Author visit: Tampa Preparatory School will host a forum open to the public with author and film producer Garth Stein on March 11 at 7 p.m. in the school's Peifer Library, 727 W Cass St., Tampa. He will also speak to Tampa Prep students on March 12. He is the author of How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, Raven Stole the Moon and The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Odyssey of the Mind win: The St. John's Episcopal Parish Day School fifth-grade Odyssey of the Mind team won the district competition last month. The team will advance to the state finals. It was the school's first team to participate in the competition. Team members include students Reid Ballard, Abby Burden, Trey Carlson, Mackey Jones, Greta Schmitzer, Jake Spencer, Joseph Strickland and Aidan Willett. The team was coached by parents Adam Burden and Reid Ballard, and science teacher Mychael Fenlon.
Science competition: The Tampa Preparatory School student Science Olympiad competed in the regional competition last month and will compete in the state competition this month. Students competed in 23 events, including written tests on anatomy and physiology, laboratory exams in forensic science, and robot building and testing. Tampa Prep students finished in the top three in most of the events. Team members included captain Kevin Wu, Alexandra Benbadis, Matheus Caldeira, Gregory Campo, Hannah Campo, Catie Chapman, John Holmes, Pedro Lima, Josh Robinson, Matt Steinborn, Alp Sunol, Priya Taneja, Visakan Vairavamoorthy, Daniel Weiss and Alan Williams. Tampa Prep teachers Brian Williams, Shaun Hurley and Ginger Chapman received the Outstanding Coach Award for the second year in a row at the competition.
Scholarship winner: Victoria Messina, a freshman majoring in journalism at the University of Florida, was awarded the Festa Italiana Matching Scholarship by the National Italian American Foundation. Messina is a 2012 graduate of Tampa Catholic High School, where she was a member of student government, Key Club, varsity soccer and campus ministry. She is a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority at UF, and writes for the Odyssey campus newspaper, and the Her Campus and College Social online magazines.
Artist series: Academy of the Holy Names hosted Jessica Hemmings, professor of visual culture and head of the faculty of visual culture at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, Ireland, and 1994 graduate of Holy Names, last month as part of the school's 9th Annual Visiting Artist Series. The event featured a slide show presentation and discussion of her work.
School honors: Hillsborough County public magnet schools and programs will be recognized by Magnet Schools of America at its annual conference in May.
Lee, Lincoln, MacFarlane Park and Philip Shore elementary magnet schools; Boys Preparatory Academy Franklin, Progress Village, Williams and Young middle magnet schools; and Middleton and Tampa Bay Technical will be named Magnet Schools of Excellence.
Cahoon, Lomax and Muller elementary magnet schools; Dowdell, Girls Preparatory Academy Ferrell, Orange Grove, Sligh, Stewart and Walker middle magnet schools; Rampello Downtown Partnership K-8 School and Roland Park K-8 School; and Robinson High School will be named Magnet Schools of Distinction.
The awards recognize magnet schools and programs for their academic standards, curriculum innovation, diversity, specialized teaching staffs and parent and community involvement.
Learning fair: Sixth-graders at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS made projects about historical figures for the school's People Fair last month. The students researched the historical person of their choice, wrote essays, created electronic timelines of their lives, and created displays. They dressed up as their subjects and wrote first-person monologues that they performed for their families and other students. The students studied historical figures like Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson and Harry Houdini.