About Suzan Kurdak

Suzan Kurdak

Suzan Kurdak is a published author, blogger, and communication specialist who joined Florida Virtual School in 2011. She is passionate about boosting and encouraging others to live life to their fullest potential. Learn more at http://tinyurl.com/suzanzan.

FLVS Corkboard: May Highlights

May Corkboard“Another May new buds and flowers shall bring: Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?” ― Charlotte Smith

We don’t know about you, but we’re getting excited that summer is almost here! We are so incredibly happy that you’ve been a part of the FLVS family—it’s been an awesome year and there’s been much to celebrate.

FLVS Selects New President & CEO

The FLVS Board of Trustees is happy to announce the appointment of Dr. Jodi Marshall, Executive Vice President, Business and School Solutions, as the new President and CEO of FLVS effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Marshall, a visionary leader and innovator who embodies the values of FLVS, will work together with Ronald Blocker to ensure a smooth transition upon his departure June 30.

Dr. Marshall has held many positions leading up to her current role over Business and School Solutions including English instructor, Principal, and Vice President of Instruction, since she joined the FLVS family in 2002. Her experience and her dedication to our students, parents, schools, and districts will allow her to continue to drive FLVS forward.   Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: April Highlights

Corkboard April 2017April showers may bring May flowers, but both months ultimately mean…we’re sailing into summer!

Speaking of cruising…

Shakespeare Fest 2017 was a great success! For those who were unable to attend or want to catch up on a session they missed, leave us a comment below to request the recordings!

Thank you to all of the teachers, sponsors, and student presenters who helped to make this such a spectacular event!

And while we’re on the subject of thanking teachers, don’t forget that Teacher Appreciation Week begins Monday, May 1. If you have an outstanding teacher you’d like to give a shout out to, consider posting a personal message on the FLVS Facebook page or on Instagram or Twitter using hashtag #FLVSTAW.

They appreciate YOU and your words of encouragement so much! Continue reading


Pinwheels for Prevention

This post was written in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Pinwheels for PreventionMy first realization that not all parents behave as loving parents was in the third grade with news that Penny’s mom had hit her over the head with a trophy. It was shocking, as child abuse was not a topic you typically heard of in the 70s, but conversations soon sprouted throughout our small suburban school and community.

Fast forward to today, and news of children being neglected and abused is far too prevalent.

Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and loving environment and it is our duty as parents, educators—as humans—to look after them.

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed pinwheels have popped up in your community and throughout Florida. A ceremony was held in Tallahassee earlier this month on the lawn of the Turlington Building, which serves as the home of the Florida Department of Education. These pinwheels represent Pinwheels for Prevention, a national campaign that engages communities in a coordinated effort to prevent child abuse. Continue reading


Make, Bake, Partake – Volunteering at School

Blog_School_Volunteer_20170420My mom was blessed with the baking and hospitality gene. As far back as I can recall, she loved to play hostess—still does, and when people come over, she has a quiet way of honoring them and making them feel special. It shows in the details, from a sparkling clean house to using the good dishes and serving delectable treats.

I remember my mom volunteered to be the class mom for Mrs. Kast’s second grade class in New York. I glowed whenever she’d come into my classroom to drop off some cut outs for a project we were working on, or when she’d bring in homemade cupcakes for a class party. And while I just thought I had the coolest mom in the world, she had sneakily found a way to stay connected to me during the school day.

April is Florida School Volunteer Appreciation Month and today marks the first day of Public School Volunteer Week.  Continue reading


Would You Rather…the Dentist or a DBA?

Blog_Public_SpeakingChances are that if you ask someone if they’d rather have dental work done or speak in front of an audience, that person will probably have to take a moment to think about it.

According to many studies, the idea of speaking in public or making a presentation ranks extremely high on the anxiety scale.

Along those lines, we’ve heard from many of our students that they are apprehensive when it comes to their discussion-based assessment, commonly known as a DBA. For those not familiar with the DBA, it is a verbal conversation between a student and teacher to discuss what he/she has learned in the modules.

If this is you, you can take some comfort in the simple fact you are not alone.

Have you ever watched someone talk in public and think, “Man, they are great—so relaxed and natural. I wish I could speak like that.” While it’s true that some have a natural gift for gab and their conversations seem effortless, it is quite possible that they had to learn to overcome their nervousness. Speaking professionally in a public setting, is a skill that must be developed and fine-tuned. And this takes time.

Here’s a secret… Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: March Highlights

corkboard-coverIt’s March, and minus the cold snap madness, spring has sprung—and FLVS continues to sow seeds of learning!

While you may be rooted in the “here and now” of schoolwork and tasks to accomplish this semester, we understand that some of you may already be thinking of life after high school. For many, that may mean college. Or, maybe you think you’d like to go to college but aren’t sure if you “have what it takes” or if you can afford it.

Great news! If you are a student in Florida, you can learn how to prepare for college without leaving your home. (But we do recognize that leaving the home is ultimately the goal of every child—and their parents.)

Virtual College Week

You can explore the notion of college all from your living room if you make plans now to participate in Virtual College Week, April 4-6. Presented by FloridaShines, students and parents can get free expert advice on all things college-related, including the admissions process and financial aid. Gather important information, ask questions, hear from others—demystify college at no cost. Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: February Highlights

FLVS Corkboard February 2017

It’s February and we think you’re simply going to LOVE all that FLVS has to offer!

First, we want to remind you that Presidents’ Day is just around the corner. Please note that Monday, Feb. 20 and is a designated holiday break for all FLVS instructors and support staff.

After the long weekend, there are all kinds of opportunities that extend beyond the classroom or courses you select. Here are a few that FLVS is proud to sponsor:

Digital Learning Day

Celebrate Digital Learning Day (DLD) with FLVS next Thursday, Feb. 23. Digital learning can involve any instructional practice that uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. With digital advances ranging from educational apps to new online courses and programs, DLD is a day to keep up with the latest in online education. Be sure to check out our social media pages on this special day next week as we feature a DLD Elementary Takeover on the FLVS Instagram page. Viewers will be able to see “a day in the life” of our very own FLVS elementary students. Connect with us @floridavirtualschool to make sure you don’t miss it!

Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: January Highlights

FLVS January CorkboardJanuary is certainly jumping with activities and things to do!

We’re diving into spring semester full steam ahead, with exciting student events, celebrations, and course options. As always, we encourage you to stay connected with your teacher(s), visit www.flvs.net, and check out our social media pages for more information.

Spring is an important time for those planning ahead for college. If you or your student need help during this process, sit down with our advisement team for an upcoming webinar:

Financial Aid Overview 

Join FLVS on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. for an informative webinar that will review how to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The webinar will also review how to complete the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) and how to find additional resources to assist students in paying for higher education. Click here to join on Thursday evening.   Continue reading


Thank you to Florida’s First Responders

Blog_FirstResponders_170111When my son was just three years old, he came very close to being swept away at sea. I wish this was an understatement.

My family and I were visiting our aunt and uncle who lived on Hutchinson Island during the winter. It was a comfortable December day and we strolled out to the beach to walk along the shoreline and see the ocean. There was no intent to go swimming. Maybe I didn’t make that clear enough to my toddler; he didn’t listen to mommy about not going into the water.

Taking off our shoes and putting our feet in was fine, but he quickly darted farther out—the receding tide was deceptive. I literally lunged toward him just in time to grab his tiny arm as a massive wave toppled over us both. I was knocked off my feet and completely submerged, doing my best to hoist him upward to where I believed the sky was.

Ah, I still get a shiver at the thought of what would’ve happened if I hadn’t been able to secure him in time. Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: December Edition

FLVS Corkboard December 2016Dashing through December…in an FLVS kind of way…completing all assignments…improving all the way…ho, ho, ho!

Can you feel it? That sudden surge of excitement that loudly exclaims we are at the mid-year mark and ready to scratch off another year under our belts. Students, let me let you in on a secret…you’re not the only one excited about a break…shhh.

Whether you are a student or teacher sitting in a brick-and-mortar classroom or you plug in daily for online education, the rush from Thanksgiving to New Years can make it hard to focus. But buckle up—we are almost there!

December certainly has been bustling with activities and many of our students enjoyed immersing themselves deeper in technology during Computer Science Week with an Hour of Code (FLVS style, of course). Others recently journeyed to faraway lands, all from the comforts of home during the FLVS 2016 World Fest. No passports were needed, just the willingness to tune in and celebrate different cultures and hear travels and tales from some of our amazing teachers. Continue reading