A Healthy Initiative to be School Ready 2015 Back To School Fairs

District officials announced that Hillsborough County Public Schools and the Back To School Coalition of Hillsborough County will host several free Back To School Fairs.

The events, which will begin in August, will feature free physicals available for children in Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany children at all times. Immunization records are required for children to receive free immunizations.

Sports, Head Start, and Child Care physicals will not be available during the fairs. Appointments are required at most sites.

For information or to schedule an appointment, call 443-3048.

Hillsborough County’s Diane McKee Named Florida’s Teacher of the Year

Williams Middle Magnet School language arts teacher, Diane McKee, won the Florida Department of Education – Macy’s Teacher of the Year, last month.

McKee enjoyed the recognition in the presence of friends and family as all as members of the Hillsborough County School board including Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board Chair Susan Valdes.

“I am totally stunned,” McKee said moments after her name was announced during the ceremony. “The finalists I’m here with are so impressive and phenomenal teachers. I can’t believe my name is the one they called. They are all amazing teachers who do fabulous things in their classrooms.”

McKee has been an educator at Williams Middle Magnet School for the past 11 years and credits her students for making her successful teaching career.

“My students have a passion for learning,” she said adding, “They push me to do more and be better. My students feed my energy and give me the passion to be involved.”

School officials said that McKee will spend the next year touring the state, serving as an ambassador for education as well as representing the Florida Department of Education at numerous events and serving as an instructional coach.

McKee received a check totaling $10,000, a $1,000 check for her school, and an all-expense paid trip for four to New York City to attend this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“I want to encourage teachers to find their passion and create magic in their classroom so students can grow,” she said.

Strawberry Crest High Students Among Record Number Earning IB Diplomas

Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) officials were pleased to announce last month that a record number of its students earned an IB diploma this year.

Among the schools represented was Strawberry Crest High School with 94 percent, which means a three percent increase for the school.

Robinson High School posted 99 percent, (which is an 11 point increase from last year’s 88 percent). King High School followed at 97 percent, (up from 96). Hillsborough High School followed at 96 percent, (up from 92).

“Our students have set themselves up for success,” said Superintendent Jeff Eakins. “The IB diploma allows our students to develop critical thinking skills and a global understanding of issues. These results are unprecedented in Hillsborough County. We continue to provide a foundation that will allow students to attain their goals.”

HCPS officials have emphasized that attaining the IB diploma puts these students ahead of their peers across the country, garnering the attention of college admissions directors at prestigious universities, as many will enter college as either sophomores or juniors, saving their families money in college expenses and allowing them to enter the workforce sooner.

To receive an IB diploma, a student must pass oral and written exams at the end of their senior year, complete community service hours, and write a college level essay. The level of rigor placed on these students demands a unique commitment to academics.

For more information, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.