LaBelle High School Class of 2018 Highest Honors graduates

Pictured left to right: Gerardo Rivas-Leal, Jose Hernandez-Trejo, Emma Bridwell. Lazaro Sandoval and Rene Gomez. (Submitted photo)

LaBelle High School is starting a new tradition for recognizing students who graduate with honors. Like many high schools in Florida, the title of Valedictorian and Salutatorian will no longer be used. Students at LHS who meet the criteria of a weighted grade point average (GPA) of 4.1 or higher and complete required community service hours, will be awarded the recognition of Highest Honors. LaBelle High School’s Class of 2018 has forty-three students who will graduate with Highest Honors and is proud to announce the students with the five highest GPA’s.

Lazaro Sandoval has a weighted GPA of 5.20. He has completed 109 hours of community service. His achievements include being a Sunshine State Scholar, a National Merit Finalist, and a National Hispanic Scholar. Lazaro will be attending the University of Miami.

Gerardo Rivas-Leal has a weighted GPA of 5.14 and has completed 120 community service hours. In addition to meeting his high school graduation requirements, Gerardo was awarded an Associate in Arts (AA) degree from Florida SouthWestern State College. He will be attending Florida Institute of Technology.

Rene Gomez has a weighted GPA of 5.05 and has completed 200 community service hours. He is a recipient of College Board’s AP Scholar with Distinction Award and has completed 12 AP courses in his high school career. Rene will be attending Florida SouthWestern State College.

Emma Bridwell has a weighted GPA of 4.94 and has completed 128 community service hours. She is an active member of the LHS Band and has received personal Superior ratings at all Regional and State level Solo and Ensemble competitions. Emma is currently the LHS Band Captain, the Math Team Co-Captain, and the National Honor Society Historian. She spends free time at Riverside Camp and Retreat Center sharing God’s love in His beautiful creation with others. Emma is majoring in International and Global Studies at the University of Central Florida. After getting her degree, her plans are to become a Humanitarian and join the Peace Corps.

Jose Hernandez-Trejo has a weighted GPA of 4.89 and has completed 91 hours of community service. He received College Board’s AP Scholar with Distinction Award and the University of Rochester’s Bausch +Lomb Honorary Science Award. In addition, Jose received a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program in recognition of his outstanding academic promise. Jose is a National Hispanic Scholar and a QuestBridge Scholar. He will attend the University of Southern California.

LaBelle High School would like to invite family, friends, and the community to the Class of 2018’s baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies. Baccalaureate will be held on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. in the LHS auditorium. Graduation will be Saturday, May 19 at 8 a.m. at the LHS Football Stadium.

Michelle Zimmerly can be reached at

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