The Pioneer Express
Oak Ridge High School
Friday, May 21, 2021
ORHS Community Member,

After the last bell today, we only have two days remaining in the 2020-2021 school year and are looking forward to our Class of 2021 graduation ceremony Tuesday afternoon in the Amway Center downtown. Please remember that on Monday and Tuesday next week no backpacks are allowed on the campus.

It has been a great pleasure to serve as the principal at Oak Ridge High School over the past five years. It has been my good fortune to experience a wonderful partnership with the students, staff and families in our community. Mr. Benjamin Alvarado, incoming principal, has a great deal of experience in various leadership positions from his time at OCPS. He is looking forward to working with all of you and getting to know each of you.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you, your children and this outstanding Oak Ridge community and hope you know I am especially proud of our Pioneers. I look forward to hearing great things about their accomplishments as they continue their education at Oak Ridge and beyond.

In closing my last issue of The Pioneer Express, kindly remember what I said upon being named the 2020-2021 OCPS Principal of the Year - “It’s truly about the entire staff, my students, the community." This recognition is something that we all shared in.

With best wishes and sincere appreciation,

Ms. Bellinger
Proud Principal
Oak Ridge High School

Pictured very top: Ms. Oak Ridge High School 2021
Congratulations to our new Ms. Oak Ridge High School, Cha Terra Winston. A special thanks to our co-sponsors Pine Castle Historical Society for helping us make this event possible.
Dates to Watch For
Tuesday, May 25
  • Graduation – Amway Center – 2:00PM
  • Last Day of School for Students
Wednesday, June 2 thru Wednesday, June 30
  • Summer School Session A

Thursday, July 1 thru Tuesday, July 27
  • Summer School Session B (Closed the week of July 5-9)
2021-2022 Calendar
2021-2022 Super Scholars
Each year, OCPS celebrates its "Super Scholars," those graduating seniors who were accepted into the nation's top 20 colleges and universities (as ranked by U.S. News and World Report) and U.S. service academies.

Click on the link to watch the virtual recognition event that took place Tuesday, May 18th at 7:00PM.
Teacher Appreciation Week
The faculty of ORHS would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all that made Teacher Appreciation Week amazing. Breakfasts, lunches and sweet treats all week long were unexpected and definitely appreciated. A huge shout out to Ms. Bellinger, LIFE Orlando, NEMP, SGA, NHS, Junior Class, Senior Class, and Athletics for a memorable week!
Student Spotlight
Alan Rodriguez Class of 2021
Senior, Alan Rodriguez, is a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Best Buddies, The Social Club, and Vice President of the Environmental Awareness Club. He loves The Social Club and EAC because they focus on his areas of interest - LGBTQ+activism and climate change awareness. After graduation, he will study Music Production/Audio Engineering and eventually plans to chase the dream of writing and producing music full time in the big city. In a few weeks, Alan will be releasing his first official music project that include songs he's worked on since 2017!
Kathy King Junior Achievement Scholarship
The Kathy King Memorial Scholarship is awarded in celebration and honor of the life of an influential leader and entrepreneur, Kathy King, former Senior Vice President of Junior Achievement Central Florida. This year, the scholarship is being awarded to Brianna Gay and To Uyen Dang. While both students are still weighing their options on which universities they will be attending next year, Brianna plans to study engineering and To Uyen plans to study hospitality management. Congratulations Bri and To Uyen!
Pioneer Athletics
FREE Sports Physicals (June 26 at Jones High School)
The Florida High School Activities Association (FHSAA) and Orange County Public Schools have made it MANDATORY that in addition to an annual physical, all student-athletes MUST receive an ECG with normal results before they can be cleared to participate in athletics. This includes off-season conditioning, try-outs, practices and competitions.

FREE physicals are being offered at Jones High School on June 26 and will include the opportunity to have the ECG performed for FREE as well. Pre-registration begins at 8:00am and the number of student-athletes is limited to the first 800.
Thank You to Our 2020-2021 School Resource Officers!
In recognition of National Police Week: May 9-15, 2021
Master Deputy Febo
Deputy Richard Febo is a Master Deputy with the Orange County Sherriff’s Office, and has been at Oak Ridge since 2013. Although he has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since 2000, prior to joining the OCSO, Deputy Febo was a patrol officer for the Eustis Police Department from 1997-2000.

Febo, as we affectionately call him, is no stranger to patrolling the streets of Orange County. He was assigned road patrol in the Pine Hills area and came to build relationships with many of the troubled adolescents in the area. He was a field training officer, trained with SWAT and cross trained with narcotics. During his time in Pine Hills he knew he wanted to help young adults and chose to come to Oak Ridge as an SRO.

Since he arrived on campus in 2013 he has been the head swim coach and the head lacrosse coach, mentored numerous students, helped students that are on probation fulfill their requirements and be released, and most importantly – he is very approachable, has a great sense of humor, and takes the time to understand our students and their situations. Our students, faculty and staff are not only fond of Deputy Febo, but respect him and are appreciative that he is a part of the Pioneer Family!
Deputy Bertrand
Deputy Steven’s Bertrand has been with the OCSO since 2020 when he transitioned from the Ocoee Police Department after 9 years of service and has been at Oak Ridge since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Orlando in 1999. He grew up in the Pine Hills area and graduated from Evans High School. Deputy Bertrand studied at Valencia Community College and received an AS in criminal justice. He is bilingual speaking both English and Creole, and his passion is playing basketball and football. He is married and has one child. He enjoys his time here and likes building positive relationships with the students.
What is National Police Week?
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. It is also a few days set out to recognize deputies like our two awesome Oak Ridge SROs for all their great work during this school year. Thank you again Deputy Febo and Deputy Bertrand for your service and keeping our campus safe in 2020-2021!
In Memory of Khalil Simmons, Class of 2019
Many of you in the community have already heard the devastating news of the loss of Khalil Simmons. Khalil is the son of John Simmons, our 12th grade Dean, and was our student for 4 years graduating in the Class of 2019. Words cannot express the grief and loss that the Simmons family is experiencing. We all feel the loss and are deeply affected as well. Khalil was a bright light and a very special young man; he was an amazing friend to all that knew him.
Please be advised that masks are required. Thank you.
College and Career Center News
OCPS YouTube College and Career:
Valencia College Workshops:
Class of 2021 Graduation
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 @ 2:00PM
Safety precautions will include, but are not limited to, the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, limited ticketing, strict arrival, departure and stage procedures.

All guidelines and protocols are being developed in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County and the Amway Center.

OCPS high schools will live stream their graduations.
Community Resources
Emergency Rental Assistance Program:
Source: Orange County Government; Click here for more details
Friday's Motivational Moment!

Investor's Business Daily is the #2 business paper behind The Wall Street Journal. They have spent years analyzing leaders and successful people in all walks of life. Most have 10 traits that, when combined, can turn dreams into reality.

Two or three times per school year we like to run IBD's Top 10 list as a reminder for all of our Pioneers, but this week we do so especially for our Senior Class of 2021 graduating next Tuesday afternoon!

IBD's list is compiled from the results of thousands of case studies / biographies of what famous and successful people did to get where they are now - from Ben Franklin to George Washington Carver to Mother Theresa to Tom Brady to Martin Luther King, Jr. .. Not simply the rich, but people who truly did extraordinary things with their lives.

1. HOW YOU THINK IS EVERYTHING: Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment. (Put all negative thoughts and worry out of your mind - think positive - be happy!)

2. DECIDE UPON YOUR TRUE DREAMS AND GOALS: Write down you specific goals and develop a plan to reach them. (Clearly identify what you choose in life and focus on it constantly vs. say, setting "New Year's resolutions.")

3. TAKE ACTION: Goals are nothing without action. Don't be afraid to get started now. Just do it. (If it feels right for you, and you truly love it, jump straight into what you choose in life at this moment -- start today.)

4. NEVER STOP LEARNING: Continue with your education or read books. Get training and acquire skills. (Read for pleasure 20-25 minutes per day and take advantage of the fact that OCPS students can access books online.)

5. PERSIST AND WORK HARD: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up. (Focus!)

6. LEARN TO ANALYZE DETAILS: Get all the facts, all the information. Learn from your mistakes. (Also, trust you feelings, especially your first impression, for often this is true for many people.)

7. BUDGET YOUR TIME AND MONEY: Don't let other people or things distract you. (Know your priorities - put them in writing - think about them often - move towards them.)

8. DON'T BE AFRAID TO INNOVATE: Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity. (Move into the greatest vision that you ever had about yourself -- see more in yourself and others than ever before. Don't listen to naysayers.)

9. COMMUNICATE AND DEAL WITH PEOPLE EFFECTIVELY: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others (and hence motivate yourself - see all people as one and have no fear).

10. BE HONEST AND DEPENDABLE, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Otherwise, No.'s 1-9 won't matter. (Truth should always be your highest choice.)
Florida flag
Have a great weekend and congratulations again to the Class of 2021!
Ms. Bellinger, Principal
Oak Ridge High School
Friday, May 21, 2021
Leadership Team
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