In 1994, the Florida Legislature approved the construction of Adam Paine Academy, a 30 million dollar project named after a Seminole Indian who won the Medal of Honor. Adam Paine Academy was to be constructed on 359 acres near Sun City Center and was designed to house 500 to 800 serious juvenile offenders. The school was to be modeled after Pennsylvania’s reform school that has no bars but uses peer pressure to teach troubled males responsible behavior. Community and
citizen concerns bought the project to a halt in 1997.
In June 15 of 1999, Governor Jeb Bush deeded the property and partially constructed buildings, intended for the Adam Paine Academy, over to the School District of Hillsborough County and the H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center. Under the agreement with the state, the School District of Hillsborough County was to assume ownership of approximately half of the 359-acre site and build a career center. Superintendent Earl Lennard and State Senator Tom Lee R-Brandon both deserve praise as they were key players in securing the rights to the property on behalf of the school system. The construction of the Career Center began in preparation for the opening of school in August of 2002.
The Hillsborough County School Board named the school South County Career Center (SCCC). It is believed to have been named after the location in which the center is located, which is the southern most point of Hillsborough county. The school is designed to operate on a regular school year calendar and the primary goal is to provide ALL the students with the opportunity to earn a high school diploma while learning a trade. At the same time, students prepare to enter the local workforce or post secondary technical training.
During the first year of operation, Mr. John C. Sherman and Mr. Cleto “Sunday” Chazares became the Principal and Assistant Principal respectively. During the 2006-07 school year, Mr. Sherman retired and Mr. Chazares became the new principal. Mrs. Melissa Sawyer, a former academic teacher of South County Career Center, is the current Assistant Principal. The Career training programs currently offered include: Building Construction Technology (dry walling, electrical wiring, roofing, carpentry, heating and air conditioning), Culinary Arts, Health Unit Coordinator, Nursing Assistant (CNA), and JROTC. The colors are black, gold and white and BOBCAT is the mascot. The school is located on approximately 160 acres of land seven miles south of Ruskin, Florida on the east of U.S. Highway 41.
South County Career Center Inaugural Staff
2002-2003 Adams Lee, Marquez Sonia, Alderman Robert, Martin Lawrence, Anderson Kashonda, McCabe Cecilia, Baptista Darlene, McGuire Catherine, Basham Smith, Mincey Linda, Briant Steve, Mincey Mark, Blanton Virginia, Mullen Todd, Brubaker Anna, Neal Troy, Chararez Cleto, Oberhausen Roxanne, Cook Juanita, Ortiz Rebecca, Fisher Deanna, Paris Deanna, Gardener Flora, Riley Janet, Graham William, Rodriguez Nancy, Heller Jackie, Rose James, Hoffman Janis, Shaffer Paul, Hooter Angela, Sherman John, Jackson Ken, Stafford Dennis, Johns Ernie, Stone Amelia, Johnson Richard, Wilkins Reginald,
Kramer Joanne, Williams RuthMary, Kriecher James, Williams Frances, Louis Laverne, Williams Joslyn, Louli Lawren.