Culinary awards: The Leto High School culinary competition team placed fourth out of 55 teams at the 13th annual Florida ProStart Culinary Competition in Orlando earlier this month. Leto High culinary student Guillermo Quezada also won the Student Top Chef award.
The culinary team will be featured on an episode of chef Emeril Lagasse's television show Emeril's Florida, which will air locally on the Cooking Channel. Lagasse plans to visit the school this spring to film additional footage.
The team also took first place at the state Family, Career and Community Leaders of America contest earlier this month. It will compete in the ProStart National Invitational in Maryland in April, and the FCCLA National Competition in Tennessee in July.
Teacher award: Paul Shaffer, culinary arts instructor at the South County Career Center, was named the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation ProStart Teacher of the Year.
Middleton student honors: Middleton High School students and FFA members Christina Soto, Christine Perrella, Laryssa Santana and Jessica Zirkle participated in "Ag on the Hill" earlier this month. The students toured the House of Representatives' chamber, listened to Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and met Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, and Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa. The students also sat in on an agriculture committee meeting.
Middleton High students also competed in the Hillsborough County History Fair last month. Middleton awards went to: Brian Neuman, second place, individual exhibit; George Seits, third place, individual exhibit; Awni Asab, Jamie Carbon and Victoria Yang, second place, group exhibit and judges award; Lauren Slack and Amanda Hernandez, first place, group exhibit; Christine Perrella, first place, individual documentary; Ursula Perano, second place, individual documentary; Matthew Gaddie, first place, individual website; Demia Deshazior, second place, individual website; Marissa Mendez, Estefany Narvaez and Hana Schoener, second place, group documentary; Matthew Ontengco and Ramin Mashayekhi, first place, group documentary; Anna Castillo, Lorena Ruiz, Jesse Synhorst and Victoria Hoang, third place, group website and judges award; Mirando Everett, first place, individual performance; Remy Phillip, Paul Calvay, Ervin Harris and Gautam Koipallil, first place, group performance; and Riley MacDonald, Curtiss Maraman and Jonathan Roth, second place, group performance and judges award.
Theater awards: Corbett Preparatory School of IDS middle school students competed in the Florida Junior Thespian State Festival in Melbourne earlier this month. The students presented 10 musical and acting performances. Five of the acts earned the highest ranking of superior: I Will Never Leave You from Side Show for duet musical; Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn for duet acting; Little Red Riding Hood for monologue; Lives of the Great Waitresses for monologue; and Shakin' at the High School Hop from Grease for large group musical.
Spring fundraiser: Valrico Academy will hold its annual Spring Fling fundraiser from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday at YMCA Camp Cristina, 9840 Balm Riverview Road, Riverview. The event will include food, games, a silent auction, raffles, bounce houses, a movie on the lawn and a safety clinic. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.
School conference: Corbett Preparatory School of IDS is hosting the Florida Association for the Gifted annual conference on Saturday at the school, 12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa. The theme of this year's conference is "More Possibilities in Gifted Education." Corbett Prep headmaster Joyce Burick Swarzman will hold a preconference workshop, "Capitalizing on the Uniqueness of Each Child in School and at Home," from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Saturday conference will include 50 breakout sessions on topics including technology integration, acceleration options, evaluation processes and parenting insights. The keynote speaker is Dorothy Sisk, former director of the U.S. Department of Education Office on Gifted and Talent and coordinator of the University of South Florida Teacher Training and Gifted Graduate Programs.
The conference is open to the public. The cost is $75 through Friday, and $85 walk-in. The Friday workshop is an additional $35. The conference includes continental breakfast, luncheon, silent and live auction, and annual FLAG membership. Space is limited. To register, visit flagifted.org.
Golf tournament: The Steinbrenner Warriors football team will hold its fourth annual Golf Tournament on May 11 at 1:30 p.m. at the Heritage Harbor Golf and Country Club, 19502 Heritage Harbor Parkway, Lutz. The event will include a silent auction. The cost is $400 for a golf foursome with hole sponsor, $325 for a golf foursome, $80 for an individual golfer and $25 for a dinner ticket. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Golf, sponsorship and volunteer registration is available online at tournevents.com/warriorfootball. For more information, visit the website or call (813) 504-7440.
School fund: The Academy of the Holy Names 2013 Black & White By the Bay Auction raised more than $342,000 for the school's annual fund earlier this month. More than $25,000 was raised during the live auction's Fund-an-Item, to benefit the school's computing program. Last year, Fund-an-Item contributions funded iPads for students in grades 3-12.