January 27, 2017

January 27, 2017

January 27, 2017

January 27, 2017

Superintendent's Message

As you are likely aware, Crews Lake Middle School Principal Adam Kennedy died in a car accident last Friday. He was appointed assistant principal at Crews Lake in 2009, and became principal on January 20, 2015. I, along with the entire Pasco County Schools family, am devastated by this tragic news. Adam was a tremendous person and an amazing administrator. His passing reminds us to take advantage of every opportunity to tell those close to us that we love them. 


New School Addresses

  • Bexley Elementary School
    • 4380 Ballantrae Boulevard, Land O' Lakes, FL 34638
    • 813-346-4300
  • Cypress Creek Middle/High School
    • 8701 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
    • 813-346-4400



First Place Future Educators

The River Ridge High School New Teacher Academy (NTA) started a Florida Future Educators of America (FFEA) chapter in September. This four-month-old program immediately was chosen as the FFEA Showcase Chapter of the Month for Florida in November! Building on this success, last weekend, RRHS traveled with 12 student qualifiers to the FFEA Conference in Orlando, where they won first place for their display! The display's theme was "Teaching is a Work of the Heart," and was a tree covered in the actual handprints of third grade Hudson Elementary School students impacted by the NTA. The display also included pictures of the NTA in action. Congratulations!




HOSA Regional Competition

Congratulations to all the students who represented Wiregrass Ranch High School at the regional Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition in Winter Haven on Saturday, January 21! The following students placed in the top three, and advance to the state competition:

  • First Place
    • HOSA Bowl: Zahra Fayiz, Ana Sinclair, and Micaiah White
    • Prepared Speaking: Rachel Sawah
    • Biomedical Laboratory: Kayla Gutierrez
  • Second Place
    • Forensic Medicine: Christyan Valentin and Sy’Vanna Bartlett
    • Nutrition: Kathryn Sherman
    • Family Medicine: Ashley White
    • Healthy Lifestyles: Stephanie Carrion
  • Third Place
    • Healthy Lifestyles: Alexa Cunningham
    • Nurse Assisting: Caitlin Reilly
    • Research persuasive Writing and Speaking: Dylan Nagore
  • Fourth and Fifth Place (Not advancing to the state competition.)
    • Mary Rodriguez, Scott Nolting, Daniella Rios, Devynn Montgomery, Jaelyn Kirkland, Morgan Gregory, Christopher Dang, Aimee Johnson, Sydney Gacek, Spencer Geer, Ali Dixon, and Julia Rebel

Lastly, thank you to Don Howard, Dave Wilson, Marilyn Davis, and Christy Rankin for all your assistance to the HOSA students.


DOH Visit

Pasco County Schools received glowing feedback from the Department of Health site visit! They visited and reviewed four schools, multiple clinics and several student files. They delivered praise for our school health services, and no recommendations for corrective action.


Ask the Auditor

The Internal Audit Department now has an “Ask the Auditor “ email address asktheauditor@pasco.k12.fl.us. If any school district employee has a question regarding the internal audit process they can email the Internal Audit Department and receive a response within five business days.


Volunteer Readers Needed

One Book, One Community

Charles S. Rushe Middle School will be taking part in a One Book, One Community whole school reading program January 23 through March 16. They selected I Will Always Write Back-How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda to read to our students.  This is a true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever. As part of school and community outreach, their book committee is requesting district staff to volunteer to read to their students from 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. on each of these days:

  • January 27, 30
  • February 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24
  • March 3, 6, 16

Please contact David Salerno or Dawn Gilliland if you are interested in being a volunteer reader, or would like more information.

They are also collecting new and gently used picture books (elementary-appropriate) for students January 23 through February 17. Books can be dropped at off at the front office to the attention of Jessenia Rodriguez. Staff will be translating these books into Spanish for the children in the Dominion Republic. If you are a translator and are interested in helping, please contact Jessenia Rodriguez.


Night to Shine

The Tim Tebow Foundation has a great passion for people with special needs, and for the second year in a row, Trinity New Life Church is partnering with their initiative to create special needs proms for the Trinity/Tampa area! The event is looking for volunteers who are willing to donate time in the following areas: prom guest buddy, set up and tear down, parking, food prep, gift table, red carpet, greeting, registration, floaters, flower table. Click here to volunteer for Night to Shine.


Student and Employee Opportunities

2017 NIE Teacher of the Year Contest

Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 Tampa Bay Times Newspapers in Education (NIE) Teacher of the Year award. This award recognizes K-12 educators in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas counties who use the Tampa Bay Times in their classrooms in an innovative, meaningful manner. The following factors will be considered:

  • Use the Tampa Bay Times to enhance student learning and the learning environment.
  • Employ innovative newspaper-based lessons, strategies or projects to develop students’ literacy skills.
  • Integrate the close reading of news into classroom instruction.

The winning educator will be honored at an award reception in May, and will receive a $100 cash prize, a grand prize plaque, a Tampa Bay Times prize pack, and an invitation to present at the Florida Press Educational Services conference  in August at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples. Reimbursement is provided for conference lodging and travel. Entries will be accepted until March 31. Click here for more information.


VFW Teacher of the Year Award Contest

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is accepting nominations for the 2017 VFW Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. Nominations can be submitted by fellow teachers, supervisors, or other interested individuals.  Self nominations are not eligible. The annual award contest recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high, and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics, for at least half the school day in a classroom environment, can be nominated. Winners will receive:

  • A $1,000 award for professional development expenses
  • A $1,000 award for his/her school
  • Two award plaques (one for the teacher and one for his/her school)
  • An all-expenses-paid trip to a VFW conference to receive their award.

Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette, and patriotism are ideal candidates for the award. If you know a teacher who plans field trips to city hall, organizes community volunteer projects or invites local veterans to speak in class, anything to help students develop a better understanding of democratic values and beliefs, this award is for them. For more information, visit the VFW website for complete program guidelines and application instructions. The deadline is February 15.


Marine Educators Workshop

Seacamp Association, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization, in operation since 1966, providing marine and environmental education programs to visiting school groups from across the country on Big Pine Key in the beautiful Florida Keys.  Each year, they host more than 100 school groups, 4th grade through college, and more than 5,000 participants. They are hosting their annual Marine Educators Workshop at their facility on Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m. through Sunday, April 9, at 5 p.m. Click here to register and here for more information. If you have any questions, contact Chuck Brand, Director of Marketing, at 305-951-7430.


Teach Like A Pirate - Today

Area public school educators and those interested in the field can hear a nationally recognized teacher discuss ways to boost teacher creativity and student engagement at Saint Leo University at 5 p.m., today, January 27, in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms of the Student Community Center.

Dave Burgess, author and creator of the “Teach Like a Pirate” concept, appears as the opening speaker of the Florida Association of Teacher Educators, but his talk is also open to the public. Admission is free. (The speaker event and conference were originally scheduled for October 2016, but had to be postponed because of Hurricane Matthew.) There is free parking in surface lots and in the garage on campus, located at 33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo, 33574, four miles east of Interstate 75 (exit 285). Burgess uses the catch phrase “Teach Like a PIRATE,” a memory prompt for: passion, immersion, rapport, ask and analyze, transformation, and enthusiasm. For more information, contact Dr. Valerie Wright of the education faculty.


Pasco County Government



We would like to recognize David Tate (Resources Services) for his wonderful work in transporting percussion instruments to and from the Tampa Convention Center for the Florida Music Education Association Professional Development Clinic this past weekend. His kind demeanor and work ethic were so apparent. He made certain that the percussion equipment from Mitchell High, River Ridge Middle, and River Ridge High schools was loaded properly, transported safely, and delivered on time to Tampa. Furthermore, he ensured that everything was brought back in the same condition. Dave was always professional in speaking to our teachers, and was so patient when we loaded and unloaded the truck. On behalf of FMEA members across our state, THANK YOU, Dave, for your help in making our statewide clinic a huge success!! -Travis A. Henry, River Ridge Middle School; Joel Quina, J. W. Mitchell High School; Chris Greco, River Ridge High School; Tom Viking, Fine Arts Coordinator

Students captured this photo using a UAV while operating the UAV Command Center Sprinter Van.

Land O' Lakes Renovation

My Chamber TV

Special Guest: Fred K. Marchman Technical College Principal Rob Aguis


2017 Together We Stand Virtual 5K

The 2017 Together We Stand Virtual 5K continues through February 28, 2017, and registration is now open. The Annual Together We Stand Virtual 5K Run for Safe Schools supports our student leaders who are preventing bullying by making their schools safer and more inclusive. Click here to register and here for more information.

BPMS Rededication

Bayonet Point Middle School has undergone an amazing transformation this year. Not only has the school been remodeled, but it opened as one of the first ever STEM Magnet LATIC middle schools in the country. BPMS will host their rededication ceremony on February 7, at 6 p.m. in the media center. Come out to see what this school has to offer!

Hunger Walk

In Pasco County, more than 68,000 families (15%) struggle with having enough food for their families. During the school year, The Thomas Promise Foundation packs more than 1,000 backpacks with food for East Pasco County students in need. Their Hunger Walk is on Saturday, February 11, at Zephyrhills High School, and will feature a fun, family atmosphere. You can help by:

Click here for more information and here for a pledge sheet.

District to Host Spring Instructional Job Fair

Pasco County Schools is hosting the Spring Instructional Job Fair on Thursday, February 23, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Wesley Chapel High School gymnasium. WCHS is located on 30651 Wells Road, in Wesley Chapel. This job fair is for teachers and student services employees. Positions are available at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in various areas, including: reading, math, science, emotional and behavioral disorders/autism spectrum disorder (EBD/ASD), school nurse, and behavioral analysts. Applicants can get on-the-spot interviews and prizes for participating. For more information, visit www.pascoschools.org and click the Job Fair banner at the top of the page, or contact human capital partner Lori Perreault at (813) 794-2845.


The Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel is hosting "Nunsense" at 2 p.m. on February 25 and 26. “Nunsense” features the Little Sisters of Hoboken who discover after their cook accidentally poisoned some of their fellow nuns that they are in need of burial funds. The nuns decide that the best way to fundraise is through a variety show performance. Tickets are $20 per ticket and can be purchased online or at the Center’s Box Office at 813-794-8772.

Learning Symposium


Important Dates


  • 1-21: National Mentoring Month
  • 24/26: Adult Education Graduation
  • 28: Christa McAuliffe Day


  • 1-28: National African American History Month
  • 6-10: National School Counseling Week
  • 6-10: FTE Survey Week
  • 10: Progress Reports
  • 17: National PTA Founders Day
  • 20: Presidents' Day