School Board Members
Nancy N. Bostock
Mary L. Tyus Brown
Janet R. Clark
Carol J. Cook
Jane Gallucci
Linda S. Lerner
Peggy L. O'Shea

Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox


Pinellas County
School Board

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

Help Desk

District Call Center

Human Resources:


Support Services

Area Superintendent Offices:

Area I
Oscar Robinson

Area II
Barbara Hires, Ed.D.

Area III
Mike Bessette

Family Education and Information Centers:


St. Petersburg


Mark Your Calendar

Dec. 12
School board meeting
5 p.m.

Dec. 22
Professional Development Day
No school for students

Dec. 25-Jan. 5
Winter Holidays
Schools and district offices closed

Jan. 8
Schools reopen
Second semester begins


Contact Information
Contact the
communications office at or via telephone at


Happy Holidays to the Pinellas County Schools’ Family
As 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 Committee Program
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 cultural fluency.”

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
The 15 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.

Pinellas County 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 Pinellas Education Foundation.

Robert Sinibaldi Named State ESE Teacher of the Year
Dr. Robert 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.

Heidi D’Ambrosio, 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 Tarpon Springs 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
Six 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 program.

Pinellas Receives Federal Character Education Grant
Pinellas 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 program.

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 PCS Mail
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.

Summer 2007
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 curriculum and applications website. For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.

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’ website at 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:

ü       View your earnings history.
ü       View and print images of your payroll statements.
ü       View and print images of your W-2 statements.
ü       View your available leave amounts (sick, personal and vacation).
ü       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
The 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:
ü       Aug. 21 – schools open, classes begin.
ü       Oct. 19 – State Professional Development Day, schools closed for students.
ü       Nov. 19-20 – District Training Days, schools closed for students.
ü       Nov. 21-23 – Thanksgiving holidays.
ü       Dec. 24-Jan. 4 – Winter holidays.
ü       Feb. 18 – Professional Development Day. Schools closed for students.
ü       March 31-April 4 – Spring holidays.
ü       June 3 – Last day for students.

School Choice for 2007-08
Parents need to apply for schools in their choice attendance area if they have a child:
·    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 extended grandfathering.
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 website. Visit for more information.

Choice Survey Seeks Input from Pinellas Families
More than 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
The 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 19,485 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
The 15th 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 since 1992.

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 John Hopkins.

Art Exhibits Showcase Student Work
Art 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 Gulf Coast 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 the 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.  

Lakewood High, Stetson Law Students Debate
Lakewood 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 documentary.

“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.

Mathematics & Engineering Program Is a Model for Other Schools
Douglas L. 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 which 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.

Buc Linebacker Inspires All Pro Dad Assembly
Shelton 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 family photographs.

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 between them.

Kennedy Middle Salutes Its Bus Drivers
Students 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 Kennedy 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.

Character 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 mouse.
•  One slice of bread = the size of a computer disk.
•  Two tablespoons of peanut butter = the size of a golf ball.

Ch. 14 Special Programming for December
The 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.

Student musical performances 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 are 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. The programs are scheduled to air Dec. 24, 8 a.m.-noon, and Dec. 26-Jan. 7, 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The music continues 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.

Student Measures 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 ( 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.