Jupiter High celebrates their ‘Champions of Character’

Melissa Fishbaugh
Jupiter High’s Champions of Character honored on May 12 with a surprise parade.

Jupiter High honored five recipients of the Student Athletic Community Education (ACES) Champions of Character Award on May 12 with a drive-by parade. The caravan began in Jupiter Farms and continued to the neighborhoods of Rialto and Egret Landing. More than 25 cars, full of friends, family and coaches, made their way through the community to support the winners. 

Out of the 12 student athletes recognized as Champions of Character, five came from Jupiter High: Kassandra Fishbaugh, Nicholas Grieco, Zachary Muro, Chase Senecal, and Bella Torres. Originally, to celebrate these outstanding students, Florida Power and Light planned to host a red carpet dinner, but due to COVID-19, it was canceled.

“It was great to see the kids being honored, even though it wasn’t the original planned event,” JHS head baseball coach Andy Mook said. “I was proud to be a part of the celebration of these five great kids. They exemplify what it takes to be student athletes who are leaders.”

The Student ACES program is a leadership program for high school athletes throughout Florida. Through ACES, athletes learn how to be leaders both on and off the playing field. 

Fishbaugh has participated in the ACES program for all four years of high school. According to Fishbaugh, ACES has helped her tremendously with public speaking as well as leadership skills. 

“Student ACES is such a great program in so many ways, but the most amazing part of it is the fact that they treat everyone like family. It’s one big tight knit community,” Fishbaugh said.

Muro has also been a part of ACES for all four years of high school. He feels that ACES has allowed him to build lifelong relationships with peers from other schools he may never have connected with otherwise. Muro also feels the program gave him the opportunity to meet leaders and professional athletes within his community, who provided him with knowledge on work ethic, honesty and integrity, all of which he knows are characteristics that will allow him to be a leader in his community for years to come. 

“Student ACES provides us with endless opportunities to build relationships with peers and leaders in our workforce,” Muro said.

Senecal has been a part of the ACES program for two years and credits the ACES program for helping his public speaking skills. He also feels the program has taught him how to respond to people’s needs as a leader. 

“Student ACES has been a place of so many memories and experiences I wouldn’t trade for anywhere else with anyone else,” Senecal said. 

Torres recently joined the ACES program at the end of her junior year. Torres was pleased to be part of the program, especially as the captain of the JHS varsity cheerleading team that is a two-time state champion. 

“The ACES program made me the person I am today. I would not be where I am if it weren’t for them bringing out my confidence, enhancing my public speaking skills, and teaching me essential life lessons that I will use for the rest of my life,” Torres said.

Through ACES, Grieco improved his leadership abilities on and off the field, applying the techniques he learned from his two years being part of the program. He is extremely thankful for his opportunity to be a part of ACES.

“The student ACES program has taught me many valuable lessons that I can carry with me for the rest of my life, and helped me grow as a person and connect with the ACES family,” Grieco said.