At the end of May high schools in the area celebrated their graduates. A few of these high school graduates finished high school with a two year college degree, by taking advantage of the dual enrollment program with PHSC or St. Petersburg College. The graduates are heading to college, starting businesses, and starting careers. There are some graduates that are entering the armed forces.
Many are leaving our community and some will return as doctors, lawyers, businessmen and veterans.
Here are two notable graduates.
David Swicord is graduating from Nature Coast Technical High School and intends to become an Air Force Pilot. Next year he will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to begin the process of becoming a pilot. He has earned a scholarship from Air Force ROTC which covers a significant portion of the cost of attending college. At Embry-Riddle he plans to study Aerospace Engineering.
While David attended Nature Coast he was part of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical dual enrollment program and earned 6 credits toward his degree before attending college. He was part of the Aerospace Career and Technical Education Cluster (CTE).
David stated that he was "grateful to be part of such an amazing program at Nature Coast " and he "met lots of amazing people.” He highly recommends the Embry-Riddle Aerospace dual enrollment program.
Beside his studies David is active in sports. He was on the cross country, track, and swimming teams. He also belonged to National Honor Society, National Beta Club, was VP of the Debate Club, and President of Students Working against tobacco. He was selected for Boys State, which is a program put on by American Legion. They only select a few delegates per school. David was also chosen for the Chamber of Commerce Student Recognition Banquet. He is also a Member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and Civil Air Patrol.
Springstead High School Valedictorian and National Honor Society President, Tully Goldrick, will be attending Yale University in the fall. He spent his K-12 years in the school system here in Hernando County. For elementary school, he went to Spring Hill Elementary and Chocachatti. While for grades 6, 7 & 8, he attended Challenger.
Tully went through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Springstead, taking pre IB courses in 9th and 10th grades and starting IB courses in his junior year. “Beyond just getting credit [for college courses], it’s really good at preparing you for the work,” he said. Tully explained that there is a lot of opportunity to do independent research in an IB program.
Although his schedule has been packed with IB courses, he still found the time for a wide range of other activities. “It is a lot of time, but I was able to balance IB with a lot of extra curriculars,” he said.
That includes building a duck house for his Eagle Scout project. Tully has been in Boy Scouts since the 8th grade, with troop 442. He explained, “I built a duck house for a local lake to protect the duck population.” He said the duck population has been decreasing in recent years. “I had to plan the duck house, build it and install it. It was a long process.” His Eagle Scout ceremony took place on Sunday May 22nd. Now he is looking forward to participating in Order of the Arrow, the ‘National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).’
He participated in Beta Club all 4 years at Springstead and he is headed to the National Beta Club convention over the summer to compete in Quiz Bowl since they earned first place at the state convention for Beta Club. “I’m excited for that too,” he said.
Tully was involved in Springstead Political Initiative. During the 2016 elections the group hosted three local political forums, where candidates answered questions they posed in front of an audience. They also did voter registration drives, “to try to increase youth involvement,” he said.
Adding to the list, he was a member of Latin Club, Academic Team and was very active in Theater. The Academic Team placed 4th in the State Commissioner’s Academic Challenge this year.
During his sophomore and junior year he founded a “Model United Nations” club with his best friend Zachary Knecht.
Despite Tully’s super-student résumé, he admits that he hasn’t gotten to this point by himself.
Tully says he’s been very fortunate to have had great teachers who have all made themselves available to answer questions.
His family has also been key.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten an assignment or project at home and I have to call my mom and say ’Hey mom can you please bring this in for me’.”
“My family’s been very supportive of me,” he stated.
Tully’s sister is going into the 8th grade. His mom, Heather Levsque is a stay at home mom and his dad Matthew Goldrick is the Supervisor of Professional Standards for the school district. Referring to his parents, Tully says, “They both played a large part in my life in terms of motivation.”
So was there a rivalry this year between Springstead’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian Jerry Lee? Tully says no. “I think we just tried our best...”
Although he did admit that the person he has been most competitive with academically is his best friend Zachary Knecht. He gave a disclaimer that it’s “not mean spirited.”
At Yale, Tully intends to dual major in neuroscience and biological sciences with a minor in physical anthropology. He says he would like to get a PhD and conduct research. If he ends up at a university, he would like to teach as well, but he says “It depends on where the wind blows...”