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Seniors set for another first

By PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 26, 2000


LECANTO -- Seven Rivers Christian School graduates its first senior class tonight. The graduates were the school's first freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, said principal Scott Jackson.

"God's grace has been evident," he said, "as they have grown and matured without the benefit of pre-existing student role models."

Scott said these students have been involved in many firsts: first athletic district championship, first European class trip, first prom. "Our graduating seniors now have the opportunity to enjoy another first, to transform the culture outside the confines of Seven Rivers Christian School."

The class of 2000 has seven graduates. The valedictorian is Victoria Cardinali, and the salutatorians are Tony Cortese and Crystal Geoghegan.

Cardinali, 18, plans to attend Florida State University and major in history or sports medicine. She hasn't decided but thinks she would like either to be a high school history teacher or work in sports medicine. She has earned a Florida Bright Futures scholarship.

Cardinali was a member of student government, as secretary and representative, and was varsity basketball and varsity softball manager and scorekeeper. She was a varsity cheerleading co-captain. She made a mission trip to a Jamaican deaf children's camp during two summers.

She has a 3.75 grade point average and is the daughter of Ray and Peggy Cardinali of Lecanto.

Cortese, 17, plans to attend Florida State University to major in prelaw. He would like a career as a politician or business lawyer.

In high school he played golf, soccer and basketball. He won the Warrior Award for outstanding student in 1998 and 1999. He won the Swordsman Award in 1999 for academic achievement and Christian character. He was a messenger at the Florida House of Representatives in 1998 and 1999.

Cortese has traveled quite a bit. He also took a mission trip to a Jamaican deaf school. He traveled to rural east Kentucky to help rebuild houses, and he was a counselor at a camp for retarded adults in Purdy, Mo. He also went on a mission tour with his father to Japan and the Philippines.

Someday Cortese would like to live in Chicago. He has a grade point average of 3.3 and is the son of Ray and Diane Cortese of Crystal River.

Geoghegan, 18, plans to attend Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., on a $17,000 scholarship and major in psychology. She wants to continue her education until she has earned a doctorate. She would like a career as a criminal psychologist working for an organization such as the FBI or the CIA.

While in high school, she participated in junior varsity tennis and cheerleading. She was a teacher's aide and helped with the prom. She also helped with vacation Bible school for three years.

Geoghegan said she would like to live in a big city, like New York, Los Angeles or London. She has a grade point average of 3.38 and is the daughter of Joanne and Raymond Geoghegan of Homosassa.

If you go

Seven Rivers Christian School will have its graduation at 6 tonight in the gymnasium. The school is at 4221 W State Road 44, Lecanto.

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