SENIOR WEEK: Seniors honored at awards night

Principal Brown presents senior Sara Pinto with the Gordon H. True Service cup at Senior Awards Night. Senior Brendan MacDonald was also given this award.
Principal Brown presents senior Sara Pinto with the Gordon H. True Service Cup at Senior Awards Night. Senior Brendan MacDonald was also given this award.

By Chris Garrison, Staff–

Students, parents and members of the Davis community crammed into the IPAB for the 2014 Senior Awards Night on June 3. More than 100 members of the class of 2014 were honored for their various accomplishments, scholarships and extracurricular involvements.

The night began at 6 p.m. sharp with a welcome and introduction before transitioning to the awarding of local, state and national scholarships. Scholarships were awarded for membership in the Davis Chinese Association, involvement in the Girl Scouts, Davis Musical Theatre and many other organizations. Senior Garrett Fisk was recognized for his appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.

“The whole appointment is a scholarship,” Fisk said. “This basically recognizes that and the whole appointment.”

Patrick Long also received his commission to the United States Naval Academy.

Next came the memorial scholarships, with money granted to students in the name of deceased community members. Jesus Gutierrez was awarded a scholarship by the Yolo County Mexican American Concilio for his involvement with the Davis High Academic Center. Gutierrez plans to attend St. Mary’s College in the fall.

“It’s an honor,” he said. “And I’m glad my parents will have to pay for a little less of my tuition.”

Afterwards came the awards from universities, where students were recognized for self-reported awards and scholarships from their chosen college or university. This gave students a chance to be recognized for scholarships and grants that they received from their new school, rather than community donors.

Recognition for student involvement in various school departments, clubs and extracurriculars followed. Students from the art, music, agriculture, english, math, social studies, science, and theatre departments were honored along with Friendship Day Facilitators, members of the DHS science bowl team and students involved in clubs.

After that came the special DHS awards, which included California Scholarship Federation recognition for lifetime members, ROP award, and the Seal of Biliteracy for students who demonstrated excellence in the DHS foreign language department.

The final awards were granted to individual DHS students and teachers in recognition of their accomplishments and character. Rami Rashmawi was awarded the Associated Student Body Special Award in recognition of his role as ASB president. After receiving the award, Rashmawi brought his vice president Tara Mullen up to share the plaque.

“Everything I’ve done as president wouldn’t have been possible without her,” Rashmawi said.

After Rashmawi came the Triple D award, granted to Ted Riffle for lettering in three sports his senior year. Riffle played on the men’s varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams this year. The Athletes of the Year, Heather Johnson and Matt Trask, followed.

Principal William Brown took the podium next to present a new award, the Blue Devil Service Award, to five teachers who displayed “a commitment to excellence.” The recipients were Amelia Hess, Stacy Desideri, Eric Morgan, Dennis Foste, and Courtenay Tessler.

“This is [Brown’s] contribution to the awards night,” Morgan said. “I don’t know a whole lot beyond what he said about the award. It’s a nice surprise.”

Ellie Michael was awarded the Rotary Teacher Service Award for “growing our Ag. Mechanics department from flailing to fledgling,” according to Brown. Michael was elected by the student body.

Zhongxia Yan was awarded the Rotary Scholarship Cup for having the highest GPA at the school. Yan was away at Purdue University on a summer program for 20 of the top high school graduates in the country, so his father accepted the award for him.

Last came the Gordon H. True Service Cup, the “highest honor bestowed upon two graduating seniors” who demonstrate “the qualities of loyalty, service, and citizenship.” The recipients of the award, Brendan MacDonald and Sara Pinto, were kept in the dark up until the minute their names were announced to the crowd.

“I almost fainted,” Pinto said.
“We were looking at the plaques of previous students who won this, and to be in that class, we are so honored,” MacDonald said.

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