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March In The News

March In The News

A collection of interesting happenings and recent developments that contribute to the bright future of Greater Gainesville


Too Cool for School 

According to the College Board, who runs the Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, Buchholz High School students Lucas Garcia, Katie He and Tucker Shea earned perfect scores on their AP exams. These students did not just score a five, which is the highest score possible, they earned every point available on the test.  

Senior Tucker Shea was just one of 22 students worldwide to get a perfect score on the AP English exam. While at Buchholz, Shea has passed 12 AP exams, all of them fives. Fellow senior Lucas Garcia was one of 306 international students to earn a perfect score for the AP Research exam. Garcia has passed seven AP exams in high school. Sophomore Katie He, who has already passed six AP exams, all with scores of five, was one of 369 to ace the AP Computer Science exam.  


Howard Bishop is King 

After six years of hard work, Howard Bishop Middle School received their certification as a Community Partnership School from the University of Central Florida. The program will give the middle school funds to support students, parents and teachers in and outside of the classroom.  

Howard Bishop is planning to use the money to provide better healthcare opportunities for students and staff. They have also built a wellness center on campus for teachers with blowup chairs and massagers. The wellness center is also available to students and their families, including a space where parents can apply for jobs.  


The Eye of the Panther 

Newberry High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) placed number one at the 2023 Florida State Fair. The MEATS Team competed against 105 other teams, 52 of which were high school. The Newberry FFA will now go on to compete in the State Competition in April. 


PSA: There’s a New PSA 

The City of Gainesville announced their new educational program, Public Service Academy. The academy is for youths and adults in the area interested in pursuing public service professions. Partnering with Santa Fe College and CareerSource North Central Florida, the program will work with students to teach communications, first aid and emergency management. 

Last fall, the city commission approved $500,000 for two years of this pilot program. The Public Service Academy expects to enroll 21 students, with qualified candidates eligible to earn an hourly rate. Program leaders expect to prepare students for the education and training they will need to join the police department, fire department or regional utilities.  


All Be Awesome  

ABA Results is opening a new center in Gainesville in April. ABA, which actually stands for Applied Behavior Analysis, provides services to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and down syndrome. Their new location will focus on early intervention, children five and under. This is their second location, with the first in Fort Meyers. 

ABA Results works with children and families to curate unique treatment plans for each child. They work to decrease behaviors that hinder development, while building language, communication and social skills. They also offer training for parents and caregivers so skills learned at ABA can continue at home. 


Safer Gators 

The U.S. Department of Transportation just gave Gainesville an $8 million grant to renovate University Avenue. The money will see that the infamously pedestrian-unfriendly road is redesigned and made safer. Working with FDOT on the preliminary designs, construction is slated to begin March 2024.  

The first phase of reconstruction will be repaving the road. Though the grant will not cover the full cost of the renovations, it is enough to get started. Along with repaving, the city is adding landscaped medians, raised crosswalks and protected bike lanes.  



Shark Abate, brou-ha-ha! 

The International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History released that the number of unprovoked attacks decreased worldwide. This year saw the fewest number of reported incidents in the last 10 years, tying with 2020.  

Established in 1958, the International Shark Attack File is the only scientifically-generated database that documents and monitors shark attacks on a global basis. While most investigations are handled in-house, the File benefits from a globally distributed network of collaborating regional scientists.  


Water Shapes Florida 

The iconic “Northwest Florida: Waterways and Wildlife” exhibit at the Florida Museum is being reimagined to highlight different aspects of the state’s natural resources. The new permanent exhibit, “Water Shapes Florida” is beginning construction in spring 2024. 

Guests will have a glass-bottom boat experience to stimulate what it is like to ride down Florida’s famous water ways. There will also be a Recharge Lounge, Water Lab and field cabin replica to educate visitors on the area’s aquifers, current research and weather patterns. 


Ta-RUN-tula 5k 

The Florida Museum’s seventh annual 5k run is back on March 4. The race begins at 8 a.m. through nature trails and quiet campus roads to highlight the city’s natural beauty. The race will be held virtually as well, to accommodate museum supporters worldwide.  

This year’s theme is spiders. The Ta-RUN-tula highlights the new “Spiders Alive!” exhibit that opened earlier this year. Both virtual and in-person racers will receive newly designed shirts and medals for their participation. In-person racers can use their medals for free entry to “Spiders Alive!” on race day. 


Haile to the BHGRE! 

BHGRE Commercial has been retained as the exclusive listing broker for the largest assemblage of multi-purpose properties in the Haile Village Center ever brought to market. The Strategic Group selected BHGRE to sell the unique portfolio. It is located in the heart of Haile, with Hawkstone Country Club and Haile’s network of neighborhoods surrounding it.  

The portfolio includes five free standing buildings that provide a variety of income producing opportunities. Retail spaces, professional and medical office space, and residential housing will make up the nearly 24,000 square feet of space available in this portfolio.  

See Also


Live and Let Liver 

University of Florida Health was named to have the best one-year liver graft survival rate in the United States. The report from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients stated UF’s survival rate was a whopping 98.97%, compared to the national average of 91.89%. 

In addition to being number one, UF Health was also ranked one of the top five multiorgan transplant centers and top three for liver-kidney transplants. The team at UF Health and Shands utilizes every department, from nurse coordinators and psychologists to social workers and financial advisors to ensure the best care for each patient.  



The 2nd annual Backyard Barrel Bash is back! Hosted by Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network, the event will feature the Sip ‘N Support where guests will sample a variety of wines, whiskeys, rum and craft cocktails. The bash will also include well-paired food and live music by Richy Stano.  

To support survivors and Peaceful Paths, attendees must buy a raffle ticket. The raffle and silent libations auction allow guests an opportunity to walk away with a myriad of prizes, including the coveted Old Rip Van Winkle 10-year Kentucky Bourbon, valued at $1,000.  


Set Lasers to Fun 

The Drive-In Laser Light Show – USA Tour is coming to Gainesville Raceway April 14-16. Starting every night at 8 p.m., the laser light show and concert will feature the greatest hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s and now.  

Set up like a good, old-fashioned drive in, guests are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and their “raddest rides.” The show will also include vendors and food to round out the tailgate feel. Admission is only charged per car, so pack it in and go out.  


See Ya Later, Alligator! 

After six dedicated and prosperous years as President and CEO of the Cade Museum, Stephanie Bailes is stepping down. Since submitting her resignation, Bailes has worked very closely with the Board of Directors and the Governance Committee to create a transition plan, which has been approved.  

Under her leadership, the Cade Museum grew to welcome over 150,000 visitors. Bailes was recognized by Blooloop Magazine as a Top 50 International Museum Influencer in 2021, and by Florida Trend as a Florida 500 Influential 2022. Bailes will continue to support the Cade as a Senior Advisor.  


By Harper Warner. 

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