Kevin Ceballos, Editor – Each month at Lecanto High School [LHS] both a male and a female are chosen to become the students of the month. For the month of August, the two students were Riona Westphal and Ethan Antonio. These two individuals proved to be remarkable students with everything they’ve accomplished through their high school career.
Ethan Antonio, the male student who was chosen, is an accomplished individual. With a 4.902 GPA, Ethan is an excellent role model. He is a member of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme [IB], a rigorous program which emphasizes creativity and critical thinking. As a well rounded student, he is a part of honor roll, many clubs, participates in sports and even volunteers. He received the Principal’s Honor Roll for all three grades of high school. In Junior year he became an IB Vice President-Elect, and in his senior year he became the Vice President of the IB Advisory Council and served as the Vice President of Interact Club. Through his junior and senior year, he has been a member of the National Honor Society and participates as a member of Spanish club. He has been in swimming for all four years, and became the Varsity Swim Captain in his senior year. He received many awards along with the swim team during his years including Rookie of the Year, Individual District Champion, District Team Title, All County Swim Team, Regional Qualifier and is a school record holder. He has also placed in the top three, for three years running in Math Field Day. During the Summer and after school he took place in Boy’s State Delegate, a mock government program where he served as a senator in conferences. During conferences they collaborated to find STEM solutions to problems plaguing Florida. In addition, he has volunteered his time through Ugandan Pearls, volunteering at festivals to help sell wares made in Uganda to profit woman and children in Uganda, Our Lady of Grace Church where he volunteered as a camp counselor and led the youth group, as well as at Citrus Memorial Hospital as an emergency room volunteer. His next goal is to be able to go to Georgia Tech and study Mechanical Engineering.
The female student who was chosen, Riona Westphal, is also an excellent role model for her peers. Riona is a member of the IB prgram with a 4.842 GPA. She has received recognition for her perfect attendance through all three years of high school thus far, the principal’s honor roll all three years, the AP Scholar of Distinction in 2018 and 2019, which requires a minimum average of 3.5 on all AP exams taken that year, the National AP Scholar in 2019, which requires a minimum average of 4 on all AP exams taken that year, and the Principal’s Award in 2018 for AP English Language and Composition. Riona is the president of the newly revitalized Culture Club and the secretary of Anime Club at school and participates in MedShare, a non-profit which organizes medical supplies for developing countries. She is also a member of the National Honors Society and the Science Team. In previous years Riona was an editor of the School Newspaper, The Panther Prowl, helped with recycling in Key Club and participated in the Robotics Club. She has participated and placed in the top three all three years in Math Field Day and placed in the 2019 Environthon. As a member of the LHS Varsity golf team since 2016, Riona has won districts, regional and states competitions. During the summers, Riona participated in the Young Scholars Program at Florida State University where she did research with a professor and attended college level courses and The Biomedical Research Academy at the University of Pennsylvania where she learned about biomedical research through lectures with professors and labs. Additionally, Riona has spent time volunteering at Lakes Region Library and with the Courtyard Cleanup at LHS. Riona’s future plans include studying Chemistry and setting herself on the pre-med track.