For the last few weeks, concentration has been waning in schools throughout Pasco County as whimsical images of summer vacation invaded scholarly thoughts. Thursday, those thoughts were close to becoming reality as students and teachers enjoyed the last day of school in Pasco.
For the fifth graders at Calusa Elementary School, it marked the end of the school year _ and their years as elementary school pupils. A special graduation ceremony was held at Orchid Lakes Civic Center, where parents and grandparents came out in force, armed with still and video cameras. "If you aim at nothing, you're sure to hit it," were the words of advice from principal Chip Wichmanowski as he encouraged the pupils always to do their best.
"I'm happy to get out of elementary school," said fifth grader Leslie Brown. She's looking forward to "just hanging out at the pool" this summer before heading to Bayonet Point Middle School.
"I get to go to a new school and go into seventh grade; I'm skipping a grade," said fifth-grader Tim Beam. But first, Tim said, he's off to North Carolina where he will attend summer soccer camp.
Calusa pupils spent the last day of school collecting autographs on yearbooks and T-shirts and enjoying year-end parties.
It was a video of Beauty and the Beast and ice cream sundaes for the pupils of Jennifer Lindhorst, Marcia Barber and Kelly Rutherford. "I love days like this," said Rutherford, "The kids have been ready for this since June 1."
While kindergartener Kyle Todd piled sprinkles, Oreo cookie bits, marshmallow and fudge sauce onto his ice cream, he said his plans for the summer included a trip to Celebration Station.
"I'm going to North Carolina to visit my dad," piped in Kirk Berry. "This is a fun day. And tasty too."
First-grader Ashley Flat was busy coloring a paper treasure chest filled with gold. "This summer I'm going to Michigan to visit my family _ my Uncle John and Aunt Peggy _ and I'm going to play in the snow," she said.