News and Events

Students Working Against Tobacco Clubs Start Off the New Year with a Bang!
March 1, 2014

Between electing officials, Threw with Chew Week and the Highlands County Fair, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) in Highlands County have been making great strides towards bettering their community since the start of the New Year!

“Christmas Break must have given the SWAT Students plenty of rest because they came back ripping and rearing to go,” Said Amanda John, Tobacco Prevention Specialist in Highlands County.

Highlands County’s only community based club, Str8UP SWAT Club, came back from Christmas break with big plans. But first they needed to distinguish a little leadership within their group. There were 4 official positions that the club determined was important; President, Vice President, Secretary and also the newly created title of Social Media Specialist, in charge of taking photos at all meetings and events. After much deliberation, Syndey Wells was elected President, Tete Goldsmith was elected Vice President, Kaylesha Legree was elected Secretary and Isabela Retamoza was elected Social Media Specialist. “With this group of leaders, this club is sure to ROCK,” said Mrs. John.

STR8 UP SWAT Officers
STR8 UP SWAT Officers, From L to R: Vice President Tete Goldsmith; Secretary Kaylesha Legree;
President Syndey Wells; Social Media Specialist Isabela Retamoza

The Tobacco Partnership of Highlands County along with the SWAT Clubs of Highlands County, also participated in the Highlands County Fair by having an exhibitor booth. The Highlands County Fair brings together the best livestock displays, food vendors, carnival rides, contests and entertainment for one of the most enjoyed annual events in Highlands County. The event boasts thousands of people each year and the Sebring High School SWAT Club made sure they were seen this year! The students covered shifts for 7 days, working late at night on school nights, leaving straight from work and even working on Valentine’s day!

The booth was armed with tons of stress balls, pens, koozies, brochures, palm cards and business cards. It also had a smokers’ lung model, tobacco mouth model and several other pictures that definitely attracted attention! After a week of being at the fair the SWAT club has high hopes in attracting other students their age to become a part of the Sebring High School SWAT Club.

There is so much more to come this year with SWAT throughout Highlands County. Stay tuned for more awesome news from SWAT Clubs across the county!

For information on the SWAT Program in Highlands County, you can contact Mrs. John at