News Archives

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Former Buccaneer Tackles Reading with Elementary Students

Who:  Former linebacker and current director of pro scouting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shelton Quarles, New River Elementary School students, staff, and Principal Lynn Pabst

What:  Inspirational message about the importance of reading

When:  10 a.m. Tuesday, September 30

Where:  New River Elementary School, 4710 River Glen Blvd., in Wesley Chapel

Why:  The visit is a reward for having the highest number of reading minutes recorded during the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.

How:  Shelton Quarles, director of pro scouting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is delivering an inspirational message to New River Elementary School students about the value of reading. New River students recorded 693,150 minutes between May 5th and September 5th. In addition to the whole school presentation, 25 students will also be recognized at a pizza party for having the top reading minutes.


Linda Cobbe or Spencer Pylant
Communications & Government Relations
(813)794-2717, (813)361-8349 or (813)794-2259, (813)388-0020

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pasco Students Clean Up at Student Chef Cook-Off

Pasco Students Clean Up at Student Chef Cook-Off; high schooler is chosen as regional student chef ambassador

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 29, 2014) – All four Pasco County Schools students who entered the Department of Agriculture’s Student Chef Cook-Off won first or second place in the region finals on Saturday in Tampa.  Land O’ Lakes High School sophomore Kyler Roy won first place in the high school contest and was named the West/Central Region student chef ambassador.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services created the competition as a way to identify student chef ambassadors for promoting “Fresh From Florida” recipes and products. Recipes were judged on creativity, nutrition, and appearance. 

First place winners each received $100 Publix gift certificates and second place winners received $75 Public gift certificates.  All winners received a certificate for a free Publix Aprons Cooking School class and an additional $50 gift certificate to cover travel and ingredient expenses.

Elementary Contestants

1st Place – Morgan Osmanson
5th Grade at Cotee River Elementary
Recipe – Peanut Butter Banana Rollups

2nd Place – Emma Hubler
5th Grade at Denham Oaks Elementary
Recipe – Bacon Apple & Almond Lettuce Wrap

Middle School Contestant

2nd Place - Katerina Barnes
7th Grade at Paul R. Smith Middle
Recipe – Fru-taco

High School Contestant

1st Place – Kyler Roy
10th Grade at Land O’ Lakes High
Recipe – Dreamcicle Dessert


21st Century Media Center to be Named After Estabrook

Who: Charles S. Rushe Middle School students, staff, and Principal David Salerno; Pasco County School Board Members; Superintendent Kurt Browning; and David Estabrook and his family

What: Dedication of the David R. Estabrook Center for Collaboration

When: 9 a.m. Thursday, October 2

Where:  Charles S. Rushe Middle School, 18654 Mentmore Blvd., in Land O' Lakes

Why:  The Pasco County community is gathering to celebrate the dedication of the David Estabrook Center for Collaboration at Charles S. Rushe Middle School. The center is being named after David Estabrook in honor of his commitment to Charles S. Rushe Middle School as its first principal and his service to the Land O’ Lakes community over the past 35 years. This collaboration center, a 21st century media center, will enable Rushe students to use high tech devices to work independently or in teams on their school assignments and projects.


  1. Jazz Band Performance
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Welcome and Introductions:
  4. Opening Speech – David Salerno
  5. Dedication Speech – David Estabrook
  6. Student Demonstration of Collaboration Stations
  7. Refreshments
  8. Closing

CONTACT:     Linda Cobbe or Spencer Pylant
                        Communications & Government Relations
                        (813)794-2717, (813)361-8349 or (813)794-2259, (813)388-0020

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pasco Senior Honored as National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalist

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (September 24, 2014) – Celena Heesch, a senior at J.W. Mitchell High School, has been recognized as a National Achievement Scholarship semifinalist. She was among more than 160,000 African-American high school students around the United States who applied for consideration in the national semifinal round in the 51st annual National Achievement Scholarship Program.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) officials annually recognize African-American high school seniors with qualifying scores on the Preliminary SAT who met published program participation requirements. Semifinalists are now eligible to compete for one of the 800 National Achievement Scholarships worth more than $2.5 million.

“I am very proud of Celena for setting a shining example that all students should aspire to,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning. “I wish her the best as she competes for the National Achievement Scholarship,” he added.

In order to become a finalist, each semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Semifinalists must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm their PSAT/NMSQT performance.

 The National Achievement Scholarship Program, conducted by NMSC, is a privately financed academic competition that operates without government assistance. It was initiated in 1964 to recognize academically promising black students throughout the nation and to provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding program participants. To date, approximately 33,500 young men and women have received Achievement Scholarship awards worth about $105 million. For more information about the program, visit National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Community Meeting on District’s 1st Magnet School

Sanders Memorial STEAM Magnet Elementary to Open in August

Who:  Superintendent Kurt Browning, School Board members, district staff, Williamson Dacar Associates architects, Ajax Building Corp. contractors, and interested parents and neighbors

What:  Community meeting

When:  6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23

Where:  Land O’ Lakes High School gymnasium, 20325 Gator Lane, Land O’ Lakes

Why:  To share preliminary information with parents and neighbors about Sanders Memorial STEAM Magnet Elementary School.

How:  The superintendent and staff will discuss the STEAM magnet theme; timelines and requirements for hiring the principal, teachers, and staff; magnet school application timelines; and options for transportation.  The architects and builder will share information and show a PowerPoint with renderings of the school.

Sanders has been closed since June 2010.  Reconstruction began last month on the new school buildings, which will include state-of-the art architecture and furnishings, labs, collaboration areas, traditional classrooms, and outdoor classrooms.  Sanders will be the district’s first magnet school, and will not have an attendance boundary.


Linda Cobbe, Director
Communications & Government Relations
(813)794-2717 or (813)361-8349

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Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
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