Recognitions keep School Board busy

Boundaries, transportation master plan and parents all take a back seat to good deeds.

By Erin Sullivan, Times Staff Writer
Published February 20, 2008

LAND O'LAKES - The Pasco County School Board approved boundary plans Tuesday for two new schools, Veterans Elementary in Wesley Chapel and Crews Lake Middle in Shady Hills.

The meeting began at 6 p.m., but members didn't delve into their agenda items until after 7:30 p.m. After so much introduction, their part of the process whizzed by and they were done by 8 p.m. What took so long wasn't anything bad - they just had a lot of students and others doing good things who needed to be recognized.

There were dozens of students to recognize for achievements, such as winning anti-bullying poster contests.

After a quick break, representatives from the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority made a presentation. The organization is creating a master plan to connect and ease transportation for the seven-county Tampa Bay area. They talked of such things as commuter rail, rapid bus, light rail and managed traffic lanes.

They passed out surveys and said they want the public's opinion on areas that need better traffic planning.

There is a public meeting planned for 5:30 p.m. March 18 at the West Pasco Government Center, 7530 Little Road, in New Port Richey. For more information, visit www.tbarta.com.

After the presentation, the floor opened for comments from the public. One father wanted to thank a program that helped his son finally pass the FCAT, after failing six times previously.

A mother spoke about her concerns for her daughter's future in culinary education, as the program is moving next year to Wiregrass Ranch High School from Moore Mickens Education Center. Members assured her that current students will be welcomed at the new school and that adult culinary programs will continue.

Members also gave updates on what's been going on with them - the honor roll banquets they've attended, recycling art ceremonies and landscape meetings.

Board Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey showed off her gleaming gold and green trophy - third place for the milk-off at the Pasco County Fair. "I promise I'll try to win it next year," she said and laughed. "I'm proud of this."

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or 813 909-4609.