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Seminole third-graders encounter sharks

"Shark encounters" are a part of the curriculum this year at Seminole Elementary School. Two pangasius sharks in a 30-gallon tank have moved into Constance Bailey's third-grade classroom. And with the help of her pupils, the sharks have captured the attention of a wide audience.

Pupils from one of the other classrooms at the school are treated to a shark encounter each Wednesday morning.

Pupils in Ms. Bailey's class present a mermaid show and dance, a shark teeth and sand dollar exhibit, a story and an informative speech about sharks _ and an introduction to Jaws I and Jaws II.

Nicole Barnes provides information about the sharks. Pangasius sharks don't have any teeth, she said. They are from Thailand, are freshwater sharks and can grow up to 3 feet. Their primary diet is brine shrimp. A baby shark is called a pup, she said.

Other pupils participating in the program last Wednesday were Hayley Hitchcox, mermaid dancer; Pam Fuhrer, mermaid; Meghan Fancher, commentator; Cara Mosley, announcer; Mindy Fineout, shark teeth and sand dollar exhibit; Shaneeka Washington, shark story; and Darrell Johnson, music.

In addition to learning about sharks and providing entertainment for their classmates, Ms. Bailey's third-graders hope to turn their shark encounter into a profitable Economics Fair project later in the school year.

Military News

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Melody M. Nameth, daughter of Thomas and Gladys Nameth of Largo, recently returned from deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, where she served aboard the destroyer tender USS Sierra in support of Operation Desert Shield.

Navy Seaman Apprentice Thomas A. Aliotti, a 1988 graduate of Clearwater High School, is deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Desert Shield while serving aboard the battleship USS Wisconsin.

Pvt. Aaron T. Wade, son of Kimball Wade of Bar Harbor, Maine, and Arie Walker of Tarpon Springs has been deployed to the Middle East to participate in Operation Desert Shield.

Wade, a 1987 graduate of Tarpon Springs High School, is an infantryman at Fort Campbell, Ky.