Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco High seniors graduate tonight

DADE CITY — In the heat of a near cloudless morning, Pasco High School's 275 seniors tried not to melt as they practiced their graduation ceremony one last time.

The last name called, members of the Class of 2010 pretended to turn their rings and shift their tassels before marching across the football field to form a giant '10 for the school's traditional photo. Green Day's Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) blared over the speakers.

Then they headed to the shade beneath the stands for one last school lunch together.

At the football-crazy school, the venue was perfect for the many teens who counted games and pep rallies among their top memories of the past four years.

"Football ties everyone together," said Ann Krueger, 18, who heads to the University of Alabama in the fall to study psychology. "There's a lot of school spirit. I like the fact that everyone is a community. Everyone does everything together."

Jake Foster, 18, came to Pasco High as a senior from Hernando Christian Academy. His worries that he would be treated as an outsider quickly vanished.

"Everybody made me feel real welcome," Foster said.

Football helped smooth the transition for the versatile player, who will compete for Wisconsin Lutheran College while studying prelaw.

"I just wish I would have been here for four years," he said.

His buddy, Brennan Allen, the team's kicker, said the school offered the football connection but also so much more.

He, like so many others, praised Pasco High teachers and classmates for interacting as a family — one he'll miss as he heads to Charleston Southern University.

"I'm sad that it's over," Allen said. "I wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere else. This is a great school. Anybody that comes here, they know that."

Quanisha Redfield, 20, said teacher Mignon Edwards helped make school worth attending.

"We had a lot of fun together," Redfield said. "In class, she cracked a lot of jokes."

Getting through to graduation often looked out of reach for Redfield, a mother of two.

"When I started school, at first I wasn't really into it," said Redfield, who hopes to become an elementary teacher someday. "But I said I had to do something better for myself for them."

Corey Leverington, 18, praised the school's teaching staff, too, as helping to hold the family together.

"When I needed help, they were there for me, whether it was personal issues or not," he said.

Still, Leverington said he's "really excited" to move on to the next phase of life. He plans to become a firefighter and emergency medical technician.

His girlfriend, Teresita Valdez, said the togetherness of the senior class made the years memorable. She looked back fondly on the pep rallies, powder puff game, grad night and other activities she said defined senior year.

More than that, Valdez said, "it was just seniors — everyone together. Everyone made it. … It's pretty cool."

Valdez, 18, plans to study nursing at Pasco-Hernando Community College.

Krueger expected the tears to flow as friends see each other at graduation for what could be the last time.

"It's going to be hard to leave," she said.

But it's time, added Celeste Nichols, 18, who remained undecided whether to go to college or get a job.

"I am ready to leave Pasco High School," said Nichols, one of the last to filter out of the senior barbecue.

"I'm ready just to move on with life, to go out and do new things."

Graduation is scheduled for 7:30 tonight in the school athletic stadium.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.

Fast facts

Pasco High School Class of 2010

Number of expected graduates: 275

Scholarships: $2,211,864

Valedictorian: Amanda Newlon

Salutatorian: Elizabeth LaRue

Student council:

President: Elizabeth LaRue

Vice president: Jonathan West

Secretary: Erica Esquede

Treasurer: Sarah Hink

Class president: William Edwards

Class vice president: Stephanie Vance

Class secretary: Kayla Rowell

Class treasurer: Amanda Newlon

Known postgraduate plans:

144­ — College

18 — Technical School

24 — Work

4 — Military

Commencement is scheduled for 7:30 tonight at the school athletic stadium.

if you go

The big walk

Members of the Class of 2010 will talk that big walk across the stage this weekend. The commencement schedule is:

• Gulf High: 7 p.m. today at Calvary Chapel Worship Center in New Port Richey.

• Hudson High: 8 p.m. today in the school gymnasium.

• Land O'Lakes High: 11 a.m. Saturday at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz.

• Mitchell High: 6 p.m. Saturday at the University of South Florida Sun Dome.

• Pasco High: 7:30 p.m. today in the school athletic stadium.

• Ridgewood High: 7 p.m. today in the school gym.

• River Ridge High: 6 p.m. today at the school.

• Sunlake High: 10 a.m. Saturday in the USF Sun Dome.

• Wesley Chapel High: 3 p.m. Saturday at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz.

• Wiregrass Ranch High: 2 p.m. Saturday at the USF Sun Dome.

• Zephyrhills High: 6 p.m. today at the Lakeland Civic Center.

Pasco High seniors graduate tonight 06/03/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 3, 2010 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando commission to seek state audit of sheriff's spending

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The politically volatile idea of using a separate taxing district to fund Sheriff Al Nienhuis' budget is once again off the table.

    OCTAVIO JONES   |   TimesTo clear up questions about the way Sheriff Al Nienhuis accounts for his agency's money,  county commissioners have asked for a formal audit through the state Auditor General's Office.
  2. PolitiFact: Did Confederate symbols gain prominence in the civil rights era?


    A major catalyst in the run up to the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va., was the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

    Tom Lever, 28, and Aaliyah Jones, 38, both of Charlottesville, put up a sign that says "Heather Heyer Park" at the base of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee monument in Emancipation Park on  Aug. 15 in Charlottesville, Va.  (AP Photo/Julia Rendleman)
  3. What Florida's top Republicans are saying about Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    Republicans nationwide are blasting President Donald Trump for how he responded to Charlottesville.

  4. USF panel to discuss on-campus stadium today


    The University of South Florida today will take another step in what it describes as "a long process" of exploring the possibility of building an on-campus football stadium.

    A conceptual look at one of two potential sites for an on-campus stadium at the University of South Florida. This location is on the west side of campus, just north of Fowler Avenue and east of Bruce B. Downs. [University of South Florida]
  5. No easy answer to the Dunedin parking question

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — Nothing has been more divisive in this city than the issue of paid parking.

    A server at Cafe Alfresco (background) claims Dunedin's new paid parking has cost him money. Dunedin began a paid parking last October. Nine months in, residents, business owners and city officials all share mixed feelings. In October, when the one-year program ends, the city will have until November to come up with another solution to its parking woes, or continue the paid parking program at the risk of angering locals.JIM DAMASKE   |   Times