By Amy Schechter

Wimauma Elementary has been a staple of Southeastern Hillsborough County since its opening in 1925 when it originally housed grades Kindergarten through twelfth. Over its many years, the staff and the grade level of students it serves has changed, but one thing remained constant: Its family atmosphere. That is why a little over three years ago, retired educator, Emma Thomas, decided to organize a quarterly meet-up for former staff, and the group, growing in numbers, is looking for more members.

Thomas states, “Wimauma has been a school that is so close. It is so family-oriented.” She hopes to reach anyone who once taught or worked at Wimauma Elementary and is now retired. The group welcomes former educators, administrators, custodial staff, cafeteria staff, and office staff to meet quarterly for fun, food, and fellowship.

In March, the group met at The Shrimp Boat in Brandon. It boasts members who began their careers at Wimauma in every decade since the 1960s, whether it’s those who spent their entire professions there or those who were there for a short time. “You just feel so warm to see them,” Thomas added, and she knows there are others still living in the Tampa community who would benefit from the friendships they forged during their time at Wimauma.

The group meets at 12 Noon on Monday, June 6 at Circles Waterfront Restaurant located at 1212 Apollo Beach Blvd. in Apollo Beach, but if that is too short notice, Thomas urges individuals to reach out before their next outing. Anyone interested in more information or joining the group may contact Emma at 293-1780 or She is assisted by Sharon Prevatt and Joyce Cecchi.

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