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Rays to Deliver Surprise to Three Unsuspecting Students

January 11, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (January 11, 2018) – Every Friday, three random students who are on-track to graduate with a 2.0 or higher GPA are called to the principal’s office at Hillsborough High School in Seminole Heights. They’re recognized with words of encouragement and a small treat. It’s usually a candy bar. But this Friday at 10:30 a.m., the prize will be much bigger.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays’ mascot, will surprise three random students in the front office, handing them a family four-pack of tickets to a Tampa Bay Rays game, along with a sack full of Rays merchandise.

The Rays are helping supersize the school’s weekly tradition after the State of Florida announced this week Hillsborough County Public Schools set an all-time graduation rate record of 82.9% in 2017.

This particular school, Hillsborough High, has improved its graduation rate by more than ten percentage points in the past three years — from 71.9% to 82.5% — thanks to creative ideas like the weekly drawing, which is only open to students who have a 2.0 GPA and are on-track to graduate.

Students with a high school diploma earn $380,000 more during their lifetimes compared to students who don’t graduate, which is why the district’s 25,000 employees have worked together to create a culture where everyone becomes a “graduation champion” and personally takes part in supporting and guiding students toward graduation.

Hillsborough High School is located at 5000 Central Avenue, Tampa.


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