Underclass Awards Spread Wealth


Amanda Young, Staff Writer

65 freshmen, sophomores, and juniors were recognized for academic achievement on May 10 during an after school ceremony in the library.

The annual event celebrates students who have “the highest percentage, worked really hard, [or] gone the extra mile,” said math teacher Nita Madra, who collects the nominations from staff and organizes the ceremony.

Madra solicited nominations from teachers via email. Each teacher provides a 1st and a 2nd choice so that, in the case where students are the 1st choice of multiple teachers, they are given only 1 of the awards and the other is then given to 1 of the 2nd choices. “We try to spread the wealth instead of giving 1 student all of the awards,” Madra explained.

“I was slightly confused because I didn’t know which teacher nominated me, but I was also excited to see what the awards ceremony would be like,” said freshman Leila Stoll.

Stoll received an award from her Living Earth teacher.

Junior Lauren Landry was also unaware of the teacher who nominated her. “I was really surprised because I had no idea what the whole thing was about, so when I got the letter in class I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what is this for?’ and I immediately [was wondering] who nominated me,” she said.

When Landry learned she was the choice of US History teacher Molly Kerr, she said, “I definitely feel happy… We definitely have a good personal relationship, so I felt really honored and when I saw her at the ceremony I felt really happy and [it was] almost like a friendship.”

“It’s a big deal to recognize somebody who has done really well. Most teachers have 150-something students,” Madra said. “I really enjoy doing it because it means a lot to the students to be recognized. There are lots of sports awards and very few academic recognitions.”