A strong finish for Denham Oaks
On the last day of school, Denham Oaks Elementary organized a ‘Finish Strong’ staff parade through 14 neighborhoods to show the students that even if the last months were full of change, nothing would dampen the dragon school spirit. Students lined the streets with signs saying good-bye to their teachers, as the teachers paraded by with signs on their own cars saying good-bye to their students. From left: Isadora Burge (first grade), Harvey Burge, (third grade), Vincent Gilmore (first grade), Nate Gilmore (fourth grade), Jamie Neiubauer (first grade), Gabe Neiubauer (friend), Nykolus Di Roma (first grade) and Ayden Cawthon (kindergarten).
Honors medallions awarded
Florida State University (FSU) awarded honors medallions to 383 high-achieving graduates — the university’s largest class to date — during a virtual ceremony on April 30.
The FSU Honors Program supports the efforts and talents of the university’s most intellectually curious students who have the potential, dedication and drive for creating change.
Designations are: HON – University Honors; HITM — Honors in the Major; DUAL — dual honors; and, OSS – dual honors with a 3.9 GPA or higher.
The following students in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area received honors medallions:
- Alannah Cranwell, of Lutz: Social Work, HON
- Alexander Dabbs, of Lutz: Psychology, HITM
- Riley Garrison, of Lutz: Applied/Computational Mathematics, HON
- Emily Geraghty, of Land O’ Lakes: Finance, HON
- Isiah Parfait, of Land O’ Lakes: Spanish, HON
- Kimberly Ward, of Odessa: Biological Science, HON
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners.
The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
The winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
These local students were awarded the National Merit Scholarship:
- Jonathan E. Barbara, George M. Steinbrenner High School, Lutz
- Aidan J. Persaud, Wiregrass Ranch High School, Wesley Chapel
- Amber L. Seaberg, J.W. Mitchell High School, Trinity
- Jennifer R. Zartman, Land O’ Lakes High School
Western Governors graduates
These area students have earned a degree from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah:
- Courtney Jack, of Trinity: Master of Business Administration, Healthcare Management
- Holly Montgomery, of Lutz: Bachelor of Science, Nursing
- Richard Pearson, of Odessa: Bachelor of Science, Nursing
- Crystal Pla, of Trinity: Master of Business Administration, Healthcare Management
- Donna Reid, of Odessa: Bachelor of Science, Nursing
Top high schools
According to U.S. News & World Report, these are the top five high schools in Pasco County:
Land O’ Lakes High School: No. 1 in Pasco rankings (No. 84 in Florida rankings); 94% graduation rate; 49.9% college readiness; 1,846 enrollment grades nine to 12
Sunlake High School: No. 2 in Pasco (No. 133 in Florida); 94% graduation rate; 39% college readiness; 1,942 enrollment grades nine to 12
James W. Mitchell High School: No. 3 in Pasco (No. 137 in Florida); 94% graduation rate; 42.2% college readiness; 2,189 enrollment grades nine to 12
Wiregrass Ranch High School: No. 4 in Pasco (No. 152 in Florida); 95% graduation rate; 31.2% college readiness; 2,253 enrollment grades nine to 12
Wesley Chapel High School: No. 5 in Pasco (No. 239 in Florida); 93% graduation rate; 25.6% college readiness; 1,497 enrollment grades nine to 12
Zephyrhills High School ranked No. 12 and Pasco High was ranked No. 13.
In Hillsborough County, Steinbrenner High School ranked No. 4 in Tampa Metro Area Rankings (No. 1,023 in National Rankings); 96% graduation rate; 54.4% college readiness; 2,432 enrollment grades nine to 12.
For a complete list, visit USNews.com/education.
Glitz & Gala prom
Barrington Hill, 16117 Lake Iola Road in Dade City, invites all Pasco County seniors, from public and private schools, to a Glitz & Gala prom on June 20 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Tickets are available online.
For information, contact Alicia Trias at (727) 642-6128 or
Best metros for college grads
Apartment List has issued its list of Best Metros for 2020 College Graduates.
Instead of considering its usual social and lifestyle factors, metros were ranked on the stability and resilience of the local job markets, as circumstance has dictated.
Graduates are participating in digital commencements, hitting the job market as unemployment spikes, and many cities are under some form of lockdown.
According to its latest report, Tampa ranks No. 41 out of 50 for college graduates.
Apartment List found that:
- The average wage for recent college grads in Tampa is $38,504, ranking No. 42 in the nation.
- 72% of recent college grads in Tampa work in a remote-friendly occupation, making it easier to find and secure a job during lockdown.
- Recent college grads are likely to be renters. And, in Tampa, 42% are cost-burdened, spending more than one-third of their income on rent.
To view the full report, visit tinyurl.com/yc4wdo56.
Student money tips
The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) offers tips to save money on intangible costs when comparing the costs of various colleges.
Tangible costs include tuition and fees, and room and board.
Intangible costs include everything else: textbooks and supplies; computers; and personal items, such as shampoo, clothes, entertainment, laundry, and other expenses.
Students can save money by controlling the discretionary costs of their lifestyle, by finding sales or using coupons, and looking out for buy one, get one free deals.
Cutting back on treats, like entertainment and dining out, also can save quite a bit of money. Or, students can do these things less often.
The less spent on intangibles, the less is needed to take out in student loans.
KHEAA is a public, nonprofit agency established to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy, for free, to students and parents.
For more about KHEAA services, visit KHEAA.com.
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