Thursday, April 19, 2018
Education

Hillsborough gives top award to teacher who likes to check in with students, parents

TAMPA — Parents who get phone calls from Maria Torres-Crosby are often nervous at first.

Then they realize Torres-Crosby, a sixth-grade English teacher at Memorial Middle School, is just checking in.

"I want students and parents to know that I recognize the extraordinary things that their students are doing," Torres-Crosby wrote in an essay on the way to being chosen as Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year.

Torres-Crosby, who received the good news Tuesday evening, listed her many national and state certifications, the teacher training sessions she attends and leads, the assemblies she organizes at school and the work she has done to fine-tune her skills.

She also described her classroom, decorated with pictures of her family and pets, and the quarterly newsletter she sends out to make sure parents stay engaged.

"My goal has always been to provide our students with the best education I can offer," she wrote. "It is my belief that every student has the ability to learn and the right to be taught."

Torres-Crosby, 47, has been with the school district since 1996.

"Words cannot express my gratitude," she told those gathered for the annual awards ceremony at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

"Teaching is a gift and I believe I've been blessed to recognize this gift all these years," she said. "I really feel that I don't deserve this because I get paid to do something that I love."She joined Jefferson High School welding teacher Pedro Castrejon and Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy secretary Terranique Ragins in taking top honors at a ceremony.

Castrejon, 31, was named Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year. A former Jefferson welding student himself, Castrejon combines vocational instruction with life coaching by helping his students learn how to dress, order from a restaurant menu and fill out citizenship paperwork.

Ragins, 42, earned enthusiastic reviews as Instructional Support Employee of the Year for her work as the principal's secretary at Franklin.

In addition to her core duties, she was instrumental in organizing a bus mentor program in partnership with the bus drivers, to cut down on behavior problems on the way to school and make sure students are prepared when they arrive.

 
Comments
Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer...
Published: 04/19/18
Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

LARGO — Starting soon, Pinellas County public schools could be using a nationwide violence prevention program founded by families of those killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012.The nonprofit group Sandy Hook Promise, with ...
Published: 04/19/18

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teacher aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer p...
Published: 04/18/18
After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

TAMPA — Sam Sharf’s parents thought he had the best position on the Plant High School football team. As back-up quarterback, he could impress the girls but rarely played enough to get hurt.Now a junior, Sharf is off the team so he can focus his energ...
Published: 04/18/18

Gannon University’s Ruskin growth includes $21 million addition

RUSKIN — Gannon University is experiencing some serious growing pains and as a result, SouthShore is going to see a big change in the landscape. When it opened its doors in 2015 as a satellite campus for its home school in Erie, Pa., Gannon occupied ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Enrollment growth anticipated for Pasco County charter schools, with two more to open in the fall

Most of Pasco County’s more established charter schools expect to see their student population remain stable in 2018-19.Even so, enrollment in the county’s charter schools is expected to grow by about 1,100 children — or nearly 25 percent — in the fa...
Published: 04/17/18
Sunlake High sophomore wins summer scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design

Sunlake High sophomore wins summer scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design

LAND O’ LAKES — As a child, Taylor Young started doodling with crayons as a hobby. Now at age 16, this Sunlake High School sophomore has received a full scholarship, valued at $6,000, to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design Summer Pre-Colleg...
Published: 04/16/18
Manatee County high school student calls for ‘bracott’

Manatee County high school student calls for ‘bracott’

A Florida high school student who said she was told to cover up her nipples after not wearing a bra to school is planning a protest in response. Lizzy Martinez’ "bracott" will take place today at Braden River High in Manatee County, according to Twit...
Published: 04/16/18

School news for April 20

School Calendar• April 27: Progress reports• May 17-20: High school graduations.• May 25: Last day of school for students.Theatre/Art/MusicCenter for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. (727) 774-7382.• J .W. Mitchell Hi...
Published: 04/16/18
Hernando district fires all teachers at Moton Elementary, regardless of rating

Hernando district fires all teachers at Moton Elementary, regardless of rating

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County School District leaders vowed last year in their turnaround plan for struggling Moton Elementary to remove all under-performing teachers if the school earned lower than a C grade from the state in 2018.But last week — mo...
Published: 04/14/18
Updated: 04/18/18