Monday, January 22, 2018
Education

Grad took long road but made it

BROOKSVILLE — Alex Fredericks will take a huge step out of his past and into his future tonight during the Hernando County school district's adult education graduation.

Fredericks, 22, will accept his high school diploma after passing General Educational Development tests in language arts, writing, reading, social studies, science and mathematics.

As a youngster, Fredericks went to private school until his mother could no longer afford it. Her plan was to homeschool him. But, he said, "I was rebellious and fell behind."

That was when Alex was in fourth grade.

His environment, he said, wasn't ideal, and he spent a lot of his time "playing with computers and hanging out."

As an 18-year-old, he did some "tree work here and there," but became addicted to prescription drugs. He eventually turned to crime, stealing.

"I was arrested," he said.

Fredericks was in jail for a couple of weeks when his mother, Desiree Alexander, posted bail and tried to get him help. They were directed to the Jericho Road Ministries shelter and were put in contact with the Rev. Fred Parker.

"By all rights, he should be in jail right now," Parker said of Fredericks.

But, Fredericks said, "By some act of divine intervention, I got probation, and as soon as I pay off my work fines, I'll be out. I'm working for the ministry now."

With the GED under his belt, Fredericks plans to attend Pasco-Hernando Community College in the fall. He's not sure what he wants to study, but is considering human services "to spread the message that there's still hope if you mess up," he said.

"Just trust in the Lord, put your nose to the grindstone and you'll get through it," Fredericks said he has learned.

Parker is impressed with the young man's progress.

"Alex has been one of our exceptional students and has excelled," he said.

Fredericks appreciates how his mother has stood by him through all of his troubles.

"My mom has been nothing but supportive," he said.

Fredericks was recently honored at a HEART Literacy luncheon, receiving a certificate of achievement for his academic accomplishments during a short period of time.

Comments
USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

ST. PETERSBURG — Holding a piece of computer paper and a microphone, the leader of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg began a Friday afternoon forum by repeating the USF administration’s new mantra.He reassured the crowd before him that t...
Published: 01/19/18

Crews Lake thespians overcome the odds

SPRING HILL — It’s 8:30 a.m. — "homeroom" period in school speak — when kids in the Crews Lake Middle School drama club file into an empty chorus room to begin rehearsing under the direction of language arts teacher Kristen Sykora. There’s only 25 m...
Published: 01/19/18
Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins on Friday announced the first in a series of belt-tightening moves that include the elimination of three six-figure positions.Jobs now held by Wynne Tye and Larry Sykes will no longer exis...
Published: 01/19/18
Tampa Bay schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

Tampa Bay schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

The Florida Department of Health has reported a sharp increase in flu activity in the last several weeks, prompting area schools to send out letters warning parents about the virus. At least two districts, however, say that flu activity in their scho...
Published: 01/19/18

More than 400 apply to Pasco technical high school

School choice for 2018-19 is in full swing, and district officials said they’ve been pleased with the interest they’ve seen so far.The window for applying to the district’s magnet schools closed Jan. 12, except for applications for the new Wendell Kr...
Published: 01/18/18
Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

"On Nov. 3, 2017, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 1012 Buena Vista Drive … in reference to a death investigation."So begins a charging document in the case of Andrew Coffey, the 20-year-old Florida State University student who was foun...
Published: 01/18/18
In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In the state capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers breezed through the bullet points of a higher education bill. They skimmed past a hot-button proposal to consolidate the University of South Florida System into a single university without a peep of pushba...
Published: 01/18/18
Lithia Springs Elementary gets kids up with standing desks

Lithia Springs Elementary gets kids up with standing desks

VALRICO — Fifth-grade math teacher Melissa Forsythe walked around her Lithia Springs Elementary School classroom on Tuesday with zeal.She stopped at each station and listened with a big smile on her face as her students told stories about their new s...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/21/18
Five things to know about teacher pay negotiations in Hillsborough

Five things to know about teacher pay negotiations in Hillsborough

TAMPA — They were hoping to receive between $15 million and $17 million in scheduled pay raises. But the Hillsborough County school district says it can’t afford to give its teachers anywhere near that much, while the teachers say they deserve nothin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18
Young Pasco teacher faces cancer with support of students

Young Pasco teacher faces cancer with support of students

NEW PORT RICHEY — At age 28, things were really shaping up for Joel Santos-Gonzalez. Fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, he had just completed his third year at Gulf Middle School."I always liked to talk to people on an intellectual ...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18