December 3, 2015

December 3, 2015

December 3, 2015

December 3, 2015

Government Relations Outreach

In Florida's capitol, the final committee week is coming to a close this week, and the 2016 Legislative Session will begin on January 12, 2016. Pasco County Schools is represented by Spencer Pylant, our Communications and Government Relations Liaison, in Tallahassee. Things move very quickly in Tallahassee, especially during session. Time is always of the essence and information is vital. That being said, if Spencer contacts you regarding legislative matters, please reply promptly. Additionally, if you see a concerning issue, please let him know your thoughts. Spencer can be reached by phone at (813) 388-0020 or via email at


Humans of Pasco


Paper Tigers Screening

Pasco County Schools and the National Alliance for Mental Illness have arranged for two showings of the film Paper Tigers for Pasco County students and residents next week. The first screening is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 8, at Atonement Lutheran Church in Wesley Chapel.  The second showing will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 9, at River Ridge Center for the Arts. Click here for more information, or if you would like to view the trailer, click here.


Performing Arts Survey

The performing arts centers at River Ridge and Wesley Chapel high schools are collaborating on a survey to help them plan programming for the 2016-2017 season.  Please click here to begin the 15-question survey.


Continuing Education Partnership

University of West Florida is pleased to continue our partnership with Pasco County Schools.  You are invited to register for a live webinar on Tuesday—December 15 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss UWF’s regionally accredited & NCATE accredited 100% Online Graduate Degree Programs.  Through the partnership, Pasco school district employees receive a partner tuition rate.  Join to learn more and take advantage of our new GRE/MAT Waiver.

  • Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Curriculum & Instruction
    • Only Florida state university to offer a 100 % online doctorate degree
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
    • Shortest program in Florida, 11 courses/complete in 18 months or less

As a holiday season treat, registrants will be eligible to win a $25 Starbucks gift card.  To add more peppermint flavor to the mix, registrants that recommend other individuals to register for the webinar will have the opportunity for an additional gift card!  On the registration form, there will be a required field: “Who referred you to the webinar?”  All winners will be announced at the end of the webinar. 



Great American Teach In Recap

Our school system was visited by numerous exciting speakers. Below is a selection of some of the feedback from their discussions:

Wesley Chapel High School

Dr Eric Hollis of Hollis Group Leadership Consulting — Topic:  Leadership — "Dr Hollis was extremely professional. He shared not having been a very good student during High School, then joining the Navy for a 30 year career, going to college for an undergraduate, graduate degree, and eventually PhD….and now opening up his own Consulting firm. He talked to students about his duties and posts while in the Navy, and his message to them was that “you can not get back TIME”! He spoke about having goals and interests, and how important it was to be organized and have fun all at the same time. He said High School was priceless and that they should make the best of it. He actually gave examples of three different types of leadership by giving them everyday teenage scenarios."

Ms Leslie Stevens of Integrity Check Solutions — Topic: Background checks in the Workplace — "Ms Leslie was absolutely wonderful.  She spoke a lot about background checks for employment and private investigations.  The students were very engaged.  They were asking questions about previous arrests etc.  She was professional and informative.  The students even continued to ask her questions after the bell rang. Thank you so much for scheduling her into my homeroom."

Shady Hills Elementary School

From our Parent/Volunteer pool, Kristin Vencevich, J.C. Penney Hair Salon, entertained our students with her hair styling skills. Craig Rogers, Palm Harbor Fire Rescue, gave an amazing demonstration about  fire fighting and fire safety. Rose Rogers, Bay Care Mobile Nursing, educated our students about healthcare. Michele Hersh taught our students about precious and semi-precious jems with her jewelry making demonstration.

From our community, the staff from Paddling Adventures provided an interactive event including water safety and giving our students hand-on experience paddling. A local bee keeper, Kevin Smith, gave  students an up-close look at a bee colony and their honey-making skills. Our guest presenters also included two service dogs, Mickey and Nora, and their handlers,Rene Scandora and Pam Simmons, who amazed the students with their canine talents. Safari Dental taught our students proper brushing and flossing with the help of Brittny Petricevic and her fluffy dinosaur.


Made By Milk Contest

We would like to congratulate Chester Taylor Elementary for all their hard work in collecting, designing, and entering the Made By Milk Contest! You can help them win by clicking here and voting for their “Down on the Farm” entry! Online voting will be open from November 30 – December 11. Since you can only cast one vote per computer/phone/iPad, you may also vote on multiple devices.



Superintendent Browning: My name is Barbara Martin and I am fairly new to my position as an LD Coach. One of the PLC’s that I support are the Social Studies PLCs at Stewart Middle School. Because I am not an expert (though, because of Tina, I am getting there) with the Social Studies curriculum, I have needed support and Tina Stavrou has been my lifeline. Tina not only has been accessible via e-mail as well as with visits to our campus but also by her cell. I have been in SS PLC meetings where I needed her expertise and there was not one single time that I didn’t text her during a PLC meeting that I did not get an immediate response. This collaborative practice helped alleviate a great deal of stress with the teachers and enhanced the collaborative process of the PLC. Her knowledge base of the contents she supports is impressive. I know Tina supports all of the schools in our district and because of this, she has to be one of the busiest people around. In spite of this, she is able to make me and the teachers feel we are a priority. This is priceless. -Barbara Martin, Learning Design Coach, RB Stewart Middle School

I wanted to take a minute and let you know about an amazing educator at River Ridge Middle School. Jesslyn Kostopoulos is a drama teacher at RRMS. She took a group of 78 students to the Florida Junior Thespian District XI Festival on Saturday. She went above and beyond to prepare these students. She is encouraging and compassionate. Ms. K. is a true example of a young educator that we want to recognize, and retain in Pasco County Schools. My daughter and the other students at RRMS are blessed to have Ms. K. as a role model and teacher. -Melissa Richarz, Pasco County Mom and Educator

I leave tomorrow to go see my dad.  My parents live in the middle of nowhere, and internet is spotty, at best.  So before I get busy packing and the rush of leaving tomorrow, I wanted to say I can’t thank you enough.  I left work on such an emotional high, knowing that what I am doing is supported and validated.  All three of you (Kara Smucker, Kimberly Natal, and Theresa Gillies) are responsible for this fantastic year.  Again, I can’t thank you enough.  Together, the three of you make an amazing support team for us.  This is only my 6th year of teaching, but I have never met three people more dedicated to putting children and their staff first, than you three. 
I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. -Lora Darby

Superintendent Browning: Every day in our district, teachers are working hard to meet the needs of students. It seems harder and harder for teachers to focus on teaching with high stakes testing, teacher pay for performance, new standards, ESE mandates, and so on. When I thought about this, I thought, “How might I help the teachers I supervise to see their worth, while making connections to the above mentioned items, as they shape our current educational system and teaching?” I decided to show my ESE teachers what they are already doing well in their classrooms related to Marzano’s Framework, in a non-evaluative way. My team and I decided to visit schools within my realm of supervision. Having Marzano’s framework in hand, a walk-through was/is done and only the positives are noted in relation to the elements seen. The teacher’s name is then placed in a container for a drawing at the end of the month where a gift card is awarded with a small congratulatory note. Below are the teachers that won the drawing for the month of October (when we started this process):

  • Woodland Elementary School - David Holbrook - SCA class, observed during and ELA class
  • Pineview Middle School - Cindy Goldsworthy - Co-Teach Math Class
  • Wesley Chapel High School - Gordon Brobbey - Support Facilitator

-Rachel Boehmer, Supervisor of Student Support Programs and Services

Superintendent Browning: We were walking around campus this morning and ran into a student who wanted us to see what he was thankful for. He is thankful for...

T- Tyler (himself)
H- Hodges (his teacher)
A- Amazing Family
N- Nike shoes
K- Kurt S. Browning
S- School

When we asked him why he was thankful for you- he said it is because you gave us this beautiful new school! Yes, we agree with Tyler- we are all very thankful for the new Shady Hills Elementary School! -Tom Barker & Tracy Bonnett

Longleaf Elementary students learn about technology at the Apple Store.

Learning at the Apple Store- Longleaf Elementary

Longleaf Elementary students create digital magazines for a school project at the Tampa International Mall Apple Store.