Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

First full four-year class set to graduate from Wiregrass Ranch High School

WESLEY CHAPEL — Anna Caldwell and Cora Nimtz met in eighth grade at Pineview Middle School. Too young to drive, they hung around each other's houses. Then came high school, and playing music in bedrooms was replaced by road trips in a Mazda Protege.

Now the pair stood in line together in the gym at Wiregrass Ranch High School's senior checkout, where they and about 400 classmates settled all debts, filled out forms, left contact information for future class reunions and collected any earned honor cords: white for cum laude, silver for magna and burgundy for summa.

And for the first time, they tried on caps and gowns — the uniform that tells the world "I am officially an adult."

"We were crazy," said Cora recalled. "We did obscure things." Those things included celebrating Cinco de Mayo and shopping in thrift stores before it became mainstream.

The 18-year-olds soon will separate, with Cora heading to Louisiana State University to study history and archaeology and Anna staying closer to home to take nursing at Pasco-Hernando Community College.

They plan to take full advantage of Facebook.

"I think I'll do it old school and write letters," Cora joked.

Across the noisy gym, girls in thigh-high skirts and 4-inch heels and guys in mostly jeans got in a few more hugs and posed for photos shot with cell phones. One girl raised her index finger and pinky to form the "I love you" sign.

At one table, four guys cracked jokes and recalled how they aggravated one sixth-grade teacher identified as Mr. D.

"After that we've been best friends forever," said 17-year-old Austin Bartleson.

While some reminisced with friends, Meghan Brunson shared a poignant moment with her mom. "Ready to be a grown-up yet?" 39-year-old Jennifer Mauro asked her daughter as she slipped off the silver cap and gown she'd just tried on.

"I take her everywhere with me," said Meghan, 18. However, she'll be leaving soon for Full Sail University in Orlando, where she can become a video game designer in less than two years.

"She said I better be on Facebook 24/7," joked Meghan.

For Gabe Albert, 18 and the school band's drum major, graduation marks an institutional milestone as well as a personal one.

"This is the first real, four-year class," said Albert, who recalled how the school began in portables at Weightman Middle School in 2006 before moving to its permanent campus in Meadow Pointe later that year.

"We've come a long way," he said. "Juniors just don't know that."

FAST FACTS

Wiregrass Ranch High School Class of 2010

Total projected graduates: 400

Valedictorian: Taylor Flitt

Co-Salutatorians: William Francisco Pujals and Sarah Wyper

Highlights

• The school's Odyssey of the Mind team won a first place and the Ranatra Fusca Award for Creativity at the state finals and is at the world finals that began Wednesday and run through Saturday at Michigan State University.

• The school's tennis doubles and singles, as well as Matthew Kazanski of the boys track team, placed first in state. Other teams that were named conference champions included boys golf, boys and girls cross country, girls soccer, boys basketball, girls tennis and girls track.

• The following teams also were named district and/or regional champs: boys golf, girls and boys cross country, boys and girls tennis, and girls track.

• The school also boasted a number of coaches of the year: Don Howard, cross country/track; Nick Cuviello, golf; Chris Lot, cross country; Jeremy Calzone, basketball; Amanda Devona, soccer; and Dave Wilson, soccer/tennis.

• Wiregrass Ranch High School also won the 2009-2010 All Sports Trophy as the top athletic program in Pasco County.

Commencement

Wiregrass Ranch High School's graduation will be at 2 p.m. June 5 at the University of South Florida Sun Dome.

First full four-year class set to graduate from Wiregrass Ranch High School 05/27/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]