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Many private school graduates have already earned college credits

Increasingly, students at Hernando County's private schools are graduating with a leg up on higher education. Many of the seniors graduating in the coming days have taken advantage of dual enrollment at branches of Pasco-Hernando Community College while completing high school courses.

Three young men graduating today from Wider Horizons College Preparatory School in Spring Hill have already earned associate's degrees from PHCC.

Pranav Lokin also was awarded one of PHCC's two highest awards for achieving a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Lokin was also secretary of student government at PHCC.

Hernando Christian Academy in Brooksville will award diplomas this evening to 16 young people. Valedictorian Dakota d'Ambrosio and salutatorian Brielle Knight both have been dual enrolled at PHCC while in high school.

Spring Hill Christian Academy, which will graduate eight students, "one of our larger classes," said principal Mike Willis, is led by valedictorian Lauren Cain.

Cain has completed high school in three years, taking courses at PHCC at the same time. She has qualified for a Bright Futures scholarship. On her record are more than 120 hours of community service.

Salutatorian Erin Lambert will receive her diploma with course credits already at PHCC. She intends to complete an associate's degree there, then go on to pursue a medical degree through the Air Force.

Among 16 graduates of home schooling, whose educations have been facilitated through Home Circle, four have already been awarded associate's degrees from PHCC. They are Lisa Marie Basciano, Alexander Garcia, Isaiah Dix and Marsha Johnson.

Parents presented diplomas on May 14 to the 16, of whom Home Circle president Elizabeth Witherell said, "They are all valedictorians because they all came from their own home school."

At the commencement, each graduate performed in some way: singing, playing piano or guitar, or public speaking.

Beth N. Gray can be reached at

Class of 2011

Wider Horizons

Commencement: 9 a.m. today at the school

Co-valedictorian: Pranav Lokin

Parent: Dr. Manjusrc Vennamaneni

GPA: 4.0

College: University of Tampa

Co-valedictorian: Kingsley Barte

Parents: Neil and Verna Barte

GPA: 3.9

College: University of Florida.

Salutatorian: Tylor Hubbard

Parents: Lorie and Dave Hubbard

GPA: 3.8

College: University of Tampa.

Hernando Christian Academy

Commencement: 7 p.m. today at the school.

Valedictorian: Dakota d'Ambrosio

Parents: Vincent and Heidi d'Ambrosio

GPA: 3.8

College: University of South Florida

Salutatorian: Brielle Knight

Parents: Scott and Stephanie Knight

GPA: 3.8

College: St. Leo University

Graduating seniors: Courtney Flynn Birkins, Maggialle Sue Cuervo, Benjamin George Dzugen, Madeline May Hanshaw, William Lee Harper Jr., Richard Walter Hotchkiss III, Joshua Kautsky, Nathan John Kautsky, Amber Rose Matson, Bradley Thomas Moore, Shelby Nicole Sexton, Qigao Wang, Joshua Webber, Qiong Hu

Spring Hill Christian Academy

Commencement: 6 p.m. June 5 at Spring Hill Baptist Church

Valedictorian: Lauren Cain

Parents: Elbert and Maria Cain

GPA: 4.25

College: Undecided

Salutatorian: Erin Lambert

Parents: Ronald and Sheila Lambert

GPA: 3.14

College: Pasco-Hernando Community College

Graduating seniors: Ben Mikule, Robert Smith, Bryan Snyder, Christina Vykhopen, Katrina Long, Mark Lopez

West Hernando Christian Academy

Commencement: 3 p.m. Saturday at Christian Church in the Wildwood

Valedictorian: Jasmine Loree Grey

Parents: Paul and Wanda Grey

GPA: 4.08

College: University of South Florida

Salutatorian: Sophie Rae Smith

Parents: Debra Ludesdorff, and Greg and Sondra Smith

GPA: 4.03

College: Pasco-Hernando Community College

Graduating Seniors: Garrett Michael Banks, Bryan Edward Bunnell, Toren Brenten DeSantis, Rachel Jennifer Galbo, Hannah Lea Grey, Jasmine Loree Grey, Madison Elizabeth Grigsby, Sarah Michelle Hand, Victoria Michelle Helmuth, Christina Cheri Hildreth, Sierra Alexandra Jager, Cody Nathanial Jones, Catrina Marie Kallmeyer, Nikita Alexeyevna Kostjukoff, Eric Allen Miller, Charlett Elizabeth Nash, Amanda Whitney O'Beid, Steven Mitchell Olejniczak, Sara Nicole Preslicka, Katie Lynn Rodrigues de Miranda, Deanna Victoria Saginario, Sophie Rae Smith, Tyler R. Strong

Home Circle

Commencement: Held May 14 at Spring Hill Baptist Church.

Graduates: Lisa Marie Basciano, Alexander Garcia, Isaiah Dix, Marsha Johnson, Jesse Balogh, Rebecca Carlson, Olivia Campbell, Deanna Clark, Paige Curtis, Jason Ferreira, Benjamin Holzaepfel, Rachel Martin, Briana Mitten, Ashley Wheeler, Brittany L. Whitney, Jacob Witherell.

Many private school graduates have already earned college credits 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:13pm]
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