By STEPHEN FLANAGAN JACKSON
Kelly McMillan, the principal of Apollo Beach Elementary School (ABES), is proud to say that “modeling good character is something that every student and staff member strives to do on a daily basis.” That daily creed, along with the school’s motto, Preparing Students for Life, are some of the reasons that ABES is honored as the South ShoreChamber of Commerce’s School of the Month for March.
Apollo Beach Elementary School has 650 students in grades K-5. It has been recognized as a State School of Character twice and also as a National School of Character.
McMillan urges, “Ask any of our students our character pledge and they will tell you that we work to act responsibly, be trustworthy, exhibit kindness and show respect.”
The goal of the staff at ABES is to support student success both academically and emotionally. “Not only do we have a talented staff, “ points out McMillan, “we are very fortunate at ABES to have incredibly supportive parents, an active PTA and the support of many community business partners.
“This circle of support makes such a difference in the lives of our students,” adds McMillan.
Apollo Beach Elementary School is a National School of Character, a distinction that only about 400 (early childhood through high school) in the U.S. hold. National Schools of Character are schools that have demonstrated excellent positive character development in academics, student behavior, and school climate.
Apollo Beach Elementary School holds the honor of being a National PTA School of Excellence.
Apollo Beach Elementary School has been a 5-Star School since the 5-Star award began over 10 years ago.
Apollo Beach Elementary School has over 4,550 volunteer hours from parents, grandparents and community members.
Apollo Beach Elementary School has teams placing at the Hillsborough County Math Bowl, STEM Fair, Science Olympics, Chess Tournaments and other extracurricular activities each year.
Activities for students and parents and staff are held throughout the school year. Among those that ABES is most proud of and pleased with are:
Annual Fall Festival. Family Art Nights. Family Ice Skating Night. Family SkyZone Night. Welcome Back to School Dinner with Entertainment. Kindergarten Roundup. Tears and Cheers (First day of school Coffee for Parents). Student of the Month. Spirit Week. Book Character Parade. Great American Teach-In. Movie Night. Book Fairs. Dr. Seuss Field Day.
The PTA at Apollo Beach Elementary has raised funds for the following:
1. Covered court to shade children while playing
2. Sunshades over playground and picnic tables so the children can play outside without becoming overheated
3. Resurfaced the track
4. Purchased soccer goals and net
5. Purchased gymnastics mats for the physical education department
6. Purchased several pieces of equipment for the music department including a microphone with speaker
7. Three Computers on Wheels (COWS)
10. Die Cut Machine
11. Document Cameras
13. Numerous books for the Media Center
14. Trophy Case
15. $5 book fair vouchers given to every student at the Fall Book Fair since 2011 — this will be the 8th year!
16. First place winner of the Westfield Brandon 2017-2018 Cash 4 Class program
17. Grants provided to all faculty since 2012 — this will be the 7th year!
18. 100% Faculty Award for PTA membership two years in a row