SPRING HILL — They plan to be engineers and doctors, lawyers and teachers. They are the brightest academic stars in the Class of 2009, and they were honored Thursday night at the 35th annual Honor Student Scholarship Banquet at the Palace Grand.
Forty-eight students, representing the top 3 percent of graduating seniors at the county's public and private high schools, were recognized. The banquet is presented by the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and the Brooksville Kiwanis Club.
The speaker, Shel Hart, a management consultant and motivational speaker from the Orlando area, talked to the students about visualizing and achieving their goals and the commitment necessary to do that.
"It's not just intellect," Hart said.
He spoke of the importance of drive, passion, work ethic, motivation and adaptability and told the students they should work to achieve a balance in their lives, focusing not only on academics but also on things such as relationships, health, and spiritual and emotional needs.
The honor students, all of whom were sponsored by local businesses, and their career choices included:
Central High School: Kyle Boutin, undecided; Ashley Custodio, nursing; Lindsay Impemba, physical therapy; Kindo Lee, biochemistry/mechanical engineering; Caroline Northup, medical; Michael Ogren, engineering; Patrick O'Keefe, business; Shane Ralph, undecided; Joshua Shannon, engineering; Michael Shannon, engineering; Angela Wooster, environmental science, and Hong Zheng, business management.
Hernando Christian Academy: Keith McCall, mechanical engineering.
Hernando High School: Nicole Antonini, accounting; Michael Bainum, herpetology; Shanna Chatraw, animal studies; Ashley Dannemiller, elementary education; Bethany Davis, dance instructor; Kelsey Dewey, undecided; Cari Anne Gandy, undecided; Brielle Geiger, hospitality management; Stephanie Lee, aeronautical engineering/medicine; Kristen Looper, education, and Lea Martin, psychology.
Nature Coast Technical High School: Brianna Anderson; Caitlyn Bartlett, psychology/premedicine; Kelsey Bolesta, nurse anesthetist; Rebecca Daley, pharmacy; Jacob Kahn, neurosurgery; John Lain III, youth minister; Brandon Misener, sports broadcasting; Kourtney Schneegas, undecided; Mariaanna Serricchio, business/law, and Phillip Watterson, U.S. Navy officer.
Spring Hill Christian Academy: Jennifer Evernham, nursing/accounting/engineering.
Springstead High School: Christopher Echanique, computer engineering; Jennifer Gray, law/political science; Nicole Imwalle, business administration; Cynthia Kolbasiuk, political science/history; Christie Kosal, physics and oceanography; Jem Lugo, genetic research; Katherine McAlpine, law; Benjamine Noury, medicine; Jenny Qiao, business; Kimberly Thoures, landscape architecture; Derek Wohlfiel, civil eingineering, and Desmond Zeng, medicine.
West Hernando Christian School: David Wayne Hand III, architecture.
The Kiwanis Club of Brooksville, through its foundation, awarded a $1,000 scholarship based on academics, sports, extracurricular activities, employment and an essay. The winner was Joshua Shannon of Central.