Youth Corner

East Ridge High Marketing & Business Students Excel at DECA District Competition

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East Ridge High School DECA Chapter members bringing home awards from the district competition included (left to right, back to front) Dylan Olsen, Tyler Seaton, Raduan Kalaf, Hannah Colston, Genel Sturgeon, Tyler Dixon, David Williams, Nicholas Bianchi, Nicole Shutts, Courtney Todd, Paige Spatta, Criston Dias, Jarred Sweeney, Cheyenne Freeman, Tommy Ramey, Mohammed Ali, Ashi Francis, Lindsay Owens, Keisha Dorisma, Dadavi Anthonio, Alicia Rambarran, Javeen Thomas, Kayraelle Braden-Broomfield, Nicole Moenssens, Jamilda Dorisma, Christine Seide, Danae Ballagh, Kiah Husbands, Adrianna Echevarria, Amber Nemdharie and Alisa Vela. (Not pictured: Lara Krakowiecki, Dayjuana Day, Kelsey Jenkins and Nick Heffelfinger)CLERMONT — The East Ridge High School DECA Chapter sent 36 students to the district competition at Olympia High School in Orlando and came home toting 48 trophies ranging from first to fourth place.

“The East Ridge High School DECA Chapter had a medal in just about every category in marketing, business and hospitality,” said Simone Seaton, Marketing Educator and DECA Advisor at East Ridge High. “We had 36 students qualify for the DECA state competition which will be held in March in Orlando with the plan to make it to Nationals in April. DECA students only compete at the district, state, and national level once a year, so this is a big deal for these students, especially the seniors who graduate in June.”

DECA, formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, provides education and career opportunities for students interested in careers in marketing, management, hospitality, finance and entrepreneurship. DECA prepares the next generation to be: academically prepared, community oriented, and professionally responsible as well as develop leadership skills.

“The East Ridge High School DECA Chapter has grown tremendously within the last five years and each year we get better and do more,” Seaton said. “For the 2010-11 school year, our members have participated and organized numerous charity and community service events. Some of our charitable events have been a collection for The National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation in October and a donation drive where money and canned goods were collected for needy families during December.”

The East Ridge High School DECA Chapter is in need of sponsors to assist the group in covering expenses for its trip to the State Conference. The registration fee for the conference is $75 for each participant and this cost does not include accommodation or travel expenses. Individuals or businesses interested in sponsoring the East Ridge High School DECA Chapter are encouraged to contact Simone Seaton by calling (352) 242-2080 ext. 2636 or e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Congratulations to Grassy Lake Terrific Kids for the Month of February

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Aryanna Aviles, Connor Eisele, Sydney Evans, Simon Giacalone, Marley Paul, Kiala Lucas, Cole Hutchinson, Brooklynn Rogers, Marissa Davis, Elijah Thomas, Jimena Farias, Lilly Kimmel, Chase Barile, Caitlin Gibson, Lennix Newman, Jeffrey Gotham, Abigail Root, Jada Bolden, Logan Lopez, Jesse Johnson, Heather Moore, Jessenia Jobe, Wesley Perez, Gabriel Mortiz, Miriam Lawton, Krenn Intharaksa, MacKenna Cousineau, Kaitlynn Rogers, Isabelle Archer, Jamil Ali, Dyana Soto, Aiden Stockton, Kelly Perry, Francisco Negron, Samantha Jones, Marissa Bush, Sarah Jane Caudill, Josh Francois, Alexis Burgess, Lauren Nasca, Gunnar Uutinen, Channelle Benjamin, Ava Eisele, James Williams, Cameron Robles, Nicole Webb, Victoria Hattabaugh, Elizabeth Hann, Jordan Gregg, Kim Fuentes, Chase DeJarnett


Sorrento Children Collect Cans for Canines & Cats

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Sorrento Elementary students (left to right) Anthony Evelina, Monica Elagha, Ryan Ott, Brayden Brooks, Estefany Barragan and Sonja Reyes load up collected recyclable cans for the Humane Society of Lake County.SORRENTO — The Humane Society of Lake County recently received a special offering from a third-grade class at Sorrento Elementary that included more than 30 large trash bags full with more than 9,000 recyclable cans.

“We were trying to think of something to do that would be easy for parents instead of just asking for money,” said Carrie Alexander, Teacher at Sorrento Elementary. “The Human Society collects cans and they turn them in for money. We did a competition in the school and the class that brought in the most cans would get a chip and dip party.”

The can drive by the third-grade class is just the first step in its year-long service project to benefit the Humane Society of Lake County. The class was inspired to help the Humane Society after a visit earlier in the school year by Joanne Hart-Rittenhouse. She helps educate the public about the Humane Society in Umatilla.

“I love talking to the kids about how they can be responsible pet owners,” she said. “We also talk about how it’s important to be safe around dogs.”Teacher Carrie Alexander holds “Otto” while her students (left to right) Sonja Reyes, Ashley Berndt, Brayden Brooks and Rachel Hawk greet the white Boxer.

She uses a team of therapy and reading dogs when she visits groups. On her trip to Sorrento Elementary this month, she brought along “Otto,” a rescued white Boxer.

Carrie Alexander’s third-grade class will continue its service project, which it calls P.A.W. P.A.L. (“People Animals World; People Animals Love), with other innovative donation campaigns in the coming months, including a penny drive and paper towel donations.

“The outpouring of support has just been wonderful from these students,” Alexander said. “We are all such animal lovers in the school.”


Lake County Students Dominate at State Floriculture Event

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TAVARES — At FFA’s 2011 State Floriculture Career Development Event (CDE) on February 5th, Lake County Schools not only showed up, but its students nearly stole the show.

Thirty-one high schools and nine middles schools teams throughout Florida gathered to compete for the state championship at the Pinellas Technical Education Center in St. Petersburg.

For the high-school competition, Umatilla High seniors won first place, East Ridge High placed third, Umatilla High juniors scored 17th, South Lake High seniors wound up 21st and South Lake High juniors came in at 23rd place. The Umatilla High senior team secured three of the top five spots for highest individual scores: Paul Lengemann in first place, Ethan Barlow in third place and Heather Minger in fifth place. Umatilla High School will represent Florida and compete at the national level at the 84th Annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on October 19-22.

“I knew this was a winning the team if ever there was one,” said Lori Ballard, Umatilla High Teacher and FFA Advisor. “They really wanted a victory and they were willing to work for it. I am so proud of each and every one of these team members. It is always great to see hard work rewarded.”

Up-and-coming competitors at the middle-school level didn’t disappoint for Lake County Schools either. Clermont Middle School placed second in the competition with Alex Carlisle and Kyle Garner earning the second and third highest individual scores, respectively.

The purpose of the Floriculture CDE is to stimulate interest in learning activities related to floriculture industry, including the identification of plants, business situations and safety issues.

The FFA is a national organization that promotes agricultural education and youth in leadership in its 523,309 FFA members, aged 12-21 in 7,487 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. The FFA operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st U.S. Congress and is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. FFA challenges its members to excel through its model of Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve. For more information, log on to www.ffa.org.


Masked Hero Helps Treadway Elementary School Celebrate 100th Day of School

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The Zero Hero visited Chelsea Bernier’s class at Treadway Elementary. Students photographed with the “Hero” and their teacher include (front row, left to right) Jack Railing, Braden Griffin, Dezerae Bowley, Alexa Victor, Melyidia Belt, Jaylyn Britton, (back row) Alyana Dover, Alicia Parker, Beth Zamudio and Abby Holguin.LEESBURG — Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s “Zero Hero” who zoomed into Treadway Elementary on February 4th to help the school celebrate the 100th day of school.

Soaring through various classrooms, he threw out challenges and paper zeros. As the masked super hero exited, he challenged everyone in the school to give 100 percent effort.

With his red cape flowing behind him he made his first appearance on the school’s morning announcements challenging the students to count to 100 and to have 100 percent on attendance because he loves the number “100.”

“He was the real deal,” said Robin Neeld, Principal of Treadway Elementary. “He even signed in with the name ‘Zero Hero’”

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