As the class of 2013 prepares to enter the college world, we would like to take a moment to celebrate some of the local remarkable seniors. This year, the students told us about their favorite memories and what their plans are as they prepare for the next step in their journey. Their many accomplishments include athletic triumphs, hundreds of hours of community service and other extraordinary pursuits while still being able to achieve stellar academic feats.

(Top row left to right: Christian Kurian, Heritage High School; Laura Kirkman, Melbourne Central Catholic School; Anthony Cally, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.
Bottom row: Cheyenne Holem, Eau Gallie High School)

Christian ranks in the top one percent of his graduating class and has completed over 500 community service hours working at doctors’ offices during the past two summers. He is described as goal driven and persistent in his efforts. He plans to attend Florida Tech and become a physician. His favorite high school memory is winning second place in an Odyssey of The Mind Competition for a play. “It was totally ‘unscripted’ which turned out to be hilarious!”

Laura is described as a well-rounded individual; academically strong, athletically gifted, and active in both her school and local community. She placed second in the National Baton Twirling Championship in 2012. She was also named Miss Central Florida’s Outstanding Teen and competed in the scholarship pageant. Her platform, Autism Awareness, was also the focus of her senior community awareness project. She was dual enrolled at Florida Tech and plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi.

Anthony’s favorite high school memory is playing soccer on Senior Night despite being injured with a torn meniscus and ACL. He credits his coach as being his life-long mentor that has taught him many lessons on and off the field. He also counts his parents as his biggest influence, “for being there day in and day out as my main support system.” He plans to study architecture at Florida Atlantic University after his graduation.

Cheyenne’s strong leadership skills led to her election as student body president for two years. She has set her standards high by pursuing an accelerated course of study, which includes honors and the Health and Wellness Academy program courses. She plans on studying sports medicine physical therapy at Florida State University. “I love helping people,” she said. “I want to help athletes get back to the playing field after suffering an injury.”



(Top row: Alexandria Spinazzola, Melbourne High School; Bottom row from left to right: Brandon Lopez, Cocoa High School.
Bottom row from left to right:  Caleb Hobbs, Merritt Island Christian School)

Alexandria is passionate about her academic career and the well-being of others.  She is the captain of the varsity cheerleading team and spends countless hours tutoring students in her free time. She is also a member of the volleyball team. She received the Advanced Placement Diploma as a high school junior, the first one at her high school to do so. Alexandria will attend Georgia Tech in the fall and study chemical engineering.

Cocoa High’s guidance counselor Steve Loufek says Brandon’s potential is unlimited, “His family came here from Guatemala and Brandon has seized the opportunity his family gave him.” He is a leader in ROTC, band and student government. He is the salutatorian of his class, drum line captain and drum major. There is one memory that stands out during his time at Cocoa High. “My best high school memory is hearing my name when the Homecoming King was announced,” he said.

Caleb is a unique student because of his dedication to both his academic and extra-curricular involvement, according to his guidance counselor. He represents the type of student every school desires. He is on the principal’s list, a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the varsity football team, and a member of the varsity basketball team, all while maintaining a 4.35 grade point average.

(Top row standing up from left to right: Karan Patel,West Shore Jr./Sr. High School; Caroline Kingsbury, Florida Air Academy.
Bottom row sitting down from left to right: Tyler Johnson, Merritt Island High School; Beryl Carr,Astronaut High School; Ruby Watts, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy)

Karan is the founder and president of the West Shore math tutoring club where over 600 students have received tutoring. He was awarded the “Excellence Achieved with Sports” award for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average while participating in varsity sports. He has traveled with his family to India where he participated in a medical mission camp providing free dental care. This inspired Karan to become a dentist in the future.

Caroline is the day student squadron commander at Florida Air Academy and the first female to hold this position. She has sung the National Anthem for the governor and contributed over 650 hours of community service. She is ranked fourth in her class and the Environmental Club president. According to her counselor, “her combination of leadership, academics, talent and community service is truly remarkable.”

Tyler is the valedictorian of the senior class and plans to attend Florida Tech. He has received the Eagle Scout award. “I’m proud of all my accomplishments, but nothing else took more time or dedication to earn, or had the same satisfaction at the end,” he said. He has also been a member of the Honor Roll, Future Problem Solvers and the Robotics team all four years. He has also received the Key Club’s Leader of Leaders award and Merritt Island’s Brevard Youth Volunteer of the Year award.

Beryl logged over 100 community service hours while maintaining a perfect grade point average. Beryl is the valedictorian for the senior class of 260 seniors at Astronaut High School. Her community service varies from her church, the library, local nature cleanups and science fairs. She is also an officer in Chemistry Honor Society, Biology Honor Society and National Honor Society. In the fall she will attend Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Smart, kind, creative, confident and joyful are words that Ruby’s guidance counselor used to describe her. “Without a doubt, Ruby will find success in whatever she does.” So far, her plans include attending her dream school, Duke University, where she will study engineering. After that she would like to be an imagineer for Disney. During her time at Holy Trinity she contributed to diverse activities and interests like the duct tape club and the Journalism Honor Society.

(From left to right: Michael Cacciatore,Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy; Zachary Schwarz, Viera High School; Khamare Farrar, Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School; Max Clevens, Florida Air Academy; Forrest Hoffman, Satellite High School)

Michael is a multi-sport athlete who has taken ten advanced placement courses plus multivariable calculus. His character, leadership and scholarship are most representative of his class according to his guidance counselor. He has mentored young basketball players as a coach for PAL and is a role model for his peers. He has received Holy Trinity’s Highest Honors Academic Award.

The level of academic success that Zachary has achieved is particularly impressive when paired with his extracurricular schedule. He has earned nothing less than an “A” in all courses. He is a fourth year member of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He earned a place on the district football team and the All Cape Coast Conference football team. He was also appointed to the district’s anti-bullying assembly.

Khamare is a level five cheerleader on a National Cheerleaders Association All-American team, was voted a top all-American cheerleader and is the cheer captain for the varsity team. She plans on studying athletic training at Texas Tech University. “I really enjoy the medical field and sports are a big part of my life, so why not mix the two?” She also plans on cheering for TTU’s outstanding sports programs.

Max considers his biggest accomplishment being named the salutatorian of his graduating class at Florida Air Academy. He plans to pursue a career in the sports business. He has been honored by the Melbourne Chamber for his work with Face of Change, a non-profit charitable organization co-founded by the Clevens family. Face of Change coordinates medical, education and hunger relief programs to the underserved both locally and abroad.

Forrest is a natural leader according to his nominator. He was chosen and participated in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Organization. He has assisted with tutoring his peers in many advanced courses and volunteered with Relay for Life, an assistant basketball coach for PAL and has been a member of the cross country and tennis teams all through his high school years.


(From left to right: Achi Jones, Palm Bay High School; Magnolia Burklew, Rockledge High School; Brendon Greenwell, Titusville High School)

Achi has taken 12 Advanced Placement courses and has a weighted grade point average over 4.4. He received perfect scores on the SAT test in critical reading and math. He plans to study computer science. “I love the logical thinking and problem solving associated with it,” he said. He was elected a state officer in the Technology Student Association and is an active member of his church, attending mission trips to rebuild homes in New Orleans.

Magnolia has taken the highest level classes to include AICE Cambridge, BCC dual enrollment, while also taking a variety of electives to include drama, chorus, jazz dance and becoming a standout in her ROTC leadership classes. She will receive her associate’s degree when she graduates and will attend Norwich University in Vermont. She plans on majoring in mathematics so that she can become a Naval Aviator during her career in the Navy.

Brendon has taken high level academic classes including honors, Advanced Placement and dual enrollment. His guidance counselor said, “His determined, sincere drive for knowledge has made him an active scholar and consistently takes him beyond the requirements of school.” He leads by example as president of student government, organizing pep rallies, homecoming, prom and volunteer efforts for other students. He is also a member of the track and field team.