LARGO - About 300 parents and students attended Anona Elementary School’s second annual Science Extravaganza, during which individual students and classes showcased science projects May 7.
Anona’s Duke Energy STEM students presented what they learned about physics with their egg drop experiment and assisted families with a Sphero Robotic Ball obstacle course and a rocket launcher. Anona’s gifted students demonstrated their engineering skills with Rube Goldberg projects.
Several local organizations also provided hands-on exhibits. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium educated families about protecting sea turtles by allowing them to see through the eyes of a turtle. Great Explorations gave students the opportunity to create with kinetic sand and experiment with catapults. Seminole Middle School STEM Club demonstrated a water-powered car and helped students build vehicles of their own. Admiral Farragut Academy displayed various robotic projects made by their students.
PALM HARBOR - Palm Harbor University High School is known for producing some of the highest rates of academic success in Pinellas County and that’s again true for the school’s 2015 seniors.
Leading the group of high achievers are two students whose respective grade-point averages are nearly a full grade-point beyond the standard A, or 4.0. With only 0.0016 points separating them, the 2015 IB valedictorian is 17-year-old Carolyn Im with a GPA of 4.8676 and the IB salutatorian is 18-year-old Sajan Patel with a GPA of 4.866. The traditional valedictorian, Kayley Kinports, earned a GPA of 4.8136, while Robin Rives, the traditional salutatorian, will graduate with a GPA of 4.7273.
SEMINOLE - The Kiwanis Club of Seminole recently hosted a dinner for this year’s recipients of the club’s annual scholarships.
At this dinner, the scholarship winners - high school seniors from Seminole High School and Career Academies of Seminole - and their families met with the Kiwanis Club members and the sponsors of the scholarships.
The scholarships and recipients are:
- Key Club Scholarship: Emily Ritz
- Marjorie Campbell Johnson Scholarship: Jason Katz
The U.S. Department of Education selected Pinellas County Schools as one of nine district finalists from across the nation, and the only district in Florida, to showcase the role leaders play in leveraging technology to create transformational learning environments.
This recognition came as a result of the district taking the Florida Department of Education’s Future Ready District Pledge last fall. The pledge, which is part of the president’s ConnectED Initiative, is designed to encourage districts to set a roadmap to achieve successful personalized digital learning for every student and show a commitment to move as quickly as possible toward a shared vision of preparing students for success in college, careers and citizenship. In May, a production crew from the DOE’s Office of Educational Technology will visit the district to interview staff, students and families to produce a video about technology success stories. The piece will be presented to superintendents across the country at upcoming Future Ready Summits.
SEMINOLE - The 2015 Pinellas County Teachers Association Kraf-Custer Outstanding Educator Banquet was presented on National Teacher Day, May 5, at Banquet Masters in Clearwater.
Selected by their peers and honored at this event were one teacher with less than five years of experience and one teacher with more than five years teaching experience from many area schools. Nominations were organized by the schools’ PCTA faculty representative to identify worksite level.
The following Seminole schools were represented at this event:
GULFPORT - Stetson University College of Law professor Stephanie Vaughan was recently promoted to associate dean for student engagement.
In her new position at the College of Law, Vaughan will help guide students through their development into significant advocates, practitioners and individuals, blending their academic experience with co-curricular and extracurricular experiences to prepare the whole graduate.
“The next innovation in legal education is linking together elements of a legal education experience that have long been thought to be unconnected and distinct,” said Dean and Professor of Law Christopher Pietruszkiewicz in a press release.
SEMINOLE - In the early 1970s, St. Petersburg College - then called St. Petersburg Junior College - purchased around 100 acres on 113th Street for future use.
By the time Dr. James Olliver joined SPC’s district office as vice president of planning in 1989, this land was still undeveloped, nothing more than patches of grass, dirt and trees with a “coming soon” sign on the corner.
It was around this time that the college began to evaluate its needs and seriously consider its future, Olliver said. “It was clear that all the campuses were really growing. The St. Petersburg and Clearwater campuses were incredibly constrained.”
Pinellas County Schools has been recognized as a Florida Healthy School District at the Gold level for May 2015 through April 2017.
The award recognizes school districts for their efforts to support the physical, mental and social health of students and staff. Pinellas was honored for preventing barriers to education and recognizing the role nutrition and wellness can have on academic achievement.
LARGO - The Pinellas Education Foundation recently announced the winners in the 12th annual Walker’s Rising Stars Scholarship Competition, presented by Big3 Entertainment and sponsored by Kane’s Furniture and Crown Automotive Group.
The May 5 event was attended by an audience of about 800 at Mahaffey Theater. Approximately 10,000 virtual fans voted in the online Fan Favorite category. Approximately $60,000 in scholarships and prizes was given.
The Ryan Wells Foundation provided scholarships for the three finalists in the Culinary Arts category, including the following:
PALM HARBOR - Middle school students from Westlake Christian School will be traveling to Lawrence Technical University near Detroit, Michigan, on May 15 and 16 to compete in the Robofest World Championship.
Westlake’s “WallEs” team includes Keily Ulatowski, eighth grade; Cameron Smith, seventh grade; and Olivia Schick, sixth grade. The team earned second place at the Florida regional competition in March at Nielsen Media Research.
Westlake will compete in the Junior Games Division. The game division requires students to design, build and program a fully autonomous robot that can navigate the game field and perform a set of tasks. There’s no remote control, and students must respond to one or more task/field factors that are unveiled at the competition. No adult assistance is allowed during the competition, and adult involvement in game preparation is strictly limited.