Story by Tamas Mondovics

HCPS To Host Summer Graduations

Hillsborough County Public Schools is proud to hold three summer graduations in July to celebrate its nearly 200 students who have completed their graduation requirements.
Although a bit delayed, summer graduation gives students a second opportunity to graduate with classmates and receive their diplomas.

Summer graduations also allow students a chance to meet the college fall entrance deadlines on time. The three graduation ceremonies will be held at Bloomingdale, Strawberry Crest and Jefferson High School.

School officials said that factoring in with the district’s overall graduation rate; the summer graduation students bring Hillsborough County Public Schools closer to reaching the 90 percent by 2020 goal.

“I am so proud of all of our students who stayed focused and who now will have better opportunities for post-secondary education and better jobs,” said Superintendent Jeff Eakins.

“Our dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff work every day to ensure every child is successful.”

For more information about HCPS please visit

District Welcomes New Educators For 2017-2018 Season

Hillsborough County Public Schools officials, including Superintendent Jeff Eakins, School Board Chair Cindy Stuart, as well as other School Board members and district staff welcomed nearly 600 educators last month to take part in the annual Hillsborough Educators Institute.

The event, hosted by Gaither High School, was designed to assist teachers with gaining insight into the district and learning to be the most effective teacher in the classroom.
Following the opening remarks, teachers transitioned into sessions organized by area, by school and by grade level.

Day two, of the program offered participants a variety of sessions from increasing engagement in everyday classroom activities, classroom management and knowing your students through data.

According to school officials the theme of the Hillsborough Educators Institute is “Learn, Grow, Thrive” and is the first opportunity for new hires to learn about the more than 212,000 students they will be welcoming in to their classrooms on the first day of school, August 10.

New Principals And Assistant Principals To Take The Lead In 2017-2018 Season

As the 2016-2017 school year reached its completion, Superintendent Jeff Eakins announced a number of principal changes involving eight schools for the 2017-18 school year.

The changes were approved by the School Board on May 2.

The selection process for new principals involves understanding the particular needs of a school and then seeking to find the right match to meet those needs.

“Principals are focused on achievement and results, have instructional expertise, have the ability to manage and develop people’s talents, are able to build a safe and positive culture, develop collaborative relationships and take a proactive approach to problem solving,” said HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja in a recent release.

New principal assignments begin on June 5.

Principal Appointments

-Lisa Varnum, Principal of Thonotosassa Elementary School, served at Yates Elementary School as Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction.  
-Mary Hewett, Principal of Nelson Elementary School, served at Nelson Elementary School as the Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction.  
Principal Transfers are:

-Mary Freitas, Principal of Sickles High School, served as Principal of Lennard High School  
-Joanne Griffiths, Principal of Cimino Elementary School, served as Principal of Cahoon Elementary Magnet School.  
During its May 2 meeting the School Board also approved the appointments of nine veteran assistant principals who answered the call to transfer to a high needs school.
HCPS officials also emphasized that because of the investment in leadership at high needs schools, Hillsborough County Public Schools seeks to change the trajectory for students and lead them to the path of success.

The newly transferred administrators to high-need schools bring a desire to support our students, families and community, school officials said.  

Assistant Principal Transfers

-Willie Hughes, Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Robles Elementary School, served as Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Clair Mel Elementary School.    
-Jeanine Sadler, Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Clair Mel Elementary School, served as Assistant Principal for Elementary Instruction at Stowers Elementary School.  
-Robert Stingone, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Shields Middle School served as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Dowdell Middle School.

For a complete list of changes, please visit

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