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Class notes

DEAR READERS: Feb. 21, was a momentous day at Pasadena Elementary School in St. Petersburg. That's the day pupils started videotaping morning announcements for viewing in all classrooms. Media specialist Karen Lukat put everything together, said principal Winifred Pfister, and the children have responded favorably. "They're more alert," she said. "They enjoy seeing their fellow students on the TV."

Congratulations to all the county's Outstanding Educators and especially to Cross Bayou Elementary first-grade teacher Peggy Farmer on her selection as Pinellas County Teacher of the Year.

Pinellas County Schools Outstanding Educators/Teacher of the Year program will be televised at 7 p.m. today, and at 10 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. Wednesday on UHF Ch. 14, Paragon Cable Ch. 14, TCI Cable Ch. 20 and Vision Cable Ch. 5.


SAFER RIDING: Pupils in one southern St. Petersburg neighborhood are safer as a result of the efforts of Bay Vista Elementary School's PTA. The PTA, in conjunction with True Value Hardware, organized a bicycle helmet sale. The PTA underwrote part of the cost of the helmets, worked with the school staff to send home fliers and held assemblies to address this safety concern. The school sold 250 helmets.

EDUCATION INFLATION: Gulf Beaches Elementary School pupils watched patiently as 100,000 cubic feet of air inflated the ReMax Hot Air Balloon, turning it into a seven-story high, 60-foot wide flying object Jan. 24 at the school. "The wind was perfect, and the sky was clear . . .," said curriculum specialist Sue Kotchman. The balloon visit was a follow-up to an art contest and art and science activities at the school. Principal Marsha Yunko and a couple of pupils even rode in the balloon.

LIFE-SAVING SIMULATOR: Several high schools are participating in anti-drinking and driving days. To enhance the message, the Dodge-Plymouth Neon Drunk Driving Simulator, a vehicle that allows drivers to experience driving "drunk" while they remain sober, will be at Clearwater, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg High schools during the week. Students with valid drivers' licenses will be allowed to operate the simulator during the day. Students without licenses can participate as passengers.