Sunlake High School
|Sunlake High School|
|3023 Sunlake Boulevard
Land O' Lakes, Florida 34638
|Color(s)||Teal, Gold, Black, White|
Sunlake High School is a public high school in Pasco County located right off of Sunlake Blvd and SR 54 in Land O' Lakes, Florida. It is adjacent to Charles S. Rushe Middle School, both of which opened in August 2007.
Sunlake did not open with a senior class. It relieved overcrowding at Land O' Lakes High School and J.W. Mitchell High School. By the 2008-2009 school year, Sunlake finally was a complete high school, and now contains all four classes (9th-12th grades). Its first principal was Angela Stone (2007–2010).
Sunlake is one of the few high schools in the county that offer a dual-enrollment English class. It also offers a complete set of AP classes in the social studies field, beginning with AP Human Geography in 9th grade, AP World History in 10th, AP US History in 11th, and AP European History, AP Economics and AP Government in 12th grade.
The school is organized into learning communities, which are designed to enhance the curriculum and student performance by linking teaching and learning to broad career clusters. This "school within a school" concept establishes smaller groups of students and teachers, providing more opportunities for better relationships among students, parents and teachers. The learning communities are Health & Human Services, Science & Technology, Business, and Fine Arts.  Students choose a major area of interest that can be changed in any or all four years of high school. This plan has been put into effect in all Pasco County high schools.
In their inaugural season, the Seahawks were unable to win a single football game. In the first game of their second season, however, they defeated River Ridge High School by a score of 19-10 to claim their first ever football victory on the night of September 5, 2008.
In 2010 pitcher Bruce Wong struck out 15 batters in 6 innings, setting a single game strikeout record for Sunlake against Citrus, but the team lost because of a few crucial errors by Michael Mateyka and a lack of run support.
The most talented team in Sunlake history the 2011-2012 football season, Sunlake (11-1) advanced to their first state playoffs. They won in the first round of the playoffs in double overtime, but lost to Gainesville High. Lack of coaching was the down fall in the end. This season also saw Sunlake defeated longtime rival Land O' Lakes High School at home. At the end of the game, Land O' Lakes High School tight end Kent Taylor was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. Sunlake has won 7 straight years against Land O lakes high school.
Sunlake has had a very strong cross-country team throughout its history, with the team consistently going to states and regionals. In the 2011-2012 season, Sunlake went to Districts, captained by Tyler Gelinas and Kenney Fessel.
|Year||Band Director||Field show||Description|
|2007||Diaz||Rock the House||fun rock song arrangements: "Rebel Yell," "Mr. Roboto," "Turn, Turn, Turn"|
|2008||Pictures at an Exhibition||arrangement of 1874 suite by Modest Mussorgsky: "Promenade and Baba Yaga," "Old Castle," "Ballet of Unhatched Chicks" (percussion feature), "Dispute d'enfants," "Great Gate of Kiev"|
|2009||O'Malley||This New World|
|2010||Silence is Golden|
|2011||Bach Nouveau||inspired by Bach, featuring a synthesizer "dressed" as a grand harpsichord on the field|
|2012||Nevermore||inspired by Poe's "The Raven," featuring the girl Lenore (guard member)|
|2013||The Waiting Game|
|2014||One||original music as well as a rendition of "One" by Three Dog Night, featuring a handful of soloists.|
|2015||Biographies||featuring the legacies of Mohammed Ali, Steve Jobs, and Elizabeth Smart; the show closer was about writing one's own story|
|2016||No Part Of Easy||the show concept taken from the USF Colorguard was about overcoming obstacles in life and not taking things for granted. Also the band's first nationally performed show.|
The Sunlake High School Band began in the school's inaugural year (2007-2008) under the direction of Raymond Diaz. The marching band featured a color guard line, directed by Victoria Camper, and a majorette line, directed by Barbara Patrick. The field show "Rock the House" included the songs "Rebel Yell," "Mr. Roboto," and "Turn, Turn, Turn." The show received straight Excellent ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association Marching Music Performance Assessment (FBA MPA), an impressive feat for a small band from a new school consisting of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. The first drum major was Andrew Claypool, a sophomore, who remained drum major until he graduated. This was a year of adjustment and growth.
2008-2009 marked the graduation year of the school's first senior class. It was a year of building traditions for the still-new marching band. The SLHS marching band graduated seven seniors, consisting of three percussion, one color guard, one baton twirler, one brass, and one woodwind. The field show, "Pictures at an Exhibition," was an arrangement based on the piano suite of the same name, Pictures at an Exhibition. The FBA performance of the show received straight Superior ratings.
Tonya O'Malley took over as band director in 2009 and has since developed the SLHS band's modern style for which they are known. During the first year under her instruction, the band received Excellent and Superior ratings at the FBA MPA with their 2009-2010 show, "This New World." They attended the FMBC West Coast Invitational Competition with the same show. The "Just Jazz" jazz band was awarded Excellent and Superior ratings at the FBA MPA of their 09-10 year.
In 2010-2011, the Sunlake High School Soaring Sound Marching Band was classified as an official 2-A band with their show "Silence is Golden." They participated in the East Lake Classic Invitational (placing first in class) and the Hurricane Pride Invitational Competition (third in class). The marching band also attended the first annual Sounds of the Swamp Gator Invitational, and were recommended for silver and gold medals. They received a Superior at the 2010 FBA MPA and continued with attendance at FMBC State Semi-Finals with a placement of 15th out of 23 bands. The "Just Jazz" jazz band was honored with Superiors at FBA. The Soaring Sound Drumline performed at the Tropicana Field in October 2010.
In the 2011-2012 school year, the marching band won first place in their class at the Tarpon Springs Outdoor Music Festival as well as at the Seminole Sound Spectacular Competition. They also won Best Woodwinds and Best Percussion at both, along with Best General Effect and Best Visual at Tarpon Springs. They qualified to perform at State Semi-Finals, and placed 6th out of 28 bands. The "Just Jazz" jazz band received straight Superiors at their FBA MPA performance, and the students who participated in Solo and Ensemble were awarded Excellents or Superiors. Select students participated in the All-County Concert Band in the 2011-2012 school year. The Concert Band received a Superior at their FBA MPA Performance in 2011. The Sunlake indoor percussion group, entering its first year, qualified for State Semi-Finals and placed 3rd at Finals.
The Sunlake High School Soaring Sound Marching band competed at Seminole Sound Spectacular as well as the Tarpon Springs Outdoor Music Festivals as a 3A band in the 2012-2013 school year. They received a superior at Marching MPA, were placed second in their class with Best Percussion and Best Auxiliary at Seminole, and placed fourth in their class with Best Percussion at Tarpon Springs. Their 2012 show, "Nevermore", is based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". Both the concert band and "Just Jazz" jazz band received Excellents at their 2012-2013 FBA performances. Several students were selected to participate in the 2012-2013 Pasco All-County Concert Band as well as USF's Festival of Winds.The Sunlake indoor percussion group qualified for the State Semi-Finals.
In their 2013-2014 school year, the Soaring Sound marching band, performing in Class 2A, won first place at several competitions (including a second place overall at the Citrus competition). They received a Superior at marching band MPA and qualified to perform at State Semi-Finals, where they made the Top 5 and ultimately won 2nd place at Finals with their show titled "The Waiting Game." This is the first time any Pasco County school made the finals, let alone placed at them. The "Just Jazz" jazz band earned a Superior at FBA. Many students were selected to participate in the Pasco All-County concert band, which was more than in previous years; likewise, five students attended USF's Festival of Winds that year. Furthermore, there were no DNAs (did not attend) for district Solo and Ensemble, and all who participated received a rating of Excellent or Superior, leaving Sunlake as the only school with no DNAs and the highest award average out of the district.
The Sunlake Soaring sound was a state finalist for the next two marching seasons with their performances of One, and Biographies.
Sunlake High School Band has been featured in periodicals such as The Laker, The Tampa Tribune, and the St. Petersburg Times. They have also appeared on Fox News.