Lakewood Leaders share the holiday with less fortunate youngsters

Julia Harrison – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Last Friday, Dec. 17, Lakewood Leaders encompassed the true meaning of the holiday season by giving back to the community through Project Daughtrey.

Lakewood Leaders spent two hours at Daughtrey Elementary interacting with the students; 96% of Daughtrey’s students are on free and reduced lunch, and many are homeless.

Lakewood Leaders adviser Michelle Todoroff, said, “Our goal was to fulfill a need in the community.”

The LRHS club createed four stations for the elementary students to participate in alongside high school students: kickball, relay races, cookie decorating and story telling. All elementary students were also given gift bags with books, socks, gloves, a stuffed bear, toys and candy.

Lakewood Leaders also held a clothing and shoe drive prior to the event to give to the community and parents. Tables were set up and parents were free to take the clothes and shoes.

Todoroff said, “We believe the project was a success. Many parents had tears in their eyes and said how thankful they were that we were providing for them.”

A total of 65 Lakewood Leaders and 150 elementary students participated.

Lakewood Leader junior Hannah Watts said, “I think we were able to make the kids’ holiday season better. All of the kids and parents were so happy.”

Todoroff said, “We feel our goal was accomplished because of the great turnout from the community to receive the clothing and shoes that we provided.”

Todoroff would like to make this project an annual event and extend it to schools with similar needs.

Hip-hip-hoo-A+! for LRHS

Yosa Whitney – LRHS news

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS is once again an A school; the second year of excellence in a row for the Mustangs. Students and faculty members are excited, especially Principal Linda Nesselhauf.

“One thing we ask is that everyone at Lakewood Ranch gives their best, and I think this school grade indicates we can continue to count on such efforts,” said Nesselhauf.

“Our school grade reflects the diligence shown by our teachers, students and everyone else in the Lakewood Ranch community,” She added. “We know Mustangs work hard every day and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone at this school.”

Mustangs are proud to be part of such a great school, and are looking forward to next year.

County proclaims “Lakewood Ranch High School Pride Day”

John Vrabec – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The Manatee County Commission proclaimed Dec. 17 “Lakewood Ranch High School Pride Day,” recognizing the LRHS boys’ golf team.

The team made history this year by winning its third consecutive state championship.

“We have worked hard over the past 15 years to represent our school and county in our competitions,” said head coach Dave Frantz. “This Proclamation confirms that the school and community has appreciated our own special three-peat.”

Frantz has 697 wins in 14 years at Lakewood Ranch. He is retiring after 28 seasons coaching high school golf, this year he was inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.

“Unknown Artist” getting lots of recognition

Natalie Earp – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The LRHS Drama Department performed Saturday, Dec. 14 at the International Thespian Society District 6 One Act Festival held at the North Port Performing Arts Center.

The students performed “The Unknown Artist,” an original play written by senior Joseph Grosso.

“We received Superior ratings and were also chosen to represent our district at the Florida State Thespian Festival in March 2014,” said LRHS drama adviser Roxane Caravan.

Caravan said the school’s art department was also a huge help, painting parts of the sets.

“The Unknown Artist” is acted out without dialog, and Grosso said he studied similar shows for inspiration.

“I watched a bunch of shows that all had to do with looking at a painting and acting it out,” said Grosso, who also directed, and performed in the play.

“I once watched a show entirely in Italian but I understood exactly what they were saying just by the way they performed it.”

Mustangs and cows combine for fair success

Olivia Fiebig – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Many LRHS FFA members are raising steers to compete at the upcoming Manatee County Fair.

January 21 is the official weigh-in day for the competing steers. In order for a steer to be eligible to compete, it is required to have maintained a minimum weight of 300 lbs since August, and must have back fat of at least 2.5 inches.

Steers will also be judged on their showmanship skills and will be marketed directly to potential buyers. Unsold steers will be auctioned off.

LRHS Agriscience teacher Susan Grainger explained the competition gives students a chance to apply classroom skills in the real world.

“These students have 150 days to produce the best quality steer that they can produce with the skills they learn in the classroom that reflect management practices of the beef industry,” she said.