Last updateTue, 25 Nov 2014 9pm


Happenings at Shell Elementary

Shell_Elem_Champ_of_CharacterShell_Elem_parhamsShell_Elem_murwinPhoto 1:Shell Elementary Chamns of Character: L-R: Arkesia Sommons, Cameron Pedro, Ty Briscoe, Dylan Schmidt-Lewis, Cameron Mazzeo, Josh Peoples, Faith Grimes, Anna O'Brien. The Champions of Character honored 10 students during halftime at UF's Women's Basketball Game on Sunday, Jan. 15. These students were recognized for outstanding character traits.Photo 2: Paynes Prairie homes: Shell Elementary School recently completed school wide fall projects exploring Paynes Prairie. Mrs. Parham’s kindergarten class made a Sandhill Crane nest.  Photo 3: Mrs. Murwin’s 1st grade class created an alligator nest.  Over the next nine weeks students will focus on energy conservation and recycling. 

Hawthorne – Hawthorne’s Shell Elementary students have been busy over the last few months.  Loran Neubaum was selected as the school’s December Citizen of the Month. And on Jan. 15, several students were recognized as Champions of Character at the University of Florida.  First graders and kindergarteners learned about the nesting habits of birds and alligators at Paynes Prairie.  And the Plum Creek Foundation, which coordinates the Envision Alachua Community Project, awarded Shell a $9,000 grant to purchase Kindle readers for the 4th and 5th grades.

Looking ahead to February, there is an awards ceremony on Feb. 1, and report cards go home the same day.  Students will study energy conservation and recycling and observe National Children’s Dental Health Month.  The school will be undergoing improvements toward the end of the month as the UF Project Makeover Team will be on site for a school makeover. Other special days include IMom Breakfast on Feb. 24 and Florida Writes on Feb. 28.  Also on the 28th, Progress Reports go home.

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Students, parents can explore high school career academies at forum

ALACHUA COUNTY – Alachua County school officials are encouraging students who will be heading to high school this fall and their families to learn more about the district’s wide variety of highly-successful career academies by attending this year’s Career Academy Forum.

The annual event, which usually draws well over 500 people, will be held Thursday, Jan. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Buchholz High School in Gainesville at 5510 NW 27th Avenue. Students and families will be able to view displays and talk to teachers and current students of each of the district’s thirteen career academies. They can also learn about the eligibility requirements and application process.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for incoming high school freshman and their families to learn more about the many programs we offer,” said Nancy Iafrate of the district’s career and technical education department. “Those programs will help them get a head start on a lucrative career while they earn their high school diplomas.”

More than 1,100 Alachua County high school students are currently enrolled in the career academies, which offer a rigorous curriculum in a wide range of fields, including health care, information technology, marketing and finance. Students in the programs have access to internships and many will graduate from high school with state certification in their chosen fields, making them much more marketable when it’s time to look for a job. Students can also earn college credits and scholarships while attending the academies.

“These programs are a terrific pathway into both post-secondary education and the job market,” said Iafrate. “Students are developing skills in some of the fastest growing careers of the next decade.”

Each career academy will also have its own open house in January and early February. A link to the complete open house schedule is available on the district’s website at The link can be found under ‘Upcoming Calendar’ on the right-hand side of the home page. More information is also available through the district’s Career and Technical Education office at 352-955-7600.

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Seniors take the spotlight at fashion show

Alachua_Sr_Fashion_2011_0020_copy   The annual fashion show highlights area seniors showcasing their favorite outfits.  Favorite fashion colors this year were red, gold, black and white.

ALACHUA – Synonymous with razzle-dazzle, glitz and glam, the 6th Annual Senior Fashion Show packed the house Sunday afternoon.

The high fashion event, which was themed “Winter Wonderland,” brought out the area’s style conscious seniors to model the latest fashions at the Alachua Women’s Club.

Wilma Rogers and Roger King introduced the models who displayed a variety of dazzling outfits and accessories while taking to the runway accompanied by the music of Bill Rogers.  Special guests included Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper and City Manager Traci Cain along with special guest Clovis Watson, Jr.

This year’s senior models included Robert Pollard, Carrie Pollard, Inez Williams, Ralphine White, Jean Ward, Deloris Merricks, Bessie Clark, Wilmon Brown, Corrine Waddell, Martha Collins, Katie Holmes, Roger Holmes, Elmo Williams, Mae Ella Todd, Edward Todd, Louise Queall, Ella Thomas, Velma Edwards, Marilyn Barnes, Ollie Williams, Archie Williams, Christine Howell, Annie Welcome, Mamie Collins and Rosa Bethel.

For the second year, “Youth in Fashion” featured children dressed in their best.  Youth models included Queondric Boykin, Destiny Perkins, Tony Brooks, Rodney Peterson and Quiana Towns.

While the spotlight is on the dazzling models, each was escorted across the stage by a stylishly outfitted escort.  Saturday’s escorts included Roger Holmes, Jerry Johnson, Damon Massina, Horace Jenkins, Porter Peterson and Clifford Williams.

Adding to the excitement, City of Alachua Police Department Chief Joel DeCoursey and staff helped with a Santa’s giveaway to children attending the fashion show.

Special entertainment was provided by the Alachua Senior Cha-Cha’s dance team as they energized the afternoon with their choreographed dance moves.

The Senior Fashion Show is sponsored by the City of Alachua and the Hathcock Community Center and is made possible by a group of volunteers and organized each year by Reatha Peterson and Rose Brown.  Among volunteers assisting with this year’s show were Jackie Edwards, Julia Kelly, Brian Walker and Barbara Dukes.

City of Alachua Recreation Director Hal Brady attends the show each year, helping with transportation and last minute needs to ensure the event goes smoothly.  “The fashion show offers an afternoon of entertainment where you actually know the stars of the show,” said Brady.  “It’s a lot of fun for the seniors as well as their families.”

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Capital City Bank honors Hometown Heroes

2011_Hometown_Heroes_016_2_copy  ALACHUA – It’s never too late to honor community heroes.  And in commemoration of Veterans Day, Capital City Bank recognized members of local law enforcement, firefighters and other community heroes at a special “Hometown Heroes” celebration at the Alachua office.  The event was open to the public and featured a Blood Drive hosted by LifeSouth Blood Bank, which resulted in 15 donations of the gift of life.

Members of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department, City of Alachua, area police departments and fire stations attended by special invitation as guests of honor. To show appreciation for the service these honored guests perform daily and to say “thank you” to the donors who came out to share the gift of life, bank associates served a feast of hot dogs, chips, cookies and beverages free of charge. The Capital City Bank-designated “Hometown Heroes Week” is scheduled each year to coincide with the Veterans Day holiday.

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Team’s new drill: steaks on the grill

SFHS_Bsktball_Steak_IMG00462-20111208-1721  The Santa Fe High School boys basketball team put in time off the court last Friday.  The team was hands on helping with their annual steak dinner fundraiser held in the parking lot of Hitchcock Markets in Alachua. Add a comment Add a comment