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Newcomer happily gives high marks to Hernando schools

First year here was good; see you next year

This is the final Top of the Class page for the 2007-08 school year. It was my first year working with Hernando County schools, having covered Citrus County schools for the previous 12 years.

It was a good year for me. I met teachers with so much enthusiasm that I was exhausted just talking to them about their activities. I saw amazing campuses enhanced by student art, aviaries, gardens, butterflies and even a fountain.

I talked with students who have given me real comfort that our future is going to be just fine. Hernando County youngsters are hard-working, bright and interested in learning. They care about others and are willing to participate in an expansive array of service projects.

I felt welcome and appreciated in the schools I visited, as I learned the names of administrators, teachers and support staff, especially those who called or e-mailed me regularly to let me know about the programs and activities going on in their schools.

I was impressed by the behind-the-scenes personnel who keep the physical parts of the school district running and doing so as greenly as possible. Those included the custodians, grounds­keepers, printers, maintenance and warehouse workers and mechanics.

I learned about the immensity of busing and feeding thousands of students and how well it is done. All of these things contribute ultimately to the education of Hernando County children.

I thank everyone who invited me to their schools and offices, and I especially thank Kathleen Reitz, the Hernando County Education Foundation director. Her assistance was invaluable to me during my first year covering this beat for the Hernando Times.

I thank superintendent Wayne Alexander for his hospitality as I traveled and reported on the programs, accomplishments and successes within the district.

I invite teachers and administrators to call me next school year as I expand my knowledge of the district and continue to meet school personnel and students.

Have a wonderful summer, and I'll see you in August!

YMCA camps will run until Aug. 15

Registration is now open for YMCA of the Suncoast summer camps through Aug. 15. Camps will be at these schools: Chocachatti, Deltona and Westside elementary schools, Powell Middle, Hernando High schools and Sand Hill Scout Reservation. Teen Excursion and Prekindergarten specialty camps will be at Spring Hill Elementary School. Specialty programs will be available for all ages. Call Jo-Ann J. Tucker at 686-9622.

Wider Horizons has summer program

Wider Horizons School is conducting a summer program through Aug. 8. Preschool through grade 1 will feature a continuation of the school's Montessori program. Each week is a different theme. There will be a two-week program for junior/senior high school, which focuses on preparation for SAT/ACT. Two weeks will be fun and learning activities for students finishing grades 6-11.

Paulette Lash Ritchie can be reached at

Newcomer happily gives high marks to Hernando schools 06/11/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:15pm]
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