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Futures beckon top scholars

By PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 30, 2000


LECANTO -- Lecanto High School's Class of 2000 has two valedictorians and two salutatorians. Graduating at the top are Claire Wilker and Pamela-Jean Michelle Humphries. The salutatorians are Swati Patel and Gary Becker.

Wilker, 18, has made plans to go to Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., to study political science. Someday she would like to be a member of Congress or a political adviser/manager. She will attend college on the Spring Hill Presidential Scholarship for $42,400.

Wilker has had a lot of experience with leadership during her years in high school. She was the captain of the junior varsity and varsity academic teams. She was in the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, her church youth group, Girl Scouts and was involved with her school's TV show Panthervision.

She was a National Merit Scholarship finalist, Elk's Student of the Month and was on the Principal's Honor Roll.

Wilker would like to live in Washington, D.C., or on the east coast of Florida. She has a grade point average of 4.48 and is the daughter of Donna Wilker of Citrus Springs.

Humphries, 17, plans to attend Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She is undecided about a major or career.

She had plenty of interests while in high school. She was in the band, on the track and swimming teams and took ballet. She was in the Key Club, the National Honor Society, the Science Club, the French Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Students Working Against Tobacco, and Students Against Destructive Decisions.

Humphries was on the Academic Team, participated in the Citrus County Science and Engineering Fair and worked on Teens's Night Out, a student-produced talk show.

She would like to live in Santa Barbara, Calif. She has a grade point average of 4.52 and is the daughter of Jean and David Humphries of Citrus Springs.

Patel, 17, is planning to attend the University of Florida and major in medicine. She would like to be a physician.

During her time at Lecanto, Patel participated in the Citrus County Science and Engineering Fair, volunteered at Citrus Memorial Hospital and was in the band. She was a member of Key Club, Science Club, and Interact. She also participated in Girls State.

Patel says someday she would like to live in California. She has a 4.51 grade point average and is the daughter of Hasmukh and Indira Patel.

Becker, 17, plans to go to the University of South Florida and lists his majors as engineering and law. He'll be going on a USF Honors College Scholarship and also has earned a Florida Bright Futures scholarship.

While in high school, Becker lettered as a varsity swimmer, won an all-conference swimming award, and participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. He was in National Honor Society, Key Club, Student Government and Students Working Against Tobacco. He earned the Principal's Award and had a perfect score for Florida Writes.

Becker has a grade point average of 4.51 and is the son of Gary and Margaret Becker.

If you go

Lecanto High School will hold its graduation at 7 tonight in the stadium. The school is at 3810 W. Educational Path, Lecanto.

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