Local educator named a PBS ‘Digital Innovator All-Star’

It’s no secret that educator Bobbi Starling knows her way around technology. When she was a classroom teacher at Woodland Elementary School in Zephyrhills and at Centennial Middle School in Dade City, she was constantly introducing students to technical tools which could enhance their education and broaden their view of the world. Now, as the magnet schools program coordinator for the … [Read more...]

New coach named for Wesley Chapel High softball

The Wesley Chapel High School varsity softball program, coming off its best season in school history, will look to continue its recent string of success under new leadership. Bill Hoopes, who runs the Tampa Bay-based Florida Firecrackers U16 travel softball team, last month was named the program’s head coach, replacing first-year coach Steve Mumaw. In a public Facebook post dated Sept. … [Read more...]

Hurricane Irma: A disruptive force

With Hurricane Irma threatening Florida last week, officials weren’t taking any chances on where or when the massive storm would make landfall. The deadly storm was churning in the Atlantic, when Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Sept. 4, warning residents that Irma is a “a massive storm” that could prove devastating. “This storm is bigger, faster and stronger than … [Read more...]

Guiding Pasco County Schools is a big job

As Kurt Browning begins his second term as superintendent of Pasco County Schools, he knows he’s got his work cut out for him. He found that out during his first term. “I tell people, I have not worked as hard in my adult life as I have this past four years,” said Browning, who directs the daily operations of Florida’s 11th-largest school district. The 58-year-old quickly added: … [Read more...]

Pasco homeowners to see slight dip in school taxes

The Pasco County School Board has given first-round approval to a proposed $1.2 billion budget that includes a slightly lower tax bill for homeowners. Under the proposed rate, the owner of a $125,000 home, after deducting the homestead exemption, would pay $677.30 in taxes. That’s $33.60 lower than the homeowner paid last year. School board members voted unanimously for the proposed … [Read more...]

Pasco prepping to ring in a new school year

Teachers headed back to Pasco County Schools this week to prepare for the first day of school on Aug. 15. Opening day is a big deal on every campus every year, but it will be especially meaningful at Wiregrass Elementary School, at 29732 Wiregrass School Road in Wesley Chapel because that school is having its “first” first day. The mood across campus during a teacher move-in day last … [Read more...]

Grades slip at numerous local schools

The Florida Department of Education has released its annual school grades, and the news was not good for numerous Pasco County schools in The Laker/Lutz News’ coverage area. “As soon as I saw the information, I was pretty distraught,” said Pasco County School Board member Alison Crumbley. “This has to really be broken down,” she said, noting she has requested a school board workshop to … [Read more...]

Summer programs feed kids

Children who normally eat lunch at school when classes are in session have a free alternative during the summer months. Both Hillsborough and Pasco counties are participating in a summer food service program that provide free lunches and afternoon snacks at numerous sites around each county. The program begins on June 13 and concludes on Aug. 3. The sites are situated in areas where at … [Read more...]

Pasco expands magnet options

Pasco County Schools is expanding its magnet school options beginning next school year, and is holding a series of community meetings to explain the additional options. The district is converting Centennial Middle School, in Dade City, into a STEM Magnet School. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A series of community meetings, with each beginning at 6 … [Read more...]

Wish list for the holidays: Food, blankets, toothbrushes

Helping children who are in need is nothing new for the staff members at Centennial Middle School – they’ve been doing that for years. But, in recent years, Marty Pekarek, who chairs the Dade City school’s Assist, Believe and Care program, has noticed that children are asking for life’s essentials. “They ask for food and clothing,” she said. Their families need blankets, too, said … [Read more...]