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Hillsborough school notes

Riverview High School junior Isabella Seijo reads a book she wrote to kindergarteners at Summerfield Elementary School on Tuesday. Seijo and two other members of Riverview’s creative writing program read original books to the classes as part of a project.

Photo by Makayla Lindecamp

Riverview High School junior Isabella Seijo reads a book she wrote to kindergarteners at Summerfield Elementary School on Tuesday. Seijo and two other members of Riverview’s creative writing program read original books to the classes as part of a project.

Footloose the Musical: The East Bay High School theater department will have its production May 9-11 at 7 p.m. in the school's Kathryn Hill Auditorium, 7710 Big Bend Road, Gibsonton. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students, and includes dessert and coffee during intermission. Seats can be reserved by calling (813) 671-5134, ext. 271. Groups of 10 or more that make a reservation will receive the student price for the entire group.

Preschool registration: Registration is now open for preschool and kindergarten for the 2013-2014 school year at First United Methodist Church of Brandon, 120 N Knights Ave. Children who will be 2, 3, 4 or 5 years old before Sept. 1 are eligible. Classes are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, with extended days until 2 p.m. available. For more information, email director Susan Pardue at, visit or call (813) 689-9482.

Awards and scholarships: Academy of the Holy Names student Catherine Young received the 2012-2013 Outstanding Senior in French Award by the American Association of Teachers of French.

• Chris Carnes, a senior at Tampa Preparatory School, has been named one of 550 semifinalists in the 2013 Presidential Scholars Program. Semifinalists were selected from more than 3,900 candidates based on academics, leadership, character, and school and community involvement. Finalists will be announced this month.

• Middleton High School Magnet valedictorian Ayele Gibson was selected as one of the 1,000 Gates Millennium Scholars for the GMS Class of 2013. More than 54,000 students applied for the program. Gibson is a senior in the computer systems engineering magnet. He plans to major in computer engineering at Florida State University.

• Three Hillsborough seniors have been awarded scholarships from the Built Ford Tough — FFA Scholarship Program. Abigail Jett, Strawberry Crest High School; Lindsey Farkas, Plant City High School; and Jerri Rowell, Durant High School, each received a $1,000 scholarship. Jett plans to study agricultural communications at Hillsborough Community College. Farkas also plans to attend Hillsborough Community College. Rowell plans to study animal nutrition at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga.

• Two Hillsborough County Public Schools high school students are among the 10 national recipients of a $250,000 scholarship from the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund. Isabelle Morris, a senior at Plant High School, is the coxswain of the rowing team, a concert master in the orchestra, a member of the Spanish and National Honor Societies, and tutors elementary school students. She plans to attend Emory University or Rice University to study cognitive psychology. Sean Vennett, a junior at the Jefferson High School Center for International Studies, is student government vice president, a member of the Town 'N Country Youth Council, volunteers at a center for those with special needs and is working to become an Eagle Scout. He plans to attend Harvard University and focus on cancer research.

State Latin competition: Students from St. John's Episcopal Parish Day School competed in the Florida Junior Classical League State Latin Forum in Orlando last month. The team of seventh- and eighth-grade students placed first overall for the third year in a row. St. John's placed first in the "Ludi" and Creative categories, and second place in the Academic category. Sarah Jennewein, eighth grade, received a Best in Show award for her illustrated book on the Punic Wars. Jonathan Maya, eighth grade, also received a Best in Show award for his mosaic of a horse's head.

Arts Day: Students from Hillsborough County Public Schools arts magnet programs took part in Arts Day with programs at the Patel Conservatory, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. Students from Muller Elementary Magnet School, Philip Shore Elementary Magnet School, Orange Grove Middle Magnet School, Progress Village Middle Magnet School and Howard W. Blake High School of the Arts attended educational workshops and performances. The theme of the program was "Art Imitating Life." Students learned about puppets from puppeteers working on the play War Horse, music from the Florida Orchestra, and visual arts. The students put on small group performances in the Blake theatre at the end of the day.

Space experiment: McLane Middle School advanced science students sent a small package called a MiniCube with four science experiments to the edge of space last month with the help of JP Aerospace, which provides opportunities for students to send experiments 100,000 feet in the air with high-altitude balloons. Students opened the returned MiniCube late last month to see how the experiments worked. The students looked at whether popcorn would pop in a vacuum; if marshmallows would boil in a vacuum; if seeds would germinate in the cold, vacuum and radiation in the stratosphere; and if ultraviolet radiation would damage the data on a thumb drive.

Guest speaker: Ave Maria University president H. James Towey visited Jesuit High School last week to speak to students. Towey was a senior adviser to President George W. Bush, a Florida Cabinet member under Gov. Lawton Chiles and legal counsel to Mother Teresa for 12 years. For two years, he was a full-time volunteer for her and lived with her order of priests in Tijuana, Mexico. He founded Aging with Dignity, which helps families plan for end-of-life care.

An exchange between authors and audience

Riverview High creative writing teacher Mike Zelazo got a hand from Summerfield Elementary students and in the process, his students got the chance to interact with the elementary kids. Zelazo had students in his class write "Dr. Seuss-like books" but he let the Summerfield kindergarteners grade the projects. In return, the students with the highest grades, Alyssa Morley, Matthew Kramer and Isabella Seijo, got a chance to read their books to students in Jennette Alcantara's class at Summerfield.

Said Zelazo: "My students were ecstatic, since this is the first book they have ever written. To have the opportunity to read it to a captive audience was beyond their wildest dreams. I explained to them the opportunity being presented and how much a privilege it is to read your own creations."

Hillsborough school notes 05/04/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 7:23pm]
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