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STUDENT EARNS FELLOWSHIP: Citrus County resident Heather Foster, a ninth-grader at Vanguard High School's Pre-International Baccalaureate Program in Ocala, has been selected for a summer science and technology fellowship with Earthwatch Institute. Heather will spend two to three intensive weeks at a scientific research station. The Student Challenge Awards Program is a competitive fellowship program that rewards creative thinkers and risk takers. Heather was one of 80 award recipients selected from hundreds of talented students nationwide.

DEBATE TEAM EARNS FIRST PLACE: The Central Florida Community College debate team placed first in the debate category and fourth overall at the Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Championship Feb. 12 at the University of Florida. Florida universities, colleges and community colleges participated in the tournament. CFCC team members placed in the following categories:

Debate: Alison Camp and Kellyn Brunson, first place; Ashley Iketani and Danielle LaSelva, sixth place.

Dramatic interpretation: Rebecca Benson, sixth place.

Duo interpretation: Lindsay Scott and Allison Camp, third place.

Programmed oral interpretation: Lakesha Murphy, first place.

Persuasion: Danielle LaSelva, fourth place.

Prose: Rebecca Benson, fifth place.

Extemporaneous: Daniella LaSelva, first place; Kellyn Brunson, sixth place.

Poetry: Linda Scott, third place.

Communication analysis: Ashley Iketani, sixth place.

STUDENTS OF THE MONTH: Lecanto High School and West Citrus Elks Lodge No. 2693 announce the student of the month for January: Raxa Patel and Edward Buckley.

Raxa, 18, is a four-year participant for the LHS Concert Band and Academic Team. She is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as its Social Inclusion Program coordinator. She is a member of the Spanish Club, LINK Crew and American Teen Cancer Society. Last year, she placed first in botany at the Regional Science Fair and was recognized by the U.S. Army for "Outstanding Project" in 2005.

Raxa has volunteered in the emergency room at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center. During summers, she has observed neurosurgeons at Tampa General; participated in the University of Florida Summer Science Training Program; and interned at a radiology office.

Raxa maintains a 4.46 weighted grade point average and is interested in a career in medicine. She is the granddaughter of Shanta Patel of Hernando.

Eddie, 17, is the historian in Future Business Leaders of America. In the 10th grade, he was a member of Student Government Association and served as sophomore class treasurer. He received the President's Award for academic achievement and academic excellence and has had perfect attendance for the 10th and 11th grades. He is also in Who's Who Among American High School Students.

Eddie is a four-year basketball player and varsity captain. He was named 2005 Citrus/Hernando honorable mention and was a CCAA coaches' all-county selection.

He volunteers with the Panther Youth Basketball League, the Citrus Youth Basketball League, and the Citrus Hurricane Youth Basketball League and helped with the Mike Hampton Foundation in preparation for its fundraising concert.

Eddie maintains a 3.57 weighted grade point average and has been on the honor roll throughout high school. He plans to play college basketball, major in business and pursue a career in sports management. Eddie is the son of Ed and Jane Buckley of Hernando.

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEERS: The Citrus County school district announces the winners of the 2005 Outstanding School Volunteers awards. Schools were invited to select volunteers in three categories as designated by the Florida Department of Education. These were selected at the district level:

Adult category: Mary Rose Trice, Lecanto Primary School; senior category: Ann Perko, Homosassa Elementary School; and youth category: James Behuniak Jr., Crystal River Primary School. School- and district-level volunteers were recognized at the Feb. 14 School Board meeting.

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