The sound of laughter, applause and excited chatter echoed and vibrated the walls of the Buena theater and set a joyous and nostalgic mood for a night of recognition, remembrance and retrospect.
Friends and families of the graduating class of 2017 filled Buena High School’s auditorium to the brim for this year’s “James Bond”-themed Senior Awards Night. Teachers at the event were dubbed with fitting, impeccably ‘007-esque code names, such as “Double D” for science teacher Darcy Duffy and “Wayne ‘Austin’ Powers,” in reference to the fictional spy.
The night began with presenters and teachers Justin Frazier and Melanie “Captain” Lindsey introducing the night: special guests would first grant select students with scholarships they had been awarded, followed by recognition for participation in clubs and then the students would be recognized for individual successes in their high school experience. Some of these awards included “Most Inspirational,” “Scholar Athlete (Male/Female),” “Best All Around Male/Female” and the “Chris Prewitt Award.”
Courtney Corbett ‘17 was awarded the title of “Best All Around Female,” and had no idea she was going to win.
Corbett said her friends relentlessly pestered her while Principal Joe Bova read the description of the student. “‘It’s you! He’s talking about you! You’re winning,’” they said, but Corbett refused believe them.
“It was amazing to win. It just kind of reaffirms everything that I’ve been doing for the last four years: all of my extracurriculars, all of my stressed out late nights and the crazy cram sessions for all the classes that I’ve done, but also all of the fun times I’ve had,” Corbett said.
Corbett believes that the people she’s come to know throughout the past couple of years have helped shape her personality. “I have so many close friends, and I count a lot of the teachers as my close friends,” Corbett remarked with a chuckle.
The “Chris Prewitt Award” is given in memoriam of a VUSD educator who was tragically killed by a woman driving under the influence while he was out training. The award is given to students who take the saying “carpe diem” to heart, just as Prewitt did. These students exemplify these characteristics through the manner in which they love, in which they laugh and in which they live.
The “Chris Prewitt Award” was presented to Danielle Askar ‘17 by teacher Cherie Eulau. To say Askar was honored and overwhelmed by the surprise of winning would be a complete understatement.
When discussing the award, Askar’s wide smile was accompanied by a face lit up with an amount of inconceivable joy. “To know that I represent his award means so much to me,” she said.
Askar’s mother, who used to work alongside Prewitt, told her “wonderful things about him” and Foothill teachers have said “such fond things” about him, which is part of the reason why this award hit so close to home for Askar.
Eulau teared up when she recalled just how much Prewitt meant to her, and how much she sees Prewitt in Askar, who she has had the pleasure of teaching.
Eulau is still in awe of how “amazing”, “positive and full of life” Prewitt was. To this day, Prewitt inspires Eulau when she is wary as to whether or not she wants to step out of her comfort zone. “I often think of him, and I think, ‘I should definitely go do that,’” she said.
“It is an honor to try to touch people’s lives and hopefully, for the recipient, that it lives on in them, and that’s the goal,” Eulau said.
“He had this just amazing smile, and I think that’s true of Danielle. When I picture her smiling, it just brightens up the room. And I think she’s just one of those people, that just makes you feel good, just being with her,” Eulau said.
ALL OF THE INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS OF THE NIGHT
|Applied Arts||Nicholas Dela Cruz|
|Applied Arts Renaissance||Cristoforo Allodoli|
|Best All Around – Female||Courtney Corbett|
|Best All Around – Male||Isaac Goldstein|
|BioScience Academy||Grace Carey|
|Chris Prewitt Award||Danielle Askar|
|Community Service||Jason Najera|
|English Renaissance||Shayla Fuentes|
|F.I.R.E Leadership||Hector Gonzales|
|Fine Arts||Jennifer Chang|
|Fine Arts Renaissance||Jessie Snyder|
|Finish Strong – Female||Alex Schmitt|
|Finish Strong – Male||Christian Hill Nguyen|
|Foreign Language – Native Speaker||Erika Narvaez|
|Foreign Language – Non-native Speaker||Brigit Farrell|
|Mathematics Renaissance||Brianna Corbett|
|Most Inspirational – Female||Miriam Martinez|
|Most Inspirational – Male||Christopher Clark|
|Scholar Athlete – Female||Ada Tadeo, Raquel Tadeo|
|Scholar Athlete – Male||Joshua Modglin|
|School Service – Female||Isabella Bobrow|
|School Service – Male||Kahar McCullum|
|Science Renaissance||Niko Ford|
|Social Science||Emma Kolesnik|
|Social Science Renaissance||Jazmin Reyes|