Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A series of town hall meetings kicks off Wednesday, May 22. The in-person meeting in Land O’ Lakes has been replaced by a virtual session that takes place online May 29.
Pasco County School Board members want to hear from Land O’ Lakes residents as the clock ticks down for them to set a budget for the 2013-14 school year. To get input from parents, students and others in the community, the board is playing host to a series of town hall meetings. The meetings are designed to give residents a chance to ask questions and share their suggestions. This is the first year in recent budget cycles board members won’t host an in-person meeting in Land O’ Lakes. That meeting is being replaced by an online session that takes place at the end of the month. The district is once again facing a multimillion dollar budget shortfall as it heads into next year. Estimates put that shortfall at about $23 million. The number …
Friday, May 17, 2013
Land O' Lakes High School will have its graduation ceremony May 31; Sunlake on June 1.
It’s that time of year again for “Pomp and Circumstance.” Land O’ Lakes seniors will soon receive their diplomas — and, of course, pose in their caps and gowns for a seemingly endless amount of photos taken by family. Land O’ Lakes High School will hold its graduation ceremony May 31 at the USF Sun Dome. The event will take place at 4 p.m. The school’s colors are blue and gold and they are know as the Gators. Thier anticipated number of graduates is 345. The valedictorian is Brooke Gonzalez; the salutatorian Madison Parks. Sunlake High School will its graduation ceremony June 1 at the USF Sun Dome. The event will take place at 1 p.m. The school’s colors are teal, gold and black and the mascot is the seahawk. Anticipated number of …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Pasco Deputies raided three stores in Pasco Tuesday, and state Attorney General Pam Bondi joined one of the visits.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has been warning convenience store owners it was serious about cracking down on the sale and use of synthetic drugs. Deputies proved their point Tuesday, May 14 when they visited three stores with search warrants in hand, making four arrests in the process. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi even came along for the ride to witness one of the busts in person. Deputies had made undercover purchases of synthetic drugs from the three stores in West Pasco between late January and May. Those purchases enabled them to get search warrants. Armed with warrants, deputies returned to those three stores Tuesday to conduct searches and make arrests as part of Operation Consequences. The following stores were searched …
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The Land O' Lakes Athletic Foundation will host a hall of fame dinner later this month.
Land O' Lakes High School's Athletic Foundation recently announced its Hall of Fame 2013 inductees. The list includes Tim Harvey, Kenneth McCurry, Colleen Bentz Sanders, Robert Shirmohammad and Henry Walls. The winners will be inducted at the Hall of Fame Dinner set for May 28 at the Land O' Lakes Culinary Arts Center, 20325 Gator Lane. The ceremony will feature former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and 11 time NFL pro bowler Derrick Brooks as keynote speaker. The Land O' Lakes Gators Athletic Foundation is a nonprofit established to benefit the athletic programs at Land O' Lakes High School. This marks the inaugural year of the Hall of Fame Dinner. The reception and hors d'oeuvres hour will be from 5:30 to 6 p.m. The awards dinner, speaker and …
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
It's Teacher Appreciation Week! What do you want to say to that educator who meant the most to you? To the teacher who makes your child's year the best ever?
The first full week in May, every year since 1984, has been designated as Teacher Appreciation Week by the National PTA, which this year is holding a contest for parents who deliver thank-you letters to teachers May 6-10 (See contest note below). Signs at schools throughout the area give a nod to this year's appreciation celebration, as PTA volunteers, school administrators, students and parents gear up to recognize teachers who make a difference. As noted on the National PTA Web site, Teacher Appreciation Week is "a special time to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children." PTA events at the national, state, and local levels celebrate the outstanding contributions teachers make. Is your school, …
Saturday, May 4, 2013
A determined Bulls team stopped the Cougars in the opening round of the state playoffs.
The Wiregrass Ranch High School baseball team beat Countryside 5-2 in a regional quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon in Clearwater for the program's first playoff victory. Both teams scored twice in the first inning, and the Cougars chased Bulls starter Zach Drury from the game with two runs in the bottom of the inning. But Drury bounced back after being replaced on the mound by his brother, Austin, to hit a big two-out, two-RBI single in the second inning to give Wiregrass Ranch (18-9) a 4-2 lead it would never relinquish. Bulls head coach Jeff Swymer said the victory was a big one for his young team. "It's huge. To me I think it can change the culture of a program," Swymer said after the game. "You beat a good program like Countryside …
Friday, May 3, 2013
Friends, family, former students and colleagues gathered May 2 to honor the memory of Land O' Lakes High School football Coach John Benedetto.
John Benedetto is gone, but friends, family and former students made it clear last night, May 2, that he's certainly not forgotten. The Celebration of Coach Benedetto's Life held at Ukulele Brands was meant to honor the former Land O' Lakes High School head football coach and the impact he had on the community during the 30-plus years he served it. If the standing-room-only crowd at the eatery was any indication, Benedetto's impact on Land O' Lakes was huge. "He loved everybody and they loved him," explained Al Claggett, who coached the Gators alongside Benedetto for years. "He (Benedetto) made sure they understood that." "He did a lot of things for a lot of people," added Doug Hutchinson, who has served as a Land O' Lakes High booster for…
Monday, April 29, 2013
One Florida County has given elementary school principals the green light to paddle misbehaving students. What do you think about this, Tampa Bay?
A trip to the principal’s office in Marion County elementary schools might mean more for misbehaving students than a call to parents and possible detention detail. Principals there have been given the green light to paddle unruly pupils. The county’s school board decided April 23 that it was high time this once banned practice was brought back into the educational system. Citing repeat disciplinary problems with students where nothing else worked to get kids on track, board member Carol Ely, a retired principal, put the idea on the table. While the measure passed, principals don’t have carte blanche to paddle kids. Principals must first obtain standing written permission from parents, and they must get verbal permission before each …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The allegations, made by one of the school’s assistant principals, are under investigation by the Pasco County School District.
Sunlake High School Principal Garry Walthall is under investigation by Pasco County School District officials after an employee said he made derogatory remarks about her and anti-gay comments in general. The allegations come from Assistant Principal Deborah Lepley, who lodged a complaint after receiving reprimands for job performance, according to The Tampa Tribune. Walthall, The Tribune says, entered a meeting where Lepley, who is a lesbian, was in attendance and said, “I’m a homophobe.” On another occasion, he is accused of telling two faculty members that “Dr. Lepley was probably a crack baby. That would explain a lot.” Tampa attorney James Lowry wrote a letter to the district on Lepley’s behalf after her work performance was questioned…
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Coach Benedetto was at Land O' Lakes High for more than 30 years and has touched the lives of thousands of our neighbors. Share your memories here.
Coach John Benedetto spent 32 years as the Land O’ Lakes Gators’ football coach and compiled a 196-149 record during his run at the school. But beyond that record are the hundreds, if not thousands of lives he touched as a coach and as an educator in Land O' Lakes. Post your memories of Coach Benedetto here on Patch. Just go to this page and post your memories (if you don't have a Patch account you can create one using your email address). Benedetto died in his sleep April 21, according to TampaBay.com. He had just turned 66 on Friday, the website reported. See also: