NEW PORT RICHEY
The sign on the entrance doors at Elfers Christian School reads, "Isaiah 40: 31." And while that passage is a daily greeting, and maybe a nudge, for students who are entering, it's also an appropriate send-off for this year's graduates.
All nine of them.
"We're the biggest graduating class yet from Elfers," valedictorian Dana Supernault said with a giggle, while waiting with salutatorian Juliana Kujundzic to have their pictures taken in the church sanctuary.
Elfers, with its comfortable small-school feel, has been a second home for Dana since her pre-K days. Juliana, who previously attended the Seventh-day Adventist school in New Port Richey, has been at Elfers since her sophomore year.
"I love it here," Dana said. "It's really one-on-one with the teachers. They really care about you. I've had some really awesome teachers who have impacted my life."
"I really like it because it feels kind of like a family," Juliana said. "Everybody knows you."
Dana and Juliana plan to get their associate's degrees at Pasco-Hernando Community College before moving on.
"I like being close to home," Juliana said. Before PHCC comes a summer stint volunteering in a local hospital "so I can get a good idea of what it's like to work in that atmosphere."
Dana, who has been taking dual enrollment classes at PHCC since her sophomore year, already has credits racked up and should graduate with her associate's degree by the end of the year. Then she plans to study music at Lee University in Tennessee.
"I've been singing ever since I could talk," she said. "In the church choir. For praise team. I'd like to do it professionally."
Valedictorian: Dana Supernault
GPA: 3.88 (weighted)
Future schools: Pasco-Hernando Community College, Lee University.
Major: Music, education or social work.
Ideal career: Music performer (vocal).
Most inspirational person/people: My parents. They give very good advice and even though I don't always listen, they turn out to be right.
Best advice/quote: "Attitude is everything." My dad, Ken Supernault.
Favorite place on campus: I'm not there much, I only have one class. But when I am, it's Mr. Brown's classroom.
Favorite book: The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks.
Clubs/extracurriculars: Phi Theta Kappa, Teen Court, volleyball, basketball, drama, yearbook, praise team.
If you could, what would you change about the Pasco County or Florida education system? Smaller classes so students and teachers could have more one-on-one time in case of questions or the need for extra help.
GPA: 3.65 (weighted)
Future schools: Pasco-Hernando Community College, University of South Florida.
Major: Journalism or medicine.
Ideal career: Pediatrician.
Most inspirational person: My mom. She tries everything possible to help me and make my life as memorable as possible.
Favorite place on campus: The gym because it's a big meeting place, like the heart of our school.
Favorite book: The Bible.