Thursday, November 15, 2018

Pasco County Schools to Host Two School Choice Expos

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 15, 2018) – With the goal of informing Pasco County families about the upcoming school choice application windows and innovative program options, Pasco County Schools is hosting expo-style events – one on each side of the county – on November 26 and 29.

The west-side Pasco Pathways Expo is on November 26, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at J. W. Mitchell High School, 2323 Little Road in New Port Richey.

The east-side Pasco Pathways Expo is on November 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Wesley Chapel High School, 30651 Wells Road in Wesley Chapel.

“Having two separate expos provides families a convenient way to learn about the new school choice application process and innovative programs available for students in Pasco County Schools,"  said Superintendent Kurt Browning.

The expos will feature informational sessions that cover general application process updates and changes. In addition, many of Pasco County’s world-class schools (primarily secondary) will showcase their unique educational options like STEM and STEAM magnet schools, the Cambridge International Education Programme, International Baccalaureate, Career Pathways, Pasco eSchool, and more.

For more information, or to register to attend either of the Pasco Pathways Expos, parents should visit and click on the Pasco Pathways banner at the top.

Sunlake High School Student is Pasco’s Outstanding Senior

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 14, 2018) – Pasco County Schools announces that Jillian Gordy of Lutz has been selected as the 2018-2019 Pasco County Schools Outstanding Senior.

Every year, each high school nominates an outstanding senior who competes for the district award. The students are nominated on the basis of outstanding scholarship, leadership, service, and citizenship. First, they are screened by their school’s student body, faculty, and administration, for the school-level award. Next, a panel of district and school administrators interviews all school-based nominees and selects the winner.


Jillian has taken several Advanced Placement courses and earned the AP Scholar award for earning 5s on all of the AP exams she took. She won the Science Achievement Award for Academic Excellence in AP Environmental Science as a sophomore. In addition to AP courses, she has been taking dual enrollment courses since her sophomore year. She was awarded the English Achievement Award for Dual Enrollment as a sophomore and junior, and made the PHSC Honor Roll both semesters of the 2017-2018 school year. Jillian has earned the All A’s Academic Honor Roll every year of high school. She already has earned 35 college credits and her GPA exceeds 4.0.


Jillian also has shown great leadership throughout high school. She is executive student body president and has been an officer in student government for four years. Within the first months of her term, she started two new traditions at Sunlake. With the help of administration, she enabled both staff and seniors to paint their parking spots as a way to encourage school spirit. She also started the tradition of making and distributing freshmen goodie bags that contained applications for clubs, athletic information, and homecoming information during freshmen orientation to encourage new students to become involved.

Jillian is the student government representative on the School Advisory Council as well. In addition to her involvement with student government, she is the president of the French Honor Society and French Club. She has been an officer in this club for three years. Moreover, Jillian has been the Class of 2019 director for Key Club for three years and is the Sunlake High School representative on the Pasco Schools Student Congress, working to identify problems within her school and district and create plausible solutions. During her sophomore year, she was selected to participate as the Sunlake representative on the Youth Leadership Pasco program to learn about opportunities within the county. Jillian also is a member of the National Honor Society at her school.


Jillian has been a member of Sunlake’s Key Club, a volunteer organization, for four years and the class director for three years. Through this club, she has volunteered for a multitude of events in and around her community, earning more than 450 volunteer hours throughout her high school career. Jillian won the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award for her volunteer work with Toys for Tots, an organization she has been volunteering for since she was five. Jillian also worked as a Hurricane Irma shelter volunteer at her high school last year.

She has used her leadership role in Key Club and her passion for the health of the environment to encourage members to become active in improving the world around them. She has been the point person for youth volunteers for Keep Pasco Beautiful organization, volunteering at the last three annual Coastal Cleanups, the Earth Day event, and the Great American Cleanup. Jillian has earned the Key Club Distinguished Member Award for her service and was the Key Club junior classman with the most volunteer hours. She has volunteered during Upperclassmen and Freshmen Orientation for four years. Her goal is to become a life-long volunteer and she believes that her volunteer work will continue in the next chapter of her life.


In addition to the above activities, Jillian has displayed citizenship and contributed to her community by using her leadership role in Key Club to benefit the Toys for Tots organization. As a sophomore, Jillian initiated the first Toys for Tots gift drive affiliated with Key Club. Specifically, Jillian asked her peers to bring in gifts for teenagers, after noticing that the 13- to 17-year-old age group is often overlooked by donators. In years prior to her initiative, the table for teen gifts was desolate, but after she raised awareness and asked her peers to donate, the table has been overflowing with gifts. She has continued this initiative and is currently working with the Kiwanis of Greater West Pasco to expand awareness and increase donations directed towards teenagers. Jillian has used her voice to positively impact people in her community.

The Pasco County School Board will recognize Jillian for her achievements at an upcoming school board meeting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

District Celebrates AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate Recipients

More than 1,100 schools participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, valued by colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 13, 2018) – Pasco County Schools is pleased to announce that 20 students earned the Advanced Placement® (AP®) Capstone Diploma and 10 students earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™ in the 2017-2018 school year.

AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. Both courses prepare students for college and career success through the development of critical thinking, academic research, collaboration, presentation, and time management skills.

“We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, and we continue to look forward to providing students with opportunities to explore their passions while building college-level academic and collaboration skills,” said Vanessa Hilton, assistant superintendent for student achievement.

The AP Capstone program provides student-centered learning while incorporating performance-based assessments. Throughout the program, AP Seminar and AP Research students study a variety of topics across multiple disciplines and have the flexibility to choose topics of personal interest to show mastery of critical thinking, research, and presentation skills. Official AP Seminar and AP Research assessments also go beyond a single AP Exam to include academic papers, multimedia presentations, and defense of findings.

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma™, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams. To receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. Over 1,100 schools participated in the AP Capstone program worldwide during the 2017-18 school year, and approximately 4,800 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma and 2,400 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

“Capstone is a blank canvas. I loved that I could conduct research on practically anything I wanted in the world,” said an AP Capstone graduate.

Pasco County Schools offers AP Capstone at J.W. Mitchell, River Ridge, Sunlake, and Wesley Chapel high schools. More than 4,500 students are currently enrolled in at least one AP course and 198 of those students are taking either AP Seminar or AP Research. Students in the AP Capstone Program focused their research on a range of topics, including evolution of antibiotics through protein mutations, aerospace soft robotics as a solution to issues with efficiency and longevity, and the misdiagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and the connection to depression.

“Congratulations to the AP Capstone award winners, who conduct, present, and defend academic research on topics they are passionate about,” said Trevor Packer, College Board senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “Their ability to manage long-term projects, collaborate with teams, and deliver effective presentations will accelerate not only their academic careers, but their professional careers as well.”

Of the Pasco County Schools students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma Program:

· 20 were awarded the AP Capstone diploma by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams.

· 10 were awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research.

· 26 were graduating seniors in the class of 2018.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program gives students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. A 3 or higher on an AP Exam has multiple benefits for students, including earning college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on AP Exams, saving them time and money. Research shows AP students are better prepared for and more likely to enroll and remain in college, do well in classes, and earn their degrees on time. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams align their high standards.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Quail Hollow Elementary Students Building Lego Robots

Who: Quail Hollow Elementary School students

What: First Lego League

When: 4:10 p.m., Thursday, November 15

Where: Quail Hollow Elementary School collaboration room, 7050 Quail Hollow Blvd., Wesley Chapel

Why: To develop students’ critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and presentation skills, which they must use to present to judges their solutions with a dash of creativity.

How: First Lego League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology. They then compete on a table-top playing field.  It all adds up to tons of fun while students learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem.

Students Participate in Socktober to benefit Pasco Homeless Coalition

Who: Fivay, River Ridge, and Wendell Krinn Techincal high school  students and staff, and the Pasco Homeless Coalition

What: Kid President’s Socktober Caring Project

When: 9 a.m., Tuesday, November 13

Where: Pasco Homeless Coalition, 5652 Pine St, New Port Richey

Why: The school-wide event promoted the culture of caring among all grade levels and staff to benefit the Pasco Homeless Coalition.

How: The high schools partnered up during the month of October to collect more than 3,500 pairs of socks. The River Ridge Royal Ambassadors created a marketing video ( and posters. River Ridge students competed by grade level to collect pairs of socks, with the following results:
6th grade – 1,322
7th grade – 425
8th grade – 861
River Ridge Grand Total – 2,608
Wendell Krinn Tech – 979
Fivay High School – 100

Sixth grader Sean Thomas-Nappi donated more than 700 pairs of socks.

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