Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Education

West Hernando Middle special needs students collect more than 800 toiletries for the needy

BROOKSVILLE — As Gulf Coast Academy seventh-grader Anthony Crooks, 12, prepared for his required "pay it forward" project, he approached his mother for a venue.

Lisa Crooks is a West Hernando Middle School teacher; Tina Tauriello is the school's PTA president.

Tauriello also runs Kids Closet from her home, providing clothes and other items to Hernando County youth. Anthony wanted to do a clothing drive for Kids Closet, but Tauriello had another idea. What she needed, she said, was toiletries.

Dubbing his project "Toiletries Thursday," Anthony came to the school each week for three weeks to coordinate the collection.

When he finished, his mother kept it up, collecting even more. The class that collected the most items won a pizza party, paid for by Tauriello.

The winners were a combination of the school's two self-contained varying exceptionalities classes.

"This is a special needs class, and they actually collected over 800 items and they won first place," said exceptional student education teacher Shilah Anderson, who teamed with ESE teacher Karen Shaffer in the collection effort.

"It was a really good learning experience," Anderson said. "They now know what toiletries are."

Barbara Agresto, a paraprofessional in Anderson's classroom, described another lesson: helping others.

"We do have a wonderful class," she said. "I'd say a good 99 percent brought stuff in. We just tried every day to instill how others are important."

Seventh-grader Alexis McElhaney, 13, apparently absorbed the lesson.

"We already have a lot, so we need to give people more stuff that they need," she said.

Sixth-grader Trinity Deleon, 13, said she felt really happy about her donations, "because the people need it."

"We all worked together," Anderson said, "and we thought it was important for them to help each other out."

The other paraprofessionals in the ESE department are Lynn Morano, Chris Theiss and Diane Hosman.

The pizza party-winning children were sixth-graders Brian Beatty, Trinity Deleon, Michal Nonnenmaker and Mychael Ramsey; seventh-graders Rebecca Hemmelgarn, Harlee Klauka, Alexis McElhaney, Jacob Norcia, Chris Rae, Aeron Smith, Jaylen Williams and Katelyn Ysbrand; and eighth-graders Charles Frantz, William Turner, Loren Romine, Ollivia Wernert and Kross Shaw.

Comments
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editor’s note: Ethan Hooper wrote today’s column to give Ernest Hooper Father’s Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18
School board races attract new faces

School board races attract new faces

TAMPA — When long-time Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes resigned this month from the board to run for the State House of Representatives, the decision affected more than just her seat in west Hillsborough’s District 1.It also coul...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/17/18
Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

TAMPA — Money that the Hillsborough County School District needs to build schools and replace air conditioners might be farther from reach, thanks to a new state law and a bureaucratic process required before the voters can decide on a tax referendum...
Published: 06/14/18
University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

The University of Chicago will no longer require ACT or SAT scores from U.S. students, sending a jolt through elite institutions of higher education as it becomes the first top-10 research university to join the test-optional movement.Numerous school...
Published: 06/14/18
Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano presented to the School Board Tuesday nearly $53 million worth of budget priorities, asking them to choose which will be funded in the upcoming school year.The board voted 3-2 later Tue...
Published: 06/13/18
UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

The University of Tampa’s MFA program will host the June 2018 Residency Visiting Writers Lectores Series that runs from now until June 21 on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Each reading will be held at 7:30 p.m.Each January ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano will step down at the end of this month following a 3-2 vote by the School Board to terminate its contract with her amid increasing concerns about her ability to lead.Romano has suffere...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

NEW PORT RICHEY — The dozen Fivay High school students and their administrators arrived at the Pasco County school district’s annual Together We Stand conference with a clear goal in mind.With hundreds of former Ridgewood High students arriving in th...
Published: 06/12/18
Central’s air rifle team prepares for national competition

Central’s air rifle team prepares for national competition

BROOKSVILLE — Historic Camp Perry is where it’s at. Located near Clinton, Ohio, the National Guard training facility is where the nation’s top shooters go to compete.Next week, some of Hernando County’s top shooters compete there in the Civilian Mark...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/14/18