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Pinellas Co. boasts unique speakers at 18th Annual Great American Teach-In | Events

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Pinellas Co. boasts unique speakers at 18th Annual Great American Teach-In
Events, People, Schools
Pinellas Co. boasts unique speakers at 18th Annual Great American Teach-In

Pinellas County, FL -- The 2011 Great American Teach-In, part of Pinellas County Schools’ American Education Week celebration, will be held Thursday, Nov. 17, at various schools throughout the county.

In its 18th year, the Teach-In continues to surprise, delight and educate the district’s students with its wide array of topics. Teach-In has become one of the most anticipated events of the entire school year. Approximately 14,000 presentations are expected to be delivered this year.

Since 1994, participants have given presentations on everything from archeology to yoga. In those years, a total of 72,345 volunteers gave 183,672 presentations in Pinellas County’s public schools. They have shared their careers and hobbies with our students, performed songs and dances, brought in their pets and souvenirs to expand the interests of students.

Scheduled to participate in this year’s Teach-In are a variety of speakers covering a multitude of hobbies and careers: fire fighters and nurses, cake decorators, clowns, military personnel, martial artists, bird of prey handlers, K-9 units, civil engineers, dancers, TV and radio personalities, business owners, dentists, veterinarians, musicians, artists, athletes, secret agents and many more.

A few of the Teach-In participants are listed below with the school’s coordinator name and phone number:

  • “Let’s Get Together” – Sanderlin Elementary, 2-2:30 p.m., The Royal Theatre Group will perform this song that was written in honor of our fallen police officers (Contact Traci Pyhel, (727) 552-1700).
  • Turkey Balloon – Garrison-Jones Elementary, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., the art of balloon twisting will be performed in creating a turkey, complete with dressing, out of balloons (Contact Barb Karcher, (727) 469-5716).
  • Geocaching – Tarpon Springs Elementary, all day, map reading presenter will explain her career and lead students on a treasures hunt around the campus (Contact Debbie Willoughby, (727) 943-5500).
  • Airport Firefighter – Bauder Elementary, 9:30-10 a.m., in full gear, presenter will explain safety on runways (Contact Karen Barshel, (727) 547-7829).
  • Carving & Whitling – Blanton Elementary, 9:30-10 a.m., woodcarver will demonstrate the art and skill to wood carving and whitling (Contact Tammy Ferrandiz, (727) 547-7820).
  • Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist – Jamerson Elementary, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Nicole Haislett, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, will talk about dedication to reach a goal and what happens after you reach your goal (Contact Emily Uber, (727) 552-1703).
  • Classroom Transformed into OR – Garrison-Jones Elementary, 9 a.m-2 p.m., Morton Plant Hospital OR Nurse will transform classroom into operating room to perform surgery on a “hotdog” (Contact Barb Karcher, (727) 469-5716).
  • School Board Member – Gibbs High, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Robin Wikle, Vice-Chair of Pinellas County School Board, will explain the functions of the PCSB (Contact Sherry Howard, (727) 893-5452).
  • Special Agent – Highland Lakes Elementary, 9-10 a.m., Homeland Security Special Agent will speak about the functions of the agency (Contact Alex Cernkovic, (727) 724-1429).
  • Hand Drums – Oldsmar Elementary, 9 -10 a.m., students will be entertained with the sounds of a hand drum (Contact Lisa Plumb, (813)855-7316).
  • CSI – Osceola Middle, all day, students will delve into the career of a CSI agent (Contact Adrienne Mizia, (727) 547-7689).
  • Mystery Writer – Sanderlin Elementary, all morning, local mystery writer, Diane Sawyer, will explain how to become a published author and assist students with preparing for the FCAT (Contact Traci Pyhel, (727) 552-1700).
  • Mock Trial – Dunedin Elementary, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., attorney, Eric Houghton, will conduct a Mock Trial with students (Contact Karen Barnett, (727) 738-2990).
  • Bee Keepers – Bauder Elementary, all day, dressed in full bee keeper’s attire, presenter will explain the process of how to make honey (Contact Karen Barshel, (727) 547-7829).
  • Children’s Book Author – Tarpon Springs Elementary, 2 p.m., local children’s author, Phil Brenner, will explain how he writes children’s books (Contact Debbie Willoughby, (727) 943-5500).
  • Wolfgang Puck Decorating Chef – Garrison-Jones Elementary, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., decorating chef from the famous Wolfgang Puck Restaurant will demonstrate the art of strawberry shortcake decorating for the holidays (Contact Barb Karcher, (727) 469-5716).

Progress Energy Florida has sponsored the Great American Teach-In in Pinellas for 18 years, providing printed materials, promotional activities and enthusiastic support. Many Progress Energy employees volunteer for the Teach-In, and establish on-going partnerships with Pinellas County Schools.

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