Junior Kindergarten- 5th Grade) and IB Middle School (Grades 6-8).

Why Meyer Prep? One-to-one tablet device provided for each lower school student Each IB Middle School student will have their own laptop Small class size to accommodate social distancing

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education

 All students participate in specials, such

as music, art, drama, innovation lab, yoga mindfulness, movement

State-of-the-art campus features inspired learning spaces and advanced technology High school acceptances include Suncoast High School, Oxbridge Academy, William T. Dwyer High School, and American Heritage

Both learning experiences have classes every day and allow students to explore, develop, and expand their knowledge with our rigorous curriculum. Online students will be able to interact with classmates who are also online and on-campus through our “Zoom Rooms” and other advanced technology systems. Meyer Prep is now accepting applications for both learning experiences (online and on-campus) for the 2020-2021 school year. Bring the Meyer Way to the comfort of your own home!

 Research-based proprietary curriculum in language development and number sense

Family community events will continue for the 2020-2021 school year


5225 Hood Road Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418 561.686.6520

For more information, contact the Admissions Department nbarak@meyerprep.org 14 august 2020 | wellington the magazine


A New Concept with Old Florida Charm

Explore inspired living at Wellington Bay a luxurious senior living community in an enviable location, Wellington Bay offers you the opportunity to enjoy your retirement years to their fullest. You’ll live in a spacious, upscale apartment, revel in a host of resort-like amenities, and engage in stimulating whole-person wellness programs for your body and mind. You’ll also appreciate the coveted financial freedom of our flexible rental model.

Join Our Priority Partner Program Today 2 5 9 0 W E L L I N G T O N B AY D R




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| W E L L I N G T O N B AY F L . C O M

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Call 561.335.5405 to learn more about the inspiring lifestyle of Wellington Bay.

wellington | social scene


Fair Eats Drive-Thru Proves Popular At South Florida Fairgrounds Thousands of people enjoyed their favorite fair foods over the holiday weekend at the “Fair Eats Drive-Thru at the South Florida Fairgrounds” held Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5. The menu included popular items like turkey legs and corn dogs, as well as sweet treats like fried Oreos, candy apples, cotton candy and funnel cakes. The event proved so popular that it returned two weeks later. For more info., visit www.southfloridafair.com.

(Left to right) Karen McGrath makes funnel cakes and elephant ears; Alejandro Pons turns turkey legs; Connie Christman works her station; and Nick Groves roasts ears of corn.

(Left to right) Cliff Janssen serves up fresh lemonade; Antonio and Stacey Rodriguez get food from Fair Sponsorship Manager Theresa Agricola; Zach Smith gets a cinnamon funnel cake from South Florida Fair CEO Vicki Chouris; and Paige Poole fills a lemonade cup.

We Take Care of Moms & Dads

Sue McCracken, Sales Director and her mother

Our resort-style community in Royal Palm Beach was designed to provide comfortable living and enjoyment every day. While Inspired Living will never be the home that was left behind, we hope that you or your loved one will find comfort, ease, and happiness in our community. Resort Style Living • Licensed Oversight 24/7 • Nutritious Chef-Prepared Meals All Day Restaurant Dining • Onsite + Offsite Events Dedicated Programming Daily • Housekeeping & Maintenance ALC Lic# Pending

16 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

CALL US TODAY FOR A TOUR! (561) 507-0986 INSPIRED LIVING ROYAL PALM BEACH Assisted Living & Memory Care 11911 Southern Blvd, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

Learn More at inspiredliving.care


Brad P. Glick, DO, MPH and Associates

Brad P. Glick, DO, MPH, FAOCD L. Zaulyanov Scanlan, MD, FAAD Denise M. Guevara, DO, FAOCD Sandy Goldman, DO, FAOCD Allan Snyder, PA-C, MMS Justine Thompson, PA-C Kristian Williams, PA-C Tomeka Fleming, LA, MA (Licensed Aesthetician)

Sheril Campbell, LA, MA (Licensed Aesthetician)

Skin Cancer • Dermatologic Surgery • Mohs Surgery • Hair & Nail Diseases Pediatric Dermatology • Laser Surgery • Botox, Fillers & Chemical Peels 1447 Medical Park Blvd., Suite #107, Wellington, FL

3275 N. State Rd. 7, Margate, FL

(561) 798-3494

(954) 974-3664

Urgent Care for All Ages When you need quality care for non-life-threatening conditions, turn to Wellington Physicians Urgent Care. No appointment is necessary. We can treat most conditions, including: •


Minor Burns

Cold or Flu Symptoms

Pulled/Strained Muscles


Sore Throats


Sprains and Fractures

Ear Infections

Urinary Tract Infections

Convenient Location: Palomino Park | 3319 State Road 7, Suite 102 | 561-333-4000

Walk in or call seven days a week. Medicare and most insurance plans are accepted.

With limited exceptions, physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Wellington Physicians Urgent Care. The facility shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. Wellington Physicians Urgent Care is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that includes physician owners. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. 200382-8266 02/20

Wellington’s Principals Credit Teachers And Unique Programs For Strong School Grades

A-Rated Schools


If there’s one thing overall that attracts young families to choose Wellington, it’s the community’s top-performing public schools. There are six elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools that serve the Wellington area — and all 11 are consistently A-rated schools in the State of Florida’s annual grade reports. What makes Wellington schools so successful? To get the answers, Wellington The Magazine spoke to all 11 principals. Not surprisingly, they gave much of the credit to their teachers. “At Palm Beach Central High School, excellence is never assumed, but always pursued,” Principal Darren Edgecomb said. “Our school is a microcosm of society. Our diversity is our strength. Our classroom teachers are the single greatest factor in our students’ success.They believe that each student has greatness inside.” “We have bilingual teachers in every grade level who can relate to children and their families,” said Dana Pallaria, principal at New Horizons Elementary School. “We have teachers who care 20 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

about students and go above and beyond every day to ensure that students are successful emotionally, physically, socially and mentally.” “Our teachers are absolutely amazing,” added Michella Levy, principal of Binks Forest Elementary School. “They work countless hours to ensure that our students get what they need academically and emotionally. We love our students, families and the Village of Wellington for all their support.” “Our teachers develop rigorous lessons to meet the needs of all learners. Their dedication and perseverance are evident when you enter any classroom,” explained Blake Bennett, principal at Wellington Landings Middle School. “Teachers take the time to get to know their students, and that translates to higher achievement in the classroom. They work together to plan, remediate student gaps in knowledge and use data to drive best instructional practices, which is beneficial for new teachers and experienced teachers joining our staff.” “The majority of our dedicated pro-

fessionals have taught only at our school, including several who have been in this profession for 15-plus years,” said Edilia De La Vega, principal of Panther Run Elementary School. “We are a family.When an initiative is implemented at our school, it is accomplished with 100 percent buy-in, and that is why we are so successful.” “Our teachers know the importance of working together to disaggregate data, share knowledge and discuss multiple ways to reach students, especially those struggling academically, emotionally or socially,” said Michele Johnson, principal at Equestrian Trails Elementary School. “Our teachers have been completing professional development in STEM education, and their efforts have been phenomenal. They are not afraid to try something new.” Wellington Elementary School Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan echoed the others when she said that her teachers are relentless in their efforts to reach every child.“They are dedicated professionals with a myriad of experience and expertise,” she said.“With the recent changes

to the mode of instructional delivery due to COVID-19, our teachers exemplify resilience, which is part of our core values at WES.” “The teachers at Emerald Cove Middle School care about their students and their social and emotional well-being,” Principal Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman added. “They understand that in order to reach a student academically, they must build a relationship with them.We pride ourselves in getting to know the needs of our students, then working innovatively and cooperatively with them so they succeed.” “What sets our teachers apart is their extreme dedication and commitment to the success of all students,” explained Gail Pasterczyk, principal at Elbridge Gale Elementary School.“Many provide tutoring before school, after school and on the weekends. Some do remediation during their lunch and break times of their own choosing. They attend training programs. They also incorporate a significant amount of technology.” “Our teachers always go the extra mile,” stressed Michael Aronson, principal of Polo Park Middle School. “The amount of time that goes into planning

meaningful and interactive lessons is obvious as I walk classes and listen to the students talk about their teachers. The amount of time that many of our teachers put in after school and on weekends, working with students via e-mail or Google Classroom, sets us apart from many other schools.” “I am proud to work with a faculty that includes teachers who have been here since the school’s inception 30 years ago, as well as more than 20 WHS graduates,” said Cara Hayden, principal at Wellington High School. “They perfect their craft with continuous professional development. Our department chairs foster a spirit of collegiality, constantly working with newer teachers to share their best practices. When professional educators come to Wellington High School, they stay at Wellington High School.” While teachers get the credit, a healthy mission and strong school vision for the future always helps. “Binks Forest Elementary School is a neighborhood school,” Levy explained. “We have high expectations and do whatever it takes to make sure that all students make a year or more growth in

a year’s time. We look at the individual needs of each student, create schedules and align resources to meet their needs.” “We focus on developing the whole child,” added Bennett of Wellington Landings.“We offer a wide array of elective classes, as well as before-school and after-school activities, sports, intramurals, tutoring and clubs. On any given day, we may have 500 students participating in an after-school activity. We offer 12 high school credit courses, and all students can access these. Also, we offer technology and arts academies. Students love taking these classes and will often ask me if we can have one more period each day so they can take more of the electives.” “We have a strong, collaborative relationship with our PTA, school advisory board and business partners,” Panther Run’s De La Vega said. “All stakeholders’ opinions are valued and considered when making decisions that affect the school population.We believe in the importance of educating each child to be a culturally competent citizen. We offer gifted/high-achieving classes in grades K through 5, an accelerated mathematics program in grades 3 through 5 and

Wellington officials join local principals for the presentation of last year’s Keely Spinelli Grant Program checks.

wellington the magazine | august 2020


“We are so fortunate to have a community that directly supports our schools. I have never seen a municipality take such a vested interest in schools and follow through.” — Blake Bennett our ESE teachers provide the best inclusive environment for all learners to be successful, ensuring that equity and access is equal among all of our demographics.” “Equestrian Trails is a strong community of staff, parents, community members and students,” Johnson said. “We collaborate and strive to prepare students for their future, academically, emotionally, socially and are always looking for innovative strategies and programs to help students in all capacities.We embrace change and challenge ourselves to think outside the box to reach all students. Our vision is to instill in every child the importance of working together through collaboration, communication, creativity and creative thinking in order to solve real-world problems and compete in a global society.” “High school is a pivotal time for young people,” said Hayden of WHS.“We are committed to opening doors of opportunity to all of our kids. Our career and choice academies offer world-class instruction to students who are passionate about science, technology, business and the arts. In addition to student government and DECA, we are adding dedicated courses for our Link Crew (mentors for ninth graders), Latinos in Action and BLAST (Black Leadership & Achievement Student Team). We offer Advanced Placement and dual enrollment, and an athletics program loaded with professional veteran coaches who are experts in their field.” “New Horizons Elementary is ranked third in the nation for being an ISA (International Spanish Academy) school,” Pallaria said. “We offer dual language classes beginning at age 4 through fifth 22 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

grade. Students have the opportunity to be bilingual, even if their family doesn’t speak Spanish. New Horizons has teachers who come from Spain for three years to teach. Our students are fully bilingual, biliterate and bicultural. We prepare them to be culturally competent citizens with a respect for others and their differences.” “Our diverse culture of students contributes to the amazing learning environment at our school,” Palm Beach Central’s Edgecomb said.“Leadership is often observed from the balcony view. This allows me to see the array of rigorous educational opportunities available for each student. Our student population is 38 percent Hispanic, 34 percent White and 21 percent Black.We have 50 percent of our population participating in the free/reduced lunch program. In addition, we serve approximately 400 ESE and 200 ELL students. All of these various groups contribute greatly to our school academic success and school culture.” “Emerald Cove Middle School students, teachers and staff give their all each day to help make the school a success,” Smith Feaman said.“The teamwork, dedication and innovation shown makes the difference. Emerald Cove has a pre-information technology program and is an AVID school.We utilize various effective teaching strategies to scaffold learning for our students. In addition, we stress the performing and fine arts, and we encourage students to be active and well-rounded.” “Elbridge Gale is the only school in the district to have nationally certified STEM teachers,” Pasterczyk said. “We also have numerous technology trail-

blazers, along with Google-certified teachers. We have four award-winning robotics teams that have gone to regional and state finals. One of the teams was given a prestigious invitation to the world competition this year.” “Our school deserves an A because of the hard work that our students, teachers and school community put forth every day,” Polo Park’s Aronson said. “Together, we have forged a culture and climate that is overwhelmingly positive, and that shows every day in the pride that our school community has.” “Our Fine Arts Academy sets us apart,” said Vaughan of Wellington Elementary.“The program includes visual arts, stage production, handbells, TV production and an impressive strings program. Since the inception of the academy in 2016, the points earned for the school grade have increased 76 percent.We could not achieve this without the support of all stakeholders — our teachers, staff, parents, volunteers, business partners and community members. We really believe that ‘it takes a village.’We have parents and staff members who attended WES as students, so some students have the same teacher their parents did, which is a very special experience.” The Village of Wellington is unique in that it directly supports Wellington’s 11 schools via the Keely Spinelli Grant Program, named in memory of the late Binks Forest principal. Since its inception, more than $2 million in grants have been awarded, earmarked to help students who are struggling in reading and math.The principals are grateful for the support, noting that it helps keep the school grades high. “We are so fortunate to have a community that directly supports our schools,” said Bennett of Wellington Landings. “I have never seen a municipality take such a vested interest in schools and follow through. The sup-

port has been unparalleled. Thanks to them, we are able to provide tutoring, special programming and materials to meet the individual needs of struggling learners.” “The village gives us funding to provide tutorials and purchase resources in order to serve the needs of all students in both reading and math,” said Levy of Binks Forest.“We also look at the whole child to make sure that their emotional and mental needs are met.” “Since Equestrian Trails is not a Title 1 school, we do not receive funding to support our lowest 25 percent,” Johnson said. “The Keely Spinelli Grant has enabled us to train teachers, purchase intensive programs and hire personnel to help struggling students meet standards and improve in language and math. Wellington demonstrates that it cares deeply about students, and it’s what sets us apart from other areas.” “This grant allows us to ensure that all students are able to receive the extra assistance they may need to be successful in their academic classes,” said Hayden of WHS. “It funds summer academic programs and tutorial programs in algebra 1, geometry, reading, writing, biology, U.S. history and online credit remediation.” “I couldn’t be more thankful for this grant,” said Pallaria of New Horizons.“It has provided our school with state-ofthe-art technology and tools; allowed us to offer a daily structured and rigorous tutorial program to fill in the gaps of learning for struggling students; and enables teachers to utilize engaging educational computer programs.” “We only succeed when all students succeed,” Palm Beach Central’s Edgecomb said.“The Spinelli Grant provides us with additional academic resources, lunch tutorials, after-school tutorials and Saturday tutorials. It would be extremely difficult for us to finance all of these additional opportunities without 24 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

(L-R) Wellington Landings Middle School Principal Blake Bennett, Palm Beach Central High School Principal Darren Edgecomb, Wellington High School Principal Cara Hayden, Equestrian Trails Elementary School Principal Michele Johnson, New Horizons Elementary School Principal Dana Pallaria, Elbridge Gale Elementary School Principal Gail Pasterczyk, Emerald Cove Middle School Principal Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman, Wellington Elementary School Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan, Binks Forest Elementary School Principal Michella Levy, Panther Run Elementary School Principal Edilia De La Vega and Polo Park Middle School Principal Michael Aronson.

it.The Village of Wellington is extremely unique in the way it supports academic success for all students.” “The Keely Spinelli Grant has had a huge impact on our efforts at WES,” Vaughan said. “The funds are used to provide additional intensive support for students through tutoring, as well as provide the opportunity for us to purchase much-needed resources and programs to expand and enhance the educational experience for our students.” “The grants have helped to make Emerald Cove a success,” Smith Feaman agreed.“The grant has been used to purchase Chromebooks for student use and has funded the tutorial program Pirate Academy, as well as other programs and materials. This has allowed us to differentiate instruction, provide scaffolded instruction and work to close the academic gap.” “The grant has allowed us to provide remediation to struggling students in all grade levels,” Elbridge Gale’s Pasterczyk said. “We have been able to hire additional staff to provide leveled literacy intervention in reading. We have learning gains and achievement in reading that would not have been possible without this additional support. We have also in-

creased math achievement and remain in the top 10 percent in the district with math and science tutoring.” “We use the grant to offset the cost of tutoring and purchasing needed technology and programs that enhance the learning process for our struggling students. We would not be able to do this without the grant,” Polo Park’s Aronson said.“The Village of Wellington has been an exceptional partner in the continued growth of our school.” “This funding has allowed us to truly meet the academic and social-emotional needs of all of our students,” Panther Run’s De La Vega explained.“We are able to purchase new technology and resources, and to hire additional tutoring teachers who provide targeted, smallgroup instruction to the students in the lowest 25 percent.This grant permits all the students at Panther Run to be successful. This is what sets the Wellington schools apart and makes this truly a great hometown to live and work in.” There is no doubt that the ongoing COVID-19 emergency will change how education in Wellington takes place this year. However, with a strong, A-rated foundation, Wellington schools stand ready to meet this unique challenge.





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Members Of Wellington High School’s Boys Lacrosse Team Leave Their Mark

Elite Eight


Among the most competitive and closeknit lacrosse players in the nation are the eight seniors who formed the nucleus of the 2020 Wellington High School varsity boys lacrosse team. This group of eight Wellington Wolverines were the backbone of what was perhaps the best boys lacrosse team in school history. Yet due to the 26

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COVID-19 shutdown, this year’s team didn’t get a chance to fulfill its destiny — a strong run in the post-season with the realistic hope of reaching the boys lacrosse state finals for the first time in school history. Going into the season, optimism was high that this year’s WHS boys lacrosse team would do very well.That was con-

firmed when the squad had a splendid start to the season, winning seven of its first eight games. And then the season came to a grinding halt. Despite the stoppage, the memories of the lacrosse season will remain alive and well for years to come for these eight seniors, who have been playing together for many years, starting with

Wellington High School varsity boys lacrosse team members Connor Anthony, Bryce Schwager, Teddy Miloch, Jeremiah Rogan, Matt Granaroli, Andrew Crosby, Aaron Thompson and Kylle Epstein.

While each had amazing individual skills, what sets these players apart is what they did as a unit. “I’m very proud of what this group accomplished as a team. We had a great fall season. We played in three tournaments and made the championship final in each event.” — Coach Johnny Hernandez their days with the Wellington Wolfpack travel team, while enrolled at Wellington Elementary School. Those eight seniors are Matt Granaroli,Aaron Thompson, Bryce Schwager, Andrew Crosby, Connor Anthony, Kylle Epstein, Jeremiah Rogan and Teddy Miloch. All of them have strong and positive

memories of their time playing lacrosse together, as well as spending time together away from the field. While they will be forever linked as lacrosse teammates, their bond is as strong off the lacrosse field as it has been on the lacrosse field. “We grew up together. We have that team chemistry,” Granaroli said.“We just

don’t think twice about where to go and what to do. Most of us have known each other since grade school at Wellington Elementary. Ever since we met each other in school, we all became best buddies. It’s not a team. It’s a brotherhood.We all hang out together.” “We’ve known each other for so long,” Thompson added. “I have great wellington the magazine | august 2020 27

memories of traveling to tournaments, staying at the hotels and hanging out with one another.” “I’m going to miss my teammates,” Schwager said. “My best memories are going to travel tournaments, staying up until 2 a.m. in the hotel and then having to get up at 6 a.m. to get ready for a game. Our coaches were not happy.” “As we got older, we all managed not to go our own separate ways,” Crosby added.“We stuck together, grew together and played as a family. We function well — both on and off the field.” As they ponder life after high school, they each know exactly what they’ll miss. “I will miss the strong friendships that I made through lacrosse,” Anthony said. “We’ve all been friends,” Epstein added.“Our bond is more than lacrosse.” “I learned a lot from my teammates, especially the lessons about teamwork,” Rogan explained. “Lacrosse connected us and bonded us together,” Miloch said. “The most memorable parts of travel lacrosse were all the tournaments we attended.” While playing high school lacrosse, each player had a separate role to play. Every player’s athletic attributes complemented one another, according to Wellington High School lacrosse head coach Johnny Hernandez and assistant coach Joe Calby. Hernandez’s memories of these eight seniors are profound. “Matt Granaroli was Mr. Fundamentals. He’s a player who knew his role on the team. He grew up from a 5-footnothing freshman to a 6-foot-1 stud in four years,” he said.“Aaron Thompson is a finisher. If he gets the ball in his stick, he’s either scoring a goal or making an assist. Bryce Schwager is a mentally tough kid. He’s a real competitor.Teddy Miloch has been a starter since day one. He did what we asked of him, and he 28

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“It was a special group of players. Lacrosse has given their friendship adhesive they will hold for a lifetime. Wins and losses will fade over the years, but they will always remember and love the game and how they played it together.” — Coach Joe Calby excelled at it. He has a great attitude and gave great input.” Each of the players gave it their all on their field, Calby said. “Andrew Crosby was our biggest competitor. He doesn’t want to come in second to anybody. He was having a stellar senior year,” the coach continued. “Connor Anthony was the muscle on the team. He became an incredible leader. Kylle Epstein was the emotion of the team. He had the highest lacrosse IQ. Jeremiah Rogan was the quiet, funny guy on the team, and he’s a hard worker.” Calby’s recollections are also filled with superlatives. “Matt Granaroli was dedicated to getting the job done right. He made very few mistakes on the field,” he said.“Aaron Thompson is fast and shifty. He’s a good offensive player. Bryce Schwager was one of our true, strong, grit players. He’s tough and physical.Teddy Miloch’s a great offensive player. He understands how the offense is meant to work on the field. He’s a little coach on the field.” It is a group of people that Calby will clearly miss. “Andrew Crosby was our best player. He’s a perfectionist.You can’t slow him down. He doesn’t want to come off the field. He’s always looking to be the best on the field,” Calby continued. “Connor Anthony has a big body and was a great defender. He displayed great leadership. He was a team captain. He held the team together on the field. Kylle Epstein was a second coach on the field. He’s a great

stick technician. He’s a hard-core player who is very physical on defense.” Calby also referred to Epstein and Anthony as “the dynamic duo of the defense.” “Jeremiah Rogan showed lots of grit. He’s a strong midfielder who was strong on the transition [from defense to offense]. He brought lots of intangibles to the team that didn’t appear on the stat sheet,” Calby said. While each had amazing individual skills, what sets these players apart is what they did as a unit. “I’m very proud of what this group accomplished as a team,” Hernandez said. “We had a great fall season. We played in three tournaments and made the championship final in each event.” Calby said that the 2020 team was the best boys lacrosse team ever fielded at Wellington High School. “It was a special group of players. Lacrosse has given their friendship adhesive they will hold for a lifetime,” he said.“Wins and losses will fade over the years, but they will always remember and love the game and how they played it together.” One of this group’s biggest team highlights took place when they were sophomores in 2018. That year, Wellington defeated rival Palm Beach Central High School 5-4 after four overtime periods. This past spring, the team’s biggest win was a 15-6 victory over Vero Beach High School. It was Wellington’s first-

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ever boys lacrosse victory against the Indians. Wellington’s only loss this spring was to Jupiter High School, but it’s worth noting that Wellington actually led at halftime, which was a program first. As for their futures playing lacrosse, some are committed to staying in the game. Thompson plans to attend Santa Fe College in Gainesville and play for UF’s club lacrosse team. Epstein will play college lacrosse at the New York Institute of Technology. Crosby plans to attend Florida State University and play club lacrosse. Anthony is also headed to FSU in the fall, where he plans to room with Crosby. “I’m thinking about playing for the men’s lacrosse club at FSU,” Anthony said. Miloch will also be attending FSU, but he’s not sure about playing colle-

“We grew up together. We have that team chemistry. We just don’t think twice about where to go and what to do. Most of us have known each other since grade school at Wellington Elementary. Ever since we met each other in school, we all became best buddies. It’s not a team. It’s a brotherhood. We all hang out together.” — Matt Granaroli giate club lacrosse, as he’s now more interested in body building. As for Granaroli, don’t be surprised if he plays college lacrosse, because he is a perfect fit for the sport.“As a sport, lacrosse is so much better for me,” Granaroli said. “I love the running part of lacrosse, and it’s a fun sport.” Schwager will be attending the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Right now, he doesn’t plan on playing club lacrosse, but he doesn’t rule it out. While this year’s eight seniors were

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focused on producing a memorable and historic season, they were also focused on the program’s future. At the beginning of pre-season practice, each senior was assigned a younger player to mentor in order to teach what is necessary to succeed. Clearly, a blueprint for future success for boys lacrosse at Wellington High School was established. To their credit, these elite eight seniors were as focused on the program’s future as they were on its present.

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Internet-Based Summer Program Proves Successful At American Heritage School


Learning never stops at American Heritage School. As soon as the final eight weeks of distance learning came to a close at the end of May, the private, college preparatory school didn’t miss a beat. Beginning June 1, it launched a new Heritage Online summer education program with 116 live and interactive classes offered to students in PK3 through the 12th grade open to students throughout the U.S. and abroad. “We started this program because we wanted to help students around the country and across the globe who were not happy with the distance learning that their schools provided,” American Heritage School President Dr. Douglas Laurie said. The Heritage Online courses are designed for students of average to gifted intelligence and provide reinforcement to get on track or enrichment to get ahead.Also available are one-on-one, virtual tutoring by AHS teachers, an international program, and core courses for credit, grade improvement and grade replacement. Students are learning from the best teachers in the education industry. All are experts in their fields and are the same certified instructors with advanced degrees who teach in the AHS classrooms throughout the school year. The Heritage Online course catalog is unmatched; it offers a wide variety of courses to suit any student’s passion 32

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and interest. “There is no other brickand-mortar school offering the depth and breadth of classes being offered by American Heritage School’s Online Summer Program,” Laurie said. Prominent businessman Brian Tuffin was the lead teacher of one of the most popular summer program courses, Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “We are endeavoring to set new standards of education and growth for the students, to create an ever-growing group of leaders,” said Tuffin, a Harvard Business School graduate and CEO of Fuse Science. He instilled the fundamentals of business and finance in young entrepreneurs throughout his three-week intensive class. Among the students in Tuffin’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation class was Nicola Grayling’s son, Billy. The 10th-grader had a business idea he had been thinking about for a while and hoped the course would be a great way to learn more and see if his idea had legs.“Billy loves the course and said it’s the best one he has taken since being at Heritage,” his mother said, adding that her son would much rather take summer classes online than in a traditional classroom. Today’s generation of students is innately skilled in technology. Therefore, logging in to Google Meet at 8 a.m. for four hours each Monday through Friday, and utilizing the online breakout groups

with 24-hour access to student business teams proved to be more popular than traditional class breakouts. According to Tuffin, 100 percent of the class is an open forum discussion, even in the breakout groups. Students are required to read the material and proactively advance the development of their businesses each day.“Students embraced the online learning setting,” he said. “Based on feedback we received from the surveys, we nailed it!” The transition to online teaching was flawless, according to Dr. Carlos Pulido, a 25-year veteran AHS teacher, a key player in developing the school’s premed program who is also a trained physician and former trauma surgeon. “We are a well-prepared team of dedicated faculty with only the best technical support staff for online resources and teaching tools, so we can continue to do our magic through a digital platform, enabling the students to keep getting the superb quality of education that we offer at American Heritage,” Pulido said. Marina Woodbury took the Medical Terminology class to get a good foundation for college. She will be entering the 12th grade in the fall and wants to be a veterinarian one day. “The teacher was super funny and knew how to make the class fun, even at eight in the morning,” she said. “Now I know what almost every medical term means,

American Heritage School offered students a virtual learning online program for the summer.

along with the roots, suffixes and prefixes.” Students tend to excel during online summer learning. According to Dr. Diana Sood, teacher of Embryology and Medical Terminology, students understand and retain the material more than if they were taking six classes at once. “The video is always on during class, so I can see their facial expressions. Are they yawning or confused or smiling or heads nodding? I will ask questions, so they have to be engaged. I will talk and explain and always do a question-andanswer to see how well they are retaining,” said Sood, who has worked as an orthopedic surgery coordinator, educator and researcher. This is Sood’s sixth year teaching pre-medical classes and honors biology at American Heritage. The ideal online learning student is tech-savvy, shows up to class on time, uploads assignments and tests without reminders, and has exemplary academic integrity. “These

are the most important traits, since a teacher is not in the same room,” Pulido explained. As part of the school’s Prepping for Kindergarten course, the students logged in to Google Meet every morning from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and were active participants in the class.Teacher Lauren Kramer is a 20-year veteran teacher with a master’s degree and a “Teacher of the Year” award to her name. She is all about hands-on experiences. In other words, she sings with her students, dresses up as characters and goes on letter scavenger hunts — all virtually during her online class. “My students love the online learning setting, and they are eager to please,” she said. One kindergarten mother said she saw more growth in her child during the summer online class than in the months prior to starting distance learning at American Heritage. Another parent of elementary students in fourth and fifth grades shared

“We started this program because we wanted to help students around the country and across the globe who were not happy with the distance learning that their schools provided.” — Dr. Douglas Laurie

wellington the magazine | august 2020 33

how the online summer courses were the perfect way to augment her sons’ previous schoolwork and prepare for the fall. According to Jesica McLane, the small class sizes were a critical factor because this allowed the teachers to focus on each student. The computer skills her children acquired were also a great by-product of virtual learning.“We would choose to enroll again next sum-

mer,” McLane said.“It is a fun way for the kids to keep up/catch up in a low-pressure environment.” Luckily for the McLane family, and for the many other families who had enriching educational experiences, the Heritage Online Summer Program will be available again next summer. Additionally, the school will continue to offer one-on-one virtual tutoring throughout

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the year, since the program became so popular in the new environment of virtual education. “For students who wanted to advance their academic skill set, the Heritage Online program also offered courses to assist with producing higher potential SAT scores and AP scores, as well as opening students’ schedules for other courses they would like to take in the fall,” Laurie said. He was pleased with the results of his school’s first summer online program. “In this age of uncertainty, these students will be going into their respective schools far more prepared than they would have otherwise because of the education they received from American Heritage School,” Laurie said. The American Heritage School is located at 6200 Linton Blvd., just east of Jog Road, in Delray Beach. For more information, call (561) 495-7272 or visit www.ahschool.com.

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Education Place Is Designed To Fit Into A Busy Lifestyle, Particularly In The COVID-19 Era

Unique School


Evolving from a private tutoring organization for young equestrians, Education Place today is a private school in Wellington teaching up to 100 students. This year-round, Montessori-style school serves families for whom a traditional school setting does not work, and this unique education model has the school fully prepared to continue teaching students through the current pandemic. Education Place was founded 20 years ago by Judy Blake and Anita Kane, who both taught at a local private school.Their objective was to fill a need in the western communities for tutoring and home schooling. Originally, the two educators drove with their supplies to each student’s house.Within the first year, the number of students grew so dramatically, that it required a permanent location for their flexible and alternative educational activities. The purpose of the school was to provide a unique learning environment dedicated to high levels of productivity and integrity, an “education place” for students away from the distractions of their homes. “We pride ourselves on providing young people with the direction and support to manage their time, learning styles and behavior,” Kane said. They soon found that this approach works well with the modern lifestyle. “Many families today are experienc-

ing fast-paced lives full of information overload,” Blake explained. “They are assigned to overcrowded schools with inflexible school curricula and now remote teaching. Sometimes they suffer from isolation from their extended family due to travel requirements or multiple living locations.” This has led many people to look for alternatives, Blake added. “These people include students who devote daily time to special interests, such as equestrian training, music training, a job, professional practicing, such as tennis, soccer or baseball players, racecar drivers or those into modeling, etc. Now it includes students who no longer have a traditional school setting available to them,” Blake said. Education Place is uniquely designed to meet the emotional and time challenges that such students and families face. For students visiting from other areas, such as equestrian competitors, the school can interface with the student’s home school, if necessary, even if that school is in another state or country. There is an attention-intensive ratio of just eight students for each teacher. The facility was already set up to respond to the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic without necessitating many changes. “Our 8,000-square-foot campus is

not a public facility, so there is no one present who isn’t a student or a teacher,” Blake said. For example, there was key card access already in place and there was more than ample space between students in the classrooms under normal circumstances. “We have a whole system in place now,” Kane added, explaining that there are daily health checks and the taking of non-touch temperatures upon arrival of everyone. Everything is sanitized each evening, as well as throughout the school day, and there is very limited sharing of maEducation Place is located in the original Wellington Mall.

wellington the magazine | august 2020 37

Teacher Thursa Sotak works with a student at Education Place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

terials, with touching surfaces continuously sanitized. There is an isolation room configured to Centers for Disease Control standards, should anyone exhibit symp-

toms.There, the affected child can comfortably rest until a parent arrives to pick them up. The founders of Education Place have a lifetime of training and career ex-

perience in the field of education. Kane was born into education and leadership as the child of the owners of a school in Maryland. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mary Baldwin College and a master’s degree in teaching from Trinity College. She also attended George Mason University School of Law. Kane possesses graduate-level certification in Montessori teaching for children ages 6 to 9 and 9 to 12. She has taught for 30 years, and her career includes 25 years as a school administrator. Blake has been educating and inspiring children and adults for more than 40 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University. Her graduate studies have earned her Montessori teaching credentials for children ages 3 to 6 and 6 to 9. In addition, she has completed a certificate program for child development from birth to age three. Other achievements

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include being the founder and director of the Ridgewood Montessori School in New Jersey. Education Place is open 12 months a year with a program especially developed for students who find themselves bored, frustrated or lost in their traditional school or today’s non-traditional remote school situation. Perhaps they missed out on important skills during this year’s disruption of the school year, or they are yearning to get out of the house and return to productivity. The customized learning program ​ features small, mixed-age classes of students in elementary, middle and high school classrooms taught by experienced, caring career professionals. “Known as the premier provider of customized educational services for the Wellington community, Education Place aims to be where students can connect with others and build lasting relationships,” Blake said.

Education Place founders Judy Blake and Anita Kane.

For those families wishing to keep their students at home during the pandemic, Education Place also provides distance support by phone or Skype. Education Place is located in the

original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 23, in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 7536563 or visit www.1educationplace. com.

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wellington the magazine | august 2020 39

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Neighborhood Kids Preschool Now Offering A Kindergarten Program


Neighborhood Kids provides a safe educational environment for young children.

Wellington’s oldest preschools will soon be offering a new kindergarten program. When the upcoming school year begins on Monday, Aug. 10, Neighborhood Kids will be offering schooling for kindergarten-age children at its Greenbriar Blvd. location, courtesy of owners Frank and Olivia Toral. Previously called Little Place and Little Place Too, the Torals took over the longtime Wellington landmarks last year from founder Susan Russell, who opened the first location in 1978. They have since rebranded the two locations as Neighborhood Kids. “Until now, the school has served ages four months to pre-kindergarten and has graduated approximately 2,000 children from pre-kindergarten over the last 40 years,” Frank Toral said. “But we saw a tremendous need for affordable, private kindergarten education in Wellington. We will offer continuity of care by offering kindergarten. Since we’ve cared for them since they were toddlers, it only makes sense to hire a top-notch educator to get them more than ready for first grade in a loving environment.” As of July, Toral said that top candidates for the position were all “well-credentialed, well-trained and possessing significant experience.” In an occupation where staff turnover is often quite high, the average tenure of the current Neighborhood Kids teaching staff is 10 years. The school offers successful curriculums such as Abeka and Creative, as well wellington the magazine | august 2020 41

Frank and Olivia Toral are the owners of Neighborhood Kids. PHOTO BY MARCIO CAVALCANTI

as Amazing Athletes and Go Picasso programs to promote students’ physical fitness and creative development. Unlike many public schools, Neighborhood Kids kindergarteners will begin learning Spanish and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculums, as well as reading, phonics, writing, penmanship, social studies, sports and nutrition. Offering kindergarten at Neighborhood Kids is not the only new program. At the Wellington Trace location, which previously only accepted children once they turned 2, a program has been added to accommodate babies as young as 12 months. And a second infant room has been added at the Greenbriar location, helping accommodate Wellington’s many young families. “There are a lot more infants under our care,”Toral said. Additionally, while the school has always been open to children of all faiths, a new supplemental faith-based curriculum of Bible study has been added for ages 2 and up at both locations. “Those things are a big part of our news, but it doesn’t end there,” Toral said. “Due to the coronavirus, many Wellington-area families are under financial pressure.They may be experiencing reduced hours or have lost their jobs. Both of our locations have been awarded contracts to provide parents with 42

august 2020 | wellington the magazine

significant financial assistance through the Palm Beach County School Readiness Program. The program provides funding for families of new and existing students.When they call Neighborhood Kids, we can walk them through the application.They apply, get a voucher and sign up. It’s fast and streamlined, and we’re an approved provider. The program has been there, but we’ve never availed ourselves of it before, as most families were private pay. Now, we can do something to help families in these tough financial times.” Neighborhood Kids is also following all the enhanced CDC guidelines to keep staff and families safe. Parents must wear masks when dropping off their children and are not allowed back in the rooms; children’s temperatures are taken upon entering and leaving; and there is a protocol in place should anyone test positive for the COVID-19 virus. “We’re very mindful of the environment and doing all we can to make sure Neighborhood Kids remains a safe place for kids,” Toral said. “We hope to maintain a school where no child has tested positive. So far, thank God, no one has.” The school also recently announced a program to help families now that the public schools are expected to remain with distance learning when the new academic year begins.

“We’re very mindful of the environment and doing all we can to make sure Neighborhood Kids remains a safe place for kids.” — Frank Toral “I want parents to know that we at Neighborhood Kids have a program in place to have in-person learning support for kindergarten through fifth grade, where parents can drop off their kids for a full or half day so they can return to work, complete assignments and continue to learn in a safe, supportive and clean environment,” Toral said. “It’s one thing to teach your children in the summer, but another dynamic entirely to do it indefinitely.” With a background in law and the ministry, Frank Toral and his wife Olivia moved to Wellington several years ago, before purchasing the two preschools. They previously operated a local church. “We’re here to stay,”Toral said.“We no longer have a church; our exclusive focus is in developing these schools, staff, directors and students. We live in Wellington, and we work in Wellington.” Enhancing the schools’ presence in the neighborhoods where they are located is also a key part of the Torals’ plan. Returning students and parents will notice that extensive renovations have taken place at both schools. “They’re like brand new,”Toral said. Both Neighborhood Kids sites are currently accepting enrollment. They are open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. To schedule a tour of Neighborhood Kids at 2995 Greenbriar Blvd., call (561) 790-0808. To visit the 1040 Wellington Trace location, call (561) 7935860. Visit www.neighborhoodkids.net for more information.


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As Distance Learning Becomes The New Normal, Families Explore Their Options

Virtual School BY MIKE MAY

The current academic climate is causing many parents to reconsider where and how their children will be educated during the upcoming school year. To say that the conclusion of the last school year was a bit different is an understatement.While the vast majority of parents and educational leaders prefer students learn in a traditional classroom setting, the rising COVID-19 statistics in South Florida means it will take more time for the “old normal” to return. In the meantime, parents whose children attend public schools are looking at a “new normal.” Most of these parents will likely accept what is being offered by their home schools, at least in the short term, but some have been exploring their options. Among those options are private schools, private tutors and other options, like Florida Virtual School. Many private schools in the area, as well as Catholic schools led by the Diocese of Palm Beach, are beginning the school year this month with students on campus, wearing masks and practicing social distancing. While today’s public school teachers are more than qualified to instruct students sitting in their classrooms, are they ready, prepared and willing to start this new school year like they finished the previous one — working from a remote location, providing online teaching?

Most parents appreciated the work put in by teachers at the end of the last school year, but many also questioned if the educational experience provided was as effective as it needs to be. For his part, Palm Beach County School Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy has promised a more robust online learning experience this fall. For those public school parents who are not comfortable with the new normal, there’s an alternative, which is a tried, tested, respected, established and proven online option — Florida Virtual School (FLVS), a 180-day calendar of online public schooling, which provides flexibility of learning for students in all grades. It’s worth noting that when registering with FLVS full time, it becomes the student’s primary school of record. Individual FLVS classes, however, can be

taken through the child’s home school. There is also a similar online portal provided by the School District of Palm Beach County, known as Palm Beach Virtual School. FLVS has been around for more than 20 years, starting in 1997. The price is right, too. Since it is a public school open to all Florida residents, there is no charge to enroll in FLVS. “We are considered part of Florida’s public school system,” said Tania Clow, communications manager for FLVS. At Florida Virtual School (www.flvs. net), students are getting the full academic experience. In the virtual classroom, nearly 200 courses are taught, ranging from algebra and biology to AP history and Spanish. Florida Virtual School teaches a wide range of students — from kindergarten to high school. It has long been popular with students wellington the magazine | august 2020


who do not thrive in traditional public school settings. There’s more to FLVS than what is taught online. Outside the virtual classroom, students also have access to more than 55 online student clubs and activities. Additionally, one of its benefits is that students can choose to learn on their own schedules. That flexibility is important in a household where multiple family members may be on-the-go, such as high-level athletes and others who spend much of the year elsewhere. With Florida Virtual School, the system still provides one-on-one personal instruction from certified teachers. Another plus is that students can work ahead, stay on target with their peers in the traditional school system or get back on track through the FLVS Flex program, if they fall behind in their studies for one reason or another. Clearly, the public schools, private schools and virtual schools are competing for the same students, especially now, since so many students are being taught online this fall, and possibly into 2021. The competition for students in Florida is significant. According to the FLVS web site, 215,505 students were taught by Florida Virtual School in the 2018-19 school year. Not surprisingly, the registration numbers have risen in recent months.

“Comparing year over year, Florida Virtual School has seen a 71 percent increase in FLVS Flex applications since July 1, and a 66 percent increase in applications for FLVS Full Time since registration opened in March,” Clow said. “There has also been an increase in inquiries from parents with younger children, researching online options for children in grades kindergarten to grade five. We encourage all parents to visit www.flvs.net for more information on our comprehensive curriculum and supportive teachers.” While enrollment for FLVS Full Time for the upcoming school year closed July 31, enrollment for FLVS Flex is open all year round. With FLVS Flex, students in kindergarten through 12th grade can take one course or multiple courses to supplement their education. One of the strongest qualities of an FLVS teacher is the specialized training to communicate and interact with students, despite being in distant locations. “Communication is very important and is a focus of the extensive training all FLVS teachers receive. We believe that supportive and effective communication should be evident throughout a student’s experience, especially in a virtual environment,” explained Jason Schultz, senior director of instruction for Florida Virtual School. “It is important that we know each child and their unique learning styles in order to support them in a meaningful way.” While some students can thrive moving through the course more independently, others need a more individualized approach, working one-on-one with their teacher, he added. “Some students may learn best in a group live lesson, while others benefit from a more personalized approach,” Schultz said. “Having a positive working relationship with our students and families, knowing what works for them

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wellington the magazine | august 2020


closed to on-campus learning until the rate of new COVID-19 cases shows a significant decline. Fennoy supports the school year beginning with distance learning for all students, allowing for a phased return to brick-and-mortar, inperson instruction when county health conditions permit. To support its decision, the school district will be distributing more than 82,000 laptop computers to students who need one and is also working to make WiFi more readily available to students living in homes without Internet access. Once finalized, the school district’s plan will need to be approved by the Florida Department of Education, which has a policy preference that public school districts open the brick-andmortar schools for students five days a week. Fennoy’s plan sends students back to the classroom based on the state’s re-opening phases. Phase 1 is all online,

individually, and personalizing their educational experience with us is so important in creating a successful online learning environment.” The FLVS system has been designed to enable students to easily ask their teachers follow-up questions. “FLVS offers live lessons within the courses, teaching the material in real time using a video conference platform. Students can engage and ask questions during the live lessons,” Schultz said. “Students can also reach out to teachers at any point when they are in need of assistance, additional resources, or need to talk with their teacher. FLVS teachers return all student e-mails, phone calls and text messages within 24 hours.” As of mid-July, the School District of Palm Beach County was still finalizing its plans for the new academic year. According to Fennoy, a panel of health experts has suggested that Palm Beach County public schools remain

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“Comparing year over year, Florida Virtual School has seen a 71 percent increase in FLVS Flex applications since July 1.” — Tania Clow since Palm Beach County, like Broward and Miami-Dade, remains in a Phase 1 reopening. Students will begin returning to campus, divided up by grade level, once Palm Beach County moves into Phase 2. In nearby counties, there’s a mix of on-campus learning and virtual instruction. For example, in Martin County, students return to school on Aug. 10 in person, wearing masks. However, families are also being given an online option. Visit www.palmbeachschools.org to learn more about the school district’s plans. Learn more about Florida Virtual School at www.flvs.net.

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Two Students From Wellington Selected For Prestigious Bank Of America Program

Student Leaders Two high school students from Wellington, Katherine Oung and Ashley Kulberg, have been selected as part of this year’s Bank of America Student Leaders program. The six-week paid summer internship program will help strengthen the students’ leadership abilities, civic engagement and workforce skills-building. In light of the health concerns that remain in local communities, the program, which gathers more than 300 high school students across the country, has been adapted to a virtual format, through which students will have the opportunity to participate in sessions that will expose them to the vital role that nonprofits play in advancing community health, the importance of public-private partnerships to advance social change and a focus on building financial acumen. The Student Leaders will participate in programming that leverages Bank of America’s national partnerships and expertise and will work closely with the bank’s Palm Beach County leadership and nonprofit partners. They will participate in a collaborative, mentoringfocused project working closely with Communities in Schools of Palm Beach County to develop and deliver a social media strategy to support the organization’s efforts. “Now, more than ever, as we collectively navigate the challenges we face in our communities, we remain committed

Katherine Oung A Wellington resident and rising senior at the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Katherine Oung is passionate about civic engagement and politics. She was recently featured in The New York Times for her op-ed titled “Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School.”

to supporting youth and young adults of all backgrounds by connecting them to jobs, skills-building and leadership development,” said Fabiola Brumley, Bank of America’s Palm Beach County market president and vice chairman, business banking.“Creating opportunities for our youth to gain skills and build a network is a powerful investment in the future of our community.” Through her experiences as an intern for Congresswoman Lois Frankel, the captain of her speech and debate team and the first non-collegiate lead writer for a volunteer-run newsroom, Katherine Oung has seen and heard firsthand about wealth inequality in her own community. Now, she’s working in real time to address these issues and level the playing field for her neighbors. Oung believes in the power of vol-

unteering to build connections that will serve as a tool to ignite meaningful change, especially within her local community. Because of her dedication and exceptional leadership qualities, the rising senior at the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts has been selected for the Student Leader program. She has spent hundreds of hours educating her peers and managing the 50-member staff at Balance the Ballot, a student-run organization with the goal of raising awareness for current global issues and getting youth more involved in and informed about politics.As a lead writer, she spearheaded an initiative to facilitate voter registration in 2018. Her South Florida region registered 200 people, and the event was so successful that it will continue leading up to this year’s election. wellington the magazine | august 2020 49

“Now, more than ever, as we collectively navigate the challenges we face in our communities, we remain committed to supporting youth and young adults of all backgrounds by connecting them to jobs, skills-building and leadership development.” — Fabiola Brumley Oung recently penned an op-ed for The New York Times entitled “Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School,” which discussed her personal experiences with racism as an Asian American amid the rise of COVID-19. As a counselor at Arts Reaching Out to Society Camp for the past three years, Oung helped to organize Jefferson Jubilee, a holiday event donating gifts to underprivileged children. She also served as a mentor for Beyond Resolved, a student-led speech and debate organization, where she supports, advocates and

raises awareness for marginalized high school students. Through her internship with Frankel, Oung immersed herself in the needs of her community by participating in events, meeting with area residents and leaders, and listening to their stories to better promote their needs. She has also dedicated more than 100 hours to local organizations, serving as a volunteer at the Soup Kitchen of Boynton Beach, a volunteer attorney and jury member for Youth Court, and a foster parent for the Peggy Adams Animal Shelter.

Oung aspires to one day tackle wealth inequality through government work or as an attorney. Currently, she plans to continue her passion for freelance journalism, as she believes accurate reporting is the best way to spread knowledge as a means of power. As a student attending an elite private school,Ashley Kulberg understands her position of privilege and uses it as an opportunity to give back to her local community, while also helping on a global scale. The rising senior at the American Heritage School in Delray Beach works to sponsor the education and frequent communication, through pen pal relationships, with her international peers as vice president of her high school chapter of Education Rocks. Last summer, she had the opportunity to travel to Bali and witness her impact firsthand after meeting her pen pal, Yuni, who is not afforded the same luxuries.


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In addition to her international travels, Kulberg has dedicated hundreds of hours to participating in the varsity speech and debate team and mentoring the novice teams, which are comprised of debaters from ninth grade and middle school. It was through these experiences that she found her voice, which she uses to advance political dialogue and spread ideas. When she’s not writing toYuni or supporting her debate team, Kulberg works as a student organizer for TEDxYouth, an event series encouraging conversation around “worth-spreading ideas.” In September 2019, she presented a proposal to faculty, then coordinated auditions, practices, ticket sales and all necessary components to put on the inaugural event. Kulberg has also demonstrated her exceptional leadership skills and dedication to her professional development

Ashley Kulberg A Wellington resident and rising senior at the American Heritage School in Delray Beach, Ashley Kulberg is passionate about debate and politics. She also has a pen pal in Bali and traveled to see her as part of her work with the school’s chapter of Education Rocks.

as a competitor for her high school’s chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America, the largest business student organization in the world; a policy research fellow for Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer; and her involvement in her religious community as a volunteer for her synagogue summer camp. Kulberg is dedicated to addressing

the challenges in her community. As a Bank of America Student Leader, she hopes to use this new opportunity to propel herself up the ladder of influence to spark positive change in her community. Learn more about the Student Leaders program at www.bankofamerica. com/studentleaders.


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New Independent Living Community Wellington Bay Is Now Under Construction

Senior Living


Wellington Bay, an independent living community near the Mall at Wellington Green, is now under construction, offering seniors a great option to live life to its fullest in a maintenance-free lifestyle. Wellington Bay Director of Sales & Marketing Wendy Paige is excited to offer this lifestyle concept to the community. “Senior living is such a great option,” she said, adding that Liberty Senior Living, the developer and owner of Wellington Bay, offers an environment that simplifies day-to-day living for residents. “It’s such a great company, concept and senior living community. It means so much to me when children of our residents come and thank me for helping 52 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

their mom or dad. They often say that many become more active again.” Paige has been in the South Florida area for 16 years. She recently moved to Wellington from Jupiter. “I enjoy the people and the community so much, I just bought a house in Wellington myself,” she said. “I got started in senior living by helping my parents find their retirement move, 15 years ago. I enjoyed helping them and learning about this option along the way, so I changed my career and have sold senior living ever since.” Paige has represented all levels along the senior living spectrum: independent living, assisted living and memory care. Married to her husband, Craig Wat-

son, a PGA member who coaches the mens and womens golf teams at Palm Beach Atlantic University, the couple have five kids and seven grandchildren, including a set of twins. “We are a golfing family, but I am excited to learn more and get involved in the equestrian side of Wellington,” Paige said. Nowadays, much of her time is spent in her vocation, representing her passion,Wellington Bay. “It is the only independent living community in Wellington,” Paige said. “We will offer seniors a great option to live life to its fullest while simplifying the burden of living independently with many flexible programs.” She looks forward to stewarding Wel-

lington Bay from its construction into a living, breathing community of residents. “When a resident decides to live in Wellington Bay, the entire property becomes their home, so no one has to give up anything by selling their house,” Paige said. “Seniors can choose from three distinct lifestyle choices in apartment homes, garden flats or villas, all in a no-hassle, maintenance-free lifestyle.” Paige also noted the many different services and programs at the resort-style Wellington Bay community. “Our whole-person wellness program promotes personal health and fitness,” she said. “We will offer a true indulgence of an on-site spa, beach-entry

“We will offer seniors a great option to live life to its fullest while simplifying the burden of living independently.” — Wendy Paige (Left) Wellington Bay sales team members Debbie Halle and Wendy Paige.

outdoor pool — while also having an indoor pool for those days when that might be a resident’s preference.” The 65,000-square-foot Wellington Bay clubhouse features a bar, multiple dining options, billiards table, card rooms, a library, an art room and much more. “On our grounds, we will also have bocce ball, pickle ball, great spaces wellington the magazine | august 2020


Wellington Bay is conveniently location right near the Mall at Wellington Green.

for walking and residents can even fish in our lakes,” Paige said. A key benefit of Wellington Bay is the quality of the lifestyle. “We want our residents to stay independent as long as possible. We take care of many items for them that have simply become more of an unwanted burden,” said Paige, giving examples with the weekly housekeeping, flexible dining program, transportation and all the requirements of home maintenance. “They are all part of the monthly rent, and our Wellington Bay concierge-style service is just a phone call away, to direct or help with any of the residents’ needs.” As an upscale independent living community in the heart of Wellington, Wellington Bay will provide a place for seniors to move when they tire of taking care of a single-family home, without having to leave the community they love. “At Wellington Bay, they can continue to live an active lifestyle filled with 54 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

a variety of social, recreational, cultural and educational possibilities every day,” Paige explained. While Wellington Bay is new, the company behind it has a long-established and award-winning reputation in the industry. “All of the other Liberty communities have been identified as Best Places to Work. Our South Bay campus in South Carolina has been recognized as a Charleston’s Choice, and Carolina Bay has been recognized as one of the Great Places to Live,” Paige noted. She said that she couldn’t be more pleased about the location of the new Wellington Bay Senior Living campus. “All the businesses and people have been so friendly in Wellington, and this has to be the best chamber I have ever been involved with,” she said. “They do so much to promote local businesses, especially with this pandemic going on.” As seniors age,Wellington Bay will be able to continue serving them.

“One of the true values of Wellington Bay will be access to on-campus multiple levels of care,” Paige said. “The Lisbet Health Center is a step-up program. As people continue aging, we will also have assisted living and memory support. One nice feature of our assisted living is we will offer two-bedroom units in addition to all the amenities, programs and services that make the lifestyle at Wellington Bay so great.” She urged anyone interested in Wellington Bay to come aboard soon and help create this unique, new community. “Those who move in early have the chance to help shape the community and enjoy the benefits of being a founding member,” Paige said.“We are excited to share with you our plans for Wellington Bay.” Wellington Bay is located at 2590 Wellington Bay Drive. For more information, call (561) 335-5405 or visit www.wellingtonbayfl.com.


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Cardiologist Dr. Rishi Panchal Has Opened A New Practice Serving The Wellington Area


Cardiologist and advanced peripheral vascular specialist Dr. Rishi Panchal recently opened the Ivy Cardiac & Vascular Center on the campus of Palms West Hospital with his own distinctly clientfocused approach to patient care. Trained at some of the nation’s most prestigious facilities for cardiovascular disease, Dr. Panchal was raised in Ocala horse country and was inspired by his father, also a doctor. Growing up, he loved to ride, play golf, fish and fly planes, receiving his pilot license at age 16. Through his father’s approach to patient care, he was influenced to continue serving as a physician. “I was with another practice for two years before opening my own to serve the western hospitals,” said Dr. Panchal, who also has an office in Belle Glade. Up to date with the latest knowledge and techniques available, he combines that with his experience at major academic institutions and his commitment to quality care. Dr. Panchal’s clinical areas of interest include general cardiovascular care, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, venous disorders and peripheral vascular limb preservation. “About one-half of my practice is a specialization in peripheral vascular disease,” he explained, noting that he works with the management of peripheral arterial and venous disorders utilizing minimally invasive techniques and

cutting-edge technology.“I received specialized training at Yale University’s limb preservation program.” Dr. Panchal was involved in national research trials at Yale for carotid and peripheral arterial disease. A contributor to medical textbooks and the author of published papers, he has presented at national cardiovascular conferences. More than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, accounting for about one in every four deaths, he explained. The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions, which are usually treatable or manageable. “The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack,” Dr. Panchal said. “Several medical conditions and lifestyle choices place people at a high risk for heart disease. Hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking and excessive alcohol use can all contribute.” He explained that education and guidance to patients regarding living a healthy lifestyle are as important as diagnoses and treatment of disease and disorders.“At Ivy Cardiac & Vascular Center, we provide comprehensive cardiovascular care to our patients,” Dr. Panchal said. Training and experience at the Yale University Advanced Peripheral Vascular Interventional Program provided him

Cardiologist Dr. Rishi Panchal.

with the specialized skills and knowledge to treat patients with peripheral arterial disease and critical limb ischemia. The limb preservation program at Ivy Cardiac & Vascular Center is designed to decrease amputation rates and offer an improved quality of life for patients. Dr. Panchal has authored textbooks on the topic and received recognition for advanced peripheral vascular work and continues to be a leader in the field. With chronic vein abnormalities being a common disorder found in some 50 percent of the population, such veins can become distended and become varicose or spider veins. “Spider veins are typically small veswellington the magazine | august 2020


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august 2020 | wellington the magazine

“About one-half of my practice is a specialization in peripheral vascular disease. I received specialized training at Yale University’s limb preservation program.” — Dr. Rishi Panchal

sels seen on the surface of legs that look like a spider web. Though mostly cosmetic, these veins can be indicative of severe disease in the future,” he said, adding that when patients are bothered by the appearance of these veins, treatment via a minimally invasive technique can offer beautiful results. Varicose veins are larger veins, which can become swollen, causing symptoms of leg fatigue, swelling, skin changes, restless leg syndrome and overall large, ugly veins. “These distorted, dilated veins near the surface of the skin may look like a cord and are most commonly in the legs and ankles,” Dr. Panchal said.“They may not be serious initially, but they can lead to serious problems in the future. Many of the treatments available for these provide a minimal recovery period and allow the patient to walk out of the office after treatment.” Dr. Panchal is fellowship trained in superficial and venous disease to provide the most comprehensive care for patients, as well as complete cardiovascular care. His certifications include: APCA

Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (2018), ABIM Cardiovascular Disease (2017), NBE Echocardiography (2017) and ABIM Internal Medicine (2014). His education and training include a peripheral vascular interventional fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine, a cardiovascular disease fellowship at the Henry Ford Health System, a residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida, a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, plus undergraduate work in biology at the University of Miami. Panchal is also a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and has memberships in the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions, the Society for Vascular Medicine and the Chronic Limb Ischemia Global Society. Ivy Cardiac & Vascular Center is located at 12983 Southern Blvd., Suite 205, on the campus of Palms West Hospital. His Belle Glade office is located at 1100 S. Main Street. For more information, call (561) 210-9495 or visit www.ivycardiovascular.com. wellington the magazine | august 2020




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Grant Ganzi Of Wellington Named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Chapter’s Man Of The Year

Spirited Fundraiser Every nine minutes, somebody in the U.S. dies of a blood cancer. In today’s uncertain times, cancer patients need support now, more than ever. On Friday, June 26, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter held its Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale. The program raised more than $670,848. The two winners were Grant Ganzi of Wellington and Teri Klotz of Lake Worth. Ganzi raised $149,063, while Klotz raised $78,367. The money will support LLS’s goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving treatments. During a spirited 16-week fundraising campaign, candidates compete in honor of local Boy of the Year Aiden and Girl of the Year Lily, both blood cancer survivors, to raise the most funds to ensure a world without blood cancers. Ganzi’s campaign was focused around Aiden and Lily, making sure that other children and their families don’t have to face what they went through. In addition, Ganzi has had other close friends who battled leukemia and wanted to help make a difference. “I wanted to raise money for this amazing cause and organization because of my friend Brandon Phillips. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 14 and was only given six months to live. He beat the odds and has been in remission for more than 25

The 2020 Man and Woman of the Year winners were Teri Klotz and Grant Ganzi. Together with the rest of the unstoppable 2020 candidate class, they helped raise $670,848.

years. His story has inspired me to help others,” Ganzi said. As a Lynn University senior, thirdgeneration polo player and the Polo School’s USPA delegate, Ganzi engaged his polo community, family and friends for support, as well as holding two virtual trivia nights via ChukkerTV to raise money for his campaign. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale was held via Zoom. Ganzi was awarded the

title with 16 other candidates and more than 100 guests in virtual attendance. “We could not be prouder of these 17 individuals, who used every creative resource they had to raise dollars for our mission during a pandemic. Many would have given up, but these candidates were all in to help us in our mission to find cures for cancer,” said Pamela Payne, executive director of LLS’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter. Candidates and their campaign teams wellington the magazine | august 2020


Grant Ganzi is a third-generation polo player based out of the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.

were judged solely on virtual fundraising success this campaign season, each dollar counting as one vote.Their totals will then be considered for the national title. Candidates in each LLS chapter

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across the country vie for the local title, and the highest fundraisers earn the national title. Ganzi’s initial goal was to raise $75,000. “I surpassed my goal, and I’m

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62 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

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“I wanted to raise money for this amazing cause and organization because of my friend Brandon Phillips. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 14 and was only given six months to live. He beat the odds and has been in remission for more than 25 years. His story has inspired me to help others.” — Grant Ganzi surprised I was able to.There were moments in my campaign where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to reach my goal,” he said.“Thank you to my family, friends, team members, fellow candi-



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The 2020 Palm Beach-Treasure Coast Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale took place over Zoom on June 26 with more than 150 people in virtual attendance.

dates, Aiden, Lily and everyone at LLS. I couldn’t have done it without you.” Through programs like this, LLS has invested nearly $1.3 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies.The funds raised through the Man & Woman of the Year campaign are used for re-

search to advance targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives; blood cancer information, education and support for patients; and policies that ensure patients have access to blood cancer treatments. This year, the Palm Beach-Treasure

Coast chapter had 16 candidates, one allstar and more than 200 team members competing for the title. The campaign ran from March 5 through June 26. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a global leader in the fight against cancer. Its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. Founded in 1949, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about LLS, visit www.lls.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572. Learn more about the Man & Woman of the Year program at www.mwoy.org.

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64 august 2020 | wellington the magazine

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The patient and any other person responsible for payment has the right to refuse to pay, cancel payment or to be reimbursed for payment for any other service, examination or treatment which is performed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for the free, discounted or reduced fee service, examination or treatment. Photo on ad not an actual patient.

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NEED HELP? We are here for you.

Offices in Palm Beach County (WPB) and Dade County (Miami) MAIN OFFICE: 1209 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 | 561-291-8298 | Fax: 561-855-7710 PALM BEACH GARDENS: 3801 PGA Blvd., Suite 600 & 602, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 MIAMI: 777 Brickell Avenue, Suite 500, Miami, FL 33131 | 305-697-9799 | Fax: 305-809-8009

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