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Pinellas education news: Big honor for Largo principal, environmental workshops and more

Largo Middle School principal Linda Burris was one of four finalists for Principal of the Year in Florida. [Pinellas County Schools]
Largo Middle School principal Linda Burris was one of four finalists for Principal of the Year in Florida. [Pinellas County Schools]
Published Mar. 19, 2019

Largo Middle principal a finalist for statewide award

Largo Middle School principal Linda Burris was one of four finalists for the Florida Department of Education 2019 Principal of the Year award announced this week. According to the Pinellas County school district, Burris has made academic improvements, increased mentoring for struggling students and expanded professional development for teachers during her time at Largo Middle. She previously was principal of Clearwater Fundamental Middle, an assistant principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle and a Pinellas County classroom teacher. The Department of Education on Tuesday named Michelle Kefford, principal of Charles W. Flanagan High in Broward County, as the winner of the statewide award, with a cash prize of $3,500. As a finalist, Burris will receive a check for $1,000. Candidates for the awards were nominated by school district superintendents.

USF institute hosts workshop on gulf, public health

The public is invited to a free workshop Wednesday that will bring together marine scientists and public health officials to discuss the Gulf of Mexico and how to better prepare coastal populations for events such as red tide outbreaks. The Oceans and Human Health Workshop is organized by the Joint Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, which was created last year by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Research and Education Building Auditorium of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. One goal of the workshop is to increase public awareness on how deteriorating ocean health can lead to health issues or the spread of infectious diseases. Another is to get health officials and marine scientists in the same room talking and connecting their data. To see the agenda or RSVP, visit

SPC to host climate change conference

St. Petersburg College will host a conference on climate change and sea level rise April 5 and 6 in the Conference Center at its Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. The conference, titled "[Sea Level] Rise Up: Realities & Opportunities," is presented by SPC's Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and the Suncoast Sea Level Rise Collaborative. It will interpret the recent National Climate Assessment findings for Tampa Bay communities and assess actions planned or already in progress by local governments and businesses to turn the impacts of climate change into opportunities for economic growth. It also will highlight steps that individuals and policymakers can take to deal with climate change. The cost is $20, which is waived for students and others upon request. For more information or to register, visit

Honors and awards

Ana Perez-Perez, a senior at Tarpons Springs High, and Graci Tubbs, a seventh-grader at Osceola Middle, both received The President's Volunteer Service Award recently. Perez-Perez volunteered in a veterinary hospital in Puerto Rico before moving to Florida last year, then volunteered at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor. Her service time exceeded 3OO hours. Tubbs' efforts date back to 2015, when she created Operation: Military Matters as part of a fourth-grade class project. The operation, which is now incorporated as a nonprofit, collects supplies from the community and sends care packages to military members serving overseas. ... Naseem Hamed a senior at Lakewood High, was honored as a Lightning Community Hero by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He received a $50,000 donation, and plans to donate half of the award to Lakewood High's Center for Advanced Technologies program through the Pinellas Education Foundation. Hamed was honored for his extensive work in mentoring other students and for leading a volunteer project to help Pinellas students track their graduation requirements through the Pathway website and portal.

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Students invited to explore SPC campuses, programs

St. Petersburg College will open its doors next week to prospective students during several "Explore SPC" events scheduled at seven campuses. Attendees can explore campuses, degrees and training programs, and the $40 application fee will be waived. The first event is Tuesday at the Downtown Center, 244 Second Ave. N. Two events are scheduled on Wednesday, one at the Clearwater Campus, 2465 Drew St., and the other at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N. Four events will be held Thursday at the these locations: the Tarpon Springs Campus, 600 E Klosterman Road; the Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N; the Midtown Center, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg; and the Health Education Center, 7200 66th St. N, Pinellas Park. All of the events will be held from 2-6 p.m. For more information, visit

Elementary school lunches

Monday: Hamburger or cheeseburger, chicken and broccoli penne alfredo with bread stick, fruit and yogurt plate, bologna and cheese sandwich, sliced carrots, fresh veggie dippers.

Tuesday: School Favorites Day — students choose the hot entrees and veggies. Entrée salad: Farmers or Apple-a-Day salad. Sandwich: Jamwich Kit. Romaine side salad.

Wednesday: Chicken tender basket with crinkle oven fries, macaroni and cheese, yogurt and fruit parfait, ham and cheese croissant, sliced cucumbers, spinach or collard greens.

Thursday: Beef or pork tacos, Max Cheese Sticks, chef salad, chicken caesar wrap, marinara cup, refried fiesta beans, side salad.

Friday: Pizza, teriyaki chicken bowl, chicken caesar salad, turkey and cheese ciabatta sandwich, green beans, fresh veggie dippers.


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