Mayor honors teacher and student for going the extra mile

Zephyrhills Mayor Gene Whitfield celebrated the resilience of a student and the commitment of his teacher during Monday’s City Council Meeting.

In a presentation to the community and the members of City Council, Whitfield brought recent ZHS graduate Chris LaRussa and his teacher Leann John to the podium to be recognized.

Whitfield explained LaRussa’s willingness to bounce back after nearly quitting school and the teacher who wouldn’t give up on him.

Both were presented with letters recognizing their accomplishments and received a standing ovation from those in attendance.

“Your graduation has enriched your life far beyond what you may realize now and it has set you on a good path for success in the future,” Whitfield read from the letter. “We are very excited to see what your next great success will be.”

Whitfield lauded the teacher who went the extra mile for her student.

“Considering all the work you had on you at the end of the year, you chose to not let Chris slip through the cracks,” Whitfield said of John. “We could not be more proud of you for your care, concern, extra time and determination that allowed Chris to have that trip across the stage at graduation.”

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