By Tamas Mondovics

Newsome Students Among Nine Honored For Perfect Attendance

At its regular meeting last month, members of the Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Board recognized nine exemplary students including Newsome graduates Alexandra Setrin and Richelle Stephens who have claimed the achievement of perfect attendance for all 13 years of their schooling.

This year, two local businesses, Toyota of Tampa Bay and Suncoast Credit Union, joined Hillsborough County Public Schools to recognize the nine students.

During the formal event led along with HCPS Superintendent Jeff Eakins, each student received a computer and a $500 Visa Gift card through the support by Suncoast Credit Union, which gave the gift cards and by Toyota of Tampa Bay that gave the computer.

Former Deputy Superintendent Beth Shields initiated an annual attendance program 15 years ago to recognize students who have maintained perfect attendance from Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

“The district would also like to thank and recognize our community partners, Suncoast Credit Union and Toyota of Tampa Bay, for their support of our students with exemplary attendance,” said HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja.

Hillsborough Students Excel In US History, Make Big Gains In Civics

Hillsborough County Public Schools was pleased to receive the results of the first round of state test scores released last month, which reportedly indicated that its students continue to excel in the U.S. History end-of-course exam.

HCPS officials said nearly three quarters (74 percent) of the Hillsborough County students who took the U.S. History assessment scored in level three or above, which indicates a passing score.

That’s a full eight percentage points above the state average, and the highest in the Tampa Bay area and among the state’s largest school districts, officials said.

The scores released also show that Hillsborough County passing scores on the Civics end-of-course assessment improved by 9 percent compared to last year, putting Hillsborough above the state average.

The Florida Department of Education (DOE) released a total of five categories of test scores last month. In addition to the U.S. History and Civics end-of-course exam scores, DOE released science scores for fifth and eighth grade, as well Biology 1 end-of-course exam scores.

While Hillsborough students matched the state in the fifth grade science scores, they have scored 2 percentage points below the state on the eighth grade science scores as well as the Biology scores. Visit /

Steinbrenner Graduate Wins Free Toyota for Exemplary Attendance 2015

Steinbrenner High School graduate Jaseane Figgins was the big winner in the 5th Annual Toyota of Tampa Bay New Car Giveaway.Chalklines_Steinbrenner High School graduate Jaseane Figgins

HCPS officials said that more than 300 class of 2015 graduates who attended school each day of their first or second semester signed up to take part in the drawing. Eleven keys were prepared, and only one would open the door to the Scion.

The new car will come in handy for Figgins who plans to attend the University of South Florida in the fall to study marketing, and does not own a car and does not yet have his license.

The event was the fifth year that Toyota of Tampa Bay has held the drawing in partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools, as an incentive to combat “senioritis” and encourage students to make school attendance a priority.

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