Newly commissioned officer
Blake Carroll, of Land O’ Lakes, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, with a degree in management, and was commissioned as an officer on May 17. He also was the captain of the academy baseball team, and set season and career home run records there. Carroll is a graduate of Bishop Mclaughlin High School, Imagine Charter School, and Lake Myrtle Elementary School. His first assignment will be to serve as deck watch officer on the Coast Guard cutter, Venturous, in St. Petersburg.
Pasco County graduation ceremonies will take place at the University of South Florida’s Yuengling Center, 12499 USF Bull Run Drive in Tampa, unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit Pasco.k12.fl.us.
- May 23: Pasco eSchool, 6 p.m., River Ridge High School Center for the Arts, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey
- May 25: Marchman Technical College, 6 p.m., River Ridge Center for the Arts
- June 1: Wendell Krinn Technical High School, 6 p.m., in the school gymnasium, 7650 Orchid Lake Road, New Port Richey
- June 2: Gulf High School, 9 a.m.; Anclote High School, 1 p.m.; Cypress Creek High, 6 p.m.; Pasco High, 7:30 p.m. (Pasco High stadium)
- June 3: River Ridge High, 9 a.m.; Zephyrhills High, 1 p.m.; Wiregrass Ranch, 6 p.m.
- June 5: Hudson High, 9 a.m.; Land O’ Lakes High, 1 p.m.; Wesley Chapel High, 6 p.m.
- June 6: Fivay High, 9 a.m.; Sunlake High, 1 p.m.; JW Mitchell High, 6 p.m.
Coast Guard appointment
The United States Coast Guard Academy has recognized Dylan J. Lolley, of Wesley Chapel, for superior academic achievement and leadership potential.
Lolley attends Cypress Creek High School and has accepted an appointment to attend the Coast Guard Academy and will be sworn in on June 26 as a member of the Class of 2027.
Fewer than 400 appointments are offered annually for admission to the Coast Guard Academy.
Cadets receive a full tuition scholarship and monthly stipend for a five-year service commitment to the Coast Guard upon graduation. All graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree and are guaranteed a position of leadership as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Robotics Teams win
The George Steinbrenner High School JROTC’s VEX Robotics teams traveled to the JROTC VEX Robotics National Championships, where 130 teams from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Space Command JROTC programs gathered to compete.
The Steinbrenner Warriors 1 team partnered with a team from JROTC Hawaii and finished first in their division.
The Steinbrenner Warriors 2 team partnered with a team from Indiana to finish first in their division, which set them up to face Warriors 1 in the final round for the national title.
Both alliances played a best-of-three titles match — Warriors 1 team won two out of three.
Warriors 1 earned the Divisional Champions and are the 2023 National Champions.
Warriors 2 are the runner-up in the national title, Divisional Champions, earned the Think Award for programming, and placed third in the skills competition.
Free summer program
The City of Zephyrhills Parks & Recreation will host a free summer recreation program from June 5 to July 6, Monday through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to noon, at R.B. Stewart Middle School, 38505 10th Ave., in Zephyrhills.
The program is open to students who have completed kindergarten through fifth-grade levels during the 2022-2023 school year.
Activities include art, bowling, movies, swimming, tennis, open gym activities, and more.
Space is limited to 120 students. Pre-registration is required online at ci.zephyrhills.fl.us/225/Summer-Recreation-Information.
- Troy Bacon, Odessa: President’s List, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester
- Sabrina Burke, Odessa: Omicron Delta Kappa, Rollins College, Winter Park
- Raul Dopico, Lutz: Omicron Delta Kappa, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
- David Hernandez, Lutz: Dean’s List, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester
- Lillian Hilt, Land O’ Lakes: Dean’s List, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee
- Amy Osterman, Lutz: Certificate Program, Family Nurse Practitioner, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee
- Meredith Padellaro, Lutz: Master of Science in Nursing, Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts
- Sarah Shortridge, Odessa: President’s List, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester
- Matthew Stewart, Odessa: President’s List, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester
- Steve Turpin, Lutz: President’s List, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester
- Alice Washburn, Odessa: Marion Military Institute President’s List, Utah Military Academy
Best in Show
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis announced that Madeline Teague, a senior at Hernando High School, won the Best in Show at the 2023 Congressional Art Competition, in Land O’ Lakes. Teague used oil, acrylic and glitter to create her artwork entitled “Amour.” Her showpiece will be hung in the U.S. Capitol for the next year. The panel of judges, comprised of volunteers from Hernando and Pasco County Fine Arts Council, also chose a top piece of artwork from each county, which will hang in Bilirakis’ local offices for the next year.
- Citrus County: Illiana Enger, Lecanto High, “Upstream”
- Hernando County: Natalie Hartman, Spring Hill Christian Academy, “Faber Est Suae Fortunae”
- Pasco County: Katelyn Morrison, J.W. Mitchell High School, “On Repeat”
Free art classes
The Prodigy Cultural Arts Program at Saint Leo University will offer free visual art classes for youth ages 10 to 13, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday classes start on June 6 and will focus on clay work. Thursday classes start June 8 and will focus on studio art. The programs will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at Saint Leo University, 33701 County Road 52 (formerly State Road 52) in St. Leo, in the Fine Arts Building, Room 107.
Prodigy is sponsored by the University Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) and the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
The program uses visual arts to help youths build life skills, including communication, leadership, goal-setting and problem-solving skills.
For enrollment information and an application for the classes, contact Fignole Desir at or 813-558-5212, ext. 502; or email Lisa Rapp McCall at .
The Tampa Bay Homeschool Conference is scheduled for July 22 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at The Common at Trinity, 1540 Little Road in Trinity.
The keynote speakers will be Brenda Dickinson, founder/president, Home Education Foundation; and Nicole Thomas, founder/CEO of Nicole the Math Lady.
The conference’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower the community. Whether you are new to homeschooling, wondering if homeschooling is right for your family, or you’re a homeschooling veteran, there will be something for everyone at this event.
For details, visit TampaBayHomeschoolConference.com.
New classes at Lighthouse
Lighthouse Community School will begin offering classes for elementary school age children in the 2023-2024 school year, according to a news release. Lighthouse Preschool of Wesley Chapel already has 3- to 4-year-olds enrolled in its programs.
The community school model brings together aspects of homeschooling and the benefits of classroom learning. Students are given qualified instruction on campus two days per week. Parents are responsible for homeschooling two days per week using the curriculum and lesson plans sent home by the classroom teacher.
“After many years of requests from parents, we decided to expand Lighthouse to include these older students,” said Director Heather Olsen, in the release. “Our plan is to begin with two teachers in a combined kindergarten/first grade class and to add additional classes as more people express interest.”
Lighthouse Community School is a Christian school that meets at Grace Community Church, and is located 1.5 miles north of State Road 54, near Wesley Chapel District Park.
For information, visit LighthouseWesleyChapel.com. To schedule a tour, call 813-994-8678.