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Bumper crop: Clermont Middle wins third consecutive state Citrus Evaluation event

For the third year in a row, Clermont Middle School squeezed out a win at the FFA Citrus Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE).

Held on Dec. 5 at the FFA Leadership Training Center in Haines City, Clermont Middle’s FFA team proved victorious at the state Citrus CDE, which stimulates student interest and learning activities related to the production and management of citrus fruit. It is the third consecutive first place finish at the event as the Clermont Middle wins third consecutive state Citrus Evaluation event school took top honors in 2010 and 2011. Last year, Lake County Schools swept the competition as East Ridge High secured first place in the high school division.

“I am extremely proud of my students,” said Michael Garner, Agricultural teacher and FFA Advisor at Clermont Middle School. “They are all highly motivated young people who wish to expand their education beyond the classroom walls. These are students on the path to college and career readiness.”

Other teams from Lake County Schools participating in the high school portion of the event included East Ridge High (fourth place), Lake Minneola High (10th place) and South Lake High (16th place). Gray Middle School finished in sixth place in the middle school division.

In addition to Clermont Middle’s impressive win, the team also scored the top three individual performances: Emily Fuhrer placed first; Katie Tribble came in second; and Aimee Lewis finished third. Emily Fuhrer will be recognized at the State Convention in June as the state’s highest scorer. The other team member is Casey Duffy. In addition, four backup members — Grace Gallagher, Nico Corbo, Claudia Corbo and Meagan Dickson — trained equally as hard and attended the event.