Monday, June 18, 2018


Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer

Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer

Jeffrey S. Solochek has reported about Florida's public education system since the first school tried to return recognition funds from Jeb Bush's then-new A-Plus plan. Currently based in Pasco County, he covers state, regional and local education issues for the Tampa Bay Times both in print and online, including weekly podcasts and whatever new formats he can figure out. Follow on Twitter @jeffsolochek.

  Fivay High principal, Christina Stanley, (standing) engages students about how to get the message out to peers during the 6th Annual Together We Stand Youth and Community UNITY Summit held June 4 at River Ridge Middle High.

Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

NEW PORT RICHEY — The dozen Fivay High school students and their administrators arrived at the Pasco County school district’s annual Together We Stand conference with a clear goal in mind.With hundreds of former Ridgewood High students arriving...
Published: 06/12/18

Safe schools, career training high on Pasco parents’ wish list

Citing later state testing windows as a primary reason, the Pasco County school district has done away with senior week off, moving final exams later in the spring and scheduling graduations in June instead of the end of May.The School Board...
Published: 06/05/18

Pasco schools check student addresses, find a few who don’t belong

Pasco County school district officials have stepped up their efforts to make sure students are attending the school they’re zoned for, with a stricter address verification process.Though helpful in rooting out families providing false...
Updated one month ago

Challenges dismissed, west-side Pasco school rezoning moves to May 29 vote

The Pasco County School Board’s two-year effort to redraw attendance zones for west-side middle and high schools is nearing an end. Parent Jim Stanley has dropped his legal challenge of the latest proposal, paving the way for the board to act...
Updated one month ago
Sabrina Michelle Hensley, 40, is accused in her husband's death. To the left of her booking photo is the Anglecrest Drive home where Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies say the shooting occurred. [Hillsborough County Jail, Google]

Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said.
Updated one month ago

Woman dies in Plant City after SUV flips off road

PLANT CITY — A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling...
Updated one month ago
ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times    
Anthony Basile chats with graduate Robert Krahn from the Class of 1994 during closing ceremonies at Ridgewood High School Tuesday night.

Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

NEW PORT RICHEY — The line snaked through the hallways and into the cafeteria, as the Ridgewood High faithful waited for their chance to secure a piece of the school’s 40-year history.They came by the hundreds — current and former students,...
Updated one month ago
ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times
   Shanna Brady celebrates the final closing proceedings for adopting foster daughter Charley Friday afternoon.

Charley finds a home just in time for Mother’s Day

DADE CITY — Charley arrived in Shanna and Josh Brady’s lives without many firsts in her short 15-month life.Barely 25 pounds, the toddler hardly ate, didn’t walk, babbled sounds but had no words.Over the next two years, the foster...
Updated one month ago
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times   
Jonah Levering, left, accepts his Turnaround Achievement Award from  teacher E. J. Doychak, who gave him praise for  improving his grades throughout the school year during the Turnaround Achievement Awards at the Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club on May 2.

Pasco’s ‘turnaround’ students win award for hard work, determination to succeed in school

When she arrived at Hudson High as a junior, Felicia Skale had no idea how far behind she had fallen."I had no cares in the world," she recalled of her first high school years. "I wanted to focus on boys. I focused on my phone. I cared more...
Updated one month ago

School security job generates significant interest

More than double the number of people needed applied to become armed security guards in Pasco County’s elementary schools.District leaders informed School Board members on Monday that 125 candidates submitted paperwork to seek one of the 53...
Updated one month ago