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Chamber honors Largo area's outstanding educators

Outstanding area educators honored

All schools in the service area of the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce were contacted to submit their selection of "Outstanding Educator of the Year" as part of the chamber's annual "Salute to Education" program.

Principals who responded submitted the following top performers. They were recognized at a special luncheon on Wednesday at the Largo Public Library:

Melanie Sekora, art teacher at Largo High School, challenges her students to stretch their imagination and create award-winning works of art in jewelry and computer graphics.

Leslie Pohley, Largo Middle School science teacher, has served the children and staff for 31 years as a colleague, mentor, counselor and friend. She also was recognized in 2009 as Florida's Science Teacher of the Year by the Florida Association of Science Teachers.

Gary Hummer, physical education teacher at Fuguitt Elementary, has served the Pinellas School District for more than 30 years and Fuguitt for 17 years. He provides leadership as a team leader, school improvement team member and safety team member.

Gail Busjahn, a seventh- and 10th-grade teacher at Indian Rocks Christian School, began the school year as a seventh-grade English teacher and middle school guidance counselor. When a teacher left mid-year, Gail volunteered to teach sophomore English. She also serves as the middle school coordinator and student council adviser.

Frank Bogataj, physical education coach at St. Patrick Catholic School, provides a successful learning environment with contagious enthusiasm and keen insights coupled with his "hands on approach" and cooperative learning style.

Mitchell Ray, physical education coach at Bardmoor Elementary School, has led his team in creating and implementing kid-friendly programs so that students learn without even knowing it.

Scholarship recipients are announced

Christine Regan of Sylvan Learning Center at Largo Mall, chairman of the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce Business/Education Partnership, has announced the 2009 recipients of its Largo High School scholarships. Each was presented with a $1,000 prize at the organization's Salute to Education Luncheon. The recipient are:

• Katelyn Crist, daughter of Elaine Goller. Katelyn plans to attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando to study civil or nuclear engineering.

As a Doorways Scholarship student, Katelyn has excelled academically. She's been involved in extracurricular activities such as Spanish Honor Society and Drama. She is also community service-oriented, working with the Spanish Honor Society during the Relay for Life, Adopt-a-Family and the Salvation Army's Thanksgiving Turkey giveaway program.

Greg Anderson, son of Paul and Suzanne Anderson. Greg plans to attend Florida State in the fall and aspires to be a filmmaker. As a member of the Drama Club, he has appeared in six Largo High stage productions and has competed in district thespian competitions. As a member and now president of the Spanish Honor Society, Greg has participated every year in Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. Greg is also a volunteer at All Children's Hospital.

'HYPE It Up' mixer scheduled Wednesday

HYPE Pinellas, the young professionals affiliate of the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce, will hold a "HYPE It Up" mixer on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at De Losa's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, 2535 East Bay Drive, Largo. The cost is $5 for chamber members and $10 for non-members. Participants are encouraged to bring business cards and a raffle gift promoting their business. To register, contact the chamber at (727) 584-2321 or e-mail

SCORE workshop slated for Tuesday

The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) will hold a free session entitled "How to Make Your Business Thrive, Not Just Survive" on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Jenkins Wing at the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive, Largo.

Advance registration is required. Contact Charlie Cronk at the chamber at 584-2321 or e-mail

Chamber honors Largo area's outstanding educators 05/16/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 16, 2009 4:30am]
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