Archive for January, 2012

The St. Petersburg Collegiate High School is the eighth best high school in the state and No. 1 in Pinellas County, according to the Florida Department of Education’s state school rankings.

“I attribute our success to the high expectations we have for our students,” said Starla Metz, Principal. “Our small size allows us to build strong relationships with each student and individualize the curriculum to ensure our students have a solid foundation as they transition to all college classes.”

Metz also attributes much of the success to the support of the high school’s faculty and staff, as well as the support and instruction of college’s science faculty who also teach the students on campus.

Of the 206 students served by SPCHS in 2009-10:

  • 69 juniors were tested on FCAT science
  • 58 sophomores were tested on FCAT reading, writing and math

The 2010-11 rankings were based on FCAT performance and learning gains plus several non-FCAT based components, such as graduation rates, accelerated coursework, participation and performance, and postsecondary readiness.

Of the FCAT components, the collegiate high school scored 659 points; for the non-FCAT high school components, it earned another 792 points, bringing the total to 1,451 of the maximum 1,600 points.

Since 2005-06, SPCHS has earned the highest number of points among Pinellas County public schools, based on FCAT grading formula. To her knowledge, Metz said the collegiate high school has never been ranked by the state.

“I think the reason for that is, normally when they rank high schools, we’re still a little too small,” she said. “There are different rankings out there, but it’s usually not for a small charter school.”

The Tampa Bay Times also has provided coverage of the state education rankings on Jan. 31.

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From left: Sarah Fechtel, winner of the vocal soloist competition; and Krisstina DeRemo, flutist, winner of the woodwind soloist competition.

From left: Sarah Fechtel, winner of the vocal soloist competition; and Krisstina DeRemo, flutist, winner of the woodwind soloist competition.

Five SPC students were recognized for their performances in the Student Artist Competition of the Florida College Systems Activities Association (FCSAA) statewide Winter Music Symposium at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton on Jan. 26.

Winners were:

  • Sarah Fechtel – Winner for vocal music – female
  • Krisstina DeRemo – Winner for woodwind (flute)
  • Mark Bell- Honorable Mention for vocal music – male
  • Alex Pedigo – Honorable Mention for brass (euphonium)
  • Zachary Twitty – Honorable Mention for woodwind (bassoon)

Sarah and Krisstina performed Friday night in the Winners Recital at the symposium. They each received a $1,000 renewable scholarship to use at one of state’s universities or colleges with an accredited music program.

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The Tampa Bay Times covered the return of SPC’s theater program.

The Suncoast News covered the 10th anniversary of the Leepa-Rattner Museum.

The Seminole Beacon noted that Dennis Jones was named 2012 Mr. Seminole by the Seminole Chamber of Commerce.

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St. Petersburg College will launch a new home page and event calendar on Monday, Jan. 30. The design of the new front page follows the clean and open design of other recently refreshed pages and is part of the college’s continuing effort to make its website easier to use for visitors and students. The new home page is a significant milestone. It incorporates three new areas of functionality into the SPC website: improved navigation, a dynamic event calendar and better display of important announcements.

The site’s new template incorporates a “mega-menu” navigation similar to that used by large enterprise websites such as Office Depot, Target and Home Depot. The menu style was carefully chosen for its flexibility and accessibility. It also simplifies navigation for the complex site.

To offer potential students and visitors versatility, the site introduce the ability to browse academic disciplines by areas of study or interest, in addition to program and degree type. The website’s new event calendar offers a more visually appealing presentation and can be sent to smartphone calendars easily. Events will be displayed prominently on the home page, as well as important announcements.

Screen shot of new SPC home page

Screen shot of new SPC home page

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Mark your calendar for SPC’s 5th Annual Honors College Research Conference on Wednesday, Jan. 25, starting at 8 a.m. at the EpiCenter’s Collaborative Labs.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend. Students do not have to be members of the Honors College to attend the conference. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by completing this Conference Participation Survey.

During the conference, SPC students will share their research on a variety of topics including medicine, history, humanities and social and physical sciences in either oral presentation or poster presentation format.

In the morning, Dr. Walter McCracken, Deputy Director, Marine Technology Program, SRI International – St. Petersburg will deliver the keynote speech and students will make presentations. The afternoon schedule will include student poster presentations, lunch and keynote speeches by Dr. Jennifer Fernandes, Instructor of Biology, St. Petersburg College and Dr. Abraham Miller, Assistant Professor of Health Science and Human Performance, University of Tampa. For the first time at the conference, students will have the opportunity to present 60-second lectures on various topics related to the theme of the conference, providing them a unique experience in research, summarization and oral presentation.

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Congratulations to SPC alumnus Ken Detzner on being named Florida’s Secretary of State by Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday. Detzner replaces the outgoing Kurt Browning, who remains in office through Feb. 17 to oversee the Jan. 31 GOP presidential primary.

Detzner is a graduate of Florida State University and earned his Associate in Arts degree from what was then St. Petersburg Junior College in 1973.

Detzner has more than 30 years of management experience in the private sector and state government. He previously served as Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Jim Smith from 2002 to 2003 and was temporarily appointed to serve as Secretary of State by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003. He worked for 13 years as executive director of the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association and for six years as director of legislative and policy affairs for the Attorney General’s Office.

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The Tampa Bay Times covered the college’s expansion at the Midtown Campus, the upcoming performance of What Makes Me Tick at the Palladium Theater and the recent release of a video on synthetic designer drugs.

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SPC had 32,222 credit students enrolled at the end of the first week of Spring classes of 2012, a drop of 1.4 percent over Spring 2011.

Monday marked the start of the traditional Spring term, but the college offers additional opportunities in the coming weeks. Express classes start Feb. 6 and the second session of Modmester classes begins March 12.

Express classes are 12 weeks, while Modmesters offer eight-week classes.

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Ryan Beckman

Ryan Beckman

Ryan Beckman, who has served as Assistant Coach for the SPC baseball team, has been named interim coach, replacing Rob Frances, who is no longer with the college.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Beckman said. “Growing up and playing everything from Little League to college baseball in Pinellas County I have great pride in taking over St. Petersburg College’s baseball program.  Baseball is a great teaching tool to help young men learn valuable life skills that they will use on a daily basis.   We have a talented and athletic team.”

Beckman, 27, began his coaching career at the college last season.

The baseball team will kick off its spring season against Miami-Dade College on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Al Lang Field at 11 a.m. See the full schedule.

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On the heels of the death of 19-year-old Logan Matthew Kushner in a Clearwater park Jan. 8, the Center for Public Safety Innovation (CPSI) and the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) program at St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center have released an hour-long training video called “Designer Drugs: The New Frontier.”

The video looks at the new and emerging synthetic and designer drug threat, who is most at risk and what can be done to prevent it. Some experts in Bangor, Maine, for instance, say this is the worst drug epidemic they have ever seen.

These drugs are often sold as incense or bath salts and are marked ‘not for human consumption,’ and they are anything but harmless. Some of the chemicals are illegal, but the makers of these substances often change the ingredients slightly to skirt the laws. Kids are experimenting with them and the adults in their lives don’t always know what they are.

The video was shared with all Pinellas County high schools this week and includes information on:

  • What are designer drugs
  • What can happen to people who take them
  • The strategies coalitions can use to prevent their use
  • What law enforcement should know when approaching someone who may be using designer drugs

Content providers include:

Gary Boggs, Special Agent and Executive Assistant in the Office of Diversion Control for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A former Orange County Sheriff’s deputy, Boggs has worked for the DEA since 1985.

Aaron Byzak has been president of North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC) in Vista, Calif., since 2008. Byzak also is the director of Government and Community Affairs for the University of California San Diego Health Sciences. In this role, he handles all legislative and community relations activities on behalf of UC San Diego Health System, the UCSD School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD.

Dr. Mark Ryan is the Director of the Louisiana Poison Center, where he assists in the medical management of poisoned or overdosed patients and provides poison prevention and awareness education to help reduce the incidence of accidental poisonings.

He also is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.

The Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) program provides unique, tuition-free, courses covering all aspects of counterdrug law enforcement and training support for community anti-drug coalitions. The MCTFT is a division of the Center for Public Safety Innovation.

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