Lecanto High School (LHS) seniors are nominated for student of the month by their teachers. One boy and one girl are selected to receive the award each month. For the month of September 2019, Kessid Vonderhaar and Jon Dela Cruz both received that honor.
Vonderhaar is president of National Art Honor Society, secretary of National Honor Society (NHS) and vice-president of the International Baccalaureate (ID) Advisory Team.
She participates in Spanish Club, Colors for CASA and was a cross country member in ninth grade. Vonderhaar has maintained “A” honor roll and has an outstanding weighted grade point average (GPA) of 4.6.
Vonderhaar hopes to pursue and further her education after she graduates from high school.
“I hope to double major in Spanish and political science at the University of South Florida,” said Vonderhaar.
Vonderhaar led Citrus Springs Elementary (CSE) in an after-school tutoring program and volunteers her time weekly to help struggling students. She also has volunteered her time and hard work for many other programs.
“To help struggling students before the Florida Standards Assessments, I led a free, after-school tutoring program for math and reading. I set up a group of high school students, along with myself, who committed weekly to lead reading groups, discuss reading strategies and teach testing tips,” said Vonderhaar.
Additionally, Vonderhaar has been recognized with an Academic Letter in 10th grade, the Principal’s Award in 10th and 11th grades, the IB pin and is an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Distinction.
Jon Dela Cruz is another student who received student of the month for September. Cruz has been apart of NHS since 2018 and he is also the treasurer for the Beautification Club. He is a member of the IB program as well. Cruz has an unweighted GPA of 4.0 and scored a 1,440 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
Cruz wishes to further his education outside of Citrus County after high school.
“I would love to travel to Atlanta to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology or to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida. I would major in computer engineering,” said Cruz.
Cruz said he feels surprised he has won student of the month, but is also very excited at the same time.
“Well, while I do definitely feel excited about receiving the award, I’m honestly quite surprised that I was chosen to receive it in the first place. I don’t feel like I’ve done too much in my high school career, so it’s a little surprising I got chosen for student of the month,” said Cruz.
Cruz has also been recognized for his academic achievements as he has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll for all three years of high school thus far, he placed in Math Field Day in 10th and 11th grades, is a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, participated in Chemathon and attended the Harvard Summer Program.
Tori Cheney is editor of the Lecanto High School Panther Prowl newspaper.