By Tamas Mondovics

Buccaneers Players Honor Local Students With “My Cause My Cleats” Campaign

Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) were honored last month by two Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, Keith Tandy and Kevin Pamphile.

The two were selected to represent the Bucs Care Foundation, featuring Hillsborough County Public Schools Buccaneers Academies on custom cleats during the 2017 season’s first December home game.

According to HCPS spokesperson Tanya Arja, players across the NFL have the opportunity to design cleats featuring causes near and dear to their hearts.   
Hillsborough County Public Schools boasts of 24 schools including Lithia Springs and Bevis Elementary schools located in Valrico and FishHawk respectively, designated as a Buccaneer Academy serving close to 14,000 students.

Buccaneers players and cheerleaders visit the Bucs Academies throughout the school year to provide academic support and encourage students to strive for excellence.

The “My Cause My Cleats” campaign is just another way to support students in Hillsborough County and show the Buccaneers commitment to the children of this community.

Keith Tandy’s cleats even feature the names of all 24 Buccaneers Academies.
“I chose to get involved with the Bucs Care Foundation so that I can make a difference in the Tampa Bay area,” said Keith Tandy.

“Working with the Bucs Care Foundation gives me the opportunity to volunteer in the local Tampa Bay Community and give back to kids,” said Kevin Pamphile.
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Dover Teacher Among Hillsborough’s 2018 Excellence In Education Awards Finalists

The Hillsborough Education Foundation has traveled to schools around the county last month to surprise 13 top-notch educators as finalists for this year’s Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards.

The 13 finalists, including Dover Elementary School, Bilingual Spanish Aide, Miriam Velez-Herandez, represent the best of the best in Hillsborough County Public Schools. Velez-Hernandez is one of four Instructional Support Employee of the Year finalists.

A winner in each category will be named at the 2018 Excellence in Education Awards presented by Suncoast Credit Union on January 16, 2017 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. 

2018 Excellence in Education Facts:
◦Total Nominees – 650
◦Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year (IDA) – 211
◦Instructional Support Employee of the Year (ISEOY) – 203
◦Teacher of the Year (TOY) – 236
◦Finalists – 13 (four finalists for IDA, four finalists for ISEOY; five finalists for TOY)

For a complete list and more information about the 2018 Excellence in Education Awards, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, visit

Local Teachers Speak Out On District’s Pay Raise Cut

Hillsborough County public school teachers, including a small group from Mulrennan Middle, took their concerns over the District’s plan to forgo a once negotiated raise to the streets last month.

“It’s a demonstration against the school board’s plan to backtrack from a pay plan that would raise teachers salaries for most by $4,000 every three years,” said Randall business and technology teacher Jonathan Bock.
The primary concern is that the District had previously negotiated to pay its teachers.

“This was all promised,” Bock said.

Teacher salaries in the district reportedly start at $38,000 and max out at around $66,000, and with more than 14,000 teachers it’s by no means chump change.

According to a recent estimate “Band jumpers,” (teachers advancing to the next three-year pay level) would reportedly cost the district nearly $18 million.
In a recent release to the media, HCPS officials expressed the school board’s concern about all county teachers and students.

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