Class Acts – January 2019

School news from Marion County Public Schools.


Students at Hillcrest School and South Ocala Elementary spent time with two orchestra members as they shared—and played—many of the instruments featured in their concerts. Part of the “Symphony In Our Schools” program, the visits gave students a better understanding of instrument families, how sounds are created and what it takes to play music in a large group.


Forest High Senior Sade Teel is one of just 12 students statewide vying to be named a Take Stock in Children Leaders 4 Life Fellowship winner. She learned she’s a finalist when a barrage of Foundation folks, including her mom, surprised her during a student government meeting. If she wins, Sade will receive more than $40,000 for her college education.


School Board Chair Beth McCall, pictured here with two grandsons, is the “2019 School Board Member of the Year” for the Florida Music Education Association. Long known for her support of the fine arts and public education overall, McCall learned of her award by surprise announcement during a school board meeting.



When Fessenden Elementary started 150 years ago as Fessenden Academy, it served only African-American students. Today, it educates 500 students of every race every day. The school celebrated its 150th anniversary with help from its alumni association. Current students learned the history of their school, and graduates reunited with countless memories of their school, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Students at Eighth Street Elementary are learning about Kindness 180. To show their appreciation to first responders and as an act of kindness, students presented Ocala Fire Rescue members with baskets of sweet treats and popcorn. Kindness 180’s goal is to teach kindness on an everyday basis, not just for special occasions.


When Judi Zanetti, executive director of the Public Education Foundation, shows up at your school with a big check, it’s for real—and for real money! This year, local teachers are sharing more than $110,000 in “Grants for Great Ideas” dollars from the Foundation. GFGI is just one program sponsored by the Foundation, now nationally ranked among the country’s strongest education foundations.

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