Local schools join civics and debate initiative

Dr. John Long Middle School and Wiregrass Ranch High School are among 60 schools across Florida selected to take part in the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative (FCDI). The selections were announced during the Pasco County School Board meeting on June 16. The initiative is supported through a $5 million grant from The Marcus Foundation. “The mission of the FCDI is to create access and … [Read more...]

Cypress Creek Middle set to open this fall

When a new school year opens, Cypress Creek Middle students will finally have school buildings to call their own. Middle and high school students have been sharing the campus, formerly known as Cypress Creek Middle High, since 2017. Beginning this fall, however, there will be a middle school for grades six through eight, and a high school for grades nine through 12. Construction on the … [Read more...]

Wiregrass Ranch High student wins honor for civil rights video

Aimee Johnson is on track to become a nurse, a profession she loves. But, this 18-year-old senior at Wiregrass Ranch High School also is an award-winning videographer. Her 10-minute video on the St. Augustine civil rights movement won a first-place regional award in an annual competition that celebrates National History Day. It is featured at the ACCORD Civil Rights Museum in St. … [Read more...]

Finding a way to shine a spotlight on seniors

During normal times, Marie Joles is busy at her day job, working as a dental hygienist. And, typically during this time of year, high school seniors are gearing up for their final festivities in high school — prom, awards ceremonies, graduation. But, the threat of a highly contagious and deadly virus — the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic — has upended life’s ordinary … [Read more...]

Cancellation of spring sports leaves many dejected

There was at least a glimmer of hope the 2020 Florida high school spring sports season would resume, even amid concerns about coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). But, optimism vanished when the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) on April 20 announced it would cancel all FHSAA-affiliated events. The cancellations include the state series and championships events, for spring … [Read more...]

Local karate academy kicks to virtual

The dojo is closed for now, but karate lessons press on. The novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has put a halt to many organized recreational activities, but Wesley Chapel-based Keiko Shin Karate Academy has found another way to keep members sharp, while staying home — via virtual classes using the Zoom online video conference platform. Many Keiko Shin students find … [Read more...]

Locals named to All-State football teams

Athletes within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area were well-represented on the FloridaHSFootball.com’s All-State teams for the 2019 season. In total, 18 players from four local schools in Hillsborough and Pasco counties were named first-team, second-team, third-team or honorable mention for their respective classifications. The All-State teams were compiled by FloridaHSFootball.com, along … [Read more...]

Project aims to improve emergency access

Construction is underway to make it easier for emergency services to get between New Tampa and Wesley Chapel. Mansfield Boulevard is in Wesley Chapel. Kinnan Street is in New Tampa. An improvement will connect the streets, but will be accessible only to first responders. The Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) board approved the connection last June. It was one … [Read more...]

All-Pasco County winter awards announced

High school coaches from the Pasco County School District recently announced the Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) All-Conference Teams, Athletes of the Year and Coaches of the Year, for the 2019-2020 winter sports season, which included basketball, competitive cheerleading, soccer, weightlifting and wrestling. Selections were made for both the East and West division. The following high … [Read more...]

Students take a stand on the power of voting

Wiregrass Ranch High School’s annual Poetry Slam, for Black History Month, focused on the importance of voting. With the theme “Let Your Voice Be Heard: Vote,” the event also was a tribute to the late Denise Goodridge – the school’s former principal’s secretary. Goodridge passed away last year due to health complications. The Feb. 21 gathering took place in Wiregrass’s … [Read more...]