VIN'S PEOPLE: Sugg Middle School teacher honored by American Horticultural Society

·2 min read
Vin Mannix
Vin Mannix

Well done to Sugg Middle School’s Kimberley Lough.

An educator for 20 years, Lough received the Jane L. Taylor Award from the American Horticultural Society in July at the National Children & Youth Garden Symposium in Richmond, Virginia. The award recognizes those who have inspired and nurtured future horticulturists through youth gardening.

Kimberly leads the urban agriculture and Future Farmers of America programs at Sugg, where students learn about aquaculture, hydroponics, gardening, ornamental nursery production and animal care.

• Both Allyson Varnadore and Amanda Clark had big moments at the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education’s 56th annual conference in Ponte Vedra Beach in July.

Allyson is a business technology teacher at Palmetto High and was honored as FACTE Teacher of the Year in Community Service.

Amanda is the production teacher for Southeast High’s award-winning SETV and hosted a book signing of “Video, Digital Communication and Production,” which she co-authored and is published by Goodheart-Wilcox.

• And Tommy Jomisko, Manatee High’s director of choral activities, received the Florida Vocal Association John Rose Mentorship Award at the FVA Summer Conference in Altamonte Springs. The award recognizes teachers who have continuously served as mentors, ensuring the profession continues to thrive.

• Did the eternally youthful Don French, a Bayshore High assistant principal, just start his 37th year as an educator?

• Former DeSoto Queen and current South Jersey resident Kelly (Stinson) Appalucci and husband Mike were planning to bring the kids, Michael and Gracianna, to visit her family in Palmetto.

Then a funny thing happened to change those travel arrangements.

Michael is a shortstop and pitcher for the Marlton Chiefs, who won their regional championship and made the 2022 Cal Ripken Baseball 10-Year-Old World Series.

So everybody’s in Vincennes, Indiana!

• Say it ain’t so! Ellie Ohlman Fuesser hit the Big 3-0!

• Registered Nurse Kathy Peel just became hospital clinical educator at Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Mike Fraticelli is 39. Again.

• So is Yvonne DeChambre Markiewicz.

• That’s 25 years for Detective Todd Zink and Child Protection Analyst Trina Burston with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. And 20 for Detective Melanie Wildt, Deputy Ryan Shepherd and mechanic Mark Stanton.

• Freshman Aiden Little made Dean’s List at Colorado College.

• And Friends of Kids Against Hunger will a packaging event Saturday at Feeding Empty Little Tummies, 901 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto, at 8 a.m. For details, email Mark Hildebrandt at

Vin’s People runs Sundays. Email Vin Mannix at Or call 941-962-5944. Twitter: @vinmannix.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: VIN MANNIX: American Horticultural Society honors Manatee educator