LARGO - With $30,000 in prize money from a national contest, Indian Rocks Christian School decided to makeover its cafeteria with healthier food options.
The school was one of three winners in last year’s Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest, using Uncle Ben’s brand rice in a recipe explained in a video. Boden deVries and his parents Eva and Kurt deVries of Belleair Beach produced the winning video, making pizza rice balls with the help of his father’s production company, Bobaloo Films.
“Now we have healthier lunches,” Boden, now 9, explained from his school cafeteria recently. “I even got to be a taste tester.”
SEMINOLE - River Wells remembers the first time he combined his love of music with his studies. He wrote a song for a seventh-grade history project on the Revolutionary War. It went over so well that the next year, as an eighth-grader, he wrote Newton’s Blues for a science class.
“It was a pretty big hit,” he said, adding, “It’s a way to have fun in school, which not many can do.”
PALM HARBOR - Scott Bradley, an English teacher in the International Baccalaureate program at Palm Harbor University High School, created “O Captain, My Captain” shirts - referencing the quote from Robin William’s movie, “Dead Poets Society.”
All profits from the sales of the shirts are donated to the National Alliance on Mental Health. Faculty in the school’s International Baccalaureate program purchased the shirts to support Bradley and the Alliance.
LARGO - School Board member Linda Lerner was named Chairperson and School Board member Peggy O’Shea was selected as Vice Chairperson at the School Board’s annual organizational meeting Nov. 18
The board also chose its legislative liaison for the Florida School Boards Association. School Board member Rene Flowers was again selected as legislative liaison and School Board member Janet Clark was selected as alternate.
TARPON SPRINGS -- In a long string of success, the Tarpon Springs High School Outdoor Performance Ensemble’s latest win came last weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships.
Forty-five high school marching bands began the event on Nov. 12 and were then narrowed down to 30 bands in the semi-finals and 12 bands in the finals. With a score of 97.15 out of 100, Tarpon Springs’ 200-member outdoor performance ensemble was named the top band in the competition. The school, which was also named the 2014 Atlanta Super-Regional Champion earlier in the month, most recently competed in the Grand National Championship in 2012, when they placed fourth.
GULFPORT - Stetson University College of Law students Alyssa Cory, Ryan Hedstrom and Ashley Panaggio swept the regional round of the New York City Bar’s 65th annual National Moot Court Competition on Nov. 8 in Gainesville.
Stetson’s team not only won the regional, but the team also won the best brief award and Panaggio won the best oralist award.
The winning Stetson team also will advance to the National Finals of the New York City Bar National Moot Court Competition.
CLEARWATER - Calvary Christian High School will add lacrosse to its athletic offerings for girls and boys in the 2015-16 school year.
Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in America, and Calvary believes the time is right for this to be the next athletic opportunity for its high school students.
“We want the families in the community to know there will be an opportunity for their high school children to play lacrosse on the school¹s team in 2016,” said David Kilgore in a press release. Kilgore is the head of the school.
CLEARWATER - The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions will present a new and unique design for civic dialogue with its first Speed Date Your Local Leaders program, set for Wednesday, Dec. 3, 6 to 8 p.m., in room 104 of the Ethics and Social Sciences Building on St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St.
SPC’s Policy Institute is dedicated to elevating civic engagement through public forums that offer in-depth exploration of today’s critical issues. The speed date format gives community members a special way to connect with community leaders in an informal setting. This is an opportunity to meet face to face with representatives from government, business, not-for-profit and education arenas. The leaders will rotate from table to table every seven minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have prompted a phone call, email or public testimony.
Eighteen local leaders have committed to participating. Participants will include Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos; Bill Horne, Clearwater city manager; Dan Slaughter, Clearwater police chief; Stan Vittetoe, SPC Clearwater provost; Bob Clifford, Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce president; Marian Morlock, TechData director of human resources; Bridgette Bello, Tampa Bay Business Journal publisher; Debra Prewitt, JWB director of public policy; Laura Cantwell, AARP Florida associate state director of advocacy; Mark Woodard, Pinellas County administrator; Robin McGowan, Pinellas Education Foundation vice president of development; Kevin Smith, Pinellas sports commission director; James Ray, Platinum Bank senior executive vice president; Frank Dame, Clearwater Marine Aquarium chief operating officer; John Morroni, Pinellas County Board of Commissioners vice chair; Janet Long, Pinellas County Board of Commissioners member; Ernestine Bean, Morton Plant Mease Hospital Foundation president and CEO; and William Corbett, Pinellas County Schools deputy superintendent.
More than 150 attendees from 26 colleges and universities attended St. Petersburg College’s inaugural Moving the Needle conference, Nov. 6-7.
The event brought together college and university leaders from across the country to discuss best practices for using data to increase student success rates.
“A big piece of the conference was about creating a culture where college officials and faculty embrace ways they can use data to help increase student achievement,” said Dr. Jesse Coraggio, associate vice president of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants at SPC, in a press release.
LARGO - The third-grade gifted students of 14 schools in Pinellas County competed in the Gifted Creativity Olympics Nov. 7 at the Discovery Room in Largo.
Each school picked four students from their third-grade gifted students to compete. The students worked together as a team to create and design several projects given certain materials and a certain amount of time to complete. They were judged on their creativity, working as a team and how well their project worked.