By Matt Wiley & Gary Nager | June 8
Congratulations to the Class of 2013 at Wesley Chapel High (WCH) and Wiregrass Ranch High (WRH).
On the evening of May 31, at the newly renovated University of South Florida Sun Dome, 336 Wildcat seniors crossed the stage to become high school graduates.
“(Graduating) is a pretty huge change,” said WCH valedictorian Michael Giannazzo (4.62 weighted GPA), who will attend the Ivy League Brown University. “There’s going to be a transition period. But, just like any good book, you have to give it a chance.”
The next day, Ray Bonti, who was the principal at WRH since it opened seven years ago but is now working as the executive director of support services for Pasco County Schools, was invited to give the principal’s message for his last WRH graduating class by new principal Robyn White.
Bonti thanked those in attendance for their support of him and the school and his last “and most talented class” of 430 WRH grads “to be unleashed on the world,” including the 26 WRH seniors who have enlisted in several branches of the U.S. military.
To their credit, both of WRH’s co-valedictorians (with 4.674 GPAs) Hannah Eder (Univ. of Florida, or U-F) and Nikita Shah (Harvard) departed from the usual “marching into the future” speeches a little. I particularly enjoyed Eder’s admitting to “rocking a Barbie backpack” in elementary school and Shah’s plea to her fellow grads to “give back to the world to make it a better place.”
We also congratulate this year’s salutatorians — Emily Payne (4.667; will attend U-F)) at WRH and Miroslav Sanader (4.55; Florida State)) from WCH — and all 766 graduates at both schools and their families!