Class of 2022 recognized in scholarship award program

Roughly $900,000 presented to graduating seniors at ZHS

Nearly $900,000 in scholarships were presented to Zephyrhills High School seniors Tuesday night during the annual ZHS Senior Awards Night ceremony.

Local organizations, businesses, colleges and military branches presented scholarships and awards to members of the ZHS Class of 2022. In addition, the school recognized Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude students, the Salutatorian and Valedictorian.

The Class of 2022 has endured challenges. Their sophomore year was interrupted by COVID 19. Their junior year featured a hybrid of online and in-person learning. This year, they came back and a major construction project at the school was wrapping up.

The end of the year awards was the culmination of the this class’ resiliency.

“We are very blesses to be part of all of this,” said ZHS Principal Dr. Christina Stanley. “There is a lot of support and encouragement. Even when there’s not, these kids have each other’s back and pull each other along and make each other better.

“These kids are super special and at the end of the day, they are recognized for all the hard work they put in and it’s seen by their peers and by everybody. It’s really special.”

Senior Emily Kirk, who graduates with her Associate’s Degree from Pasco Hernando State College as well as her high school diploma, was the recipient of several scholarships as she pursues a marketing degree from Saint Leo University.

“Hard work pays off,” Kirk said. “I am blessed and grateful. It’s all worth it in end. Working on assignments on Friday nights after high school football games while your friends are going out. You have to remember it’s all worth it.”

She knows she wouldn’t be able to be successful without her community and her ZHS Bulldog family.

“It’s the community,” Kirk explained. “Knowing everybody growing up, know their parents, knowing the people here giving presenting the scholarships out to students, it’s that family concept that you don’t have at other communities.”

Salutatorian and Senior Class President Madison Poe couldn’t be more proud of her fellow members of the Class of 2022.

“We learned to make the most of everything that was thrown at us,” Poe said. “In or sophomore year, we went home for Spring Break and never came back. We came back our junior year and things were changing. This is a competitive class. Everybody was good at managing sports and academics. They put the academics first and it shows here tonight.”

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