School Board Members
Nancy N. Bostock
Mary L. Tyus Brown
Janet R. Clark
Carol J. Cook
Linda S. Lerner
Peggy L. O'Shea
Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox
301 Fourth St. SW
Largo, FL 33770
The School Board of Pinellas County,
Florida, prohibits any and all forms of discrimination and harassment
based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status,
age, sexual orientation
or disability in any of its programs, services or activities.
Frequently Called Numbers
District Call Center
Area Superintendent Offices:
Barbara Hires, Ed.D.
Family Education and Information Centers:
Mark Your Calendar
School board meeting
Professional Development Day
No school for students
Dec. 25-Jan. 5
Schools and district offices closed
Second semester begins
communications office at
firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at
Holidays to the Pinellas County Schools’ Family
December arrives, we usher in the holidays with a season of celebration
and a time of sharing and giving. So many in our community
are less fortunate than we are and face poverty rather than plenty
during this joyous time. You always come through for them, whether it is
providing a present for a needy child or putting together a holiday meal
for a hungry family. Thank you for your compassion and your generosity. You who work so hard to educate the community’s children are no less
diligent when it comes to the community’s neediest folks. Have a wonderful
winter break, filled with family and fun. I look forward to continued
teamwork in 2007 as we strive toward even greater success
for each of the district’s students.
Superintendent's Unsung Hero Award
Giving is an every
day event for many people who support Pinellas County Schools’ teachers.
Family members especially give in so many ways for our teachers, and
their support is essential to an educator’s success. That’s the reason
for the Superintendent’s Unsung Hero Award, which will be announced at
the Outstanding Educator recognition event Feb. 13 at Tropicana Field.
The winner will receive $1,000 and the other finalists $500 from the
Pinellas Education Foundation. Recently, it has been my pleasure to read
about these wonderful people – 81 were nominated for the award – and
pick the Unsung Hero. Here are the five finalists: Paul Dinsdale,
husband of Carol Dinsdale, teacher at Mount Vernon Elementary; Corey
Eberle, son of Theresa Eberle, teacher at Largo Central Elementary;
Jerry Wayne Love, husband of Deborah R. Love, teacher at Seminole
Middle; Thomas Schilk, husband of Charlene Schilk, teacher at Cypress
Woods Elementary, and Agnes Vanecek, mother of Andrea Carvill, teacher
at Lakewood High. Thank you to each of
the finalists, to every person who was nominated and to all of you who
come to work every day determined to help our students succeed.
Principal’s Multicultural Advisory
Wins National Association for
Multicultural Education Award
The National Association for Multicultural
Education (NAME) has selected Pinellas County Schools’ Principal’s
Multicultural Advisory Committee (PMAC) program as its 2006 Rose Duhon-Sells
Multicultural Program Award winner.
According to the nomination for the award,
the PMAC program “has evolved into a collaborative, student-centered
leadership initiative designed to ensure all students have the right to
attend a school where all ethnic and cultural heritages are welcomed and
respected. The main role of the PMAC program is to encourage students,
faculty, administration, parents and community members to build
community by sharing experiences and cultural backgrounds, and by
engaging in meaningful dialogue and multicultural activities to increase
Congratulations to everyone involved with
PMAC, especially the school-based multicultural liaisons who work so
hard to make the program a success.
Fifteen Outstanding Educator Finalists Selected
finalists for the 2007 Outstanding Educator have been selected. Three
finalists were named in each of five categories. A winner in each
category and the 2007 Outstanding Educator will be announced at a dinner
Feb. 13 at Tropicana Field.
The finalists in the Commitment to Improvement of the
Profession category are Sara Carroll, Morgan Fitzgerald Middle;
Victoria Hagedorn, Walsingham Elementary; Jeannine Pursley, East Lake
High. Creativity & Innovation finalists are Betsy Balmer,
Pasadena Fundamental; Cynthia Thompson, Morgan Fitzgerald Middle; Julie Woodka, Curtis Fundamental. Finalists in
Inspiring Students to Performance at Higher Levels are Janice
Demers, Ozona Elementary; Molly Nazaruk, Cross Bayou Elementary; Tracie
Russo, Carwise Middle. Commitment to Children & Families
finalists are Sheryl Brock, Dixie Hollins High; Joanne Heinz, Pinellas
Park High; Carollaine Robinson, Lakewood Elementary. Finalists in
Ambassador of the Profession are Louise Boyd, Bay Point Middle; Kaye
Marudas, Sutherland Elementary; Jason Wood, Lakeview Fundamental.
The semifinalists in the Commitment to Improvement of
the Profession category are Holly Atkins, Southside Fundamental, and
Christine Tsotsos, Sandy Lane Elementary. Creativity & Innovation
semifinalists are Cynthia Huffer, McMullen-Booth Elementary, and
Erin Wheeler, Mildred Helms Elementary. Semifinalists in Inspiring
Students to Performance at Higher Levels are Linda Raybourne,
Starkey Elementary, and Beth Wonsick, Seminole High. Commitment to
Children & Families semifinalists are Jenny Barr, Seminole
Elementary, and Deirdre Deal, Tarpon Springs High. Semifinalists in
Ambassador of the Profession are Carol Hanson, Tarpon Springs High,
and Robin Little, Douglas L. Jamerson Elementary.
Schools received 272 nominations for Outstanding Educator. Judges read
the nominations and selected 25 semifinalists. Two administrators and a
person from the business community observed each semifinalist in the
classroom and selected three finalists in each category. A winner in
each category and the 2007 Outstanding Educator will be announced at the
Feb. 13 celebration sponsored by the
Robert Sinibaldi Named State ESE Teacher of the Year
Sinibaldi, adaptive P.E. teacher at Walsingham Elementary and Pinellas
County Schools’ ESE Teacher of the Year, has been named the 2006 state
Marjorie Crick Teacher of the Year by the Florida Council for
Exceptional Children. Robert has taught for 27 years, is a district
resource teacher and has invented apparatus to allow physically
challenged students to participate in physical education. He was the
2005 Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year for the Florida
Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sport.
teacher of the emotionally handicapped at San Jose Elementary, was a
finalist for the state Jack R. Lamb Rookie Teacher of the Year, also
given by the Florida Council for Exceptional Children. She was Pinellas
County Schools’ 2006 ESE Rookie Teacher of the Year.
Tarpon Springs High Band Wins Class in Nationals
Congratulations to the Fighting Sponger Marching Band of
High that once again won its class in the Bands of America
Grand National Championships. The Tarpon
Springs band came in fifth overall in the national competition Nov. 8-11
at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind.
In the semifinal round, Tarpon Springs won Class AA and each of
the three performance awards – Outstanding Music Performance,
Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding General Effect.
Tarpon Springs was the defending national champion in Class AA,
having placed first in the class and winning the three performance
awards at the 2005 Grand Nationals. Tarpon Springs placed eighth in the
overall competition last year.
Teachers Picked for FSU Fellowships
Pinellas County Schools’ teachers have been awarded fellowships from the
Florida State University (FSU) College of Information to help them
become library media specialist leaders. The teachers are Andrea
Sanchez, Bay Point Elementary; Raylee Milner, Belcher Elementary; Sheila
Baker, Rio Vista Elementary; Jodi Hooks, Sunset Hills Elementary; Lauren
Powers, Morgan Fitzgerald Middle, and Jeannie Wallace, Dixie Hollins
High. The alternates are Myra Clark, James Sanderlin Elementary, and
Kevin Hug, Bay Point Middle.
The program, Project
LEAD: School Library Media Specialists for the 21st Century:
Leaders Educated to Make a Difference, is made possible by a
$1.3-million grant from the 2006 Laura Bush 21st Century
Librarian Program from the national
Institute of Museum and Library
Services and FSU.
During the 2½-year
program, which begins in January, the 30 statewide participants will
complete the FSU online master’s degree program as a group and obtain
Florida certification as library media specialists. They also will
attend two summer leadership workshops in Tallahassee and present or
volunteer at state and national school media conferences. All graduates
will be placed in school media positions upon completion of the program
and will be prepared to achieve National Board certification early in
their school library media careers. Participants will be assigned a
National Board-certified library media specialist as a mentor during the
Pinellas Receives Federal Character Education Grant
County Schools has been awarded a four-year character education grant
through the U.S. Department of Education. The goals of the grant are to
increase academic achievement, decrease suspensions and enhance local
capacity to implement and sustain a highly effective character education
Claudia Hunter is
project coordinator; Maryanne Boyd, secretary; Robert Pitts,
instructional staff/developer, and Robert Ellis, parent/community
consultant. Jan Urbanski, safe and drug-free schools supervisor, will
oversee the grant as project director. The grant is to help Pinellas
County Schools comply with the state mandate that requires all teachers
to teach character education. The grant will expand Commitment to
Character not only into all curriculum areas at all levels but also to
the community and parents. For more information, call 588-6119.
Transition From PLACES to
PLACES e-mail will be phased out
in three steps to transition everyone to the district’s primary e-mail
system, PCS Mail.
Winter Break 2006
All Internet mail via PLACES will be disabled. E-mail between PLACES
and PCS Mail within the district will continue until the summer of 2007.
Spring Break 2007
Public conferences will be removed from PLACES. This will include
areas such as Offices, Information Center and the Trading Post.
Mail between PLACES and PCS mail will be discontinued. New accounts
and password changes will be made only for participants in online
courses (CTIP, ESOL, etc.). Technical support no longer will be
available for PLACES.
For more information, visit the
and applications website.
For a list of frequently asked questions,
Employees Can Access Payroll/Personnel Information on the Web
Your Pinellas County Schools’ payroll and personnel information now
is available to you any time of the day or night from wherever you can
access the Internet. The new Employee Self-Service (ESS) system allows
employees access to information securely outside of business hours.
All you have to do is log on to the Pinellas County Schools’
www.pinellas.k12.fl.us and then go to the “For Staff” area. You will
find the link for ESS in the left navigation box. Click on that link,
and enter your password. Then you will be able to:
View your earnings history.
View and print images of your payroll statements.
View and print images of your W-2 statements.
View your available leave amounts (sick, personal and vacation).
Change your address and/or phone number.
The information is secure. The ESS home page has lots of
information about the new system, including the security precautions.
Proposed Calendar for 2007-08 School Year
proposed calendar for the 2007-08 school year, including changes
required by new legislation covering the statewide school start date, is
on the Dec. 12 school board agenda. Here are some of the proposed dates:
– schools open, classes begin.
– State Professional Development Day, schools closed for students.
19-20 – District Training Days, schools closed for students.
21-23 – Thanksgiving holidays.
24-Jan. 4 – Winter holidays.
– Professional Development Day. Schools closed for students.
31-April 4 – Spring holidays.
– Last day for students.
School Choice for 2007-08
need to apply for schools in their choice attendance area if they have a
Entering a public school for the first time in August 2007 (including
all children entering kindergarten, students new to the district or
those re-entering Pinellas County Schools).
Entering grade six (the majority of this year's fifth-graders are no
longer eligible for extended grandfathering).
Entering grade nine and not eligible for or does not want to use
Applying to a different school in the attendance area.
Parents interested in
countywide magnet, fundamental and career academy programs for their
children must apply Jan. 15-Feb. 3, 2007, and those applying for choice
attendance area schools must do so March 5-24, 2007.
Those who apply to a
magnet, fundamental or career academy program during the Jan. 15-Feb. 3
application period will know the results of the computer selection for
those programs prior to the start of the choice application period.
A School Choice Information Guide will be available at schools,
FEICs, at the Jan. 20 Magnet/Choice Information Fair and on the district
www.pinellaschoice.org for more information.
Choice Survey Seeks Input from Pinellas Families
33,000 families of students who attend a Pinellas County public school
were mailed a survey Nov. 29 from the Choice Task Force, seeking
comments about numerous choice-related issues. Families are being asked
to return the surveys by Dec. 11.
Pinellas County Schools’
Choice Task Force, a 47-member
group charged with recommending a school reform plan as it relates to
choice in the district, has been working since August 2005. It held six
community outreach sessions in February and March throughout the county
to get ideas and suggestions from the community.
The survey results will help members of the Choice Task Force
develop suggestions about the future of the choice student assignment
plan in Pinellas County’s public schools for 2008 and beyond.
Teach-In Brings Nearly 5,400 Volunteers to School
Progress Energy Great American Teach-In marked its 13th year
by electronically transporting first-graders to Afghanistan, giving
students a taste of the ice cream business and its product, offering a
rap-style stay-in-school message, introducing viewers to the fine points
of ice sculpting, helping students turn chocolate into works of art and
so much more. Nearly 5,400 community members gave an all-time high
presentations in the district’s 145 schools. The Teach-In not only
exposes students to worlds far beyond their own but also gives
volunteers a glimpse into the reality of school, far removed from
newspaper headlines or TV reports. School personnel work hard to make
their guests feel welcome and appreciated. Volunteers walk away with a
personalized certificate and a sense of accomplishment. And students are
left with a lot to think about and many new ideas for leisure-time fun
and possibly a future occupation.
TV Star Highlights DOORWAYS Celebration
annual Pinellas Education Foundation DOORWAYS Celebration Dec. 6 will
feature Alex M, star of MTV’s Laguna Beach, as well as student
performers from Boca Ciega and Osceola high schools and St. Petersburg’s
Soulful Arts Dancers. Nearly 4,000 students, educators, community
leaders and volunteers are expected to attend the event at Tropicana
Field in St. Petersburg. More than 2,200 students have the guarantee of
a Florida Prepaid College Scholarship through the DOORWAYS program.
Nearly $20-million has been donated to DOORWAYS through the foundation
John Hopkins Middle Inaugurates 5000 Role Models Program
Thirty-five sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from John Hopkins Middle
formally joined the 5000 Role Models of Excellence program during a
Tie-Tying Ceremony at the school Nov. 15.
Pinellas County Schools’
500 Role Models of Excellence was created to
boost the self-image, social skills and academic performance of selected
males, in part, by motivating them to interact with respected and
successful men from the community. This program matches young men who
are struggling in school with mentors who will meet with them on a
regular basis. Originally there only were programs in Miami-Dade and
Pinellas County schools. With the addition of Jacksonville, the program
changed its name to 5000 Role Models of Excellence.
Before the ceremony, the mentors teach the young men how to properly tie
a tie, according to W.J. Bryant, district coordinator. During the formal
part of the ceremony, there is a roll call, explanation of the program’s
purpose, a challenge by the mentors to the students and a pledge.
The role models program started 15 years ago in Miami. It spread to
Pinellas and has been an active force in the schools here for a number
of years. The induction ceremony marks the beginning of the program at
Art Exhibits Showcase Student Work
by students in Pinellas County elementary schools is on display at the
Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo and The Arts Center in St. Petersburg.
A Creative StART at the Student Exhibitions Gallery of the
Museum of Art, 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo, is part of the Progress
Energy series and features art work from half of Pinellas County’s
elementary schools (schools N-Z). The display highlights the importance
of art education in the schools and acknowledges the efforts of local
art teachers and students. The exhibit ends Jan. 7.
The Just Like Me: Word and Image Elementary Exhibition is displayed in
Risser Children’s Gallery at The Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St.
Petersburg. Each student contributor had to create a self-portrait and
then explain in writing what makes him or her unique, based on the theme
“Just Like Me.” This exhibit closes Dec. 31.
High, Stetson Law Students Debate
High’s Debate Team, coach Margaret Emelson and school sponsor Jamie
McDaniel hosted “The People Speak,” a joint project among the United
Nations Foundation, the National Forensic League and other partner
organizations Nov. 15 at Stetson University College of Law. The event
was selected from thousands of forums across the U.S. and the world to
be filmed as part of the National Forensic League's People Speak
“The People Speak” engages people of all ages and backgrounds in
thoughtful discussions about the value of international cooperation for
the United States and the world. Since its inception in 2003, “The
People Speak” partners have organized more than 20,000 events to
explore emerging global challenges and opportunities.
Engineering Program Is a Model for Other Schools
Jamerson Elementary Mathematics and Engineering
Program is unlike any other in the nation, according
to Robin Little, engineering coach at the school.
Personnel use a unique teaching method known as a
spiraling standards-driven method vs. a
theme-based program, through which students learn a new unit
at each grade level. Last April they attended the
national Magnet Schools of America conference at
other schools heard of their success and wanted to
get a closer look.
Teachers at Jamerson have
developed a relationship with the University of
South Florida (USF) and have been
developing curriculum under the direction of two USF
engineering professors, which is very unique and
also keeps the program up-to-date.
Jamerson hosted three schools from
Minnesota, Texas and Georgia to showcase its
integrated benchmark mathematics and engineering
program. These schools are at the early stages of
building an engineering program or are planning and want to observe Jamerson’s
model of design, which is based on the Sunshine
State Standards. From
kindergarten to fifth grade, the students are
learning a little each year in all seven areas of
the program so they finish elementary school with a
solid foundation in mathematics and engineering.
Linebacker Inspires All Pro Dad Assembly
Quarles, Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker, spoke to nearly 300
dads and their children at the Nov. 14 All Pro Dad
breakfast, sponsored by Sunset Hills Elementary and Tarpon
Springs Fundamental. All Pro Dad is a program to promote
quality time for dads and kids together. Quarles spoke about
the importance of family, signed autographs and posed for
All Pro Dad, a project of
former Bucs and current Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy,
is in several Pinellas County Schools. The program revolves
around such topics as getting through tough life situations,
exercises to build self-esteem and discussions on the
qualities found in a best friend. There are special times
set aside during the holidays to help others and give to
those less fortunate. The dads learn how to communicate
better with their children while strengthening the bond
Kennedy Middle Salutes Its Bus DriversStudents were dismissed
a little early on Friday, Nov. 3, and the red carpet was laid
out for bus driver Shirley Brown who drives route #117 for
Middle. Shirley received a Golden Steering Wheel Award
from Laurie Frey with the Positive Behavior Support Group (PBS)
and the enthusiastic group of students who ride the bus.
Kennedy Middle recognizes one
of its bus drivers approximately every two weeks with an award
presented by the PBS. This is
usually done at the end of the day on a Friday and does
wonders to lift spirits and shows the bus drivers they truly
are appreciated. There has been a change in climate and culture as a
result of PBS.
Quality of the Month
The character quality for December is KINDNESS, being nice and
considerate toward others. What does kindness mean to you? I
once heard a local wrestler speak about the topic of kindness to a group
of children. When he was a young boy, other children perceived his
acts of kindness as an act of weakness. To extend the goal of kindness
to others is to help develop a climate of helpfulness, consideration,
benevolence and compassion. Aesop has written "No act of kindness, no
matter how small, is ever wasted."
The Lion And The Mouse. As we
near the end of the 2006 calendar year, we extend to you our best wishes
for peace and unconditional acts of kindness!
Health Tip of the Month
During the holiday season,
pay attention to your portion selections in order to keep your waistline
from expanding. Super-sizing, all-you-can-eat-buffets and extra-large
“single servings” of snack foods all contribute to weight gain. Here are
some guidelines to help you measure for a healthy food portion:
• One cup of cereal, chopped fruit, or chopped vegetables = the
size of a baseball.
• One and a half ounces of natural cheese = the size of four dice.
• One cup of milk = the size of small milk carton.
• One half cup of cooked dry beans = size of a small computer
• One slice of bread = the size of a computer disk.
• Two tablespoons of peanut butter = the size of a golf ball.
Special Programming for December
Progress Energy Great American Teach-In
edition of PCS Journal will debut Dec. 8 and run through Jan. 12
at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The program, hosted by interns Janita Truitt and
Peter Scondras, is anchored at Lealman Intermediate, which featured ice
carving, go-carts, animals, technology and the stay-in-school rap group
Knuckle Headz during its Teach-In.
The show also showcases Teach-In
highlights from Plumb Elementary, Shore Acres Elementary, Safety Harbor
Secondary, Madeira Beach Middle, Palm Harbor Middle and Lakewood High.
highlight the holiday season on Ch. 14. Fifteen high school marching bands
showcasing the 2006 FBA Marching Musical Festival perform in five
separate one-hour programs. In addition to marching performances, high school band
directors take you behind the music to reveal what it takes to put on
such a performance.
The five programs
Show 1, Seminole,
Dixie Hollins and Gibbs; Show 2, Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg and
Osceola; Show 3, Boca Ciega, Countryside and Palm Harbor University;
Show 4, Dunedin, Northeast and Largo; Show 5, Tarpon Springs, East Lake and Clearwater.
programs are scheduled to air Dec. 24, 8 a.m.-noon, and Dec. 26-Jan. 7, 9
a.m. and 9 p.m.
with the debut of the 2006 All-County Music Fest at 3 p.m. Dec.
23-24, Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 6-7 and 10 p.m. Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Encore
presentations of the 2005 All-County Music Fest will air at 10
p.m. other weekday nights during Winter Break.
schedule for December and Winter Break: Largo High Orchestra,
Dec. 4-8, 2:30 p.m., Dec. 4-10, 8 p.m., Dec. 11-17, 8:30 p.m.;
Holiday No. 1, Dec. 11-15, 2:30 p.m., Dec. 11-17, 8 p.m., Dec.
18-25, 8:30 p.m.; Holiday No. 2, Dec. 18-22, 2:30 p.m.,
Dec. 18-25, 8 p.m., Dec. 26-31, 8:30 p.m.; Class of ’06 No. 3,
Dec. 26-29, 2:30 p.m., Dec. 26-31, 8 p.m., Jan. 1-7, 8:30 p.m.;
Northeast High Bands/Pinellas Park Guitar Ensemble No. 1, Jan.
1-5, 2:30 p.m., Jan. 1-7, 8 p.m., Jan. 8-14, 8:30 p.m.
Please check the website (www.wpds.tv)
for individual program air times.
Thanks for Sharing 'Snapshots of Success,' Please Send More
Thanks so much to all of you who have
submitted a "Snapshots of Success" form to let us know
about the positive
things happening in your school or department. Some of the resulting stories are
in this issue of "Inside Edge." Others have turned into photo
opportunities, ideas for WPDS-Ch. 14 or press releases. So again,
thanks. And, to those of you who haven't shared your story, please tell us about students making great strides,
staff members who have unique ideas or develop innovative programs,
volunteers who have made an impact and anything else that makes your
school or department shine. You’ll find a
“Snapshots of Success” submission form on the district website. The directions are
simple, and the form won’t take long to fill out. Any questions? Call
the communications office at 588-6122 or e-mail
For a printable version of
Inside Edge, click here.