Lecanto High School’s tribute post to Joshua Sevilla winning Citrus County’s Sunshine State Scholarship

LHS Sunshine State Scholar

(Photo: Peter Rausch).

Harlan R. Smith, Student Writer - Joshua Sevilla's attained the title of Citrus County's Sunshine State Scholarship and stands as a shining testament to the resolute dedication of Lecanto High School [LHS] in cultivating the success of its students. His accomplishment serves as a reflection of the school's commitment to fostering an environment conducive to academic excellence. Particularly noteworthy is Joshua's familial connection to an accomplished brother who was also the recipient of this award, emphasizing the enduring legacy of success within the LHS community.

Ms. Hamilton and Ms. Benoist are known for their impactful teaching in computer science and math classes, highlighting their significant role in several students’ understanding of computer science principles.

“Ms. Hamilton played a pivotal role in imparting essential computer science principles to me, while the invaluable guidance and support from Ms. Benoist in both math and physics classes have significantly enriched my understanding and further contributed to my flourishing STEM career. In addition, Ms. Wyka has really helped me during my time at LHS," said junior Joshua Sevilla.

“Joshua is a true learner. He loves to learn. He pushes himself to do his absolute best on everything. And I would say one of the most amazing things about Josh is he works well with everybody. He can help students understand the concept without just giving them the answer, which for a lot of people his age is really hard to do. Any at all, Josh is willing and able to learn and is a critical thinker. He has really good critical thinking skills. So no matter what strategy I do or how a lesson is presented, Josh is going to understand it and if not, he's going to ask for help and direction so that he will understand it,” said math teacher Ruth Wyka.

Joshua has transformed throughout his years at LHS, blossoming into a social and vibrant individual. His openness reflects not only personal growth but also the power of embracing connection and engagement with others.

“[Joshua’s] personal growth from his freshman year to now has been amazing. You know, he started off as a pure academic, studying, but he started coming out of his shell and sharing himself with his peers and that's got him into the activities where he started doing the academic team and the math elites. Then he started doing sports and he's fallen in love with the tennis program. So it's just been great to watch him evolve into an all around student,” said athletic director Peter Rausch.

Sevilla himself highlights the school's approach of letting students explore their interests, he is a great example of someone who found success and making him a great representation of Lecanto High School's student body.

“The greatest thing about Lecanto- it's not just [International Baccalaureate], it's not [Lecanto School of the Arts], it's not [Reserve Officers' Training Corps], it's not sports, it's not clubs. It's all of them. So what we do is we let kids find what they like, what helps them...So Lecanto helps kids achieve those types of goals. And [Joshua]'s another shining example. If I was really asked, I think he's a great representation of all of LHS’ students,” said Rausch.

Joshua has aimed to enhance his social and academic abilities by engaging in programming competitions. Additionally, he’s actively joining service clubs to foster collaboration with peers, recognizing the significance of teamwork in the field of computers.

“I'm trying to participate in programming competitions to help foster my coding skills. I'm also participating in service clubs so I can collaborate with others as that's also a big part of career science,” said Sevilla.

Disney magic for the CHS Chorus

Written By: Purshia Allotey, CHS Student

CHS Choir

On December 28th of 2023, Citrus High School’s music teacher Mr. Edel and his Chamber Choir were granted the amazing opportunity to be a part of Disney’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot. The event is a mass choir performing the story of Christmas through music and narration. This year the qualifications were intense.  The CHS Choir rose to the occasion and made incredible progress within a short time. Having auditioned quite early in the school year, it truly pushed the Chamber Choir to grow significantly as musicians.


Mr. Edel has been a music teacher at CHS for 27 years and says that it’s the best job in the world. His love for his work has inspired his students- who show just as much admiration for the craft as he does. Although he has taken his students on the Disney trip before, this is the first time since Covid that they’ve returned. Mr. Edel noted that his favorite part of the trip was the rehearsal beforehand. He said, “You get to see the kids for the first-time experience what it’s like to sing in front of the director and see how fast paced it is. The show is always great because they don’t hear the orchestra until they’re on stage. It was amazing.” Seeing how much this trip helped his choir perform, Mr. Edel hopes to have the opportunity to take his students on more trips in the future.


CHS Chamber Choir had a memorable time being a part of Disney’s cast for a day. They met amazing Disney cast members and even celebrity narrator, Audra McDonald, who came in and talked to the students and gave a pep talk right before the start of the show. The students noted that it was an outstanding and privileged experience. Chorus Vice President, Kara Davis, remembers exactly what she felt going into the trip and said she was excited but also really nervous because she never got to experience something like that. More notably this event made the students in the Chamber Choir bond closely. Chorus Public Relations Officer, Hailey Kell, said, “This really is a choir and it's what a choir should be. We’re unified, we are one voice, we don’t bring each other down.  We lift each other up, and we do everything we can as a group to create music.” The Disney trip made an everlasting impression on the students as they received an opportunity to experience something new, and these ambitious students took a major step forward in learning to improve their already sharpened skills.


When asked if CHS Choir is a good representation of Citrus County schools, Chorus Secretary, Rylee Hilberer, showed her dedication to the group by stating “It’s very inclusive for a lot of people. We’re a close-knit family, we do community work and perform for all kinds of events throughout the community. We show a lot of teamwork and that’s a big part of it.”  CHS Chamber Choir is a beautiful representation of what Citrus County schools has to offer students. Chorus President, Tristen Marcic, has a message to anyone with an interest in choir or any of the many other programs that Mr. Edel teachers: “Just go for it because in the end, these are the last 4 years that you have before you go into adulthood.  Have fun with it.”

Anyone is welcome to join the vast music programs that Citrus High School has to offer!
CHS  Choir