March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

Superintendent's Message

Recently, several principals have been appointed to new schools. There is never a good time to move a principal because the domino effect caused when a filled position creates another vacancy. However, I am confident that these recent changes will generate a positive, lasting impact on these schools because of the talent possessed by each new principal. These principals are outstanding leaders who understand what it takes to foster greater student achievement, an engaging culture, and a positive professional environment for their fellow employees.

Congratulations to the following new principals and their schools:

  • Chasco Middle School: Brandon Bracciale
  • Crews Lake Middle School: David Huyck
  • River Ridge Middle School: Angela Murphy
  • Seven Springs Middle School: Cortney Gantt*
  • Thomas E. Weightman Middle School: Rachel Fowler*
  • Fivay High School: Dr. Christina Stanley
  • Ridgewood High School: Dr. Chris Dunning

*Effective March 8, pending board approval.



Spirit of ILP Award

Congratulations to Cpl. Joshua Peters, Ridgewood High School's SRO, for winning the Pasco Sheriff's Office "Spirit of ILP Award." This special recognition is presented to an agency member who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to, or effective use of, the principles and processes of intelligence-led policing.


2017 Best Community Colleges in Florida ranked Fred K. Marchman Technical College second place on their 2017 Best Community Colleges in Florida list! This ranking demonstrates that MTC "provides a quality education that students can afford in their home state." Click here to view MTC's profile and here to view their ranking. Congratulations!


2017 Barnes Scholarship Winners

The Barnes Scholarship is an annual award sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times Fund named after Andrew Barnes, the former chairman and CEO of the newspaper's parent company, Times Publishing Co. The award, granted to high school seniors who have overcome significant adversity and achieved excellence, is worth up to $60,000 to pay for four years at an accredited college or university. The winners will be recognized at a luncheon in April. Two of the four winners are from Pasco County. Congratulations to:

  • Kelvine Moyers, J.W. Mitchell High School
  • Hang Nguyen, Land O' Lakes High School

Click here to learn more about their stories.


J.W. Mitchell High School Championship Hockey Team

Congratulations to J.W. Mitchell High School's hockey team, who again defended their championship crown! Click here to learn more.


Regional Envirothon Winners

Congratulations to Pasco High School's Envirothon "Speaks to Trees" team members Kayleigh Heather, Kaylin Boss, Daniel Warsick, Alex Carr, Molly Bentley, and Elizabeth Colemanare. These students were the top scoring Pasco team and will advance to the state competition at Myakka River State Park on April 29. Envirothon is an environmental science competition focused on aquatic ecology, current environmental issues, soil and land use, forestry, and wildlife knowledge.


FHS Criminal Justice Academy

Congratulations to the Fivay High School Criminal Justice Academy for placing in seven events at the State Law Enforcement Competition in Ocala!


Odyssey of the Mind - Gulf Coast Region Divisions 2 and 3

Pasco County students performed well at last weekend's Odyssey of the Mind tournaments. Congratulations to the school teams that are advancing:

  • Catch Us If You Can Team
    • First Place, Division 2: Dayspring Academy A
    • Third Place, Division 2: Seven Springs Middle School A
    • First Place, Division 3, Centennial Middle School
  • Odd-a-Bot
    • First Place, Division 2: Dayspring Academy A
    • Second Place, Division 2: Seven Springs Middle School A
    • Third Place, Division 2: Charles S. Rushe Middle School A
    • Fourth Place, Division 2: Thomas E. Weightman Middle School
    • First Place, Division 3: Wiregrass Ranch High School
  • It's Time, OMER
    • First Place, Division 2: Dayspring Academy A
    • Second Place, Division 2: Dr. John Long Middle School
    • Third Place, Division 2: Seven Springs Middle School B
    • First Place, Division 3: Wesley Chapel High School
    • Second Place, Division 3: Dayspring Academy A
    • Third Place, Division 3: J.W. Mitchell High School
  • Ready, Set, Balsa, Build!
    • First Place, Division 2: Dr. John Long Middle School
    • First Place, Division 3: Sunlake High School
    • Second Place, Division 3: River Ridge High School
  • TBC: A Superhero
    • First Place, Division 2: Seven Springs Middle School A
    • Second Place, Division 2: Pasco Middle School
    • Third Place, Division 2: Seven Springs Middle School B
    • First Place, Division 3: Gulf High School
    • Second Place, Division 2: Wiregrass Ranch High School A
    • Third Place, Division 3: Dayspring Academy A


Driver and Truck Needed

The district is looking for someone to provide a truck and driver to pull the Pasco County Schools float in the Chasco Street Parade on Saturday, March 25.  Anyone who is eligible to drive a district white fleet vehicle may use a district truck to pull the float.  Please contact Debbie Hebert in Communications at 42717 to volunteer.


Student Dental Care

Gulfside Elementary School is a Community Partnership School that offers affordable, premium dental care to students throughout the school year to Gulfside Elementary, Paul R. Smith Middle, and Anclote High school students. To take advantage of this service, click here.


SeaWorld Orlando's Environmental Scholarship

SeaWorld Orlando’s Environmental Scholarship Program is now accepting applications from Florida high school seniors who share the organization’s passion for protecting and preserving the natural world. If selected, students will receive a one-time award of $5,000 to use at any college or university they plan to attend. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and create a short video that demonstrates their commitment to conservation or environmental issues. The video must be uploaded to YouTube and submitted on the SeaWorld website by Friday, March 31. The applications will be evaluated by representatives of SeaWorld’s Education and Conservation Department.  Judges will consider originality, creativity, content, organization, neatness and the general presentation of the application. To learn more and submit an application, interested students are encouraged to click here


Traffic Updates During Spring Break Travel

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) 511 Traveler Information System is the state’s official source for traffic and travel information. It provides free and real-time information on crashes, construction, congestion, travel times, severe weather, AMBER Alerts and more. Florida 511 offers five convenient ways for motorists to receive traffic updates:

  • Download the free Florida 511 mobile app from the Google Play or Apple App Store.
  • Visit for interactive roadway maps showing traffic congestion and crashes, travel times and traffic camera views with information available in English and Spanish.
  • Sign up for a “My Florida 511” account at to create custom routes and register for email or text alerts.
  • Call 511 toll-free for updates.
  • Use the FL511 Toolkit.
  • Follow one or more of the statewide, regional or roadway-specific Twitter feeds (#FL511).


One Book, One Community

Charles S. Rushe Middle School is participating 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:

  • 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.


Employee Opportunities

Hometown Heroes

Hometown Heroes is an organization designed to give back to those who help make our communities a better place to live by offering real savings from local and national business partners, and real estate professionals. Heroes can find savings for the things they do and use every day. New savings are being added often and there is never a cost to heroes! Heroes are those faithful men and women who serve our communities & our nation:

  • Military Service Members (past/present)
  • Medical Personnel (Nurses, Doctors)
  • First Responders (Police, Fire, EMT)
  • Non-Profits (Charities, Churches)
  • Educators and School Employees (ISD, College)

Click here to learn more about Hometown Heroes.


Free Tax Prep for Pasco County Residents

United Way of Pasco County, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service VITA Program and AARP Tax Aide Foundation, is sponsoring free income tax preparation sites for low and moderate-income taxpayers in Pasco County. All tax preparers are trained and IRS Certified to help Pasco residents with filing their taxes. For more independent and computer comfortable clients or those who prefer filing their own tax returns, MyFreeTaxes is offered through the United Way of Pasco County website. If people need help, there is online help available as they prepare their own taxes.  If you have any questions about the program please contact Kelly Steen, Prosperity Campaign Resource Manager, at 727-835-2023. Click here to learn more.


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.


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.



Superintendent Browning, During the week of December 12 through 16, 2016, a colleague and myself from the Florida Department of Education – Office of Educational Facilities were in your school district performing the 5-Year Annual Florida Inventory of School Houses (FISH) validation.  I am pleased to report that we found Pasco County Schools' FISH to be within the Florida State Statute 95% correct mandate.  I would also like to extend our thanks to Mr. Richard Tonello, Mr. Zack Goodfield, and the Planning Department for their daily guidance and help throughout the facilities we visited. -Mark Jeter, Educational Consultant, Florida Department of Education – Facilities



Superintendent Browning, The Gulf High School Navy JROTC cadets and some of Ms. Diaz’ AVID students conducted a Beach Cleanup at Green Key on Saturday, February 18. The combined group battled chilly weather and high winds to make Green Key a cleaner beach. Way to go! -Principal Kim Davis, Gulf High School


Superintendent Browning, I am sharing good news! Attached are reports from DOH-Pasco that capture the amazing mobile dental health outreach services that are being provided to students free of charge – including dental sealants, cleanings and referral for treatment at Title I schools. So far this year, over 1400 students have been seen on the mobile unit. I’m also sharing data related to the dental clinic at R. B. Cox Elementary, where Dr. Beth Genho and her team provide cleanings, sealants, extractions, and fillings to students in need every day.  Over 1,346 students have received care at Cox Clinic (July through December 2016). These initiatives require the support of school nurses, administrators, staff and volunteers. Dental health outreach efforts are critically important when we consider the fact that dental problems account for nearly 2 million lost school days each year! These efforts are keeping Pasco students in school learning! Our school district is very fortunate to have this unique partnership with DOH-Pasco dental health program. Thank you for supporting student dental health outreach in Pasco County schools! -Lisa Kern, Supervisor School Health Services

Events and Kudos sections are copied verbatim from their submission, with minimal, if any, alteration.

Algebra Nation made a surprise visit to Mrs. Farrar's Algebra I class at Seven Springs Middle School!

AVID at Gulf Middle and Gulf High schools

Student Spotlight

Taylor Spung

Staff Spotlight

Cynthia Doig
River Ridge Middle School

Click here to read her interview.


Special Olympics Bowl-A-Thon Fundraiser

Come out on Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to support Special Olympics Florida - Pasco County at Royal Lanes. Teams of four are $100 and individual tickets are $25. Royal Lanes is located at 1927 Brinson Road, in Lutz. Please contact Phyllis Crain or click here for more information.


US Marine Corps Band Concert

On Sunday, March 26, The Historic Dade City Court House will be hosting the USMC Band at 3 p.m. for an outstanding presentation. Click here for more information.


Special Olympics 5K Fun Run Fundraiser

On Saturday, April 1, the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center is hosting the Special Olympics Florida 5K Fun Run. The 5K starts at 8 a.m. and the 1 mile walk starts at 8:45 a.m. The New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center is located at 6630 Van Buren Street, in New Port Richey. Click here for more information, including registration.


RRHS Royal Relief Race

River Ridge High School Air Force JROTC and National Honor Society (NHS) students organized a race on April 1, at Crews Lake Wilderness Park, to benefit communities in Florida impacted by recent hurricanes. Click here to register and learn more.


Family-Friendly Summer Camp Expo

Family-Friendly Tampa Bay is hosting their Summer Camp Expo on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Florida Hospital Center Ice. The Summer Camp Expo is a free event that will include live entertainment, workshops, sports clinics, a pamper parents lounge, and much more! Free tickets are available via online registration. Florida Hospital Center Ice is located at 3173 Cypress Ridge Rd., in Wesley Chapel. Click here for more information. Dress warmly!


Learning Symposium

Save the date for the Pasco County Schools Learning Symposium, July 24 through 27! The Learning Symposium is a week of free professional development for Pasco teachers. Click here for more information.

Important Dates


  • 1-31: Irish American Heritage Month
  • 1-31: Music in Our Schools Month
  • 1-31: National Nutrition Month
  • 1-31: Women's History Month
  • 6-10: National School Breakfast Week
  • 16: End of 3rd Quarter
  • 17: Teacher Planning Day
  • 19-25: National Poison Prevention Week
  • 19-25: No School - Spring Break