1. Archive

2 chosen as PACE Students of the Year

Julie Nichols and Chris Mesagno are winners of the Dunedin Police Department's PACE Student of the Year awards.

Ms. Nichols and Mesagno were selected for the honor from among the 1992-93 recipients of PACE Student of the Month awards.

PACE is an acronym for Pride, Achievement of potential, Character and Effort. The award program was established for the 1992-93 school year by the Dunedin Police Department with help from School Resource Officer Ken Stevens.

As a PACE Student of the Year, Ms. Nichols was honored for her dedication to "serving her school, her church, her community and even the world outside."

She was a member of Dunedin High School's choir, dance troupe, drama club and, for four years, a baseball team manager.

She was chairwoman of the committee that organized "our most successful graduation party that we've ever had," Stevens said. "About 80 percent of Dunedin's graduates attended this year's party, largely due to the efforts of the graduation committee."

Ms. Nichols also is the recipient of the Sons of the American Revolution Citizenship Award and the Hal Shuart Memorial Scholarship for service to an athletic team.

She plans to attend St. Petersburg Junior College in the fall and is interested in a career in computer science.

Mesagno was honored for implementing an after-school program for algebra I and geometry, and for serving as its coordinator in a cooperative program with faculty coordinator Cindy Gamblin. He also was a member of the graduation party planning committee, treasurer of Students Against Driving Drunk and a member for four years of the men's ensemble and chorus.

Mesagno competed in bowling tournaments across Florida.

He also plans to attend St. Petersburg Junior College in the fall.

PACE Student of the Month winners not previously announced are Shakira Bhula and Stephen Olman for April and Marilyn Capestany and Joseph Barretta for May.

Ms. Bhula, a student from India, was recognized for the way she has adapted to American society. She was a member of the Multicultural Committee, the Students Rights and Responsibilities Committee and Students Against Driving Drunk.

Olman, a freshman, was honored for his involvement in classroom activities and his positive influence in the classroom.

His involvement is noteworthy, teachers say, because he is a complete "turnaround student."

A year ago Olman had 100 absences from school and was an unsuccessful student who put no effort toward school. This year, he was at the opposite end of the spectrum, Stevens said.

Ms. Capestany, an incoming junior, was described by teachers as "an absolute joy to have in class . . . helpful and sensitive to the needs of others." She has been elected to serve as junior class president.

Barretta is an upcoming sophomore with a 4.0 grade point average. He is described as "very dedicated and hard working, dependable and always on task."

Each PACE award recipient received a certificate of recognition, a gift certificate from a local business and breakfast with the principal, the school resource officer and a faculty member.

Each Student of the Year received a $100 scholarship award.

Information for the Young Newsmakers column may be sent to Pat Scarberry, 710 Court St., Clearwater FL 34616. Please include a contact name and phone number.