Welcome back, Top of the Class readers, for the 2013-14 school year.
I look forward to another nine months, writing about the achievements, programs and individuals in the Hernando County schools.
I welcome hearing from teachers, the school staff, parents, students, grandparents — anyone who wants to highlight a program or a person at a particular school, public or private.
On the Top of the Class page, look for feature stories about new and revamped programs and special events.
I will list events and fundraisers in the Class Notes column as schools send them to me. I want to help you get the word out about carwashes, spaghetti dinners, concerts and plays.
I like to run students' and teachers' names in my Newmakers column. We don't have room for honor rolls, but welcome news about those who excel in other ways — competitions, contests or special award winners.
I often hear people complain that newspapers are full of bad news and that you never hear about the "good kids." That is not true with Top of the Class. My job is to report the good news, to let everyone know that amazing things happen in the Hernando schools every single day.
I saw remarkable things during the past year. Pine Grove Elementary's gardens are phenomenal. As students move between classes, they can see cauliflower, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, beets and other vegetables growing. There was a wonderfully imaginative lesson at Eastside Elementary that included a basket of fresh apples, a hand-cranked apple peeler, pans of bright paint and apple pies that rolled history, art, literature and math into one. Brooksville Elementary students, through their fundraising efforts, helped install a water pump in Tanzania.
And those were just a few of the stories that came out of schools last year.
I can't wait to be surprised by what I find this year in the county's elementary, middle and high schools. We have talented teachers teaching bright students, and you will be able to read all about them here.
I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cellphone at (352) 650-0013.
Send me your ideas and your news.