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Viola Freeman celebrates 100th birthday at Clearwater Woman's Club

At a March 14 meeting of the Clearwater Woman's Club at the Palms of Largo, members presented Viola Freeman with cake and flowers in honor of her 100th birthday. Teddy Hulse, Florida Woman's Club president, was in attendance.

She was born Viola Boyne March 18, 1912, in Marlette, Mich. For more than 70 years she's been involved with Woman's Clubs in Michigan and Florida, serving in many capacities including treasurer and chairwoman of the fundraising tea. Of her club service, Freeman said, "I did whatever they needed me to do!"

She and her husband, Jack, have been married 30 years.

Freeman has a son, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Jordan Rodnizki wins $1,000 scholarship

Countryside High student Jordan Rodnizki was recently selected as the winner of the school's first Cougar Career Center $1,000 Senior Scholarship.

The Countryside High Cougar Career Center is an on-campus facility operated by volunteers where students receive assistance in career counseling, scholarship opportunities and finding part-time employment.

The selection process was quite extensive, with requirements that included a 3.0 grade-point average, interview, essay, online application and optional portfolio. Rodnizki was one of 47 students who applied.

"Each student had a story to tell and many wrote or talked about a challenge they had overcome," said center volunteer director Kathleen Lamb. "It was difficult for us to choose just one winner, but it was clear Jordan shined above the rest."

Rodnizki's selection was based on his poise and composure during the interview process and his long list of accomplishments in academics, theater and voice, community service and in leadership roles.

Teacher Kim Florio considers him to be a director's dream. "Not only is he talented, but he is also a wealth of theatrical knowledge and tackles every aspect of the theater with such professionalism."

The 18-year-old has been the lead in three musicals and in a competitive one-act, and has won accolades at the state level. He is the co-writer and performer for Project: Shattered Silence, a program that debuted at Ruth Eckerd Hall, and is the district chairman of Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS for the Pinellas County region.

Rodnizki has had experience as a drama leader at Camp Jenny, a program offered by the North American Federation of Temple Youth and was recently elected as the Federation's North American vice president of programming. His most recent accomplishments include being a 2012 Ruth Eckerd Hall and Pinellas Education Foundation's "Walker's Rising Stars" finalist.

"Everyone needs to do more than just academics at school," said Rodnizki. "Join clubs, find your niche in both your community and school, and it will let you have more success."

"Jordan is a standout academically for our school," said Countryside High principal Gerald Schlereth. "He exemplifies the character trait of doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and this carries over into his drama and academic world. This success is a snowball for him and will continue throughout his life."

Rodnizki has had numerous offers and scholarship opportunities but hasn't decided on the college he will attend.

He is the son of Jorge and Irene Rodnizki of Clearwater.

Viola Freeman celebrates 100th birthday at Clearwater Woman's Club 03/20/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:04pm]
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