Sunday, February 25, 2018
Education

Meet the Zephyrhills High valedictorian and salutatorian of 2013

Savana Wright | valedictorian

Parents: Jill and Robert Wright

Weighted GPA: 4.4

Future school: University of Florida

Ideal career: Undecided

Most influential/best teacher: Cecil James (science), Harold Dana (gifted), Joseph Gude (social studies), Tara Rio (language arts), Catherine Burgess (art)

Favorite quote/best advice:

"Money should be a factor, not the factor."

Grant Baldwin

Favorite book: Besides Harry Potter? Gone, by Michael Grant.

Clubs/extracurriculars: National Honor Society (president), National Art Honor Society (president), Odyssey of the Mind, Earth patrol, Girl Scouts, Relay for Life, Special Olympics, Powder Puff, babysitting.

If you could increase spending on education, what areas do you think deserve the most attention? I would really love to see art programs receive more funding. Art, both visual and performance arts, give some (students) motivation to come to school. Also, creativity is a quality that is very valuable in the adult world.

Sage advice for the up and coming: Try your hardest in school, but don't let it consume you. It's important to have fun and enjoy your friends.

Name something you wish you had done during your tenure in high school. I've done everything I wanted to do! I can honestly say that.

Ashley Janelle Ramirez | salutatorian

Parents: Patricia Ramirez, Joe Ramirez

Weighted GPA: 4.34

Future school: University of South Florida

Ideal career: I am unsure about my future career choice, but I am leaning toward pediatric neurologist.

Most influential teacher: It's crazy, but the best teacher I have ever had the joy of being taught by was my fifth-grade teacher, Sharyl Robison, from Woodland Elementary.

Favorite quote: "Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic: capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it." — Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series.

Favorite cook: Identical, by Ellen Hopkins

Clubs/extracurriculars: I am a member of Odyssey of the Mind, Key Club, National Honor Society, Interact, French Honor Society, Earth Patrol, Girl Scouts. I tutor through a local program known as the Y-Achievers at my local YMCA.

If you could increase spending on education, what areas do you think deserve most attention and why? I believe funding for supplies in the classroom such as books, writing/coloring utensils, lab equipment, etc., should be increased. Many books in schools are falling apart and it's very hard to work on assignments when pages are missing or falling out in the process. Most books have to be taken to and from class every day and they barely survive. Also, many labs or experiments require certain equipment and most of the time classes are unable to perform or finish these labs because they lack the proper utensils. If funding were to be increased, I feel students would be able to experience the full potential books and equipment can provide.

Sage advice for the up and coming? Your freshman and sophomore years are the most important years of high school. Everything you do counts and determines how you end your high school career. Procrastination may get the best of you at times, but trust me, you can make it through it.

Name something you wish you had done during your tenure in high school: I kind of wish I had participated in a sport. Of course you always hear every athlete complaining about the rigorous workouts, but it always seems like they're having fun. I wouldn't have minded having fun with my friends while staying in shape.

Comments
Special Olympians shine at county summer games

Special Olympians shine at county summer games

NEW PORT RICHEY — It was one of those perfect days, when sunscreen and shade are in high demand, smiles are aplenty and the camaraderie on the field trumps the thrill of victory.About 600 Special Olympians and unified athletes from west Pasco schools...
Published: 02/23/18
Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

ZEPHRYHILLS — On a Thursday morning in a small warehouse off Gall Boulevard, a well-oiled machine of goodwill is cranking. At the Thomas Promise Foundation, volunteers Carlos and Robin Clothier, pack boxes of macaroni and cheese, granola bars, apple ...
Published: 02/23/18
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Published: 02/22/18
Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a dining hall at New York University advertised a special meal in honor of Black History Month. On the menu? Barbecue ribs, cornbread, collard greens, and two beverages with racist connotations: Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored...
Published: 02/22/18
Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

With high school students from Parkland in the Capitol this week advocating for gun control, the bill that would have allowed superintendents and principals to designate trained employees who can carry concealed weapons at school didn’t get heard as ...
Published: 02/22/18
How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

When students return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first time next Tuesday, they will be greeted by additional counselors and law enforcement."There will be a plethora of counselors and services at the school," Broward Schools Superintende...
Published: 02/21/18
School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears to have been in line for a sizable inheritance. He’ll never get to spend it — except perhaps on defense attorneys.The amount could be enough to compel a judge to order him to hire a private lawyer, rather ...
Published: 02/21/18
Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

DADE CITY — A Pasco High School student was taken into custody Tuesday amid accusations of threatening violence against the school. The campus was not at risk, school district officials said. But they made clear they take each threat seriously, and t...
Published: 02/21/18
‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

LITHIA — Students, faculty and staff recently scurried inside the Newsome High School gym for a morning assembly to hear a message about bullying from a man who kids once taunted.Newsome’s principal Carla Bruning invited actor Quinton Aaron, star of ...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

RIVERVIEW — Spoto High School English Department Head Adam Sherman can’t help but wonder if a program he introduced to Spartan students could have changed the trajectory of Nickolas Cruz’s life before he gunned down and killed 17 people on Valentine’...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18