Bay Point Middle School in St. Petersburg held its 50th anniversary celebration at the school on Saturday, May 11.
Lots of smiles and hugs were seen all day, as students, families, alumni, former and current staff, former and current principals and assistant principals spent the afternoon together.
Principal Jason Shedrick greeted everyone in the courtyard, under the watchful eye of the osprey family that is nesting on the school’s beautiful Falcon Sculpture, which was created by St. Petersburg sculptor Paul Eppling. A time capsule will be buried, including a letter to the future, which was written and read by current sixth-grader Reena Howard. Bay Point alum and technology leader, Kevin Decker spoke to the crowd about how important his teachers were to his success.
Four former principals were in attendance: Ron Cinnamon (1978-87), Dennis Griffin (1990-2005), Starla Metz (2005-2007) and Ann-Marie Clarke (2007-2012). Several former assistant principals and lots of former long-time Bay Point staff came back and reconnected with their Falcon Family. School Board members Terry Krassner and Rene Flowers, PCS Area I Superintendent Patricia Wright, St. Petersburg City Council members Steve Kornell and Wengay Newton came and spent the afternoon as well.
Mark Ferguson, the owner of the popular Ferg’s Sports Bar in St. Petersburg, attended Bay Point Middle School. He was even crowned Mr. Bay Point Middle in the ninth grade. Ferguson was a physical education teacher in Pinellas County Schools for 18 years and was a volleyball and basketball coach at Bay Point Middle.
“All I have are good memories,” Ferguson said of Bay Point Middle.
Ernest Givens is a former NFL wide receiver and played in the league from 1986-1995. Givens is still the Houston Oilers/Texans leading receiver. He attended Bay Point Middle and for the last 10 years has been a campus monitor at the school.
“We have some ups and downs, but the family, the camaraderie that is being instilled in the kids is tremendous,” Givens said. “It’s a true family atmosphere. If I have to go anywhere else, I’d retire. The camaraderie here, I love. And the teachers really care.”
Numerous city and community groups and partners attended, including the City of St. Pete Sanitation Department, St. Petersburg Police K-9 unit, St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue firefighters, St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation’s TASCO (Teen Arts, Sports, and Cultural Opportunities), Florida Blood Services Bloodmobile and Boyd Hill Nature Park’s Birds of Prey. There were demonstrations by the Chemistry and DaVinci Clubs, as well as performances by the Drumline and Falcon Band.
The highlight of the afternoon was an exciting Alumni vs. Student basketball game, with alumni of all ages participating. It was a close game, but in the end, the old-timers proved victorious and showed true veteran savvy.