Friday, October 13, 2017

Three Students Awarded in Pasco Essay Contest

Land O’ Lakes ­­– (October 13, 2017) ­–  The Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller has named two students from Trinity Elementary School and one student from Woodland Elementary School the winners of the Fifth Annual Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller Constitution Essay Content.

Bailey Keyes, a fifth-grader at Trinity Elementary School, won first place; Ryleigh McQueen, a fifth-grader at Woodland Elementary School, won second place; and Nathan Grimes, a fifth-grader at Trinity Elementary School, won third place. This year’s competition drew a record 72 entries, nearly 70 percent more than in 2016.

Judges applauded Bailey’s grasp of individual liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, and commended her personal examples and “clear beginning and logical ending.”

“I think the Constitution is important because it gives people the same rights no matter what color you are, what religion you are,” Bailey wrote. “I was born in another country that does not have the same type of constitution that the United States has. I moved to the country at a young age and became a United States citizen. Now, because of the constitution I can become whatever I want to be and have the rights as everyone else.”

Ryleigh painted a word portrait of a nation in chaos, identifying a possible reality “if we didn’t have the Constitution to guide us,” and highlighting the prudence in “allow(ing) the possibility of adding amendments.”

Nathan described our constitutional government as a “three-legged stool,” whose amendment structure extends freedom to former slaves and voting rights for women. But it was the kicker that impressed the three-judge panel.

“Without the Constitution, we wouldn’t be the great nation that we are today,” he wrote. “I believe that without the Constitution, we would live in a world with war and people getting killed. I prefer to live in a world with peace and sunshine!”

The winners will be awarded trophies at the Pasco County School Board meeting Dec. 19. First-place winner Bailey will get a tour of the Pasco courthouse and have lunch with Clerk and Comptroller Paula S. O’Neil.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pasco Students Make Music with Florida Orchestra

Who: Pasco County Schools music students and the Florida Orchestra

What: Florida Orchestra Youth Concert Series

When: Center for the Arts at River Ridge: first show — 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017; second show — 12 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel: first show — 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017; second show — 11:45 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Where: Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road in New Port Richey, Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, 30651 Wells Road in Wesley Chapel

Why: The Florida Orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and select music students from Pasco County Schools will rehearse and perform alongside it on two nights.

How: Each of the participating Pasco County schools will nominate students to perform based on teacher recommendation and what instruments are needed by the orchestra. The students will play only during the second performance of each day. All performances are open to the public. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the venues. For more information, contact Tom Viking, fine arts program coordinator, at (813) 794-2585 or

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pasco High Schools Invite Their Communities to Trick or Treat

Land O’ Lakes, FL — (October 10, 2017) — High schools throughout Pasco County are offering students a safe place to trick or treat this Halloween. Following is a list of events:

River Ridge High School

Where: River Ridge High School football field, 11646 Town Center Road in New Port Richey

When: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24

Why: River Ridge High School community members are invited to a Halloween celebration. Come dressed in your school-appropriate costume and visit the booths to receive tasty treats. The school is accepting canned good donations to fill community members’ cupboards for the holidays. For more information, call (727) 774-7200.

Land O' Lakes High School

Where: Land O’ Lakes High School football field, 20325 Gator Lane in Land O’ Lakes      

When: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27

Why: Land O’ Lakes High School will treat its community to food trucks, Kona Ice, games, a petting zoo and more. A football game will follow the festivities, so guests will be asked to exit the track at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (727) 794-9400.

Fivay High School

Where: Fivay High School football field, 12115 Chicago Ave. in Hudson

When: 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27

Why: Fivay High School invites its community to enjoy games and candy at a variety of booths. Clubs and groups from Fivay High School will join the festivities. A football game will follow the event, so guests will be asked to exit the track at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (727) 246-4000.

Sunlake High School

Where: Sunlake High School football field, 3023 Sunlake Blvd. in Land O’ Lakes

When: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 28

Why: The Sunlake High School community and neighbors from surrounding schools will get to experience a family fun morning of trick or treating. Clubs and groups
from Sunlake High School will join the festivities. For more information, call (813) 346-1000.

Wesley Chapel High School

Where: Wesley Chapel High School

When:  5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27

Why: Wesley Chapel High School invites its community to a fun night of trick-or-treating around the track. Guests also will be treated to a movie during the festivities. For more information, call (813) 794-8700.

Zephyrhills High Students Look for Common Ground

Who: Approximately 100 Zephyrhills High School students

What: Unity Day

When: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 11

Where: Zephyrhills High School gym, 6335 12th Street, Zephyrhills

Why: Unity Day joins students from varying backgrounds to encourage diversity, open mindedness, and connectivity throughout the school and community.

How: Zephyrhills High has held Unity Days for the past several years with facilitator Dr. Roy Kaplan and district student services staff. This year’s theme is, “Different people, common ground.” Students will participate in ice-breaker activities, watch video, and split into small groups to discuss important topics designed to encourage students to overcome social barriers. Students also participate in team building activities, have lunch, debrief as a large group, and listen to a closing address from a local personality. For more information, contact Brian Prescott at

Monday, October 09, 2017

District to Dedicate Bexley Elementary School

Who: Bexley Elementary students, employees, and parents; district staff, School Board members, and community members

What: School dedication and ribbon cutting

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 10

Where: Bexley Elementary School, 4380 Ballantrae Blvd., Land O’ Lakes

How: Students will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem, followed by comments from Principal Vicki Wolin and Superintendent Kurt Browning. The school will be officially dedicated by Superintendent Browning, followed by the ribbon cutting. The evening will wrap up with refreshments in the cafeteria and self-guided campus tours.

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