Aidan Bush, Staff Writer – Every month, Lecanto High School [LHS] selects two seniors to be recognized for their personal achievements through the “Student of the Month” award. This month, Brian-Joseph Torcuator and Emily Vega were nominated due to their academic success, as well as their continued involvement within the community and their participation in a variety of extracurricular activities.
The process for selecting “Student of the Month” candidates is a rigorous one, as the heads of each department collaborate in the process. Together they nominate students, and place them on a list. Afterwards each student listed gets their own personal background.
Brian Sullivan, world languages department head and Spanish teacher, cited the main metrics on which students were chosen was their, “GPA, volunteer hours, and extracurriculars,” as well as “individual teacher recommendations.”
This means that students receiving the award have to be active not only academically, but also in their community as well, promoting values that create positive future citizens.
LHS department heads have to dedicate a lot of time to select only a handful of students due to the surplus of academic-achieving students LHS has.
“As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to narrow down the list of nominations since we have so many outstanding students here at LHS.” said Ruth Wyka, mathematics department head.
The male recipient of the award for October, Torcuator, has a weighted GPA of 4.33, has been an Advanced Placement [AP] Scholar, has received the Principal’s Award in a multitude of his classes, participates in National Honor Society [NHS], Key Club, and also serves as the Director of Media for the Panther Prowl Newspaper. He has also been involved in community efforts such as the Culture or Clean campaign and has volunteered at the YMCA.
Torcuator was ecstatic upon finding out he had received the award, feeling that getting such recognition was rewarding after years of diligence.
“I was really surprised and excited when I found out, and my family was proud about it as well. It’s a pretty big achievement because it reflects the work I put in the last four school years.” said Torcuator
The female recipient of the award, Vega, has a weighted GPA of 3.636, has been in the Advancement Via Individual Determination [AVID] program for six years, has volunteered at Calvary Church, the Family Resource Center, and at Link Crew. She is also the Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association [SGA]. She has been involved in a variety of athletics, participating in cross country, weightlifting, and flag football.
Vega was incredibly grateful for receiving the award, and felt it was a positive reflection of her character both inside and outside of school,
“I felt beyond blessed when I received this award because I realized how many people see my hard work and dedication to the community and school.” Vega said.
Staff and students view the “Student of the Month” award as a wonderful opportunity to recognize student success and empower seniors each year.
“It encourages people to do better to do their best, not only in school but in the community as well.” said Louisa Wieczorek, guidance member.