Pinellas County private school valedictorians and salutatorians for 2009

Katrina Margaret Wells, 18

Canterbury School of Florida

If you were president, what one thing would you change? Make George Lucas' birthday a national holiday.

What's the secret to your success? I love to read, which has helped me with standardized tests and my AP classes.

Name one person who has influenced your life: Martha Little, my elementary school librarian who passed away from cancer, inspired in me a love for reading and for life.

What is your best high school memory? On my senior class trip, my canoe flipped over, dumping my friends and me into a river full of alligators.

List your top volunteer work/community projects/job: Mentoring my fifth-grade buddy, Ginny.

Ryan Laurent, 17

Canterbury School of Florida

Co-salutatorian

If you were president, what one thing would you change? The budget. I would budget more towards the average person not to enlarge government because the American people are fading into the woodwork of the U.S. government.

What's the secret to your success? Persistency.

Name one person who has influenced your life: My mom has influenced my life by pushing me to never quit. By doing so, I have succeeded in many things that I didn't enjoy and have become who I am today.

What is your best high school memory? When my senior class went on its class trip.

List your top volunteer work/community projects/job:. Rebuilt Canterbury's concession stand deck.

Chelsea Lynn Weiland, 18

Co-salutatorian

Canterbury School of Florida

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would reverse the decision of American Idol and make Adam Lambert the winner.

What's the secret to your success? Being able to stay positive and happy no matter the situation.

Name one person who has influenced your life: Ms. Evancho, my former fourth grade teacher who taught me to love life and all of the happiness it brings.

What is your best high school memory? Going to the state softball championship game with my teammates whom I am very close with.

List your top volunteer work/community projects/job: Volunteering for the Midtown Magazine journalism camp.

Rachel Ashley Cone, 18

Admiral Farragut Academy

If you were president, what one thing would you change? Our relationships internationally. It is imperative to understand and know other cultures and ways of life, and by working together create a better knowledge and respect for that which makes us different, but yet the same.

What's the secret to your success? Balance. You're a much better individual in my opinion if you branch out and do a lot of things. I'd rather be in plays, musicals, sports as well as study.

Name one person who has influenced your life: My parents for allowing me the opportunity to travel and live in other countries, and instilling in me respect and good manners!

What is your best high school memory? Our Perspective Week trips to England and Italy, and Greece and Turkey.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: Spending a week helping with the Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Daniel Joseph Holtzhouse, 18

Keswick Christian High School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would cut off federal support to abortion clinics.

What's the secret to your success? My support that I get from my family has made all the difference. If they weren't there to encourage me everyday and push me toward success, I wouldn't have made it this far.

Name one person who has influenced your life: Jesus Christ has had the biggest impact on my life. He has called me to do everything that I can to the best of my ability.

What is your best high school memory? Playing an over 1,000-box Dot game with my, now, girlfriend. It took us two weeks of playing every day in Chemistry to finish it!

List your top volunteer work/community projects/job: Campaign 58, an all-organic vegetable garden (the school) uses to grow vegetables, which we then donate to (local) food pantries.

Rachel E. Logemann, 18

Northside Christian High School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would focus more time on developing alternate sources of energy. … I believe that finding an alternate for gasoline should be one of our nation's highest priorities.

What's the secret to your success? My work ethic and the fact that I enjoy learning new things. It makes it easy to learn when it is actually enjoyable.

Name one person who has influenced your life: My chemistry teacher, Mrs. Hamilton, has influenced my life because … she helped me develop a love for chemistry and helped me to succeed at it.

What is your best high school memory? When my track team went to states this year, and both of my relays broke our school records.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: Helping out at an elementary school track meet!

Joseph Richard Martinez, 18

Shorecrest Preparatory High School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would apportion more of our budget to education because it is the best way to improve American life.

What's the secret to your success? Not taking myself too seriously

What is your best high school memory? I'm going to speculate and say walking across the stage to get my diploma.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: The best thing I've done in the last year was take a weeklong trip to Honduras to do volunteer work. The experience working with the people there was unlike anything I've ever done before.

Jennifer Costa, 18

St. Petersburg Catholic High School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would also reform our system of education.

What's the secret to your success far? My family — my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncle have supported me in all of my endeavours. My older sister Caitlin has taught me that while good grades are somewhat important, high school is a time to have fun.

Name one person who has influenced your life: Senora Herrero, my Spanish teacher and friend, has inspired in me a great love of the language and culture.

What is your best high school memory? Our recent trip to Spain.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: This past summer I volunteered at PARC in the Discovery Learning Center. I had such a great time working with the toddlers of Turtle Room!

Nicole Marie Giovagnoli, 18

Clearwater Central Catholic

What was your favorite class and why? Math and Art. I liked math because it is very straightforward. … I like art simply because I love drawing and painting.

What advice would you give to a high school freshman? Get involved at school, and make the most out of every moment. Carpe diem!

What reasons do you have to be hopeful about the future? Because of the guidance, love and support I have received from my family and friends. They have helped shape me into a dedicated and driven individual with an optimistic outlook on life.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Art Honor Society, Silent Epiphanies magazine, Student Council, town of Belleair summer camp program, Habitat for Humanity.

Alexi Marcelle Runnels, 18

Clearwater Central Catholic International Baccalaureate

What was your favorite class and why? English, because I really enjoy reading, discussing my opinion on books, listening to others' opinions, and writing.

What advice would you give to a high school freshman? To not worry so much about the small stuff and not to stress out too much about day-to-day activities because, in the end, high school does move quickly.

What reasons do you have to be hopeful about the future? I really think my generation is going to do great things for the world. My classmates are the most creative, caring, and wonderful people I know.

Activities/community projects/job: International Club, National, Math, and Spanish honor societies, Science Club, and the tennis team. I volunteered at Heritage Village.

Sarah Nicole Rappach, 18

Indian Rocks Christian School

What was your favorite class and why? Pre-calculus/or Sciences. These two subjects were my favorite because they both keep you involved through problem solving.

What advice would you give a high school freshman? Work hard, never quit, and always choose a challenge.

What reasons do you have to be hopeful about the future? I feel hopeful about the future because I feel that I have learned the necessary lessons, acquired the right knowledge, and developed the right character to have success in whatever I do. I then can serve society by giving back in a positive manner.

List your top activities/volunteer work/community projects/job: Varsity softball, All-conference player, Pinellas County leading hitter, Pinellas County Cleanup, National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors.

Maria Meana

Admiral Farragut Academy

What would you like to accomplish before you turn 30? Attend the Facultad de Medicina CLAEH in Punta del Este, Maldonado in Uruguay to study medicine. This university graduates medical doctors in six years. From the first year, practices begin in the Public Medical Centers and the students perform analyses of cases while facing real problems. This program focuses on forming doctors with a "high-level technical capability and a humane profile through the strategy of problem-based learning." Maria wants to specialize in neurology.

List your top volunteer work/community projects/job: Band company commander/drum major, Spanish and National honor societies; Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award 2009 Caravel Chapter.

Michael Fricke, 18

Keswick Christian High School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would include Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as states in the United States of America.

What's the secret to your success? I do my best to stay relaxed and avoid worrying about things outside of my control.

Name one person who has influenced your life: My father's work ethic has always inspired me, and it is something that I hope to be able to match in the future. In addition, he has always encouraged me to do my best in all situations.

What is your best high school memory? Playing on the varsity tennis team for three years. I love playing tennis and I always had a great time with my teammates.

List your top volunteer work/community projects/job: My primary volunteer work took place at D & D Missionary Homes.

Devin Leigh Watson, 18

Northside Christian High School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would open more animal shelters and create programs designed to rescue strays.

What's the secret to your success? My determination.

Name one person who has influenced your life: My mom because I have modeled her behavior and she has taught me to be the person I am today.

What is your best high school memory? Staying up all night to execute our senior class prank.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: Girl Scout Gold Award (vegetable garden at the Britt House.)

Chelsea Tymms, 17

Clearwater Central Catholic International Baccalaureate

Name one person who has been a role model or hero in your life: The current Dalai Lama, because he lives and shares the ideals of true peace and simplicity.

What would you like to accomplish before you turn 30? I would like to find a challenging job that I am passionate about.

Who should the next U.S. president be? Someone who supports environmentalism, animal rights, and LGBT equality and believes in working toward compromise between opposing nations.

List your top activities/volunteer work/community projects/job: I volunteered at the animal shelter Friends of Strays, played on the CCC tennis team, competed in the Florida Science Olympiad, and participated in the Math, Spanish and National honor societies.

Rebecca Rose Wendt, 18

Indian Rocks Christian School

Name one person who has been a role model or hero in your life: My role model is my mom. She is always there for me no matter what. She has truly shown me what it means to be an amazing mom. She is always listening to my problems, giving me advice, pushing me to do my best, and helping me in whatever way she can.

What would you like to accomplish by the time you turn 30? To be successful in my career. I would love to use my graphic design degree to start my own advertising business. One of my lifelong dreams is to be a wife and mother … I would also like to go on more mission trips.

Who should the next U.S. president be? They should run the country in a way that honors God and the forefathers who founded our country.

List your top activities/volunteer work/community projects/job: National Honor Society, powder puff football, varsity bowling team, tutoring.

Max Rabinovich, 17

Shorecrest Preparatory School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would institute a set of minimum standards that public schools would have to meet, the idea being to drastically improve the quality of public education.

What's the secret to your success? Discipline, a willingness to try new things, an unwillingness to back down in the face of difficulties, a love of thinking and reading, and ambition.

What is your best high school memory? A (school-organized) trip I took with several of my classmates to Italy at the end of our freshman year.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: I had a job as a math tutor to a middle school student in Largo.

Ana Denise Gutierrez, 17

St. Petersburg Catholic High School

If you were president, what one thing would you change? I would provide more aid for students striving for college. … I would also improve the moral fabric of our nation.

What's the secret to your success? My faith carries me through everything I do. I also just keep motivating myself to try harder and achieve more.

Name one person who has influenced your life: My mom. … She has instilled good morals and a high work ethic in me. She is always there for me.

What is your best high school memory? All the creative projects that I've done throughout high school.

List your top volunteer work/community project/job: Last summer, I was blessed to go on Gospel Roads, a nine-day Salesian retreat dedicated to helping the poor and homeless. We interacted with abandoned children and helped migrant workers and their families.

Sara Sardano, 18

Clearwater Central Catholic

Name one person who has been a role model or hero your life: My mom. Her unyielding dedication to family and their happiness, her words of encouragement and belief in times of stress and hardship, her extraordinary compassion for others and unconditional love are just four characteristics of my mom. Nothing I could commit to writing could ever hope to convey why this woman is a hero.

What would you like to accomplish before you turn 30? To have my own dentist office and have traveled to developing countries to assist in dental health; to be involved in the performing arts; to be surrounded by great friends.

List your top volunteer work/community projects/job: National, Spanish and Math honor societies, UNC Performing Arts Program, exchange student, tennis team, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, beach cleanup.

Pinellas County private school valedictorians and salutatorians for 2009 06/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 4, 2009 5:26pm]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...