Ruskin school's namesake served more than four decades in classroom and administrative roles with Hillsborough County Public Schools

Hillsborough County is full of inspiring, iconic, and interesting places, and there are remarkable people behind them. In this occasional series we explore namesakes of some of the county's well-known buildings, schools, parks, and roads.

Who was Beth Shields?

The Fort Lauderdale native moved to Hillsborough County with her family at age 12. She graduated from Plant High School and the University of Tampa, and earned a master's degree at the University of South Florida. She and her husband, Bill Shields, Jr., had three children. Along with her education career and family, Shields was involved with more than a half-dozen charitable and volunteer organizations. She died in February 2006 after a short illness.

Why name a middle school for her?

Shields spent 44 years in the Hillsborough County school system. She taught math at Memorial Junior High and Plant High, was dean of girls and assistant principal at Robinson High, and principal at Coleman Junior High and Plant High. She filled top administrative positions with the school district, including assistant superintendent of personnel, assistant superintendent of instruction, and deputy superintendent.

About Beth Shields Middle School

Opened in 2004, the school, at 15732 Beth Shields Way draws its 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade students from the communities of Ruskin and Wimauma. Almost two-thirds of the school's students are Hispanic. Students wear uniforms festooned with a logo of the school's mascot, a sailfish. Beth Shields Middle is among Hillsborough County middle schools offering Scholar Quest Academy, a program allowing students to earn up to 13 high school credits and complete foreign-language studies.

Last Modified: 1/26/2024, 5:10:49 PM

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