By Tamas Mondovics

HCPS Honors Veterans

As the nation took part in honoring its veterans, Hillsborough County Public Schools students faculty and staff also expressed appreciation for the services and sacrifices of local veterans tied to the Greater Brandon area. 

Completing a long list of local events, a ceremony was also held at Veterans Memorial Park on Veterans Day, as JROTC students from several high schools including Bloomingdale, Chamberlain, Hillsborough, Middleton, Newsome and Riverview all participated in the annual program.

The students performed exhibition drills, presented poems, and lead participants in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pictured are just four of the many local veterans that are now serving area students as members of the Hillsborough County Public Schools faculty and staff.

NOPE Candlelight Vigil

Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) teamed up with Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education (NOPE) of Hillsborough, the Tampa Police Department, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for an emotional
candlelight vigil honoring the memory of those who have lost their lives due to drug-related causes.

The event, held at Hillsborough High School located at 5000 N. Central Ave. in Tampa late last month, allowed students and parents from around the Bay Area to reflect on the sad reality of drug and alcohol abuse among area youth, while raising awareness of protection and education.

The goal of NOPE is to reach the community through prevention and education. NOPE offers presentations to HCPS middle and high school students throughout the year.

The occasion included a memorial wall with more than 500 photos on display, showing young people who have lost their lives as a result of drug or alcohol abuse. The community was invited to view the memorial wall and had the opportunity to add their story and a photo to the wall. Music was performed by the Steinbrenner High School’s Show Choir Entourage and Officer Mark Holloway.

To start the program former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor addressed attendees as the keynote speaker, while visitors also heard testimonials from parents who have lost their children to substance abuse.

Following the indoor program, participants stepped out to the school’s front lawn for the candlelight vigil.

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Annual Great American Teach-In

Public schools throughout Hillsborough County were pleased to welcome visiting speakers into their classrooms on Thursday, November 19, as part of the annual Great American Teach-In. The Teach-In is hosted by Volunteer Services (formerly known as SERVE), the volunteer arm of the school district, and brings professionals and hobbyists into local schools to demonstrate to children the benefits of getting a good education.  

Each year volunteer speakers include active members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces; police, firefighters and paramedics; and animal trainers, attorneys, business professionals, chefs, elected officials, entrepreneurs, musicians, and school board members.

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