• Wiregrass Ranch High School received the Apple Distinguished School designation for the second time for exhibiting the five best practices: visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional-learning, compelling evidence of success, and a flexible learning environment. Wiregrass Ranch was an educational pioneer in allowing students to bring their own computers, smartphones, tablets and iPods to school to use as instructional tools and enhance learning. This concept, known as "BYOD," or Bring Your Own Devices, has been a model for other schools throughout the district, state and nation and has been featured in journals, newspapers and by the broadcast media.
• Three Pasco County public schools earned gold and two earned bronze in the state 2012-13 Positive Behavior Support: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Model School program. Crews Lake Middle (now K-8), Cypress Elementary and Sunray Elementary schools were recognized as gold level winners. Gulfside and Schrader Elementary schools were recognized as bronze level winners. The schools have met specific criteria and reported innovative, creative and functional ways of supporting PBS:MTSS. Specific characteristics of PBS:MTSS Model Schools are their consistent methods of using data to better serve the students and staff; teaching PBS:MTSS to new students throughout the school year; offering creative and engaging reward systems; extending PBS:MTSS throughout the campus and partnering with the community and parents; and including PBS:MTSS in daily activities across all available teaching opportunities.
• Bealls Department Stores' Karen Filips, director of marketing operations and media, and Kimberly Highland, promotions and graphics supervisor, recently surprised Wesley Chapel Elementary School principal John Abernathy with a $10,000 check for getting the most votes in the Bealls Black Friday promotion. The money will be used to buy much-needed technology for the school.
Students of the Month
• Gulfside Elementary: Keegan Zukowski, Dylan Santiago, Gracie Nieves, Nicholas Hernandez, Gianna Cognito, Christianna McKinney, Hayden Evarts, Madison Emerito, Diego Velazquez, Katie Jandro, Connor Lovejoy, Valerie Ruiz, Thomas Priolo, Erika Algarin, Trace Faulkner, Andre Figueroa, Jonathon Piskopos, Derek Pastrana, Spencer Winthrop, Maria Zervas, Elijah Campos, Briahna Belair, Shelby Zieminski, Damon Daggett, Muriah Nelson, Makhiya Stewart, Anecia Graham, Jonathan Wass, Arianna Renzy, Christo Skuntjos, Ashely Morrell, Lucas Galati, Phebe Knoll, Levi Beam, Landon Moore, Aidan Sisneros, Christian Henize, Sophia Kelarakos, Matthew Clayton, Jacob Mak, Kayleigh Kordenbrock, Angel Eldredge and Trinity Batchelder.
• Marlowe Elementary (Kids With Character): Ethan Westbrook, Mariella Hernandez, Noah Beale, Moserrat Lara-Escalante, Jaden Smith, Brenda Rodriguez, Chianne Rosas-Strong, Obrien Vaquero, Tonique Simmons, Noah Younger, Bria Herrick, Ariel Richie, Devon Orfield, Melisa Ribic, Alex Zamarripa, Katy Hendrickson, Christopher Collova, Daniel Rodriguez, Alexis Eck, Mykayla Dossett and Ruby Zamarripa.