The 2016-17 school year is coming to an end with a slew of graduations this week for Riverbank Unified School District. Prior to the graduation celebrations the seniors at Riverbank High School and their families participated in the annual Senior Awards evening on Wednesday, May 17 which recognized specific seniors for their outstanding achievements throughout this school year and their high school careers.
The crowd was quiet as the colors were presented and then everyone engaged in the flag salute. RHS Principal Dr. Sean Richey welcomed guests and presented the Golden State Seal of Merit and the Stanislaus County Seal of Multilingual Proficiency to kick off the award ceremonies with the assistance of Senior Counselor Maritza Alvarez.
In addition to general recognition awards received by Riverbank High School seniors in the recent ceremony, more than $58,000 in scholarships were handed out as well, according to Dr. Richey.
Honored as Valedictorian for the Class of 2017 and who will speak at graduation this week, Lydia Hodges recorded the highest GPA in the group. The title of Salutatorian was split between Samuel Endsley and Edgar Garcia. The pair tied for the second highest GPA of the class, as announced by Richey.
In addition to receiving those awards, the Riverbank Rotary recognized the trio with small scholarships.
On top of those, Hodges received a California Scholastic Federation scholarship, one from the California Math Council, a Golden State Seal and recognition for the Principal’s Scholastic Achievement from Richey.
Endsley also received a CSF scholarship, the State Seal and Principal’s awards. Garcia received recognition from the RHS Chapter of the National Honor Society, the CSF, State Seal and Principal’s awards, in addition to the U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete award, a Gloria Bracco Scholarship and a Stanislaus Futures Scholarship.
Some of the notable awards that were distributed to worthy seniors included the Daughters of American Revolution Good Citizen Award, Mathematics Achievement Awards, Commitment to Leadership, Excellence in Music Award, Athlete Awards, and many more.
United States Army representative Sgt. Hall presented the U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Awards to Kimberlin Leon-Cortes and Edgar Garcia.
Some of the scholarships come from civic, fraternal or governmental organizations, while others are memorial in nature, in remembrance of family members, friends, co-workers or other associates. Scholarships ranged from $50 to $4000 or more.
Many students in the senior class received multiple recognitions. Scholar/Athlete Joslyn Beliera received nine awards, Kimberlin Leon-Cortes got eight and Graciela Meza netted seven.
In all, 49 students received awards or scholarships in a very memorable night of honors. Plants to decorate the gymnasium for the evening were courtesy of Morris Nursery.
News Reporter Virginia Still contributed to this story.