Pasco County School News
Turnaround Student of the Year Justin Stallings has been chosen as Gulf Middle School’s 2013 Turnaround Student of the Year. “Justin is a bright student. I’m so proud of him for achieving this success in his education. I always knew he would realize his full potential,” said Stalling’s sixth-grade teacher, Susan Murtha. During his three years at Gulf Middle, Stallings was taught each year by Ginny Miller. “Justin has overcome all of the challenges of middle school and many more that some adults will never encounter. I have learned so much from working with Justin and am proud to know him. He’s an amazing kid,” Miller said.In asking Stallings how he is different today from his first two years at Gulf Middle, he thought for a while then simply said: “I am thankful now for even the smallest things in my life.” The annual Turnaround event is part of the district’s graduation enhancement program. This year’s banquet will be May 9 at the Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club in San Antonio. Land O’ Lakes High earns top ranking Land O’ Lakes High School was the highest ranked of the district’s 10 listed schools on the Washington Post’s ranking of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Land O’ Lakes ranked 26th in Florida and 108th in the nation, followed by J.W. Mitchell High School, which ranked 120th in Florida and 558th in the United States. Eight other district high schools also earned a ranking on the national list, which is based on a formula that considers the number of graduates and the number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests administered in 2012. The other schools and their rankings were:
Gulf High School: 184th in Florida, 911th in the United States.
River Ridge High School: 206th in Florida, 1,058th in the United States.
Wiregrass Ranch High School: 229th in Florida, 1,205th in the United States.
Anclote High School: 285th in Florida, 1,541st in the United States.
Ridgewood High School: 292nd in Florida, 1,592nd in the United States.
Wesley Chapel High School: 312th in Florida, 1,703rd in the United States.
Hudson High School: 326th in Florida, 1,759th in the United States.
Pasco High School: 334th in Florida, 1,806th in the United States.
This is the most Pasco County high schools to be ranked on the list. Last year, six high schools were ranked nationally, once again led by Land O’ Lakes High at 395th, followed by Gulf High at 418th, J.W. Mitchell High at 674th, Wesley Chapel High at 1097th, Wiregrass Ranch High at 1109th and River Ridge High at 1695th.
There are about 25,000 public high schools in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Science, engineering students win awards Pasco County students from nine middle and high schools participated in the 58th annual State Science and Engineering Fair from March 26 to 28 at the Lakeland Center.
Students shared winning projects including research findings during schoolwide competitions earlier in the year. The following three students received awards:
Samantha Williams, a junior at Smith Middle School won second place in chemistry, teacher Dana Levy.
Paige DePagter, a senior at Mitchell High School won Senior Recognition in Biochemistry, teacher Edwin Braddy.
Ryan W. Williams of Smith Middle School earned honorable mention in Engineering, teacher Cheryl Long.
Other students who earned the opportunity to enter projects into the state competition include: Kaylin Boas of Centennial Middle; Alyssa Butler and Amanda Tetso of Gulf Middle; Janelle Tanghal of Hudson Middle; Gabrielle Aiello, Taylor Tischhauser, Sherron Fontes and Dylan Meisner of Mitchell High; Emily Jennings and Tristan Valverde of Stewart Middle; Cole Arnold and Parker Wilkinson of Sunlake High; Emily Gelb of Weightman Middle; and Kaitlin Greenough of Zephyrhills High.
Technology Olympics set for May 11 The fourth annual Pasco County Middle School’s Technology Olympics will be at Charles S. Rushe Middle in Land O’ Lakes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 11.
There are about 50 students from five Pasco County middle schools participating.
Students will compete in racing and/or showing CO2 cars, designing and/or launching rockets, fire models of ancient siege engines, fly self-propelled planes, design and build scale model homes and test their bridge construction skills.
There are 15 categories of entries.