Citrus Culinary goes to Universal Studios

Written by: Lourelai Cavanaugh-Montgomery
Citrus CulinaryWe have some exciting news for our CHS culinary students. Here at Citrus High, chef Garcia’s culinary students are being provided with the opportunity to go to universal studios! If students have been a positive influence and have received their serv-safe (certification in food safety), they get to go on an exciting field trip to Universal Studios! How cool is that? This is an awesome opportunity for the students to be rewarded for their culinary skills and great behavior, while having a blast at the theme park. I’m sure we can all imagine all the delicious and different kinds of food they get to try; plus, all the fun they’ll have while being there with the friends, they spend most time in the kitchen with.
“The field trip will let students experience different dishes from around the world, as part of the international flavors of Carnaval Mardi Gras Celebration they are having at the park!” says Chef Garcia.
Senior (Karina Grubb) shares that trying different dishes and foods at Universal Studios, 
will inspire her to “make and try out different dishes in the kitchen”. This trip will definitely inspire students to expand the types of dishes they cook and serve.
To be able to go on this trip the students had to complete the Serv Safe certification, that asks questions about food safety, making sure our CHS students are prepped and prepared to manage food safety. Audrey Poyner says that the serv safe test wasn’t too hard to pass because “we have done a lot of prep and practice in class with Chef”
Students are excited to get to experience universal once again, many students haven’t gone since they were younger. Senior (Mia Hilberer) shares that she is excited to go and just “be in the atmosphere” since she hasn’t gone in a while, Universal is an awesome place to be even if you don’t go on the rides. Students are ready to try these different dishes chef Garcia is “excited to see the students’ reactions to the dishes because it’s an international event that celebrates the food and cultures of many countries so there will be a lot of options to try”.
“I’m excited to try and test out different foods from other countries and cultures” Arianna Webb
With their food safety certification in hand, Chef Garcia and our talented culinary students are eagerly waiting for the chance to try these meals and treats from cultures around the world, and ride rides, while surrounding their mind in the wonders of the theme park. This exciting opportunity not only shows their dedication and talent of Citrus High’s culinary program but also promises a day filled with unforgettable memories!


Expanding Horizons: LHS Adds New International Baccalaureate Career-Related Program

LHS Culinary
Caption: Sophomore Keegan Balletto helps make sandwiches in culinary class for the first weightlifting meet (Photo: Trevor Raddatz).

Harlan R. Smith, Student Writer - In a groundbreaking initiative that blends the principles of knowledge and profession, Lecanto High School [LHS] is introducing a new International Baccalaureate [IB] program: The IB Career-Related Program [IBCP]. As of the 2024-25 school year, LHS will unveil the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps [JROTC] and culinary courses as the inaugural pathways. The IBCP program aims to give IB students more flexible schedules and promote career readiness.

The addition of the IBCP Culinary pathway is a unique opportunity for students passionate about food and cooking. It allows students to develop their culinary skills and knowledge while preparing them for a successful career in the food industry. The program is rigorous and challenging, but it is also rewarding.


“The IB Culinary Program is an opportunity for students interested in having a more advanced diploma, utilizing the career path as a way of enriching. Going through the normal process of the IB program, they’ll also benefit from specializing in a career field. Then, use that specialization to do a research project specific to their interest and then graduate with a little more understanding of what it takes to be successful,” said culinary teacher Monique Stayler.


Expanding culinary education to include international experiences and a deeper focus on ethical considerations will give aspiring chefs a more comprehensive understanding of the industry and its impact on individuals and societies worldwide. By fostering cross-cultural exchange and encouraging thoughtful decision-making, this enhanced curriculum will prepare graduates to become skilled culinary professionals and responsible global citizens.


“Expectations that some people that do the regular culinary program won't receive some more reflective experience with how culinary has brought success for people in this country and other countries. So, we'll do more international work through the IB program, and then they'll get chances to apply ethics in a way that's much more in-depth and thoughtful to not only the career field but also business in general,” said Stayler.


Adding JROTC to the IBCP can offer a compelling path to academic excellence and military preparedness. IB demonstrates academic rigor and a strong work ethic for colleges, while ROTC highlights leadership potential and a commitment to service. IBCP showcases a student's ability to handle academic demands and military discipline.


“Being in IB and ROTC can help prepare students for college and or the military in the sense that for colleges, it shows academic prowess and military-like discipline and integrity. And for the military, it shows you have experience, you have attention to detail, and you know what it takes mentally and physically to be in the military. I feel IB and ROTC can show military academies such as these that the student can balance out military-like training and academic rigor,” said junior Elise Tyler.


JROTC is a transformative experience that molds young minds into leaders, instills a sense of belonging, and leaves a lasting impact. IBCP helps that by letting IB minds join the class.


“The IBCP program branches from the normal IB program; essentially, it bypasses the academic program and lets you take a more career-oriented approach. For example, I am in the JROTC, so I’m going the more career-oriented route,” said sophomore Mikael Sasser.

New Dean at CRHS

By Anastasia Gonzalez

Have you ever had a teacher who impacted you and helped you succeed tremendously, but later in the year things changed? Well, something similar happened to Crystal River High School math teacher Nicole Callahan. Callahan is in the process of changing to a dean position at CRHS.

“It's been very exciting,” Callahan said. “I am dean one day a week so I have to make my lesson plans and set that up so my students can work independently the day I’m gone.”

Callahan has been educating her students with her co teacher Kathie Laxton, which has helped impact her students positively.

“Students have come to me sharing that this is their first time they have understood math, and had a teacher help them where they struggled the most” Callahan said.

There is not a doubt that Callahan won’t succeed in this new position.

“Tonight is actually my first basketball game monitoring as dean,” Callahan said.

After this interview, I followed up with Callahan about her first night monitoring the basketball game.

“It was very good,” Callahan said. “I need to bring more comfortable shoes next time, but it was nice to see our school out supporting CRHS. I learned a big part of my role is to keep our students having fun and showing school spirit but staying respectful and safe of course.”