Private school celebrates 35 years of helping students be the “best independent learners they can be”

Many years ago there were two educators that became heavily involved in education in Hernando County. They had worked in the Peace Corps in Peru setting up schools and later worked in inner-city schools in New York. Dr. Maglio taught child development and psychology courses in colleges and universities for a number of years. The Maglios often attended the Hernando County School Board meetings, offering suggestions based on their experience. The school board probably felt a sense of relief when they announced that they were opening a private school in Brooksville.

Wider Horizons School started in a converted home on Howell Avenue in Brooksville. As the school grew, a second larger location was built in Spring Hill on a former persimmons farm.

When the Spring Hill school increased its enrollment they decided to close the Brooksville campus and expanded the Spring Hill campus. They built a second larger building and now offer education from preschool through high school, 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, Univ. of Kansas, Univ. of South Carolina, Ivy League schools, Oxford and many other great colleges and universities.

Wider Horizons places an emphasis on public speaking. Throughout the year, they require the students to present at the Biography Fair, Science Fair and Cultural Fair. Once a year they put on a variety show known as Friday Night Live where students indulge their theatrical inclinations. Many of their alumni, parents and some community members who enjoy good theater attend the show.

Mrs. Parks who has taught at Wider Horizons for almost 24 years reminisced, "Celebrating Wider Horizons 35th Anniversary has brought back many wonderful memories. A couple of the first students in my class over 20 years ago now have their children here. Although there are many students we never hear from, others stay in touch and say: ‘I graduated college, I am a Psychiatrist, an Engineer, a Teacher, a Doctor, a Pharmacist…’ and the list goes on. Reflecting back over the twenty something years, I think of all the students that have passed though the school and pray they all found their goals reached.”

Face painting - DaKayla in 10th grade gives Zoey a rainbow on her cheek.

Senior Tim Foley said "Having been at Wider Horizons since I was two years old, I have grown up seeing the school as a second home. My classmates became my brothers and sisters and the teachers filled the roles of our parents while we were away from our real ones. With the school being a second home, I have numerous fond memories of growing up here. I remember all the various roles I have played in Friday Night Live and many of the exciting field trips we have taken throughout the years. I remember being here for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the school and going through all the booths and attractions as a first or second grader and gathering in front of the gazebo with the rest of the school and eating ice cream as the importance of the event was explained. Five years later I was one of the students manning the stations for the thirtieth anniversary and again this past week as my last year here. Each student here has their own stories and memories to tell and relive from this school. Wider Horizons has played a major role in all the students’ lives and has given them a head start in their lives. I am incredibly grateful to the school and its administration for everything they have done for me over the 15 years I have been at this school."

First grader Patrick hula-hoops during the fun day festival for the school’s 35th Anniversary.

In closing, the school’s Directors, Dr. Domenick and Julie T. Maglio remark, “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.”

The students and teachers of Wider Horizons School

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