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RHS Academic Awards honor students, athletes
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Though they were late coming in because of an away softball game, the audience at the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium waited a bit for the team to arrive at the Academic Block R awards night this past week. Seven of the players, both JV and varsity, received recognition for their hard work in the classrooms this year. Ric McGinnis/The News

Riverbank High School students, staff, faculty and families came together this past week to celebrate academic achievement on campus this year.

Ninety-nine students, from freshmen through seniors, received their Academic Block Awards and certificates on Wednesday, May 1 during a program hosted in the Ray Fauria Gymnasium. In addition to their certificates, some received an actual Block R patch, while others received a pin to be added to their previously presented Block R awards.

In the front of the printed program accompanying the event, a quote from Aristotle set the tone for the celebration: “Excellence is an art won through training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

In beginning of the event, Principal Ed Vaca pointed out to the crowd that the students got to choose who would give them their awards. He said that they had selected teaching staff members, as well as office staff, counselors, custodial staff and others to make the presentations.

Some presenters only made one award, while a number of them awarded numerous students.

A declaration printed on the certificate reads: “Your Academic Achievement is an outward measure that reflects inward motivation in academics and self-discipline.”

The whole program took about an hour, which included a bit of a delay just before the end. Principal Vaca noted at the beginning that members of the varsity softball team were in Livingston, playing a game. Having been in communication with the bus driver bringing them home, during the program, at the end Vaca asked the audience to wait 15 minutes for them to arrive.

He also asked that those who remained give them a round of applause when they came in. The crowd enthusiastically complied. Seven of the softball players received Academic Block Rs, including a couple from the JV team.

After all was said and done, group and individual photos were to be had all around the gym before everyone went home at the end of the award-winning evening.

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RHS senior Austynn Givargiznia receives his Academic Block R award and certificate from one of his football coaches at an awards ceremony on May 1 in the Fauria Gymnasium. He was one of 99 recipients from all classes, freshmen through seniors, recognized that evening. Ric McGinnis/The News
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Riverbank’s Miranda Calderon receives her Academic Block R certificate and pin, to be added to a previously won patch, presented by RHS teacher and Track and Field/Cross Country coach Monte Wood. The event was hosted in the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium, and honored 99 students, from freshmen through seniors. Ric McGinnis/The News
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Graduating senior Ethan Moreno receives a certificate and pin to be added to a previously received Academic Block R at Riverbank High School, to go along with his athletic honors received over the years. He was presented the award by Jeff Jennings, RHS teacher and former varsity basketball coach, who happens to also be Moreno’s uncle. Ric McGinnis/The News