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Six Pinellas high school seniors have won National Merit Scholarships worth $2,500 each toward their college education. They were selected from a pool of 15,000 applicants. Here are the winners and the colleges they plan to attend:

St. Petersburg High School: Erica Edmondson, Reed College, Portland, Ore.; Preet Patel, University of Pennsylvania; Amy Smith, University of Florida

Palm Harbor University High School: Ambika Anand, University of Florida; Sitharthan Sekar, University of Florida; Yun Bo Tian, Duke University

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FCAT Writing scores track state average

2011 FCAT Writing scores were released last week. Here's the percentage of Pinellas students who earned at least a 4, which the state is about to declare as the new level of proficiency for the test:

Fourth grade: 86 percent; state average: 81 percent

Eighth grade: 82 percent; state average: 82 percent

10th grade: 76 percent; state average: 75 percent

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School Board meets Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The next School Board meeting is at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the administration building conference hall, 301 Fourth St. The public can attend. To watch live online, go to At the top of the page under the heading "School Board," click on "Board Meetings." Then click on the green box titled "School Board Meetings."

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Agency Fair set for Nina Harris School

The Nina Harris School, 6000 70th Ave. N, is hosting an Agency Fair at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the gym. Agencies including the National Alliance of Mental Health, Hannah House, Special Olympics, Goodwill Industries, the Division of Blind Services and many others will give out information and answer questions. The public is invited. Call Vicki Rosado at (727) 547-7850, ext. 2011.

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Judge to speak at ceremony for achievers

The 26th Annual Joseph L. Carwise Minority Achievement Awards, which honor elementary, middle and high school students for academic excellence, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park. The keynote speaker will be Circuit Judge Michael F. Andrews of the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Andrews volunteers and mentors Pinellas students and has been a 5000 Role Model of Excellence mentor since 1995.

The awards program is named after the late Joseph Carwise, a former teacher, assistant principal and associate superintendent of pupil assignment for Pinellas County Schools.