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Teacher back at school as principal

Published March 3, 2006

CULBREATH HEIGHTS - Michael Hoskinson is coming back to Coleman Middle School, where he started his career as a teacher 19 years ago. Hoskinson, 41, takes the post as principal March 13.

Hoskinson comes from Adams Middle School, where he was principal for three years and assistant principal for six years.

"I've always loved the middle school," he said. "This is where you make a big difference. The kids are still impressionable."

Coleman has 810 students compared with Adams, which has 1,200. Otherwise, they have a similar feel and strong parental support, Hoskinson said.

Since his appointment in February, Hoskinson has talked daily with principal Maribeth Franklin, who leaves to take a post at Bartels Middle, a new north Tampa school. He has stopped by Coleman several times to meet students.

"I'm very visible," Hoskinson said of his leadership style. "I like to be in the hallways, popping into the classrooms, seeing what's going on."

Last month, he met teachers and parents at conference night.

Hoskinson moved to South Tampa in 1978 and met his wife, Kim, when they both taught at Coleman Middle School. They have two children, 7-year-old Myles and 5-year-old Raelyn, who will one day attend Coleman. The family is building a house in Bayshore Beautiful.

Robinson High ballfield dedicated to Lou Garcia

GANDY/SUN BAY SOUTH - Lou Garcia led Robinson High School's baseball team to four consecutive Western Conference championships as coach from 1968 to 1971. He took them to state runners-up in 1969 and to the state baseball championship in 1971.

Last week, the Knights Baseball Alumni Association dedicated Robinson's baseball field to Garcia and unveiled a sign in his honor. They honored Robinson's baseball alumni, and Garcia threw the ceremonial first pitch before the district game against Hillsborough High School.

Born in Tampa, Garcia played professional baseball in the minor leagues and was a scout for the Chicago Cubs. He currently serves as tournament director for Tampa's annual Tony Saladino Baseball Tournament.

Fundraisers scheduled for autism school

AVILA - Sydney's School for Autism is holding two events to raise money for the school at 4003 S Manhattan Ave. in South Tampa.

"Mingle with the Stars" is from 6 to 9:30 p.m. March 12 at Mark and Christel Yaffe's home in Avila. Celebrities scheduled to attend include former Tampa Bay Lightning players Darren Puppa and Brian Bradley, as well as Shelton Quarles from the Bucs. Tickets are $150 per person or $250 per couple.

The second fundraiser, a Golf Tournament at Avila Country Club catered by Outback Steakhouse, begins at noon March 13, followed by an awards ceremony and banquet. Tickets start at $250 per person.

Kathy Swenson started the school last year in the hopes of getting her autistic daughter the services she needed. For information, contact Swenson at 813 495-5670 or Jon Whittemore at (813) 727-2980 or visit the school's Web site at

[Last modified March 2, 2006, 13:56:08]

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