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Thomas N., Zach W., and Tori S. successfully complete
the lab by creating a rainbow of colors!

Students in Ms. Calvin's Physical Science class are learning about volume to kick off the school year. Students determine the volume of an object by using the equation length times width times height or by using water displacement. Once students mastered how to calculate volume, they moved on to make a color rainbow at the end of the lab. If water level were measured correctly, a rainbow would form in their test tubes. This lab will open up the discussion about density and how mass and volume are related. It's going to be a great year in Physical Science!

The first week of classes is always an exciting time for students and faculty! It gives the Tampa Prep community the opportunity to ease back into the daily school life. Throughout First Week, students heard from a variety of speakers and met with administrators about how to make this year their best year at Tampa Prep. Most grades in the Upper School took class trips to promote class unity and bonding.

Seniors Prepare for the Year Ahead

 Seniors volunteer at Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful as part
of their First Week activities.
 Writing six word memoirs, the seniors
hope to encourage the rest of the school
with their positive statements.

The senior class kicked off the year with several seminars designed to assist them with their college application process. These included working on their Common Applications with Ms. Wall, navigating Naviance, the tool for researching and sending application materials, with Ms. Rodriguez, as well as writing their college essays. Mr. Sean Marcus spoke about invaluable tips and exercises for the seniors to find their story while providing deeper context to the message they hope to relay to college admission readers.

In addition, the seniors attended sessions designed to help them as they move forward in their lives. The first, led by Ms. Jago, provided information about financial literacy and responsibility, while the second, led by Dr. Jill Hechtman, a Tampa Prep alumna and Director of OB/GYN at St. Joseph’s Hospital, educated them about sexual health and safety. Finally, in line with our mission, the seniors were given time to create videos related to the theme of determination and persistence as per their summer reading.

To top off the week, the seniors completed a community service project for Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful at the Florida Fairgrounds where they created an organic garden in additional to mulching and weeding. The project saved the organization hundreds of man-hours and the students will be recognized with a sign next to the project. In short, it was a very busy week; the students are poised for a full and successful senior year ready to lead the school as they live the mission of thinking, creating, being themselves and going beyond.

Juniors Hike the Mountains of Pisgah

  Juniors spent the entire First Week at Pisgah National Forest camping and hiking!

This year’s junior class continued the long-standing, Tampa Prep tradition of backpacking through Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, North Carolina. The students learned to tie knots, hang tarps for shelters, cook large meals on tiny stoves and rock climb. Temperatures were in the upper 70’s each day - a welcome respite from the heat of Tampa. Most groups, however, were unable to avoid the predictable afternoon downpours to which we are accustomed. The evening campfires gave way to great sleeping weather under starry, cloudless skies. At elevations exceeding 4,000 feet, many got to experience pristine views to which photographs cannot do justice. Each group on the trail was convinced that they had the “best group!” The class of 2016 was truly able to Go Beyond.

Sophomores Get Revved up for the Year

  Sophomores work together to complete high ropes obstacles.

What was the students' favorite part of first week? Seeing their friends! The sophomores commented: “First week was a great time to get back with our friends and socialize.” “Fun and great team and friend building.” “It was a great time and I loved seeing my friends again!”  Throughout the week, students participated in activities focused on school and their future.

Reflecting on the overnight trip to DaySpring, one student shared, “I had a lot of fun!  I had a great time having the time to socialize and catch up with friends, and make new ones.”  When asked the best part of the overnight, students responded, “the high ropes!”  Students were split into small teams to tackle elements on the high ropes course with facilitators from Common Ground Adventures.

Back on campus, the sophomores completed the Self-Directed Search providing an opportunity to explore careers that best match their interests and abilities. One student shared, “The self-directed search results I got were pretty interesting.”  Ms. Cole facilitated students through the SDS and results were automatically emailed to the student. Independently in advising groups students practiced their research and technology skills and exercised a good amount of creativity with the first ever sophomore class PHuN (Prep History Network) project where groups were assigned a history topic to create a video inclusive of a reenactment, interviews and debates.

Later in the week, small groups met with a speaker from Freedom from Chemical Dependency who received high marks from our sophomores for his engaging conversation, while most noted his helpfulness, approachability and general awesomeness. Students also participated in sessions facilitated by Mr. Bamford that focused on preparation for the year ahead and spent time with Mr. Flynn that focused on leadership and character.

The first week of school gave the sophomores a chance to reconnect with classmates and gear up for a terrific school year.  We are looking forward to continued camaraderie and spirit!

The Freshman Class Bonds in Preparation for High School

9th graders complete low ropes obstacles and team building activities at Cedarkirk.

During First Week, ninth grade students participated in a week-long orientation program designed to acclimate them to life as a Tampa Prep high schooler.

This year's ninth grade class is the first to participate in the new Freshman Foundations program. Freshman Foundations is a cross-curricular, integrated program designed to promote a successful transition from middle school to high school. Developed and taught by the ninth grade advising team, the program provides students with opportunities for academic enrichment and assistance, as well as the chance to improve organizational and communication skills. The curriculum serves to create a support-rich environment that maximizes student academic and social success in their first year of high school.

In addition, the ninth graders visited Cedarkirk Camp and Conference Center in Lithia, Florida, for an overnight designed to foster class bonding and allow students to get to know each other before classes began. Since the ninth grade class is comprised of students from Tampa Prep’s Middle School as well as several students new to Tampa Prep, these introductory sessions offer a unique opportunity for the class members to meet and socialize. Upon arrival to Cedarkirk, the ninth graders participated in an all-day, outdoor education program led by facilitators from Pathfinders.

The week ended with the ninth graders learning about Tampa Prep through the eyes of their senior mentors. Separated into groups by gender, this program involved getting-to-know-you activities, a scavenger hunt around campus and an opportunity for ninth graders to benefit from the knowledge and experience of the twelfth graders.

Bowling was one of the students' favorite
activities during the first week of school!
Ms. Tonya was part of the Middle School scavenger hunt!

Middle School students had a very exciting first week back as they celebrated the renovation of the Middle School with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Throughout the week, they learned all about what it meant to be a Tampa Prep Middle School student from Mr. Fenlon, Mrs. Embry and Mr. Plummer. Seventh and eighth grade students went on a movie field trip to see their summer reading novel, The Giver, turned into a movie! Middle School students reconnected with old friends and made new friends through games, scavenger hunts, brain bowls and ice-breaker activities! Coach Flynn pumped up the students with information about being a Tampa Prep athlete and Terrapin pride, Mrs. Cole gave students invaluable social and emotional techniques for understanding themselves and others and Ms. Hehn spoke to the students about how they can be smart when using social media. The most exciting part for Middle School students was without a doubt the newly renovated learning spaces!

Middle School students prepare
to set up their iPads.
Mr. Fenlon speaks to students about expectations
  for Middle School students at Tampa Prep.

After seeing the Middle School renovation, new parents
enjoyed a great dinner in the Student Center.
Parents mingle in the Peifer Library following
a welcoming from Mr. Kevin Plummer.

Parents new to Tampa Prep were invited to New Parent Shindig to welcome them to the Tampa Prep community. Parents gathered in the Peifer Library for libations and a welcome from Kevin Plummer, Dennis Facciolo, Tammy Honegger and President of the Board of Trustees Gail Bernucca. New parents asked the speakers questions and spent time getting to know the Tampa Prep administrators. After a bit of mingling, Mr. Plummer led the group through the newly renovated Middle School and into the Student Center for dinner, catered by Carrabbas. It was an easy way for parents to meet each other and enjoy an evening on campus together.
New parents spend time getting to know each other and enjoy Carrabbas in the Student Center.

Mr. Joe Fenlon shows the students how many
can utilize the touchscreen capabilities
of the
new projectors at one time.
Mr. Kevin Plummer welcomes Middle School
students to the ribbon cutting of their new
Active Learning Environment.

The Middle School enjoyed a very special start to the first day of school Monday morning. Students gathered in front of closed doors to have the newly renovated Middle School's Active Learning Environment revealed to them during the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Before the ribbon was cut, Mr. Joe Fenlon gave an energetic speech explaining to the students that they are the first in the country to have this type of technology immersed in their classrooms and curriculum.

Mrs. Susan Depatie, Mrs. Debbie Hepner, Mr. Peter Hepner,
Mr. Robert Healy and Mr. Joe Fenlon cut the ribbon to unveil
the new Middle School area.

Mr. Peter Hepner and Mrs. Debbie Hepner of Holmes Hepner Architects, Mr. Robert Healy of iConstructors, Mr. Joe Fenlon and Mrs. Susan Depatie cut the ribbon as students rushed into the new space and gazed at the new classrooms and technology available to them. Following the ribbon cutting, students explored their new space and tried out the new projectors and furniture. Trustees and honored guests enjoyed a reception in the Large Conference Room after the event.


Mr. Kevin Plummer welcomes guests to the
Middle School Renovation preview.
Cathy Smith tries out the Green Screen
technology with the assistance
of Mrs. Victoria Lewis.

Last Thursday, Tampa Prep gave donors to the Middle School Renovation campaign, IMPACT NOW, a sneak peek at a private preview event of the transformed classrooms, common area and technology. Mr. Plummer expressed his deep appreciation for their generous support which made this state-of-the-art project possible and explained how improvements in environmental changes increase student engagement and learning. The impressed guests were given demonstrations of the technology enhancements, enjoyed trying out the new furniture and were often overheard saying "I want to come back to Middle School!"

Guests sign the IMPACT NOW logo on a new board
in a classroom.
Moon Mills utilizes the new touch capability of the
projector to write her name.

One of the benefits of the later start to the school day is the opportunity for Tampa Prep's faculty to collaborate in morning meetings. Today teachers participated in technology sessions, sharing some of the products they have been using on iPads in classrooms. The collaboration allows teachers to learn from others who have used new applications in  classes and discuss the benefits for various subjects. As our teachers share the latest trends in the ever-evolving technology available for educators, they model lifelong learning for our students, who reap the benefits of these sessions in classes each day.

Mrs. Bridges-Pereira demonstrates how to use an app
to create games for fun, interactive learning.

Faculty members create avatars during a session
about video creation and interactive tools.

At this year's FSRA Sculling State Championships, Tampa Prep took two state championship titles: Josh Kravitz took the Men's Single title and Krissi Damm and Astrid Skjaerpe earned the Women's Varsity Double title for Prep's second consecutive year!
2013 Men's Single Scull
Scholastic State Champion
Josh Kravitz.
2013 Women's Varsity Double
State Champions (L - R)
Astrid Skjaerpe and Krissi Damm.

In the Men's Single Grand Final, the Prep A boat (Josh Kravitz) took 5th behind four club teams to win the Scholastic State Championship. Kravitz made it to the Grand Final after a thrilling four-boat finish in the semifinal, where all four boats finished within two seconds of each other. This is Prep's first Scholastic State Championship in the Men's single, ever! The Women's Varsity Double team (Krissi Damm, Astrid Skjaerpe) finished 3rd overall and 1st scholastically to take home the Scholastic State Championship for the second year!
Women's Varsity 4, Men's Varsity 4 and Freshman 4
bring home state championship titles!

In the FSRA Sweep Rowing Championship, Tampa Prep took scholastic state titles in three events! The Men’s Freshman 4 (Luke Smith, Matt Leonardo, Spencer Burdge, Elias Latimer, Audrey Carver), Men’s Varsity 4 (Marc Bremmer, Colin Bentley, Austin Hunter, Robbie Carter, Natalie Waller) and Women’s Varsity 4 (Krissi Damm, Astrid Skjaerpe, Nathalie Damm, Madelynn Rey, Colleen Shiels) all brought home titles!

Early on Sunday, the Men’s Freshman 4 crossed the finish line first in their grand final, restoring the championship to Prep after last winning it in 2010. The Women’s Varsity 4 advanced straight from heats into an exciting semifinal race. In the final the girls finished 6th overall, but first scholastically, defending their state title from 2012 with two new rowers in the boat! And lastly, the Men’s Varsity 4 had to beat St Edward’s School in the grand final in order to take the scholastic state championship; and did so after a dead sprint to win by two seconds. These rowers had been eyeing a state championship after finishing runner up last year. They earned their title by committing to both in-season and off-season training.

Tampa Prep finished up the day 7th in the scholastic points standings among 23 schools, and was the 2nd most decorated team from the Tampa area. The rowers enjoy an unprecedented level of success in both the scull and sweep championships this year, winning five state titles! Congratulations to all our rowers on a great season. Row Red, Row Gold. Way to go, Champs!

In its inaugural year, Tampa Prep's Science Olympiad team placed fourth at the state competition. In this, their second year, they qualified for Nationals! The team was featured on WFLA Channel 8's Daytime program. Tune in and check out what's in store for our Science Olympiad team, headed to Ohio in May. See demonstrations by Daniel Weiss, Kevin Wu, Pedro Lima, Alp Sunol and Alan Williams in the video at

The Tampa Bay Times featured Tampa Prep's impressive International Student Program in "Tampa Prep International Program Grows with 17 students." Read it at For more information about our International Student Program, visit


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