Chalk Talk 05/29/2019

(Courtesy of Jodie Ratliff)

Students’ dedication pays off
The students in VPK and Explorers at Primrose School at Collier Parkway, in Land O’ Lakes, participated in a Read-A-Thon to purchase gardening benches and a Lil Library for the school’s Primrose Patch.

The school also invested in creating a butterfly garden to help the Monarch butterfly migration from Mexico to Canada, and added milkweed and other butterfly-friendly flowers, a butterfly bath and additional bushes for shelter.

Not long after, the students began spotting caterpillars and butterflies, and even chrysalises.

Due to the students’ hard work and dedication, the Primrose Patch was named a certified wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation.

In addition, the patch is now producing pumpkins, squash, zucchini, green beans, peas, eggplant, okra, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, spinach and radishes. There also is an herb garden for the school chef, Mr. Burgos.

Primrose Schools hopes to get approved for a mud kitchen and playground scale so students can pot, plant and wash the produce right in the garden.

Haul passes available
The Student Summer Haul Pass, which gives unlimited rides on PCPT buses (Pasco County Public Transportation), is now available for $20, and valid June 1 through Aug. 31.

The pass allows students to go to the beach, swimming pool, shopping, visit with friends, summer employment, and to save money.

Those interested must have a current student ID from a school or university, or a PCPT ID with a green background.

Students can purchase the pass at any county library; at the Pasco-Hernando State College New Port Richey, Dade City or Wesley Chapel campus bookstore; at the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller Office, West and East Government Centers; or at the PCPT Administrative Office.

Summer food service program
The Pasco County Schools Summer Food Service Program provides free meals to kids and teens during the summer. Meals will be served at sites across the county from June 5 through July 31.

There are no income requirements or registration necessary, and anyone age 18 and younger can participate.

The Lakeview Café, adjacent to Land O’ Lakes High School, will be open all summer to serve free lunch to kids and teens. Adults can purchase a meal, too.

In addition to the school cafeterias that will provide meal service, six mobile feeding buses will make lunch stops at locations throughout Dade City/Lacoochee, Zephyrhills, Wesley Chapel, Spring Hill, New Port Richey, Hudson and Port Richey.

For a list of addresses and times, or to view the summer menu, visit

Student achievements

  • Emily Altier, of Wesley Chapel, graduated from Endicott College, in Beverly, Massachusetts, with a Master of Education, Athletic Administration.
  • Cole Dean Cooper, of Odessa, and Caroline Amanda Meisner, of Lutz, were named to the spring Dean’s List at Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Meisner also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre.
  • Thais Jacomassi, of Lutz, made the spring Dean’s List at Emerson College, in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Julianna Mitten, of Odessa, was named to the spring Dean’s List at Cedarville University, Ohio.
  • Amber Morgan Orosco, of Tampa, received the Art History senior year prize at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Orosco is an art history and visual arts major.
  • Summer Solovitch, of Dade City, made the spring Dean’s List at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri. Solovitch also graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science.
  • Sarah Sprague, of Lutz, graduated from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. Sprague also was named to the spring Dean’s List.
  • Shareeq Syed, of Lutz, graduated from the University of the Cumberlands, in Williamsburg, Kentucky, with a Master of Science in information systems and security.
  • Zane Thomas Tarrance, of Odessa, was named to the spring Dean’s List at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina.
  • Mariela Deynes Tofani, of Lutz, made the Emerson College spring Dean’s List. Emerson is in Boston, Massachusetts.

Local student participates in UN Model
Tallahassee Community College (TCC) student Samuel Goetz, of Odessa, attended the National Model United Nations in New York City.

About 6,000 students from nearly 50 countries participated in the simulation, which included discussions of issues facing the international community, aiming to overcome the obstacles diplomats face when addressing them.

The TCC students, representing the UN delegation from Libya, won three awards, earning a Distinguished Delegation Award for the overall team effort, and two Position Paper Awards, which are based on the quality of research and written positions submitted prior to the conference.

Students interested in participating in the TCC Model United Nations starting in the fall semester should email or .

Use a first job as framework for success
A recent survey by PayScale has found that only about 50 percent of managers felt that recent graduates were ready for full-time work.

The skills that managers often found lacking in graduates included critical thinking, problem-solving, attention to detail, and leadership.

In a release, Matt Stewart, co-founder of College Works Painting, gives these tips for that first job that can also be applied to a career path.

Start small, think big. Young people tend to look for a job at a prestigious big-name company, so don’t overlook small companies that would allow more freedom to take on a variety of different roles, which would add to your growth.

Find a mentor. Find a respected leader and reach out for advice. Pay attention to what they did to get where they are.

Do more than the job description. Move up or redefine your position by taking on more than the minimum expectations of the job. Volunteer for new projects, committees, training others, etc. Don’t be afraid to fail.

Find comfort in discomfort. The greatest self-growth is achieved when you challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Keep yourself in a state of constant growth and train yourself to handle stress while you are young.

In your first job, Stewart said to “be prepared to embrace and learn from things that may seem suboptimal on the surface, and even from some of your mistakes.”

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