East Bay High School was recently named February's School of the Month as part of a SouthShore Chamber of Commerce program in its first year.

Six local schools received special recognition recently. Corr Elementary, Beth Shields Middle, Lennard High, Ruskin Elementary, Waterset Charter Academy and East Bay High schools were chosen as Schools of the Month in a new SouthShore Chamber program recognizing excellence in education.

“The goal of the program is to celebrate the outstanding schools within the SouthShore community,” said Chamber Educational Partnership Committee Chairperson Carrie Elwell. “We recognize that visionary work of administrators, staff and student body is paramount in academic success for students of all grade levels. We believe it to be very important to congratulate their accomplishments and inspire other educators to do the same.”

To be considered for the honor, schools were nominated by a member of the staff or community.

“Our committee reviews the nominations using a set of standards and selects the winner based on the scores,” said Elwell

Winners receive a School of the Month certificate from the Educational Partnership Committee, an accommodation from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, a School of the Month pencil holder to display in their front office and a check for $1,000.

“The funds are used at the principal’s discretion to make improvements throughout the campus,” said Elwell.

The program is possible thanks to contributions from SouthShore Chamber members, and additional funds will be raised through a Death by Chocolate wine tasting fundraiser to take place on Friday, April 12 from 7-10 p.m. at the Summerfield Golf Club. Tickets to the event, which include wine pairings with specialty desserts and live entertainment, are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can be purchased online at www.deathbychocolate.eventzilla.net.

“We are delighted that the program has been such a success in its first year,” said Elwell. “We absolutely hope to continue honoring schools into the 2019-2020 school year.”

For more information on the Death by Chocolate fundraiser, call Amanda Marrero at 967-5811. To learn more about the SouthShore Chamber and its programs, visit www.southshorechamberofcommerce.org. The Chamber is located at 906 N. U.S. Why. 41 in Ruskin and can be reached at 645-1366.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.