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School News , June 28


PHSC president to retire in 2015

Katherine Johnson, president of Pasco-Hernando State College since 2004, will retire next year.

Johnson revealed her plans in a letter she presented to the college’s board of trustees at a recent meeting. Her retirement will be effective June 30, 2015, and the trustees plan to begin discussing the search for a successor next month, the college announced.

In the letter, she called her decision “very bittersweet.”

During Johnson’s tenure, the college has opened new campuses in Wesley Chapel and Spring Hill, made plans to add bachelor’s degree programs and changed its name from Pasco-Hernando Community College.

Prior to 2004, Johnson had been president at Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, N.C. She spent about 16 years working at Indian River Community College, where she rose to the position of vice president and provost of the Fort Pierce campus.

Refitted bus delivering meals to youngsters

The children were lined up, their appetites ready.

When the lunch bus arrived, they hopped on and settled in to munch down on free meals prepared in the cafeteria at Lacoochee Elementary.

The lunch bus is a retrofitted school bus that has been transformed into a mobile diner. Several schools across the county offer the program, which will continue on weekdays through Aug. 1.

The lunches, prepared at the school cafeteria, are free for anyone younger than 18.

The lunch-bus program began three years ago at Gulfside Elementary in Holiday and has expanded to more schools. The idea came about after Gulfside Principal Chris Clayton realized there were a lot of hungry children in his community, as evidenced by food insecurity he saw at school. Some children were hungry all day. Some hoarded food. They raced to the front of the lunch line.

Roberts Fund donates $40,000 to PHSC

The Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation received a $40,000 grant from the Edward K. Roberts Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

The contribution will provide scholarships to PHSC students in the summer and fall semesters of 2014. Preference will be given to part-time students who may not qualify for other financial aid.

A similar contribution in 2013 provided scholarships for more than 70 PHSC students.

Roberts was a lifelong donor to PHSC. He relocated to Sarasota and, upon his death in 2009, established the legacy fund.

For more information about the PHSC Foundation, call 727-816-3410 or go online to

School district sets Community Job Fair

The Pasco School District is partnering with county agencies, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, and local chambers to present a job fair 2-6 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, at Land O’ Lakes High School, 20325 Gator Lane.

Representatives will appear from the school district, sheriff’s office, Pasco County government, clerk of court, tax collector, United Way and the Central Pasco and Wesley Chapel chambers of commerce.

Participating employers are seeking applicants for the following positions: clerical-administrative support; accounting-finance; bus drivers-assistants; information services; food services; law enforcement-corrections; maintenance-skilled trades; and instructional-child care.

For more information go online to, and click on the link in the Job Fair banner at the top of the page. A flyer is attached.

Governor signs Florida Collegiate HS initiative

Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 850, sponsored by state Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, to develop collegiate high schools and accelerate academic achievement.

Students gain the opportunity for advancement through a collegiate high school for better preparation toward their careers, Legg said in a press release.

Highlights include:

• Earn CAPE industry certifications

• Successfully complete 30 credit hours through the dual enrollment program toward the first year of college for an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree.

• Authorizes state universities and independent colleges and universities that are not-for-profit in Florida to establish collegiate high school programs.

• Requires students participating in the collegiate high school program to enter into a student performance contract which must be signed by each participating student, the parent, a representative of the school district, and a representative of the applicable institution.

For more information, go online to or contact Spencer Pylant at (813) 909-9919 or

Holiday student earns degree from SUNY

Jenna Karn of Holiday earned a bachelor of arts in theater arts from State University of New York at New Paltz. She was among more than 1,000 graduates during 2014 commencement ceremonies last month.

Suncoast News and Tribune staff

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