News Releases

  • Mr. L. Connolly

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Sunrise Academy's Dance Team, Knight's in Training, received a trophy from the Mayor of Orange City, Mr. Gary Blair, and the City Council for "Best Walking Group" at the 2019 Christmas Parade.

Students from our dance team, Knights in Training, attended the City Meeting in the evening of January 14th, 2020 in order to collect their accolade from Mayor Gary Blair after winning "Best Walking Group" in the Orange City Christmas Parade 2019.

The Principal, Ms. S. Franklin, Assistant Principal, Mr. L Connolly, as well as the dance instructors Mrs. H. Whitten, Ms. E. Dawson, and Ms. E. Herrera accompanied the students on their trip to the City Chambers.

Knights in Training, the brainchild of Principal Ms. Franklin, was founded in 2019 in order to serve students who may not normally be able to access a traditional dance program due to cost. The dance team is currently led by two Sunrise Academy teachers, and a preschool assistant teacher. Mrs. Whitten, who is the Teacher Team Leader for Lower Elementary, spent 15 years in formal training for ballet, while Ms. Emely spent most of her childhood dancing, specializing in contemporary dance. Ms. Dawson, a lover of dance herself, and an Elementary School Teacher, coordinates the team.

Ms. Franklin remarked that she was "proud to see how far the dance team has come in such a short amount of time." At the end of the meeting, Mr. Connolly invited the Mayor to the school's Peace Mala Accreditation Ceremony, which will be held in the school on April 2nd, 2020 at 9 a.m.

Further Reading:

Sunrise Academy's Peace Mala Accreditation:

City of Orange City, Florida:


Dance Team Coordinator (Ms. Dawson):

Peace Mala School Coordinator (Mrs. Whitten):


Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Sunrise Academy is excited to announce that we are applying to become a Peace Mala Accredited School in the Spring of 2020.

What is Peace Mala?

Peace Mala is multi award winning educational project for peace and global citizenship that Ms. Pam Evans MBE began in Great Britain in 2001, in response to 9/11. The project is endorsed by many community leaders, including His Holiness Pope Francis, and the Dalai Lama.

A Peace Mala is a symbolic double rainbow bracelet that promotes friendship, respect and peace between people of all cultures, lifestyles, faiths, beliefs and none. The word ‘mala’ is Sanskrit and means ‘garland of flowers.' It is a vision for the future. Wearing the Peace Mala is a promise to help create a better world.

Peace Mala focuses on the Golden Rule. Its intention is to educate and remind everyone that this rule is recognized by many scholars, teachers and philosophers. It is also universal to all compassionate faiths. Simply stated, it is: "Treat others as you would wish them to treat you."

Peace Mala is a non-political, non-religious charitable organiation. It does not support any political party, movement or belief system over any other. Peace Mala’s aim is to contribute to education for global citizenship by inviting all people to treat each other with respect regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexuality, size, age or ability. Peace Mala’s compassionate wish is for people, animals and the environment to be at peace.

Our Accreditation Plan

In order to receive our Bronze Accreditation, we must demonstrate competency across seven key areas. These areas involve community cohesion, the promotion of human rights, preventing bullying, encouraging active compassion, celebrating diversity, as well as promoting environmental sustainability, healthy eating, and respect for all animals. The school plans to develop a small "peace garden" that the students can use to grow food, and to learn about the environment. We will be holding an accreditation ceremony in the late Spring of 2020 to receive our Bronze Accreditation. Further details will be released in due course.

Who will be involved?

Peace Mala is a whole school project that has been approved by the School President Mrs. Marte; the Principal, Ms. Franklin; and the Assistant Principal, Mr. Connolly. The Peace Mala project at Sunrise Academy will be coordinated by the Second Grade Teacher, Mrs. Whitten. Inquiries about the project should be directed to the Assistant Principal, Mr. Connolly.

Further Reading:

Peace Mala:

Pam Evans MBE:



Assistant Principal (Mr. Connolly):

Peace Mala School Coordinator (Mrs. Whitten):



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