SEMINOLE - Despite Seminole High School’s varsity girl’s softball team ending the 2017 season with an 8-12 record - probably the only season in his 22 years as coach where the team didn’t earn a winning percentage of .500 or above, said Coach Mark DeRuzzo - the team still experienced a major milestone this spring.
DeRuzzo picked up his 400th victory as the team’s head coach April 6 in a 16-5 win over Dunedin High School.
He was named the Warhawks’ coach in 1995, when he came to SHS from Osceola Fundamental High School, where he coached football and baseball. A physical education teacher at SHS, DeRuzzo also serves as the football team’s defensive coach.
DUNEDIN - The third time was the charm for Dunedin High’s baseball program.
After two straight defeats on the state tournament doorstep, the Falcons traveled to Cape Coral Ida Baker May 23 and registered a convincing 9-2 Class 6A region final victory.
“It’s been a hurdle and I’m just so happy to see us get past while we’re playing our best baseball at the right time,” Dunedin coach Ron Sexton said after the win.
Sexton wasn’t exaggerating when he said the Falcons are peaking at the right moment. Since winning three straight and claiming the Dunedin Spring Classic title in April, the team’s rattled off 11 straight victories. Including Dunedin’s 16-6 District 6A-9 championship win over Boca Ciega, the Falcons have outscored their last four opponents 45-14.
SEMINOLE - The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is offering a summer-long bus pass designed for kids - and now, by kids.
Gilda Liu, a 17-year-old Seminole High School senior, is the winner of PSTA’s Haul Pass design contest, a new way the agency is educating young riders about using public transportation this summer.
“With schools letting out and summer camps beginning, public transportation and PSTA play a very important role in getting our young people around this summer,” said PSTA spokesperson Ashlie Handy in a press release. “We wanted to do something fun and new to engage our young riders and educate them about this great promotion.”
ST. PETERSBURG - The University of South Florida St. Petersburg recently announced a significant gift in support of its groundbreaking new program, the Open Partnership Education Network.
OPEN, which officially launched in late 2016, showcases expert national and local speakers and themed events on a wide range of topics - with the ultimate goal of building a vital, better educated and more connected community.
CLEARWATER - At first glance, Calvary Christian’s latest win - a come-from-behind, 4-2 victory over Trinity Prep in the 4A-4 regional semifinals on May 10 - would appear to be a result of the Warriors’ formidable offense coming through in the clutch once again.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Calvary (27-0) got one run back on a triple and a groundout before exploding for three runs in the sixth, the big blow a near grand slam by slugging catcher Matt Nelson that cracked the yellow tubing atop the leftfield fence.
The Workforce Institute at St. Petersburg College will offer the following courses in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in June.
- Drone Summer Camp from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 5-9 at SPC Gibbs Campus, Gymnasium (GM Building), 6605 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Interested in science and technology? Want to have fun this summer? SPC’s five-day Drone Summer Camp is about hands-on learning, innovation and adventure. Come make friends and take off at the forefront of an emerging field. This one-of-a-kind summer camp is for high school students in grades 9-12. In this five-day camp, you’ll learn about flying a drone, basic maintenance and repair, how to produce a video using drone aerial footage, and drone racing. Registration can be completed by going to http://bit.ly/2pJUMeb
CLEARWATER - Good seasons come and go over the course of a high school program’s history, but undefeated seasons are extremely rare.
The Calvary Christian varsity baseball team got to experience that special feeling of never losing a game all season after the Warriors capped off an unblemished 2017 regular season campaign with its first district championship, a 6-2 home win over crosstown rival Clearwater Central Catholic in the 4A-4 title game on Friday, May 5.
TARPON SPRINGS - On April 18, Tarpon Springs Middle students learned about space travel without having to leave the school building.
During this school year, Ben Pyatt, assistant band ddirector and director of Leadership Studies at the middle school led his students in a preserving history unit.
The preserving history unit is meant to help the students connect back to the community they currently live in through history.
“The project that we’re working on is archiving,” Pyatt said. “They will be presenting at the beginning of [May].” Students are studying history, business and religion. The presentation will be in the media center.
The Pinellas County Academic Team recently won the Division 1 state championship at the 32nd annual Commissioner’s Academic Challenge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
Each student from the winning team received a Florida High School Athletic Association medal and a $500 scholarship. The Commissioner’s Academic Challenge is a highly academic statewide high school tournament inaugurated in 1986. Each team consists of six members, with four students competing during each of three rounds and two alternates.
ST. PETERSBURG - The St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees will hold five special meetings in May to interview five finalists for the position of college president who were selected by the college’s Search and Screen Committee.
Each finalist will spend two days visiting SPC, where they will meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.
LARGO - The Pinellas Education Foundation awarded $30,000 to the first-, second- and third-place winners of its Next Generation Entrepreneurs and Next Generation Tech programs at an awards ceremony on April 26 attended by more than 200 people.
At the event, first place for each program received $10,000, second place received $3,500 and third place received $1,500. Winners can use the funds to either start their business or to go to college or technical school. Finalists in both programs took part in many different workshops and mentor opportunities with local entrepreneurs in order to hone their product concepts. Teams were able to apply to both programs if their projects fit the specifications for each program.
ST. PETERSBURG - Principal Kevin Hendrick is a finalist for Florida’s 2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, also known as the Principal of the Year Award.
The award recognizes principals for their exceptional contributions. Hendrick has served as principal of Northeast High School since 2008. Since he took the helm, he has expanded the school's Finance Academy and other career academies, increased Advanced Placement course offerings, improved the college enrollment rate and increased the school’s average ACT score.
CLEARWATER - Officer Lenshawn Price, a member of the Clearwater Police Department, was recently honored by the Pinellas County School District as School Resource Officer of the Year.
She’s spent nine of her 17 years with the CPD as the SRO of Oak Grove Middle School.
Price said she had no idea she would be receiving the award. On April 17, she thought she was joining with Principal Dawn Coffin for their regular Monday morning meeting. Instead, she was surprised with the award by Dan Slaughter, CPD police chief, and Rick Stelljes, chief of the school district’s police department.
DUNEDIN - Prior to making it to the finals of the 2017 Dunedin Spring Tournament, Falcons head coach Ron Sexton said the retooled event, which moved this year from spring break week to the week after Easter for the first time in the event’s 48-year history, was a “home run.”
Then his team went out and won it all for the first time since 2010 with a thrilling 6-5 victory April 21 over Bradenton’s Inspiration Academy.
The victory could be considered much-deserved icing on the cake for Sexton. He worked long and hard over the past few years to keep the iconic event running after scheduling conflicts with the Toronto Blue Jays regarding the Englebert Complex threatened the existence of the state’s longest running baseball tournament.
SAFETY HARBOR - Safety Harbor Public Library, along with the St. Petersburg Library System, Tarpon Springs and Largo Public Libraries, is offering qualified community members the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate through Career Online High School, a program sponsored by the Florida State Library and Gale, part of Cengage Learning. Career Online High School is designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce.
Earning a high school diploma is a life-changing achievement,” said Cheryl Morales, executive director of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative. “By offering Career Online High School, we’re empowering our members to seek new opportunities and transform their lives.”