December 10, 2015

December 10, 2015

December 10, 2015

December 10, 2015

Deputy Superintendent's Message

On Wednesday, 30 Pasco County Schools administrators finished up their third and final day of leadership training at Eckerd College. The Superintendent and I describe these folks as emerging leaders and they represent a cross section of our district. We are both very committed to developing a sustainable process for ensuring that our district is always in good hands. Too often these opportunities are reserved just for principals or just for directors. This group includes supervisors, assistant principals, principals, managers and so forth. We also mingled Instructional folks with the business and the support side of shop. People like Thad Kledzik, Betsy Kuhn, Nicole Westmoreland, and Mike Gude are learning alongside Julie Marks, Jason Joens, Beth Hinton, Dominick Christofaro and so forth. Vanessa Hilton, Kevin Shibley, Tammy Berryhill and Todd Cluff are also present as part of the group.

The training is intensive and includes a 360 evaluation and feedback session accompanied by considerable training on conflict dynamics and leadership strategies and styles. I am very proud of this group. I stopped in Wednesday for lunch at Eckerd College so I could casually chat with each of them one-on-one. Honestly, what I heard was amazing. They are all so appreciative of this opportunity and they spoke about the quality of the experience and the value of working with a “mixed bag” from across the district. Most importantly, many spoke of what it meant to them that our district would invest in their growth as professionals.

Eckerd shared with me that they were an amazing group. In addition to the leadership training, they will receive four more days of training here at the district. In January, we will provide one day of intensive training on school funding that will include presentations by our bond counsel, financial advisors and in-house staff. In March, they will get intensive training on the instructional side of the shop – a detail not always apparent. In May, Tom Matson with Gallup will spend an entire day on engagement and what it really means to create a culture of collaboration and in June we will talk about administration and support including information and training about things they would not ordinarily know about. The focus of this training was to give these emerging leaders opportunities to think about their own leadership future in the context of nitty gritty details about running a large corporation called Pasco County Schools.


Ray Gadd
Deputy Superintendent of Schools


Canceled: January 5, 2016 School Board Meeting

The School Board has canceled the regularly scheduled Board meeting of January 5, 2016, due to Winter Break.


Using Florida 511 in Your Holiday Travel Plans

This holiday season, many cities in Florida are top travel destinations for both Florida residents and tourists, leading to high volumes of cars and congestion on Florida's roads. Travel smart and hassle-free this holiday season by using Florida 511. Know before you go and prepare for your trip ahead of time to be sure you arrive safely to your destination. When planning for road trips, whether solo or with family and friends, there are many ways Florida 511 can help.

Before heading out:
Check traffic conditions on throughout your route to have an idea of the trip ahead.
Set up custom routes and personalized alerts for your trip with My Florida 511. You can set the system to notify you when there is a crash, congestion or construction on your route via phone call, text or email.
Download the free mobile app and follow some of the 13 regional and road-specific Twitter feeds.

While driving:
If you have a passenger with you, he or she can check for updates while on the road; otherwise, safely pull over to check conditions along your route.
If your car has hands-free technology or you use a headset, call 5-1-1 to access traffic information via the voice recognition system.


Online Substitute Teacher Training Module Available

In conjunction with Ed Training Center, HREQ is launching the new, Online Substitute Training Module. The objective of this program is to streamline the process for becoming a certified instructional substitute with the district. The online training is accessible to potential substitute candidates whenever and wherever they have an internet connection. No longer will substitute candidates have to wait for a “live” training session.

The new process for becoming an instructional substitute (briefly described below) is now on the HREQ  webpage. Individuals wishing to become substitute teachers will need to do the following:

  1. Apply online using the District’s application system
  2. Register fingerprints through FieldPrint Florida (Use Code: FPDSBPCEMP)
  3. Complete the online substitute training using Ed Training Center
  4. Complete a hiring/onboarding session at the District Office

The exciting part of this new system is the turnaround time from beginning the application process to actually working in a school…this process can be as short as 7 days.

About the Online Training Program…

In addition to some Pasco Schools specific training pieces (AESOP, ethics video, reasonable suspicion, etc.), the online training includes the following:

  • Substitute Teaching 101 – 8 hours w/ a Final Exam
  • Advanced Classroom Management – 3 hours w/ a Final Exam
  • Instructional Strategies – 3 hours w/ a Final Exam
  • Exceptional Student Education – 3 hours w/ a Final Exam
  • Working with At-Risk Youth – 3 hours w/ a Final Exam

As always, please feel free to email with any questions.


1,000 Deeds of December

The HERO Club challenges you! The HERO club is doing Good Deeds of December and they are hoping to showcase more than 1,000 good deeds in the two weeks before school ends. They are encouraging the school, students, parents and community to participate. Help the kids beat their goal of 1,000 good deeds from December 7-18 and help the world be a little better place. The HERO club is a student-run club that teaches students kindness, empathy, and respect for others. Every month, students discuss topics such as bullying, friendship and kindness. Their goal is to offer peer support and help each other become the best they can be. If you have questions or would like to participate by submitting a good deed you have performed or observed, please contact Andrea Morrow.


Holiday Parade Grand Marshal Winners

Congratulations to Chasco Elementary School Principal Michele DiIorio, Gulf Middle School Principal Jason Joens, and River Ridge High School Principal Dr. Toni Zetzsche as winners of the Holiday Parade Grand Marshal Contest. The Holiday Parade is this Saturday at 6 p.m. Principals will ride on the grand marshal float decorated with banners listing the schools. Teachers and school staff are invited to walk along with the float wearing their school shirts with pride. Those participating should be at float #33, located on School Road in front of Gulf High School, between 4:30 and 5 p.m. There will be limited parking in the Gulf High School stadium parking lot, so plan to arrive early. 


Musselman's Bright Apples Sweepstakes

Congratulations to Schrader Elementary School for being selected as a prize winner for the sweepstakes! The prize is a $500 AMEX card and an apple tree. These prizes will be presented to Café Manager JoAnn Schmidt by Eddy Meneses on December 18 at 9:30 a.m. For more information, please contact JoAnn Schmidt.


Pasco's Got Talent

Auditions for this event were held on November 16. The top 20 performers that were chosen will now be performing this Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge. Tickets are $5. Take a break from shopping and enjoy some fantastic entertainment!


Last Day to Vote

Help Chester Taylor Elementary School win the Made by Milk 2015 Carton Construction Contest by clicking here.



Superintendent Browning: I teach an ASD class at JWMHS and I have 2 IA’s. One of my IA’s was out on a planned absence and I did have a sub. My other IA was at the Special Olympics with about half of my students. Throughout the day, there were numerous times when I realized just how much our IA’s do in class and just how impossible it would be to serve our kids without them. Starting with the littlest things like knowing which backpack belongs to which kid, what bus each student rides, what our non-verbal kids want during breakfast and lunch, where each student goes for each class (some of them go to as many as 5 different classes each day), all the way up to the really big things like who has to go to the clinic at what time for medication, and giving academic, social and emotional support to students. The students in our class range from being non-verbal, non-readers, non-writers all the way up to functioning at approximately a 5th or 6th grade academic level. Behaviors range from being physically aggressive, and having major melt downs to some students who become upset and scared when they see things like that happening to one of their classmates. We have students who can’t control their emotions at all and students who seem to have no emotions (which we know is not really the case). Our IA’s do so very much that is taken for granted and seem like just “little things”. They make our daily routine happen as smoothly as possible and they most often do it with a positive and caring attitude. I really just want you to know that, and to know how valuable they are to our school. -Teri Barbuto


Please read below for several staff shout outs to three members of our custodial staff who went above and beyond yesterday in assisting with an EMS call. Gary Thurman, Joe Deliberti, and Joe Caropolo definitely worked together as a team with the EMS staff while keeping the student and her health and safety their top priority. We certainly salute them! -Marcy Hetzler-Nettles, Principal, River Ridge Middle School



  • A very special thank you to our wonderful maintenance team Joe Caropolo, Joe Deliberti, and Gary Thurman for taking care of our middle school student today. You all worked in such a professional and caring manner to cut and drill while trying to remove her finger which had become wedged in the table. I could hear you speak to her while you were working and I know that it helped ease her anxiety. You guys are the best. -Arlene Meyer
  • They are amazing!!! -Cynthia Zozaya
  • I love working with those guys! They are always friendly and willing to help in any way they can. -Laurie Peterson
  • They are the best maintenance crew in Pasco County! Thanks guys! -Peter Pinizzotto

A Sunlake High School student builds a Bluetooth speaker for an engineering project.

Schrader Elementary Hour of Code

Schrader Elementary students are learning the basics of computer science by participating in the Hour of Code.

Holiday Safety 511 Interviews with AAA and FHP

Student Spotlight

Kati Roxby
Ridgewood High School Senior
2015 Anne Frank Award Recipient

Click here to read her interview.