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'Best of the best' receive honors

Students from 14 Dade City area schools are honored for commitment and persistence.

By CHASE SQUIRES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 9, 2002

DADE CITY -- Students from throughout the Dade City area celebrated their own night of stars Tuesday as civic and school leaders recognized the Student of the Month winners from 14 area schools.

"To the best of the best, tonight I honor -- I pay homage -- to the honorees," guest speaker Cassie Coleman told the crowd of students and parents. "You are to be commended for a job well done."

The annual banquet, in its second year, is a joint project of the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs of Dade City, Pasco High School Interact and Key clubs and the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce's education committee.

Dade City Commissioner and retired teacher Eunice Penix said the goal is to formally recognize the work students at all area schools did to earn Student of the Month honors and to give the parents a chance to join in.

"Welcome is such a small word, but it carries a lot of heartfelt meaning," Penix told the group. "Welcome, boys and girls, you have earned this. You are welcome, welcome, welcome."

Coleman, a lifelong teacher and pastor of the Mount Olive AME church in Trilby, said she wanted to impress the importance of setting goals to students.

"I want them to recognize that because they have been chosen Student of the Month or Year, they have already started setting their goals with hard work and persistence," she said. "They already are role models."

A graduate of Pasco High and Florida A&M University, Coleman taught at Raymond B. Stewart Middle School and James Irvin Education Center before moving to Sunshine Youth Services, Gulf Academy three years ago.

For one night, at least, she told the group of award winning students, she was standing in front of every teacher's dream class.

"I stand before the best," she said. "I have the honor tonight to stand and speak to a classroom of students who have gone beyond the call of duty."

The following students were honored Tuesday:

Centennial Elementary: Jade Dawson; Kayla Wagner; Bradley Butler; Jessica Boyd; Raul Quiles; Victoria Newborn.

Rodney B. Cox Elementary: Luis Gaxiola; Santana Charles; Sayda Vargas; Willie Sims; Blanca Herrera; Michael Clark.

Lacoochee Elementary: Sylvia Ferdin; Heather Garrison; Ramon Farias; Shermar Branch; Zachary Sifer; Amanda Smith.

Pasco Elementary: Travis Matson; Breanna Scantling; Catie Kertell; Mason Cruz; Montay Perkins; Melina Equia.

San Antonio Elementary: Bradley Herring; Mitchell Markle; Adrian Rayborn; Jacob Smith; Ashlee Shireman; Ryan Henry.

Centennial Middle School: Jacob Dunn; Jowin Ortiz; Maricela Godinez; Latoya Bird; Mark Fredrickson; Anna Hackey.

Pasco Middle School: Symira Wilson; Joleen Fugate; Constance Lindsay; Cody Dwyer; Adam Stowers; Kelley O'Brien.

Weightman Middle School: Emily Plate; Jennifer Deichmann; Patricia Trevino; Christopher Revelia; Jonathan Wu; Crystal Umholtz.

Moore Mickens Education Center: Heather Bryant; Marisol Medrano; Quinton Pate; Madalena Garcia; Joe Goodwin; Jenny Contreras.

Saint Anthony Interparochial Catholic School: Gregory Perrin; Elizabeth Tillman; Matthew Touchton; Ashley Scharber; Kathleen White; Lorna McCallister.

Wesley Chapel High School: Rhiannon Loomis; Bill Zeranski; Quinton Pate; Kevin Costello; Kerri Stoner; John Jacobs.

James Irvin Education Center: Brandon Wilkinson; John Janney; Kevin Floyd; Ronnie Curry; Jessica Denton.

San Antonio Boys Village: Melvin Neal; Barnard Stokes; Michael Gonzales; Robert Ratford; Larry Cole.

Pasco High School: Tara Walters; Lauren Dillard; Joel Mullins; Audra Selig; Benedict Aguillera; Laina Floyd.

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