Fall Elks Student of the Month recipients announced for 2018

Reagan Brady, Staff Writer – Ten Lecanto High School [LHS] students were nominated to be the Elk’s student of the month for the first semester of the school year. Two students were nominated for each month for going above and beyond in their academic and athletic accomplishments, and have positively impacted Lecanto’s clubs and community.

The “Student of the Month” recipients pose against a wall at LHS

The “Student of the Month” recipients smile for their group picture (Photo: Lecanto Legacy)

Savannah Bass and Henry Licklider were chosen to be the August students of the month.

Bass is very excited to be involved in this great opportunity with her family and friends by her side.

“I was super happy to be chosen and some of my closest friends and my family [were] very proud of me as well,” Bass said.

Bass is in the International Baccalaureate [IB] program and has received numerous awards for her academic achievements, was inducted to the National Honor Society program, and leads multiple different clubs. She is also the primary captain of the cross country team and plans to major in political science at Florida State, Flagler, or Stetson University.

Licklider is in the Advancement Via Individual Determination [AVID] program, has received straight A’s throughout all of high school, is the president of the Tri-M club, and has received both the Principal’s award and the Mr. AVID award. Licklider participates in multiple ministry outreach programs outside of school, and hopes to have a future career in ministry or education.

For the month of September, Anna Buettner and Shuloh Patel were nominated.

Buettner is also in the IB program, is on honor roll, is the president of NHS, Colors for CASA, and the Superintendents’ Council. She has also participated in both cross country and track teams, gaining over five hundred volunteer hours. Though Buettner is undecided about what college to attend, she knows that she wants to major in mathematics.

Patel was humbled and surprised to receive the award; he believed that many others were eligible for it.

“I feel like there’s a lot of competition. There are a lot of other people that could have gotten it too, so I was surprised,” Patel said.

Patel is in NHS and Robotics on top of his IB classes. He and his friend co-founded the Food for Thought Club, he has been on honor roll since he was a freshman, he obtained the AP Scholar Award, and he participated in the UF Chemathon event. Over the summer, he volunteered at Lakes Region Library and volunteered at the Swialhi Sai Center. For college, he hopes to go to the University of Florida to major in biotechnology or molecular biology.

Madison Verdone and Jason Sevilla were presented with the October Student of the Month awards.

Verdone was surprised and very delighted to find that she was chosen.

“I was super surprised to be chosen because I know that it’s teacher-based and I have a lot of amazing peers in my class that could’ve gotten it,” Verdone said

Verdone was a varsity softball player in 9th and 10th grade and she is in Link Crew, Key Club, Interact, Youth in Government, Colors for Casa, the Lecanto School of Art, IB, Advisory Council, Ugandan Pearls, and Medshare. She is also the president of Pages of Hope, the Vice President of Girl Up, and the secretary of NHS. She has totaled more than 300 hours of community service over her high school career. Verdone’s goal is to pursue a degree in psychology at the University of Florida to become a forensic psychologist.

Sevilla, also a member of the IB  program, is the co-founder and president of the LHS Math Club, captain of the LHS varsity Academic Team, and has participated in a multitude of clubs. He is involved in NHS and CASA, and has received the Principal’s Award in three different advanced classes. He hopes to become an Aerospace Engineer and wants to work for NASA.

Alexis Stires and Stephen Lane were chosen to be November’s students of the month.

Stires’ family was ecstatic when she heard that Stires had been selected for the award.

“My nana was very happy for me. She knows that awards aren’t given out that often in high school, so she was proud to know that I got one,” Stires said

Stires is the co-founder and activities director of Girl-Up, is an honor roll student, is involved in NHS, Ugandan Pearls, Medshare, and Pages of Hope. She gained 49 volunteer hours by participating in fundraisers for special causes that were hosted by these clubs. Stires plans on attending the University of Florida to pursue a career in Interior Design.

Lane, who is an Eagle Scout, is the varsity captain of both the swim and tennis teams and he played JV soccer during his freshman year. He is in All State Concert Choir, Youth in Government, Spanish Club, Tri-Music Honor Society, NHS, and LHS chorus. He has also received honor roll all through high school and is an AP Scholar. Lane strives to attend the University of Florida to major in mechanical engineering and piano performance.

Peyton Burdette and Joshua Widener were selected for the month of December as the final recipients for 2018.

Burdette has many leadership positions within Lecanto; she is the student body president for Student Government, the Superintendent’s Council vice president, an ambassador to the Citrus County Teen Hall, and a Link Crew ambassador. She is also captain on both the girls’ varsity soccer team and the cross country team. She has gained a total of 1009 volunteer hours and has received the Shawn Harrison Outstanding Youth services award, the FHSAA All-Academic Athlete recognition, and the Superintendent’s making a difference award. During the summer of her junior year, she represented LHS at Girls’ State. Burdette wants to double major in Political Science and Human Resources at Florida State University.

Widener was very proud to receive his first major academic award.

“I was very honored when I found out because I haven’t received any major awards like this [before],” Widener said.

Widener is an IB and honor roll student who has received the PSAT National Merit award, as well as 425 community service hours earned through helping with Vacation Bible School, working at Camp Innovation, and volunteering alongside school-related clubs. He is involved in NHS, Colors for CASA, Link Crew, Math Field Day, and Spanish Club. He also competes for the Cross Country and Track & Field teams, where he has lettered in both. Widener is striving to attend USF to study Business Marketing.

Good luck to all of these successful seniors as they attend the banquet at the end of the school year to see who wins the Student of the Year Award.