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Ric Mellin, Principal
I grew up in South Florida and attended school in North Miami. After graduating high school at North Miami High, I relocated to Tampa to attend college at the University of South Florida. I received a Bachelors of Education degree from USF in December 1993. I began my career in education in the spring of 1994 as a Social Studies Teacher at R.B. Stewart Middle School in Zephryhills. After completing the mini-contract, I was hired at Pine View Middle School in Land O’ Lakes before the 1994-1995 school year. I taught geography and history for five years while also continuing my education at night and on the weekends at USF. I became an Assistant Principal at Wesley Chapel High School shortly after receiving my Master of Education degree. I was there for the opening of the school in 1999. I remained at WCHS until receiving a promotion to become the Principal at J.W. Mitchell High School in Trinity. I was the Principal there from October 2005 to March 2009. I have been the Principal at Land O’ Lakes High School since March 2009. I am thrilled to have returned to the Land O’ Lakes community and could not think of a better place to be with my family.
Rich Batchelor, Assistant Principal
I grew up in eight states as my father served as a career military officer. I attended both Fort Myers High School and King High School in Tampa. I attended Stetson University on a wrestling scholarship earning a degree in History in 1988.
I began my teaching career at Lake Mary High School where I taught drop out prevention and served as the wrestling coach for four years. In 1991 I returned to Tampa to teach history and coached wrestling at Tampa Bay Technical High School and then I taught at Chamberlain High School. In addition to coaching at a local high school I served as the Junior National Wrestling coach for ten years receiving the 1995 Southeast Region Coach of the Year.
In the fall of 1995 I left teaching and became an Assistant Principal at Chamberlain High School. After serving at Chamberlain for five years I returned to my alma mater King High School serving as Assistant Principal there for five years. In 2005 I left Hillsborough County and started working at Land O’ Lakes High School in my current role.
Having worked in three different school districts I am honored to be working at one of the finest high schools not only in our county but also in our country.
Mrs. Hohenthaner graduated from Land O’ Lakes High School and has been a lifetime resident of the Lutz/Land O’ Lakes area. She has worked in Pasco County for 16 years. Mrs. Hohenthaner is coming to us from Sunlake High School. Prior to that she was a special education teacher at Land O’ Lakes High School and an assistant principal at Ridgewood High School.
Kathryn Leeper, Assistant Principal
Kathryn Plamondon Leeper grew up in Pasco County after moving here from Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Leeper attended four elementary schools in Pasco County living at the same residential address at a time when Pasco County was rapidly growing. Her family moved to Wesley Chapel where she attended Zephyrhills Junior High School, now Stewart Middle, and graduated from Zephyrhills High School.
While completing a Bachelors of Education degree from Saint Leo University in 1994, Mrs. Leeper worked as an Instructional Assistant at Stewart Middle School remaining there until obtaining her first teaching position. She taught intermediate continuous progress and Pre-Kindergarten at Cypress Elementary until 2003, when intrigued by the District’s new Intensive Reading positions, she decided to make the transition to J.W. Mitchell High School. Ms. Leeper earned her Master of Educational Leadership Degree from Saint Leo University and has been an Assistant Principal in Pasco County since 2006 at Zephyrhills High School and Ridgewood High School before coming to Land O’ Lakes High School in the fall of 2012.
I am eager to start working within our community. LOLHS has a strong tradition, and it’s an honor to be a part of this staff.
Jeff Morgenstein, Assistant Principal
Jeff Morgenstein has been an educator for more than twenty years, teaching high school English, Spanish and French for eight years at Hudson High School, and Spanish and Theory of Knowledge for seven years at Land O’ Lakes. He has taught in the faculty of education at Saint Leo University since 2009. He is the author of multimedia instructional resources for World Languages and a curriculum designer for Capella University. For six years, Mr. Morgenstein has been a Pasco district administrator supervising World Languages and ESOL, and later in Communications, Government Relations and Leadership Development. He received a 2005 Milken National Educator Award and is a Kappa Delta Pi Distinguished Educator (Saint Leo University chapter). Mr. Morgenstein was raised in New York City and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Montréal’s McGill University and a Master of Education from the University of Florida.
I want students to know how pleased I am to be back at Land O’ Lakes after six years away. It’s great to work with the International Baccalaureate Program again, having helped design it over a decade ago. The success of our students surpasses expectation. But more importantly, it’s my goal to see our entire school community thrive. Land O’ Lakes – the school and the region – is my home.