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Teacher awardwill taste good to kindergarten

Who’s more excited about Karen Washington winning 106.5 CTQ’s November Teacher of the Month?

The McNeal Elementary School kindergarten teacher?

Or her 5-year-old students?

Sounds like it’s the kids.

They’re getting a pizza party from Hungry Howie’s as part of Karen’s prize.

“They don’t understand what the award is about, but a pizza party? That’s the big deal,” said the 25-year Manatee County teaching veteran.

Karen also receives a $75 gift certificate from Fantastic Sam’s, and she’s looking forward to pampering herself over Christmas break.

“I think I’m going to do something different with my hair this time,” she said.

Among those who voted early and often for their favorite teacher were her husband, Rodney, daughters Shelley and Melissa, as well as siblings Rob Rogers, Larry Rogers and Kathy Kimes.

n LRHS Marching Mustang tenor sax Jamie Diaz is 16.

n Florida Gators D.J. Grantham and Ryan McAfee went to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game with no game tickets but plenty of moxie.

They scored a pair for $150 apiece just a couple of hours before kickoff.

What’s funny was their seat location.

“Right in the middle of ‘Bama-land,’ ” joked D.J., a 2008 UF grad. “But they were cool, considering they lost.”

n Julia Virgilio and Annamaria Diamant collaborate for another drop-in dance class Saturday at Tracey Vita’s School of Dance, 4647 Manatee Ave. W.

Julia does contemporary at 3 p.m.; Annamaria does hip-hop at 4:30 p.m. Call (941) 524-4607, (941) 447-0688 or e-mail

n Terri Ford’s visit to daughter Catherine Clifton at Sewanee: The University of the South was pleasing to the senses.

Mom went up to Tennessee for Catherine’s performance with the choir in the University’s Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols.

“I sat in on a rehearsal, inhaling the scent of the fresh evergreens (from the university forest) used to decorate All Saints Chapel,” she said. “Chapel is a misnomer, too. It’s bigger and more ornate than a great many churches I’ve seen.”

n Jennifer Simpson graduates from UCF with honors in marketing. Cheers from parents Jim and Jane and sibs Jane and Jodie.

n Check out “Bands-4-Nick,” a benefit for Nick Sabella at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Beach House, 200 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach.

His health insurance has run out, but Nick continues to wage a courageous fight against benign brain tumors.

Call 779-2222.

Vin’s People, runs Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Have a column item? A photo you want to share? Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or email him at Please include a phone number for verification.