Fighting child hunger in Pasco, one backpack at a time

When Amber Chancey and her husband, Paul, moved to Wesley Chapel in 2016, the couple had no idea the impact they would have on their new community. They did know that they wanted the best education for their children, and they also knew that a healthy, balanced meal played a vital role in this. Meanwhile, Susan Coffey, a third-grade teacher, and several colleagues at Double Branch Elementary … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel schools earn national PTA distinction

Wesley Chapel’s Double Branch Elementary School and Dr. John Long Middle School each have been named a 2018-2020 National PTA School of Excellence. The National PTA organization has a program with specific criteria, allowing schools around the country to be acknowledged for their service to students. The year-long process includes choosing one of three areas of focus: education, health and … [Read more...]

‘Mr. Don’ provides safety and encouragement

On weekday mornings and afternoons, Don Niles ushers students to safety at Double Branch Elementary School in Wesley Chapel. Officially, Niles is the school’s crossing guard. But, the 76-year-old is much, much more to students and faculty. Known as ‘Mr. Don’ to the Double Branch community, Niles is known for going the extra mile to forge relationships and lend an ear to … [Read more...]

Local student finds freedom, opportunity in U.S.

Wiregrass Ranch High School senior Luis Pereira doesn’t take his freedom for granted. Less than two years ago, his family arrived in Wesley Chapel — after emigrating from Venezuela to seek political asylum in the United States. Since that time, the 19-year-old has managed to be inducted into the National Society of High School Scholars, has won the TEDX Talk competition at Wiregrass and has … [Read more...]

Spreading cheer, and cuddly bears, at Christmas

A Land O’ Lakes mom recently led an effort to help less fortunate children by making stuffed bears and other animals at Build-A-Bear Workshop at The Shops at Wiregrass. “I made an event on Facebook,” said Cindy Ross, whose business RP&G Printing, is in Wesley Chapel. “I asked people to come build a bear. Bring their kids, bring their family. Just have fun building a bear that they’re … [Read more...]

Elementary W causes boundary shifts

The sight of a new elementary school under construction would seem to be a cause for celebration. But, even when students can attend a new school, and even when the new school will reduce crowding at other area schools, the prospect of boundary changes for existing schools is often fraught with controversy. “Folks don’t want to move. I can understand. Folks are loyal to their school,” said … [Read more...]

Growth spurs school construction

When Pasco County School Board member Alison Crumbley considers anticipated growth along the State Road 54/56 corridor, she said, she is “taken aback.” She worries about the school district’s ability to provide schools for all of the students who will be moving into the new communities that are taking shape along that corridor. Superintendent Kurt Browning shares that sentiment. “That … [Read more...]

Teaching the art of business through small transactions

The children on the covered play court behind Chester Taylor Elementary School were having a blast. They were learning the ins and outs of business without even realizing it. As the kids made their way from station to station, they could earn money by asking questions. They could then spend their earnings on games of chance to win prizes. Of course, the money was paper money, and … [Read more...]

Petry named principal of Sanders Memorial Elementary

Pasco County Schools superintendent Kurt Browning will ask the school board to approve Jason Petry as the new principal of Sanders Memorial Elementary School, when it opens next year. Petry, who is currently the principal of Lake Myrtle Elementary School in Land O' Lakes, has been with the school district since 2002, according to a release. He started as an intermediate grade teacher at … [Read more...]

Construction projects to yield big changes for Pasco students

Pasco County Schools has taken on an ambitious construction schedule that will result in significant changes for thousands of students across Central and East Pasco County in the next few years. Projects now underway will result in reopening Quail Hollow Elementary School in Wesley Chapel and Sanders Memorial Elementary School in Land O’ Lakes next year. Quail Hollow will have enclosed … [Read more...]