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Alonso Wall of Fame Fundraiser Unveiled

The Alonso High School athletic department is honoring its past – and helping to shape its financial future.

Alonso’s booster club has unveiled plans to build a “Wall of Fame’’ near the entrance of the athletic complex.

Former and current athletes can purchase a 7-inch-by-7-inch plaque ($150) on the wall that lists their name, sports and years as an Alonso varsity athlete.

Businesses can purchase sponsorship plaques at the Bronze ($1,000), Silver ($2,500), Gold ($5,000) and Platinum ($10,000) levels. Donations also are accepted.

The walls design will feature the words “Raven Nation,’’ along with a Raven head.

All information is on http://www.alonsowalloffame.com where, plaques can be ordered.

Alonso booster club president Tonya Sanchez said the wall will be 12 feet high, about 33 feet long and contain plaques to honor about 500 athletes.

“It’s first-come, first-serve,’’ Sanchez said. “Once they’re gone, they’re gone. There might be the possibility of another wall, but we would ask people to consider it and act quickly.

“It will be a great way to honor Alonso’s history and it will be a fun thing for people to come back for events and see their name on the wall.’’

Sanchez said the booster club expects the wall project to produce net revenue of about $150,000. The first $75,000 will go toward completing the school’s proposed rubber track, which is projected to be ready for the 2018 track and field season.

Additional funds can go to other athletic projects, such as a proposed football field house, and to offset items that were endangered by Hillsborough County School District budget cuts, such as new equipment and uniforms.

“We’re committed to finding ways to give our athletes and coaches all the things they need for their sports,’’ Sanchez said. “This has turned out to be a great fundraising idea and something that will be seen by everyone who is attending an Alonso event. We think it’s going to be very popular.’’

By Joey Johnston

Alonso Holds Open House Aug. 3

Wow that really was a short summer!

It is back to school and the first order of business is to welcome back the teachers and staff.

The Booster Club and PTSA are hosting a Welcome Back Teachers’ Breakfast at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2. If you would like to volunteer to cook, serve, or donate to help feed the teachers, please contact sandyandersonrph@att.net.

The very next day, Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. is Open House. All students and parents are welcome to attend. Student schedules will be available as well as information on school activities/opportunities and volunteer needs for parents. 

The Booster Club will have a table at the Open House on Aug. 3.  Please stop by and join this not-for-profit organization, which supports all of Alonso athletic teams.  Membership starts at $5 for students and $20 for parents.  The Booster Club also sells county activity cards.  Alonso shirts, spiritwear, and $10 PDQ gift cards will also be for sale at Open House. 

Please also stop by the Parent, Teacher, and Student Association (PTSA)  table to join for only $6. Alonso High magnets are also available for purchase for an additional $4 with the purchase of a membership. 

If you are interested in being a part of the Booster Club and/or PTSA/SAC in 2016-2017, contact us at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com

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By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Marching Band Camp July 24-28

It’s a super short summer and there are a few events on Alonso’s calendar in July.

The Alonso Marching Band Camp will be held July 24-28 from 1-8 p.m. at Alonso High School. If you plan on being a member of the AHS Band next year, please contact Mrs. DuBay at melanie.dubay@sdhc.k12.fl.us so she can save a spot!

Next up will be the Ravens S.O.A.R. with S.W.A.G. Freshmen Success Academy. The academy is aimed at increasing student achievement and creating community among incoming ninth grade students. What are the perks of S.O.A.R.ing with S.W.A.G., you ask? You can be the first to see your schedule of classes or choose the clubs and sports you want to belong to before school starts. You can buy your locker before everyone else and learn what it takes to be organized. You can be ready to rock your freshmen year and create achievable academic and social goals while making friends that will last forever!

The Ravens S.O.A.R. with S.W.A.G. Freshmen Success Academy will be held at Alonso High School July 25-27 from 9 a.m.-noon (snacks provided). It’s free to all incoming ninth grade students. Students, however, must provide their own transportation to and from the program. Apply online at http://alonso.mysdhc.org by July 15. For more information contact Elizabeth A. Morgan or Babita Artabasy at elizabetha.morgan@sdhc.k12.fl.us or babita.artabasy@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Last, be sure to mark your calendars for the 2016-2017 Open House for all Alonso students on Aug. 3 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Go, Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Cheerleaders and Band Active Over Summer

Another rewarding and successful school year comes to an end this month and many things have sparked our Raven pride.

Congratulations to all the Alonso athletes on another great spring sports season! Our girls softball team was the state final’s runner up champion and boys baseball made the state final four! Numerous track athletes were also state final champions.

We say a special goodbye to the Alonso High School Class of 2016. Good luck to you as you move toward the next chapter that life brings your way!

Calling all new band students! Alonso will hold   on July 24-28 from 1-8 p.m. at Alonso High School. If you plan on being a member of the AHS Band next year, please contact Mrs. DuBay at melanie.dubay@sdhc.k12.fl.us so she can save you a spot!

Alonso cheer team tryouts will be held at Alonso starting Monday, June 13, and running through Thursday, June 16. Please contact Karrie Hawkins at khawkin2@tampabay.rr.com for times and the date of the upcoming parent meeting for those interested in trying out for either the junior varsity or varsity cheer squads.

Congratulations to the 2016 Alonso Booster Club and PTSA Scholarship recipients, Austin Urso, Fernando Camacho, Jack Brzezinski, Peyton Woble and Delaney Walker. Good luck wherever the next year takes you!

Last, we offer a special shout out and thank you to the Athletic Booster Club and PTSA board members with graduating seniors leaving this year, Tracy Urso, Karrie Hawkins, Dawn Gutcher, Lydia Dybiec and Matthew Walker! You will be greatly missed and we wish you the best with your newfound freedom. 

If you are interested in being a part of the Booster Club and/or PTSA/SAC in 2016-2017, contact us at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com

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Have a safe and fun-filled summer, Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Lacrosse Holds Fundraiser

The Alonso Lacrosse team is holding a fundraising event at Flippers Car Wash on Sheldon Road

The car wash is located just north of Linebaugh Avenue next to the Shell gas station. The lacrosse team will receive a percentage of the car wash fee every time the special code 1300 is used between April 23 and May 23. Drivers simply enter the number 1300 into the Coupon Code bar on the entry unit payment screen and select the desired wash ($6, $9, or $12). That's it! The code can be used for multiple visits during the timeframe. Thank you for supporting the Alonso Lacrosse team!

The next PTSA/SAC meeting is scheduled for May 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Both the Athletic Booster Club and the PTSA organizations support Alonso students and teachers and need your help! Volunteer opportunities are available. The time commitments vary and can be as little or as much time as you want have. Please join this dedicated group of parents, teachers, and administrators in support of your child’s education and well-being!

Please contact us at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com/contact-us.html to learn more about how you can help or to just learn more about student life at Alonso High School.

Go, Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

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Ravens Announce Auditions, Fundraisers and Scholarships

The Alonso Lacrosse team is having an Eat Wings Raise Funds event at Buffalo Wild Wings in Oldsmar on Wednesday, April 6.

A certificate must be printed and handed to the server when seated or prior to ordering. Certificates can be requested by e-mailing jodymcdevitt@icloud.com or downloaded from the Booster Club’s Web site, http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com/home.html Pleas.e come out enjoy some hand-spun wings and support the lacrosse team!

Auditions for Alonso’s elite performance group, Encore, are coming up soon. Encore is the production-based class for theater that produces all of Alonso’s theatrical productions, competes in district and state level competitions, and holds workshops with professional actors and designers.  The class is offered the last period of the day.  There is an afterschool commitment required to participate in this program. An informational meeting will be held at Alonso High School on Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. for those who wish to audition. A parent or legal guardian must be present. 

At the meeting, parents will sign program paperwork and sign up for an audition slot, review the Encore contract and expectations. Participants will be able to ask any questions. If you are unable to make the meeting, you must contact Mrs. Vorreiter at lisa.vorreiter@sdhc.k12.fl.us

Participants must prepare an audition performance, which will take approximately 15 minutes.  The audition date this year is Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Please e-mail Mrs. Vorreiter for details or find out audition information at the informational meeting.

The Alonso Theatre Department is very excited about its spring musical In The Heights. The show will be presented Memorial Day weekend (Thursday-Saturday.)  Please contact lisa.vorretier@sdhc.k12.fl.us for information.  You won't want to miss this show!

Both the Booster Club and PTSA are offering scholarships for eligible seniors. The Booster Club is awarding two $500 scholarships. Meanwhile, the Alonso PTSA is awarding two scholarships valued at $250 each and the Florida PTA is awarding a $2,000 scholarship. Check out the Booster Club Scholarship page for more details at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com/scholarships.html

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The next Booster Club meeting is scheduled for April 20 at 5:30 p.m. and the next PTSA/SAC meeting is scheduled for April 27 at 5:30 p.m. Both organizations support Alonso students and teachers and need your support! Volunteer opportunities are available. Please join this dedicated group of parents, teachers and administrators in support of your child’s education and well-being!

Go, Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Seeking A-Team Sponsors

Alonso is seeking local businesses to sponsor the high school’s A-Team program.

The A-Team program provides T-shirts to reward high-performing students who have received straight A’s in a grading period. The investment is approximately $2,000-3,000. The return, however, is that the students wear the T-shirts, marketing the local business across the Tampa Bay community.

Please contact Mr. Scott Hazlett at scott.hazlett@sdhc.k12.fl.us if you would like to be a part of this opportunity!

Go, Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

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Raven Runners Win Top GPA Award

Alonso High School senior runner Zach Smagowicz proudly describes himself as a student-athlete.

“The ‘student’ part is first,’’ he said. “It’s great to be on a team like that.’’

Now the Ravens are being recognized for their academic prowess.

Alonso scored a 3.683 grade-point average, the top mark for a Hillsborough County boys cross-country-team, earning the Ravens a spot in the Jan. 28 Fall Sports Awards at the county’s school-district office, edging past Steinbrenner (3.647) and Hillsborough (3.633).

“We are very proud of their accomplishment,’’ Alonso coach Roger Mills said. “Distance runners are a unique group of people. They know how to grind through difficult times. When you are running 40 miles in a week, you learn to deal with fatigue. They grind through and give that little extra academically as well.’’

Mills said the award was a direct result of 2013, when Alonso’s girls cross-country team captured the county’s academic award. The boys runners took note and made it a priority.
In the fall, with dismissal at 3 p.m., Alonso doesn’t stage its practices until 6, due to warmer weather. That break gives the runners a chance to begin their academics.

“Most of our guys take full advantage of that,’’ Mills said. “They get their homework and projects done instead of coming home after practice, exhausted, having put everything off until the night.

“When you’re a true student-athlete, you must learn about priorities and time management in order to succeed. I think our guys have really done that.’’

Six Alonso cross-country athletes live in Westchase – Nick Habryl, Evan Pierson, James Sanchez, William Santiero, Austin Urso and Justin Vidmar.

Others who played part in the GPA compilation included Fernando Camacho, Connor Halden, Andrew Huizinga, Bailey Nichols, Darren Tran, Marvin Vasquez and Augie Wilkens.

“It was really great news to hear about this award,’’ said Urso, a resident of The Fords. “I think it says a lot about our team. It means we have guys who are reliable. They know how to set goals and achieve them.

“It’s not to say every day is easy because it isn’t. But you learn what you have to do and you find ways to get it done. When you’re in a sport, you have to be on top of things academically and not fall behind.’’

Smagowicz, president of Alonso’s student body, said the coaches respect the school’s academic demands and insist upon balance.

“When you have coaches and people at home who emphasize that, it becomes your priority and your way of life,’’ Smagowicz said. “Believe me, I have the procrastination gene, so I have to push myself as does everyone on the team at times.

“But when it’s instilled in you to do your best, whether it’s academics or running, you find ways to stay on the straight and narrow. You’re not the only one going through the struggle. You commiserate with your teammates and you know, in the end, we’re going to get through it together. It’s a good lesson to learn.’’

Mills said he is fortunate to have a team of “bright and self-motivated kids.’’ He hopes the award will motivate other Alonso teams and has made it a personal goal to see the same achievement with his track and field teams.

“What you learn is the fact that athletic scholarships in some of the sports are few and far between,’’ Mills said. “And even the ones that are offered are not full rides. Your academic profile becomes critically important to your ability to continue on in college.

“We discuss that with all our kids at the beginning of the year. We tell them: do not let your sport get in the way of our academic profile. You can’t allow that.’’

Mills said he encourages his runners to tell him about their daily academic progress. If someone has fallen behind or needs extra time to complete a project, flexibility is often granted so the academic work can be completed.

“It’s all about having your priorities in order,’’ Mills said. “We have to clearly understand why we are here. We are coaches, yes, but more to the point, we are educators, teachers. If they have a pressing academic situation, we will give them the time they need and make it work with the practice schedule or the competition.

“It’s very rewarding to see them reap the benefits of their hard work, whether it’s in the classroom or at the meets. This award is tangible evidence of the work they put in and it’s something for all of them to have pride in.’’

By Joey Johnston

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Alonso Wins Shirley Hord Learning Team Award

We congratulate Alonso High School for receiving the Shirley Hord Learning Team Award!

The Shirley Hord Learning Team Award honors a school-based team that demonstrates excellence in professional learning. The award recognizes a school team that successfully implements a cycle of continuous improvement for professional learning that results in student achievement.

Alonso's Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) was nominated and they won the award out of 14 finalists. They will receive $2,500 plus additional recognition at the national conference and in the Learning Forward publications.

As a reminder, the Alonso High School Ravens Baseball 2015 Saladino and District Champions will be hosting a golf tournament fundraiser at the Westchase Golf Club on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 at 1 p.m. This is a great opportunity to support a nationally ranked baseball program, which has won two state titles, four Saladino Championships, three district titles and four regional titles.  Please see the article on page 38 for more information.

In other news, Alonso’s programming season has begun. Students will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their guidance counselor to discuss their plans for future courses of study. It is imperative that parents pay attention to the programming sheet your student brings home. Be sure to check the electives your student has chosen to ensure that you approve of his or her choices. Please keep in mind that, although a student may mark an elective as his or her 10th choice, the student may very well end up in that class.

Be sure to engage in a conversation with your student regarding Advanced Placement courses, their rigorous content, and their time commitment beyond the normal school day. Too often students bite off more than they can chew with Advanced Placement classes. Alonso wants your student to be successful in every course in which they enroll.

Should you have any questions regarding programming or courses offered in the 2016-2017 school year, please contact the school.

TGI Fridays Spirit Night

TGI Fridays Spirit Night is on Dec. 18 from 3 p.m. to closing at the TGI Fridays on Hillsborough Avenue. Please mention Alonso PTSA and TGI Fridays will donate a portion of the proceeds to the PTSA, which supports the student and teachers at Alonso High School!

Important December Dates

2 Competitive Cheerleading at Middleton (6:30 p.m.)
4-5  Wrestling at Chamberlain
5 Girls JV Basketball at Alonso – Jefferson, Sickles (9 a.m./10:30 a.m.)
5 Boys JV Basketball at Wharton – Riverview, Alonso (10:30 a.m./Noon)
8 Competitive Cheerleading at Armwood (6:30 p.m.)
12 Girls JV Basketball at Alonso – Plant, Robinson (10:30 a.m./Noon)
12 Boys JV Basketball at Leto – Alonso, Plant (9 a.m./10:30 a.m.)
16 Competitive Cheerleading at Plant (6:30 p.m.)
18 Alonso PTSA Spirit Night at TGI Fridays (3 p.m.-close)
19 Wrestling at Hillsborough
19 Girls JV Basketball at Wharton – Riverview, Alonso (10:30/Noon)
19 Boys JV Basketball at Alonso – Sickles, Jefferson (9 a.m./10:30 a.m.)
21 Winter Break Begins

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Baseball Fundraiser Jan. 2

The Alonso High School Ravens Baseball 2015 Saladino and District Champions will be hosting a golf tournament fundraiser at the Westchase Golf Club on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 at 1 p.m.

The format is a four-person team scramble. This is a great opportunity to support a nationally ranked baseball program, which has two state titles, four Saladino Championships, three district titles and four regional titles.

They recently completed the installation of new battling cages, made possible from the proceeds of last year’s tournament.

The Alonso golf tournament is seeking golfers and sponsors as well as donations of food, drink, and raffle prizes. All donations are tax deductible.

The price for an individual golfer is $100, which includes greens/cart fees and dinner banquet. Several levels of sponsorships are available, ranging from $100 to $2,500, including hole signs, field banners and corporate sponsors. The tournament offers many awards for golfers including winning teams, low gross and low net, closest to the pin, longest drives and putting contest.

To receive more information, registration and sponsorship applications or to make any type of donation, please contact Cathy Fahrman at 508-6242.

Thank you for supporting your Alonso Ravens!

Go Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

Important November Dates

6 Boys Varsity Soccer @ Blake, 6:30 p.m.; Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Bishop Verot, 8 p.m.
10 Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Robinson, 6:30 p.m.; Girls Varsity Basketball @ Sickles, 7 p.m.; Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Robinson, 8 p.m.
11 Veterans Day: No School
12 Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Robinson, 7 p.m.
13 Boys Varsity Soccer @ Steinbrenner, 6:30 p.m.
16 Boys Varsity Basketball @ Spoto, 6:30 p.m.; Girls Varsity Basketball @ Spoto, 8 p.m.
17 Boys Varsity Soccer @ Plant, 6:30 p.m.
18 Boys Varsity Basketball @ Jefferson, 6:30 p.m.; Girls Varsity Basketball @ Jefferson, 8 p.m.
20 Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Lake Minneola, 3:30 p.m.; Boys Varsity Soccer @ Plant City, 6:30 p.m.; Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Newsome, 6:30 p.m.; Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Newsome, 8 p.m.
21 Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Seabreeze, 10 a.m.
23-27  Thanksgiving Break: No School

Important December Dates

1 Girls Varsity Soccer @ PHU, 6 p.m.; Girls Varsity Basketball @ Riverview,6 p.m.; Boys Varsity Basketball @ Riverview, 6:30 p.m.; Boys Varsity Soccer @ PHU, 8 p.m.

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Alonso Booster Club Seeks Support

It’s not too late to join the Booster Club.

The Alonso High School Booster Club offers the ability for teams and clubs to do multiple fundraisers throughout the year. It provides a means for the teams and clubs to use our concession stand as a fundraiser. Memberships are sold to offset the cost of various items such as insurance, maintenance of the concession stand and equipment, and annual CPA audits. The Booster Club is currently trying to increase the general fund to help teams and clubs with school equipment, score boards, teacher breakfasts and any other expense that would benefit Alonso.

One way to support the Booster Club is to purchase a Hillsborough County Activity Card. This is an athletic admission card that is only available through the Booster Club and provides access to all regular season athletic events at both the high school and middle school levels within Hillsborough County (excludes preseason, postseason and tournament events). A student activity card is only $55. There is also a 10 event card for only $25. Forms are available online at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com or in the school’s front office.

PDQ Gift Cards are also still available for sale! The cost is $6 for a $10 gift card and can be purchased online at Square Marketplace on http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com

The PTSA needs volunteers to join the PTSA Board in positions of leadership (e.g., president, treasurer, etc.) Please reach out to alonsoptsa@gmail.com to offer assistance.

The PTSA’s vision is to make every student’s potential a reality through advocacy and support of their education and well‐being. Each year our PTSA sponsors many programs, like the Positive Behavior Program, that benefit all students.

Go, Ravens!

Important October Dates

1  Volleyball @ Chamberlain
1 JV Football vs Hillsborough
1 Swimming vs Strawberry Crest (PC YMCA)
2 Varsity Football @ Palm Harbor
6 Volleyball vs Hillsborough
9 Varsity Football vs Robinson (Homecoming)
13 Varsity Volleyball vs Leto
15 Varsity Volleyball @ Bloomingdale
15  Swimming vs Bloomingdale
16 Varsity Football @ Riverview
23 End of First Grading Period
23 Varsity Football vs Steinbrenner (Middle School Band Night)
26 Non-Student Day
30 Varsity Football vs Sarasota Riverview (Senior Night)

By Belinda Krauss

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Raven Football Team Aims to Get Job Done

The Alonso High School football team’s approach can be described in one word.

Chop!

“It’s what we have become,’’ Ravens coach Brian Emanuel said. “We’re focused on chopping that wood, focused on that small spot. We can’t worry about outside things or things we can’t control. We’re all about trying to get better every day.’’

Chop!

“I think we’re a bash-first team,’’ Ravens fullback/defensive end Omar Lupuku said. “We’re going to bash you. We’re going to hit you first. We’re not going to finesse you. We’re going to try and go right through you.’’

Chop!

“We’re trying to build a new identity for ourselves,’’ said Ravens safety Chase Owens, a Radcliffe resident. “It’s like when you’re chopping down a tree. That mentality drives us when we don’t want to go to practice, when it’s a rainy day. You get your work done. When you are finished, you are a success.’’

The Ravens hope that approach translates to more success on the field. Last season produced a 3-7 mark, when expectations were for a winning season and perhaps a playoff berth, but Emanuel envisions a drastic improvement.

Emanuel said he believes Alonso will have its best defense since he became the head coach in 2011. The offense is more of a question mark because the skill-position players are young, but scoring 20 points against Gaither in one spring-jamboree half was a positive.

For offensive production, the key rests with the offensive line, which returns four starters from 2014.

With tackles Julian Cruz and Bennett Newton, guards Deandre Coley and Phillip Jackson, plus center David Greenberg, Emanuel said the Ravens have a protective that will allow running backs Derrick Walker and Josh Elias to thrive. Formidable blocking is a bonus for young quarterbacks Alex Laccabue (sophomore) and Shaye Scott (freshman), who have talent but need game experience.

Defensively, the Ravens will rely on free safety Raj Ballinger, defensive lineman Obie Cruz and Owens, who has been nicknamed “The Professor’’ by coaches because of his on-field intelligence and leadership.

“We had a rough season last year, obviously, and we lost a couple of key players,’’ Owens said. “But I think we have talent and I think we are all-in behind what the coaches are doing. We’re pulling in the same direction and that’s going to help a lot.’’

Emanuel said Alonso’s offense can play a power-running game, thanks to the veteran offensive line, but also can go to more of a wide-open spread attack, if necessary.

“I think we’ll be able to move the ball, but I’m really excited about our defense,’’ said Emanuel, whose team was scheduled to open the regular season Aug. 28 at Sickles, after WOW deadline. “It’s fun as heck to watch them practice. They’re flying around and making plays. As an offensive guy, they are hard to practice against.

“We are young, but not too young. Nine of our defensive starters are juniors so we have a chance to really build something. We’ve got some very talented skill players who just need experience. Overall, I like the way we look. And I like our approach.’’

Chop!

By Joey Johnston

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Ravens Track Fundraiser Continues

Welcome back Alonso students, teachers, administrators and volunteers!

The Alonso track and field team is "running for a new track" and asks the community and local businesses to support the rubber track fund to replace the school’s track. The estimated cost to replace the track is $135,000. Principal Hart has pledged $50,000 from the school district’s Hillsborough Education Fund. That leaves $85,000 to be raised. Alonso has established a GoFundMe account (http://www.gofundme.com/uyaus8). Donations can also be made through the Booster Club, which is also selling banners for $300 (one year) and $500 (two years) to be displayed at the track.

Please support this very worthy cause, which will make a huge difference at Alonso for years to come!

Remember to join the booster club and purchase your annual activity cards. Forms are available online at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com or in the front office. Your booster club membership helps support the club, which operates and maintains the concession stand, awards scholarships, and assist clubs/teams with special needs throughout the year. Contact Tracy Urso or Annmarie Freiermuht at turso@tampbay.rr.com or annmarief@ij.net for more information.

The next booster general meeting will be Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the media center.
The Booster Club once again has PDQ gift cards available for sale! The cost is $6 for a $10 gift card. You can purchase these online at the Square Marketplace on the Booster Club’s Web site, http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com
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Also, please join the PTSA and SAC (School Advisory Council). Attending their monthly meetings will keep you informed of Alonso’s academic and school events. Contact Kate Tancrell at kate.tancrell@sdhc.k12.fl.us to be added to the SAC/PTSA e-mail distribution list. The schedule for our upcoming SAC/PTSA 2015 meetings follows:

Tue, Sept. 29: Conference Night; SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center
Wed, Oct. 28: SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center
Wed, Nov. 18: SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center
Wed, Dec. 16: SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center

Visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org/ for more information regarding events and times.

All of these programs support the students, teachers and staff at Alonso!

Thank you for your support! Go, Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

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Ravens Return to Classrooms

With the summer having flown by, it’s back to school!

The first order of business is to welcome back the teachers and staff. A hot breakfast will be provided to more than 200 teachers and staff on Aug. 17, at 7 a.m. If anyone is willing to contribute any breakfast food, please contact Tonya Sanchez at tsanch22@aol.com.

Prior to that time, Alonso will host the Freshman Success Academy (Soar with S.W.A.G.) on Aug. 11-13.

Alonso’s open house will be Thursday, Aug. 20, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All students and parents are welcome to attend. Student schedules will be available as well as information on school activities/opportunities and volunteer needs for parents. Several clubs and memberships are worth checking out.

Students return to school Aug. 25.

Booster Club

Alonso Booster Club memberships are now available for the 2015-16 school year. All proceeds go directly to the Alonso Booster Club to maintain the concession stand, fund scholarships, fund school improvements, and much more. This year we are hoping to increase team memberships and award team grants, so support your child’s team and become a member today. Memberships start at $20 for a parent and $5 for a student.

County activity cards are available only through the booster club. The county card allows you admission into all home and away Hillsborough County sporting events at both the middle and high school levels (excluding pre- and post-season events). The card is a great way to save money if your student is playing a sport and you plan on attending the event as a family. Contact Tracy Urso or Annmarie Freiermuht at turso@tampbay.rr.com or annmarief@ij.net for more information.

The next booster general meeting will be Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the media center.

Band Boosters

The Band Boosters are for the Alonso Band and Touch of Class Dance Team students. Similar to the Booster Club, the Band Boosters is organized and run by parents of students in the band and dance team. The Band Boosters’ function is to support the financial needs of the band and dance students as well as organize the many volunteers needed during the school year. Time commitments are determined by the volunteer. For more information contact Band Director Melanie DuBay.

PTSA and SAC

At the PTSA and School Advisory Council (SAC) monthly meetings, parents and students have first-hand access to school leaders. Participants learn new academic strategies and keep apprised of new testing and state/district standards. The time commitment is a few e-mails and a one- to two-hour meeting per month.

The PTSA is looking for a few volunteers willing to staff a SAC/PTSA booth at the Aug. 20 open house. Alonso magnets and a PTSA membership will be for sale at $10 for a membership and magnet or $6 for the PTSA membership. For more information please contact Kate Tancrell at kate.tancrell@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

The schedule for our upcoming SAC/PTSA 2015 meetings follows:

Tue, Sept. 29: SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center
Wed, Oct. 28: SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center
Wed, Nov. 18: SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center
Wed, Dec. 16: SAC, 5:30 p.m.; PTSA, 6 p.m., Media Center

August Alonso Sports

18 Cross Country at Equestrian Trail, Watermelon Run, 5 p.m.
21 Varsity Football at Countryside, 7:30 p.m.
22 Cross Country at Steinbrenner, 7 a.m.
24 Volleyball at Gaither, 7 p.m.
25 Golf Team at Silver Dollar vs. Robinson/Tampa Prep, 4 p.m.
26 Cross Country at Wharton, 5 p.m.
27 Volleyball at Freedom, 7 p.m.
27 Swim Team at Pebble Creek vs. Wharton, 5 p.m.
27 Golf Team at Hunters Green vs. Wharton, 2 p.m.
28 Varsity Football at Sickles, 7:30 p.m.
31 Golf Team at Macdill AFB vs. Plant/Steinbrenner, 3 p.m.

Visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org/ for more events and times.

Go, Ravens!

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Construction to Add New Classroom Wing and Enlarge Cafeteria

With its student population bursting at the seams, parts of Alonso High School will be under construction this fall.

The new addition will ensure the school’s growing enrollment can be better accommodated for the 2016-17 school year.

Plans are still being finalized, but the Hillsborough County School District has approved a three-pronged project that will see the addition of 20 classrooms, a cafeteria that will be some 30 percent larger and a beefed-up administrative wing.

Last year Alonso already was the county’s largest high school with an enrollment of 2,650. Alonso principal Kenneth Hart said projections have the school adding between 200 and 300 additional students in the fall, pushing the potential enrollment figure to nearly 3,000.

Alonso’s 2015 graduating class was 530 in June. Hart said the incoming freshman class could be nearly 750.

“We are growing – and we are growing at a rapid rate,’’ Hart said. “All the exact numbers depend on many things, who goes to I.B. (International Baccalaureate), who goes to a magnet school, who gets home-schooled. But the numbers are definitely increasing and clearly, we knew that it was an issue that needed to be addressed.

“If you drive around our area, you see a lot of new townhomes and a lot of single-family homes. There are just more people. In this area, Sickles appears to be maxed out and Steinbrenner appears to be maxed out. There’s just no space. We have the land and infrastructure, so we are the choice for growth.’’

Hart speculated there might come a day when the Westchase area needs a new high school, but said he doesn’t see that as an immediate, viable option.

“The choice is to expand on existing schools and existing buildings to the point where that makes sense,’’ Hart said. “Right now, this is our best plan. There might come a time where somebody has to say, ‘OK, we can’t keep expanding. We need another high school.’ But we are not there yet.

“We have the ability to grow. It will give us more diversity and the ability to offer more opportunities to more kids. I don’t see a downside to it as long as we can accommodate everyone’s needs.’’

But the coming school year will have its share of inconveniences, Hart said. He expects construction to commence after the school day and run through the evening, probably making the cafeteria off-limits for some groups that utilized the space for after-school projects. Parking could be more cramped and might need to be juggled. Some of the school’s entry points, particularly in the administrative area, could be shifted around in the short-term.

Overall, though, Hart said short-term inconveniences will be worth it for the expanded space.
“Ultimately, it will be wonderful to have 20 additional classrooms,’’ Hart said. “Will that solve everything? No, it won’t. In a perfect world, we probably could use 30 additional classrooms, but it will help immensely.’’

Hart said Alonso has 150 teachers on its staff. Last school year, about 20 of them were “floaters,’’ meaning they didn’t have a home-based classroom, shifting from spot to spot, teaching in the best available classroom. This fall, Hart estimates there will be about 33 floating teachers. Every classroom, every period, every day will have a teacher, so there is zero wiggle room.

“I salute these teachers, who are essentially teaching from a cart, because they are doing the best job possible with their circumstances,’’ Hart said. “But floating teachers isn’t a good educational practice. They don’t get the opportunity to prepare as well, so the additional classrooms will really help us in that regard.

“None of us is looking forward to the numbers of teachers who float. This will not be a student problem because the students float all day, going from class to class. We have tried to centralize the floaters, so they don’t have to travel far. We want the disruptions to be minimal. Even with the potential inconveniences, we all have the same responsibility to get to class on time. That’s really the bottom line.’’

Hart said Alonso’s growth should mean the school will acquire another nurse and guidance counselor, potentially another assistant principal, along with additional clerical staff.

Anticipating the future, Hart is heartened by a new 20-classroom wing that is connected by a second-floor bridge to the existing walkway. He loves the idea of an expanded cafeteria, so students aren’t so cramped. And more space in the administrative offices is a must.

That’s for the future.

In the present, he said, there will be construction and inconveniences. He is hopeful that Alonso’s teachers and students will work together to make everything work efficiently during this school year.

“We have a wonderful Alonso community and I think our future is indeed very bright,’’ Hart said. “This year might have its challenges, but we are working to make sure that it runs as smoothly as possible.’’

By Joey Johnston

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Alonso Track Sees Great Success

In the 2014-2015 school year Alonso received some top awards and many teams made it farther than before.

We congratulate all of them and wish a special goodbye to our graduating seniors. Good luck wherever the next year takes you!

We also congratulate the Alonso Baseball team for capturing the 8A District championship!
Our congratulations also go out to the Alonso Track team for their successes at the Class 4A District 6 finals at Wharton on April 15. The Ravens brought home four gold medals. Alyssa Jones won the shot put, Zantavious Showers took gold in the long jump, and Alonso was victorious in the Boys 4 x 400 and 4 x 800. The school also qualified 27 athletes for regionals, and broke three school records.

At regionals in late April the Ravens also captured gold in the Girls 4 x 100 (Kiaris Felix, Dejuana Grace, Tia Steward, Megan Wetzel), the Boys 4 x 400 (Isaiah Cameron, Giovanni Woodall, Emanuel Fuller, Jawaun Stuckey) and the Boys 4 x 800 (Cameron, Conner Halden, Fuller, Stuckey) and advanced 13 athletes to the state championships in Jacksonville, the most in school history.

At the 4A state championships on May 2, the Alonso boys 4 x 800 team finished sixth and smashed the school mark by almost four seconds, setting a new school record of 8:04.62. In the shot put, Jones and Kianna WIilliams also finished in the medals, grabbing the sixth and eighth spot respectively.

Way to go, Ravens!

Students will not have access to Alonso High School over the summer until Aug. 1 due to a major painting/restoration project encompassing the entire building. The main office area will remain open throughout the project. Also, the school district has approved the construction of a new wing of classrooms and a cafeteria expansion expected to be complete by Aug. 1, 2016.
We offer our special thanks to Janet Golka and Bruce Simpson, two Athletic Booster Club board members who are leaving. You will be greatly missed and we wish you the best with your newfound freedom! If you are interested in being a part of the Booster Club in 2015-16, contact them at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com

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Important June Dates

5 Graduation, 1 p.m. at Florida State Fairgrounds
8-11 Cheer Tryouts, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Davidsen Middle School Gymnasium
9 Fall Sports Night, 6 p.m. in Alonso’s Auditorium

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Media Center Offers AP Test Prep Help

Did you know that there are free resources that can help your Alonso student ace that AP exam?

Simply send your student to the Media Center to ask for the AP class practice tests. The media specialists can also assist students with other test and education resources, where they can study online 24/7. It’s like a one stop place to read and research. The resources include the Britannica Online Encyclopedias, health and wellness, psychology, fine arts and music, as well, as popular and classic fiction and nonfiction ebooks. They can even access the library resources from most smart phones. It’s like having a library in your pocket.

Dance Tryouts
The dates for Alonso dance team tryouts are Monday, April 27, through Thursday, April 30, beginning at 3:30 p.m. each afternoon. Contact Mrs. DuBay or Coach Ristom for more information.

Booster Club/PTSA/SAC
The booster club will be sending out the scholarship forms the first part of April. Be sure to submit yours by the May deadline. We are also seeking new parents for the 2015-16 board. If you are interested in being a part of the booster club, please contact Tracy Urso for more information. The next Alonso Booster Club meeting is May 12.

The next SAC/PTSA meeting is scheduled for April 15 at 5:30 p.m. Contact Kate Tancrell at kate.tancrell@sdhc.k12.fl.us for more information.

Go, Ravens!

APRIL

3 No School
11 Saturday Success Academy
16 NHS Inductions, 7 p.m.
25 AP Practice Exams/Saturday Success Academy
27-30 Dance Team Tryouts, 3:30 p.m.

Visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org for more information.

By Belinda Krauss

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Ravens Cheerleaders a Jump Above the Rest!

The Alonso Competition Cheerleading Squad had another incredible season! 

Under the direction of their coaches, Karrie Hawkins and Marcus Knight, the girls worked extremely hard and ended the season as Regional Champions. They placed second in the Western Conference and third at State. Congratulations to everyone for making it happen! We are looking forward to a great season next year!

Meanwhile, the Ravens wrestling team is “taking down” their season with two upcoming tournaments. On March 6 they will tackle Regionals at Kissimmee and March 13-14 will see our wrestlers competing at State in the same location. Please come and cheer the team on!

The Alonso Band and Dancers are kicking off a lawn service fundraiser to finance program related expenses (e.g., transportation to competitions, instrument maintenance and repairs, purchase of a trailer for transporting instruments and equipment) not funded by the school.  J&M Lawn Service Company will charge you 10 percent less than what you are currently paying and also donate five percent of your monthly billing back to Alonso's Band and Dance Team each month. Check them out and support the band and dancers.

The Alonso Booster Club is seeking parents and coaches to be a part of the 2015-16 board. Many positions are open for various levels of time commitments. If you are interested, please contact the booster club at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com

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Go, Ravens!

MARCH

3-6 Band FBA MPA
9-13 Spring Break
19-20  Thespian Showcase
21  JROTC Drill
21  Saturday Success Academy
27  End of Third Nine Weeks
28  Raven Pride Day
28  Saturday Success Academy

Visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org for more information.

By Belinda Krauss

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Raven Softballers Set Lofty Goals

The Alonso High School softball team is intent on moving forward instead of looking back.

But who can blame the veteran Ravens for wondering what might have been?

It was a magical 2014 season, which included a 22-5 record, a memorable 7-6, 13-inning, rain-delayed victory against Bloomingdale for the district championship and the program’s first-ever playoff victory.

After a 3-1 loss against that same Bloomingdale team in the region semifinals, the Ravens could only watch as the red-hot Bulls, the district runners-up, kept steamrolling through the postseason and eventually captured the Class 8A state championship.

“It was heartbreaking (losing in the region semifinals),’’ Alonso coach Robin Kopp said. “There’s nothing worse than hearing from a bunch of coaches, ‘Well, I thought you guys were going to go all the way.’ We had seen that team (Bloomingdale) many times before and knew what they had. They were stronger when it mattered.

“We had knocked on the door for a while and finally kicked it in (winning the district championship), but I can’t sit here and say, ‘Hey, we won the district championship.’ We have a lot of new players and they want to win a district championship of their own. And I think the bar has been raised. I think we have the tradition and expectations where that will become (a regular occurrence).’’

The Ravens will surely miss a pair of Tampa Tribune first-team all-county players – all-everything, power-hitting shortstop Jessica Warren, now at Florida State, and top pitcher Kayla Maxwell, now at the University of Houston.

But Kopp said she’s pleased with Alonso’s main feeder system, the players from Keystone Little League who are largely Westchase residents, which promises to keep the Ravens as a dominant program for years to come.

“When we first started the program (Alonso opened in 2001), we only had a handful of players who had a competitive softball background,’’ Kopp said. “Now that Keystone’s league has been up and running for some time now, we’re starting to see players come through with deep, competitive backgrounds. They are ready to play and contribute the minute they arrive. It allows you to be more selective because you’re dealing with a whole roster of kids who have top-level experience.’’

Kopp was hesitant to single out new players until the games begin, but she is confident that freshman Madison Coutts, a Westchase resident, will take over at catcher. Coutts was part of Keystone’s most successful softball era, a team that won a state championship and twice finished second at state in the age group from 9-12.
The Ravens return three outfielders, including senior Westchase resident Megan Wetzel and her younger sister, sophomore Amanda Wetzel, along with junior Laura Diaz.

The older Wetzel, president of the senior class and yearbook editor, is one of Alonso’s top athletes. She also competes as a sprinter in track and field, making for some interesting schedule conflicts. Last season, the district track and field meet and district softball tournament were held on the same day. Wetzel ran the 200-meter preliminaries, but couldn’t run in the final because by then she had to leave Wharton High School for Riverview, site of the softball event. As the lineups were being introduced, she made it to the stadium.

“Megan has a lot on her plate, but she manages to excel at everything,’’ Kopp said. “She will fill an important role for us.’’

The Ravens also have returning experience with first baseman Allison Carroll and pitcher Megan Chaplow, who is expecting to fill Maxwell’s role as the No. 1 starter. “She has worked hard and it’s her time to shine,’’ Kopp said.

Kopp added she believes last year’s banner season instilled a lot of pride, but also will serve as motivation for loftier goals.

“We are going to be very young, but it seems like with all the freshmen we have, at least one of them has played in the positions where we have gaps,’’ Kopp said. “They are used to success and winning.

“For the returning players, whether they were a starter or substitute, they got a taste of what it was like. They saw what was possible with hard work and focus on the team. I think once you see that, it’s what you want and it’s the goal you strive for. We did lose some great players, but I think our program is now at the level where we’re not going to miss a beat.’’

By Joey Johnston

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Alonso PTSA Seeking New Members

Joining the Alonso High School PTSA holds great benefits.

Joining will enable you to be involved, stay informed, meet our administrators and support our students and teachers!

Membership is only $6 and we are selling Alonso High School magnets for only $6. For a limited time, you can get both the magnet and membership for only $10! Just complete the PTSA Membership form and send it in with your payment to the front office.

Our next Booster Club/SAC/PTSA meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 5:30 p.m. (At deadline the meeting location had not yet been set.)

Visit the Booster Club’s Square Marketplace at https://squareup.com/market/alonso-high-school-booster-club for the latest Alonso Booster Club merchandise!

Go, Ravens!

FEBRUARY

2 JV Wrestling at Wharton
3-4 Baseball Pre Season Classic
3-4 Boys Basketball: District Tournament
5   Faculty/Student Basketball Game
6   No School
7   Boys Basketball: District Final
8 JV Wrestling at Brandon
10 Wrestling vs. Sickles
13-14  Wrestling: Ippolito Tournament
14   ROTC Drill at Plant
14  Saturday Success Academy
14  ACT Prep
17  Wrestling at Chamberlain
18  Alonso Booster/SAC/PTSA Meeting
20-21  Solo/Ensemble
20-21  Wrestling: County Championship
24  Band Concert
25  SAT Day
26  Conference Night
26-28  Orchestra MPA
26-28  Drama: “Musical Review”
27  Wrestling: Districts
28  JROTC Drill at Anclote
28  Saturday Success Academy

Visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org/ for more information.

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Welcomes Principal Hart

On Jan. 5, Alonso Ravens will welcome a new school leader!

Alonso High School’s Principal Louis Diaz retired in November and we thank him for his tireless commitment to the school and its students and wish him the best of luck in his retirement! Ken Hart will take the position of principal when the students return from Winter Break. We welcome him to Alonso High School and look forward to a continued relationship with Alonso High School and Mr. Hart. For more on Mr. Hart, please see page 16.

Alonso’s programming season for the 2015-2016 school year has begun. This is the time when students have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their guidance counselor to discuss their plans for future courses of study. It is imperative that you look over the programming sheet that your student brings home and double check the electives your student has chosen to ensure that you approve of his or her choices. There will be no schedule changes due to the Florida Class Size Amendment and the school’s inability to adjust teacher units.

Please keep in mind that, though a student may mark an elective as his or her tenth choice, the student may very well end up in that class. Furthermore, please engage in a conversation with your student regarding Advanced Placement courses, their rigorous course content, and their required time commitment beyond the normal school day. Too often students bite off more than they can chew with Advanced Placement classes. Alonso wants your student to be successful in every course in which they enroll. Remind them that signing up for Advanced Placement courses is about quality not quantity.

Should you have any questions regarding programming or courses offered in the 2015-2016 school year, please visit the school’s Web site at http://alonso.mysdhc.org and look under the Forms and Docs section to download the Curriculum Guide.

The next Booster Club/PTSA/SAC meeting will be held on Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Media Center.

Go, Ravens!

JANUARY

6 G/B Basketball @ Freedom
7 G/B Basketball vs. Bloomingdale
9 Wrestling @ Manatee
9 G/B Basketball vs. Wharton
9 Cheer @ RHS
9 G/B Soccer @ Middleton
10 Saturday Success Academy, 11 a.m.
12-16  Girls Soccer Districts @ Steinbrenner
13-16 Exams
16 End of Second Quarter
16 G/B Basketball vs. Riverview
16 Boys Soccer vs. Leto
19 No School
20-23 Boys Soccer Districts @ East Lake
21 G/B Basketball @ Jefferson
22 Orchestra All County Rehearsal
23 Reg Cheer @ Plant City
23 G/B Basketball vs. Sickles
23-24  All County Orchestra
24 Wrestling Divisionals
26 Boys Basketball vs. Blake
27 Boys Basketball @ HHS
27-30  Girls District Basketball Tournament
29-31  State Cheer @ Kissimmee
31 Wrestling @ Steinbrenner
31 Saturday Success Academy, 9 a.m.

Visit the school’s website (http://alonso.mysdhc.org/) for more information. For a complete Alonso events calendar, visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org/

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By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Wins Five Star School Award

The Florida Department of Education has once again awarded Alonso High School the Five Star School Award.

The Five Star School Award was created by the Commissioner's Community Involvement Council and is presented annually to schools that have shown evidence of exemplary community involvement. In order to earn recognition, a school must document that it has achieved 100 percent of the established criteria in the categories of: Business Partnerships, Family Involvement, Volunteerism, Student Community Service, and School Advisory Councils.

With the Five Star School Award in mind, the Alonso PTSA is still open to new members; please consider joining the Booster Club, the PTSA and the School Advisory Council to continue the tradition of exemplary community involvement. Visit http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com for more information. Thank you for your support!

The Alonso golf tournament fundraiser at the Westchase Golf Club on Saturday, Jan. 3, at 1 p.m. is still seeking golfers and sponsors as well as donations of food, drink, and door/raffle prizes. All donations are tax deductible and checks should be made payable to the AHS Booster Club. The price for an individual golfer is $100, which includes greens/cart fees, dinner banquet, golf awards, and door prizes. Non-golfers can purchase dinner-only tickets. There will be additional contests and raffles that golfer can buy on the day of the event. Several levels of sponsorships are also available, ranging from $100 to $2,500, including hole sponsorships, Alonso baseball field corporate banners, and others.  For more information, registration and sponsorship applications, or to make any type of donation, please contact Cathy Fahrman at (813) 508-6242. Thanks in advance for your support of these great baseball players and Alonso High School Ravens Baseball program.

Congratulations to two Alonso swim team members, who went on to Regional competitions; Chase Psinakis for the 200 IM and 100 freestyle; and Paige Carter for the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Paige also went on to States for the 50 yard freestyle. Congratulations to Chase and Paige for their achievements!

Go, Ravens!

Important Dates

DECEMBER

4 B/G Basketball @ Bloomingdale, 6 p.m.
5 Wrestling @ Chamberlain; B/G Basketball vs. TBT, 6 p.m.; G/B Soccer @ Gaither, 6 p.m.
6 JROTC Raiders @ USF
8 G/B Soccer vs. Freedom, 6 p.m.
9 G/B Basketball @ Wharton, 6 p.m.; AP Parent Night, 6:30
10 G/B Basketball vs. Gaither, 6 p.m.; Cheer @ Leto, 6 p.m.
11 Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
12 G/B Basketball @ Riverview, 6 p.m.
13 Wrestling @ HHS, 9 a.m.
15 Band Concert, 7 p.m.
16 G/B Soccer vs. Steinbrenner, 6 p.m.
18 Cheer @ Leonard, 6 p.m.; G/B Soccer @ Sickles, 6 p.m.
19 Girls Basketball @ Plant, 7 p.m.; Wrestling @ Chamberlain
20 Wrestling @ Chamberlain
22  No School: Winter Break Begins

JANUARY

2 Girls Soccer Tournament
3 Girls Soccer Tournament
5 Schools Resume: Winter Break Ends

For a complete Alonso events calendar, visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org/

By Belinda Krauss

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Raven Golf Tournament Supporting Baseball, Jan. 3

The Alonso PTSA is still open to new members.

Please consider joining both the Booster Club and the PTSA.

Visit our Web site, http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com for m,ore information. PDQ Gift Cards are also still available for sale! The cost is $6 for a $10 gift card. You can purchase these online at the Square Marketplace and on the Booster Club’s Web site.

The 2014 Touch of Class Dancers will be hosting a junior dance camp on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 4-5, with a performance at the football game on Friday, Nov. 7, during halftime. Contact Belinda at bakrauss@verizon.net for more information.

The 2011 and 2009 Alonso High School Ravens Baseball Division 6A State Champions will be hosting a golf tournament fundraiser at the Westchase Golf Club on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 at 1 p.m. The format of the tournament is a four-person team, best ball scramble. Awards will be given for winning teams, closest to the pin, longest drives and a putting contest. This is a great opportunity to support an award-winning baseball program in our local community. All proceeds will go towards building new batting cages adjacent to the baseball field.

The Alonso golf tournament is seeking golfers and sponsors as well as donations of food, drink and door/raffle prizes. All donations are tax deductible and checks should be made payable to the AHS Booster Club. The price for an individual golfer is $100, which includes greens/cart fees, dinner banquet, golf awards and door prizes. Non-golfers can purchase dinner-only tickets. There will be additional contests and raffles that golfer can buy on the day of the event. Several levels of sponsorships are also available, ranging from $100 to $2,500, including hole sponsorships, Alonso baseball field corporate banners and other sponsorship opportunities.

For more information, registration and sponsorship applications, or to make any type of donation, please contact Cathy Fahrman at 508-6242. The tournament is limited to 144 golfers, first-come, first-served, so don’t delay. Sign up today.

Thanks in advance for your support of these great baseball players and Alonso High School Ravens Baseball program.

Go, Ravens!

Important Dates

NOVEMBER

1 Band/Dance @ Marching Band Music Performance Assessment
1 SAT Prep/Saturday Success Academy
1 The Addams Family Encore presentation, 7 p.m.
7 Football vs Sickles (Middle School Band/TOC Junior Dancers & Senior Night), 7 p.m.
8 Band/ROTC at Veterans Day Parade
11 No School – Veterans Day
15 Saturday Success Academy, 9 a.m.
24-28 No School: Thanksgiving Break

DECEMBER

2 Cheer Competition, 6 p.m.

For a complete calendar of all the events happening at AHS, visit http://alonso.mysdhc.org/

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By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Wins “A” School Grade

“A” is for Alonso.

Once again Alonso High School has received an “A” grade from the state of Florida. This accolade is due to the hard work of our dedicated staff, students and parents. Thank you for all your hard work. Let’s keep it going!

In other news, there is a new “house model” structure in place for the Alonso Guidance Department. This model allows a school counselor to work with the same group of students for all four of their high school years. The counselor starts with them as freshmen and moves through the years with them until graduation. See The Raven Flyer on the school’s Web site, http://alonso.mysdhc.org for s,chool counselor grade level assignments as well as these other important topics:

• Edsby
• Student Parent Online Toolkit (SPOT)
• Bell Schedule
• 2014 Fall Sports Schedule
• SAC and PTSA
• Attendance/Tardies
• Bus Route Information

It’s not too late to join the Booster Club and purchase a Hillsborough County Activity Card. This is an athletic admission card that is only available through the Booster Club and provides access to all regular season athletic events at both the high school and middle school levels within Hillsborough County (excludes preseason, postseason and tournament events). A student activity card is only $55. There is also a 10 event card for only $30. Forms are available online at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com or in the front office. Your Booster Club membership benefits students, athletes, teachers, coaches, teams and clubs throughout Alonso.

PDQ Gift Cards are also still available for sale! The cost is $6 for a $10 gift card. You can purchase these online at the Square Marketplace and also on the Booster Club’s Web site, http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com Check. it out!

Go, Ravens!

Important Dates

OCTOBER
1 Volleyball vs. Wharton, 6:15 p.m.
2 Varsity Football vs Bloomingdale, 7 p.m.
4 Saturday Success Academy, 9 a.m.
7 Volleyball vs. Riverview, 6:15 p.m.
10 Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
15 Raven Rampage, 7 p.m.
17 Varsity Football vs Wharton (HC), 7 p.m.
20 No School
24 Varsity Football @ Riverview, 7 p.m.
25 Saturday Success Academy, 9 a.m.
30 Drama (The Addam’s Family), 7 p.m.
31 Drama (The Addam’s Family), 7 p.m.
31 Varsity Football @ Plant, 7 p.m.

NOVEMBER
1 Saturday Success Academy, 9 a.m.
1 Drama (The Addam’s Family), 7 p.m.

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Football Fund-Raiser Hopes for Banner Year

Welcome back Alonso students, staff and volunteers!

Greg Callahan, Alonso’s offensive line coach, is looking for assistance from the community and local businesses by supporting the 2014 Banner Sales Campaign. For only $300 for one year or $500 for two years, your local business advertisement will be displayed on a 4’ x 6’ banner that hangs in the high school stadium. Each year the banner will be seen during six varsity football games, three JV football games, soccer games, flag football games, lacrosse matches, junior high school track, junior high school soccer, the TBYFL cheer off and Relay for Life.

This fundraiser benefits the community, local businesses and the high school athletics program by providing advertising for your business and funds for the school’s athletic program. The program ultimately benefits Alonso athletes by helping them grow, mature and build a great foundation. While the county provides the basic equipment, such as helmets, shoulder pads and mouthpieces, there are items that are not provided like mandatory insurance (which many athletes are unable to afford), uniforms, lightning detectors, video training tools and equipment and field paint. These are just a few of the many items that the county does not provide but are required to support a top-notch athletic program.

Please consider supporting this great fundraiser, which will benefit our community, your business, and the school’s athletic program. E-mail Coach Callahan at inf0@calipreps.net or alonsoravesfootball@hotmail.com for more information.

Remember to join the Alonso Booster Club and purchase your annual activity cards. Annual passes are available for students for only $55. Forms are available online at http://www.alonsoboosterclub.com or in the front office. Your booster club membership helps support the club, allowing us to operate and maintain the concession stand, award scholarships and assist clubs/teams with special needs throughout the year.

Attend the Booster Club general meeting, open to all parents, coaches, faculty and students, on Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Media Center. Contact turso@tampabay.rr.com for further information.
Also, please consider join the PTSA and serving on the School Advisory Council (SAC), where attending monthly meetings will keep you informed of academic and school events at Alonso!

Contact Kate Tancrell at kate.tancrell@sdhc.k12.fl.us to be added to the SAC/PTSA e-mail distribution list.

Thank you for your support! Go, Ravens!

September Dates

5 Football vs. Steinbrenner
6  Saturday Success Academy
9  Senior Parent Night, 6:30 p.m.
12  Football vs. East Bay
13  Swim Team Carwash at the 7-Eleven (Countryway and Linebaugh)
20 Saturday Success Academy
24  Progress Reports
29  Conference Night

Please see the school’s Web site for additional dates.

By Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Offers GAP Camp for Rising Freshmen

Alonso’s GAP Camp involves a one-week experience for any new student taking his or her much awaited journey into high school.

The goals of the camp are to support the successful transition of rising ninth graders, especially AVID students, into the high school environment. The program makes students aware of the school’s AP program, Bright Futures Scholarships, and college/university requirements. The camp will increase student success in the AP Human Geography course and on exam performance. There is no cost to participate. For more information, visit the guidance office. Camp dates are July 28-31 and Aug. 4-7.

Alonso invited parents to Join the School Advisory Council (SAC) and PTSA. What are the benefits of SAC? You’ll get to know about what is going on at Alonso and receive first-hand access to school leaders. Through these groups, you can build a relationship with the teachers and staff, have a voice in your child’s school, learn new strategies to help your students academically and become aware of new testing and state/district standards. There is no cost to join SAC.

What are the time commitments? As a SAC member you’ll receive one to three e-mails per month and attend a one-hour meeting per month. For more information please contact Kate Tancrell at kate.tancrell@sdhc.k12.fl.us or Scott Hazlett at scott.hazlett@sdhc.k12.fl.us, (813) 256-1525, ext. 239

Students can still leave their legacy in stone by purchasing a Raven’s Head. Soon students and parents will be able to show their school spirit by purchasing a Raven’s Head car magnet. Visit the Alonso High School PTSA Facebook page for more information.
Go, Ravens!

Important Dates:

July 9 All Sports Meeting, 6:30 p.m. (Auditorium)

By Tracy Urso

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Alonso Cheerleading Tryouts Announced

Calling all Alonso cheerleaders! The parent meeting for anyone interested in trying out for the cheer team is May 21 at 6:30 p.m. Tryouts will be held on June 9-12 from 5-7 p.m. in the gymnasium.

We congratulate our cheerleaders for taking home the highest GPA in the county! That is the second win for Alonso this year. Way to go, Ravens!

By Tracy Urso

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Several Openings at Little Ravens Preschool

Did you know Alonso High School is home to a preschool program that operates three days a week October through May?

Little Ravens is a developmental preschool program for children aged 3-5. Its focus is readiness for kindergarten and socialization in a nurturing, developmentally appropriate environment. The program allows Early Childhood Education students hands-on working experience with young children while working towards their certification.

We are proud that some of our students have been partially certified through the Department of Children and Families. Our student teacher-to-preschooler ratio is 3:1. We have several openings; if interested, please fill out an application in the main office of Alonso High School. Please note you will need to attach your child’s updated health and shot records. If admitted, we will contact you. A completed application is due to Alonso High School no later Sept. 12, 2014, by 3 p.m. The application process is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Only eight spots are available.

Did you know that there are free resources that can help your student ace that AP exam? Send your student to the media center and check in with Mrs. Lohmann. Ask her for the AP class practice tests. Mrs. Lohmann can also assist students with other online test and education resources where they can study 24/7. It’s like a one-stop place to read and research. The resources include the Britannica Online Encyclopedias, health and wellness, psychology, fine arts and music, as well as popular and classic fiction and nonfiction e-books. Students can even access the library resources from most smart phones. It’s like having a library in your pocket. Check it out!
The dates for Alonso High School’s dance team tryouts are April 28 from 3:30-5 p.m. and April 29-May 1 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The Alonso Booster Club will be sending out scholarship forms the first part of April. Be sure to submit yours by the May deadline. We are also seeking new parents for the 2014-15 Booster board. If you are interested in being a part of the booster club, please contact Tracy Urso for more information.

The next SAC/PTSA meeting is scheduled for April 30 at 5:30 p.m.
Students can leave their legacy in stone by purchasing a Raven’s Head. They will also soon be able to show their school spirit by purchasing a Raven’s Head car magnet, which are coming soon! Visit the Alonso High School PTSA Facebook page for more information.
Go, Ravens!

Important April Dates

1 Baseball/Softball vs. Plant
2  Girls Lacrosse vs. Sarasota Military
3  Flag vs. Gaither
4  Baseball/Softball vs. Bloomingdale
4  Girls/Boys Lacrosse vs. Newsome
5  Saturday Success Academy
8  Baseball/Softball vs. Gaither
10  Flag vs. Freedom
12  Baseball vs. Freedom
14-16  Girls Lacrosse District Tournament
16  PTSA Meeting
24  Flag vs. Robinson
26  Saturday Success Academy
28  Dance Team Tryouts
30  PTSA/SAC Meeting

By Tracy Urso

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Ravens Still Going the Distance

The Alonso Competition Cheerleading Team had an incredible season!

The Alonso cheerleaders were led by new coaches, Karrie Hawkins, with 11 years’ experience coaching and coordinating the Westchase Colts, and Marcus Knight, with years of experience cheering and coaching for USF, high schools and Tumble Tech All-Stars. The girls placed in the top three in all four county competitions, fourth place in Western Conference and third place in regionals. These competitions led up to the state competition at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. Alonso's division consisted of 16 teams and the top four advanced to finals. Finishing second in the first round, Alonso advanced with an almost flawless performance. After competing again, the girls ended up second overall – a first in Alonso history! The girls worked extremely hard to make this happen. The team thanks the Alonso administration for its support and congratulates everyone for making it happen. They are looking forward to a great season next year!

The Ravens girls cross country runners made team history in February when they were honored with the Hillsborough County Fall Sports Cross Country GPA trophy for the highest academic performance among cross country teams in the county. The Alonso girls’ stunning 3.79 team GPA was the highest among all fall sports teams in 2013. The Ravens weren't done there, however. Alonso's first place finish stopped a run of five consecutive wins for the Plant girls cross country team. The trophy was presented by the school board last month. Congratulations, Ravens!

The Alonso Booster Club will be sending out the scholarship forms the first part of April. Be sure to submit yours by the May deadline. We are also seeking new parents for the 2014-15 board. If you are interested in being a part of the booster club, please contact Tracy Urso at turso@tampabay.rr.com for more information.

Alonso PTSA is still selling the Raven’s Legacy Painted Heads. The PTSA’s next meeting will be held on March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Media Center.

Go, Ravens!

Important March Dates:

1 Baseball/Softball vs. Middleton
3 Booster Club Meeting
4 Boys Tennis vs. Wharton
5 Boys/Girls Lacrosse vs. Plant
6 Baseball/Softball vs. Sickles
6 Boys Tennis vs. Newsome
7 Flag Football Pre Season Classic
16 PTSA Meeting
18 Girls Tennis vs. Plant
20 Boys Tennis vs. Jefferson
24 Boys Tennis vs. Bloomingdale
24 Flag Football vs. Chamberlain
26 Boys/Girls Lacrosse vs. Steinbrenner
27 Boys Tennis vs. Gaither

By Tracy Urso

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Alonso High School Says Goodbye to its Marching Band Seniors and Dancers

On Friday, Oct. 25, in a football pregame ceremony at Alonso High School, the community honored the 35 senior marching band and dance team members.

Accompanied by their immediate families, the seniors walked across the football field in celebration of their final marching season, each one personally congratulated by Principal Luis Diaz.

The Alonso-Riverview football game was easily won by the Ravens with the score of 45-14, making the Alonso football team record 5-3.

The marching band performs at both home and away games, supporting the players and entertaining the spectators.

“It was honestly the best game of the season. Everybody’s energy was up. The band played well and the football team played well – it was a great night,” said snare drummer sophomore Carlos Hernandez.

The Alonso Marching Band, also known as the Touch of Class Band and Dancers, is the third largest marching band in Hillsborough County and boasts over 200 members. Directed by Kenneth Norton, the band is led by Drum Majors Daniel Riley, a resident of The Fords, Pricilla Perez and Dylan Garcia.

This year's Senior Night took on added significance as Band Director Kenneth Norton will retire at the end of the year. Norton has been Alonso's Band Director since the school opened in 2001. He has taught for over 35 years as a band director.

"In 1979 I took I took my first band out on the field; 2013 will be my last. The last 13 years have been the best of my career," said Norton.

During an emotional speech to his marching band and dancers just before the pregame ceremony, Norton counseled his students, "Your lives are not defined by the day of your birth or the day of your death, but what you did in that dash in between."

At half time, the band and dancers performed their well-oiled show, The Final Voyage, which featured the songs Theme to James Bond, Transformer and Star Trek Anthology. Norton named this routine to mark his final season after a long, distinguished career.

Brass player senior Jesse Billo, resident of The Shires, said, "To get the show together took a lot of work. Putting it together, practicing, performing it took commitment. However, when we finished it all, that effort really paid off."

The following evening, Saturday, Oct. 26, the marching band participated in the Manatee Music Performance Assessment, a band competition of over 13 area high schools. Performing The Final Voyage for the last time, the band won an overall Superior rating, the highest possible rating and its first Superior in the last six years.

“Receiving a superior with the Alonso Band was such an unexplainable feeling that could not be recreated,” said Riley, a senior. "Definitely one of the most memorable experiences I have had.”

With football season ending, the band will transition to its concert season. It performed both a Holiday Concert in December and  will perform an End-of-School Concert in the auditorium of Alonso High School.

By Jennifer Steere

Jennifer Steere is a resident of The Greens and a student at Alonso High School.  She can be reached at Jensteere@gmail.com

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Alonso Swimmers Smash Records

Alonso swim team is breaking records again.

Congratulations to sophomore Zackary Gutcher, junior Pourya Bivehgani, sophomore Chase Psinakis and senior Brandon Quinones, who finished with a time of 1:53.75 in the Boys 200 Medley Relay. Chase also swam the Boys 200 IM with a time of 2:18.55, and the Boys 100 Backstroke with a time of 1:01.48; he has also broken several of his brother’s records. Pourya swam the Boys 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:09.07.

Paige Carter broke records in the Girls 100 Freestyle (55.19) and the Girls 100 Backstroke (1:04.69). Paige went on to Regionals in the 100 Freestyle and 100 Breaststroke. She’s broken six of Alonso’s eight individual records and was on all three record-breaking relay teams last year. Paige, a sophomore, will likely break more at Alonso.

On Oct. 26, the Alonso HS Marching Band and A Touch of Class Dancers participated in the 2013 Florida Bandmasters Association's Music Performance Assessment in Bradenton and received a "Superior" rating, the highest given. After working at several county schools – and at Alonso since 2001, this is Alonso Band Director Kenneth Norton’s final year.

The band was led by drum majors Daniel Riley, Priscilla Perez and Dylan Garcia. Band Captains include Maya Cromuel, Allison LaGreca, Marybeth Lambert and Chris Martin.

The PTSA wants you to show your spirit. Raven magnets cost $5 each. Get one for each vehicle in your house. Also leave your Alonso legacy by investing in a personalized Raven Head. Each will be painted in school colors, personalized and located in the sports complex. The limited 18” by 18” spots make great gifts so pre-order yours today for $50 by e-mailing alonsoptsa@gmail.com.

Important December Dates:

2-6     Book Fair in Media Center
2        JV Wrestling, 5p.m.
3        Girls/Boys Soccer vs. East Lake, 6 p.m.
5        Girls/Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Bloomindale, 6 p.m.
5        Boys Soccer vs. Sickles, 7 p.m.
6        Girls/Boys Soccer vs. Jefferson, 6 p.m.
10     Girls/Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Wharton, 6 p.m.
10     Girls/Boys Soccer vs. Plant, 6 p.m.
12     AP Parent Night, Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.
13     Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
16     Band Concert, 6 p.m.
17     Girls/Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Newsome, 6 p.m.
18     Wrestling vs. Armwood, 7 p.m.
19    JV Wrestling, 5 p.m.
19    Dance Showcase, 6:30 p.m.
20    Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Plant, 7 p.m.

By Tracy Urso

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Alonso News: Edsby, Robotics, Lacrosse and Theater

Congratulations to Alonso’s Assistant Principal for Curriculum, Mrs. McCoy-Miti!

Mrs. McCoy was named Florida’s District High School Reading Leader of the Year by the Florida Reading Association at its September conference. We are honored to have Mrs. McCoy at Alonso. She is a great asset to the school and students.

Parents, remember that you can now register for your parent profile for Edsby to access to your student’s school progress. Visit http://sdhc.edsby.com to register. The Alonso PTSA is still open to new members. Please consider joining both the Booster Club and the PTSA. Visit our Web site for more information or contact Tracy at turso@tampabay.rr.com or Belinda at bakrauss@verizon.net.

Alonso High School has begun its sixth season competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics competition. Alonso's robotics team, Massive D (Defense), comprises over 15 students from all grades. The robotics team is being coached by Alonso physics teachers, David Price and John Carnahan. On Saturday, Sept. 9, Alonso attended the Florida FTC season kick-off held at Middleton High School. Students and coaches attended workshops, examined this year's playing field and watched the game animation. The Alonso Robotics team would like to thank Rockwell Collins for awarding Alonso one of its 20 statewide veteran team grants ($500) to go toward registration fees, robot parts and other expenses. The Alonso Robotics team is always looking to form community partnerships with companies, individuals, and other schools. They would be happy to come make a presentation about the robotics team and demonstrate this year's robot. Please contact Coach John Carnahan at john.carnahan@sdhc.k12.fl.us or 356-1525, Ext. 521 if you would like to become involved as a community partner.

If you need some extra help with your assignments and exam reviews, if you need to make up work missed because of absences, if you want to make up courses you’ve been putting off or if you’re worried about not passing the FCAT and EOC exams, Saturday Success Academy is your answer! Just show up at Alonso on Nov. 9, Nov. 16, Jan. 11 and Jan. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon. Help will be available in math, English, reading, science, credit recovery, college readiness, social studies, Industrial Cert., and world languages.

Lacrosse is coming to Alonso this spring when it transforms from a club sport to a high school sport. The kids, coaches and parents are coming together to raise money for dues, uniforms and equipment. Being part of a high school team will help the athletes be recognized with their peers in school, assist with college scholarship opportunities and allow the athletes to play the sport they love for Alonso. Their first fundraiser will be Nov. 16 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the 7-Eleven gas station at Countryway and Linebaugh. Please come out and support our teams!  Feel free to contact us at alonsolax@live.com if you have any questions or if you would like to make a donation.

Alonso Theatre Department will feature Carrie: The Musical in the Dr. Sandy Bunkin Auditorium at Alonso in November. We thank Men’s Wearhouse in Citrus Park and Rent-A-Center for their donations to the musical. For more information contact Lisa Vorreiter at lisa.vorreiter@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Important Dates:

Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.: Varsity Football vs. Plant
Nov. 7, 6 p.m.:  Girls/Boys Soccer vs. Robinson
Nov. 7, 7 p.m.:  Carrie: The Musical
Nov. 8, 7 p.m.:  Carrie: The Musical
Nov. 9, 2 p.m.:  Carrie: The Musical
Nov. 9, 7 p.m.:  Carrie: The Musical
Nov. 12, 7 p.m.: Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Jefferson
Nov. 14, 7 p.m.: Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Freedom
Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lacrosse Carwash Fundraiser
Nov. 22, 6 p.m.: Girls/Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Robinson

By Tracy Urso and Belinda Krauss

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Alonso Boosters Meet Sept. 18

Welcome back, Alonso Ravens!

The Alonso High School Booster Club invites everyone to join them for their general meeting, open to all parents, coaches, faculty, and students at Alonso. The next general meeting will be held on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Media Center. We hope to see you there. If you have any questions concerning the Booster Club, feel free to contact Tracy Urso at turso@tampabay.rr.com.

Don’t forget to join the Alonso Booster Club and purchase your annual activity cards. Activity cards will allow you to get into all county sporting events, including middle school events. Annual passes are available for students for only $55. Forms are available online or in the front office. For more information please contact Suzanne Pyne at rmpyne@aol.com. Your booster club membership helps support the club, allowing us to maintain the concession stand equipment, award scholarships and help out clubs/teams with special needs throughout the year. So show your support and join today!
T-shirts and sweatshirts will be available for purchase in the front office as well as at all football games.

The Alonso Junior Dance Camp is an amazing opportunity for young students to be part of a dance team, a pre-game football show and a high school halftime performance at Alonso High School. It is for girls and boys in Grades 1-8. Participants come to Alonso after school on Sept. 24-25 to learn a dance with our Touch of Class Dance Team then perform the dance with the dancers and the band during our pregame performance and halftime show. They will also receive a shirt to wear during their performance on Sept. 27. Cost for the camp is $50 and it serves as a fundraiser for the dance team.

If you are interested in joining us for this experience, please e-mail Coach De La Fuente at grethel.delafuente@sdhc.k12.fl.us for information packets or questions. The last day we will be taking paperwork and checks for this year is Sept. 6.

By Tracy Urso

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Assistance With Alonso’s Success Academy

One of the best kept secrets at Alonso High School is the Saturday Success Academy.

Ask your high school student if he or she knows about it and you might hear, “Oh, that’s just for students who got in trouble.”

This, however, is not totally true! The Saturday Success Academy is for students who may need some extra help on assignments or exam reviews, students who are making up missed work after absences and any student who is worried about not passing the FCAT or EOC exams. The Success Academy also assists students in making up courses they’ve been putting off and students wishing to avoid ISS (talk to your assistant principal).

The Saturday Success Academy is held at Alonso High School from 9 a.m. to noon. The remaining dates for the academic year are April 6 and 27 as well as May 11 and 18. The following subjects are available: math, English, reading, science, Credit Recovery, College Readiness, social studies, ESE, foreign language, ACT/SAT, and Industrial Certifications. You do not need to sign up; you simply just show up! The courses are taught by Alonso teachers and the Success Academy is free!

The Alonso Archeology class goes on some great field trips. They have visited cemeteries, the Titanic exhibit, and other interesting places. For a future field trip, its teacher, Ms. Kate Tancrell, is in need of metal detectors. If you have given up finding lost treasure and are no longer in need of your metal detector, please contact Ms. Tancrell at kate.tancrell@sdhc.k12.fl.us. She will very much appreciate any assistance in finding metal detectors for the class.

Once again the Alonso PTSA is looking for next year’s leadership. Chantel Reda has done a fantastic job these past two years as president, but would like to find new participants on the PTSA executive committee and board. She will be happy to assist the new PTSA president in learning about all that is involved. If you are interested in a leadership position or just want to help out, please contact Chantel at redatampa8@aol.com.

By Jean Keelan

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Ravens Compete at District Swim Meet

Go Raven’s swim team!

So far this year, the girls on Alonso’s swim team have broken eight Alonso swim records. In the lead for breaking these records are three fantastic freshman! Paige Carter, Kendall Clarke, Madison Rattner and Taelor Gutcher all compose the record-breaking relay that has performed so well.

As of this writing, Alonso’s swimmers will participate at districts on Oct. 26, where they hopefully will qualify for regionals and eventually state finals. The Alonso swim team is coached by Jason Philpot.

Alonso can also be proud of the Alonso Team Mentors Club. The 43 students in this club visit Lowry Elementary School every Wednesday afternoon to mentor a second grade student in the H.O.S.T. program. The club members spend an hour completing homework, reading, playing hangman and tic-tac-toe, and having a fun time with the elementary students. The high school students stay with their assigned second-grader all year (and years beyond) to build a relationship. In return the Alonso teens receive community service hours. Many of the teens, however, realize after a couple of weeks that they are earning more than just community service hours. They are making a difference in the life of a young person who looks forward to their visit every week.

The teens also find that they look forward to the time they get to spend with their mentee. It’s a win-win situation for the mentor and the mentee! Ms. Christine Lindbak is the Alonso Teen Mentors Club Sponsor and also teaches AP Environmental Science and Biology Honors. The community thanks Ms. Linkback for her leadership within this wonderful program!

By Jean Keelan

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Alonso Dancers Host Camp Oct. 9-10

Alonso invites you to join the Touch of Class Dance Team’s Annual Junior Dance Camp on Oct. 12.

The Alonso Junior Dance Camp is an amazing opportunity for young students interested in being part of a dance team, a pre-game football show and a high school halftime performance at Alonso High School. The camp is for girls and boys in Grades 1-8. On Oct. 9 and 10 they will come to Alonso after school to learn a dance with our Touch of Class Dance Team. Then they will perform the dance with the dancers and the Class Act Band during our pre-game performance and halftime show.

Participants will also receive a red Junior Dance Camp shirt this year to wear during their performance. Finally, pictures of their experience and their big dance sister will be mailed out the following week to capture all of the special moments they had while performing on the Alonso High School football field.

Please go to http://www.alonsodance.com to find out more information and submit a request for a Junior Dance Camp packet and return it by Oct. 1 (the deadline may be extended to accommodate WOW readers). We hope to see our young dancers on the field with us on Oct. 12!

In other performance news, Alonso’s Theater Group will be performing Legally Blonde the Musical on Oct. 5 and 6. You can purchase tickets online by going to the Alonso Web site, selecting “Alonso Websites” then selecting “Alonso Theatre Program.” Alonso’s theater program is known for their award-winning shows so don’t miss out!

It’s shopping time at Alonso! Alonso’s school store is open periods five and six during lunch. It sells lots of Raven merchandise, such as T-shirts, shorts, baseball caps and other items, so send your Alonso students to school with a little extra cash.

If you’re still in the mood to shop, you may want to buy the Alonso yearbook online as it will be less expensive than purchasing it at school at a later date. To order your yearbook online, go to http://www.yearbookorder.com and enter order code 2290.

By Jean Keelan

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Alonso Debuts New Web Site

Alonso’s Web site has a new look! The new Web site, http://alonso.mysdhc.org has m,ore information that students and parents can access, including breaking news, an activities calendar and information about the July 10 Alonso Sports Introductory meeting, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.

If you’re counting down the days until school starts, here are some things to think about. First, we welcome all freshman to Alonso. Your GPA will be very important to getting into the college of your choice. It’s time to start building a high school resume of extra-curricular activities that will set you apart from the crowd. Don’t know what you want to do yet? Check out the sports and clubs available on the Alonso web page.

Sophomores, keep building a strong GPA; if you haven’t gotten involved in extra-curricular activities, it’s not too late to get moving!

Juniors, this is a very important year for you. While colleges look at your whole high school experience, much more consideration is placed on junior year. Start preparing for the ACT and SAT by doing the question-of-the-day online. Go to the free, Web-based preparation courses (a schedule is available in the Guidance Department). Last, seniors, please visit Alonso’s Web site for a month-by-month action plan for charting your course to college. Click on the Guidance link and read the Senior Handbook.

Another way to get ready for the new school year is to attend Students Organized and Ready (SOAR) Gap I Summer 2012 program at Alonso from July 30-Aug. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet the coaches, administrators, teachers and student leaders from every grade level. Learn about traditions, class expectations, AP preparation skills and methods of receiving help. To print a registration form for this program, go to http://academicprograms.mysdhc.org/GAPI and send the form to Ms. Morgan, AVID Coordinator, Braulio Alonso High School, 8302 Montague St., Tampa, Florida 33635. Set yourself up for success by attending this great program!

The Alonso Swim Team is seeking new members. Attend the July 10 fall sports meeting to learn more about the team and get the necessary paperwork to participate. The first practice is Aug. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at West Park Village pool. There will be voluntary practices at the YMCA starting July 3 at 7 a.m., every Tuesday and Thursday. Contact Coach Jason Philpot for more information.

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Ravens Accomplishments Mark Year’s End

As Alonso’s year winds down, students, faculty and staff are reflecting on the students’ many accomplishments.

A new club that emerged this year is called Club 180. The club’s advisor, Janelle MacLean, a West Park Village resident, stated the mission of the club is “to promote reading progress through changes toward positive school-wide climate and culture.” The club has received national recognition by Scholastic, Inc. and Ms. MacLean was named 2012 Scholastic Outstanding Educator for High School Stage C. Club mentors offered independent reading suggestions, testing tips and reading strategies to students who wanted to increase their reading abilities. They formed discussion groups and student-led data chats. Many former students in this club elected to receive extra tutoring to improve their FCAT scores. Way to go, Ms. MacLean, for an awesome program!

The History Club, led by Ms. Dylana Robertson, had eight seniors compete in February’s Hillsborough County Fair, qualifying them for the April 29 State History Fair at Tallahassee Community College. They competed in two categories: Group Performance and Exhibit. The participating students were: Deanna Bousalis, Sydney Brennan, Cameron Garrett, Victoria George, Cassie McKenzie, Amy Mildebrath, Aleah Nelson and Nicole O’Hara.

Other club news comes from the Alonso Science Honors/Engineering Club and Alonso Robotics Team, advised by John Carnahan. In February Alonso fielded its first ever Envirothon team, which competed at St. Pete College in Seminole. There were 22 teams that were each tested in five categories. Alonso High School earned the high score on the Current Environmental Issue test. Alonso’s team consisted of Deanna Bousalis (captain), Drew Mertzlufft, Janna Royal, Sydney Russell and Alicia Valverde. Cameron Carson competed on a multi-school alternate team that earned the high score on the Aquatic Ecology test.

Meanwhile the Alonso Engineering Club competed in multiple events at the Science Brain Bowl at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in March. These events included mousetrap car (in speed, distance, and humor categories), trebuchet, science quiz bowl, science poster and chemical equation balancing. The quiz bowl team made it to the third round of competition. Omar Lopez and Miles Massey won third place medals for their mousetrap car in the speed category.

In the sports arena, Alonso seniors making baseball news are Juan Bracamonte and Ryan Valdes. Bracamonte and Valdes were selected First Team All Western Conference American Division. The Alonso baseball team is led by Coach Landy Faedo.

Last, we express our heartfelt gratitude to PSTA President Chantel Reda and Treasurer Lisa Rodriguez for their dedication and hard work. The Alonso PTSA is looking for new leadership for next year. If you have the time and energy, please contact Chantel Reda at redatampa8@aol.com.

By Jean Keelan, PTSA Corresponding Secretary

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Alonso Artists Win Praise

In March Alonso’s performing and visual arts students showcased their work in a big way!

Bright and early on March 12, Charley Belcher from Fox 13 came to Alonso High School to showcase Encore Theatre Group’s production of their one-act play Avenue Q. If Sesame Street had a comical, risqué adult version using similar puppets, Avenue Q would be it. Only Encore’s version was much more appropriate, suitable for the high school audience. Mindy Foskey, a theater mom, hand-made each puppet, which would have made Jim Henson proud. When Encore brought the play to regional competition, it won first place at the Florida State Thespian Festival. Encore’s full play of I Love You Because was chosen for a main stage production at the festival, which was also quite an honor.

Then, on Wednesday, March 14, the one-act plays were showcased at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Between regionals and state, Alonso’s Encore Theatre’s production of Avenue Q had built up quite a stir. At the state competition, approximately 450 students were turned away at the door because the theater was full. Encore’s production of Avenue Q received a full standing ovation as well as a superior rating (the highest honor) from all of the judges. To see clips from Charley’s World on Fox 13 go to http://www.myfoxtampabay.com

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Bravo, Encore! And we offer a special thank you to Lisa Vorreiter, Encore’s advisor and theater teacher.

In the visual arts arena, several Alonso art students were chosen to exhibit their work at the Dalí Museum’s Student Surrealist Art Exhibition for Middle and High Schools. Peter Tush, Dalí Museum Education Curator, judged this year’s show. Out of 231 submissions, 104 art pieces were selected. Art media included oils, pastels and photography. Alonso senior Haley Reda submitted a mixed media piece of photography and paper collage entitled Life After Death, a perfect fit for the exhibition’s theme. The artwork will be exhibited until April 8 at the Dalí Museum.

By Jean Keelan; Photos by Chantel Reda and Mindy Foskey

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Girl Scouts Participate in Blanket Drive

In the midst of winter’s chilly nights, a troop of Westchase Girl Scouts helped spread warmth and love.

Girl Scout Troop Number 1231 made comforting fleece blankets this winter and donated them to the Crisis Center of Tampa.  Some of the Scouts visited the Crisis Center facility over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday break. They toured the facility while learning about all the great services the Crisis Center offers our community.  The distribution of blankets is just one service the center provides. The blankets are used to comfort children, adults and the homeless. 

The Crisis Center has a blanket campaign and would love to hear from anyone who is willing to donate a warm, snugly, comforting blanket! Their ambulances also carry blankets and offer them to our homeless citizens during critically cold times. 

The Girl Scouts of Troop 1231 learned a very valuable lesson about our community "outside their bubble."

By Linda Calderone

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Ravens Win Top DECA Awards

In a fall competition, a number of Ravens were recognized for their marketing skills.

Ms. Harmon and Ms. Alonso, Club Advisors for the Distributive Education Career Association (DECA) from Marketing and Fashion/Sports, would like to congratulate the 32 DECA members who competed at the District 8 DECA competition on Nov. 30. There were over 800 student competitors in 30 marketing events and a number of Alonso Ravens returned with top prizes.Michael Rankin won first place for Human Resources Management. Stephanie Habryl and Shane O’Shannon won first place for Sports Marketing Team. Izzy Brookman and Michael Snow won third place for Finance Team Event. John Hawes won first place for Sports Marketing Promotion Plan, and Joe Gainey and Jamie Smith took fourth place for Sports Marketing Promotion Plan. These DECA members will be representing Alonso High School at the State Career Conference and Competition March 1-4 at the Disney World Hilton Resort in Orlando. Go, Ravens!

Another club that is making Ravens proud is the Robotics Team, led by Alonso science teachers John Carnahan and David Price. The 2011-2012 team is comprised of three teams with approximately ten members each. This is the fourth season for Massive D (Defense), FTC Team 3073. Forced Applied, FTC Team 3837, is in its third season. SWAG (Students with Awesome Game), FTC Team 5416, is in its first season. All three teams competed at the Hillsborough School Qualifying Tournament on Nov. 12.

SWAG finished as the fourth-ranked alliance captain but ended up losing in the semi-finals. SWAG also set an Alonso robotics milestone by being the first team to earn a judged award.

The coaches would like to thank the following people for their contributions to the team’s success: Alonso alumni Silas Potter and Blake Burton, who were volunteer assistant coaches and college mentors; parents of the team members; Rockwell Collins for providing a FTC Rookie grant that provided the third team with a $1,000 kit of robot parts, and Clanton Welding, who generously donated over $200 of galvanized steel sheet to aid in the construction of the robots.

By Jean Keelan; Photo by Patricia Alonso

Jean Keelan is a resident of The Greens. She thanks John Carnahan, Jean Harmon, and Patricia Alonso for submitting the information for this article.

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Alonso Baseball Tournament Jan. 8

It’s not too late to help make Raven baseball stronger! The Eighth Annual Alonso Baseball Tournament will be held Sunday, Jan. 8, at the Westchase Golf Club. The official tournament sponsors are Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Kevin Carter Foundation.

Other sponsorship packages are available. To participate in the tournament, the Golfer Package is $100 and includes dinner and awards banquet. Dinner packages for adults are $15 and children under 13 are $10. To be sent an electronic copy of the registration, please contact Coach Landy Faedo at 356-1525, Ext. 291.

Congratulations to the Alonso Theatre Department for doing a fantastic job at the District Individual Events competition held in October. Alonso brought home 18 superior ratings. The overall district average of superior ratings was 30 percent and Alonso was at 58 percent. In addition to the 18 superiors, six acts were chosen as Critical Choice Showcase winners: Cameron Garrett for solo musical; Calen Croweder for monologue; Atlanta Foskey, Cameron Garrett, Abby Daner and Justin Lynch for small group musical; Abby Daner for solo musical alternative; Abby Daner and Jenny Totcky for duet musical alternative; and Kenya Broadnax, Ilexis Holmes, Alisa Davis, Robyn Stephens, Karla Soriano, Geena Addison and Jasmine Murrell for ensemble acting. Stay tuned for The Little Mermaid running in the spring semester.

The other shining stars at Alonso are the JROTC Female Raiders. They finished third overall at the State Raider Challenge Competition in December.

Are you wondering who won the Race Trac Rivalry Bowl and its $3,500 award? Alonso did! The winner was announced at the football game on Nov. 11. Go Ravens! Way to show your school spirit!

Seniors, get ready for your final semester at Alonso. Save these dates! Rehearsal for graduation will be held on Saturday, June 2, at 11 a.m. Graduation will take place on Wednesday, June 6, at 9:30 a.m. at The Fairgrounds Expo Hall. Remember, seniors, finish strong!

By Jean Keelan

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Alonso Opens Preschool Program

Alonso High School is looking for Little Ravens! Alonso has started a preschool program for children ages 3-5. It is open Tuesday through Thursday, from 8:45-11 a.m.

The cost is $40 per month (cash or money order only) along with a one-time $5 insurance fee. The curriculum focuses on kindergarten readiness and socialization skills delivered in a nurturing, developmentally-appropriate environment. The adult staff is fully certified by the Florida Department of Education and the high school students have been partially certified and are working towards their four-year certification through the Department of Children and Families.
If you are interested in this program, please fill out an application in Alonso’s main office. Contact Ms. Swati Jani at 356-1525, Ext. 554, with questions.

It’s time to start thinking about ordering your Alonso yearbook and securing an ad for your senior. The yearbook will be created under the supervision of Laura Pratt, English 1 Honors and Journalism teacher. To order your student’s yearbook, go to yearbookordercenter.com or contact Ms. Pratt at laura.pratt@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

If you’re in the mood to buy other books, Alonso’s Media Center will hold an online book fair from the end of November to the second week of December. With the cold weather just around the corner, why not cuddle up with a good book? Check out Alonso’s Web site for more information or contact Ms. Tasha Lohman at tasha.lohman@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Want to know everything there is to know about the Alonso Girls’ Volleyball team? Check out http://www.maxpreps.com which, contains all the statistics about the team. Coach Francesca Chupela is leading the girls’ volleyball team and it’s a close year with eight wins and eight losses as of Oct. 11. Hang in there, Ravens! We’ll be cheering for you!

Another Alonso organization we are very proud of is the Alonso High School Army JROTC. Alonso’s JROTC is one of the top battalions in its program and the sixth largest in Florida. It has consistently scored above others in the rigorous three-year inspections, both times receiving the highest possible decoration, Honor Unit with Distinction. If you have any questions, please contact Major Charles Organ at charles.organ@skhc.k12.fl.us.

If you would like to contribute to Alonso’s news for WOW, please contact Jean Keelan at jmkeelan@verizon.net. We would like to support all happenings at Alonso.

By Jean Keelan

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Alonso Needs Support in Race Trac Rivalry Bowl

Braulio Alonso High School is off to a great start as academics, athletics, clubs, and organizations are already filling the calendar. By mid-September, the Alonso football team already had three wins under its belt. Go Ravens!

Please visit Alonso’s Web site (http:alonso.mysdhc.org) to read more about all athletic events.

Appearing at the Sept. 9 football game was Jeff Meeks, Development Supervisor with Race Trac. He was there to promote the Race Trac Rivalry Bowl, a friendly competition between area high schools to earn money for them. Alonso and Sickles are the paired rivals for our area. To support Alonso, all you need to do when you get thirsty is go to the Race Trac on Linebaugh Avenue and Wilsky Boulevard and purchase a soft drink or bottled water and tell the associate you would like to support Alonso in the Rivalry Bowl (other Race Tracs may be participating, so please ask when you go to the counter). The contest will run until Nov. 7 and the winner will be announced at the Alonso-Sickles football game on Nov. 11. The school with the most purchases will win $3,500 and the other school will receive $1,500, so it’s really a win-win competition.

The Alonso Theatre Department has exciting events planned for October. On Friday, Oct. 1, a car wash fund-raiser will be held at the 7-Eleven at the corner of Countryway Boulevard and Linebaugh Avenue. It will help support this year’s productions: I Love You Because (November), Avenue Q (December), and The Little Mermaid (February). To help watch your kids during an upcoming teacher planning day, the Theatre Department will provide a Kids’ Camp on Oct. 21. On Oct. 22, come by Tanya and Matt’s Froyo (next to Stone Chase in Westchase) to enjoy some frozen yogurt while you listen to karaoke singers. The entertainment will last from 7-10:30 p.m. We thank Tanya and Matt for donating 20 percent of proceeds to the theatre department. On Oct. 29, look for the theatre department’s booth at Westchase’s 20th Anniversary Party, where food and drinks will be sold. To learn more about Alonso’s Theatre Department, visit their Web page; a link to it can be found on Alonso’s home page.

If you would like to contribute to Alonso’s news for WOW, please contact Jean Keelan at jmkeelan@verizon.net.We would like to support all happenings at Alonso.

By Jean Keelan

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