Sarasota County Schools News

Sarasota High student gets top mark in world on two exams

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Sydney Askins-SHS junior 2014-15

'AICE-ING' HER EXAMS: Sydney Askins, a junior at Sarasota High School, earned the highest score in the world on two Cambridge International Examinations taken in May 2014.

SARASOTA, March 30, 2015 – Sarasota High School recently received notice from an international organization affiliated with the University of Cambridge (England) that junior Patricia Sydney Askins scored the highest in the world on two exams she took as a sophomore.

The notification to SHS from Cambridge International Examinations, which administers exams around the world as part of the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Program, states the following:

“Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards, Top in the World: This is to certify that Patricia Sydney Askins of Sarasota High School gained the highest mark in the world for Cambridge AS Level History and Cambridge AS Level General Paper in the (spring) 2014 Cambridge examinations.”  

The notification is signed by Michael O’Sullivan, chief executive of Cambridge International Examinations. The “AS Level” designation refers to the first year of study in the AICE program.

Merlin Schenk, an assistant principal at SHS, said, “Sydney’s accomplishment is unbelievably impressive because these exams are given in over 160 countries around the world. Thousands of high school students took these exams, and she earned the top grade in the world on both of them. Sydney was also the highest-scoring student in the U.S. on four Cambridge AS Level exams! To do all this as a sophomore is truly amazing!”

Reacting to the news of her accomplishment, Askins said, “I am still in disbelief that I was able to achieve this, since there were so many outstanding students who took these exams. I have enjoyed every second of every class at Sarasota High, and I am thankful for the teachers who have helped make this possible.”

About the Cambridge AICE Program

Cambridge International Examinations and the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), affiliated with the University of Cambridge in Cambridge England, were developed to promote an intellectually stimulating and challenging program of studies prior to entering college. AICE is the only advanced high school curriculum created and managed by a top ten world-ranked university. Over 10,000 schools worldwide have implemented the AICE curriculum. At 60 years, it is the longest running international examination program. Cambridge AICE classes have “critical thinking” at their core. Sarasota High School launched its AICE Program in 2011.

Regional Science Fair Awards held at Suncoast Technical College

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Science Fair 2015-Rebecca Elshishans and Carol Luer

STANDOUT SCIENCE STUDENT: Sarasota High School student Rebecca Elsishans accepts the Dr. Carl Luer Award in Biological Sciences from Luer, of Mote Marine Laboratory, at the 2015 Regional Science Fair Awards March 26.

Finalists will represent Sarasota County at the state and international level

SARASOTA, March 27, 2015 – An audience of over 300 family members, educators and donors honored the area’s most promising young scientists, engineers and inventors with monetary award and other prizes March 26 at the Regional Science Fair Awards, held this year at  the Suncoast Technical College Conference Center. John Scalzi, ABC 7 television meteorologist, served as master of ceremonies at the annual awards ceremony.

Nine high school students, representing the six top scoring projects,  will have the opportunity to compete at the State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida. Upon completion of the state competition, two of the six projects will be selected to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, all expenses paid by the Education Foundation.

School board members, district leaders and fair sponsors joined him to congratulate the 56 students from grades 3-12 whose projects scored at the top in 21 research categories this year.

Susan Scott, Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, presented first place awards in each category in elementary (grades 3-5), middle (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12).  Students took home more than $5,800 in cash gifts and additional special prizes for exceptional achievement. 

Click here for a list of 2015 Science Fair Winners by category and by award.

The fair’s major sponsors presented four awards to three outstanding high school participants. The Dart Foundation Award for Medicine & Health and a check for $1,000 was presented to Natalie Olson. The Sarasota High student took first place in the category of Medicine and Health Sciences for her project, “Increasing NO Production of Aromatase Inhibitor-Treated Endothelial Cells via the Addition of Resveratrol.”

The Dart Foundation Inspiration Award of $1,000 went to Courtney Astore, one of the overall winners of the Science Fair for the third year in a row.  The Cardinal Mooney senior captured top honors for her project, “MEDI-Profiler: A Computational Classifier that Identifies Determinant Chemical Features and their Influences on Pharmaceutical Drug Properties.”

Courtney also took home one of two $1,000 Faulhaber Foundation Prizes for the Scientific Exploration of Nature for her project. The other Faulhaber Prize went to Sarasota High School’s Rebecca Elsishans for her project, “Mitigation of the Cytotoxicity of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes Utilizing Surface Functionalization and Non-toxic Surfactants.”

633 Sarasota County students from over 50 public, private and home schools submitted 705 individual and team projects to the regional competition.  More than 150 volunteer judges evaluated submissions and interviewed students from grades 3-5 on January 27 and from grades 6-12 on January 29. Their scores determined the overall winners and winners in each of the categories.  First place projects were featured at the Sarasota County Fair in March.

Sarasota High School boasts four of the top six projects that will compete in the state competition. Rebecca Elsishans’ Mitigation of the Cytotoxicity of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes Utilizing Surface Functionalization and Non-toxic Surfactants; Skyler Haber and Savannah Jordan’s Cost-Efficient Method to Removing Harmful Contaminants in Water Through the Integration of a Mycelium Based Filtration System; Natalie Olson’s Increasing NO Production of Aromatase Inhibitor-Treated Endothelial Cells via the Addition of Resveratrol; Dylan Burgin’s The Effect of Temperature on Staphylococcus Epidermidis Biofilm Formation in the Presence of the Human Cathelicidin Peptide LL-37.  Courtney Astore from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School placed in the top six with MEDI-Profiler: A Computational Classifier that Identifies Determinant Chemical Features and their Influences on Pharmaceutical Drug Properties; along with Henry Tingle, Liam Rouse and Peter Florian from Pine View School with Full Body High Stress Protection Suit833.   

Sarasota County Schools collaborates with the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and the Sarasota County Fair Association to present the Science Fair each year.  Students participate by completing research in science, engineering, math or technology using the scientific or engineering method.  The Education Foundation through the generosity of local donors underwrites the fair, the county’s participation in the state and international competitions, and numerous cash awards. The Dart Foundation and the Faulhaber Foundation are the leading sponsors of the Sarasota Regional Science Fair. PGT Industries also sponsored the event this year for the first time.  

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, founded in 1988 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, serves more than 41,200 students in 58 elementary, middle and high schools.  The Education Foundation is the leading advocate for an exceptional public education for all students in Sarasota County. With strong support from donors and the community, the Education Foundation undertakes significant, high impact projects and initiatives that go beyond what tax dollars can provide. The Education Foundation encourages donors with a passion for education to express their imagination in finding solutions, to make an investment in providing new opportunities for student learning, and to share the inspiration their generosity sparks in young people whose lives are forever changed.  For more information, visit or call 941.927.0965.

IMPORTANT NOTICE about food purchases on school campuses

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SCS News

Please note that, due to long-standing regulations established by the National School Lunch Program and the Sarasota County School District, the only food that may be purchased on school campuses by students or parents is food that is sold in school cafeterias or other authorized locations on campuses.

Students may bring food purchased elsewhere to school, for consumption during scheduled school meal times. Parents also may bring food purchased elsewhere to school for their children only, for consumption during scheduled school meal times. Students and parents also may bring food purchased elsewhere to schools for school-authorized events such as classroom celebrations, subject to school-specific rules and permissions.

However, financial transactions for the purchase of food, such as food delivery purchases, may not be made by students or parents on school campuses until at least 30 minutes after the end of the school day. This includes payment by credit card when any part of the transaction made by any method occurs on a school campus, including phone and Internet orders.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. 

Wilkinson Elementary educator is district’s Teacher of the Year

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TOY Ed Hashey with Lori White 3-24-15

TRIUMPHANT TEACHER: Superintendent Lori White, at right, celebrates with Edward Hashey of Wilkinson Elementary School as he proudly displays the award naming him the 2015-16 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year at the annual awards luncheon March 24.

SARASOTA, March 24, 2015 – Superintendent Lori White announced the 2015-16 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year at the annual awards ceremony honoring educators, held March 24 at Michael’s On East. Wilkinson Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Edward Hashey was named from among three finalists, including Russell Finger from Suncoast Polytechnical High School and Christi McDowell-Cameron from Brookside Middle School. Individual Teachers of the Year for each school also were honored. A partnership of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and the Sarasota County School District produces the event.

White told the teachers in the audience of educators and supporters, “You are the best of the best. You are role models to our students, and your colleagues recognize what you do every day in the classroom. We celebrate what you do!”

Accepting the award, Hashey remembered being in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, while working on a graphic design project for the Wall Street Journal. He saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center. He described what he saw and heard as life-changing: “I was a witness to what happened,” he said. “I heard kids wailing and crying.”

The emotional experience jolted Hashey. He began to examine what he was doing and realized he wanted to make more of a difference in the lives of others. When his wife gave him a pamphlet about a Florida teacher certification program, he decided that teaching in a K-12 public school would be his new career. He never looked back.

“I really just love being a teacher and spending the day with other teachers and students,” he said in February when he was surprised as the district’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. “This is the toughest job I’ve every loved. To be a teacher is more than a job — it’s a lifestyle; you have to live it. But I get to work with students who are struggling and help them succeed. The work rewards me every day because it reminds me that even the toughest problems can be solved with collaboration and teamwork.”

Hashey has taught for 12 years: eight of them in elementary schools and four at the college level. A U.S. Navy veteran, Hashey earned a bachelor’s degree in illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design and a Master of Education from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. He was an adjunct faculty instructor in graphic design at Ringling in 1999-2000 and at USF’s St. Petersburg campus in 2004-05.

In 2007-08 he taught at Rowlett Magnet Elementary School in Bradenton, then taught at Wakeland Elementary School of International Studies from 2008-13, joining the Wilkinson Elementary faculty later in 2013. 

At the Teacher of the Year ceremony, Hashey said he read that good teachers change their teaching regimen at least 15 percent every year, “but like a Sleep Number Bed, you have to find your own number. I try to change things up about 25 percent every year.” He spoke of his enormous respect for his fellow teachers, telling them directly, “You are my heroes.”

The Teacher of the Year program is co-produced by the Sarasota County School District and the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and is made possible through the funding and support of community partners. 

Hashey will receive a $3,500 cash award ($2,500 from Sunset Chevy Buick GMC and $1,000 from the Education Foundation); finalists McDowell-Cameron and Finger will receive $1,750 each ($1,250 each from the dealership and $500 each from the Foundation). Each of the three finalists also will receive $10,000 worth of instructional technology from the district for their classrooms to support their innovative approaches to teaching.  

Hashey will represent Sarasota County Schools at the Florida Department of Education-Macy's Teacher of the Year program and will serve as a spokesperson for and representative of the teaching profession at various events throughout the 2015-16 school year. All 40 individual schools’ Teachers of the Year will receive a quality professional portrait by Prestige Portraits.


About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, founded in 1988 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, serves more than 41,200 students in 58 elementary, middle and high schools. The Education Foundation is the leading advocate for an exceptional public education for all students in Sarasota County. With strong support from donors and the community, the Foundation undertakes significant, high impact projects and initiatives that go beyond what tax dollars can provide. The Foundation encourages donors with a passion for education to express their imagination in finding solutions, to make an investment in providing new opportunities for student learning, and to share the inspiration their generosity sparks in young people whose lives are forever changed.  For more information, visit or call 941-927-0965.

Community celebrates success of STEM education in district

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STEMsmart champs March 2015

STEMsmart CHAMPIONS: Pictured from left are Ben Hanan, chairman of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Board of Directors; Uma Mahesh Babu, vice president of Research and Technology at Rapid Pathogen Screening; Robert Sambursky, CEO of RPS; Teri Hansen, president and CEO of GCCF; Kristian Kielhofner, co-CTO of Star2Star Communications; and Page Dettmann, executive director of middle schools for Sarasota County Schools.

This news release is from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

SARASOTA, March 18, 2015 – Philanthropists, business leaders, educators, and students gathered March 17 to celebrate five years of transforming math and science education in local schools through Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s STEMsmart initiative. The STEMsmart Collaboration Celebration, hosted by Gulf Coast at Michael’s On East, recognized the collective contributions of attendees in boosting student achievement in the STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math. Gulf Coast also honored three “STEMsmart Champions” for their outstanding leadership in connecting classroom learning to real-world technology and careers. 

“STEMsmart has transformed the way teachers teach and students learn science and math in Sarasota and Charlotte county schools,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “When Gulf Coast began this initiative almost five years ago, even we didn’t imagine how profound those changes would be.” 

Launched in 2010 “to jump-start improved teaching and learning results in science, technology, engineering, and math,” STEMsmart began as a five-year, $2.5-million commitment by the foundation to five middle schools and three high schools in southern Sarasota and Charlotte counties. Since then, the successful initiative has grown to include all Sarasota County middle schools and most high schools, and Gulf Coast has leveraged millions of dollars in additional funding from donors, businesses, the two school districts, and others. To date, over $9.6 million in grants, donations, and in-kind support has been invested in improving science and math education through STEMsmart.  The foundation’s direct investment has now reached $3.3 million, while Gulf Coast donors have added nearly $2.2 million. 

During Tuesday’s celebration, Hansen and her co-emcee, Gulf Coast Board Chair Ben Hanan, gave the audience a series of “pop quizzes” to highlight the impact of these investments. Guests texted their answers to multiple-choice questions about the number of students participating in STEMsmart activities, improved performance on standardized tests, and increased student interest in pursuing STEM-related careers. Results were tallied in real time and displayed on a large screen before the correct answers were revealed. 

Proclamations by the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners and the Sarasota County School Board also were read, commemorating the impact of STEMsmart in the community and acknowledging the school district’s ongoing commitment to the initiative.

STEMsmart Champions

Hansen and Hanan recognized three individuals “who have gone above and beyond” in advancing STEM education as Gulf Coast’s 2015 STEMsmart Champions:

  • Kristian Kielhofner, entrepreneur, co-CTO of Star2Star Communications, and volunteer who advises Sarasota County Schools on technology integration and curriculum;
  • Robert Sambursky, MD, CEO of Rapid Pathogen Screening, a thriving STEM business that brings what students learn in the classroom to life; and  
  • Page Dettmann, PhD, executive director of middle school education at Sarasota County Schools and visionary of the STEMsmart TechActive classrooms that have been installed in every middle school in the county.

“What makes these Champions so instrumental is the connection they provide our students with real-world experiences that prepare them for careers in STEM,” said Hanan. 

The event also marked a public passing of the STEMsmart torch.  “Don’t worry, STEMsmart isn’t going anywhere,” said Hanan, referring to the culmination of the foundation’s five-year initiative at the end of this school year. “We are pleased to transition leadership of this initiative into the good hands of the Sarasota County School District.” After reading the School Board’s proclamation of its “commitment to sustaining and enhancing the STEMsmart initiative,” Superintendent Lori White added, “Let the journey continue!”

About Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation transforms our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, we have become the philanthropic home of nearly 600 families who have established charitable funds here, and we have invested $192 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at



Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse to honor ‘Stars’ March 25

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Shinig Star winner Dione Ramos 2015Pine View student Satchit Gali-SCoSA Star 2015

SHINING STARS: Dione Ramos, at top, a student at Imagine School at North Port; and Sachit Gali, bottom photo, a student at Pine View School, are among this year's SCoSA Shining Stars.

SARASOTA COUNTY, March 19, 2015 - The Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse (SCoSA) will honor the 2015 award winners at the 10th Annual Sarasota Shining Stars Recognition and Awards Luncheon. Dick Smothers of the Smothers Brothers comedy team will be the keynote speaker. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, at Michael’s On East, 1212 East Ave., Sarasota. Individual tickets are $70 and table sponsorship is available for $800. Tickets are available online at or by calling SCoSA at 941-492-7110.

The award winners are:   

Citizen of the Year: Betty Schoenbaum

Drug-Free Workplace: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office  

Student Shining Stars:

High School: Dione Ramos, Imagine School at North Port

Middle School: Sachit Gali, Pine View School

Betty Schoenbaum is a community leader and philanthropist. Her philosophy is, “The joy of living is the joy of giving.” She is a founder of the Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center in Sarasota. For 25 years the Center has offered a centralized home for local agencies to serve the Sarasota community. Schoenbaum’s lifelong leadership and generosity has changed countless lives and improved the communities where she has lived.  

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is being recognized for its commitment to the cause of substance abuse prevention. That commitment is demonstrated by maintaining and encouraging a Drug-Free Workplace. Under the leadership of Sheriff Tom Knight, the SSO has been a community leader in dealing with the challenges of substance abuse. Their efforts have helped addicted individuals obtain sobriety and have saved lives. 

Dione Ramos is a senior at Imagine High School at North Port. He has been active in the leadership of Drug Free Youth for two years and is a mentor and role model for middle school and high school students.    

Sachit Gali is an eighth-grade student at Pine View School and the president of  Pine View's middle school chapter of SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco). He has assisted in community awareness trainings about the marketing of flavored tobacco and has participated in the holiday parade to bring public awareness about SWAT’s efforts.     

About the Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse

SCoSA promotes substance-abuse-free environments through increased community awareness and advocacy. 

20th Evening of Excellence raises $275,000+ for district schools

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EveEx 2015-Breeze on a Sail-Sierra Pittman SHS

ART ON CANVAS: Sarasota High student Sierra Pittman's work, "Breeze on a Sail," is painted on an actual sail. The artwork brought a winning bid of $3,600 from Suncoast Credit Union Foundation at the 20th Annual Evening of Excellence Feb. 27. Photo by Gene Pollux, Pollux Photography (2015).

SARASOTA, March 3, 2015 – The Education Foundation of Sarasota County’s 20th Annual Evening of Excellence, held Feb. 27, grossed over $275,000, including $56,000 in in-kind gifts and a live auction total of over $37,000. Art enthusiasts and Education Foundation supporters gathered at Michael's on East in Sarasota to show their appreciation of Sarasota County’s most talented high school art students and teachers. Education Foundation Executive Director Susan Scott and Board Chair Kimberly Walker thanked the 400 guests in attendance for supporting the program over the two decades.

Click here for more information, including a complete list of winners and awards, and photos of the event. 

Cathi Bell, event chair, introduced this year’s 23 award-winning high school artists. The event theme was "Carnaval de Colores," inspired by Sabino Lops’ popular student piece from last year’s event.

Evening of Excellence is the premier arts competition for area high school artists, a fixture on the social calendar, and the signature fundraiser for the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. Proceeds benefit the 41,200 students in the public schools through the organization’s initiatives and programs. The evening combines an elegant dinner with a lively auction that puts the Top 25 student art works up for sale to the highest bidder. The program has raised more than $2.7 million for schools, students and teachers since 1996.

Awards of $500 to $1,000 were presented to each of the Top 25 students, who represented every public high school in Sarasota County. In addition, more than $40,000 in monetary and in-kind donations was awarded to the student artists and high school art departments this year.

The evening ended with a bidding war during the auctioning of Sierra Pittman’s "Breeze on a Sail." Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, a first year sponsor of the event, won the piece with a bid of $3,600. Cindy Helton, Suncoast’s Executive Director, called Heidi Keesecker, Pittman’s mother, to the stage where she presented the painting to her. Keesecker tearfully accepted the generous gift which brought the art auction to a close. Art auctioneers Jimmy Dean and Jerry Jordan announced that Harvard Jolly would be donating their purchase of Perdu by Amber Halt to Sarasota High School, where Halt is a student.

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.
The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, founded in 1988 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, serves more than 41,200 students in 58 elementary, middle and high schools. The Education Foundation is the leading advocate for an exceptional public education for all students in Sarasota County. With strong support from donors and the community, the Education Foundation undertakes significant, high impact projects and initiatives that go beyond what tax dollars can provide. The Education Foundation encourages donors with a passion for education to express their imagination in finding solutions, to make an investment in providing new opportunities for student learning, and to share the inspiration their generosity sparks in young people whose lives are forever changed. For more information, visit or call 941-927-0965.



HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: Act now to get free vaccines for college

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SCS News

This news release was issued by the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County:

SARASOTA COUNTY, March 6, 2015 - Local public health and school officials urge high school seniors to get their immunizations updated before they graduate in early June. The vaccines are available for free at the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County’s (DOH-Sarasota) clinics in Sarasota and North Port.  

Many colleges and universities, including Florida public universities and colleges, require proof of updated vaccinations for enrollment and/or dormitory-living. Vaccines are only free while the student is enrolled in high school or under age 19 through the federally-funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The cost of vaccines for those who are no longer eligible for the VFC program can exceed $300. By acting now, families can save money, meet college requirements, and avoid the last minute rush in the summer. 

The recommended vaccines offer safe and effective protection against the most common and serious forms of bacterial meningitis, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (whooping cough) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The protection offered through some vaccines wanes over time, so certain vaccines need to be repeated to maintain an adequate level of immunity.
When young people are current on their vaccines, regardless of whether or not they are college-bound, it reduces the likelihood throughout their lifetime that they will acquire vaccine-preventable diseases.
High school seniors who do not plan to attend college may through their work, hobbies, personal risk factors, or as young parents be at risk for getting or spreading vaccine-preventable diseases to others, including infants who are too young to be vaccinated. When these diseases occur, they can result in expensive hospitalization, life-long disabilities and in some cases, death.

“From a public health standpoint, the entire community benefits when there is greater vaccine coverage,” says DOH-Sarasota School Health Supervisor Linda Glover. “In addition, you’ll save hundreds of dollars by getting vaccines now instead of waiting until after graduation.” 

Health officials say that early morning hours are usually best for walk-in immunizations. Appointments are also available. Parents must accompany those under age 18. Please bring previous shot record if available.
Immunizations are available at these locations (Monday-Friday):

William L. Little Health & Human Services Center
Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County
2200 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
Walk-in services begin at 7:30 a.m.
Call for hours or to request an appointment

North Port Health Center
6950 Outreach Way, North Port
Walk-in services begin at 7 a.m.
Call for hours

For additional details, please call the School Health Office at 941-927-9000, ext. 32101. Parents can also visit



WEDU Arts Plus program showcases Sarasota High Sailor Band

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SHS Band 2015 London New Years BRIGHT

SAILING THROUGH LONDON: The Sarasota High School Mighty Sailor Band marched in the 2015 New Year's Day Parade in London. The band will be featured on WEDU Arts Plus March 12. Photo by Rilla Fleming

Information from this news release was provide by PBS member station WEDU:

At 8 p.m., Thursday, March 12, WEDU Arts Plus will highlight Sarasota High School’s Mighty Sailor Band and their 2015 trek across the Atlantic to participate in the London New Year’s Day Parade. The program will be repeated at 1 p.m., Sunday, March 15. 

More than 60 SHS students made the journey to represent their hometown among some 10,000 performers from across continents, hundreds of thousands of spectators, and a live TV audience of several hundred million. Viewers are invited to tune in to WEDU Arts Plus to share the experience with the Mighty Sailor Band and relive the parade.

About the Mighty Sailor Band

The Mighty Sailor Band is the only band program in America granted permission by the Secretary of the Navy to wear official U.S. Navy uniforms. The Mighty Sailor Band has worked with and performed alongside the U.S. Air Force Band, U.S. Naval Academy Band, The Parris Island Marine Band, The U.S. Army Field Band, and the University of Tampa Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band.

About WEDU Arts Plus

WEDU ARTS PLUS is a weekly arts and culture program produced by WEDU PBS. It is devoted to telling stories of the individuals and cultural organizations that make West Central Florida – Florida’s Cultural Coast – such a vibrant region. These stories are combined with others from around the country to form an entertaining weekly series. 

The program is broadcast to more than 5 million people throughout WEDU’s 16-county viewing area and is available online to anyone, anywhere. The program airs on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. and repeats several times during the week on WEDU’s multiple channels. Programs are also available for viewing on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.


PARENTS: Take online School Climate Survey through March 27

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SCS News

SARASOTA COUNTY, March 4, 2015 – Each year the Sarasota County School District conducts a survey of students, parents and staff to gather information about how their school or workplace is meeting their needs and expectations  in such areas as communication, curriculum, management, safety, academics, facilities maintenance and parent involvement. The instrument is known as the climate survey. Information received from parents and guardians through the survey is particularly helpful in measuring customer satisfaction with school services and in identifying areas that could be improved.

The online survey may be accessed at NOTE: The original deadline has been extended one week; the survey will now be available online through Friday, March 27. The survey has been translated into the five languages other than English that are most often spoken in the homes of district families: Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Haitian Creole.

Staff and students usually take the survey at their worksite or school. Most parents and guardians take the survey at home; they will receive a telephone message via the district’s automated calling system inviting them to respond to the survey.

District administrators strongly encourage all families with children in the district to take the survey. Parents who do not have Internet access may take the survey at any Sarasota County School or any Sarasota County Library. Parents who cannot exercise either of those options may call the district office to have a copy of the survey mailed to them.

It is important for the district to hear from as many families as possible for the results of the survey to be helpful in guiding decisions. The district will use summary information from the survey to identify successes or problems, but it does not identify individual respondents.

More information about the climate survey, including frequently asked questions in English and other languages as well as the results of surveys from previous years, is available on the district website. Parents or guardians who would like more information or who have questions about the survey may call the district Communications Department at 941-927-4009.

Phillippi Shores Elementary hosts Measurement Olympics

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SCS News

SARASOTA, March 3, 2015 – Phillippi Shores Elementary School will host its third annual Measurement Olympics from 8:30-11 a.m., Friday, March 6, in the school’s courtyard. Second-grade students will compete in a variety of events. 

Each event will require a student to perform a task and measure his or her individual results in English and metric units. The eight events include the paper plate discus, the cotton ball shot put and the figure-painting high jump. The culminating activity requires students to measure ice cream sundae toppings in grams. 

Phillippi Shores Elementary is located at 4747 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

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Communications and Community Relations
Tracey Beeker, Director

Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist

Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
Public Records Custodian, Peachjar eflyers 

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Mina Ajrab, Manager

Torie Ewald, Social Media Strategist

Katy Ellis, Social Media Producer

Phone: 941-927-4009 or
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Fax: 941-927-2539
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Phone: 941-361-6355
Fax: 941-361-6358
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Lyndsey Cantees, Coordinator

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Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
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