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Stories of triumph highlight Turnaround Achievement Award ceremony

May 17, 2018

Graduation marks a time of celebration for thousands of Hillsborough County families, but there was a time when that walk across the stage was not a given for many students.

Dozens of Turnaround Achievement Award winners were honored this month, recognized for major changes they made to right their paths to graduation and beyond. Honorees included:

  • The student who didn’t have that infamous ailment senioritis, but sure did suffer from freshmanitis, sophomoreitis and junioritis.
  • The student who attended seven schools in six years to gain the confidence and self-control necessary for success.
  • The student who arrived from middle school with 38 discipline referrals but took his football team’s “All Gas No Brakes” motto to heart and now leaves with a college scholarship.
  • The student whose own turnaround inspired similar improvements by her friends.

“You have done a tremendous job of stepping over the obstacles and you have made it,” School Board Chair Sally Harris told the high school award recipients. “We are here to honor you.”

Advocates including administrators, counselors, school security officers and even military recruiters introduced the students in an emotional celebration of triumph.

Congratulations to the recipients of the Turnaround Student Awards and thank you to event sponsor Pin Chasers.

Alonso: Amanda Martinez

Armwood: Emani Wilson

Blake: Da'Shanique Duley

Bloomingdale: Marcel Grimaldo

Bowers Whitley: Camisha Smith

Brandon: Pierre Buie

Brooks DeBartolo: Aaron Webb

Chamberlain: Anthony Clarke

Durant: Haily Ausburn-Moran

East Bay: Alexis Clancy

Freedom: Xavier Taylor

Gaither: Raven Williams

Hillsborough: Liliana Rodriguez

Jefferson: Brandon Atkins

KCC Preparatory HS: Tiarah Wilson

King: Tanaria Morehead

Lennard: Esmeralda Martinez

Leto: Kenneth Bartow

Middleton: William Deralin

Newsome: Ciarra Thompson

Pepin Academies: Dominic Santini

Pivot Charter School: Adrian Rodriguez

Plant: Tianna Welsh

Plant City: Tracy James

Riverview: Jason Albury

Robinson: Daniela Derivet Thaureaux

Seminole Heights Charter: Gavin Morrison

Sickles: Kristina Tsitsikronis

Simmons Career: Christian Baez

South County Career: Adrian Hernandez

Spoto: Camre Williams

Steinbrenner: Brandon Garcia

Strawberry Crest: Edgar Cruz

Tampa Bay Technical: Lynsey Williams

Town & Country CHS: Austin Davis

Waters: Tye Rogers

West University Charter: Jeff Petion

Wharton: Johnathan Fernandez

 At two separate celebrations, recipients were also named for middle schools.

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