PLANT CITY - Eight Plant City High seniors were honored by a local club recently for distinguishing themselves both in and out of the classroom.
The students were recognized at the Plant City Optimist Club’s annual youth appreciation ceremony at the city Recreation and Parks Department administrative office conference room.
The seniors were selected by the club because of their efforts in athletics, academics and community service.
Principal Colleen Richardson and College and Career Counselor Sherrie Mueller introduced the students and club President Michael Williamson presented each student with their award.
All the recipients are National Honor Society members and all rank high in their upcoming graduating class.
The students and a select few of their accomplishments include:
• Austin Bruner, who has a 5.64 weighted grade point average, is in the top 5 percent in his class. He participates in numerous clubs, is a pole vault specialist and captain for the track team and is on the swim team. He serves as president of both the Senior Class and the Junior Civitan Club. He attended the 2013 Lott Leadership Institute at the University of Mississippi.
• Jacob Dube, who has a 5.2 weighted GPA, is ranked 44th is his class. He is involved with Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Youth Alive and Junior Civitan as well as the varsity basketball team and swim team. He volunteers with Relay for Life, Special Olympics and school summer basketball camps and feeds the homeless and participates in mission trips.
• Jordan Genevie, who has a 5.58 weighted GPA, is ranked 22nd in his class. He is varsity golf team co-captain and a member of Junior Civitan, Youth Alive, Best Buddies Interest Club and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
He is in the 1290 Club scoring the seventh highest SAT score at Plant City High.
• Kellyanne Hurst has earned a 6.32 weighted GPA and is ranked fifth in her class. She is the Plant City High 2014 Calendar Cover Girl, girls golf team captain, Junior Civinettes vice president and serves on the school’s Advisory Council. She received both the West Point Society General Norman Schwarzkoph Leadership Award and the Athena Society Young Women of Promise Award in 2013.
• Madison Keene, who has a 5.81 weighted GPA, is president of the American Sign Language Honor Society and historian of the Science Club She has served two year terms as both the Plant City High representative on the Citizen’s Advisory Board for the Hillsborough County School Board and as president of the Civinette Club. She was member of the 2013 Florida Strawberry Festival queen’s court.
• Ericka Lott, who has a 5.41 weighted GPA, stays busy with her volunteer involvement with First Baptist Church’s youth group, Plant City Cares and Team Santa. She excels as a varsity soccer player including 2013 Offensive Most Valuable Player and serves with Civinettes, SADD and the Student Council Executive Council. She was first maid on the 2013 Florida Strawberry Festival queen’s court.
• James Orso holds a 5.95 weighted GPA (seventh in his class) and volunteers for Junior Civitan, Relay for Life, My Brother’s Keeper Food Pantry, vacation Bible school and with the city Recreation and Parks Department’s summer program and Easter Egg Hunt. He runs cross country and track as well as leading the Junior Civitan Club as vice president and by serving on the School Advisory Council and Senior Executive Council.
• Dhara Patel is on track to be the senior class valedictorian, currently ranked No. 1 of the 408-member class. She holds leadership positions on the Student Council Executive Board, FBLA president, Science Club president, Civinettes vice president, Raider Best Buddies treasurer and captain of the school Mu Alpha Theta Algebra/Pre-Calculus/Calculus Team. Preparing for a future in medicine, she has shadowed two local dentists to learn procedures and identify dental problems as well as volunteering at South Florida Baptist Hospital’s surgery center.
The local Optimist Club has been honoring local youth through the Youth Appreciation program for nearly 50 years.