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</head> Butler named top innovative principal finalist
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Updated: 02/14/2013 08:00:24AM

Butler named top innovative principal finalist

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Christine Roslow

Three Spessard L. Holland Elementary students were accepted into an art show for K-2 students. It was the Free to Be Me art show sponsored by the Polk Museum of Art on Saturday, Jan. 12. The students are, from left, kindergartner Taicen Taguri, second grader Ashton Hubbard and second grader Ryan Peavy. In the top row is art teacher Sonya Johnson and Spessard L. Holland Principal Melody Butler.

Melody Butler

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Spessard L. Holland Elementary principal Melody Butler was recognized as a finalist for the Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders Innovative Principal of the Year Award at the Florida Educational Technology Conference Jan. 29. Butler was one of three finalists from school districts in the state chosen to compete for the award.

She was named for her commitment to making sure technology is infused seamlessly in classrooms and hiring highly effective teachers who continue to embrace 21st century learning opportunities created by the evolution of technology. From the moment Spessard L. Holland Elementary opened its doors in 2009, Butler has led the school along a path that utilized state of the art technology to enhance curriculum based in STEM, the Polk County School District said. In 2011 and 2012, the school received a gold star designation through the district Shining Star Awards Program recognizing it for effective technology integration and “Best in Show” at the Polk County Video Awards.

Each year the Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders recognizes principals who have shown innovation and led successful programs that utilized technology to further student achievement.

All-State musicians named

The following students are All-State musicians for the 2012-13 academic year and performed at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference held in Tampa last month.

These students went through rigorous auditions in order to earn the rank of All-State Musician in one of five categories: concert band, jazz band, chorus, orchestra, and guitar.

Students from Bartow schools included Veronica Diaz from Spessard L. Holland, Madelyn Eden from Stephens Elementary, Madry Sintarius, from Stephens Elementary, Annika Mulaney from Bartow High and Alana Snyder from Bartow High.

Adapter grant reception honors area educators

Tri-county PreK-8th grade educators were honored at the 2013 Adapter Grant Reception in the Teacher to Teacher/School to School Connection Program, in conjunction with the Polk and Hardee Education Foundations & local business sponsors.

This year, more than 62 teachers were awarded Adapter Grants totaling $16,527.80 with teachers receiving up to $800 for a class-room or school-wide program to be implemented-based on a program highlighted at the 2012 IDEA

These educators will be purchasing classroom materials to offset the cost of beginning an innovative program for his/her students.

Area teachers honored included Sara Van Hook from Bartow Elementary Academy, Joanna Moody and Debbie Price from Spessard Holland.

Three Holland students accepted into art show

Three Spessard L. Holland Elementary students recently had art work displayed at the Polk Museum of Art. Kindergartener Taicen Tagur, and second graders Ashton Hubbard and Ryan Peavy had art work showcased as part of the museum’s “Learning to Be Me” exhibit Saturday, Dec. 22 to Saturday, Jan. 12.

Christine Roslow can be reached at

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