It’s easy to become jaded when hearing repeated media reports about our troubled youth — from drug addiction to repetitive crimes to disrespect of authority. Some days, one can’t help but wonder if there are any good kids left.
There are, of course.
This issue of The Laker/Lutz News is evidence that our communities are full of good kids.
It reaffirms that most teenagers obey the law, work hard, and have dreams and aspirations to make our world a better place.
Today, we publish the names of 3,000-plus high school seniors in the Class of 2016 who are graduating from area high schools. These are the good kids who don’t make the news because they respect their parents and their teachers, and meet all of the requirements to graduate.
There are many, many more of these good kids, than there are of those who go astray.
The newspaper that’s delivered to your home lists the graduates from the two high schools closest to where you live. If you receive the Land O’ Lakes edition of The Laker, your schools are Sunlake and Land O’ Lakes. In Wesley Chapel, they are Wiregrass and Wesley Chapel. And in East Pasco, they are Zephyrhills and Pasco. If you live in Hillsborough County, you receive The Lutz News and your schools are Steinbrenner and Freedom. Private schools pull from various areas, so these graduates are published in all our zones.
You don’t have to be a graduate, or relative of a graduate, to peruse through our pullout graduation section. We want you to look for names of kids you know from your neighborhood, church, recreational activities and friends.
When you find graduates you know, honor them by sending a congratulatory text or email, or better yet, pick up your telephone and give them a call.
This year, several elected officials are recognizing local seniors with advertising in our graduation edition. I find it heartwarming to see these politicians express their belief and confidence in our students, and encourage them to participate in the democratic process.
As publisher of The Laker/Lutz News, I want to thank Pasco County commissioners Jack Mariano, Kathryn Starkey and Mike Moore. I also would like to thank State Rep. Danny Burgess and State Rep. Richard Corcoran, Florida’s incoming Speaker of the House of Representatives. Also, thank you to Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano and Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley.
I also want to thank the many local businesses and civic groups who support our seniors with advertising in today’s newspaper. Many of these businesses have advertised in our graduation edition for many years, and never hesitate to step up and help with the cost of publishing this section.
The Laker/Lutz News is honored to recognize our graduates — an accomplishment that will forever play an important role in their future.
Published June 1, 2016