Sgt. James Quinlan of the Clearwater Police Department recently received the Clearwater Civitan Club's Officer of the Year Award for his diligent work on several projects, including the Watch Commander Program and the Prisoner Transport System. Quinlan's direct community involvement has had him helping to build houses with Habitat for Humanity and playgrounds in economically challenged areas for Kaboom.
During his 22 years with the Clearwater Police Department, he has received many awards, including recognition from the Clearwater Civitan Club in 1995 when he dove into the water, while off-duty, to save two young women who were caught in a riptide.
"Jim has a tireless work ethic and a 'will do' attitude, regardless of the task at hand," said police Chief Sid Klein. "No job is too big or too small and is always handled with the utmost professionalism."
Clearwater Civitan president Richard Fuller presented the award, a plaque and a $150 check to Sgt. Quinlan, who thanked Chief Klein and the Civitan Club. He then donated the $150 check to the Civitan Club for use in a future service project.
• • •
Winners of the 25th annual Stanley Shalit Short Story Competition for Grades 6-8 and 9-12 were announced in May at a ceremony at the Largo Public Library. Largo Mayor Pat Gerard and library director Casey McPhee congratulated the winners and presented the awards. The theme this year was, "Message in a Bottle," and more than 280 entries were received from public, private and home-schooled students.
In the 6-8 grade category, first place went to Lena Wilson who received $250 and an engraved plaque; second place and $125 went to Paul Skicewicz; and third place and $100 went to Alexander Peters, all of St. Paul's School, Clearwater. Honorable mentions and $50 awards went to Conner Corbett, Jennifer Franklin, Andy Fullerton, William Fulton, Blake Gomez, Francesca Lerner and David Suellau.
In the 9-12 grade category, first place went to Natalie Ferraro, who received $250 and an engraved plaque for her story, "Close to His Heart"; second place and $125 went to Lucy Feigel; and third place and $100 went to Victoria Short, all of Countryside High, Clearwater. Honorable mentions and $50 awards went to Claire Bough, Alena Diaz, Courtney Grace, Taylor Koon, Nils Kushta, Heather MacDonald and Michael Stoop.
• • •
Andrew J. Kisz, son of William and Joanne Kisz of Palm Harbor, was among 21 students inducted into the University of Florida's 2009 Hall of Fame.
Mr. Kisz was a 2000 graduate of Palm Harbor University High and enrolled in the University of Florida the same year as an architecture major. After his freshman year, he joined the Army and served for five years and four months, with both the Rangers and 10th Mountain Division, completing two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq
He returned to the University of Florida in January 2007 as a marketing major and graduated May 2, 2009, with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He plans to attend law school in the fall.
Induction into the Hall of Fame is the most prestigious honor awarded to a University of Florida student and is reserved for those student leaders who have shown true achievement through their activities and scholarship while members of the University of Florida community. This honor is limited to no more than 25 students in a given year.
• • •
Warren L. Wade, son of Wesley and Trudy Wade of Palm Harbor, graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with highest honors and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.
Mr. Wade has also been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. He will be stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska.
• • •
Jennifer Lee Maziad of Clearwater graduated from Florida State University's College of Medicine, Tallahassee. She was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and was presented with the Altruism in Medicine award. She will begin her medical career at Vanderbilt University's anesthesiology residency program in Nashville.
• • •
Three college-bound seniors were awarded scholarships by the Vietnam Veterans of America Pinellas County Chapter 522 through the Dwight Harrah Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Scholarship recipients are Rebecca Herrin of Largo, attending Palm Harbor University High, Alan Withal of St. Petersburg, attending Seminole High, and Megan Saturley of Safety Harbor, attending Countryside High, Clearwater.
The scholarships were presented by Alan Thompson, president of Chapter 522, and Thien Harrah at the third annual Harrah Memorial Golf Tournament at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa. The awards are based on outstanding academics, community service and an essay. Winners must also have a relative who served or is serving in the military.
• • •
Richard T. Davis of Largo has been recognized as a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Sigma Alpha Lambda is a national leadership and honors organization dedicated to promoting and rewarding academic achievement and providing members with opportunities for community service, personal development and lifelong personal fulfillment.
• • •
The Upper Pinellas Music Teachers Association has initiated a $100 Senior Scholarship Award for seniors who have studied all four years of high school with a UPMTA teacher. The goal is to recognize them for continuing to study piano during high school and for their perseverance and their parents' commitment to the study of music and its rewards.
North Pinellas winners are Samantha Lutz, Calvary Christian High, Clearwater, student of Eva Hackett; David Mucci, Palm Harbor University High, student of Darlene Webster; Jennie Lee, Palm Harbor University High, student of Joseph Schwartz; Brian Wall, Palm Harbor University High, student of Kinuyo Englebrecht; Christian Blair, homeschooled, and Anwesha Banerjee, Palm Harbor University High, students of Karen Pasquerello; and Larissa Win, Tarpon Springs High, student of Darlene Webster.