Linda Sullivan of Safety Harbor Middle School has been named Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Florida School Counselor Association. Mrs. Sullivan received her award at the association's conference Oct. 24 in Orlando.
Mrs. Sullivan has been praised as a dedicated, innovative and approachable counselor. "It doesn't get any better than Mrs. Sullivan; she exhibits all the qualities of an extraordinary counselor," said Lois Mays, assistant principal, in her nomination letter. "She is knowledgeable, both in school law and local policies. She is focused on positive outcomes, driven by a desire to improve the lives of others, aware of career options and academic expectations associated with them, ingenious in developing initiatives for positive change, serves as a mentor for teachers and counselors, protective of her students and a strong voice for those uninformed of their rights."
One of Mrs. Sullivan's accomplishments was the development of a program called the "Suddenly Seahawk Initiative" that prepares families for the transition from elementary to middle school. Since its implementation, student performance, parent involvement and the school's customer satisfaction rating have improved significantly.
Other recommendation letters discuss how accessible Mrs. Sullivan is to students, parents, the faculty and staff members. They say that her love for her students is obvious and she is an asset who makes her school a better place.
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Helen Cantonis Campbell of Dunedin recently received a Lary Lifetime Achievement Award for creating 30 years of exceptional costume designs for local community theaters.
The Larys are Tampa Bay's version of Broadway's Tony Awards, with local theater companies competing in 26 acting and backstage categories. Winners are chosen by popular vote of subscribers to The Grapevine, the area's longtime community theater magazine.
Mrs. Campbell began her career in the early 1970s, making authentic Greek costumes for small dance groups in Tarpon Springs and eventually went to work for New Port Richey's Royalty Theater where she designed and made costumes for many shows. After that, many local community theaters in the area were eager to utilize Mrs. Campbell's creative talents.
She won a Lary award in 1983 for outstanding costumes used in the production of The King and I.
Mrs. Campbell still loves to design and create costumes for local community theaters.
The 80-year-old's most recent project has been costume design for the musical Oklahoma! that opened this week at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.
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Tarpon Springs is in the process of becoming a sister city with Symi, Greece. The people of Symi were instrumental in building the sponge industry and contributing to the creation of businesses and the civic community in Tarpon Springs.
Two prominent local philanthropists, born in Symi, were recently honored at a dinner dance in honor of the Feast Day of the Archangel Michael at the Spanos/Pappas Community Center, Tarpon Springs. They are Michael Cantonis, owner of the Acme Sponge & Chamois Co., Tarpon Springs, and former Tarpon Springs resident Stamie Kypreos, owner of Stamie's Beach Wear, and part owner of the Boardwalk, both in Daytona Beach.
City officials in attendance from Tarpon Springs were mayor Beverly Billiris, and city commissioners Peter Dalacos and Chris Alahouzos.
Also in attendance were the vice-mayor of Symi, Elias Haskas and his wife; and the editor of the SymiVisitor newspaper, Nicholas Halkitis and his wife.
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Clearwater city officials awarded $25,000 in grants to 13 neighborhoods as part of the city's second annual Clearwater Awards for Neighborhoods. Mayor Frank Hibbard presented the Mayor's Award for Excellence grand prize of $5,000 to Edgewater Drive Homeowner's Association for the second year in a row for its projects and civic activism.
Many more grants were awarded to various area organizations for future improvement projects.
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