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The Wows of 2016-17

June 26, 2017
By Perry R. Banse, Assistant Superintendent, Middle/High School Principal

Every school year is full of outstanding and memorable events, this year was no different. Now that the sports, concerts, awards, and graduations are all over it is a little easier to sit back and reflect on the accomplishments of the past school year. Our students have achieved so much more than I could reflect in a single blog. The following is a list of “wow” accomplishments as I see them from a principal’s point of view. I’m sure there are more and I apologize if I have missed your favorite one. If you have a notable “wow” moment you would like to share, please feel free to note it in the comment section at the bottom of the page. And remember, wow spelled backwards is still wow.

The girls cross country team won 2nd place in the Class A District 6 meet this year. 7th grader Erica Roberts had a 3rd place finish there. At the Class A Region 2 meet the girls finished 4th and qualified for the State Meet.

The boys cross country team won the Class A District 6 meet. Cooper LaBrant was the District champion. At the Class A Region 2 level the boys placed 3rd overall with Cooper again crowned first as the Regional Champion. At the State meet the boys finished 12th and Cooper 8th as an individual.

The Regiment marching band garnered first place finishes in Class A for both the Seminole Sound and Eastlake marching competitions.

The Talon yearbook took first place in the ACSI Division III competition. This was their first time to win this judging.

For the past 19 years, the National Honor Society and the Junior National Honor Society have put together “Angel Boxes” for Pinellas County foster children. This year they raised approximately $11,000 and produced 75 boxes for area foster teens. Additionally, they put together 134 Pack-A-Sack stockings for students in 3 local elementary schools and one middle school. As their goals have grown through the years, this makes over $170,000 raised for this project over the past 19 years.

The Fine Arts Department did an incredible job in their performance of “Singin’ In The Rain.” The drama, music and dancing were phenomenal. 

Our brand new rubberized track was finished just in time for the opening of track season. It allowed us to host our first MS track meet in 3 years and our first varsity one in the past 5. We were also able to host the Class A Region 2 meet.

IRCS sent 181 students (69% of the high school student body) and 35 adults on overnight Mini-Mester mission trips to Austria/Slovakia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Guatemala, Lakeland, London, North Carolina, Nicaragua, and Wyoming. We also had local options that worked at Beach Clean-up, Shepherd’s Village, and Street Ministry. Over the past 16 years, IRCS has sent 2426 students and 352 adults (2,778 total) to 26 different countries and 13 states on mission trips. Lives in each of these places were impacted as well as the lives of our students.

The Middle School choir was given Superior ratings at the FVA Solo/Ensemble completion for their Mixed Ensemble, Quartet, Trio and soloist Ashlynn Wells. At the ACSI Choral Festival the MS Choir was rated Superior as was soloist Pricilla Johnson.

At the Florida Vocal Association’s North Florida competition for public and private schools from all over the state the High School Show Choir, soloist Maddie Hubel and one pianist Kaitlyn Yu received superior ratings. Of all the contestants for the competition, seven performances are chosen at the end of the day for a special Honors Concert performance. The Show Choir was chosen to perform at this concert.

Senior James Thorpe won the FHSAA Class A state championship for shot put and placed second in the discus. The boys track team won the Class A District 6 meet, finished second in the Class A Region 2 meet and finished 4th overall for Class A at the State Meet. The girls track team also won the Class A District 6 meet. Subsequently, James was named Tampa Bay Times “Athlete of the Year” for track and Coach Vern Kinsey was named “Coach of the Year”.

The High School Choir competed in the Music USA festival in Orlando. They received a superior rating and 1st place in the High School Concert Choir Category. Maddie Hubel was given a superior rating as a soloist and Bianca Sol Cruz was given a special award as an outstanding soloist in the choir number. MS student Ashlynn Wells also received a Superior for her solo at this competition.

The IRCS class of 2017 featured 60 graduates. Seven of the 60 were accepted to the University of Florida. That is an impressive 12%! For the first time in the history of the school we had a 3 way tie for the Valedictorian honor. Kristi Byun, Joshua Guzman, and Shannon Jones all tied with the exact same grade point average. Lukas Miranda was our Salutatorian.

Sage Belcher, a 2016 graduate, was accepted into the Air Force Academy. He is the first of our graduates to attend one of the service academies.

The varsity baseball team capped a great season by winning the Class 3A District 5 championship and advancing all the way to the Regional finals before bowing out of the playoffs losing to eventual state champion Canterbury of Ft. Myers.

Sixty-two students received the IRCS Scholar Athlete award. This award is given to athletes that play at least two sports while maintaining a 3.9 Grade Point Average.

Sean Culkin, a Class of 2012 grad, signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles (San Diego) Chargers becoming our first football player to make the pros.