After an extensive search by the board of trustees of Clearwater's Saint Paul's School, with guidance from consultants School Strategies and Solutions, Samantha L. Kemmish has been appointed as head of school effective July 1, 2014.
"Saint Paul's School's commitment to its mission to inspire young minds and create a desire for lifelong learning was evident from my first visit to campus," said Kemmish. "I am delighted to join the Saint Paul's family and look forward to honoring the school's traditions while continuing to blaze exciting trails into the future."
With 20 years of experience in private schools as a faculty member and administrator, Kemmish has served as head of Lower School at Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tenn., and held a variety of roles at the Lexington School in Lexington, Ky., including assistant head of Lower School, science department chair and classroom teacher in a variety of subjects.
"We look forward to introducing Samantha and her family to our community," said Sean Maguire, chairman of the board of trustees. "Samantha received unanimous and enthusiastic support from the search committee and the full board. She is a creative, passionate educator and we are thrilled future generations of Saint Paul's students will benefit from her vision and leadership."
Kemmish received bachelor's degrees in psychology and history from the University of Kentucky and a master's degree in teaching from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed the National Association of Independent Schools Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads in 2012 and is continuing to pursue her doctorate in educational leadership.
Acknowledging Kemmish's appointment, the school's interim head, Nancy Wood, said, "Samantha is a strategic leader who is passionate about education. I am thrilled with the board of trustees' selection and confident this will be a smooth transition for the Saint Paul's community."
• • •
The North Greenwood Community Market made its debut Nov. 9 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1201 Douglas St. in Clearwater, offering produce, food, jewelry, clothing, novelty items and entertainment by local artists.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Coalition, which sponsors the market, took over operation of the community center from the city of Clearwater several years ago, and the Pinellas County School District, owner of the property, granted the coalition a lease in October 2012.
The coalition is currently in negotiations with the city of Clearwater to establish a specific date and time for future markets.
A coalition program to plant an organic garden less than half a mile from the community center is in the planning stages, with the goal of providing a source of healthy food to be sold at the market.
Dedicated to seeing that King's dream is kept alive, the coalition also plans to continue the programs and services the center has provided for more than 40 years. Funds raised at the market will be put toward the completion of repairs at the center so it can be reopened to residents.
• • •
National Cremation Society in Clearwater marked 40 years of service to the area with a neighborhood celebration party Nov. 13 at 4945 East Bay Drive.
Attendees enjoyed ballroom dance lessons provided by Dance Forever of Clearwater, free food, gift bags for the first 100 guests, music as well as drawings for a Schwinn trike and other prizes donated by local merchants.
Guests also had the opportunity to register for a free pre-arranged cremation plan.
"What we've actually done is build relationships over these 40 years," said Donald Politano, service manager and funeral director for NCS. "Establishing that mutual trust with the local hospitals, caregivers, community leaders, merchants and neighbors is essential when you are helping people make time-of-need or pre-arranged plans."
Founded in 1973 in Pinellas County, NCS is one of the oldest and largest cremation companies in the nation, offering both traditional and contemporary funeral arrangements that include full-service visitations, burials and services in its onsite chapel.
NCS is part of a family of firms owned by Service Corporation International and is a member of its network of more than 1,800 affiliates across the United States and Canada.
Mail business items to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email email@example.com.