Monthly Archives: April 2011

BrightStar Spotlight: Pompano Beach High School Drama Club

For more than 65 years BrightStar Credit Union has been partnered with Broward Schools.  We are always amazed at the tremendous talent displayed by teachers and students in the schools. This month, in honor of Shakespeare’s Birthday, we are spotlighting Pompano Beach High School’s Drama Club and Teacher, Ms. Julia Perlowski.

We attended a recent performance of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ put on by Pompano Beach High School’s Drama Club. The comedy about two pairs of lovers was amazing, well-acted and FUNNY, especially the insult-a-thon between Beatrice and Benedict.

Tremendous Talent

The work on the stage for ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was tremendous. The costumes numbered near thirty and the fabric, well, yards upon yards. High School Seniors Maria Theodosiou, Kathryn Johnson, and Louie Acosta, did an excellent job of creating brilliant costume designs. These talented students constructed most of their costumes from scratch and picked colors for the characters based on how they interpreted them.

 Sound designer, Nick Leone made excellent use of music. At the times where he could not find the perfect music for a particular scene, he produced his own. He composed the villain music with variations so that a level of tension could be introduced around the ideas of murder, infidelity, scheming and dueling. His partner Angelique Dumerville and he ran the sound board during the play. She followed the script for cues, while he followed the play with his laptop in order to execute the 50 sound cues this play required. Their teamwork was efficient and made for a great show.

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you

Julia Perlowski is the drama teacher at Pompano Beach High School, a finalist of the 2012 Teacher of the Year Award and now, a finalist for the 2011 Arts Teacher of the Year. She provides a plethora of teaching methods to accommodate every student and is always looking for ways to include creativity into everyday lessons. She believes that freedom to build your own scenarios influences creativity and in turn builds strong-minded individuals that can solve their own problems. Perlowski likes to make learning fun, using all types of technology. She is continuously encouraging parents to participate in the production of the students’ plays, as well as networking with the community to bring different generations together for a better learning experience. She believes that we must be “the change we wish to see in the world.” She teaches her students to be proud of their decisions and make their own destiny. Perlowski also enjoys sharing her discoveries and teaching with her peers, leading dozens of workshops for new and returning teachers.

 No Good Performance Goes Unnoticed

Much Ado About Nothing has been nominated for eight South Florida Cappies Competition awards, including Best Play. Their nominations include:

  • Best Play
  • Eryk Fisher, Best Comic Actor in a Play
  • Sara Kohler, Best Comic Actress in a Play
  • Caleb Campbell, Best Featured Actor in a Play
  • Richardo Ballester, Best Supporting Actor in a Play
  • The Six Course Watch, Best Ensemble in a Play
  • Maria Theodosiou, Louie Acosta, Kathryn Johnson and Malka Klein, Best Costumes
  • Nick Leone and Angelica-Joy Dumervil, Best Sound

 Sharing the Love of Art

Ms. Julia Perlowski club provide students with positive, team and skill building opportunities. They also participate in the Teen Trendsetter program. The program is part of the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative and involves high school students tutoring and mentoring low performing 2nd and 3rd grade readers in public elementary schools. Each teen mentor is supplied with Scholastic books for their elementary students which they are permitted to keep. PBHS teens, from drama and reading classrooms, used their expressive skills to make stories come alive for the 3rd graders. 

 BrightStar congratulates the Pompano Beach Drama students and their amazing teacher Julia Perlowski for all their achievements this year! We thank you for inviting us to be a part of such a great show and gracing us with your talent. Can’t wait to see what you guys do next and Good Luck at the Cappies!

Buying Versus Leasing a Car


There are big differences between buying and leasing. Typically, if you were to purchase a new car, you would make a down payment and finance the remaining cost. At the end of the term, the car would be yours. Leasing is essentially renting, with your payment going towards the car’s depreciation. If the lease includes a purchase option, you may buy it at the end of a specific time period.

So which is better? That depends on your individual situation and needs. You will have to decide for yourself by analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Leasing Advantages
There are short-term cost advantages to leasing. The monthly payments on a leased car are usually far less than on a loan – even for a luxury model. The down payment usually works out to be less than what you would pay for a bought car as well. Because the typical lease is for three years, most repairs are covered by factory warranty. Sales tax is cheaper too, as you only pay it on the financed portion.

An attractive feature of leasing is the ability to drive a new car every few years. You never have to go through the hassle of selling it; you just turn it in at the end of the term.

Leasing Disadvantages
While the payments are often reasonable, you never gain equity in the car. If you were to buy it at the end of your contract, it would cost you a lot more than if you had just bought it in the first place.

Leases are restrictive. If you exceed the yearly mileage limit you will be assessed an extra charge. You must take good care of the car as well, as any nicks or dings will be considered “wear and tear” and will cost you.

Comparing lease offers can be very confusing, making it hard to know if you got a good deal. And you will find it difficult to get out of your lease early if you want to – a problem if your driving needs or financial circumstances change.

Buying Advantages
When you buy a car, it’s yours. You can customize it and drive it as hard and far as you want, penalty-free. Rather than having infinite payments, buying means you will eventually pay the car off. And if you want to sell it you can do so at any time, as you are not locked into a contract.

Buying Disadvantages
Down payments on bought cars can be substantial. Monthly payments are usually higher than a leased car, and once your warranty expires, you will be responsible for the maintenance costs. When you want to sell it (or trade it in) you will have to go through the hassle of doing so. And, as an investment, new cars depreciate rather than appreciate.

ClueLess on Las Olas

Next Thursday, April 14, is ClueLess on Las Olas! The much anticipated annual fundraiser for Partners In Education, Inc. More than 500 amateur sleuths from around South Florida will be on Las Olas Boulevard to solve the unique murder mystery game. BrightStar is a sponsor of this event and we will be there for all the fun. Come Join Us!

 For more information call (954) 288-7201. To register online, go to: Proceeds will go to Partners in Education, an organization which develops partnerships between business, community organizations and government agencies with public schools in Broward County.