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 won first place at the state Family, Career and Community Leaders of America contest earlier this month. They 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.
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. 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 it 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 pre-conference workshop titled "Capitalizing on the Uniqueness of Each Child in School and at Home" from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 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.
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.