University of Tampa

City of Tampa Reaches Thousands of Students in Great American Teach-In

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Wastewater Operations
Micka Davis, a City of Tampa Wastewater Collections Asset Support Specialist, prepares to show students at Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy Middle School how his department maintains the City's sewer system.

Employees across the City of Tampa had a wonderful time today connecting with students and faculty both online and in-person during the Great American Teach-In, which took place throughout the day on Nov. 18, 2021.  

The City of Tampa employs more than 4,000 employees with diverse skill sets, backgrounds and interests and received more than 400 requests to speak with students and educators for the Great American Teach-In. 

Water Quality Scientists
Water Quality Scientists with the City of Tampa demonstrate to Hillsborough County students on how we keep our water safe and healthy.
Engineers at Elementary Schools for the Teach-in
City of Tampa Engineer Andres Aviles presented at Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary in both English and Spanish what he does and the different types of engineering jobs.

The Teach-In provides City of Tampa staff with an invaluable opportunity to interact with students while explaining how local government operates and the many career opportunities that are available in public service.  

Additionally, teachers from more than 60 schools throughout Hillsborough’s school district, and as far as Pasco county, registered to join live virtual presentations.  

These included presentations from:  

  • Tampa Police Department Mounted Unit 
  • Tampa Police Department K9 Units 
  • “A Walk Through the Park" with Parks & Recreation Director Sherisha Hills 
  • “Discovering Robots and Drones” presented by Senior Applications Programmer Jonathan Girwar-Nath 
  • Careers in Tampa City Government featuring the Employment Manager Mike Swain and the City HR Team 
  • “Hospitality and Venue Management”, presented by Tampa Convention Center Sales & Marketing Manager Juan Lopez. 

Mayor Jane Castor also hosted two virtual sessions where hundreds of students and faculty signed up to listen in. The first presentation was geared toward elementary school students who were able to learn interesting facts about the city while enjoying a pop-up visit from Desa, the Mayor's Director of Toys, Naps & Treats. 

Mayor Castor Virtual Meeting
Mayor Jane Castor and Desa, the City's Office Dog, present virtually to elementary school students for the Great American Teach-In.

The second was focused more on Mayor Castor’s Transforming Tampa's Tomorrow vision and designed for middle and high school students. 

Mayor Jane Castor shared her journey in public service, from serving as Tampa's first female police chief to becoming the City's 59th mayor.  

"Students play such a critical role in shaping the City's future,” Mayor Castor said. “Anytime I get to go into a classroom and speak with students, I learn something new. I hope that by talking to them about what local government does, it will get them thinking about ways they can help contribute to our great community.” 

Mayor Jane Castor and Desa visited Gorrie Elementary School in Tampa.
Mayor Jane Castor and Desa visited Gorrie Elementary School in Tampa.

Mayor Castor also made an in-person visit to Gorrie Elementary School, where she spoke with students about the importance of staying in school and doing what they can to help others in our community.

Last year, the City connected with more than 7,000 students online during the pandemic.