School news from Marion County Public Schools.
IN THE TOP 1% NATIONWIDE
MCPS has five National Merit semifinalists this year, meaning these students now compete with 16,000 others for $31 million in college scholarships. This year’s semifinalists include Forest High’s Jeremy Willhoner, Vanguard’s William Giliberti and Mansi Patel, and West Port’s Kranti Rumalla and Melissa Stroup.
CALLING ALL MALE ROLE MODELS
Thousands of dads, grandfathers, uncles, big brothers and other positive male role models took part in the fourth annual “Dads Take Your Child To School Day.” Kids spent more time with dads on this day, giving moms and others a break from the normal school routine. Many schools offered doughnuts for dads as an added bonus for participating.
PURPLE HEARTS ABOUND
More than 40 Marion County schools now offer reserved Purple Heart parking spaces for local veterans. Schools dedicated these spots with patriotic celebrations, music, dance and lots of special care. Each spot is individually sponsored and serves as a visual reminder honoring those who sacrificed for our freedom.
TOOLS 4 TEACHING TOPS 1,000
The Teacher Resource Fair inside the Tools-4-Teaching store expanded to four days this year from just one day in previous years. During those four days, nearly 900 teachers shopped and snagged $87,390 in free school supplies. The Public Education Foundation of Marion County hosts the event each year and regularly offers teachers opportunities to shop for even more free school supplies every month.
WALKING FOR SAFETY
Nearly 100 parents and students got up extra early for this year’s “Walk Your Child To School” event at Greenway Elementary. The annual international event spotlights pedestrian safety around the globe.
VIANELLO WINS STATEWIDE
Mark Vianello, the district’s executive director of Career and Technical Education, put MCPS in the state spotlight when he was named the Florida Workforce Partner of the Year. Vianello’s known in the community for championing workforce collaboration, particularly when it comes to students and local businesses. Vianello accepted the award in Orlando at the annual Workforce Professional Development Summit.