Keys Stars Shine in Class of 2011

Keys Stars Shine in Class of 2011

 

The final days of high school for the Class of 2011 are quickly coming to a close this week as seniors across the county finish exams and prepare for their graduation ceremonies. Each year, The Weekly Newspapers ask career counselors at each of the county’s three high schools to nominate the top 10 graduates – determined not only by GPA but athletic standouts and well-rounded and actively involved individuals. Each year, we are in awe and filled with pride at the caliber of individuals who were lucky enough to spend some if not all of their childhood years in the Keys before heading out to make a name for themselves around the country.

From future doctors and researchers to military officers and acclaimed athletes, here is a sampling of 2011’s outstanding Monroe County graduates.

Daniella Score

GPA: 4.6

Post graduation plans: University of Florida summer semester

Major: Food Science & Human Nutrition as well as Food & Economic Resources (double major)

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Canette Dance Team all four years (captain for two); National Honor Society; Science National Honor Society; Key Club; History Honor Society; Environmental Club; Environmental Academy

Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite subject: Science – Biology

What will you miss most about CSHS? I’ll miss my friends and the learning environment.

Most memorable moment? I will never forget dancing at homecoming football games.

Most anticipating about life post graduation? I’m excited to be on my own and for all the new experiences in college!

Advice for freshmen? Stay focused and study hard, even when you’re the only one. It’s worth it!

 


 

Matthew Herum

GPA: 4.25

Post graduation plans: Attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and following graduation from the academy, I am planning to seek an officer commission in the USCG to command my own CG cutter some time in the future.

Major: Logistics and Intermodal Transportation – Deck Officer Program

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Swimming and Lacrosse; team captain and MVP on swimming last year and made it state championship in both an individual and two relays; finished 9th in the state in the 100 breaststroke.

Favorite book: A Land Remembered, by Patrick D. Smith

Favorite song: Dirty Talk, by Laidback Luke remix

Favorite subject: Speech/Debate with Mr. C. Ellsworth and AP World History with Mrs. Welch

Summer plans: Things start early at federal service academies so my summer won’t be too long. I have to report on July 7. I’ll try to squeeze in some spearfishing in the Bahamas before my report date.

Particular reflections? High school flies by, and when I look back, I wish I had done more.

Most anticipating about life post graduation? Looking forward to a new environment and new challenges.

Advice for freshmen? Don’t lose track of why you are in high school. The first two years, it seems like you’re never going to leave and the last two…like you were never there.

 


 

Wyatt Jenkins

GPA: 4.5

Post graduation plans: Attend University of Miami at the Frost School of Music

Major: Instrumental Performance on Classical Saxophone

Favorite book: The Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

Favorite song: Symphony No. 2: III. Apollo Unleashed. By Frank Tichelli

Favorite subject: Band with Mr. Sax

Summer plans: Get a summer job to save up for college

What will you miss most about CSHS? The people and community. We are so lucky to have a supportive environment in our community.

Particular reflections? This last year was a blur. But, after four years, CSHS has become my home. The PAC is my room; thank you for that, Mr. Scott.

Most anticipating about life post graduation? Becoming drum major at the University of Miami and FREEDOM!

Advice for freshman? College is getting harder to get into. Study hard, but play harder; find a balance in life, fun and work.

 


 

Michael Wear

GPA: 4.6

Post graduation plans: University of Florida

Major: Marketing

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Robert Byrd Scholar selected Best Mock Trial Attorney in State, Mock Trial, Key Club, NHS

Favorite book: The Firm

Favorite song: Endless Love by Diana Ross

Favorite subject/teacher: History/Miss Harris (college counselor)

What will you miss most about CSHS? The water

Most anticipating about life post graduation? Independence

Advice for freshman? Stay true to your morals and values

 


 

Alexa Frink

GPA: 4.7

Post graduation plans: Attending Duke University

Major: Biology leading to pre-med or research. I’m also interested in a marine biology track.

Clubs/extracurricular activities: National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, National History Scholar Society, Key Club, Interact Club, cross country and track teams; also ride horses competitively

Favorite book: Flush by Carl Hiaasen because it dealt with environmental issues that I can relate to from my own neighborhood and made me contemplate what could be done to fix them.

Summer plans: I will be going to the Bahamas as well as a dive trip to Alaska.

What will you miss most about Coral Shores? I will miss the closeness. When you walk through the halls, there is always someone to talk to or smile at because everyone knows everyone. Things will be very different next year but exciting!

Particular reflections? I enjoyed the Marine Studies program. Being able to go off campus and study from a first hand perspective, out on the water, made the topics very interesting to learn. Where else but at Coral Shores could you have this opportunity?

Most anticipating? I am very excited to attend Duke University and experience so many new things. I will be riding on their equestrian team and am excited to move on to this new chapter of my life and meet many new and interesting people.

Advice for freshman? First impressions count. Be kind and respectful to your teachers and classmates. Always try your hardest and strive for success. Never say “I can’t” because you can if you set your mind to it.

Holly Houser

GPA: 4.49

After graduation: I’ll be attending the University of Miami and am part of the cheerleading squad.

Major: Broadcast Journalism

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Varsity cheerleader for four years; secretary of student council for two years; Key Club; National Honor Society; Science National Honor Society; History Club and National History Scholar Society

Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite subject: English/Journalism

Summer plans: working and practicing for the UM cheerleading squad as well as spending time with friends and family.

Miss most? I will miss all of the amazing teachers and staff as well as seeing my friends.

Particular reflections? I’m going to miss being able to go out on the boat with my friends after school and all the times we got together as a group.

Most anticipating? I’m looking forward to a change! I’m excited to cheer for UM and be in a different place while still close.

Advice for freshman? Make your high school career worthwhile. Work on school and keep your grades up, but also have fun with your friends because you don’t want to have any regrets when the time comes to leave.

 


 

Sarah Brown

GPA: 4.7

Post graduation plans? Go on to West Point (U.S. Military Academy)

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Key Club, National History Scholars Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, National Science Honor Society, Academic Challenge, Lacrosse Team, Swim Team, Concert Band, Marching Band

Favorite book: The Odyssey

Favorite subject: History

Summer plans: Cadet Basic Training for West Point

Miss most? Being a Keys rat, strong community support, proximity to the water, numerous opportunities and people I’ve met

Particular reflections? While CSHS may have been small, I felt that was better. The students all knew each other and we all help each other out, almost like extended family. We don’t really realize how lucky we are to live here in the awesome Keys.

Most anticipating? Life post graduation will be bitter sweet; however, it’s time to move on. I am anticipating a new life at West Point that will be full of hardship but will surely mold me into a better person.

Advice for seniors? Take as many hard classes as possible throughout this school, especially before senior year. “Senioritis” is real!

 


 

Matthew Perry

GPA: 3.5

After graduation? I have been recruited by Greensboro College to play football.

Major: Sports management and business

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Varsity football and lacrosse; Football leadership council; National Honor Society; National History Honor Society

Favorite book: Fallen Angels – Walter Dean Myers

Favorite song: Sweet Child of Mine – Guns ‘N Roses

Favorite subject: World History with Coach Paul Grewe

Summer plans: I am going on a senior trip to the Bahamas, and I’ll be working out all summer to get ready for football.

Miss most about CSHS? I am going to miss the laid back, family-like atmosphere.

Particular reflections? I think about walking out under the Friday night lights for the first time as a freshman.

Advice for freshman? Don’t slack off…it will come back to haunt you!

 


 

Cerene Arsenault

GPA: 3.05

Post graduation plans? Going to University of Louisiana at Monroe

Major: Health Sciences

Clubs/extracurricular activities: High school soccer team; Kendall Soccer Coalition Club Soccer Team

Favorite song: Anything by Nicki Minaj

Summer plans: Enjoy last summer before college

Miss most about CSHS? The laid back atmosphere

Most anticipating? New experiences in college and living in a new/different part of the country

Advice to freshman? Keep your grades up!

 


 

Anamaria Penagos

GPA: 4.56

Major: I plan to major in Biology at Johns Hopkins University

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Students Working Against Tobacco; Tobacco Free Florida Keys; Mock Trial, Florida Law Education; National Honor Society; 8TP mentor; Poetry Out Loud; Be the Change; American Red Cross volunteer; founder of Montessori Measles Initiative

Favorite book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Favorite song: Walk Away by Paula DeAnda

Favorite subject: AP Biology

Summer plans: After graduation, I plan to travel to my city of birth, Bogota, Colombia. I plan to visit my family before I begin my college career, and share a wonderful time with the people I love the most.

Miss most about CSHS? Without a doubt, I will most miss the teachers and staff of CSHS. My teachers have taught me that success lies in my hands and can be reached through hard work and dedication. Every one of them has been committed by my intellectual progress, and I have felt I could approach them if I ever needed further help. My Literature teachers have inspired me to challenge myself by beginning to think in English as opposed to Spanish. My Science teachers instilled in me the desire to pursue a career in Genetics and see the beauty behind it.

Particular reflections? I feel very privileged to have come into a community so supportive of student’s welfare. In all my years of high school, I have had the opportunity to accomplish everything I have wanted and more. I have also had the opportunity to travel to France with the Experiment in International Living and immerse myself in a completely new culture.

Most anticipating? I will be among people who have similar ideals as me and beginning my college career, which is the first step to achieve my overall dream of serving humanity by excelling in the scientific community.

Advice for freshmen? Do not hesitate to ask for help. Know that there are always people willing to support you academically and morally. Never be afraid to challenge yourself for most likely you’ll be surprised of the high potential you have. Finally, do your homework.

 


 

Graduating from Champion Preparatory Academy – Statewide class Valedictorian

Leah Christine Sutter

GPA: 4.3

Plans for post graduation: Taking a “gap” year to travel, work, and volunteer in the community.

Major: Either Music Business, Commercial Music with an emphasis in Music Business, or Voice.

Clubs/extracurricular: “Be the Change of the Florida Keys,” PeaceJam Youth Board, Girl Scouts, Kid’s Theater, MYCP SOS Team, Key Players, and Music Teams for Island Community Church and Lifepointe Church.

Favorite book: Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.

Favorite song: “What a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong.

Favorite subject: Music and English.

Summer plans: Take a vacation in North Carolina, a 10-day mission trip to Honduras and start recording my original music and work!

What will you most miss about the Keys? When I do go off to school, I believe I will miss the relaxed environment. I will also miss the water and marine life that the Keys are so famous for. I will also miss my friends that I have grown up with living in the Keys my whole life.

Reflections? I was blessed with many opportunities to grow as a person, student, musician and artist, and friend. My high school experience was most of the time drama free, which I attribute to homeschooling. I have great friends, that I could easily call brothers and sisters that helped me in high school.

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? I’m anticipating this “gap” year ahead of me and what it will look like. I am excited about the places where I could travel and the people I can meet along the way. After that I am excited about school.

Advice for freshmen? Don’t get caught up in the drama of high school. Be REAL, and don’t settle for anything less than being yourself. Remember high school is only 4 years of your life compared to 60 or 70 years ahead of you after you graduate! Be thankful for your education; it’s a gift that many who want it can never have. Always remember to—smile!

 

 


 

 

Island Christian School’s Class of 2011 includes (l-r): Melanie Meroni (graduated Magna cum Laude), Kaelin Mearns, Jon Cruciger and Brittany Messinger (graduated Summa cum laude; back row: Daniel Pratt (graduated Summa cum laude) and Amber Sebastian. Photo by Kate Dupre of Island Photography

Kaelin Mearns, daughter of Randy and Dori Mearns, will attend Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando to major in Pastry and Baking. Kaelin was active with the cheerleading squad, the softball and volleyball teams as well as the student government, Key Club, Art Club and Praise Team. A student at Island Christian for the past 15 years, her future plans includes opening a business with her mother that will offer wedding flowers and cakes.

Melanie Joy Meroni, daughter of George and Martha Meroni, will attend Florida State University to major in Environmental Science and Policy. Meroni has been a class officer and served on the board of Key Club, Art Club, INC Club and Eagle Council. She was also active with Honor Society, cheerleading, softball, volleyball and soccer.

Brittany Marie Messinger, daughter of Doug and Cheryl Messinger, will be heading west to Colorado State University in Fort Collins to major in Wildlife Conservation Biology and Minor in Leadership. Her bright future will be focused on promoting the conservation and preservation of North American wildlife.

Brittany served as Class President 8th through 12th grade, was active in Key and Art Clubs as well as Honor Society and the cheerleading squad.

Daniel Isaiah Pratt, son of Ralph and Clara Pratt, played football, basketball and soccer during his tenure at ICS while simultaneously remaining incredibly active with student government. His post graduation plans include attending Florida International University to major in Philosophy with possible minors in Spanish, Theater or Business. Pratt’s professional plans include a variety of occupations: businessman/entrepreneur; author/essayist; singer/rapper/songwriter and owning his own record label, studio or record company and possibly a politician, pastor or teacher!

Amber Flora Sebastian, daughter of Paul and Renee Sebastian, will attend Appalachian State University in Boone, NC to major in Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders. Active in the Key Club, Art Club, dance team, softball and soccer teams as well as student council, Amber’s aiming for a career in Speech Pathology or as a Special Education Teacher.

“No matter what, I do plan on being involved in young kids’ lives!” she elaborated.

Jonathan David Cruciger, son of David and Cindy Cruciger, was another standout athlete in the ICS Class of 2011. Stints on the football, soccer, basketball and baseball team filled his high school career as well as serving as a class officer. He’ll soon head to Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce to study Marine Biology or “any other science field that’s appealing.” Jon is looking towards a future as a marine biologist in Florida studying coral reef life and the Everglades.

 


 

Michaelle Rose Bellevue

GPA: 3.63

Post graduation plans: I plan to attend Northwood University in West Palm Beach as a student athlete playing tennis.

Major: International Business

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Nike Club treasurer, United Way fundraising, AHEC activities, Quickstart tennis programs

Favorite book: Le diable dans un The a la citronelle, by Gary Victor

Favorite song: Goodbye’s the Saddest Word, by Celine Dion

Favorite subject: Math

Summer plans: Work, learn a fifth language (Portuguese!)

What will you miss most about Marathon? The support I always get from my teachers, tennis coach, college counselor and everyone else who has encouraged me.

Any particular reflections about your time at MHS? Absolutely! When I moved here from Haiti, I remember how hard it was for me to understand my teachers. Other students would help me, and my teachers were outstanding!

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? College will be harder but much more fun than high school.

Advice for freshmen? No matter where you are from, or who you are, this is a country where all doors will open for you. But, only if you work hard for what you want. Don’t ever think you can’t do something because the teachers are here to help you succeed.


Justin Kornetti

GPA: 3.7

Post graduation plans: Attending USF in the summer

Major: Undecided

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Relay for Life, Scuba Club, Fishing Club, Varsity Baseball and Football

Favorite book: Fahrenheit 451

Favorite song: Knee Deep, Zach Brown Band

Favorite subject: Math, Mrs. Doll

Summer plans: Dive and hang out with friends as much as possible before I leave for college

What will you miss most about Marathon? The ocean and my family

Any particular reflections about your time at MHS? It’s been fast, memorable and fun.

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? More freedom, sleeping in and meeting new people.

Advice for freshmen? Take as many core classes as you can early so you can slack and chill your last year.


Michelle Sardina

GPA: 4.52

Post graduation plans: Attend the University of Florida

Major: Telecommunications

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Relay for Life, NIKE, SGA class president, National Honor Society, volleyball and softball

Favorite book: I’m a Harry Potter fan!

Favorite song: It’s always changing…

Favorite subject: English

Summer plans: I’m attending summer term at UF

What will you miss most about Marathon? Well of course I’ll miss my family and my home, but what I’ll miss most about the town is being surrounded by the ocean. I’ll be at the swamp instead.

Any particular reflections about your time at MHS? I have made so many awesome memories especially with Kelsey Wonderlin, Marina Kay Wiatt and Justin Kornetti. I’m glad to be getting out of high school, but I won’t forget the good times.

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? It will definitely be a lot harder, but I will get to meet a lot of new people and have a lot of fun!

Advice for freshmen? Don’t wait until senior year to care. It’s too late by then…


Annabelle Walker

GPA: 4.34

Post graduation plans: I will be attending the University of Florida

Major: Health Science: Pre-Physical Therapy

Clubs/extracurricular activities: SGA, NHS, Z-Club, Fishing Club, Academic Challenge, Relay for Life, Varsity Volleyball

Favorite book: Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss (great message)

Favorite song: Live a Little, Kenny Chesney

Favorite subject: AP Government with Ms. Balazs

Summer plans: Attending Summer B-term at UF

What will you miss most about Marathon? I’ll miss the family feel. I’ve grown so close to so many people over the years. Not seeing them all the time will be a big change.

Any particular reflections about your time at MHS? My time at MHS has been great. I’ll never forget how awesome our class of 2011 was. We came together to achieve things that had never been done before, all with the help of our amazing sponsor, Mrs. Walker, who happens to be a pretty great mom as well.

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? I have to say that I’m stoked for college. I can’t wait to be a Gator!

Advice for freshmen? Don’t wish high school away; it can be some of the best years of your life. But, study hard because college will be right around the corner.


Matt McKeon

GPA: 3.9

Post graduation plans: University of South Florida

Major: Biomedical Sciences/Biotechnology

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Fishing Club, NHS, SGA treasurer, Varsity Football and Baseball

Favorite book: The Rocket That Fell to Earth – Roger Clemens

Favorite song: Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band with Jimmy Buffett

Favorite subject: AP Psychology with Mrs. Walker

Summer plans: Diving, working out and getting a job

What will you miss most about Marathon? The small town community atmosphere and the support from everyone.

Best memory? Beating Westminster in baseball and playing football

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? New people, new experiences and freedom

Advice for freshmen? Try not to procrastinate too much, play sports and don’t waste opportunities.


Andrew Paskiewicz

GPA: 4.2

Post graduation plans: Virginia Tech, NROTC and Corps of Cadets

Major: International Affairs

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Varsity Football, Varsity Tennis, National Honor Society, Nike Club, Dive Club, Culinary Club, Florida American Legion Boys State

Favorite book: Rainbow Six

Favorite song: Enter Sandman – Metallica

Favorite subject: AP Government with Mrs. Balazs

Summer plans: Working or interning and especially getting fit for ROTC

What will you miss most about Marathon? The views and the ocean

Memorable moments? Football. Had some good times and not so good times, but overall had a lot of fun.

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? New life, new everything.

Advice for freshmen? Start now, and don’t be lazy. You’ll regret it more than anything.


Kelsey Wonderlin

GPA: 4.53

Post graduation plans: University of Florida

Major: English

Clubs/extracurricular activities: SGA Vice President and Treasurer, Class Secretary, Relay for Life, NIKE Club President, National Honor Society President, Z-Club, Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Tennis and Cross Country State Finalist for four years

Favorite book: The Notebook

Favorite song: Fearless by Taylor Swift

Favorite subject: English

Summer plans: Summer B Term at UF

What will you miss most about Marathon? The small town feel, the people and the water

Any particular reflections about your time at MHS? I really enjoyed the high level of school spirit and pride instilled in students at MHS.

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? I anticipate that I will enjoy the continuation of acquiring knowledge and challenging myself daily at the University of Florida.

Advice for freshmen? Don’t slack off. Your grades as a freshman count towards your GPA just as much as your grades as a senior.


Kelly Struyf

GPA: 3.26

Plans for post graduation: Attending college at FIU

Major: Teaching or Physical Therapy

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Club Soccer, Z-Club President, Leadership, Relay for Life, Nate Grill Tournament, 7-Mile Bridge Run, Volleyball and Softball

Favorite book: House of Night series

Favorite song: Good Morning

Favorite teacher: Michelle Costello

Summer plans: Attend Summer B at FIU and their soccer camp

What will you miss most about Marathon? Everyone knows everyone

Any particular reflections about your time at MHS? I remember walking down the halls as a freshman and already being known for a bad attitude

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? The hard workouts for soccer.

Advice for freshmen? Live it up, keep it down and don’t miss more than 6 days.


Marisa (far right) pictured with her sister, Gaby (center) and parents, Tom and Michele Brossard.

 

Marisa Brossard

GPA: 4.32

Plans for post graduation: Headed to St. Bonaventure in Western NY on a full athletic scholarship to play tennis

Major: Journalism and Mass Communication, then going into something film-related

Clubs/extracurricular activities: National Honor Society, Relay for Life, Z-Club, tennis and cross country

Favorite book: Harry Potter

Favorite song: Better Than Revenge – Taylor Swift

Favorite subject: History

Summer plans: Playing tennis and living it up in the heat and ocean while I can!

What will you miss most about Marathon? The heat, the ocean and going out on the boat

What are you most anticipating about life post graduation? Moving to New York and playing Division I tennis

Advice for freshman? Live it up while you can, because soon you’ll be graduating and wondering where all the time you once had went so quickly!

The Brossard name has filled the #1 position at Marathon High School for the past nine years with Marisa’s older sister, Gaby, preceding her. Though she was born in Key West, it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that she went snorkeling for the first time.

“A lot of kids don’t understand her the level of commitment that she has,” explained her father, Tom, who’s escorted her to tournaments across the country. Marisa called her dad an atypical tennis parent, in that on every trip they took, he always included sightseeing side trips.


KWHS Class of 2011

Five out of Top 10 Chanting, “Go Gators!”

KWHS Top 10 of ’11 are starting with the back row from left to right: Erica Jewell, Kieran Campbell, Erick Lowe, Robert Romanoff, Kevin Florez-Bernal and Thomas O’Connell. Front row: Sonal Soni, Jamie Kessler, Sasha Alveranga and Tina Cheng.

“All school years seem to whirl by,” said Leslie Holmes, director of student activities at KWHS. She said this year wasn’t any exception and 2010/2011 was a little different because of changes and adjustments in administration, but overall this “was a good year!” The class of 2011 stands out from their successors and predecessors because of the rivalry to succeed in and out of the classroom.

“They’re very competitive and at the same time they’re friends with each other. The dynamic that they have has been a fun one to observe. I think they’ll all be fine and successful post-graduation,” Holmes reflects.

Many will continue on their educational paths in “The Swamp” and some will show up on the Gainesville campus as early as June. Holmes, a U of Florida grad says students from the mainland are always in awe of their classmates who hail from the Florida Keys, especially Key West. She anticipates the welcome they will get: “You live in the Keys? Do they have electricity there?’ I explain the Keys are a long chain of island, but seriously people asked me if we have running water and electricity. Then, they want to know if they can come visit!”

Still to come on the calendar is Class Night, prom and graduation June 10. Here is a look at who’s hit the books with vigor during their time at Coral Shores and Key West.


Valedictorian Kieran Campbell

GPA: 4.8

Best 5K Time: 17:52

Headed to: Tufts University, Medford, MA

Major: Undecided

Clubs and Activities: percussionist in marching and concert bands, academic challenge, , track, cross country, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Beta, French Club and Wakeboard Club

Reflections: I definitely had some pretty good teachers. Mr. Douthit who teaches calculus and physics for instance, I definitely liked his approach to teaching, and I definitely enjoyed the mental aspect of sports and playing on a team. I’m going to continue in college and run cross country.

Summer Plans: I’ll be up in Vermont with some friends and then I’ll be back here and that’s about it!

Favorite Book: Catch 22

Advice to Freshman: Do the work and study when you need to don’t slack off.


Salutatorian Thomas O’Connell

GPA: 4.7925

Headed to: University of Florida
Major: Electrical Engineering

Clubs and Activities: section leader of alto saxophones, NHS and Chess Club

Summer Plans: I’m going to spend it completely relaxing and visit the campus. I’ve never been there before! This will be the first summer all of us will be able to relax and it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity. School can be very stressful.

Favorite Book: Frankenstein

Favorite Song: Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin

Miss Most About Key West: The proximity to everything. It’s easy to get to a store in less than five minutes!

Advice to Freshmen: Do your work.


Jamie Kessler

GPA: 4.76

Headed to: Duke University on A.B. Memorial Scholarship

Major: creative writing or advertising

Clubs and Activities: editor in chief of The Snapper, marching band, special effects coordinator, historian of Z Club, NHS, executive board, Relay For Life captain

Favorite Book: Harry Potter

Summer Plans: I’ll be with my friends sort of relaxing and getting ready for school.

What she’ll miss most about KW: The relaxed and accepting community

Reflections: I had great choices of college from Penn to Dartmouth and Duke.

I would say my effort’s paid off.

Anticipating: How my new friends will react when I tell them I live on a houseboat!

I’ll think they’ll be surprised and I’ll get a lot of questions and they’ll be very, very confused.


Erica Jewell

GPA: 4.75

Headed to: McGill University, Montreal

Major: Undecided. I have so many interests it’s going to be important for me my first year in college to explore them. Montreal is the second biggest French-speaking city in the whole world. That’s something I’m interested in and another thing is music. I may study neuroscience through music how music affects your brain. I really do not know, but I’m excited!

Clubs and Activities: cross country, concert band, president of Project Protect, treasurer of French Club, secretary of Z Club, VP of Micro Finance Matters, AP Art and Art Club

Favorite Book: Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

Summer Plans: I’m going to Montana for about one month then I’m going to Chicago for a music festival, and then I’ll spend some time at home and then go up to Montreal.

What she’ll miss most about KW: Definitely my friends and family and knowing the city so well. I’ve lived here my whole life I’ll miss all the restaurants especially Sandy’s and the weather once winter comes.


Sonal Soni

GPA: 4.7143

Headed to: University of Florida

Major: Pharmacy

On her choice: Go Gators! They have a lot of opportunities and it’s the number one public school in Florida and I don’t want to leave Florida.

Clubs and Activities: president of Mu Alpha Theta, treasurer of Z Club, Interact, Spanish Club, NHS, executive board, student council, soccer, golf, tennis

Advice for Freshman: Enjoy, because they do go by fast!

Reflections: The teachers and counselors at KWH. They’re just so flexible.

Teachers Will Remember Soni: For asking questions over and over again so she has it clear in her mind.

Post College: I’ll probably come back to Key West and open a pharmacy.

What she’ll miss most about KW: The people and being able to go quickly to one place to another and the weather.


Erick Lowe

GPA: 4.66

Headed to: Duke

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Clubs and Activities: track, captain of the soccer team, tennis, president of Spanish Club, VP of Mu Alpha Theta, Arms Officer of Beta Club

Summer Plans: Working hard work for my money life guarding at Trumbo Pool.

Fondest Memory: Playing on the soccer team and winning the district title.

What He’ll Miss Most About KW: familiarity and tight community

Advice for Incoming Freshman: be organized. that’s all it takes.


Kevin Florez-Bernal

GPA: 4.67

Headed to: University of Florida

Major: Computer Science and Digital Arts: I want to be a computer animation director and somehow be involved in political cartooning.

Clubs and Activities: Varsity football, wrestling, soccer and track, president of National Art Society, Art Club, AP Art, NHS and Executive Board

Favorite Book: Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Favorite Song: No Sleep by Wiz Khalifa

Summer Plans: As soon as I start summer I’ll be going to UF orientation and starting school on the 27.

What He’ll Miss Most About KW: Club sports. I’m not big enough to play collegiate sports. I’ll miss varsity football and coming out on Friday nights and winning games, plus all my friends and all my teachers. photo courtesy: Meghan Canavan


Tina Cheng

GPA: 4.64

Head to: University of Florida

On Her Choice: UF is a large campus and there are a lot of organizations that may help me develop a career path I’m thinking of going into international business or government

Major: Undecided

Clubs and Activities: secretary of NHS, Mu Alpha Theta, Z Club and French Club

Summer Plans: Help out at my family’s restaurant which is China Garden West downtown and travel to other countries. I’m going to Canada, China and around the Caribbean!

What She’ll Miss Most About KWHS: I think the teachers.

Fondest Memory: The classes. I take a lot of hard classes and they’re also fun with my friends. We all help each other excel.

Favorite China Garden Dish We Should All Order: Eggplant with garlic sauce.


Robert Romanoff

GPA: 4.58

Headed to: Tallahassee. I’m going to Florida State

Major: Undecided

Reason Behind His Choice: The environment and they offered me the honors program and I really like their marching band.

Clubs and Activities: Tuba in the Marching Band, Mu Alpha Theta and treasurer of NHS

Summer Plans: Working. I don’t know what I’m going to be doing yet I’m trying to find a job that pays pretty well.

Fondest Memory: Friday nights in the football stands.

What He’ll Miss Most About KW: Everything is so accessible here.

Favorite Song: You Only Live Once by the Strokes


Sasha Alvarenga

GPA: 4.5

Headed to: University Florida

Reason Behind Her Choice: It’s one of the top schools in the state.

Major: Environmental Science: I’m going on to be an environmental lawyer. In middle school I got really “green” and started recycling and pushed my parents to do the same. The BP oil spill was pretty upsetting and I agreed if it every came to the Keys it would be upsetting.

Clubs and Activities: NHS, Z Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club

Summer Plans: I’m going to go to school this summer; June 27 is the first day.

Fondest HS Memory: Probably the first homecoming pep rally. I’ll always remember how united the school was and everyone was in the school colors.

What She’ll Miss Most About KW: Anywhere you go you can see 10 people you know. You can’t get this kind of community support anywhere else. And of course, I’ll miss the ocean!

Favorite Book: The Vampire Diaries

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