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Westside Elementary: ‘A’lways Fierce

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Spring Hill, FL – Success is worthy of celebration. Our own Westside Elementary School decided to celebrate a colossal victory last weekend and opened that celebration to the public. There could not have been a better Friday evening spent, especially for the students, faculty, and parents of the school. On Aug. 10,  they all gathered together to celebrate earning an “A” grade from the FDOE (Florida Department of Education). Over 300 families attended the celebration, along with community members and school district staff.

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There were various activities held on the school property including crafts, face painting, carnival games, Tiger nail salon and more. The staff were also generous enough to provide visitors with free hot dogs, chips, and cookies.

If any attendees were still hungry, one of the school’s business partners, Brain Freeze Italian Ice, was available as an extra option.  Another partner of Westside for the celebration was The Boys and Girls Club of Hernando County. The big event was planned by a school committee and sponsored by the Westside’s PTO.  

Westside’s celebration was all due to the fact that their school rose from a drastically low F/D average in 2013-2014 and skyrocketed to an ‘A’ school average during the 2017-2018 year. This event was encouraging to the students and their families and was a way to reward everyone for their hard work before the school year officially began.

“Westside has been dedicated to delivering engaging standards-based lessons to students in K-5, but more importantly, the teachers and staff have high expectations for the students. The students have risen to the challenge and are meeting these expectations. The teachers have worked to build strong connections with their students and the students know their teachers believe in them, which has made a big difference,” stated Kristina Stratton, the principal for Westside Elementary School since 2014.

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During the month of June, Westside staff rode in a school bus to surprise every student in Grades 3-5 who received a level 5 on the Florida Standards Assessment in English Language Arts, Math, and Science, at their home. They rewarded the diligent students a T-shirt with the words “I was Focused and Fierce and Scored a 5 on the FSA,” along with a poster for their door.

Westside’s school theme last year was “Focused and Fierce” and this year, because they were focused and fierce, they are now “ ‘A’lways Fierce” (theme for 2018-2019 school year).

The “A” Celebration was as much as a success as the “A” the school diligently worked for.

Best of luck to Westside Elementary School to continue exceeding all expectations during this brand new school year!

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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