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Exciting Ending to another Successful Year at Davidsen

Another school year has come and gone at Davidsen. And this one ended with a flurry of accomplishments.

On Wednesday, May 28, Davidsen Middle School’s Math League competed at the Florida State Fairgrounds for the county-wide Math League Competition. Davidsen’s team represented the school extremely well. Individually, seventh grader Rebekah Mahusay placed seventh overall followed by her two teammates, Nicholas Caulley (13th) and Lleyton Fischer (15th). This was out of over 170 other seventh grade students from 45 middle schools.

The seventh grade team placed second overall, missing first place by just two points! The eighth grade team was equally exciting with Patrick Boatman individually placing fourth and Timmy Chang placing thirteenth overall. The eighth grade Algebra team placed third overall with combined scores. With all of Davidsen’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade scores totaled, our Dragons ranked fourth place overall in the county, beating out rival schools Farnell and Walker. “We are so proud of these Davidsen mathematicians!” said sixth and seventh grade coach, Melissa Degusipe.

Congratulations to all of the team members, as well as Ms. Degusipe and Algebra coach, Mr. LaRosee!

We also learned that Davidsen’s Five Star Application for 2013-14 was approved! This award is presented annually to those schools that have shown evidence of exemplary community involvement. This is our seventh year as a Five Star School. We also received confirmation that we achieved Golden School status for the 13th year! The Golden School Award is given annually by the Florida Department of Education to recognize public schools with exemplary volunteer programs. A big thank you goes out to all of the teachers, administrators and volunteers for making these awards possible.

Davidsen’s PTSA would like to like to give a special shout out to Ivan De La Guardia and Westchase Pizza & Pasta Co. for their contribution to Davidsen during Teacher Appreciation Week and for being an outstanding business partner with our school throughout the year.

Last, with the end of this school year, we bid farewell to our fearless PTSA leader, Kendra Drake. Kendra served on the PTSA board all three years of her stay at Davidsen and was president for the past two years. “Kendra is a priceless asset to our entire Westchase community. Over the years, she has not only devoted her time to our schools, but she has also worked tirelessly for Relay for Life. She is giving of her time and heart. We are all so very lucky to have her as a neighbor, friend and volunteer,” said fellow PTSA board member, Dina Marcus.

While we are sad to see Kendra go, we are excited to welcome Leslie Blaze as the incoming PTSA president! “I know I have big shoes to fill. Kendra left a lasting legacy with all of our Davidsen parents and volunteers,” Leslie said.

Blaze is no stranger to school service, having spent countless hours volunteering her time in numerous capacities at Westchase Elementary School. She also served on the Hospitality Committee for Davidsen this past year. We welcome and thank her for taking on this important role.

We hope all of our Dragons are enjoying their summer. We look forward to seeing you all when the school doors open in August!

By Karen Ring


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Dragons Throw Dance for Eighth Graders

On May 16 it was Midnight in Paris in the middle of Westchase.

A 15-foot Eiffel Tower and sparkling globe lights greeted students as they entered the Davidsen Middle School Cafeteria. Once inside, the students searched for their names written in hieroglyphics on the 14-foot obelisk. The stars glittered from above while they danced to the tunes of DJ, Danny Deleon. The Arc de Triomphe was center stage and overlooked all the smartly dressed eighth graders. Food from our Davidsen French families was delicious. It included croque-monsieur, gougère and Eiffel Tower sugar cookies. The French flag was composed of delicious mini-cupcakes baked by Bridges baker, Nikki Pivnichny.

We offer our great thanks to Mr. Shane Heath, Art Teacher at Davidsen Middle School, for making our majestic French monuments. We also thank our French families, the Clarkins and the Commins, for making the authentic French food. Last but not least, we thank all the Westchase parents and PTSA for making this possible.

By Pam Wilcox


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Dragons Inching Toward Freedom

The Dragons have only a month left before being released upon their villages.

As the school year winds down, we offer May’s calendar and a few photos from the year. We thank Ms. Talamantez and her yearbook staff for sharing them!

By Karen Ring

May Dates

2 Band Field Trip
5-9 Teacher Appreciation Week
6 PTSA General Meeting, 9 a.m.
6 PTSA Board Meeting, 9:30 a.m.
7 NJHS Meeting, 8 a.m.
13 Band Spring Concert
16 Grade 8 dance
19 Sports banquet
20 Yearbook signing
22 Grades 6-8 Field trips
26 No School, Memorial Day


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Davidsen Dragons Enjoy Another Successful Medieval Fair

This year’s Medieval Fair has come and gone, but it won’t soon be forgotten.

The fair was a tremendous success and much fun was had by the students, teachers and volunteers. The fair included four spectacular inflatables, several fun carnival games and, of course, lots of fair food!

Elaine Ragan headed up the festivities this year and is thankful to everyone who volunteered their time to make the fair possible. “It would not be possible without you,” Ragan said. Ragan extends special thanks to Mr. McBrien and Ms. Wilson, as well as the Davidsen maintenance, custodial and kitchen staff. “We know how much extra work it is for everyone and we appreciate all that they do! And a special thank you to Mr. Gambino. who was gracious enough to get drenched in the Flush ’Em game on an exceptionally cold afternoon. The kids loved that!” Ragan added. 

Until next year!

For many parents it is middle school decision time. Now is the perfect time for current and former Davidsen parents to take a few minutes to fill out a review of our school at  Great Schools is a well-respected Web site that many parents turn to when making school choices. It is also popular with parents who are relocating to a new area, as school ratings play a large role in neighborhood selection for people with school-age children. Please take a few minutes to help spread the word about our wonderful school!

It’s hard to believe just how quickly this school year has gone. As the year winds down, the testing season is quickly approaching. The FCAT tests will be administered from April 22-30. We know that our students and teachers have been working hard all year in preparation and we wish them all the best!

Be sure to “like” the Davidsen Middle School PTSA on Facebook to keep tabs on all that is yet to come this school year. The school year may be nearing the end, but there still is still much fun to be had!

By Karen Ring


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Davidsen’s Medieval Fair is Finally Here!

The event that every Davidsen Dragon has been eagerly awaiting all year long is finally just days away.

That’s right! It’s time for The Medieval Fair, which will be held on Friday, March 7. This annual event is always a fun time for students, teachers and volunteers. Speaking of volunteers, it’s not too late to sign up to help out with the day’s events, the set up or the take down. Every minute spared is appreciated. Please contact Elaine Ragan at for more information.

The Dragons had another successful grading period, with 201 students achieving principal honor roll status for the second quarter. Congratulations and keep up the good work! Conference night also went well and the PTSA thanks The Olive Garden for donating their delicious breadsticks and salad that evening.

There is much exciting news coming from Davidsen’s music department! Davidsen’s Jazz Band earned straight superiors at the MPA (music performance assessment) held at the Florida State Fair. While the jazz band has earned a superior before, and the concert band has earned several superiors as well as straight superiors, this rating is extremely hard to get and very rare, especially at Jazz MPA. “It's the first time our jazz band has earned that rating!” said Davidsen’s Band Director, Kassandra Cochran.

Trombone player, Jonathan Baron, also achieved a rare feat, becoming the first Dragon to make the auditioned all-state band! In addition, six students made all-county: Jonathan Baron (trombone), Drew Garcia (trumpet), Robson Galvao (flute), Katie Morello (flute), Diego Rodriguez (tuba) and Amber Farve (euphonium).

On the Orchestra front, eighth grader Amanda Sherwood was a member of the 2014 All-State Honors Orchestra in January. In addition, Orchestra Director Andrew Guarrine said the group is working on its MPA music, which will be performed at Armwood in late March.

Congratulations to all our talented musicians!

The next general PTSA meeting will take place on March 20 at 6:30 p.m., when the nominating committee will be selected. It’s that time of year when the committee will begin looking to fill PTSA board positions that will be vacant come the end of the year. For those that are interested in taking on a board position, please contact Paula Cannella at

Keep tabs on all the exciting events in store for the rest of the year by visiting the Davidsen PTSA Web site, or by, liking them on Facebook. It has been a great year so far and we are looking forward to all that is yet to come.

By Karen Ring


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Dragons Rewarded for Reflections Entries

Congratulations to all Davidsen Dragons who were honored at the county level for their Reflections entries.

The entries exemplified this year’s theme: “Believe, Dream, Inspire.” Those honored include Claire Chesney (second place, film, and advancement state), Emily de Almenara (judge’s choice, film), Makenna Kirsch (judge’s choice, photography) and Katie Marello (honorable mention, photography). Well done, Dragons!

If you have a stash of Box Tops eagerly awaiting a home, you are in luck! There will be a Box Top drive Feb. 1-26. Students will be entered into a raffle for every 10 Box Tops they turn in. The student whose name is drawn wins a $25 gift card. The Davidson teacher who has the most participating students will also win a $25 gift card. Participation is easy – just bring Box Tops in to your lunch teacher, either on collection sheets provided or in a sealed plastic baggie. The money earned through Box Tops benefits Davidson with additional supplies and programs for the school. “We typically raise over $1,000 a year between the two drives, but know we could do much, much more,” said Box Top Chair Beth Cupari.

The Davidsen Running Club wrapped up its season in January and Running Club Chair Anne Hull thanks all who participated. “The club enjoyed forming new friendships as well as having fun and learning teamwork through exercise and other activities,” Hull said.

The club had some friendly competition, both at an individual and team level. The highlight of the season was the scavenger hunt, where members searched the school for clues to create a food pyramid. The club also hosted a used running shoe drive. Donations went to Nike Reuse a Shoe, which recycles sneakers and turns them into sports courts throughout the U.S. Over 300 pairs have been turned in to date. Great job, Dragons!

The NJHS also embraced the spirit of giving, donating proceeds from their candy gram sale to the eighth grade dance fund. The Eighth Grade Committee will be raising more dance dollars by hosting a Valentine candy gram sale Feb. 10-12. The candy grams will be available for purchase in the cafeteria during lunch.

The next school-wide dance will be sponsored by the NJHS and will be held on Friday, Feb. 14, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Also, be sure to mark your calendar for conference night on Feb. 19.

The highlight of the year, the Medieval Fair, is fast approaching! The fair will be held on Friday, March 7. Volunteers are needed to help with ticket sales, March 3-5. Ticket bundling and set up help is needed on March 6 and the day of the fair. Please contact Elaine Ragan at for further information.

Keep tabs on all the exciting events in store for the rest of the year by visiting the Davidsen PTSA Web site:


February Dates to Remember

4 PTSA Board Meeting, 9:30 a.m.
5 Grade 6 Scoliosis Screening
7 No School
10-12 Valentine Candy Gram Sales
11  PHD Breakfast
14 NJHS Dance, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
19  Conference Night

By Karen Ring


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Davidsen Track Team Finishes Regular Season Undefeated

As 2013 drew to a close, the Davidsen Track Team wrapped up another successful season.

“Both the girls’ and boys’ teams made it through the regular season undefeated!” said track coach Robert O'Keife.

At the time this issue went to press, both teams were preparing for the Cluster Championships, which were held at Sickles High School on Dec. 12 and pitted Davidsen against Farnell, Hill, Martinez, Smith, Walker and Webb. All teams entered two contestants in the individual and field events and one team each in the various relays. The first and second place finishers then advanced on to the County Championship, held at Jefferson High School on Dec. 18.

As the Davidsen team prepared for the championships, Coach O'Keife added, “Obviously the final results are not yet in, but we're hopeful we can match our regular season performance against some of the best schools and runners in the county.”

O'Keife added that the successful season was a team effort. “Davidsen's girls have been led by a number of sixth graders, including Shaniya Benjamin, Jaeda DeJesus, Lexie Gyselinck and Carley Price as well as eighth graders Katie Morello and Blair Buck. The boys also benefitted from a number of sixth graders led by Ja'neil Johnson and Juwon Castro and eighth graders Domenic Haynes, James Sanchez, Noah Drake and Cameron Gyselinck. Besides our student athletes, our success can be attributed to parent support from coaching to preparing snacks before the meets. We have the girls and boys work out together, and the kids seem to enjoy this and have a great deal of fun and I think this leads to their success.”

We congratulate the Davidsen track team on their tremendous season!

As the new year begins, be sure to mark your calendars for the eighth grade fund-raiser to be held at Burger 21 on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The fundraiser will last all day and 10 percent of the day’s sales will be donated to the eighth grade, which will use it for the eighth grade dance.

The Davidsen Running Club is running every Monday through the end of January from 3:30-4:30 p.m. No experience needed and anyone is welcome.

It’s also time to start thinking about the event every Dragon looks forward to each year: The Medieval Fair! The Medieval Fair is a parent/teacher-run festival for students only. It will take place on Friday, March 7. Volunteers are needed to help make this event a success. Contact Elaine Ragan at to find out how you can help. In addition we need new or gently used small toys and stuffed animals. They should be sent to the office to the attention of Elaine Ragan.

Important January Dates

6          Classes Resume
8          NJHS Meeting, 8 a.m.
12        Reflections Reception at Jefferson HS
13-17   Semester Exams
20-21   No School
21        Burger 21 Grade 8 Fund-raiser
23        Grade 6 Preview Night

By Karen Ring


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Davidsen Dragons Gear up for the Next Nine Weeks

For those Dragons still wishing to participate in Reflections, it is not too late!

Reflections is sponsored by that National PTA and offers students the opportunity to express themselves through one of these genres: dance choreography, literature, photography, visual arts, music composition and film production. Participation is voluntary and students work on their projects independently. Entries must be turned in to homeroom teachers by Friday, Oct. 11, along with an entry form that has been signed by a parent. Entries will be judged on how well the student uses his artistic vision to portray this year’s theme: Believe, Dream, Inspire. For more information, contact

The first nine weeks are coming to a close and what better way exists for our Dragons to celebrate all of their hard work than by breaking it down on the dance floor at the membership dance, which will be held on Friday, Oct. 25, from 4:15-6:15 p.m.  If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign your child up for the PTSA. Members will be admitted to the dance at no charge.

During the week of Oct. 23-31, students will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week with numerous activities meant to remind them of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.  Looking ahead to November, speakers are needed for the Great American Teach In on Nov. 21. This is a great opportunity to share your work experience with students and show them how all their hard work in middle school will pay off in the future. If you are interested, e-mail

The PTSA’s Hospitality Committee would like to thank Westchase Pizza and Pasta (formerly San’s) for providing our teachers with dinner on the first conference night of the year, which took place on Sept. 18. The committee also extends its gratitude to all the new recruits and business partners that attended the Volunteer Breakfast on Sept. 19.

The PTSA can always use for volunteers for events throughout the year. Visit the PTSA Web site, and l,ike us on Facebook to keep tabs on upcoming events. The PTSA is also excited to announce the new online ordering link on the Web site, where you can purchase Spirit Shirts, PTSA memberships, Discount Cards and Legacy Bricks. All items will be sent home with students. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!

Last, here is some exciting news from the eighth grade ranks: the votes for this year’s theme have been cast and counted. The winner is...Midnight in Paris. Ooh la la!

The school year is off to a great start. Now it’s time for the Dragons to wrap up those Reflections entries and gear up for another successful nine weeks!

By Karen Ring


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Dragons Set for New School Year

Davidsen’s 2013-2014 school year kicked off with the annual Welcome Back Teacher Breakfast on Aug. 12.

Members of the PTSA Hospitality Committee were on hand to serve up a variety of breakfast goodies to teachers and staff to remind them how much their efforts in getting the school year off to a great start are appreciated.

The school doors opened on Aug. 20 and already the PTSA is busy planning the events of the coming year. Next up will be the Volunteer/Business Partner Breakfast on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. Immediately following, an informational meeting for all eighth grade parents interested in helping with eighth grade activities throughout the year will be held at 10:30 a.m.

The best way to stay informed about school news is to become a member of the PTSA. Plenty of volunteer opportunities exist. Membership also has its privileges…including a free ticket to the first school dance (details forthcoming). Visit the PTSA Web site, to fi,nd out more.

Be sure to order your $10 Community Discount Card, which offers great discounts at the area’s most popular establishments. Another fun way to support the school while leaving a lasting legacy is by purchasing a Legacy Brick. These personalized bricks line the cafeteria walls and are a great way to leave your name behind long after your Davidsen days are over. Legacy Bricks are just $10 each. Order forms for the discount card and the legacy bricks were sent home in the first-day packets and are also available on the PTSA Web site.

Although the school year has just begun, it’s time to get those creative juices flowing and start brainstorming about Reflections entries.  This year’s theme is Believe, Dream, Inspire.  Submission deadlines and details will be announced later, but it is never too early to start looking for inspiration.

The school year has just begun, but it is already shaping up to be another successful one at Davidsen Middle School! 

Davidsen PTSA Executive Board


Kendra Drake

First VP Ways and Means

Elaine Ragan, Kate Sorsby

Second VP Membership

Tammy Huynh, Sarah Carroll

Third VP Volunteers

Ruth Smith


Belinda Krauss

Corresponding Secretary

Karen Ring

Recording Secretary

Dina Marcus


Nancy Gerovac, Jen Warnke, Beth Cupari

By Karen Ring


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Davidsen Open House on Aug. 16

It is that time of year again – time to dig out those backpacks, dust off the school uniforms and get ready for another wonderful year at Davidsen Middle School.

The first day of school will be Tuesday, Aug. 20. In preparation, Davidsen will host its back-to-school open house on Friday, Aug. 16. Hours will be 2:30-4 p.m. for incoming sixth graders and 4:30-6 p.m. for seventh and eighth graders. It’s a great opportunity for students to meet their teachers, pick up class schedules and catch up with friends.

The Davidsen PTSA will be on hand at the open house to sign up new members and answer questions about volunteer opportunities. They will also be selling spirit shirts, which will sport an exciting new design this year. The shirts will be offered in black, blue and gray for $10 each. Order forms will also be sent home in the first-day-of-school packet.

At 6 p.m. immediately following the open house the PTSA will host a general meeting to vote on the budget for the coming year. All are invited to attend. The PTSA will be in good hands again this year, as Kendra Drake returns for her second year as president. We thank Kendra and all of the returning and incoming PTSA members.

Last, we are excited to announce that Daviden’s principal, Mr. Brent McBrien, was named middle school principal of the year by the Hillsborough County PTA! He was also the only one chosen by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to represent Hillsborough County for the Measures of Effective Teaching project. Davidsen was selected to participate in the production of a video explaining the Measures of Effective Teaching. Mr. McBrien always goes the extra mile and is determined to upgrade our classrooms with the most current technology.

We thank Mr. McBrien and all of the teachers and staff members who go above and beyond to ensure that our students are in excellent hands at Davidsen.

Now get out there and enjoy those last few weeks of summer, Dragons! Another exciting school year is just around the corner.

By Karen Ring


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Dragons Bid Farewell to Eighth Graders

Welcome to June and the end of another school year at Davidsen!

It’s amazing how quickly the middle school years pass and how much a child can grow and change in three years. Less than confident sixth graders quickly become eighth graders who rule the hallways and are ready to conquer high school. We thank all the teachers and staff that help our children grow a little wiser and stronger each year. We appreciate all that you do and the impact you have made on our kids.

Davidsen’s Class of 2013 has been busy with a class field trip to Islands of Adventure, yearbook signings and the always amazing eighth grade dance. I am sure all graduating students will remember the Moonlight Masquerade, where they danced the night away and said arrivederci to middle school. As always, we thank Mr. Heath and all the volunteers who helped transform the lunch room into a special Italian moonlit night. Without the help of these parents and teachers, the eighth grade events would not have been possible. Grazie to all!

We also send a special Dragon shout out to all who helped with Teacher Appreciation Week and the Davidsen Sports Banquet. Thank you, volunteers! We appreciate all you do.

Hooray to San’s Pizzeria for providing delicious meals for our teachers. Great food was enjoyed by all after a long day of conferences. San’s always supports our school in a big way. This summer we encourage our Davidsen families to stop in and enjoy a meal at San’s Pizzeria to show gratitude for supporting our school.

We wish everyone a fun and safe summer. We offer a heartfelt goodbye to our eighth grade Dragons and a special welcome to all incoming sixth graders joining the Davidsen family!

By Dana Gerus


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Davidsen Celebrates Teachers in May

May is a time for appreciation, goodbyes and congratulations.

Congratulations to Davidsen’s Hannah Keller and Elizabeth Corn, who moved on to compete in this year’s State Science and Engineering Fair. Both girls took home high honors for their projects. Hannah took third place in the Junior Behavioral and Social Sciences and Elizabeth earned first place in Microbiology. Elizabeth was also named as a 2013 Broadcom Masters nominee and earned her project a chance to qualify for a showcase event held in Washington D.C. Nice job, ladies! You make our school proud.We offer a big Dragon shout-out to all the teachers at Davidsen! During the month of May we will be honoring our teachers’ commitment to our school and students by celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. A special teacher breakfast is planned for May 6 to celebrate our staff. Take some time this month to let your favorite teachers how thankful you are for all they do.

The end of the school year is busy for all students but especially for the Davidsen class of 2013. The eighth graders are getting ready to walk their final steps in Davidsen’s hallways as they prepare to say goodbye to middle school. The end-of-the-year activities will kick off with a trip to Orlando on May 23 to spend the day at Islands of Adventure. On May 31 our oldest Dragons will be celebrating a Moonlit Masquerade, which is the theme of this year’s eighth grade dance. Mr. Heath is already hard at work getting ready to transform the cafeteria for a magical, moonlight night.

Once again the Westchase Relay for Life will be held at Davidsen Middle School. Come out on May 10 and support the teams who are raising money to help find a cure for cancer. Food and fun are always part of this event. Volunteers are also needed. E-mail Kendra Drake at if you are interested in contributing your time.

By Dana Gerus


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Davidsen Medieval Fair Kicks Off Spring Break

Water balloon launchers, prizes and food!

What better way to kick off spring break then the annual Davidsen Medieval Fair? The fair was successfully held on March 8 and students, staff and volunteers all had a terrific time. We thank Amy Daner and all the volunteers who worked for months to make this event a success. Please be sure to turn to pages 42-43 for photos of the fun.

Without our terrific volunteers events like the Medieval Fair would not be a success. We are looking for PTSA board members for the 2013-2014 school year. If you are interested, please contact Pam Wilcox at

We offer a big Dragon shout out to Olive Garden, which provided a wonderful dinner on conference night. The teachers appreciated the wonderful meal on this busy night.

This year students will take the FCAT from April 15-19. Our students have studied hard all year and are ready. Good luck to all Dragons. We know you will do well!

By Dana Gerus


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Davidsen Students Reap Success at Fair

Dragons brought home STEM Fair awards in February

The 2013 Hillsborough Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair was held at the Tampa Convention Center Feb. 11-13. We are proud to announce that among the winners were many Davidsen students.
Elizabeth Corn’s project, The Effects of Nanoparticle Size on the Antibacterial Effects of Zinc Oxide (ZnO) on E.Coli Bacteria, placed first in the Junior Microbiology category and also won Junior Division Best of Fair award!

Hannah Keller also took the first place award from the Florida Psychological Association and second place in Junior Behavioral and Social Science for her project, Comparing the Effectiveness of Reading Aloud to a Therapy Dog vs. an Adult Mentor on the Reading Fluency of Second Grade Students Based on Gender and Reading Level.

Other winners were Shawn Gerovac, who received a merit award for Junior Physics; Stephanie Corn, who won an honorable mention for Junior Chemistry; and Nimna Gabadage, who took third place in the Junior Physics category.

The hard work and dedication of these students is evident in their terrific results. We congratulate them on their achievements and send special congratulations to Elizabeth Corn and Hannah Keller, who will be representing Davidsen Middle School on Team Hillsborough later this month at the 58th annual State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland.

Gallant knights, beautiful princess and fierce dragons await you on March 8! OK, maybe it will just be some Dragons having a fun time at Davidsen’s annual Medieval Fair. Students, teachers and helpers always have a great time at this event. Volunteers are always appreciated and welcomed. Please contact Amy Daner at to donate your time and join in the fun. Small toys and stuffed animals are also needed and can also be donated and left in the office, marked to the attention of Amy Daner – Medieval Fair.

The PTSA’s nominating committee is busy searching for volunteers for the 2013-2014 executive board and its committees. If you are interested, please contact them at

Congratulations to all students who received straight A’s for the second quarter and made the principal’s honor roll. In honor of their accomplishments, they were treated to an honor roll breakfast and will soon be receiving their PHD T-shirts. Way to go, PHD Dragons! We are proud of you!

By Dana Gerus


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Davidsen Running Club Sets Pace for February

Run, Dragons, run!

The Davidsen Running Club is looking for new members and will meet every Tuesday in February from 4:30-5:30 p.m. No running experience is needed. Improve your running skills using games, obstacle courses and jogs around the school. All participants are guaranteed to have fun and will receive a Davidsen Running Club sports water bottle for participating!

The running club is also sponsoring a shoe drive. Bring in any used running shoes, regardless of their condition. These will be recycled through Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program. Through this program, worn-out athletic shoes are recycled, made into sports surfaces and kept out of landfills. Drop off your old shoes at Davidsen Middle School or the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center.

Believe it or not, it’s almost time for the annual Medieval Fair! This year’s event will be held on March 8. Please donate any gently used toys or stuffed animals that you may have gathering dust around the house. Just place the items in a plastic bag to be delivered to the office to the attention of Amy Daner. 

Mark your calendars to help with the Medieval Fair. Volunteers are always welcome. Currently help is needed for ticket sales from Monday-Wednesday, March 4-6. Ticket bundling and set up help is also needed on March 7 and on the day of the event. Please contact Amy Daner for more information at

A big Dragon shout-out and congratulations go to our students who were recognized at the county level for Reflections entries. These include Meredith Puster (judges choice) and Claire Chesney (third place) for film and Kaley Wojiechoski (honorable mention) and Aleena Ruscella (third place) for photography. Nice job, Dragons!

Looking ahead, our honor roll breakfast is scheduled for Feb. 12 and Davidsen Conference Night is Feb. 27. Keep informed on all upcoming events by visiting the PTSA Web site,


By Dana Gerus


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Davidsen Reflections Participants Advance to County Level

Davidsen is proud to announce the 2012-2013 Reflections participants who will advance to the county level.

Over 80 students submitted entries based on the theme “The Magic of a Moment.” We congratulate all our amazingly talented Dragons who participated and those who will advance in the competition.

Photography: Kaley Wojciechowski, Bailey Jones, Shawn Gerovac and Aleena Ruscella
Literature: Katie Morello, Morgan King and Larissa Krinos
Film Production: Linda Claire Chesney and Meredith Puster
Visual Arts: Leah Pelcastre, Olivia Cien and Darby Murray

For their hard work, all Reflections participants were treated to a donut recognition breakfast; we thank Dunkin Donuts on Race Track Road for making this possible.

This year’s Great American Teach In was a success, thanks to all participants. Whether you were a speaker, a baker or hospitality volunteer who made the day special, it was a fun event and the students enjoyed the day.

We also want to give a shout out to Greek City Café, which provided dinner to our staff on conference night. It was appreciated by all and delicious!

We wish everyone a wonderful New Year; many events are planned for the coming year, including a few upcoming dances and the ever popular Medieval Fair. Keep informed of all events and volunteer opportunities at


By Dana Gerus


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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visits Davidsen

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Davidsen Middle School was chosen for a visit by a team representing The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

They were there to assess the status of Hillsborough County's Empowering Effective Teacher's (EET) grant, which is producing a revolutionary new way to evaluate and improve teachers and administrators. Their initial findings have shown substantial increases in the quality of classroom instruction and admiration for improvements teachers are making. Davidsen Middle School represents what is right with education. The school reflects the investment made by students, parents, and community – and it showed during the visit. It was quite an honor to be chosen by this fabulous foundation to represent Hillsborough County schools.

Good luck to all of our Reflections art contest participants! We’re excited to announce that we received many more entries than we did in previous years and we’re looking forward to announcing the winners. All the participants, however, were treated to a special breakfast on Nov. 28 to thank them for their hard work. It is always exciting to see what wonderful ideas our students submit each year.

We thank the students and teachers who participated in the October Box Top Drive. We raised $800 for our school. Congratulations to Mrs. Shelton, the teacher with the most Box Tops collected in her classroom. Her class brought in 740 and she won a $25 Publix gift card! The next drive is in February, so start clipping and saving those Box Tops over the holidays.

Once again we would like to give a Dragon shout out to our business partner, San's Pizzeria. They sponsored the Nov. 14 Davidsen Family Night. It was a huge success and the teachers and students that participated had a great time. We can’t express our gratitude for all the wonderful things they do for our school. Thank you again, San’s!

Things always get busy in December so be sure to mark these events on your calendar. Dec. 5 is conference night, Dec. 13 is the orchestra concert and Dec. 20 is the band concert.

Congratulations to all our PHD dragons who earned straight A’s for the first quarter. Nearly 240 students made the grade this time around and were treated to breakfast for their achievements. Keep up the great work, Dragons!

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday break!

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Davidsen Band Rocks Alonso

Fall was in the air on Oct. 12 as the eighth grade band played at the Alonso vs. Plant football game.

The Davidsen band played “Party Rock” with the Alonso High School band and truly rocked the stadium. A great time was had by all and the Ravens were victorious. We thank Mrs. Cochran for her dedication to all of the Davidsen band programs.

The biggest event in November is the Great American Teach-In. Many volunteers are needed for this event on Nov. 15. If you have a career or hobby that you would like to share, please contact Kendra Drake at If you are available this day, please think about joining our Great American Teach-In team. We have had terrific speakers in the past and look forward to all the great ones volunteering this year.

The theme for this year’s reflections event was “The Magic of a Moment.” Every year we are amazed at the creative entries sent by our Dragons. As our special thanks to all students who submitted entries for this year’s contest, a breakfast will be held on Nov. 28 in their honor. The Reflections Awards will be presented later; we wish all our participants the best of luck!

The eighth grade students have voted and this year’s theme will be Moonlight Masquerade. Many diligent eighth grade parents are busy planning T-shirts and fabulous banquet ideas based on this year’s theme. Everyone can’t wait to see what Mr. Heath will create this year for our departing class. It should be spectacular as always.

We look forward to a fabulous month and the beginning of a new quarter. Congrats to all our PHD students who earned straight A’s. They will be honored on Nov. 8 with a special breakfast. Keep up the great work!

As always, volunteers for any and all events are greatly appreciated. Keep track of upcoming events on the Davidsen Middle School PTSA Web site,


Take the time to be thankful for those who inspire you this month.

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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A Time To “Reflect” At Davidsen

Is your child participating in the Reflections Program?

Reflections is a voluntary arts program that is sponsored by the National PTA and encourages students to express themselves through musical composition, literature, photography, visual arts, dance choreography and film production. Each entry is judged on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme. This year’s theme is “The Magic of a Moment.”

Students work independently at home to create one entry in one or more of the six categories. All entries must be returned to homeroom teachers by Wednesday, Oct. 24, with an attached entry form, completed on both sides and including a parent’s signature. Please contact Nancy Gerovac at with questions. Additional entry forms can be found in the office or on the National PTA Web site, Good .luck to all our entrants.

It is time for Davidsen Dragons to bust a move at the membership dance. This is the first dance of the year and is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18, from 4:15-6:15 p.m. All PTSA members will be admitted to the dance at no charge. Come on out and support the PTSA and show your mad skillz on the dance floor. It’s a great way to celebrate the end of the first nine weeks of school.

Looking ahead, Davidsen will be seeing red Oct. 22-26 as we celebrate Red Ribbon Week. Many activities are planned for this week to remind our students of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Also be sure to mark your calendars for The Great American Teach In, set for Nov. 15. Speakers are needed! Please e-mail if you are interested.

Thanks to all those who participated in the Business Partner/Volunteer Breakfast on Sept. 20. We especially thank San’s Pizzeria, which donated all the food for the first teacher conference night on Sept. 25. It was fantastic! Volunteers are always welcome and appreciated. Please check out our Web site, to vo,lunteer and stay informed about all upcoming activities.

October brings cooler temperatures and the end of the grading period. Be sure to attend the Alonso football game on Oct. 12 to see the Davidsen eighth grade band perform.

We hope you enjoy the pleasant weather, start working on your Reflections entry and have a great month.

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Dragons Kick Off New School Year

A big “welcome back” to all Davidsen Dragons and staff!

The 2012-2013 school year was kicked off with a breakfast provided by the PTSA. Nancy Gerovac and a group of volunteers treated the guests of honor to a variety of baked goods and breakfast goodies. It was a nice way to ease into a new school year while enjoying the cool atmosphere provided by the new air conditioning system installed over the summer. We particularly thank all volunteers who helped with this event.

The students were greeted back to school at the Aug. 17 open house. Students were able to pick up their schedules, catch up with friends and buy their spirit shirts. As always, this was a nice transition to say goodbye to summer break and start preparing for the year ahead.

Once again the PTSA is busy planning many events and activities for the school year. Join us for the volunteer/business partner breakfast at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20. We will meet in the cafeteria to discuss opportunities for the coming year.

To keep up with the latest events and take advantage of Davidsen’s many volunteer opportunities, check out the Davidsen PTSA Web site, Also,. don’t forget to join the PTSA; it is one of the best ways to support our school. Membership has its privileges, including a free ticket to the first dance of the year (dance details will be announced later).

Another great way to support the school is by purchasing the community discount card. Yes, it’s back! These cards are only $10 and deliver many wonderful discounts at local businesses. This year the card has a new look and a few new businesses. Buy yours today; it is a great value and one of the easiest ways to contribute to Davidsen.

Calling all Dragons! Get those creative juices flowing and start on those Reflections entries. This year’s theme is “the Magic of a Moment.” Details on submitting entries will be announced later, but don’t delay starting on your entry today.

Welcome to all students old and new! We are looking forward to a great year at an A-rated school with our A-rated students and staff.

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Davidsen Open House Aug. 17

As the last month of summer break comes to a close, it’s time to prepare for another great school year at Davidsen Middle School.

Mark your calendar if you haven’t already! School starts on Aug. 21.

As always, we thank our teachers and staff who make returning to school a wonderful experience for all students, new and old. On Aug. 17, Davidsen will be hosting its annual open house. The sixth grade open house is from 2:30-4 p.m. and seventh and eighth graders are scheduled from 4:30-6 p.m. This is a great time for students to pick up their schedules, meet their new teachers and catch up with friends they haven’t seen all summer. There will also be a PTSA general meeting following the open house at 6 p.m. All are invited to attend.

The Davidsen PTSA will be available at the open house and will be selling spirit shirts and the new 2012/2013 Community Discount Card. During open house you can also join the PTSA and learn about volunteer opportunities available for the upcoming school year. Volunteers are needed for open house and many other events throughout the school year. If you are interested in lending a hand, please e-mail Kendra Drake at We appreciate the time and dedication shown by all our Davidsen PTSA volunteers.

Planning for the 2012-2013 school year is off to a great start and the PTSA looks forward to a fabulous year with our new president, Kendra Drake. Kendra was very active in the Davidsen PTSA last year as the Vice President of Ways and Means. She brings a lot of experience to her current position as she served as Westchase Elementary PTA President. We offer a warm welcome to Kendra, all members of the Davidsen PTSA Executive Board and committee chairs for the coming year!

We hope all our Dragons cherish their last few weeks of summer and have fabulous tales to tell once school starts up again in a few weeks.

Davidsen PTSA Executive Board


Kendra Drake

1st VP Ways and Means

Kate Sorsby, Elaine Ragan

2nd VP Membership

Kathi Ballehr, Alyssa Herbig


Belinda Krauss

3rd VP Volunteers

Ruth Smith

Recording Secretary

Dina Marcus

Corresponding Secretary

Dana Gerus

By Dana Gerus


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Dragons Celebrate Endings and Beginnings

Fire and ice and endings and beginnings were the themes for Davidsen’s graduating class.

The eighth graders celebrated the end of their middle school days and the beginning high school. They were greeted by a unicyclist and entered their final middle school dance through either an igloo or flames. They were greeted by two very large dragons – created entirely of recycled products by Mr. Heath and his advanced art students.

One side of the transformed room was on fire and the other on ice. Food was donated by Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen, Delaware North Companies and San’s Pizzeria, and Kevin Carathanasis of Mail Marketing provided invitations. The kids enjoyed a photo booth, cotton candy torches, ice slushies, and a game room. The evening included a surprise appearance by Fritzy Brothers One Man Circus, whose various acts included a big surprise: fire eating! The kids were amazed and gathered to watch. Over 275 students celebrated the night in style. Check out pages 94-95 for photos of the fun.

We thank the Eighth Grade Committee and all the parents who showed up to transform the cafeteria into what was called the best dance yet. We also couldn’t have done it without the support of the school administration; Mr. Heath for the fabulous dragons, which have yet to be taken down; his art students, who spent hours making the decorations; and Ms. Talamantez, for her help with the field trip, yearbook signing, and decorating for the dance.

We wish all of the students good luck in high school and beyond. We hope you had a great final year and look forward to seeing your accomplishments. Farewell, Dragons, you will all be missed!

In other June news, Chloe Robinson received an award of merit for film from Florida PTA Reflections. Davidsen teacher Shanta Talamantez received a plaque for the Instructional Support person of the year. Mr. McBrien was also nominated for principal of the year. Davidsen PTSA received recognition for volunteers, student involvement and communications excellence. Thank you to Lynne Donahue for submitting these to the county on behalf of our PTSA!

As we know, summer goes by in the blink of an eye. Mark your calendars for Aug. 21, the first day of school. Until then, rest, relax and enjoy summer.

By Kendra Drake


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June Marks Davidsen Endings and Beginnings

It is hard to believe the 2011-2012 school year is coming to a close.

It’s time to welcome the fifth grade students who visited from Westchase, Lowry and Deer Park Elementary Schools. We’re excited to have you join the Davidsen family in August.

It’s also time to say goodbye to our eighth grade Dragons, who are finishing this year with their end-of-year dance. This year’s theme, Fire and Ice, represents the endings and beginnings that mark their last year of middle school. We wish them much success in high school and know they will always be Davidsen Dragons.

This year has been an academically strong one for our school. Over 200 students achieved PHD status for the third quarter; they were treated to a special breakfast and a PHD Dragon T-shirt. The school also inducted 102 new members to the National Junior Honor Society. Congratulations to the students who worked hard all year to achieve these honors.

We thank Amy Daner and the Teacher Appreciation Committee, which treated our teachers, staff and faculty to a week of appreciation and surprises. From the special teacher breakfast to the delicious nacho bar and nice luncheon, we hope our teachers enjoyed their special week and know how wonderful we think they are. We also thank Tijuana Flats and San’s Pizzeria for providing delicious meals for our fabulous teachers and Leroy Selmon’s in Palm Harbor for providing the fabulous dinner during conference night.

It’s also time to say goodbye to this year’s PTSA president. We offer a big Dragon shout out to Marcy Bunn, who worked hard to make sure this year’s PTSA events and activities were successes. Marcy has been a hard working member of the PTSA for three years and helped co-chair SpiritLine before serving as president. Good luck to you, Marcy. You will be missed!

Once again we thank the volunteers who helped out this school year. Your dedication and help are greatly appreciated. Our special thanks go to Lynne Donahue and Pam Wilcox for preparing, submitting, and presenting our Five-Star Book. Thanks to their efforts, we are moving on to the State PTSA level. Way to go, ladies!

Enjoy the summer! August and the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year will soon be here.

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Kudos to Davidsen’s Outstanding Students and Teachers

It’s been a year of great accomplishments at Davidsen Middle School.

The 57th State Science and Engineering Fair was held at the Lakeland Center on April 3-5. We are proud to announce that Davidsen Middle School students took top awards. Congratulations to Hannah Keller and Elizabeth Corn! Hannah for took first place in the Behavioral and Social Science category and Elizabeth received a top award in chemistry. We are so proud of these talented scientists!

Congratulations also go to our terrific Davidsen Volleyball team! The girls won the first three games against Hill, Walker and Webb. The sixth graders have been impressively cohesive for a new group and the more seasoned seventh and eighth graders have strongly closed their games. We thank Coach Pelfrey and Coach LaRosee for guiding our girls to this level. These girls also deserve our kudos for an exciting beginning to their season!

The Davidsen Band and Orchestra students have been working hard all year and are preparing their end-of-the-year concerts. The orchestra will be playing on May 22 at Davidsen following the PTSA membership meeting and the band will play on May 25 at Sickles High School. Please come to both performances and support these programs.

Behind all these achievements are great students and a dedicated faculty who help assist our students. May 7 is the start of Teacher Appreciation Week and we will be showing our wonderful teachers, coaches and administrators how important they are. This is a great time to drop your teacher an e-mail or small note of thanks for all they do to set our kids up for success.

We offer our special thanks to everyone who helped with this year’s Medieval Fair. The donated items and volunteers contributed to its success. The kids had an awesome time!
May and June are a busy time. Please mark your calendars with the dates.

End of Year Events

May 7  Teacher Appreciation Week
May 14 NJHS Induction
May 18 End of Year Field Trip
May 22 PTSA Membership Meeting; Orchestra Concert
May 24 Awards
May 25 Band Concert at Sickles High School
June 1  Eighth Grade Dance

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Dragons Enjoy Medieval Fair

There were turkey legs, dunk tanks and tons of fun.

After months of preparation, teachers and volunteers manned the booths on March 9 for Davidsen’s annual Medieval Fair. A offer a big thank you to Amy Daner and all who volunteered to make this event a success. What a wonderful way to kick off spring break! We couldn't have pulled it off without everyone's help! It was a long day and a great time was had by all.

This year’s box tops drive was another success. Davidsen raised almost $900 for the school. Ms. Worme and Bailie Smith were this year’s Box Top Contest winners. Ms. Worme’s homeroom brought in the most box tops and Bailie Smith won the random drawing. Each winner received a gift certificate from Target. What a great way to earn some extra money for our school!

It’s hard to believe there are only a few months left in the school year. Our Davidsen eighth graders are preparing to end their middle school days with many events. Please see the inset box and mark your calendars.

A big Dragon shout out goes out to the Little Greek for providing a wonderful dinner for our teachers on conference night. We thank them for their generosity!

Don’t forget to order your 2011-2012 yearbook. The cost is only $35 and this year it will be printed in full color. Place your order through the school (with a check or money order payable to Davidsen Middle School) or online at (order number 2221). Order yours today.

As this year’s school year draws to a close, it is time to start searching for next year’s PTSA volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering your time as a PTSA board member, please contact Amy Hodges at

This year the FCAT will be taken from April 16-20.  We know our students have studied hard and are ready to rock the test. Good luck, Dragons!

Eighth Grade Events

May 18     Field Trip
May 24     Awards
June 1     Eighth Grade Dance

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Davidsen’s Medieval Fair March 9

Spring break for Davidsen’s Dragons is right around the corner.

After all the hard work it’s time for our students to have a little fun at Davidsen’s Medieval Fair! This year it will be held on March 9. There are still many volunteer spaces available. Students, teachers and helpers always have a great time at this event. Please contact Amy Daner at to donate your time and join in the fun. Small toys and stuffed animals can also be donated and left in the office marked to the attention of Amy Daner–Medieval Fair.

Spring break runs March 12-16. Once the students return, Davidsen will be holding a dance on March 30. The theme is Mardi Gras and the dance will be co-sponsored by the student council. Come on out for a great time of dancing and music.

The Davidsen eighth grade Dragons would like to thank everyone who joined them for dining night at Surf Shack in January and San’s Pizzeria in February. They also thank Surf Shack and San’s for donating a portion of sales back to our graduating class.

We would also like to give a Dragon Shout Out to Mr. McBrien, Ms. Talamantez, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Hallman, Mr. O’Keife, Mr. Rohrbaker, Ms. Houston, Ms. Poyner, Ms. King, Mr. Miller, Mr. Dashner and Mr. Larosse for coming out to San’s and serving tables.

Special thanks also go to Little Greek for sponsoring dinner for the faculty and staff during conference night on Feb. 23. We also would like to thank Tijuana Flats for providing dinner last quarter. The food is always terrific and makes it easier for our staff to make it through a long day.

If you’re looking for an easy way to support our school and enjoy a tasty treat, stop by Just Say When Yogurt, located in the Citrus Park Mall near Dick’s Sporting Goods. Every Monday and Wednesday from 4-7:30 p.m. they donate 20 percent of their profits to Davidsen Middle School. Just mention our school by name when ordering.

Once again, over 220 students received straight A’s for the second quarter and made the Principal’s Honor Roll. In honor of their accomplishment they were treated to a Chik-fil-A breakfast and will soon be receiving their PHD T-shirts. Way to go PHD Dragons! We are proud of you!

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Oldest Dragons Keep Busy With February Fund-Raising

As we enter the third quarter, Davidsen’s eighth graders are busily preparing for end-of-the-year activities. Be sure to mark your calendars for these fund-raising events benefitting the eighth grade class. Davidsen Dining Night at San’s Pizzeria is Feb. 9 from 5-8 p.m. Your delicious meal will be served by Mr. McBrien and many of your favorite teachers. If you can’t join us, call in for take-out. Ten percent of proceeds go to the eighth grade class.

Also be sure to order Candy Grams for your favorite classmates and teachers Feb. 7-9. Their cost is $1. Candy Grams will be on sale during lunch and are always popular with the students.

For only $10, you can purchase a Legacy brick for your child or your favorite teacher. For more information contact Tracy Urso at 786-3770 or

We offer our special congratulations to the winners of this year’s Reflections art contest. Once again, many Davidsen students took home top honors. Special shout outs go to Emily Miller, judges choice in visual arts; Sabrina Sanchez, judges choice in photography; Meredith Puster and Dilina Weerapperuma, honorable mentions in music composition; and Chloe Robinson, second place in film production. We are proud of all of your accomplishments!

Medieval Fair is right around the corner. We will be having this annual event on March 9. The fair is great fun for the volunteers and students alike. We are always looking for extra hands to help with this event. If you are interested, please e-mail Amy Daner at There are still many opportunities available to sell tickets or help with booths. New or gently used stuffed animals and small toys are also needed. Please send these to the office to the attention of Amy Daner-Medieval Fair.

The PTSA is also looking for a treasurer for the 2012-2013 school year. If you are interested, please e-mail the Davidsen PTSA at This is a fairly straightforward job but we would like to give the new treasurer some exposure to the job requirements before the year’s end. Please consider helping if you can.

Thanks again to all our teachers, volunteers and students who make our school special. Keep up the great work! We appreciate all you do.

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Davidsen Welcomes Back Dragons

Yes it’s true! January is here and winter break is behind us. It’s time to look forward to many upcoming events at Davidsen.

January brings another dance. The annual NJHS dance will be held on Jan. 20 immediately after school. Buy your tickets, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to have some fun. As always, volunteers are needed for this and all PTSA events. Please e-mail for more information.

The creativity, diversity and talent of our students will be celebrated at Jefferson High School on Jan. 8 when the winners of the Reflections art contest will be announced and honored. We are proud of all the entries submitted for this annual event. Special thanks go to Ilona Fraleigh and Becky Gordon, who did a great job bringing our students together to celebrate diversity.

It’s never too early to start planning for Davidsen’s Medieval Fair, a parent and teacher run festival for students only. It will take place on Friday, March 9, from 2:15-4:15 p.m. Here are the dates and times volunteers are needed:

Ticket pre-sales: Mon, Tue and Wed, March 5-7, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Bag pre-sale tickets: Thu, March 8, 10 a.m.-noon 
       Set up: 4-6 p.m.
Deliver tickets: Friday, March 9, 9-10 a.m.
       Finish set up: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
       Help at booths: 1:45-4:15 p.m.
       Clean up: 4:15-5:30 p.m.

Please e-mail Amy Daner at if you would like to help with this fun event!

In addition, we need new or gently used small toys and stuffed animals. They should be sent to the office to the attention of Amy Daner – Medieval Fair.

As always we would like to thank our PTSA business sponsors who help with events throughout the year. This month’s Dragon shout out goes to Tijuana Flats’ Mark Chiaramonte and Anthony Zupo, who provided a fabulous dinner for our faculty and staff on conference night. The delicious tacos, queso and guacamole were enjoyed by all.

We hope everyone is well rested after a long break and wish all students good luck on exams. January is a busy month, so be sure to make a note of its very important dates.

Important January Dates

2        Return from Break
8        Reflections Award Ceremony
9-13   Mid-Semester Exam Week
13      End of Semester
16-17 No School
20      NJHS Dance

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Dragons Lend a Helping Hand in December

This month our Dragons have the opportunity to adopt an angel. Through the school’s annual Adopt an Angel program, each homeroom sponsors a child and will collecting donations to purchase gifts for their angel. 

All the students are eager to participate in the program.  It’s encouraging to see our students take an interest in their community by lending a helping hand.  Way to go, Dragons!

While busy with their studies, Davidsen students have also found other ways to give back to the community. The members of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) have started a canned food drive during each meeting. Last month, 80 cans of food were collected and given to the Westchase food drive.  Canned goods will also be collected during the month of December to help fill the shelves of a local food bank.  

It’s hard to believe that the first few months of the school year have slipped away and we are already preparing for a well-deserved winter break. 

We offer a big round of applause to the 255 students who earned straight A’s on their report cards and earned the title PHD, Principal’s Honor Roll Dragon for the first semester.   These students were treated with a special breakfast in honor of their accomplishments and we are proud of all of them.

The PTSA would like to thank everyone for a very successful Box Top Drive. Through it we raised $530 for our school. Congratulations to Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Houston, who tied for first place. They will both be receiving $25 gift cards to Burger 21. Additionally, Emily Miller in Mrs. Bolivar’s homeroom won a $25 Target gift card in the student drawing. Congratulations to all the winners!  

We offer our special thanks to all our volunteers and business partners. Whether it is speaking at the Great American Teach In, making cherry snow cones for Red Ribbon Week or providing dinner for our teachers during a long conference night, we appreciate all you do to help make our school great.  We offer a special shout out to Tijuana Flats, which will be providing dinner for the teachers on Dec. 6.

We wish all Dragon students, staff and faculty a happy holiday break. See everyone in 2012!

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Dragon Hoopsters Have Terrific Season

What an amazing start Davidsen Dragons have had in their fall sports season. We offer a great big Davidsen Dragon shout out to the boys’ basketball team. Our Dragon hoopsters were undefeated and earned a spot in the championships this year. Congratulations to the boys’ basketball team and to all our excellent student athletes for an amazing season. We are proud of you!

The biggest event in November is the Great American Teach In. On Nov. 17 many volunteers are needed to speak to our students. If you have a career or hobby that you would like to share, please contact Ms. Pothier ( For this event to be a success, participants are needed! Please think about joining our Great American Teach In team by sharing your life experiences and knowledge with our students. We have had terrific speakers in the past and look forward to all the great ones volunteering this year.

“Diversity Is…” is the theme for this year’s Reflections Arts event. We thank all the students who created many wonderful entries for this year’s contest. The Reflections breakfast for all participants is Nov. 16. It is amazing how creative and talented our students can be.

A special Davidsen thank you goes to Ivan de la Guardia and all our friends over at San’s Pizzeria. Once again they provided a fabulous meal on conference night this year. The faculty and staff enjoyed the baked ziti, chicken marsala and other wonderful dishes. The caesar salad and amazing garlic knots were also a hit. We appreciate the special relationship and generous donations that San’s provides to our school.

As always, volunteers for all of Davidsen’s events are greatly appreciated. Keep track of upcoming events on the Davidsen Middle School PTA Facebook page.

A special volunteer is needed to help Mr. McBrien with the updating of our school sign. If you have some time on your hands, a tall ladder and are not afraid of heights, please consider volunteering for this responsibility. E-mail Nancy Ostrowski at if you can help.

We look forward to a fabulous month and the beginning of a new quarter. Congrats to all our Ph.D. students who earned straight A’s. They will be honored on Nov. 9 with a special breakfast. Keep up the great work!

We wish all students and faculty a wonderful Thanksgiving Break and hope they enjoy their time off!

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Why Not Like Davidsen’s PTSA?

Davidsen Middle School PTSA is proud to announce the addition of our very own Facebook page.

All you have to do is “like” our page to have access to the most current PTSA information. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date with school events.

It’s the time of year for falling leaves, cooler temperatures (hopefully) and the annual Reflections art projects. This year’s theme is “Diversity Means…” and the deadline for entries is Oct. 20. In past years, Davidsen students have submitted many fabulous entries and have always represented our school proudly. We can’t wait to see the amazing ideas our creative and talented Dragons will submit this year.

As always, October is one of the busiest months of the year. There are many activities and opportunities for volunteers. On Friday, Oct. 14, Davidsen’s annual PTSA membership dance will kick off the dance calendar for this year. This dance is free to all PTSA members, but tickets can be purchased Oct. 10-12 during lunch. Another great activity, Red Ribbon Week, will be held Oct. 24-28. Many activities will be planned during this week to help remind our Dragons of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Please contact if you are interested in volunteering for any of these events.

This year’s Community Discount Card fund-raiser is off to a great start with many cards sold. Cards will be sold at this year’s Westchase 20th Anniversary Party on Saturday, Oct. 29. Buy yours today and start enjoying the savings the smart card offers. For more information, go to the community card Web site,


As always we want to thank the many businesses that are actively involved with our school. A special Davidsen shout-out goes to Publix, which provided bags during Open House, and San’s Pizzeria, which treated our teachers with a delicious meal on conference night. We thank all the businesses that have donated to our school!

Mark your calendars for Nov. 17, the date of the Great American Teach In. Speakers are needed to make this event a success. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact D.J. Jones

We wish our Dragons cooler weather and fabulous fall fun.

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


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Davidsen Dragons Discover Newly Painted School

September brings cooler weather and the first full month of school. With summer now a memory, the students are focusing on new classes and teachers.

The newly painted hallways of Davidsen are busy with the sounds of students shuffling through textbooks and scurrying to classrooms before the bell rings.

The 2011-2012 school year was kicked off on Aug. 15 at the annual Welcome Back Breakfast. Faculty and staff were greeted with a fabulous array of breakfast treats. The teachers had a wonderful time catching up after the long summer break and preparing for the year to come. We offer special thanks to Elaine Ragan, the Hospitality Committee and all other volunteers for making this event a success.

The students were invited back on Aug. 19 for the annual sneak peek. Students picked up schedules and met teachers and everyone admired the newly painted school. PTSA membership, Spirit Shirts and community cards were also sold. Although most students were not ready to come back, they enjoyed seeing their classmates and eased back into the school routine without too many complaints.

It’s fall fundraiser time at Davidsen, so don’t forget to pick up your community discount card! For only $10 you receive many money-saving discounts from local businesses. Order forms were sent home the first day of school and will need to be returned by Sept. 9. Contact Kendra Drake ( with any questions or visit the newly created Web site, for m,ore information. Students who sell the discount cards will be eligible to win great prizes like an XBox 360, uniform passes and iPod shuffles. The purchase of this card is a great way to support our school and community.

Many activities are planned for the coming year and volunteers are needed to make these programs a success. The PTSA helps with dances, Red Ribbon Week and the Medieval Fair, among other events. Mark your calendars! The first night dance is scheduled for Oct. 15 and volunteers will be needed to decorate, sell tickets and chaperone. Please contact Nancy Ostrowski at to help with this or any other event for the upcoming year. As always, all volunteers are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Welcome back, Dragons and staff! We wish everyone a successful school year.

By Dana Gerus, PTSA Corresponding Secretary


By Tracy Urso on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 @ 11:45am

Don’t forget to purchase your Discount Cards from Davidsen, only $10 and it doesn’t expire until September of 2012!

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