St. Cecelia Catholic School principal Mary Beth Scanlon recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., where she accepted the National Blue Ribbon award from Arne Duncan, secretary of the U.S. Education Department. Duncan presented Scanlon with a plaque and Blue Ribbon Flag.
After receiving the award for the school, Scanlon met with U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, who presented the school with a framed copy of the Congressional Record in which the congressman commended St. Cecelia School as a school of excellence.
Back in Clearwater, a flag-raising ceremony was held last month at the school to celebrate winning the prestigious award. The entire student body gathered by the flagpole as the Blue Ribbon Flag was raised. Local area dignitaries attended, including representatives from the mayor's office and Bilirakis' office.
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Stratford Court of Palm Harbor, a Sunrise Senior Living Community, donated 67 bicycles and helmets to Toys For Tots for its holiday toy drive. Funds for the bicycles and helmets were collected from the sale of crafts and jewelry made by residents at Stratford Court as well as through the generosity of residents, families and team members. Stratford Court resident Norman Alper, recreation director Patty McDonough and executive director Jim Westrich were instrumental in the organization of the Nov. 20 fundraising event.
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Florida State University senior volleyball player Taylor Wilson, daughter of Stacy Wilson of Tarpon Springs and the late Darrald Wilson, has been named to the ESPN Academic All-District First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
She was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Team as a sophomore in 2008, and earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Second Team honors during her 2009 junior year.
Wilson is a three-time Golden Torch Award recipient, which is given to the student athlete in each sport with the top grade point average. Through the fall semester, the interior design major showed a 3.95 cumulative GPA.
The Clearwater native is also a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll member, and has attained Dean's List honors four times while also making the President's List for a semester.
Wilson's inclusion on the ESPN Academic All-District First Team makes her eligible for the Academic All-America ballot. She will attempt to become the second Academic All-American in FSU volleyball history.
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Award winners have been announced for the Palm Harbor Chamber's 36th annual Fine Arts and Crafts Festival which took place Dec. 4-5. Best of Show, John Mascoll, wood; 2-D Award, Carol Napoli, painting; 2-D Award, Lhiyong Ye, fiber; 3-D Award, Rolly Ray Reel, mixed media; 3-D Award, Dawn Vertrees, jewelry; Merit Award, Jeff Eckert, drawing; Honorable Mention, Tony Eitharong, mixed media.
Also announced were award winners in the "Next Great Palm Harbor Artist Challenge." Best of Show, first place, Jordan Whidden, Palm Harbor Middle School; second place, Madison Jantzen, Palm Harbor Middle School; and third place, Sarah Warmouth, Palm Harbor University High School.