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Awards

More than 230 Pinellas County students were recognized for their video productions at the the third annual media awards ceremony. Winning schools were:

Instructional category grades kindergarten through second: Maximo, first; McMullen-Booth, second. Grades three through five: Plumb, first; Bear Creek, second; and McMullen-Booth, third. Middle school: Oak Grove, first. High school: Palm Harbor University, first; and Lakewood, second.

News, grades three through five: Leila G. Davis, first; Frontier and McMullen-Booth, second; and Maximo and Bear Creek, third. Middle school: Safety Harbor, first; and Oak Grove, second. High school: Lakewood, first; Countryside, second; Lakewood third.

Music video, grades kindergarten through second: McMullen-Booth, first. Grades three through five: Frontier, first, second and third. Middle school: Carwise, first. High school: Lakewood, first; and Palm Harbor University, second.

Public service announcements, grades three through five: Plumb, first; and Bear Creek, second. Middle school: Carwise, first. High school: Countryside, first; Lakewood, second; and St. Petersburg, third.

Documentary, grades three through five: Frontier, first; and Ozona, second. Middle school: John Hopkins, first. High school: Lakewood, first and second; and Palm Harbor University, third.

Drama, high school: Lakewood, first; and Largo, second.

Comedy, high school: Palm Harbor University, first; Lakewood, second and third.

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Thirteen Tarpon Springs High students received renewable Helen Ellis Scholarships at an April 25 luncheon at Pappas restaurant. They were: Emily Dayvault, Nicholas Fokianos, Shannon Heuton, Caithyn Kryston, Joanna Leeds, Erica Martinez, Colleen Oles, George Palaidis, Jennifer Pedraza, Rachel Rendon, Julie Stewart, Travis Visser, and Malinda Weed.

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Jason B. Isaacs, a 1999 graduate of the University of Central Florida, has been accepted into the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Perfusion, Baltimore. Isaacs, a registered respiratory therapist, is the son of Steven and Beverly Isaacs, Seminole.

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Carolyn Switalski, a 1997 graduate of Seminole High School, has been awarded the Anne Clark White Music Scholarship at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C., where she is a junior and principal flutist in the symphonic band. She also was recently selected a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Order of Omega and is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and Delta Omicron. She is the daughter of Diane and Tom Switalski, Seminole.

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Two Pinellas students will advance to the national level of competition in the Reflections art recognition program sponsored by the National PTA. They are Devon Haggitt, visual arts category, from Coachman Fundamental Middle; and Tony Aponte, photography category, Plumb Elementary.

Devon and Tony are two of the 270 district students who competed in one of the four program categories. This year's theme was Anything is Possible.

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Four Clearwater High ROTC members recently received awards from the Clearwater Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. Cadet Capt. Adam Bailey, a senior, was awarded a bronze medal. He is a member of the county champion drill team. Patriotism awards were presented to 2nd Lt. Kristin Prestage, a junior, 2nd Lt. Justin Briggs, a sophomore, and freshman Tania Vasquez, a member of the competition and exhibition drill teams.

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The Helena Plantation Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution have named the winners of its student essay contest titled "An Obituary for George Washington."

Palm Harbor Elementary winners were fifth graders Amanda Lee VanHook, first; Thomas J. Borawski, second; and Gabriel A. Mayor, third.

Jonathan Lanni, an eighth grader at Palm Harbor Middle, also won a first place award.

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Winners of the May 2 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking contest in the elementary category were: David Cole, first, Guardian Angels; Devon Ibarguen, second, Pasadena Fundamental; Kevin LaPlante, third, Ozona Elementary; and Josh Ludin, fourth, Pinellas County Jewish Day School.

In the middle school competition, Andrew Press, Pinellas County Jewish Day School, won first; Eric West, Wellington School, placed second; and Mary Coughlin, won third.

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Deborah Young, a junior at Keswick Christian School, was selected to attend the Impact 2000 National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Young was one of 500 students to attend the four-day conference which was sponsored by the Association of Christian Schools International. She was one of 26 students to sign a declaration submitted to Congress titled "For Such a Time as This: A Declaration of Christian Students for the 21st Century."

Pinellas schools bloom in garden competitions

The Palm Harbor Elementary kindergarten garden club, sponsored by Palm Harbor Garden Club, was the first-place winner of the Designs with Natives 2000 Landscape Award sponsored by the Florida Native Plant Society.

The young gardeners led the entire school in planting three native habitats which included 365 native trees and shrubs and 42 species. Markers and booklets for self-guided tours also were made by the students.

"What we are trying to teach is how important it is to re-establish natives to get a better environment," said Weber. "The natives attract butterflies. Seeing those butterflies makes the children want to plant for them and they know not to spray. It also creates a little pride.

"When they feel good about what they are doing for the environment, they don't have to do bad things to get attention," Weber said. "They feel good about themselves."

The school grounds restoration simulates the now endangered scrub habitat that once existed in Pinellas along with pine flatlands, said Weber.

Posters and booklets to show others the unique critters that inhabit the scrub also yielded awards at the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs' state convention and at the Tarpon Springs Flower Show.

But it doesn't end there. The club received two more distinctions: winners of school grounds improvement and a junior garden club which was successful in promoting all phases of garden club work. The Deep South Awards go to the best young clubs in a six-state region.

Dunedin Elementary Junior Gardeners, too, received a distinction of their own from the Area Beautification Council. Their hard work resulted in a first-place landscaping award. Palm Harbor Elementary placed second.

In the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs/University of Florida/Epcot School Garden Competition, Ponce de Leon Elementary received a second-place award for its native garden in the school courtyard.

Webers said judges were impressed by the schoolwide participation in the project, as well as the fact that each class has a garden to tend.

Graduation

Jodi Brooke Gardner graduate summa cum laude from the University of Tampa with a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in advertising. At UT, Gardner was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and received the Culture and Society Award. She has accepted a position at Ruth Eckerd Hall as development associate.

Gardner, a 1995 graduate of Tarpon Springs High and a 1997 graduate of St. Petersburg Junior College, is the daughter of John and Cindy Gardner, Clearwater.

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