April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016

Superintendent's Message

The district and USEP began contract talks this week with the goal of reaching a settlement before the 2016-2017 school year begins. My desire is to provide employees with a 3 percent pay increase again this year. The next instructional team meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 12, at 5:30 p.m., at the USEP offices. The SRP team met on Wednesday, when several items were introduced, and the next session is scheduled for Monday, May 9, time TBD, at the district office. To see more about contract negotiations, go to http://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/er/contracts/.


Pasco County Schools Well Represented at Odyssey of the Mind® World Finals

During the April 19th board meeting, the District School Board of Pasco County recognized three Odyssey of the Mind® teams who won their state championship category and advanced to the 37th Odyssey of the Mind® World Finals in May. The following Pasco County schools and students will compete in the World Finals:

Mittye P. Locke Elementary School

  • Joel Adamski, 3rd Grade
  • Catalina Harvey, 4th Grade
  • Liam Hendley, 4th Grade
  • Nicholas Tongco, 4th Grade
  • Nick Greene, 5th Grade
  • Genavieve Newton, 5th Grade
  • Emma Sisco, 5th Grade

Dayspring Academy

  • Laney Windlan, 5th Grade
  • Joshua Dumas, 6th Grade
  • Victoria Rooney, 6th Grade
  • Kayleigh Weber, 6th Grade
  • Ella Windlan, 6th Grade
  • Else Hagerup, 7th Grade
  • Annalise Minogue, 7th Grade

Wesley Chapel High School

  • Donovan Snider, 11th Grade
  • Kaden Robinson, 12th Grade

Wiregrass Ranch High School

  • Kayla Gutierrez, 11th Grade

Click here for more information.

Fred K. Marchman Technical College Partners with Yamaha

Fred K. Marchman Technical College recently announced their partnership with Yamaha Motor Corporation, Inc. and plans to incorporate their new Yamaha Marine Service  Skills Training program in the Marine Service Technologies Program.  Yamaha provided two and four stroke engines for training Marchman students.  Congratulations to Mr. Rich Ojeda for solidifying this partnership! The college would also like to thank Stephanie Swinson (Purchasing Department) for her guidance and support.


Important Information about Take Your “Kids” to Work Day

The national Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work day is scheduled for Thursday, April 28.  As you know, that day falls during state end-of-course exams.

With this in mind, we will use the same process we’ve used the past couple of years for parents who wish to take their children to work with them at their place of employment outside the district.  A principal has the discretion to allow a parent to take his or her son or daughter out of school to participate in the national event if the student does not have a scheduled EOC on Thursday, April 28, AND the parent has prearranged the student’s absence with his or her principal and teacher(s).

District employees who wish to bring their son or daughter to work with them may do so on Friday, May 27.  Employees also must prearrange their children’s absences with their principals and teachers if they plan to participate on May 27.

Schools should use their newsletters and other platforms for communicating with parents to let them know their responsibilities.  Typically, students aged 8 to 18 participate in this activity.

I hope this helps parents to meet their needs while assuring that schools are free from disruptions during these important tests.  For more information, please visit http://daughtersandsonstowork.org/about/faq/.


Earth Day "Superhero" Kit

Teachers – Click here to win a “Superhero” kit with wild flower seeds, pots and compost to help save the bee population.


Tampa Gridiron Cooking Challenge

For the third year, New River Elementary School students will compete in the Dairy Council of Florida’s cooking competition at One Buccaneer Place on Saturday, May 14. In collaboration with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Publix, enjoy a fun-filled cooking competition where students will compete to create a healthy, dairy-inspired recipe. The following New River Elementary School (NRES) students will be competing:

  • Payton Leidy, 4th grade
  • Payton Furman, 4th grade
  • Charyn Maldonado, 4th grade
  • Cameron Keehn, 4th grade

NRES physical education (PE) coaches Kathy Gillooly, Holly Mitchell, and Ryan Ketterer selected the team and have volunteered to develop their abilities. Click here for more information or to register.


PCASA Membership Dues and Social

The Pasco County Association of School Administrators, known as PCASA, supports the development of Pasco’s educational leaders, provides advocacy for administrators, and represents their interests at the local and state levels.  By paying your $25 membership dues today, PCASA can continue to provide scholarships for students, support staff and teachers who are pursuing degrees in the field of education.  Members also are invited to a social on Saturday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m., at the home of Ray Gadd and Cathy Peckett, 6504 Wisteria Loop, Land O’ Lakes.  If you would like to attend and haven’t paid dues, please send your RSVP and $25 check (made out to PCASA) to Mary Tillman, director of Internal Audit, District Office Complex.



This is only one 5th grade class but I’d like to give a shout out to our 5th grade teachers for making a garden out of one of our old playgrounds and investing so much with their students. The look of joy on our students faces is priceless for the accomplishment they have been working so hard on. So great job Stephanie Mayhew, Kathy Guiney, Donna Denaro, Debbie Chancey, Lori Meyer, Elaine Ward, and Bobbi Starling! -Cyndi Kirkpatrick, Clinic Assistant, Woodland Elementary School

Ms. Kimberly A. Anderson, My daughter got accepted in the AVID program (I'm certain you are aware!) at Pasco Middle and she was thrilled beyond belief. She got to school on Friday morning, I believe, and told you. You gave her the biggest hug and told her that you were proud of her! As a parent we say that to her often, and I think it may sometimes fall on deaf ears because she does hear it from us. And things are going great for her in life right now, school, lacrosse, just everything. So to have someone else such as yourself give her that extra positive encouragement and acknowledgement was very much so appreciated...One hug really can make a difference. -Lisa Smith, parent

Wesley Chapel High School Principal Carin Hetzler-Nettles, If you would be so kind as to share this message with my son's teachers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your hard work and commitment to helping my son be the best student he can be.  For parents of kids with challenges, attending a meeting with folks who focus on how to find different paths to successful outcomes is not the typical experience.  You have all clearly taken the time to know my son and what works and does not work for him, and as his parent, I cannot tell you how much this means to me.  I hope you know that everything you do is a lifelong gift that he will carry with him. Thank you for being a positive influence.  I really appreciate it. -Dr. Karen Berkman, Executive Director, USF Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD)

A Weightman Middle student launches a rocket he designed in technology education class.

Electricity Class at Pasco High School

Pasco High School students are learning the basics of the electrical trade with the help of their teacher Wayne Mazza.

Student Spotlight

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Carr
Wiregrass Ranch High School

Click here to read her interview.


Staff Spotlight

Daniel Bowman
Chester Taylor Elementary School

Click here to read his interview.



Lacoochee Elementary's Annual 5K Color Fun Run

Lacoochee Elementary School is hosting their 5K Color Fun Run on Saturday, April 23, from 9 to 11 a.m., to promote awareness of good health and the importance of education. Fabric dye will be used to color participant’s shirts while they run. The entry fee is $7 for students and $12 for adults. The event proceeds will help provide field trips, update technology, and purchase specific classroom materials. Please visit the school website for online registration information. For more information, contact Wanda DeLaRosa at 352-524-5609.

5th Annual Bunco for Backpacks

 The 5th Annual Bunco for Backpacks will be held at Seven Spring's Golf and Country Club on Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Seven Spring's Golf and Country Club is located at 3535 Trophy Blvd. in New Port Richey. It is co-sponsored by Marjorie's Hope and the Junior Service League of Greater New Port Richey is the presenting sponsor. This event is $25 for an advanced ticket, or $30 at the door. However, if you bring a NEW backpack, you will receive a $5 discount at the door. ALL educators/school employees who show ID at the door receive 10 free raffle tickets. For more information, please contact Debi Shackowsky at 727-776-5458 or click here.

2016 Hurricane Expo

Pasco County Government recently announced their latest hurricane expo. The 2016 Hurricane Expo will be held at Sims Park on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. Sims Park is located at 5547 Main Strett, New Port Richey. Click here for more info.

AP Celebration and Exam Review

The AP Celebration and Exam Review is on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Land O' Lakes High School. There will be 30 minute exam review sessions in these areas: English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, European History, Human Geography, Calculus, U.S. Government, U.S. History World History, Statistics, Biology, Environmental Science, Spanish, Micro/Macroeconomics, and Psychology. The event is free – come celebrate a successful year as an AP student! Inflatable fun and snacks provided. Please RSVP here today!

13th Annual Charity Softball Challenge

The 13th Annual Charity Softball Challenge will be held at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater on Saturday, April 30, at 3:30 p.m. The event features Clearwater and Tarpon Springs police departments versus the Pasco Sheriff's Office and Largo Police Department. Tickets are $18 (children 4 and under are free) and can be purchased in advance by contacting Susie Barr at 727-844-7733. Tickets include all you can eat and drink from 5-7:30 p.m. Proceeds from their silent auction will benefit PSO Corporal Jim Derner and TPD Sergeant Scott Brockew.

Taste of Pasco

The Leadership Pasco Class of 2016 invites you and your family to the Taste of Pasco Event on April 30. If your membership is current, there is NO charge for you to attend. Otherwise, tickets are $25.00 in advance or $30.00 at the door – Kids under 12 are FREE.  Proceeds benefit Pasco Kids First. There will be great food from all over the county, live music, games and prizes! To make it convenient, you will be able to pay your Leadership Pasco membership of $50.00 at the event. All CURRENT members will have entry to the Private Alumni Tent – filled with food, gifts and a few special treats! If you would like tickets, please contact Nicole Westmoreland or Spencer Pylant

JLMS 10th Anniversary Celebration

Dr. John Long Middle School proudly celebrates their 10th anniversary in their cafeteria on Tuesday, May 10, at 6 p.m. JLMS is located on 2025 Mansfield Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. Light refreshments will be served. There will also be performances by the school chorus, orchestra, band, and drama club. Please RSVP to Jill Briscoe by May 3. 

18th Annual Special Olympics Florida Golf Tournament

 The 18th Annual Special Olympics Florida Golf Tournament is a four person scramble and will be held on Saturday, May 14, at the Lexington Oaks Golf Club. The Lexington Oaks Golf Club is located at 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. Check-in begins at 12 p.m. and there is a 1 p.m. shotgun start. The participation fee is $65 and is tax deductible. It also includes green fees, cart, range balls, goody bag, raffle ticket, and a buffet dinner. Registrations must be received by May 6. Please print, complete, and send the registration form, with a check (payable to Special Olympics Florida - Pasco County) to:

Special Olympics Florida - Pasco County
Attn: Judy Brunner
38203 Henry Dr.
Zephyrhills, FL 33541
Phone: 813-794-6476
Fax 813-794-6438

Spring Football Jamboree

J.W. Mitchell High School is hosting their Spring Football Jamboree and carnival on Thursday, May 19. The carnival will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the football game against Fivay High School starts at 7 p.m. Some of the carnival activities are covered by the price of admission, but others will require payment to participate. Vendors will be at the jamboree with food, snacks, and drinks for purchase. This event's proceeds will go toward campus improvements. If you have questions, please email JWMHS Principal Jessica Schultz.


April Professional Development Newsletter

Click here to read the April Professional Development Newsletter.


Important Dates


  • 18-22: Public School Volunteer Week
  • 22: Earth Day
  • 18–29: Spring EOCs
  • 22: Earth Day
  • 24-30: Administrative Professionals Week
  • 27: Administrative Professionals Day