• Sunlake High School's Soaring Sound earned second place in the 2A semifinals and finals at the Florida Marching Band Coalition competition held Nov. 23 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Sunlake was first in Ensemble Music and Ensemble Visual with both panels of judges at both performances in their division. This is the first time since FMBC's initial competition in 2000 that a Pasco band has qualified for the state finals.
• Jessi Barnett of Zephyrhills High School has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious Barnes scholarship, valued at $60,000 overall for education needs. Jessi has been in the Take Stock in Children program since seventh grade, and consistently received outstanding evaluations with her academic achievements.
• Take Stock in Children held its first annual "AIM for Education" at Tampa Bay Sporting Clays in Land O'Lakes on Nov. 8. Over $30,000 was raised supporting the program that provides scholarships, mentors and hope with the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education.
• November Students of Character at James. M. Marlowe Elementary: Logan Hartman, Malaki Bishop, Isabella Lopez, Jacob Hartman, Ameerah Smith, Alexis Flores, Nathaniel Padilla, Kristal Lara-Baltazar, Leland Ward, Ethan Qualey, Joseph Rodriguez, Anthony Wilton, Tommy Douglas, Kayle Taylor, Julius Quinones, Isaac Brackin, Andrew Magi, Bryson Whaley, Becca Westrich, Morgan Westbrook, Logan Young, Alyssa Sills, Elizabeth Stokes, Leah Gutierrez and Shaun Feagles.
• Sunray Elementary All Pro Dad members, Home Depot, Glidden Paint, McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts and Little Caesars recently teamed up to do an "extreme home makeover" for a Sunray family in need. Volunteers came out to paint and replace gutters, install a new patio, new fencing, new flower beds, and palm trees and put up Christmas lights. Home Depot donated a new shed, grill and patio set.
• West Zephyrhills Elementary students and faculty recently embarked on a "Helping Others" project. Students collected over 800 food products to help fill the school food pantry and provide food to the Zephyrhills Meals on Wheels program.