Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
March 2, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

March 2, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

March 2, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

March 2, 2018

Superintendent's Message

You’ve seen my many articles and videos urging parents to monitor their students’ social media accounts for inappropriate or dangerous content.  Now, I’m appealing to employees to be careful what you post on your personal social media pages, and to be cognizant of how the public – students and parents – may interpret what you write or the pictures you post.  Consider the perception people may have, whether it’s right or wrong, before you upload a comment or photo.  We all are held to a higher standard, so let’s consider that when we’re on our social media.  This is a great school district because of the quality of employees we have and your dedication to what’s best for Pasco County students.  I’d hate for any of you to be judged otherwise because of your activity on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet.  Thanks for what you do every day to prepare students for college, career, and life.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay

Have you ever thought about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister?  Being a "big" often means including your "little" in things you already like to do — going to a game, taking a bike ride, or reading books.  You can help change the lives of children facing adversity for the better, forever.  If you are interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, click here for a list of orientation dates and locations.


Daytona International Speedway Free Rewards Program

Daytona International Speedway's free Race Rewards program is an excellent way to save on all 2018 races at the Daytona International Speedway. Click here to view offers and use Race Rewards code: 2018REWARDS.


2019 GRAMMY Music Educator Award

The GRAMMY Music Educator Award recognizes public school and private school educators, who have made a significant and lasting contribution to music education, and demonstrated a commitment to maintaining music education in schools. Winners of this program are awarded a $10,000 personal honorarium, a matching school grant of the same amount, and a trip to the 2019 GRAMMY Awards. Click here and here to learn more about the program and nomination process.

Suncoast Trail Closure

Part of the Suncoast Trail in Pasco County between State Road 52 and State Road 54 will be closed Feb. 27, through March 9, for repairs and resurfacing. For more information, click here.


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Florida Southern College - Information Sessions

Join Florida Southern College at one of their information sessions. Attendees will learn about bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degree programs in education. Click here for more information. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here.


Setting up Structures and Supports for At-Risk Youth

The Office for Leading and Learning is offering an afternoon workshop, where participants will learn how to set up a program that provides support to at-risk students — particularly, rising fifth- through ninth-graders. During this workshop, you will hear ideas for how to set kids up for additional tutoring opportunities, online credit, and the personal support that will make them a success in the transition from one level to the next, and in life. The workshop is open to all, but recommended for principals, assistant principals, SSAP, and school counselors at the secondary level.  It will be held in the media center at Wesley Chapel High School on March 6 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Inservice points will not be awarded as this is an informational workshop.  Click here to RSVP.


Florida’s Educators are Invited to an Exploration of Forestry in Florida

Get a first-hand look at the role Florida’s forestry industry plays in your everyday life.  The Florida Forestry Teachers’ Tour brings teachers together from across the state to see how forestry works in Florida. This four-day event demonstrates that sustainability is the key to responsible forestry. Participating teachers experience all aspects of forestry practices from the planting and growing processes to the mills and end products. They also learn about chemical by-products created in the process of making paper.

The tour is June 19 – 22 in Fernandina Beach, FL.  Applications will be accepted Jan. 29, through March 2. To learn more about the Florida Forestry Teachers’ Tour, click here.


FSU Educational Leadership Program

Florida State University (FSU) is offering an exciting opportunity for teachers to become school leaders by enrolling in a nationally recognized, fully online educational leadership program.  FSU offers three levels:  master’s (M.S.), specialist (Ed.S.) and certificate (non-degree seeking).  Teachers can complete a state-approved program in two years, while they continue to teach full time.  FSU students are top performers when compared with other educational leadership programs in Florida.  The application deadline for the fall 2018 semester is June 1, so now is the perfect time to apply.  Click here to apply and view other program details.

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School Spotlight


Land O' Lakes High School  - Academy of Culinary Arts


Student Spotlight

India Lewis, Fivay High School

India is a dynamic representative for Fivay High School because she is a leader and positive role model on campus.  She demonstrates incredible resilience and doesn't let an obstacle stand in her way. She did not let being new to Fivay this year stop her from making a positive impact on our school culture. With India's leadership and contributions, our girls' basketball team made it to the State's Elite Eight competition!

Staff in the Spotlight

Elsie Farmerie, fifth-grade math teacher, Gulf Highlands Elementary School. Click here to learn more.


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Gulf Coast Odyssey of the Mind Tournament

Everyone is invited to witness creativity at its finest on March 3 and 4, at Thomas E. Weightman Middle School.  The annual Gulf Coast Odyssey of the Mind Tournament will feature the creative problem solving talents of more than 150 teams from schools all over Pasco County.  Hundreds of students in grades K-12 will perform their solutions to one of the six long-term problems produced by Odyssey of the Mind.  The tournaments are open to the public and each day’s events will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude with an awards ceremony between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.  For more information, click here.


National School Breakfast Week

To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available for school breakfast, some of our schools will celebrate National School Breakfast Week March 5-9, 2018.
National School Breakfast Week was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program, a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools, and residential child care institutions since 1975.
The national theme this year is “I Heart School Breakfast."  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and schools provide millions of breakfasts to hungry children every single school day.  A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is one way to ensure students are getting the best education possible. Check with your school’s cafeteria to see what fun events they have planned for this week.
To view the breakfast menu for next week, please click here and select your school.


ESE District Advisory Committee

The Exceptional Student Education (ESE) District Advisory Committee comprises parents, teachers, administrators, and community representatives.  The committee’s focus is to share information, brainstorm ideas, discuss concerns, and provide input on current ESE initiatives.  The next meeting is March 6, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Lake Myrtle Elementary School.  Click here to register for the meeting.  For more information, click here.


Voting Now Open for Turnaround Awards

The Turnaround Awards are an opportunity for instructors to recognize and award middle school and high school students who have made significant strides toward success both academically and personally. Nominations for the school's turnaround student are due by Friday, March 15. Click here to learn more and vote. The Turnaround Awards Ceremony details are below. 

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 2

Where: Tampa Bay Golf  and Country Club, 10641 Old Tampa Bay Drive in San Antonio, Fl


One Community Now Hunger Walk

The One Community Now Hunger Walk will be held Saturday, April 7, at Gulf High School to help raise funds for Pack A Sack Food 4 Kids.

Many at-risk students won't eat at all between lunch on Friday and breakfast Monday morning. Childhood hunger is a problem that threatens our children and our future. We're in danger of losing an entire generation of leaders, innovators and problem solvers.  With your support, we can make sure every at-risk child has access to food over the weekend. The Hunger Walk is a collaborative effort to promote hunger awareness and raise hunger relief funds for children living in Pasco County. 

All proceeds from the walk go toward feeding children through the One Community Now Pack A Sack 4 Kids program to help address chronic hunger among school-aged children. You will also enjoy a fun, family festival atmosphere that includes free activities, games, and entertainment. For more information and to register, click here

First National Bank of Pasco Grand Opening

March 10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

FNBP is offering a $25 donation to a school of your choice when you open an account.  Click here for more details.


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Christine Pejot, I would like to thank one of your team members, Aaron Rinaldi.  Aaron has been very helpful to transportation by establishing repair procedures for our vehicles to include buses that were involved in accidents.  Aaron has also streamlined this process and has worked diligently as a liaison between PGCS and the shop coordinators.  This saves time, ends confusion, and greatly reduces down time of the fleet. - Emmett Thompson


Kurt Browning and Toni Zetzsche, After attending your successful Special Olympics yesterday for my daughter, Isabelle, I just wanted to say thank you for hiring such excellent instructors and staff.  My daughter and her peers just love Mrs. Adrian Mittermayr!  Through the years, I've observed how my daughter has responded to her teachers.  Isabelle has shown such a level of excitement and love for school this year that, when she was diagnosed with pneumonia, she still begged to go to school in the morning, which has never happened before.  Note, she was not successful in convincing me to allow her to go to school sick. Mrs. Mittermayr is never seen without a smile and has such a great energy about her.  I am always amazed at how calm her classroom is when I walk in.  Her students are happily on task and calm. Truly, it's amazing.  Thank you again for hiring such great staff.  I hope that you guys have a great weekend and keep up the great work! - Mrs. Antonio Paris


RRHS teachers, staff and faculty, I want to give some encouragement and appreciation to everyone. I am a student in Pasco County; more specifically, I attend RRHS. I have seen the tweets and received the phone calls about the threats that interrupt the school day. There have been way too many of these lately and, unfortunately, our school happens to be one of the ones that has been threatened. With this said, I want to take the time to spread positivity.  You all are so brave and I appreciate you and what you do to empower us students.  To be a teacher right now, takes incredible strength and bravery.  I thank you for still being the outstanding teachers you are throughout all of this. You are my role models.  To be an administrator right now, takes so much courage. What you all do to ensure student and staff safety doesn't go unnoticed, especially in the last week. Thank you for all the hard work you have done for us students.  To be a non-instructional staff member, you are so brave. Everything you do in one way or another impacts us, so thank you for coming to work despite all the fear. You all are brave.  To our amazing Cyesis teachers, to teach our next generation with all the challenges the current one is facing is incredible. You have such an amazing job so thank you for being brave for our little ones.  Thank you to every single person who has come to work.  You all are wonderful.


Share Your Kudos

If you know a Pasco County Schools employee who deserves a shoutout for exemplary performance, we want to hear about it. Please email your kudos to Tara.

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School Matters is Superintendent Browning’s weekly newsletter to employees and is published by the Communications and Government Relations Department. It is an employee’s one-stop source for District news, events, and instructional videos.
Pasco County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex/gender, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, age or genetic information in its educational programs, services or activities, or in its hiring and employment practices. (read more)