Friday, November 17, 2017

Pasco Schools, Offices Closed Next Week; PLACE Childcare Program Open 3 Days

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 17, 2017) – All Pasco County public schools and offices will be closed for Thanksgiving break Monday, November 20, through Friday, November 24.  Schools that offer PLACE childcare will be open regular hours Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Media can contact Linda Cobbe for breaking news at 813-361-8349, or

Normal operations for students and staff will resume on Monday, November 27.

Pasco Elementary Schools Collect Tons of Bags for America Recycles Day

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 16, 2017) – Fifteen schools participated in Pasco County Schools’ A Bag’s Life plastic bag recycling challenge, but Odessa Elementary School emerged as the clear victor when the contest closed Wednesday, Nov. 15, in honor of America Recycles Day.

Odessa Elementary School ran away with first place after amassing more than 2,494 pounds of plastics bags. Gulf Trace Elementary School collected 823 pounds of bags and Bexley Elementary School collected 725 pounds of bags in a close battle for second place. Odessa Elementary School also collected the most bags per capita with more than three pounds per student. A Bag’s Life visits different school districts throughout the country each year and challenges elementary schools to recycle as many plastic bags as possible.

For winning A Bag’s Life, Odessa Elementary School will receive a bench made of recycled plastic bags from contest-sponsor Trex during a closing celebration. The presentation is at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 at Odessa Elementary School, 12810 Interlaken Road in New Port Richey.

In addition to the main contest, A Bag’s Life included two other challenges — a race to collect the most plastic bags by Halloween and an art contest that challenged schools to design their plastic bag collection boxes. Odessa and Gulf Trace elementary schools each won a $100 Walmart gift card for collecting the most bags by Halloween. Lacoochee Elementary School won first place in the box design contest, while Odessa Elementary School took second place; Gulf Trace Elementary School took third place; and Lake Myrtle Elementary School took fourth place. Each of the top three schools will receive a $100 Walmart gift card.

Anclote, Chasco, Double Branch, Denham Oaks, New River, Oakstead, Rodney B. Cox, San Antonio, Sand Pine, and Watergrass elementary schools also participated in the three-month-long contest. Combined, the 15 participating schools collected almost three tons of plastic bags, or more than 300,000 individual bags.

To see the monthly count of bags collected by school, click here.  To see the winning box design, click here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

River Ridge Student is Pasco Schools Outstanding Senior

Land O’ Lakes, FL – (November 15, 2017) –River Ridge High School student Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County Schools 2018 Outstanding Senior.
Connor is the school’s Air Force JROTC- Corps commander, and has served as executive officer, orienteering team commander, and president of Kitty Hawk Air Society. He has earned multiple awards for his distinguished service. He also is involved in Boy Scouts of America, where he has served as a junior assistant scoutmaster, senior patrol leader, and Eagle Scout mentor. He was junior vice president and president of National Honor Society, and is serving his third year as captain of the swim team, for which he has earned two varsity letters.

In addition to his leadership activities, Connor also devotes time to serving others. He planned and organized the 1st annual Royal Relief Race, which raised $4,000 for the American Red Cross’ Natural Disaster Relief Fund, and is planning the 2nd annual race. He has earned close to 300 community service hours in a variety of settings, such as the Pasco Environmental Adventure Camp Experience, where he teaches elementary age students about Florida’s ecosystems. He also built garden boxes and rain barrels for Longleaf Elementary School teachers and students.
Connor has maintained excellent grades, taking rigorous Honors and Advanced Placement classes, while participating in multiple extracurricular activities. He was inducted into National Honor Society his sophomore year in high school. He hopes for an appointment to one of the U.S. service academies, Texas A & M University, University of Florida, or Florida State University.

The Pasco County Outstanding Senior was selected by a panel of community leaders, including Dr. Paula S. O'Neil, Ph.D., Pasco clerk and comptroller; Dr. Tim Beard, president of Pasco-Hernando State College; Captain William Davis, Pasco Sheriff’s Office; Stacey Capogrosso, executive director, Pasco Education Foundation; and Wendy Beard, program coordinator, Career and Technical Education.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Renowned Anti-Bullying Speaker Visit is Postponed

Who: Gulfside Elementary School students and staff, and Lizzie Sider

What: Lizzie Sider’s Bully Prevention Assembly

When: 2:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17
2:30 p.m. Monday, November 27

Where: Gulfside Elementary School cafeteria, 2329 Anclote Blvd. in Holiday

Why: Pasco County Schools strives to prevent bullying in its schools, and uses multiple resources to reinforce with stakeholders that all students and staff should be treated with civility and respect.

How: Renowned anti-bullying speaker Lizzie Sider, who has performed at more than 400 schools across the country, will bring her high-energy, inspirational message to Gulfside Elementary School students. Having endured the anguish of bullying as an elementary school student, recording artist Lizzie Sider created her own Bully Prevention Assembly, where she shares her personal experiences with elementary and middle school students. Gulfside Elementary School will have the honor of hosting this empowering performance, and students will gain a greater understanding of compassion and community. For more information, call Gulfside Elementary School at (727) 774-6000.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cypress Creek Middle High Celebrates School Opening

Who: Cypress Creek Middle High School students, staff, their community, and Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning

What: Cypress Creek Middle High School Dedication Ceremony

When: 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 14

Where: Cypress Creek Middle High School, 8701 Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel

Why: Join Cypress Creek Middle High School for a night of celebration as we dedicate this brand-new school.

How: Cypress Creek Middle High School is in its first year of operation, and Pasco County Schools will commemorate its opening with a dedication ceremony. Community members are welcome to attend this event. There will be messages from Superintendent Browning and Principal Carin Hetzler-Nettles, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, photograph opportunities, live music from the Cypress Creek High School band, refreshments, and self-guided tours. For more information, call (813) 346-4400.

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