During Nature Coast Technical High School's Parade of Champions on May 19, principal Tizzy Schoelles took the opportunity to give her "state of the school" address, and numerous students were recognized for their accomplishments during the 2008-09 school year.
Music student Devin Karp, a member of the school's performing arts cluster, represented NCT in February when he performed on the piano at the district's Teacher of the Year awards. The Nature Coast Thespians put on two productions this year, School House Rocks and You Can't Take It With You, under the direction of Lori Erickson. The thespians also competed in the state drama competitions, earning Best Solo Musical; Best in State: Monologues; and Superior in Solo Musicals.
The automotive cluster achieved certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation this year. The boys basketball team hosted a family for Christmas, raising more than $1,000 to purchase gifts for the entire family. The Marching Sharks earned a superior rating at this year's Florida Bandmasters Association District 5 music performance assessment.
The Robo-Sharks Team 1612, founded in 2004, competed in the Orlando Invitational. Members of the Invisible Children Club, under direction of teacher Marguerite Kling, created a documentary for Kling's global studies class called The Missing Peace. The documentary highlights the experiences of Sudanese people who live in refugee camps.
Athletically, four teams earned district runnerup honors and advanced to the state playoffs, including girls volleyball, softball, baseball and boys track. Two additional teams advanced to the state playoffs as district champions. In the fall, the school's football team won its district and ended the season with a school record nine wins. The Lady Sharks basketball team captured the district championship. The boys golf team had one player, Anthony Rule, who placed third in district play and ended up 15th in the region. Five swimmers participated in regional competitions, and two wrestlers participated in state competition. The tennis teams (girls and boys) won their district, as well as regionals, and the girls advanced to the state tournament. Eleven track students qualified to participate in the state track meet.
Cheerleaders participated in the Florida State Fair competition, where they earned first place. They took home first place in the Spirit Cheers Showdown as well. In the Florida High School Athletic Association state championship, they placed sixth. The newly formed dance team not only performed pregame during football season and at halftime during basketball season, it also hosted its first dance clinic.
Financially, a total of 209 students benefited from scholarships awarded through various organizations or Florida Bright Future awards. Fifty-seven students took advance placement courses and then the AP exam. Those who passed earned college credits. Total dollars earned from AP classes was $52,400.
Ninty-four students took advantage of dual enrollment, earning college credit while in high school. Two students will graduate with high school diplomas and associate's degrees from Pasco-Hernando Community College: Comela Tyrel and Brianna Anderson.
Fifty-eight students earned PHCC's Top 10 % of the Class status, making them eligible for $2,000 scholarships. Valedictorian P.J. Waterson received and accepted a congressional appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., valued at $250,000.
Seniors recognized in the Parade of Champions included Michael Adams, four-year varsity letter for baseball; Crystal Anthony, four-year varsity letter for basketball; Gregory Bennis, Florida State Ford/AAA Skills contest, eighth place, Ohio Tech Scholarship for $1,000, University of Northwestern Ohio Scholarship for $1,500; and Sarah Berberian, four-year varsity letter for soccer.
Other honors included:
Angelica Bertone, President's Circle from Advance Auto Parts, $1,500; American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186 scholarship, $200; Spring Hill Regional Hospital Auxiliary scholarship, $6,000; and Oak Hill Hospital Volunteer Association scholarship, $1,000.
Alexis Besser, Culinary Excellence award.
Allison Blankenship, Johnson & Wales Presidential Academic scholarship, $30,000; Withlachoochee River Electric Cooperative scholarship, $6,000; PHCC Academic Merit scholarship, $1,000/year; Outstanding Youth District Volunteer award; Culinary Excellence award; treasurer, National Honor Society; and Beta Club member.
Kelsey Bolesta, Spring Hill Regional Hospital Auxiliary scholarship, $6,000; Oak Hill Hospital Volunteer Association scholarship, $1,000; Suncoast Federal Credit Union scholarship, $1,000; PHCC Academic Merit scholarship, $1,000/year; Hernando County Business & Professional Women's organization scholarship, $1,000; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay Scholarship, 60 credit hours; Girls State delegate; and Nursing Assisting award.
Matthew Borriello, top automotive senior. Brittany Braxton, Law Cluster squad leader. Lindsey Carper, Law Cluster leader and four-year varsity letter for volleyball. Alexandra Clubb, HASAA Educational scholarship, $500, and most improved law student. Rachel Conter, USF scholarship, $6,000. Rebecca Daley, Oak Hill Hospital Volunteer Association scholarship, $1,000; and senior class secretary. Damaris Diaz, most improved IT senior.
Corey Duplain, outstanding dedication in culinary arts. Brandon Forman, UPS Foundation scholarship, $1,000, and senior class president. Jessica Garrett, Voice of Democracy, first place at local and district, and second place in state, $4,000. Matthew Granda, St. Leo University scholarship, $16,941, and outstanding networking student, Golf Coast Waves Unit 27, $100. Christine Halan, yearbook editor. Trevor Hayworth, Brookridge Woman's Club scholarship, $2,000.
Christopher Hinkle, perfect attendance. Zachary Holcomb, workshop manager/commercial art. Jenny Holdredge, culinary excellence award. Kristina Ioviero, Stetson University scholarship, $14,000/year, and outstanding law student. Talhya Jackson, culinary excellence award. Megan Jacobson, four-year varsity letter for soccer.
Jacob Kahn, Ithaca College scholarship, $18,000/year; Student Government Association Scholarship, $500; American Legion Pot 186 scholarship, $500; senior class treasurer; president, National Honor Society; vice president, Beta Club; president, Spanish National Honor Society; historian, SGA; and varsity swim team member.
Devin Karp, dedication and superior contribution to chorus.
Alexander Kouts, Knights of Columbus-Christopher Columbus Memorial Scholarship, $500; and Health Science Education Endowment, $800. John Lain, yearbook editor and four-year varsity letter for soccer. Matt Lambert, Red Mule Runners Club scholarship, $1,000; Brevard College Athletic Scholarship, $21,000; and four-year varsity letter for wrestling. Garth Layne, outstanding law student.
Rebecca Lewis, Oak Hill Hospital Volunteer Association scholarship, $1,000. Kaitlin Light, law cluster squad leader. Joseph LoBianco, Withlacoochee River Electric Coooperative scholarship, $6,000; Oak Hill Hospital Volunteer Association scholarship, $1,000; and SGA president. Shareka Maner, criminal justice squad leader and four-year varsity letter for basketball. Juliana Marquez, workshop manager/commercial art. Amy Marsh, four-year varsity letter for cheerleading.
Brittany McDonald, four-year varsity letter for soccer. Keith Meccia, American Musical & Dramatic Academy national scholarship award, $3,000/year. Joseph Mignoli, exceptional law student. Michael Miller, outstanding IT student. Brandon Misener, USF scholarship, $6,000; USF Dean's Scholarship, $2,000; USF Director's Award, $1,500; and Masaryktown Community Center scholarship, $500.
Casey Pelaez, four-year varsity letter for cheerleading and weightlifting. Marissa Perez, four-year varsity letter for weightlifting. Nicole Pirola, Stage West Community Playhouse scholarship, $1,000; Southeastern University, $1,500/year; and SGA treasurer. Patrick Regis, Health Science Education Endowment, $800; and dedication to NCT's academic team. Taylor Reiss, four-year varsity letter for soccer.
Randall Roppolo, outstanding dedication in culinary arts and four-year varsity letter for volleyball. Amanda Shinaberry, culinary excellence award. Steven Simpson, most improved IT student. David Simonson, four-year varsity letter for wrestling. Kaitlyn Smith, Target scholarship, $250. Jasmin Stephens, VFW Auxiliary Post 10209 scholarship, $400. Collin Swihart, criminal justice squad leader. Ricky Torres, Spanish Heritage Scholarship, $400.
Amber Toye, Florida State University scholarship, $17,000/year; senior class vice president; and SGA secretary. Comela Tyrell, African-American Club scholarship, $1,200; University of Central Florida Pegasus Bronze scholarship, $5,200; Marie A. Lawson scholarship, $1,000; Black Educator's Caucus, $1,000; and most outstanding IT dual-enrollment student.
Kaitlyn Van Natter, University of Texas dean scholarship, $8,000; Fox Chapel PTSA scholarship, $250; PHCC Academic Merit scholarship, $1,000; St. Leo Unversity scholarship, $7,000; and USF scholarship, $1,000. Megan Ventetuolo, highest grade in abnormal psychology class. Kahla Voyles, SGA scholarship, $500. Thomas Webb, AP language and composition award. Annie Whitmore, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative scholarship, $6,000. Traci Wood, exceptional law student.