Students pose in Times Square during a NYC trip

Brushing Up on Art Knowledge

On March 24, Students enrolled in art classes were invited to visit glass and clay demonstrations and galleries. First, students ventured to the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, which featured dozens of glass blown exhibitions. Next, students visited the Morean Glass Studio, which invited students to watch a glass making presentation, as well as the Morean Center for clay, where they learned about different types of kilns. The students found the process very exciting and said they enjoyed seeing the different art forms.

This would not be the first field experience for BDCHS art classes, as earlier in the year students were invited to tour art galleries such as the Dali Museum and the James Museum.

Spain & France Trip

Over spring break, students had the opportunity to go to Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain; and Madrid, Spain. In France, attendees toured “the Louvre” (Art Museum), “Musée de L'Ordre de La Libération” (Military Museum), as well as historical monuments including the Eiffel Tower and the “Arc de Triomphe”. Students went to “Ladurée”, a French bakery credited for creating the modern-day macaron, and some attendees bought some to back with them. In Spain, travelers visited the Gaudi Cathedral and Spotify Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona and the Prado art museum and “El Oso y el Madrono” (cultural landmark) in Madrid. Field Experience participant Alexis Currington said, “I loved seeing the different architecture. All the different styles of buildings and sculptures. And I loved all the new dishes and drinks I got to try.”

BDCHS still has plans to travel abroad next year: a trip to Greece and Rome for next spring break is already in the works, and there will be an interest meeting next Thursday evening.

N.Y. & D.C. Trip

Meanwhile, students were also able to sign-up for a trip to Washington D.C. and New York. Trip highlights included Mount Vernon and trips to monuments and museums in the capital, and visits to the “Top of the Rock” observation deck, the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island, the 9/11 memorial, as well as a viewing of “A Beautiful Noise”, a broadway show in New York. In an interview, Mrs. Mitchell noted that the students really enjoyed the underground food court and mall experience, in particular. Attendee Emilee Jackson writes, “At first I was nervous to travel to a new place … but by the end of the trip I was amazed how much fun I truly had.”

Coordinators for the trip are excited to announce that they are already looking into new destinations for next year, with a D.C. and Gettysburg trip already underway.

Brooks Bunch Dines at Fleming’s

For the past few weeks, Brooks Business Bunch Academy (BBBA) had been building on student’s life skills and creating new experiences. On the 26th, students were invited to enjoy a multi-course meal in Fleming’s private dining room via a special pre-set menu, in resemblance to a business dinner. In between courses, the service manager of Fleming’s discussed fine-dining etiquette essentials, as well as how to gain a firm understanding of the upscale dining experience. Over half of the attendees said that they had never been to Fleming’s before. 

Students walked away appreciative for the experience, saying they felt like they got to know fellow BBBA members better, and were excited for the next step for Brooks Bunch: a summer trip to Atlanta, Orlando, and Lakeland.

Sit-in at Sisterhood Summit

On the 31st, selected students attended the Corporation to Develop Communities (CDC) of Tampa’s annual Sisterhood Summit Conference at CareerSource Tampa Bay. Participants listened to the speaker, current Fire Chief of Tampa Barbara Tripp, and watched empowerment presentations that promoted self-esteem and mental well-being. Students donned Sisterhood Summit shirts that said “Embrace Your Crown”, as pictured, which is a reference to African American feminine unity. In an interview, attendees Jordan Brenson-Marshall and Destinee Weaver-Mejia called the experience “eye-opening,” “unifying,” and  “motivating.” Participants received goodie bags featuring toiletry products and a set of pearls, which is symbolic of women’s historic empowerment.

Downtown Design Demonstration & Workshop

Just last week, a group of Paragon staffers attended the 2023 “Spring Zing” yearbook workshop conference at the Hyde Park Public Studio. The workshop was organized by Walsworth, the yearbook’s publishing company. Students listened to former yearbook advisers and guest speakers to learn about facets of journalistic skills; namely, graphic design, photography, and group collaboration. Participants even had an opportunity to practice taking photos in the studio and share them with the group for critique and commentary. Paragon staff members remarked feeling excited for the year ahead, and yearbook staffers Chloe Phinney and Yamir Charriez commented that they are already thinking of new themes and page ideas for the next book.