Friday, November 9, 2012
The school district will form a task force to look at its policies and procedures regarding students with special needs.
Eleven months after the death of Sessums Elementary School second-grader Bella Herrera, Katharine Bower of Riverview still tears up when she talks about the 7-year-old girl. "She was so sweet. It just breaks my heart. She didn't have to die," said Bower, who joined other parents and concerned residents Thursday afternoon on the steps of the Hillsborough County School District headquarters to protest the deaths of two Riverview students while in the care of the school district. Herrera, who had muscular dystrophy, died in January after she was found choking on a Hillsborough County school bus. Her parents have filed a lawsuit against the school district, saying the girl, who was bound to a wheelchair, was not properly restrained to keep her…
Monday, October 22, 2012
Last seen walking away from Rodgers Middle School in Riverview, a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome is missing, and a search on foot and in the air is under way, reports the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Update Posted 7:11 p.m. - Body of Missing Riverview Girl Found in Pond ______________ The search continues for a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who reportedly was last seen walking away from Rodgers Middle School in Riverview at 1 p.m. The child reportedly has "very limited verbal skills" and "what limited communication skills she has [are] in Spanish only," according to the report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The report notes that the girl, Jennifer Caballero, will respond to the name, "Jenny." Deputies and K-9 units are on the scene, searching the ground, while aviation units are searching from the air. The girl has never been reported missing in the past, according to the report issued by sheriff's spokesperson …
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Brandon resident Terry Kemple is challenging longtime school board member Carol Kurdell.
He's a grandfather, a Christian and an American. As such, Brandon resident Terry Kemple said he's very much concerned about the future of children, especially when it comes to their education. And watching the Hillsborough County School Board at work over the years has only heightened his concern, prompting him to run for election to the school board. This is Kemple's second bid to fill a school board seat. Two years ago, he ran for the District 6 seat and was defeated by April Griffin. This year he's taking on longtime school board member Carol Kurdell for the District 7 seat. The two are in a runoff for the seat, which will be decided in the General Election Nov. 6. Growing up in the central New Jersey area, Kemple attended the U.S. …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
As part of National School Lunch Week, Hillsborough County School District Chef Ben Guggenmos will preview health lunch choices.
Soggy vegetables and starchy entrees in school cafeterias are in the past. Today's school lunches feature whole-grain breads and pastas, fresh raw and steamed vegetables and a variety of fruits. The menu changes are in response to the government releasing new nutrition standards for school meals that call for cutting sodium and calories while adding fruits and vegetables. And Hillsborough County Public Schools Student Nutrition Services Chef Ben Guggenmos is doing his part to help students make healthy food choices. During the week, Guggenmos will visit three elementary schools and demonstrate a healthy recipe for a cream cheese pear roll-up. He also will conduct two demonstrations at each school with approximately 30 students in grades …
Monday, October 1, 2012
Students said there were times James Pepe became hostile.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
James Pepe spent his entire career, 28 years, bouncing from school to school in Hillsborough County.
Appearing in court yesterday before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich, wearing the signature red Hillsborough County jail uniform with the word "Inmate" splashed across the chest, James J. Pepe hardly looked like a man you'd trust to teach your child. Looking bedraggled and disoriented, Pepe resembled someone you'd go out of your way to avoid if you encountered him on the streets. The Bloomingdale High School teacher silently faced Heinrich while the defense and prosecution debated whether he should receive bail, the prosecution arguing that Pepe is "a danger to society." In the end, Heinrich opted to hold Pepe in jail one more night to allow both sides to prepare their arguments for and against bond for the man charged Sept. 27 …
Thursday, September 27, 2012
James Jules Pepe, a teacher at Bloomingdale High School and a resident of Providence Lakes in Brandon, was arrested at the school today, facing a charge of solicitation to commit murder, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
A Brandon man and Hillsborough County School District teacher was arrested at Bloomingdale High School today, Sept. 27, facing a charge of solicitation to commit murder. James Jules Pepe, 55, of 1850 Providence Lakes Blvd., No. 907, was arrested at 1700 Bloomingdale Ave., according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office's jail report. Receive updates to this story and other breaking news in your inbox or smartphone by signing up for our Bloomindale Patch newsletter here and our Brandon Patch newsletter here Bloomingdale parents received an automated voicemail message alerting them to the arrest of the teacher and that the incident did not involve the students, according to a mother of a student who contacted Brandon Patch to report …
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
While school districts across the nation struggle to retain teachers, the Hillsborough County School District boasts a 95 percent retention rate.
More than 700 eager new Hillsborough County teachers will head to the classroom today to begin their careers. And, chances are, they'll continue teaching for years to come. According to Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia, 95 percent of the school district's teachers returned to teach Hillsborough County students in 2012. That's up from 72 percent in 2010 and 86 percent in 2011. But it isn't because teaching is easier or less stressful than in year past, said Elia. She attributes the high retention rate to the district's Empowering Effective Teachers initiative. "While school districts across the nation have a problem keeping talented teachers, we've developed a program that matches peer mentors with new teachers to …
As the new school year gets under way, here's some interesting facts about the Hillsborough County School District.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Photos of the aftermath of a July 28 fire at Frost Elementary School, shown alongside photos snapped at the school's Aug. 16 open house greeting, give testament to the will of a community to make right the lives of teachers and students at Frost.
Two Hillsborough County commissioners and representatives of the Mosaic company were in attendance Aug. 16 at the open house for parents and students at Frost Elementary School, where a fire July 28 destroyed the kindergarten classrooms of teachers Holly Cover and Jamy Daily-Herman. "At first it was devastating and now it's just been great all the support from everybody," said teacher Holly Cover, in a full report on the gathering posted at Brandon Patch (Fire-Damaged Frost Elementary Bounces Back With Community Support ). "We couldn't rebuild without it." That support includes a $5,000 check from the Mosaic company and school supplies donated by employees at the Riverview plant and the FishHawk offices. The photos posted here give …