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Heads' Letter

HEADS' LETTER: Dec. 6, 2018

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The first competition for our kindergarten through third graders who are in the Corbett Prep Yes2Chess Club achieved an exciting success; they were the top performing school in their division. The team took 1st place out of 12 schools in Section C at the Alton Academy 4 Chess Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 1. The students played four games each in the local competition which was countywide. Bravo to the Yes2Chess players who competed last Saturday - Emerson Freundt, Ethan Freundt, Marjorie Mix, and Charles Yokum.

First grader Charles Yokum won all four of his games and tied for first place. The tournament was sanctioned by the United States Chess Federation (USCF). "I was proud that all four students did so well in their first competition," said Coach Craig MacDougal. "We will review the games and build on their strengths for upcoming competitions." The Corbett Prep Yes2Chess Club meets after school on Mondays to practice. The First Place Trophy is on display in the East Side office.


"Your kids are so kind," "The students listen to everyone on their team," and "We like that your team takes turns to talk." Those are just a few of the judges' comments when Middle School Students participated in a Lego Engineering Practice Competition on Saturday, Dec. 1. Team members who participated are Sofia Rodriguez, Marabelle Coggins, Yosef Halawani, Oriana Attias, Masaryk Romano, and Zachary Langsford. The team's coaches are Cynthia Whitney and Dr. Stephanie Carey - assistant coach.

The Lego Engineering Team named "The Corbett Prep Peacocks" took part in the Minotaur Madness First Lego League Practice at Stewart Middle Magnet School. Our team members used their robot to successfully complete the Satellite Orbit Mission, and they were interviewed in judging sessions about their robot design and programming. They presented their Magneto Glove project, which they designed to potentially help astronauts relieve the stress of being in space.


Last week the International School Connection team of Dr. Elaine Sullivan, Dr. John Fitzgerald, and Dr. Karolyn Snyder continued their work with our teachers on integrating the Global Learning Benchmarks (GLBs) into daily classroom life. In a workshop during in-service, the team gave feedback to teachers on their progress with curriculum integration. Focus groups were held with all Corbett Prep divisions and Middle School subject areas to learn how teachers are now thinking about the Global Learning Benchmark integration challenge.

Since OECD's PISA Exam (Programme for International Student Assessment) has declared that "Global Competence" is now a basic skill – along with reading, math, language, and the sciences – schools are now challenged to begin integrating emerging global realities into classroom life. A number of our classrooms have already begun to connect with schools around the world.

The ISC is working with Teachers throughout this current school year to advance global learning, a project that supports and enriches the global learning features of the International Baccalaureate Program at Corbett Prep. The goal is for our students to become globally aware, knowledgeable, articulate, and comfortable with understanding that global connections and interactions are increasingly an integral part of our contemporary world. Corbett Prep faculty have the privilege to learn from this dedicated group of educators who are back together again to continue the ISC program. For a number of years, Corbett Prep hosted the International Summits for the ISC when they occurred in the United States.


Congratulations to all of our "Jr. Scientists" who dove into the world of exploration and the scientific process through their projects. Outside judges involved professionally in the STEAM world (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Art of Design, and Mathematics) judged all the projects, along with our Middle School STEAM team. The judges were so complimentary about the level of excellence in all of the projects.

This year, when our students chose a topic to investigate, they did an unbelievable job with thinking about our impact on the wellbeing of others and the future of our planet. It was evident that they have risen to the challenge and are beginning to understand the importance of being a global citizen and living peacefully together.

Each project is judged on its own merit, based on the scientific method and without knowledge of the student's name. We are truly grateful to our judges for volunteering their time. Wit Ostrenko, past president and CEO of MOSI, BS in Zoology, an MS in Ecology and a PhD research in Oceanography; Stephanie Carey, PhD in Biomedical Engineering; Gina Almerico, PhD, University of Florida; and Corbett Prep Middle School STEAM Teachers: Gery Morey, Maria Cardona, Robert Johnson and Cynthia Whitney.

The STEM Fair was a great success, and we are proud to see our students engaged in scientific INQUIRY! BRAVO to all the students who participated. The judges always have a tough job because of the many, many great projects. The winners will represent Corbett Prep at the Hillsborough County Regional STEM Fair.

FIFTH GRADE students are to be congratulated because every student successfully completed an individual project. All Fifth Graders are required to complete a research-background paper and their logs reflect the detail of their scientific investigation. They all demonstrated the ability to understand the scientific method through a hands-on experience. All students shared their presentations with depth and understanding. They exhibited poise and responded to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contributed to the issue under discussion.

The following are those judged to represent Corbett Prep at the Hillsborough County STEM Fair for our INTERMEDIATE DIVISION.

Congratulations to:

  • Joey Cimino (5th Grade): How Building Shape Affects Wind Resistance: The purpose of this experiment is to find out how the shape of a skyscraper affects wind resistance and the aerodynamics of a building. A more aerodynamic building will create less wind resistance for a better design.
  • William Goddard (5th Grade): What Happens to Floridian Plants and Soil When Ground Temperatures Increase? The purpose of this experiment is to understand more about climate change. In order to understand how rising temperatures affect growth, we will need to understand how to work with the plants in order to prolong the time for us to solve climate change or leave the planet in order for our species to survive. Therefore, my specific purpose is to understand how high soil temperatures impact plants.
  • Kyra Patel (4th Grade): Gluten Galore: The purpose of this experiment is to find out which type of flour has the most gluten.
  • Walter Levy (4th Grade): The Lunar Looper (Engineering Design): I was looking for how the slope affects the speed of a marble. I want to create a marble roller coaster that is inexpensive, includes popular features of real roller coasters, and can be rebuilt by kids at home.
  • Rian Patel (3rd Grade): Does Your Cell Phone Cook Your Brain? The purpose is to determine if a cell phone gives off radiation when receiving a phone call and to determine the power of radiation at different distances.
  • Ankita Dutta (3rd Grade): Watch Your Heart: The purpose of this experiment is to understand how blood pressure and pulse rates vary over the course of the day.
  • Fischer Antalek and Blake Dodd (5th grade): Melting Crayons? The purpose of this experiment is to see which color crayon will melt the fastest. This can help you when you buy candles.
  • Nyjil Lucas and Nishant Shah (4th grade): Can We Save the Taj Mahal? The purpose of this experiment is to find out if hydrophobic coatings can protect marble rock from the harmful effects of acid rain.

Students in third and fourth grade who volunteered to go above and beyond to complete a STEAM Project are to be commended for taking on this complex and optional challenge, even before fifth grade. Congratulations to:

  • Rapti Datta (4th Grade): Which Cleaner is Most Efficient to Remove a Specific Stain from Clothes? To find out which cleaner is most efficient to remove a specific stain from clothes.
  • Ava Fletcher (4th Grade): Will the polymer in a baby diaper absorb the same amount of water in an adult diaper? The purpose of this experiment is to identify whether the polymers in a baby diaper will absorb the same amount of water in an adult diaper.
  • Leah Foster (4th Grade): Plastic Milk: The purpose of the experiment is to find out if milk can be changed into plastic.
  • Krish Kocharlakota (3rd Grade): Electromagnetic Strength: The purpose of this experiment is to test if changing the number of coils of wire around the electromagnetic core, can be used to evaluate the strength of the electromagnet.


By PFA President Kaly Srinivas

PFA GENERAL MEETING DEC. 12 with two fun options for next Wednesday:

  • HOLIDAY UGLY SWEATER CONTEST! Join us as we discuss the successes of this year and look ahead to the events in the coming year! It's also a tradition to wear our ugliest holiday sweaters and shirts. Contest winner will receive $100 toward their classroom fund!
  • PFA HOLIDAY POTLUCK. A TASTE OF CORBETT PREP: Calling all cooks! Prepare your favorite festive holiday dish to share with us at this final PFA meeting of the 2018 calendar year. Appetizers, main dish, soup, salad, cakes & pies, cookies – you name it! The more the merrier! Contest winner will receive $100 toward their classroom fund.


PFA Community Outreach team has put together a great opportunity for Corbett Prep families to volunteer at the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent on Dec. 21. Thank you to everyone who has signed up! We filled all of our available slots! Please reach out to PFA Community Outreach Co-Chairs Jocie Fletcher or Karin Ladis at with any questions.


  • Yeah Baby! The Big Event is back!
  • Please check your Thursday Folders for ticket and sponsorship information or download it here.
  • Join us as we go back to the '60s on Friday, March 8, 2019.
  • It's sure to be the party of the year at a new location - Armature Works!!
  • Contact Big Event Co-Chairs, Carolyn Aulicino and Kristine Hawley Reens with any questions at


by Mrs. Largent

My students have been learning about connecting concepts between Geometry and Algebra. Last week, Mr. John Palmer, our STEAM specialist, came to my math classes to help my students understand how they can use mathematics concepts to solve areal-world problems. Their knowledge of similar triangles was used to measure the height of the school flagpole. Students used a measuring tape and a pencil to determine the height without using a ladder. They learned how this technique and variations could be used when the sun is shining or at night or in the shade.

Students also suggested other practical solutions using additional concepts. They considered sources of possible error and basic assumptions that they would make in their calculations. Students concluded that the same technique could be used to measure the height of trees or tall buildings. The measurements and the calculations showed how geometry, algebra, arithmetic, and logic are important in the real world beyond the computer and classroom to create solutions.

CSA PRESENTS the musical Elf, Jr!

Just in time for the holiday season, CSA - Corbett Prep's Community School of the Arts - presents its winter production, Elf, Jr. This modern day, holiday classic is based on the 2003 hit movie.

Show dates are Friday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 16, and it is directed by Jarrett W. Koski and Julie Nelson!

  • Prepare to be entertained by actors in 6th through 8th grade, who have been rehearsing since September to bring you laughs and inspiration.
  • Featuring singing, acting and dancing, Elf, Jr. is a musical that will put you in the holiday spirit and will definitely be enjoyed by the whole family!
  • Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 from cast members or the office. Tickets are available on the day of performances for $15.


Available for 2nd through 5th grade:

Do you need extra shopping time or something fun for your child to do while you are working? We have a fun and exciting opportunity for you coming in December!

Mrs. Julie Nelson & Mr. Jarrett Koski will be offering a special Drama Workshop on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

The day will include:

  • Developing a character
  • Behind the scenes in theatre
  • Drama games
  • Improvisation activities

Please share this information with your friends and family who may also be interested, as this is open to students who attend Corbett Prep as well as others in the community! The cost for the workshop is $40 per student.

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