Cimino Elementary School
Valrico, Florida
Hillsborough County Public Schools

Our Character Education (CE) story began 10 years ago with the opening of Cimino Elementary. It was imperative that our new Cimino family enter a welcoming environment, so a CE Committee composed of faculty, parents, community members, and students was developed. The Committee developed CE goals to empower our school’s mission, according to our population’s needs. We pioneered an ambitious undertaking for all stakeholders to “Catch the Character Fever,” which became the theme that inspired our school curriculum, culture, and community. We began with four “contagious” traits and, with our new theme, “Color your World with Character,” the focus has evolved to 10 traits. These traits have become paramount in our efforts to achieve a school population comprised of enthusiastic individuals who love doing what is right. We defined a universal action plan that contained activities connecting cognitive, affective, and behavioral terms with CE. Teachers conducted lessons, modeled appropriate behaviors, and initiated daily doses of the prescribed traits to spread the character fever with students ranging from gifted to those within the autistic spectrum. We give thanks for the influence of Phil Vincent, Barbara Luther, and Thomas Lickona who have given us the essentials for encouraging “smart and goodness” at Cimino. After reflecting upon our accomplishments, we are proud that we open our hearts to ALL children encouraging smiles, dreams and exploration!


Whether working together to beautify our campus, reaching out to make a difference in our community, or helping each other to reach new heights, the Cimino family is the embodiment of a school whose core precept is character.
- Sandy Reynolds, Kindergarden teacher

All staff members are involved in character education at Cimino. . . . I help children gain responsibility by cleaning up messes and showing respect for one another. The students dedicated a special day to me called, "Nate the Great Day" showing their caring nature. Everyone makes me feel like I am part of a family, and I love my job for it!
- Nate Maxwell, Custodian

There is no bullying here and the kids help each other. One time I tripped at recess and kids picked me up right away. I am new to Cimino this year and it was easy to make friends.
- Taryn, 5th grader

It is energizing to know that an elementary school is instilling the character values necessary for our children to become better leaders. The YMCA appreciates the genuine caring nature of Cimino!
- Christy Lowe, Community Member

Contact Information

Mrs. Deborah Minichbauer
Guidance Counselor
4329 Culbreath Road
Valrico, Florida 33596
Phone: 813-740-4450