LARGO - The Florida Department of Education has identified 323 high impact teachers in Pinellas County Schools.
The designation recognizes teachers who have an impact on student learning that is among the most positive in the entire state according to an analysis of student performance on statewide standardized assessments.
High impact teachers will receive a letter and certificate recognizing their accomplishment and be invited to learn more about what makes their teaching so impactful.
LARGO - More than 600 students in grades 6-12 will compete in Pinellas County's National History Day competition. The event will take place Friday, Feb. 24, 5 to 9 p.m., at Largo High School; and Saturday, Feb. 25, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at USF St. Petersburg.
National History Day is a global event that encourages middle and high school students to take their learning beyond the textbook.
The project-based contest provides students an opportunity to demonstrate their historical research skills through one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance and website.
TARPON SPRINGS - Students from East Lake High School’s award-winning robotics team are designing and testing a new robot for the 2017 competition season.
Students spend six weeks designing and constructing their robot.
The team is run like a business with 58 student team members who work on various aspects of the project, from engineering to marketing. Honeywell, GE and other local corporations serve as mentors to participating students.
Pinellas County Schools will open Summer Bridge registration on Feb. 27. Currently, there are plans for 42 elementary school sites, 15 middle school sites and 19 high school sites.
Most elementary, middle and high school Summer Bridge programs will take place June 6 through July 13. There will be no classes July 3 or July 4. During Summer Bridge, juniors and seniors will have a new opportunity to practice for the SAT in school computer labs using Khan Academy’s SATpractice.org site. No Summer Bridge registration will be required for SAT practice. To learn more about the district’s Summer Bridge program visit, www.pcsb.org/summerbridge.
TARPON SPRINGS - Tarpon Springs Middle School won a Dairy Council of Florida award for increasing the number of students who eat breakfast.
The school increased the number of students who eat breakfast on campus from 200 to 450. As a result of the award, Tarpon Springs Middle will receive $2,500 in cafeteria equipment from the Dairy Council of Florida.
To increase the number of students who eat breakfast, the school’s cafeteria manager takes breakfast to the students. In addition to serving breakfast in the school’s cafeteria, cafeteria staff use carts to take breakfast to the school’s courtyard, bus circle and 22 classrooms where students can choose items.
GULFPORT - Boca Ciega High School will host an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) site team on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Boca Ciega has worked to become an AVID National Demonstration School. Demonstration Schools undergo a rigorous validation process and are required to be revalidated every few years to ensure high levels of implementation, with quality and fidelity to AVID strategies schoolwide.
Boca Ciega implemented the AVID program in 2006. Now, more than 390 students participate in AVID at the school. AVID is a proven, data-driven program with decades of measurable results. One of the most consistent indicators of AVID’s success is the rate at which students apply to and are accepted to four-year colleges, which is around 80 percent. Following the site visit, the school will learn if they have met the qualifications to be designated an AVID National Demonstration School. The official announcement will take place in the school’s gymnasium at approximately 1:15 p.m.
DUNEDIN - Dunedin Highland Middle School will host more than 1,000 students for the regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament Saturday, Feb. 18.
Odyssey of the Mind is the world’s largest problem solving competition. It provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Students from six counties in Florida will be competing for the regional championship; the winner will advance to the state tournament. Dunedin Highland Middle School is the proud home of two teams that hold the 2016 World Champions title.
ST. PETERSBURG - The 2017 Outstanding Educator of the Year and Business Partners of the Year were all announced Jan. 31 at the Evening of Excellence at Mahaffey Theater.
Presented by the Pinellas Education Foundation and Pinellas County Schools, the event also featured entertainment, the induction of Gerald Hogan into the Hall of Honor and a special dessert reception celebrating the best in education.
The winner for the 2017 Outstanding Educator is Vanessa Ko.
LARGO - At an appreciation event for donors, volunteers and mentors in January, the Pinellas Education Foundation announced its 2016-2017 Mentor of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.
The foundation enlists the help of hundreds of volunteers and mentors each year. While each is worthy of recognition, two exemplified what it means to give back to the community.
The Mentor of the Year is Stephen DeMaris. Through the foundation’s Take Stock in Children Scholarship program, DeMaris mentors a total of 11 students with five at Clearwater High School. He has been mentoring most of his students since they were in middle school. According to his nominator, Martine T. Ward, Family and Community Liaison and TSIC Student Ambassador for Clearwater High School, DeMaris is deeply committed to his students’ success.
EAST LAKE - During a Florida cabinet meeting, Governor Rick Scott honored eight educators and administrators for the contributions to the field of education on Jan. 24.
In honor of “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!” all honorees were District Teachers of the Year and language arts teachers, including Sarah Dobes from East Lake Middle School.
Dobes, originally from Michigan, began her teaching career 11 years ago, starting and staying in Pinellas County. She’s been a teacher at East Lake Middle School Academy of Engineering since it opened three years ago.
LARGO - The Largo High School football team only had three wins on the field this past season. But for head coach Marcus Paschal, three wins off the field made all the effort worthwhile.
Senior wide receiver Julian Cooney, offensive lineman Austin Fischer and defensive end Bobby Roundtree will be playing college football, capped off by Roundtree signing his letter of intent Feb. 1 to join the University of Illinois.
Cooney joined Garden City Community College in Kansas, which won a championship this past season, and Fischer committed to Methodist University in North Carolina.
EAST LAKE - The East Lake High School robotics team is headed to the FIRST robotics competitions in March, but the preparation for the events began in late January.
Team 79 Krunch is developing a robot to compete in the 2017 FIRST competition, “Steamworks” and the students have about six-weeks to build their robots, which will be required to perform complicated tasks in the time allotted.
For about 26 hours a week, on top of other activities and school work, students put their hands and minds to work in the engineering lab to prepare for the competition.
CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas announced that more than 100 fifth-grade art students were honored at the second annual Kids Tag Art Pinellas Awards Ceremony Jan. 26 at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Arts Auditorium, 2465 Drew St. in Clearwater.
Elementary art students in 42 Pinellas County Schools created their own unique vanity tags that anyone can purchase online for $15 + $3.50 shipping and handling. All funds raised from sponsorships and tag sales directly support arts education in Pinellas County.
One dollar from the sale of each tag benefits the St. Petersburg College Foundation's "I AM 4 ART, U CAN B 2" Scholarship Fund. Remaining proceeds from tag sales and community sponsorships are given to the Pinellas County Schools Visual Arts Department to be used exclusively as supplement funding for art enrichment programs and supplies for participating schools.
Scholarship applications are being accepted for the St. Pete Road Runner Ben Fudge Scholarship.
Established in 2012, the scholarship is awarded to high school seniors (one for a public school and one for a private school) who excel in academics and are avid runners. To be eligible for the $2,000 scholarships, students must meet the following criteria:
- Be enrolled in a Pinellas County private or public school