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Students and Mrs. Lonetto celebrated Shakespeare's
birthday in Elizabethan style!

Wednesday, April 23 was playwright William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, and Mrs. Lonetto's 8th grade English classes celebrated in true Elizabethan Era style. There was birthday cake, a decorated classroom, Renaissance music and Mrs. Lonetto in costume.The students read his classic play Romeo and Juliet during the first semester, so in honor of his birthday, they made masks to match the masks worn by Romeo and Juliet at a masquerade party. Students enjoyed celebrating this very unique day!

The following Upper Division students have earned recognition for their achievement based on their scores on the National Latin Exam.
In Level II
Conor Danahy and Alexis Komar demonstrated their ability  and achievement at the level consideredcum Laude (with praise).
Rammi Quah demonstrated his ability and achievement at the level considered Summa cum Laude (with the highest praise).
In Level III
Greta Frontani demonstrated her ability and achievement at the level considered Magna cum Laude (with great praise) and Mia Borlongan demonstrated her ability and achievement at the level considered cum Laude (with praise).
In Advanced Placement
Nicholas Buhite demonstrated his ability and achievement at the level considered cum Laude (with praise).
Kudos (Greek for Laude ) to these students for their efforts.

Environment Club worked with Sweetwater Farms
to provide a fruit and vegetable buffet
for students at lunch.
Ethan H., Billy M. and Logan V. encouraged
parents to turn off their car

during pick-up instead of leaving them in idle.

The Environment Club embraced Earth Day this year by addressing a different environmental concern each day during Earth Week. By placing a banner at the front of the school, the students created a call to action for the national celebration of Earth Day. The preparation began several weeks ago with student blogs ( about car emissions and idling cars in front of school.

On Monday, Environment Club students handed out pamphlets about the impact of emissions on the carbon footprint to parents and asked them to turn their cars off instead of idling during pick-up and drop-off. Tuesday was Earth Day, and for a donation of $2, students were allowed to wear green T-shirts, and, in turn, they received a Tampa Prep Earth Day water bottle to promote the idea of reuse/recycle. Students prepared a buffet of locally grown fruits and vegetables (purchased at Tampa Bay Farmers' Market in South Tampa) and invited a speaker from Sweetwater Farms to educate their peers about foods that are grown in the area on Wednesday. On Thursday, students held a bake sale to assist in the costs of their Earth Week celebrations. There will be a short clean-up of Riverfront Park on Friday to support the "no littering" efforts of Hillsborough County. Way to advocate for your cause, Environment Club!
 Susannah Wilson Smith '87 shows students videos
from the International Wildlife Film Festival.

Wildlife conservationist Susannah Wilson Smith '87 spoke with Global Studies and STEM students on Earth Day about the successes and perils facing different species of animals throughout the world. Ms. Smith's recent interests have broadened into how video can target select audiences to effect positive change towards protecting the planet's biodiversity. She recently returned from an organizational role at the International Wildlife Film Festival, where she interacted with directors, activists and conservationists. The videos she brought back to share with Tampa Prep's students encompassed topics such as the small but growing population of Asiatic lions in India, threats to wolves in the United States, the international ivory trade's impact on the existence of elephants and rhinoceros and how global warming is changing the planet. Thank you for sharing your work with our students!
 Aiden M., Cole M. and Conner S. try to
dispell the "Tablecloth" myth.
 Carson Y. tries to weave her way through a web at MOSI.

Middle School students took a field trip to MOSI for the special Mythbusters Exhibit. Students were able to test out several  theories from the television show and put their knowledge of the scientific method to work. In addition to testing the Mythbusters exhibit, students had the opportunity to learn and explore the rest of the MOSI exhibits. One of the highlights of the trip was being able to watch an IMAX movie. Sixth and eighth graders watched an exciting movie about lemurs, while the seventh grade started the Keys Trip off with a movie about great white sharks!

 Kaitlyn F. and Sam H. work together
to construct an experiment.
 J.D. U. lays on a bed of nails during
an exhibit at MOSI.


Students sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front
of the White House while in Washington D.C.
Choral students had a chance to see
the famous Washington D.C. cherry blossoms
during free time.

On April 2, twenty-seven Middle School Choral students competed in Music Performance Assessments at Bloomingdale High School. They sang two pieces with wonderful energy and accuracy earning an Overall Excellent rating in performance and a Superior rating in Sight reading, where students sang a piece of music they had never seen in three-part harmony. This was the first Superior rating earned at competition from a Middle School group!

On April 3, forty Upper School Choral Students competed in Music Performance Assessments. They sang two very challenging pieces in 6-12 part harmonies. Audiences were particularly impressed with our performance of the “Lamentations of Jeremiah,” a rhythmic and dramatic piece by Z. Randall Stroope. The Tampa Prep Chorale received 2 excellent and 1 superior ratings from the judges in performance, and a Superior in Sight reading.

Chorus students traveled to Washington D.C. last week for the Fiestaval Music Competition. Our Upper School Chorus earned 2nd place in the Mixed Chorus Category and the A capella group received 1st for Jazz Choir! See below for a student perspective on the trip. 

The Mixed Chorus prepares
to compete
at the
Fiestaval Music Competition.

Memoirs from the Washington D.C Trip and Fiestaval Music Competition
From Daniel Vincent ‘14
As soon as we arrived, we split into groups to see the Smithsonian museums. My personal favorite was the Natural History Museum. The famous mammoth sculpture was even bigger than I imagined! Our biggest day of touring was the next day. We went to Arlington Cemetery and saw the changing of the guards. After that, we toured several monuments, walking over seven miles! The Lincoln Memorial was my favorite site.

That night, we performed at the Fiestaval Music Competition. I sang in both the mixed choir and a cappella group. We also got to watch several other choirs perform. The Upper School Chorus earned 2nd place in the Mixed Chorus Category and the A capella group received 1st for Jazz Choir. On Saturday, we went to the Cherry Blossom Parade and saw “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in Ford’s Theater. Brittani Johnson was picked to be a speller in the show, and correctly spelled several tricky words. That night in front of the White House, we sang the National Anthem and heard Mr. Fowler share ghost stories. Overall, it was a great trip that truly made my last year of chorus memorable. All of the students in chorus will have a great memory to take through the rest of their high school years.

Watch the Chorus perform The Star-Spangled Banner in front of the White House.

Students in Mr. Maraghy's Biology classes have been researching a disease or disorder related to one of the major human systems. The main parts of the project consisted of preparing a web page to provide an overview that would be appropriate for the general public as well as creating a 30-second public service announcement to raise awareness. The students' projects have been compiled and can be viewed by using the following link:

Hannah F. and Nick C. work together to extract
DNA from strawberries.
Ian L. and Ethan M. study strawberries' DNA once it
has been extracted.

Mrs. Chapman's Biology classes are currently studying Nucleic Acids and protein synthesis. Students are learning about DNA in order to understand genetics, hereditary diseases and the evolution of new species. Their knowledge of DNA will also help them to understand how scientists manipulate genes in order to create new varieties in organisms. 

As an introduction to the structure of DNA, classes extracted the DNA from strawberries. Some students challenged themselves by repeating the experiment at home and making instructional videos on How to Extract DNA. View Molly Monsour's video on how to extract DNA from a raspberry!

Once students had the basics down after practicing on strawberries, Dr. Scott Witherow, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Tampa, brought student members of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to educate Tampa Prep students about the field of biochemistry. With guidance from the University of Tampa students, Tampa Prep students did a hands-on activity to extract their own DNA from their cheeks. Students learned a lot from the visitors and had an opportunity to ask questions about what science classes are like in college.

Dr. Witherow of University of Tampa instucts students
on how to extract their own DNA.
Students extract DNA from their cells
by "swishing" water around in their mouth,
then deposting the water into a test tube.

Ms. Leytham answers students' questions about her day-to-day tasks.

Beth Leytham, owner of The Leytham Group, works in strategic public relations and issues management. She visited Mr. Smith's AP Government class last week to discuss her work. Ms. Leytham discussed how she ended up in the public relations field after going to school headed on the pre-law track. She began working on campaigns, but quickly realized that she likes influencing policy, but she does not want to be the candidate.

Ms. Leytham works with local politicians and businesses to assist in their reputation management and problem-solving. She has been involved in Mayor Bob Buckhorn's campaign, the "slum lord" case a few years ago, the Crosstown's reversible lanes' falling, waste energy plants and housing communities. Part of Ms. Leytham's expertise lies in crisis management and communication. She has been called the "Queen of Damage Control" by The Maddox Report.

Students in the class asked Ms. Leytham a variety of questions, but many focused on how she chooses her clients and if she has ever turned anyone away. She explained that she has every right to say no to a potential client. When that happens, she is mostly relying on a gut feeling. Her reputation as a professional is always important, so if working with a specific client will end up tarnishing her reputation, then she will not take them on. When working with political candidates, she does not charge them a fee, but works with them in a volunteer role.

Ms. Leytham provided important advice to the class of mostly seniors. She encouraged the students to stop posting inappropriate things on social media. She let them know that she researches all potential interns and employees, and one day, they will regret posting inapproriate items on social networks. Students were also encouraged to network through volunteer work. She explained that she has met many important contacts through her volunteering. When networking, it is important to realize what you can do for someone else, instead of focusing on how they can further you. Students appreciated the advice and insight into an interesting career path.

Sixth and seventh grade students show off their Portfolios during the presentation.

This week, Middle School students presented their English Portfolios to classmates, teachers and parents. After a year writing, editing and revising, student chose their favorite pieces from Mrs. Bahtic's and Mrs. Lonetto'ss English classes. Each portfolio included a variety of writing, as well as impressively designed covers. It is an interesting assignment to be able to compare the growth from the assignments earlier in the year to those in the second semester. This Portfolio allows students to look back to August and September and recognize what they have learned in English classes throughout the year. The final projects were presented during first period in the Student Center where many parents and teachers attended to see the students' work. Students enjoyed being able to read their classmates work and see which pieces they chose to present.

Eighth graders prepare to present their
Portfolios to their parents and teachers.
Students are proud to show their classmates
their work in English classes.
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