Awards luncheon focuses on leadership and teamwork

The Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce awarded 25 local students Citizenship Awards at its luncheon yesterday at the Highland Manor. Elected officials, Orange County Public School representatives, parents, teachers, and the business community attended the event to honor the winning fifth, eighth and 12th graders who wrote the best essay on the topic: “Leadership and the Importance of Teamwork.”

“Today we honor you on your efforts, and we give you a round of applause,” said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer who spoke at the event. “But tonight when you go home give your parents a round of applause.”

Austin Block of the Orlando Solar Bears was the guest speaker at the luncheon. His message to the students was that “talk is cheap,” and “actions speak louder than words.” Block has played two seasons for the Solar Bears, scoring 35 points in 51 games and leading them to the 2016-17 playoffs.

The luncheon was sponsored by the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Apopka, Duke Energy, Florida Hospital Apopka, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Waste Management, CFE Federal Credit Union, Century Link, Shren Yeager State Farm, and Seacoast Bank.

The winning essays were written by:

  • Maya Maldonado and Josue Perez-Portillo of Apopka Christian Academy
  • Nehemiah Williams and Madelyne Wade of Apopka Elementary School
  • Ji Chang and Matilda Manjang of Apopka High School
  • Derek Waller and Rachel Bohrer of Clay Springs Elementary School
  • Hunter Anderson and Michael Alverson of Dream Lake Elementary School
  • Aiden Schneff and Shayna Pinthieve of Lakeville Elementary School
  • JhaKiera Collington and Jonathan Reyes of Lovell Elementary School
  • Victoria Shrinker of Trinity Christian School
  • Lauren Earnest and Rayce Main of Wekiva High School
  • Ka’Nahya Peterson and Jaime Navarro-Vazquez of Wheatley Elementary School
  • Bryson Bowman, Kyle Warner, Hailey Koscicki, and Kendall Lindsey of Wolf Lake Middle School
  • Leslie Cisneros-Ramirez and Yoleth Soto of Zellwood Elementary School


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