This fall, 10 Lecanto High School seniors were chosen to receive the Elks Student of the Month awards based on their achievements in and out of school. For each of the first five months of the school year, a female and male student were chosen. The students were chosen by multiple teachers or staff and will be recognized at the end of the year for their accomplishments with a dinner. Also at that time, one student will be chosen to be the Elks Student of the Year.
The two chosen seniors for the month of August were Rylen Garlitz and Jackie Beery.
Garlitz has been involved with many school events and been awarded numerous academic honors. Somehow, he still finds time to be the manager for several of LHS’s sports teams. Garlitz plans on attending Florida Atlantic University to study forensic linguistics and music composition.
The seniors that received this award were selected because of their great characteristics in the eyes of the teachers.
“I am very honored that I was picked out of hundreds of students to receive the Elks Student of the Month award,” said Garlitz.
Beery has also been involved with multiple clubs and events over the years at LHS, such as band and the Panther Prowl newspaper. Beery is right on track to fulfill her dream of attending Brown University to study biochemistry.
The two chosen members for the month of September were Colton Gonsisko and Daniella Welton.
Gonsisko has been involved in a plethora of activities inside and outside school, such as the academic team and cross country. He has been presented with many different academic distinctions including several Advanced Placement awards. He wants to attend Stanford University to major in aeronautics and astronautics.
There are many different aspects that must be considered when students are considered for the award.
“I think I was picked because of my academic excellence. The teachers knew I was involved with multiple clubs and activities,” said Gonsisko.
Welton is the color guard captain, has a leadership position in NHS, and is involved in many extracurricular activities. She wants to attend Duke University and major in public health.
Seniors Selah Young and Jake Panepinto were chosen for the month of October.
A member of Link Crew, flag football, basketball, weightlifting and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Young would like to attend the University of Central Florida to major in hospitality management.
This award is a big deal to many of the students.
“I was not expecting this award at all because this is an award for students that are higher up with grades and activities and I did not think I was there,” Young said.
Wanting to attend the University of Central Florida to study computer science, Panepinto has taken part in many school clubs (robotics, Key Club, Interact, chess, academic team and NHS, to name a few). He has also received multiple awards and participated in various community events such as the food bank and Citrus County Blessings.
Ashley Schuler and Bailey O’Callaghan were nominated for the month of November.
Schuler, a member of many clubs and activities such as Key Club, National Honor Society, flag football, cross country and much more, was nominated to be one of the students. She has also received many different school-related awards, such as the Principals’ Award. She plans on attending the University of Florida to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration and continue into veterinary medicine.
Like many of the other recipients, Schuler was caught off-guard by this award.
“I was quite surprised to have been picked out of all of my classmates for this award, but I felt very honored,” said Schuler.
O’Callaghan has been involved in school sports such as football and has received awards such as Upward Bound. He plans on attending University of South Florida to receive his bachelor’s degree in economics.
For the month December, Angel Mitchell and Michael Adams were nominated.
Mitchell has been a part of a wide range of activities such as flag football, Link Crew, Dual Enrollment and more. She hope to attend the College of Central Florida to major in criminal justice.
Adams has also been a part of many programs and activities inside and outside of school including NHS and Dual Enrollment. He wants to go to Johnson and Wales University to major in culinary arts.
Students greatly appreciated receiving the awards.
“This award is validation of all the hard work I have done. I feel very special,” Schuler said.