Masks Made Mandatory for Foreseeable Future
The Sarasota County Schoolboard announced a new, 90-day mask mandate with no parent opt-out, except for medical waivers, at the emergency meeting on Aug. 20.
The mandate will automatically reactivate in the case of surging cases (higher than 10 percent positivity) and will automatically suspend when community Covid-19 positivity rates fall beneath 8 percent.
For many parents fearful of the deadly Delta variant, which has proved far more devastating in youngsters than the initial Covid-19 variant, this is welcome news. As Sarasota County Schools faces a critical shortage of available employees due to spread, the mandate may help reverse this trend. Along with district schools, Booker High School has faced unprecedented numbers of excluded students, which has had far-reaching impacts and threatens to worsen if no action is taken.
New Band Lineups Announced!
Hopefuls last week auditioned for the two signature bands that Mr. Zickafoose established at Booker High School five years ago, Jet Stream and Category 5.
After the 2021 graduation of the iconic initial Cat 5 members, Mr. Z has named the members of the NEW Category 5, who will carry the torch of rock forward. That lineup includes Milhajlo Sibinkic on lead guitar, Judah Woomert on rhythm guitar, Caleb Horner on bass, Thomas McGuire on drums, Tristan Tran on keys, and Arjan Sandhu as guitar/bass alternate. The vocal lineup has Saige Cherryholmes and Abbey Holdway (of last year’s Tempest) joined by newcomer Genesis Gutierrez.
Jet Stream, which has come to be known as the collective voice of Booker VPA Music, has announced its members for 2021-22:
- Eabha Phelan
- Grace Vega
- Sinta Suarnawa
- Marissa Barnes
- Bella Alberti
- Vanessa Stover
- Riley Karau
- Zyaire Singleton
- Amanda Beall
- Alex Haggard
- Miranda Casanova
- Beatris Defreitas
- Tristan Tran
- Yoshi Wilson
- Hugo Ryan
A Band is Born: Zephyr is the VPA’s First Folk Group
Z is for Zephyr, Mr. Z’s newest addition to his family of Booker bands. Zephyr presents an opportunity for singer/songwriter types to explore and express themselves in an indie/folk style. Think Lumineers and Fleet Foxes: sweet harmonies, haunting guitar riffs, poetic inspiration.
The lineup is Isabella Pizzaro on vocals/guitar, Larah Pereira Figueroa on vocals/violin, Diver Jane Ternay on vocals/piano, and Dylan Poston on guitar.
Animators Go All in for Cosplay Figure Drawing
If you’d walked into Ms. Burton’s afternoon classes on Aug. 20, you may have wondered what type of ritual was in place: four students donning bizarre costumes perched, still as statues, on tabletops encircled by their peers.
Fridays have become figure-drawing Friday for upper-level animators, and to cater to their interest in Cosplay, Ms. Burton has models pose in their most fanciful costumes. The exercise is way of using real-life human forms to develop characters of physical richness.
Artists had an option of using traditional pencil and paper, colored pencils or digital tablets to draw the figures, and they shifted around the room to offer new opportunities for perspective and character.
VPA Art Students Build Foundational Skills
It’s a draw: Just down the hall from the Animation studios, VPA Visual Art level one students are working with still life. In these still life studies, they are learning about form and structure, and how to create an illusion of depth and shape through observing lighting and its effects on dimension.
Rain on Gilmore Kickoff Classic Doesn’t Drown Pep
The Fred Gilmore Kick-Off Classic may have been canceled due to lightning, but the day at Booker began with all the excitement of a home-game gameday. The Whirlwind Brigade Marching Band enlivened the campus from the Eye of the Tornado, where they opened and closed the day with a mini pep-rally in preparation for the evening’s festivities.
The kickoff game in Gilmore’s name honors the career of the legendary Tornadoes football coach and alum, Fred Gilmore, and a halftime celebration would have given opportunity for those who played for Gilmore to express their gratitude for his coaching and love–for the game, for the school–through the years. It will become an annual event at Booker High School. Details from the school on rescheduling this year’s tribute to Gilmore’s career.