38 www.HernandoChamber.com 2 0 1 8 / 2 0 1 9 Dr. Maglio fell in love with the rolling hills while on his commute from Tampa to Sumter on I-75. They moved and started the first Montessori School in Hernando County. (Although some people did confuse it with a “Monastery” and they had to advertise that there were no monks at this school.) Wider Horizons School began in a converted home on Howell Avenue in Brooksville. Later a second larger location was built in Spring Hill on a former persimmons farm. hernando Magazine Teen Leadership Program was developed by graduates of the Chamber’s Leadership Hernando Class. Teen Leadership Hernando, a collaborative project between the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and the Hernando County School Board is at Fox Chapel Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year. The program is funded through grants and donations from community partners. Last year AT&T , Suncoast Credit Union , and Hernando County Education Foundation funded the class. Eighth graders are chosen by an application process based on a written essay, extracurricular activities, grades, and attendance. Up to thirty students participate in the leadership experience. According to Matt Goldrick, Supervisor of Professional Standards for the Hernando County School Board and Teen Leadership Inspiring Teens 35 year Anniversary for WHS! Committee Chair, this program aims to “encourage leadership and engagement from our youth in their own community.” The long term vision is that their leadership journey continues in Hernando County as they build a life here. Teen Leadership Hernando students develop an appreciation for their hometown as they get acquainted with the people that run community institutions in Health, Education, Government, Economic Development, Entrepreneurial Businesses, Agriculture, Criminal Justice and others. Megan Jenkins (14), a graduate of the 2017-2018 Teen Leadership Class and Class President felt it was a great experience. “It opened my eyes to all the places right here” she commented. With an interest in fashion design and marketing, one of her favorite field trips was on “entrepreneur day,” where she was inspired by a local merchant who is making her dream a reality. Teen Leadership Hernando Class of 2017. When the Spring Hill school increased its enrollment, the Brooksville campus was closed. WHS educates preschoolers to high schoolers. Montessori in the early grades and college preparatory in the upper grades. Graduates have gone on to USF, UF, New College, Univ. of Tampa, Cornell, Oxford and many other great colleges and universities. “Over the years we, our teachers, students and their parents have seen the power of a loving, stimulating, structured school culture. This environment has allowed children to overcome their fear of failure and encourage them to take off to be the best independent learners they can be. The positive changes in character, academic competencies and social skills have been evident and miraculous to everyone involved in WHS. It is a wonderful sanctuary of learning that is gratifying to everyone it has touched.” Dr. Domenick and Julie T. Maglio, Directors of Wider Horizons School How did this Peace Corp couple, who built schools in Peru end up in Brooksville, Florida? Game Day at Wider Horizons Dr. Domenick and Julie T. Maglio, Directors of Wider Horizons School Julie T. Maglio interacts with a small group of students. (The Hernando Sun Newspaper provided background to this story) Contact the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce at (352) 796-0697 for details on volunteering or participating. Visit their website at hernandochamber.com .