Sarasota County Schools News

School Board approves plan for Rudolph canopy walkway at Sarasota High

 Permanent link

SHS canopy section south of gymSHS Building 4 renovated

SHS LANDMARK: in top photo, a large section of the Paul Rudolph-designed canopy walkway on the west campus of Sarasota High School, installed in the 1960s, will be restored following an agreement reached by the Sarasota County School Board and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation. Bottom photo: The 1960 Paul Rudolph-designed Building 4 at Sarasota High School, renovated and reopened in fall 2015, includes a canopy walkway along the front steps. Now the home of science classrooms and administrative offices, the iconic building faces Bahia Vista Street and is the focal point of the reconfigured entrance to the school.

SARASOTA, April 26, 2017 – The School Board of Sarasota County has approved a plan to retain and restore a large section of the Paul Rudolph-designed concrete canopy walkway at Sarasota High School. The agreement between the School Board and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) was approved April 18 at a regular meeting of the Board.

“This agreement is a great example of a community initiative,” said Sarasota County Schools Assistant Superintendent/Chief Operating Officer Scott Lempe. “The plan for the canopy walkway at Sarasota High, developed by SAF and district staff, follows a successful effort five years ago to get suggestions from citizens about improvements and additions to the campus.”

The Sarasota County School District held community engagement meetings in June 2012 to seek public input about changes to the campus of Sarasota High School. As a result, the School Board and district staff agreed to renovate Rudolph’s 1960 additions to the campus, designated as Buildings 4 and 5. Rudolph was a leader in the midcentury regional architectural movement known as the Sarasota School of Architecture.

In March 2015, the Sarasota Architectural Foundation reached an agreement with Ringling College of Art and Design to retain a section of the Rudolph canopy walkway originally scheduled for demolition as part of the repurposing of the historic SHS building on U.S. 41, also known as Building 41. The Collegiate Gothic building will house the Sarasota Museum of Art when it opens to the public. The new School Board-SAF agreement identifies the portion of the Rudolph canopy walkway that remains and specifies the conditions for its renovation. 

“Like the agreement we reached with Ringling College two years ago, this new agreement with the School Board is great news for fans of Paul Rudolph’s work,” said Dr. Michael Kalman, a member of the SAF Board of Directors. “The canopy walkway links the Rudolph buildings on the Sarasota High campus with the historic 1927 SHS building that is being transformed into the Sarasota Museum of Art. Education and art in all its forms — including architecture — will be celebrated and showcased at this center of creativity and learning. We’re pleased that SAF is playing a part in this ongoing community success story.”  

The agreement with SAF and the School Board follows the school district’s fall 2015 completion of the renovation of the campus’s iconic Building 4 by Harvard Jolly Architecture and Jonathan Parks of Solstice Planning and Architecture. The structure now houses the school’s administrative offices and science classrooms, and is the focal point of the school’s reconfigured entrance from Bahia Vista Street. The building’s exterior now appears as it did when it first opened in 1960. The new, unobstructed view of the renovated Building 4 from the street has led some observers to ask, “What’s that new building at Sarasota High?”

As part of the agreement about the canopy walkway, the Sarasota Architectural Foundation has agreed to fund the additional renovation costs, estimated to be $34,000. Renovations will take place as part of the final phase of the SHS campus renovations, scheduled to be completed in August 2017. The plan also calls for SAF to install a plaque on one of the canopy pillars, designating the architectural significance of the canopy walkway.

The canopy walkway is located south of the Sarasota High football stadium and west of Building 4. Some of it has been removed to facilitate renovations of both the SMOA building and the Rudolph-designed gymnasium, now repurposed to house the SHS art and JROTC programs.

Other additions to the Sarasota High campus include a new cafeteria and the Edward F. Howell Gymnasium. Both buildings opened in March 2016. When completed, the Sarasota High campus enhancements are projected to cost approximately $42 million. The design and construction team includes Harvard Jolly Architecture, Tandem Construction and Paul Pitcher, project manager for the school district.

About Sarasota County Schools

Dedicated to academic excellence, Sarasota County Schools encompasses 52 schools with 43,000 students and 5,000 employees. It is only of only three “A” districts in the state as designated by the Florida Department of Education, and is one of only two districts to be graded “A” every year since grading began in 2004. 

About the Sarasota Architectural Foundation

The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement, helping to preserve or rehabilitate its irreplaceable buildings and demonstrating its relevance to the contemporary built environment. More information is at


U.S. News & World Report ranks Pine View among top high schools

 Permanent link

SCS News

This news story is from The Associated Press:

ORLANDO, April 25, 2017 — Pine View School in Osprey leads seven Florida high schools listed among the top 50 public high schools in the nation, according to a new ranking. U.S. News & World Report rated Pine View as Florida’s top-ranked public high school and number 13 nationwide.

Pine View, which also earned a gold medal, was followed by Design and Architecture Senior High School in Miami, International Studies Charter High School in Miami and International Studies Preparatory in nearby Coral Gables.

Rounding out the list were Westshore Junior/Senior High School along the Space Coast, Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville and Edgewood Junior/Senior High School, also on the Space Coast.  

Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college.

Pine View was ranked the nation’s seventh-best high school in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best High Schools National Rankings.

Oak Park School thanks first responders at ‘Panther Prowl’

 Permanent link

Oak park Panther Prowl 2016

PANTHER PRIDE: Oak Park School students Sarah Sylvester, left, and Lexi Alvarez, share a moment at the 2016 Panther Prowl. This year’s event will be held April 28.

SARASOTA, April 26, 2017 – The fourth annual Oak Park School Panther Prowl will be held from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Friday, April 28 at the school, which provides educational support and therapy to students with disabilities from pre-K to age 22. Students can walk, run or use wheelchairs to participate in the Panther Prowl race, one of the highlights of the event.

This year Principal Edwina Oliver has invited first responders, medical personnel and other citizens who assisted the students and adults involved in the bus accident at Proctor and Gantt roads on April 11. The driver of a car took a left turn directly in front of the school bus, causing it to veer off the road and hit a pole. Oliver said she wants to thank publicly the many people who helped her students — many of whom are nonverbal — through a frightening situation and attended to the injured children and adults. Bus driver Danny Dunn and his wife, bus attendant Christine Dunn, also will be recognized for their quick action to keep students safe.

Oak Park’s music teacher, Shane Swezey, will serve as the disc jockey and spin some of the students’ favorite tunes. Ice cream, watermelon and other refreshments will be served. Tickets for a drawing are being sold to parents, school staff, volunteers and friends. Prizes include gift cards, gift baskets and experiences from local businesses. Last year’s Panther Prowl raised more than $16,500 for the school’s Parent-Teacher-Student Organization.

Oak Park School is located at 7285 Proctor Road in Sarasota.

Local chefs cook with students at Kids N Chefs Sundown Gala

 Permanent link

Chefs to Schools 2017-Mattison and PV students

LET'S EAT! Pictured from left at the 2017 Kids N Chefs Gala at McIntosh Middle, Chef Paul Mattison stands proudly behind fourth-grade students from Pine View School as they serve up their creation, Roasted Pork Paella. From left in front of Chef Paul are Gryffin Tizes, Caroline Steinwachs, Aiden Nisberg, MacKenzie Haas, Gigi Mattison and Leuck Williams.

SARASOTA, April 25, 2017 – The Food and Nutrition Services Department of Sarasota County Schools will host the fourth annual Chefs Move to Schools: Kids N Chefs Sundown Gala, 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 27, at McIntosh Middle School. The dinner will be served in the school cafeteria. Tours of the school’s garden will be available for guests.

The Chefs Move to Schools program pairs local professional chefs with schools to help educate children about food and nutrition. Students learn culinary skills and contribute to recipe creation for the district’s school lunches, and chefs gain an understanding of school food service and the National School Lunch Program. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They can be purchased online at or directly from Food and Nutrition Services staff and School Nutrition Association members. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to a fund by the Sarasota County School Nutrition Association that awards annual college scholarships to high school seniors in each of the district’s traditional public high schools.  

Chefs and restaurant owners working with students to create chef-inspired, kid-approved recipes featuring Florida-grown foods include:  

  • Paul Mattison, Chef/owner of Mattison’s Restaurants & Catering, partnering with Pine View School
  • Ray Lajoie, Chef at Mattison’s Forty-One, partnering with Gulf Gate Elementary
  • Chris Covelli, Chef/owner of Culinary Creations & Entertainment, parterning with McIntosh Middle
  • Michael Yoder, Chef at Oak & Stone, partnering with Gocio Elementary

The theme of the event is Farm to School, and all recipes will feature produce from Florida farms. Local farmers who supply food for Sarasota County Schools will be at the event to speak to guests about their farms and to showcase their partnership with the school district. Farmers scheduled to attend include Dale McClellan of M&B Products, the districts’ milk and juice provider; Alan and Leslie Jones of Jones Potato Farm; Paul Allen of RC Hatton Farms; and Mike Baker and Sarah Whannel of Homestead Hydroponic Farm.

Community members are encouraged to help celebrate this collaboration of local chefs, Sarasota County public school students, and Food and Nutrition Services Department staff by attending the Kids N Chefs Sundown Gala.

McIntosh Middle School is located at 701 S. McIntosh Road in Sarasota.


Laurel Nokomis School holds Kindergarten Roundup

 Permanent link

SCS News

NOKOMIS, April 25, 2017 – Laurel Nokomis School, the only traditional public school in Sarasota County serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade, will hold its annual Kindergarten Roundup from 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 27. The event is designed for students who will attend kindergarten at Laurel Nokomis in 2017-18, and their parents or guardians.

Incoming kindergarten students and parents will visit classrooms and meet teachers. Parents will receive information on registration, kindergarten readiness and what to expect as their children enter school. The showcase begins in the cafeteria. Refreshments will be served.

Laurel Nokomis School is located at 1900 E. Laurel Road in Nokomis.


Booker High leader Rachel Shelley is state Principal of the Year finalist

 Permanent link

BHS-Rachel Shelley surprised as state POY finalist

PROUD PRINCIPAL: Pictured from left, Superintendent Todd Bowden, School Board vice chair Bridget Ziegler, Education Channel Producer Kim Stocker, School Board member Shirley Brown, Booker High School Principal Rachel Shelley, School Board member Jane Goodwin and School Board chair Caroline Zucker share a congratulatory moment.

SARASOTA, April 24, 2017 - Booker High School Principal Rachel Shelley was surprised by School Board members and the superintendent at the school this morning. Shelley is one of three finalists for the 2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, better known as the state Principal of the Year Award. (See FLDOE news release below, including highlighted information about Shelley and when the final winner will be announced).

School Board Caroline Zucker presented Shelley with balloons and Superintendent Todd Bowden gave her a bouquet of fresh flowers. In a brief televised address to BHS students during classes, Bowden said, “A lot of people throughout Florida found out today what you already know — that Dr. Shelley is one of the best principals in the state. The Florida Department of Education has recognized her as one of their three finalists for this statewide award, the highest honor a Florida public school principal can receive.”

Shelley spoke to students and staff in the broadcast. She said she is “humbled and grateful” for the honor and said it really belonged to the entire school and the district. She reminded students of her expectations that they all be college and career-ready when they graduate from Booker High. She ended with a quick directive to students: “Now back to class!”  

Here is the complete news release from the Florida Department of Education:


TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 21, 2017 – Today, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart announced the finalists for Florida’s 2017 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership (Principal of the Year) and the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award (Assistant Principal of the Year). The awards recognize principals and assistant principals for their exceptional contributions, and the statewide winners will be announced during a ceremony on June 21.

“I am pleased to recognize these six finalists for their tremendous dedication to the schools and communities they serve,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “Principals and assistant principals create an environment for success in their schools, and I am grateful to each of these individuals for their service to Florida’s students. I am looking forward to celebrating them and announcing the statewide winners at the Dr. Brian Dassler Leadership Academy this summer.”

The three finalists for Principal of the Year are:

Dr. Earl Johnson, Matanzas High School, Flagler County

Dr. Earl Johnson has consistently sought innovative strategies to help his students reach their full potential. He initiated a partnership with Bethune Cookman University to offer dual enrollment courses, which has provided students with the opportunity to take accelerated courses while in high school. During his first year as the school’s principal, he increased the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses, expanded Career and Technical Education offerings and created an academic pathway to meet students’ needs. His colleagues commended him for being self-motivated, driven and dedicated to his profession.

Dr. Kevin Hendrick, Northeast High School, Pinellas County

Dr. Kevin Hendrick has been principal of Northeast High School for the past eight years, during which he developed and implemented a Finance Academy for students to earn industry certifications, increased Advanced Placement course offerings, improved the college enrollment rate and increased the school’s average ACT score. With the motto, “go high or go home,” he has encouraged every student to work toward college and career readiness.

Dr. Rachel Shelley, Booker High School, Sarasota County
With more than 28 years of experience in K-12 education, Dr. Rachel Shelley has been praised by her colleagues for her dedication to helping every student succeed and for relationship-based leadership. She motivates students with her mantra, “Every student is college and/or career bound.” Dr. Shelley is a hands-on instructional leader who understands the value of data, and she tracks her schools and students’ performance measures to help her make informed decisions.

The three finalists for Assistant Principal of the Year are:

Dr. Jacqueline Smith, Hollywood Hills High School, Broward County

Over the last 19 years, Dr. Jacqueline Smith has devoted her career to serving students and families by connecting academics with extracurricular activities. Examples of this include the Book Club, which allows students to practice their reading skills during lunch and the Spartan Academy, which provides tutoring and encourages parental involvement to help students expand their knowledge and successfully complete assignments. She is known for going to great lengths to help students prosper.  

Marlene Staughan, Mount Dora High School, Lake County

During her four years at Mount Dora High School, Marlene Staughan has provided valuable insight and expertise in creating a supportive and productive learning environment for the school’s students. In 2014-15, Mount Dora High School’s graduation rate increased by 6 percent, due in large part to Staughan tracking each senior individually. She is now working with Lake County’s district leaders to implement a county-wide graduation plan. Her principal praised her for going above and beyond and always being willing to help others.

Kelly Stedman, James Stephens International Academy, Lee County

Kelly Stedman has been the assistant principal at James Stephens International Academy for the last year. Her colleagues expressed an appreciation for her passionate support of students and the way in which she helps teachers grow. She stands out among her peers for her ability to make parents, staff and students feel valued and cared for. No matter what the situation, Stedman is described as always having a positive attitude and tackling every challenge she faces. 

The state’s top administrators will be named in a ceremony at the Dr. Brian Dassler Leadership Academy on June 21. The recipient of the 2017 Principal of the Year will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and $1,000 for their school. The 2017 Assistant Principal of the Year will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and $500 for their school.

Candidates for these awards were nominated by the superintendent from their respective school districts. Complete lists of candidates from each district for both categories are available online: 2016-17 Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership District Winners and 2016-17 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award District Winners.

For more information about Florida’s educator recognition and recruitment programs, visit

For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit




Sarasota High to stage ‘Les Misérables’ April 26-29

 Permanent link

Les Mis 2017

STELLAR CAST: The cast of the Sarasota High production of Les Miserables rehearses. Row 1: Emily Hermey, Zoe Ganley, Daniel Espinal, Olivia Valek, Alex Wojtaszek Row 2: Kamryn Wynn-Brayley Row 3: Annie Bain, Olivia Marquis, Gaby Maulfair Row 4: Cara Hannon, Ivy Morton, Emilee Wigglesworth, Lizzy House Row 5: Olivia Hermey, Maggie Wrobel, Marina Deshaies, Alana Vaetoe-Coker Row 6: Carl Fedora, Juan Perez, Collin Mahar, Austin Chrzczconowski Row 7: Jeremy Erickson, John Peachey, Shawn Cacciola, Zack Thorpe, Parker Betts, Colin Schoening, Jackson Hargett, Jacob Smith, Evan Morgan

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 17, 2017 – The Sarasota High School Theater Department will present its spring 2017 musical, “Les Misérables,” based on the novel by Victor Hugo. The musical was written by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubil, with English lyrics by Howard Kretzmer.

Performances will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, April 26-29, with an additional matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. The show will be staged in the SHS Theater.

This musical classic tells the story of Jean Valjean’s road to redemption. It is filled with romance, laughter and tears.  

Director Melissa Dweck said, “Performing ‘Les Mis’ was never on our radar for this year, but the students wanted to do this production so badly that they created their own revolution and proved to us that we could do it! They have poured their hearts and souls into this musical. Everyone should come and see it. I promise they will not be disappointed."

Anna Massey said, “Being a senior, I have been given the chance to realize that being a part of this show is something special and unforgettable and I think anyone who sees the show will agree!”

SHS is dedicating the production to one of their 2016 alumni who passed away in a car accident over spring break. Opening night will include a remembrance for her before the production begins.

Tickets are available online at Prices are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.

Sarasota High School is located at 1000 S. School Ave., Sarasota. 



District wins state award for increasing financial aid applications

 Permanent link

SCS News

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 20, 2017 — The Sarasota County School District has won the top award among large school districts in Florida for the number of students who have completed the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The award is based on results of the 2017 Florida FAFSA Challenge sponsored by the Florida College Access Network (Florida CAN), a campaign to increase the proportion of high school seniors completing the FAFSA.

The completion rate for Sarasota County seniors was 45.5 percent, a 9.1 percentage point increase over 2016. The increase in completed applications equates to an estimated additional $513,180 in federal Pell grants awarded to Sarasota County students.

The Sarasota County District was named the MVP for Large School Districts for having the highest FAFSA completion rate through March 31. Riverview High School was honored for having the Biggest Boost for Large Schools.

Six other high schools were recognized as All Stars for increasing their FAFSA completions by at least five percentage points. Those schools include Booker, Venice, Sarasota and North Port high schools and the Sarasota Military Academy.

Peni Riedinger, the program specialist in the district Pupil Support Services Department responsible for counselors, said the effort to help students complete the intimidating maze of FAFSA forms was led by volunteers who have been conducting evening and weekend workshops for parents and students since October. 

The coalition of agencies involved in the project is called the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership. The lead agencies in the partnership include CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota County Schools, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Unidos Now, and United Way Suncoast. Sarasota Chamber President and CEO Kevin Cooper said, “This is a truly great example of leadership through collaboration.”

The Talent4Tomorrow Partnership spent several months planning and executing FAFSA awareness and support activities, including FAFSA completion assistance during community- and school-based events. Community volunteers as well as financial aid officers from Ringling College of Art & Design, State College of Florida, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, and Keiser University assisted families of high school seniors in completing the FAFSA form at North Port, Booker and Sarasota high schools, as well as at community-based FAFSA events and United Way Suncoast Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs.

Roy Sprinkle named executive director of Human Resources

 Permanent link

Roy Sprinkle

Roy Sprinkle

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 18, 2017– Superintendent Todd Bowden has announced that as part of the realignment of executive responsibilities in his administration, the position of executive director of human resources and labor relations will be restored. The position has been vacant since the retirement of Michael Jones in 2014.

Bowden has appointed Roy Sprinkle to the job. Sprinkle has served as the district director of human resources and labor relations since 2007. As an executive director in the operations division of the district organization, he will report to Assistant Superintendent/Chief Operations Officer Scott Lempe.

The appointment will be presented to the School Board at its May 2 meeting. If approved, it will be effective immediately.

Sprinkle, 52, served as principal of Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, the district’s elementary magnet school, from 2004-07. He was an assistant principal at North Port High from 2001-04 and an AP at Booker Middle from 1998-2001. He held administrative positions with the Osceola County School District in 1997-98 and served as an assistant principal of a junior/senior high school in Indiana from 1995-97. He taught children with emotional handicaps in Indiana from 1989-95.

Sprinkle holds a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University Bloomington, a master’s degree in educational studies from Purdue University, and a certificate of educational leadership from the University of Central Florida.

Superintendent Bowden said Sprinkle’s long experience as the director of the district Human Resources Department uniquely qualifies him to assume the responsibilities of executive director. Bowden also noted that Sprinkle is certified by the Society of Human Resources Management, a credential that identifies him as a senior human resources professional.

Bowden also said that the number of applications that the district HR department processes has expanded significantly since 2007 and the responsibilities for recruiting are a much larger part of the job than was the case during the economic slowdown of the past few years. “Florida school districts are in the midst of a major challenge in attracting and retaining the best teachers available from across the country,” Bowden said. “Mr. Sprinkle has demonstrated exceptional skill in recruiting teachers and managing the flow of thousands of applications for other district positions for nearly 10 years. I am confident he will continue to raise the bar in his new position.”

Sprinkle said, “I am honored to have been chosen as the new executive director of human resources and labor relations for the Sarasota County Schools. As a lifelong educator and a human resources senior professional for last 10 years, I feel that I am well-prepared to lead the largest employer in Sarasota County into the next era of exceptional performance. Sarasota County is the top school district in the state and one of the very best in the country.

“I am proud that I have been able to be a part of this school district and a resident of Sarasota for 19 years. I am incredibly fortunate to be raising two children in this beautiful place.”

Sprinkle’s son Royce and daughter Kennady are twins in fifth grade at Gulf Gate Elementary School.                                                     

Sarasota County students honored at State Science-Engineering Fair

 Permanent link

State Science-Engineering Fair winners Aopril 2017

SMART SCIENTISTS: Sarasota County winners were among those honored at the State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland March 28-30.

This news release is from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

SARASOTA, April 12, 2017 – The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is pleased to announce that nine students from Sarasota County took home awards at the 2017 State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida held March 28-30, 2017, at The Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida. This year’s Fair exhibited 820+ projects with over 875 Finalists in Junior (grades 6-8) and Senior Sections (grades 9-12). Two of the award recipients from Sarasota High School, Codi Elliott and Katie Savage, will represent Sarasota County at the 2017 Intel International Science Fair to be held in May. 

A list of winners from Sarasota County Schools are as follows:

McIntosh Middle

Kassie Greenan (8th grade) - 4th place Earth and Environmental Science / NASA Earth System Science Award

Gavin Putnal (8th grade) - 3rd place Chemistry


Pine View

Sonica Prakash (7th grade)- 4th place Biomedical and Health Sciences


Sarasota High

Codi Elliott (12th grade) - 1st place Cellular/Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Savannah Jordan (12th grade) - 3rd place Behavioral & Social Sciences

Teerth Patel (12th grade) - 3rd place Biomedical and Health Sciences

Kaitlyn Richards (11th grade) - 3rd place Microbiology

Katie Savage (10th grade) - 2nd place Engineering / Florida Engineering Foundation Award

Josh Yunis (11th grade) - Society for in vitro Biology Award

Josh Yunis (11th) and Ben Klein (12th grade) - South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair Award


Twelve students from Sarasota County, 8 high school and 4 middle school, qualified to participate in the state competition following wins in the 2017 STEM Summit hosted by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County in partnership with Sarasota County Schools. This is the third year the Education Foundation funded sending students to SSEF, and the first year sending middle school students. The results were a true testament to the amazing work STEM work being taught in area schools.


About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is a supporting partner that exponentially enhances the educational experiences available to the children of Sarasota County. Its mission is to strengthen the community by investing in educational opportunities for the students, teachers and schools. The Foundation works to match donor’s passions with high-impact projects and initiatives that help every child in Sarasota County rise to their full potential. It achieves this mission through scholarships, access to advanced technology, supplies needed for creativity to flourish and funds for educators’ professional development. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County and its philanthropic investors are champions for students, teachers and schools.


Ashton principal named executive director of elementary schools

 Permanent link

Renouf April 2017

NEW ELEMENTARY EXECUTIVE: Chris Renouf has been named the district's next executive director of elementary schools.

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 12, 2017 – Ashton Elementary School Principal Chris Renouf has been named as the new executive director of elementary schools for the Sarasota County School District, Superintendent Todd Bowden announced Wednesday. Renouf succeeds Laura Kingsley in that position. Kingsley was recently appointed as the district’s assistant superintendent/chief academic officer.

Renouf will remain at Ashton for the remainder of the school year and assume his new post June 7. Retired principal Wendy Katz will serve as the acting executive director of elementary schools until then.

Renouf has served as Ashton principal since 2012. He had served previously as the principal of Ashton Elementary from 1998 to 2006, when he was selected to lead Toledo Blade Elementary School in North Port. He was assistant principal at Venice Middle School from 1995-98. He taught at Sarasota Middle School and Taylor Ranch Elementary School from 1992-95.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., a master’s degree in elementary education from Rutgers University and a specialist’s degree in educational leadership from NOVA Southeastern University.

While he was principal at Ashton, the school was designated as a High Performing Model School by the Council for Educational Change, which recognizes the implementation of effective best practices and high levels of staff, parental and community involvement. 

During his six years at Toledo Blade, the 1,600-student Title I school met yearly progress goals required by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation every year. The school also was recognized as a Distinguished Title I School by the State of Florida.

Renouf said of his appointment: “I will greatly cherish my memories having been a part of both the Ashton and Toledo Blade families. I am incredibly honored and proud to be entrusted with the opportunity and responsibility to represent and work alongside my elementary colleagues, district and community partners and all the talented staff who work tirelessly to positively impact the lives of our students each day.”

Assistant Superintendent Kingsley said of Renouf’s appointment: “We are proud to have Chris Renouf as the new executive director of elementary schools. Chris brings tremendous experience at Ashton and Toledo Blade Elementary, where he led continuous improvement efforts at both schools.  He exemplifies the best in our principals with his ability to develop positive relationships with his entire school community and focus everyone’s efforts on what matters most: our children and helping each child succeed in school.”

Superintendent Bowden will recommend that the appointment be officially approved by the School Board at its April 18 meeting. District staff will conduct a meeting of parents and staff at Ashton on April 19 to discuss with them the qualities they would like to see in their new principal.                                   

Venice High takes the gold in Academic Olympics

 Permanent link

VHS Academic Olympics champs April 2017

ACADEMIC OLYMPIANS: Venice High School Academic Olympic Team members include Emilee Barrett, Claire Ellis, Jessica Gonzalez, Liam Hines, Ryan Hixon, Bailey Jordan, Caroline Jungels, Kevin Mahoney, Robert Obendorf, Ravi Patel, Madison Peyton and Angela Potier with their coach, teacher Steve Case.

This news release is from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 11, 2017 - The final match of the Academic Olympics season came to a close with Venice High School overtaking reigning champion Pine View during an intense battle on April 1. In its 36th year, the competition hosted by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and sponsored by Dart Family Foundation ended with the Venice Indians taking home the “Culture Vulture” trophy with a final score of 228-198 over the Pine View Pythons. The Venice Chapter of the American Association of University Women and the Sarasota Branch of the Military Officers Association of America were also supporters and sponsors of the program.

Three prior rounds of competition were held January through March 2017, featuring top players from eight area high schools culminating in the finals match held April, 2017, at The Landings. At the end of the “winner takes all” event, the final standings were:  Venice High School (228), Pine View School (198), Riverview High School (174), Cardinal Mooney (148), Sarasota High School (110) and Sarasota Polytechnical High School (108).

An All-Star team of participants nominated by participating coaches will represent Sarasota County in the statewide Commissioner's Academic Challenge at Walt Disney World, April 27-29, 2017. This year’s team includes David Ervin (Sarasota), Mo Glickman (Pine View), Liam Hines (Venice), Caroline Hobson (Cardinal Mooney), Bailey Jordan (Venice) and Julia Rohrbacher (Riverview).

The 2017 Academic Olympic coaches were Mark Speciner for Booker High School, Ben Farmer for Cardinal Mooney High School, Robert Foust for North Port High School, Blake Wiley and Dr. Paul Dean for Pine View School, Margaret Jones for Riverview High School, Austin Dunk and Gwen Phillips for Sarasota High School, Casey Hickman for Suncoast Polytechnical High School and Steve Case for Venice High School.

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is a supporting partner that exponentially enhances the educational experiences available to the children of Sarasota County. Its mission is to strengthen the community by investing in educational opportunities for the students, teachers and schools. The Foundation works to match donor’s passions with high-impact projects and initiatives that help every child in Sarasota County rise to their full potential. It achieves this mission through scholarships, access to advanced technology, supplies needed for creativity to flourish and funds for educators’ professional development. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County and its philanthropic investors are champions for students, teachers and schools. 

Pine View hosts fourth annual Python Run road race

 Permanent link

SCS News

 OSPREY, April 7, 2017 – Pine View School will host the fourth annual Python Run from 7 to 9:30 a.m., Saturday, April 8, at the school. More than 500 people are expected to attend the run, which includes 5K and 2.10K races. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to All Faiths Food Bank.

“We are so proud of our students' investment in their health and in helping their community,” said Alison Rini, assistant principal for elementary grades. “We want to help them see exercise as something that doesn't just help them in the long-run, it has immediate benefits on their learning and their mood.”

Python Run is inspired by the research of Dr. John Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in neuropsychiatry. Dr. Ratey is a pioneer in using exercise as a treatment and cure for many diseases.

Pine View’s morning running club includes students from grades two through eight, who run for 30 minutes Wednesdays and Fridays before the school day. Studies show that exercise increases the brain’s capacity to make connections; students who participate in the run club notice the impact on their learning. Elementary teachers are currently exploring the possibility of expanding the run club program beyond two days a week next school year to help more students benefit from this opportunity.

More information about the Python Run is at Pine View School, located at 1 Python Path in Osprey, serves intellectually gifted students in grades two through 12. 

Attendance poster contest winners celebrate at Orioles game

 Permanent link


PLAY BALL! Winners of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Attendance Awareness Poster Contest celebrated at a Baltimore Orioles spring training game in March.

SARASOTA, April 7, 2017 – In the 2016-17 school year, 38,000 students from 83 schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties created posters with the theme, “Every Day Counts,” to emphasize the importance of daily school attendance.

In Sarasota County, students whose posters were judged to be among the best received free tickets to a Baltimore Orioles spring training game. Manatee students took in a Pittsburgh Pirates game. The contest was part of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

  • Click here to view the video of the March 25 Baltimore Orioles spring training game attended by the Sarasota County poster contest winners.


  • Click here for more information about the campaign and to see the winning posters. 

College student and author of young-adult fiction visits McIntosh Middle

 Permanent link

MMS students-author Kyle Prue March 2017

SHARING A LOVE OF WRITING: Author Kyle Prue visits with students at McIntosh Middle School. Pictured from left are Taliyah Bryant, Matthew White, Prue, Ashlie Jedrzejczak, Ta’Niyah Lester and Principal Harriet Moore.

SARASOTA, April 6, 2017 – Author Kyle Prue visited McIntosh Middle School recently and spoke to students about literacy and creative writing. Students attended one of two assemblies led by Prue; a smaller group selected by language arts teachers participated in a writing workshop. 

Prue wrote the young-adult fantasy novel “The Sparks: Book 1 of the Feud Trilogy” when he was just 16 years old. Kyle spent the past year on a national book tour visiting over 80 middle and high schools and meeting more than 60,000 students. He is a freshman at the University of Michigan, studying acting and creative writing.

“The Sparks” has won numerous national awards, including runner-up for Best Young Adult Fiction at the Florida Book Festival and Honorable Mentions at the New England Book Festival, Midwest Book Festival, Southern California Book Festival and the International London Book Festival. Prue also received a prestigious Indie Fab award and an International Moonbeam Award for Best Young Author.

Kyle is the founder of Sparking Literacy, a non-profit dedicated to lowering the high school dropout rate by inspiring teens to read, write and follow their dreams. In addition to his writing, Prue is an actor and comedian. He trains at Second City Comedy Club in Chicago, the launching pad for many of the cast members of Saturday Night Live and other comic actors. Kyle currently lives with his family in Petoskey, Mich., and Naples, Fla. More information is at

McIntosh Middle School is located at 701 S. McIntosh Road, Sarasota.

Sarasota County Teacher of the Year is Riverview High Coach BJ Ivey

 Permanent link

TOY group shot with Todd 4-5-17

TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Pictured from left at the Teacher of the Year event are Sarasota County Schools Professional Development Specialist Dick Steinman, Teacher of the Year William “BJ” Ivey, Superintendent Todd Bowden and Education Foundation of Sarasota County President Jennifer Vigne. Photo by Cliff Roles.

This news release is from Sarasota County Schools and the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. 

SARASOTA, April 5, 2017 – Riverview High School social studies teacher and basketball coach William “BJ” Ivey Jr. was named 2017 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made by Superintendent Todd Bowden at the annual lunch celebration. The district’s High School Teacher of the Year was selected for the top honor from among three finalists at the annual awards ceremony honoring educators, held today at Michael’s On East in Sarasota.

The other finalists were Holly Houghton-Brown, Tatum Ridge Elementary School fourth-grade teacher and the district’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year; and Christine Braun, Pine View School social studies teacher, the district’s Middle School Teacher of the Year. The individual Teachers of the Year for each school also were honored at the event. A partnership of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and the Sarasota County School District produces the event.

When revealed as Teacher of the Year, Ivey hoisted the award like a basketball trophy. Education Foundation of Sarasota County President Jennifer Vigne compared the moment of victory to the thrills of “March Madness,” the NCAA’s annual collegiate basketball championship series. During the program, Dick Steinman, professional development specialist for the district and selection committee member, noted Ivey “is not just a basketball coach, but a life coach.”

Accepting the award, Ivey said of his students, “I pray every day to have a positive impact on these kids.” He added that, while he is honored to be named Teacher of the Year, “I really don’t even believe I’m the best teacher in my own home. That would be my wife, Samantha, who teaches fifth-grade math and science at Lakewood Elementary.”

Ivey also talked about the influence of his mother, Jo Ivey, who attended the celebration. A retired district teacher who coached cheerleading and taught Spanish at Riverview, Jo Ivey was a past Teacher of the Year at that school and was National Cheerleading Coach of the Year.   

BJ Ivey is a native of Sarasota who has taught at Riverview for 11 years. His subjects have included social studies, International Baccalaureate World History Honors and Advance Placement Psychology. He has served as the head coach for both the girls and boys basketball teams during his time at Riverview, as well as the Nike Team Florida basketball coach. He was named Florida Association of Basketball Coaches Class 8A Coach of the Year in 2016. Ivey earned a bachelor’s degree history from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from National Louis University in Tampa.

About Teacher of the Year


The Teacher of the Year program recognizes educators in Sarasota County who exemplify dedication to student learning and innovative instruction. The program is co-produced by the Sarasota County School District and the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and is made possible through the funding and support of community partners. The district Teacher of the Year will receive a $2,500 cash award from the Education Foundation, sponsored by Sunset Automotive Group; the two runners-up will each receive $1,250. The district Teacher of the Year will represent Sarasota County Schools at the Florida Department of Education-Macy's Teacher of the Year program and will serve as a spokesperson for and representative of the teaching profession at various events until the next district Teacher of the Year is chosen. Due to a change in the timeline, the next Teacher of the Year will be named in December 2017.

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County


The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is a supporting partner that exponentially enhances the educational experiences available to the children of Sarasota County. Its mission is to strengthen the community by investing in educational opportunities for the students, teachers, and schools. The Foundation works to match donor’s passions with high-impact projects and initiatives that help every child in Sarasota County rise to their full potential. It achieves this mission through scholarships, access to advanced technology, supplies needed for creativity to flourish, and funds for educators’ professional development. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County and its philanthropic investors are champions for students, teachers, and schools. For more information on the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, call 941.927.0965 or visit


Education Foundation raises $200,000 to ensure teacher excellence

 Permanent link

SCS News

This news release is from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 5, 2017 – Jennifer Vigne, President of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, eagerly announce on March 31 the organization received over 140 donations to meet its $150,000 fundraising goal to establish The Lori White Endowment Fund.  This accomplishment triggered a $50,000 capping grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. 

The Lori White Endowment Fund will provide unique professional development opportunities for teachers. The goal was met thanks to charitable donors including members of the Education Foundation Board of Directors and long-term supporters, area community foundations and numerous individuals whose gifts expressed deep gratitude for Lori White’s dedication to education in Sarasota County.

“It was incredible to have so many donors give to not only honor Lori White but, more importantly, to support teachers in our community,” noted Vigne. “It is a privilege for the Education Foundation of Sarasota County to establish a fund that will elevate our educators and ultimately provide opportunities for growth.”

To raise the funds necessary to meet the capping grant challenge, the Education Foundation launched a “Forty for 40” campaign to honor White’s 40 years of service on January 20, 2017, forty days from White’s official retirement as Superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. With a focus on social media outreach that included a crowd funding component, the forty days of giving brought in over $47,000 in donations of $25 to $2,500 from teachers, students, parents, administrators, and community leaders.

“Investing in the professional capacity of teachers is one of the best ways to improve student academic achievement,” said Teri A Hansen, President|CEO of the Barancik Foundation.  “The Lori White Endowment Fund will ensure Sarasota County continues the tradition of education excellence shaped under Superintendent White’s leadership.” 

Donations can still be made to the Lori White Endowment Fund online by visiting or calling 941-927-0965.             

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County
The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is a supporting partner that exponentially enhances the educational experiences available to the children of Sarasota County. Its mission is to strengthen the community by investing in educational opportunities for the students, teachers, and schools. The Foundation works to match donor’s passions with high-impact projects and initiatives that help every child in Sarasota County rise to their full potential. It achieves this mission through scholarships, access to advanced technology, supplies needed for creativity to flourish, and funds for educators’ professional development. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County and its philanthropic investors are champions for students, teachers, and schools. 

District honors outstanding volunteers and business partners

 Permanent link

Volunteer McKensie Murray-Youth 2017Volunteer Nancy Sit-Adult 2017Volunteer Sherer Miller-Senior 2017

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEERS: Top photo, McKensie Murray of Booker High is the district’s Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year. Middle photo, Nancy Sit displays her award as Birdland Community Hero of the Year at a Baltimore Orioles game. Sit volunteers at Gulf Gate Elementary; she is the district’s Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year. Bottom photo, Sherer Miller (top row center), the district’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year, celebrates the honor with teacher Marla Gibson’s third-grade class at Englewood Elementary School. Gibson is at top left in photo.

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 3, 2017 – Superintendent Todd Bowden, School Board Chairwoman Caroline Zucker, administrators, school-based staff and guests will celebrate the individuals and organizations that donate their time, talent and treasure to the Sarasota County School District and its students at the annual Volunteers and Business Partners Recognition Celebration. The invitation-only event will be held this year at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 6, at the Venice Community Center. ABC 7 News Anchor Scott Dennis will be master of ceremonies.

Last year more than 12,000 students, parents, community members and business leaders participated in the district’s Volunteer and Partnership program. Their work — over 210,000 hours of donated time — has been valued at nearly $5 million annually, but Danielle Schwied, the district’s volunteer and partnership coordinator, calls it “priceless.”

The Gold Sponsor of the event is Achieva Credit Union. Silver sponsors are Publix Super Market Charities and Caldwell Trust Company. The Bronze Sponsor is the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The awards for district volunteers and business partners were donated by Sarasota Trophy in honor of Ron Carr, past president of the TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council, an independent organization that supports the district’s Volunteer and Partnership program. Photography is provided by Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch. Cash awards to students for outstanding community volunteerism are courtesy of Freeman Orthodontics, Stage Door Studios and the TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council.  

This year’s district honorees include Outstanding Youth Volunteer McKensie Murray of Booker High School. Murray has served the school and community for the past four years, logging more than 600 hours at her own school as well as at Booker Middle School, the Multi-Cultural Health Institute, Imagine Academy and the Sarasota Rotary Club. She has served as a tutor, mentor, health care intern, and BHS Ambassador. “McKensie is compassionate, selfless and a tireless model of excellence in community involvement, said Principal Rachel Shelley. “As a senior, she leaves a lasting legacy through the Mission Possible program she envisioned and implemented.” The program helps ensure that BHS seniors are meeting graduation requirements.


The Outstanding Adult Volunteer is Nancy Sit of Gulf Gate Elementary School. Awesome, amazing, incredible, marvelous and wonderful are just a few of the superlatives Principal Robin Magac and others used to describe her. In the past year, Sit has devoted almost 700 hours of her time to create and maintain the school’s Clothes Closet. Open each Friday, many of Gulf Gate’s families can be found making selections from the beautiful clothes and shoes at this unique boutique. Sit was honored at a Baltimore Orioles spring training game Feb. 26 as a “Birdland Community Hero.” The school is grateful for Sit’s support of the school and its families.

The Outstanding Senior Volunteer is Sherer Miller of Englewood Elementary School. Miller is a retired teacher who spends her free time engaging third-grade students in hands-on science and math concepts, bringing science concepts to life. Miller rotates through classes, teaching lessons aligned with third-grade standards while raising children to new heights. Not only does she teach and engage students in science and math, she also reads to the students and brings “goodies” to each class weekly, often reaching five different classes a week. “Sherer is an amazing volunteer,” said Principal Mark Grossenbacher. “We are so blessed to have her expertise and energy and we’re privileged to know her!”


The district’s Outstanding Local Business Partner of the Year is Kiwanis Club of Siesta Key, the Wilkinson Elementary School Business Partner. Kiwanis Club of Siesta Key has been a business partner with the school for several years. “They always go above and beyond,” said Principal Susan Nations. Their members provide gifts for 100 students in need at the holidays, they sponsor eight classrooms and promote academic excellence through their BUGS (Bringing Up Grades) program. “We are very thankful for this partnership,” said Nations.

This year’s Outstanding Corporate Business Partner of the Year is Stonegate Bank, the Garden Elementary School Business Partner. Formerly Florida Shores Bank, Stonebank has been a dedicated business partner of the school for five years. Their support ranges from board meetings, assisting with the Gator Run, the Junior Achievement Bowl, kindergarten assessments, Donuts for Dads, serving lunch to staff, the Holiday Shop and much more. “Through their generous gifts of funds, equipment and time, Stonegate Bank has blessed our students and staff,” said Principal Amy Archer.

Other awards to be celebrated at the event include the Lilly Kaighin Service Award to Venice High student Rebecca Betterton, the Bette Woodson Service Award to Pine View School student Jade Fischer, the Teeja Service Through the Arts Award to Owen Leonard of Booker High School, and the Freeman Orthodontics Inspiration Awards to Emma Gallagher of Venice High School and Sarah Elizabeth Goehring of Suncoast Polytechnical High School.

The Venice Community Center is located at 326 Nokomis Ave. S. in Venice.

Search News Articles

Communications and Community Relations
Tracey Beeker, Director

Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist

Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
Public Records Custodian, Peachjar eflyers 

Digital Communications
Mina Ajrab, Manager

Torie Ewald, Social Media Strategist

Katy Ellis, Social Media Producer

Phone: 941-927-4009 or
941-927-9000 ext. 74009
Fax: 941-927-2539
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Education Channel 20/33
John Flowerree, Manager

TBA, Engineer

Phone: 941-361-6355
Fax: 941-361-6358
4748 Beneva Road
Sarasota, Florida 34233

Community Involvement
Lyndsey Cantees, Coordinator

Jennifer Anderson, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
Fax: 941-361-6539
Green 1st Floor

Staff Listing