By STEPHEN JACKSON
East Bay High School is the latest School of the Month designee by the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce.
The school’s principal, Maria Gsell, was bursting with pride at the official presentation recently, and with good reason. “This is the first year that the SouthShore Chamber has presented School of the Month, and it has been a huge success,” commented chamber Executive Director Melanie Davis. In September 2018, Corr Elementary of Gibsonton was the first selection. Following that in successive months: Beth Shields Middle of Ruskin, Lennard High of Ruskin, Ruskin Elementary of Ruskin, and Waterset Charter Academy of Apollo Beach.
East Bay High earned the February designation thanks to the outstanding, positive efforts of the students, parents, faculty and administrators.
The school offers a full spectrum of classes for students who are college, career, or military bound with 19 AP or advanced placement courses and 15 industry certifications.
East Bay High School tops the Hillsborough County School District for the largest number of students registered for the Bright Futures Scholarship. Plus, it is one of only two schools served by the Gear Up grant, which provides opportunities such as college visits, guest speakers, mentors and Challenge Day for its students.
Increasing the graduation rate is another goal that EBHS continually strives to improve. Over the last five years, that graduation rate has jumped 15.8 percent with one of the top three increases in the district for the past year by registering 83.3 percent rate for the class of 2017 and then a 89.3 percent rate for the class of 2018.
Another point of pride is the attitude of community involvement expressed by the students and staff at EBHS as reflected by being the leader in Florida for blood donations for 2018-19.
Additionally, East Bay High is proud to bear the nickname “Indians.” The school is working closely with the Title IX Parent Advisory Council to demonstrate honor and respect for the Native American culture. East Bay has purchased traditional regalia for mascots, commemorated a festival in November honoring the Indian culture and learned how to best represent the school mascot in the 21st century.