Thomas C. Tobin - Assistant Metro Editor/education, health and medicine

Assistant Metro Editor/education, health and medicine

No one is luckier than I am. As an assistant metro editor, I practice journalism every day with a talented team of writers who cover news about education, health and transportation. A mix of veterans and newer faces, they bring a passion to their work that makes me proud and helps keep our community better informed. I was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., but Tampa Bay and I go way back. When I got here in the late 1980s, our state was just coming into its own as the economic, political and cultural powerhouse it is today. Since then I've covered local and state government, legal issues and education. I have traveled across Florida as the Times state reporter and even delved into the world of Scientology. Each day I learn from people. Reach out and tell me something.

  1. In this image from a school district video, Tamra Ingrassia is seen at work in the kitchen at Belcher Elementary School. Ingrassia, a food service specialist, recently was named Pinellas County Schools 2019-20 Support Employee of the Year.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  2. In this 2016 photo, students use tablets and laptops during a sixth-grade advanced science class at Tyrone Middle School in St. Petersburg. The class was part of the Center for Innovation & Digital Learning, one of nearly 80 choice programs offered by the Pinellas school system. The choice application period for the 2020-21 school year starts today, Jan. 8, and continues through 5 p.m. Jan. 17.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  3. During the application period for school choice programs in Pinellas County, students can rank up to five programs in order of preference. If a program gets more applicants than it has seats available, a computer lottery is used to select which students receive invitations. Applications will be accepted today through 5 p.m. Jan. 17.
    The application period for magnet programs, fundamental schools and career academies begins today and ends Jan. 17.
  4. This image from a Pinellas County kindergarten class is from a school district video offering advice on how to prepare children for their first school experience. Kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year starts Jan. 13. For more information, visit
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  5. Hillsborough county parents can check the district's website for their child's bus route and their school's bus schedule. Visit, click the link under "Preparing for Back to School," then find the links for "Bus Schedule" and "Bus Availability." For more information, call (813) 982-5500. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
    Our running list of the candidates to replace superintendent Jeff Eakins includes top educators with a wide range of experience.
  6. Some schools have already closed for the holidays, but everyone should be off by the end of the day Dec. 20.
    Some schools are closing for the holidays this week; others won’t be done for a few days. Then it’s lights out until early January.
  7. USF St. Petersburg graduates await their turn to walk the stage during the May 2019 commencement at Mahaffey Theater. This year's fall commencement is set for Sunday, when some 450 USFSP graduates will be receiving degrees.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  8. Check for the latest breaking news and updates.
    The motorcycle was headed south on Dale Mabry, while the northbound bus was making a turn.
  9. One way to research options is through Medicare's online Plan Finder, available at
    For those who haven’t reviewed coverage for 2020, there is still time.
  10. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.