ST. PETERSBURG — Nathan Hamilton, William Kline and another student at Lakewood High School earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. Around two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2018, only 2,760 out of more than 2 million graduates who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36. Hamilton also achieved a rare and exceptional feat: a perfect score in each assessed category.

One student requested privacy regarding the accomplishment. All three students will graduate this spring from Lakewood’s Center for Advanced Technologies, a nationally recognized Academy of Excellence that offers advanced and accelerated coursework in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Pinellas to honor high-achieving Hispanic students

CLEARWATER — More than 400 students from elementary, middle and high schools were honored during the Maria Edmonds Hispanic Achievement Awards ceremony April 6 at Ruth Eckerd Hall. In addition to the awards, students will have opportunities for scholarships from St. Petersburg College, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Pinellas Technical College.

The event will honor the legacy of Maria Nieves Edmonds, an advocate for women, children and members of the Hispanic Community. Edmonds, who passed away Jan. 19, 2017. She was an associate provost at St. Petersburg College and served on the Juvenile Welfare Board and as chairperson for the Hispanic Leadership Council.

The event will feature student performances, a presentation by Pinellas Superintendent Michael Grego and a message by Mount Vernon Elementary School Principal Robert Ovalle.

PRIDE Awards recognize students for academic achievement

CLEARWATER — Elementary and middle school students were honored for their academic achievement and commitment to learning at this year's PRIDE (Program to Recognize Initiative and Distinction in Education) Awards April 8 at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

The PRIDE Awards recognize fifth-graders who excel in math, science, social studies and writing and eighth-graders who excel in math, science, social studies, writing and world languages.

To be eligible for the awards, fifth-graders must achieve an A average in a subject area and demonstrate a positive attitude while scoring highest on a test for that subject. Eighth-graders must have a grade point average of 3.5 in a subject area for grades 6, 7 and 8; be involved in subject-related clubs or programs; and demonstrate good citizenship. Each winner receives a medallion and a trophy.

Students honored for making a significant turnaround

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Schools Dropout Prevention Department, in conjunction with the Krauss Family’s Seminole and Sunrise Lanes, held the annual Turnaround Achievement Awards Breakfast April 10 at Banquet Masters, 13355 49th St N, Clearwater.

The Turnaround Achievement Award program recognizes one student from each school who has made positive choices that impact their educational future. Schools, principals and staff members nominate the students. The program honors students who have overcome substance abuse or have made positive changes to behavior, attitude and academics.

Boca Ciega senior shines at JROTC National Championships

GULFPORT — Boca Ciega High School senior Megan Nelson placed ninth overall at the National Air Rifle Championships in the JROTC's Army category. The competition featured more than 7,800 competitors.

After several rounds of elimination, only 150 precision class competitors made it to the National Championships in Anniston, Alabama. In addition to placing ninth in the Army division, Nelson placed twenty-ninth overall for all services.

Nelson was also awarded a silver distinguished marksmanship badge and will pursue a gold distinguished badge at the State Junior Olympic Trials in May. The Boca Ciega High School's Marksmanship Team has earned four gold distinguished badges in the past five years.

Pinellas County Schools recognizes Volunteers of the Year

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Schools honored school volunteers April 11, at the district's annual Outstanding School Volunteer breakfast at Feather Sound Country Club.

Approximately 38,000 volunteers have donated nearly 500,000 hours of volunteer service to promote academic achievement in the district.

The breakfast will include the presentation of the district’s 13 Outstanding School Volunteers for the 2018-19 school year. The finalists represent youth, adult and senior categories. Three of the 13 winners will be selected to represent the district in the state competition.

The late application period for Choice Programs underway

Many magnet, fundamental and career programs have seats available for the 2019-2020 school year. Geographic application area restrictions for several programs have been lifted, allowing students who live in other areas of the county to apply.

After parents apply, schools with available seats will contact parents to invite students to attend. Parents can also contact program coordinators to find out the status of their late applications. For information about Choice Programs visit If you have questions about the application process, contact Student Assignment, 727-588-6210.

Kindergarten registration is underway

Parents can register their children for kindergarten for next school year at The school district is urging families to register their children by May 29, before the end of the school year.

If your child is currently attending VPK within the Pinellas County school district, you will not need to register them for kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year. Children currently attending VPK in the district will be automatically assigned to their zoned school.

Learn more at If you have questions, call Student Assignment at 727-588-6210.