“Agrademy Awards” recognizes achievement and character


Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Bella Bobrow

Senior faces beamed as they walked up to claim their awards at the “Agrademy Awards,” an Academy Awards themed Senior Awards night ceremony on Thursday night.

“No, that’s not a typo, I just thought it was clever,” art teacher Justin Frazier told the attendees. Buena High School’s Dr. A. W. McConnell Auditorium was packed with seniors and their grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends.

Frazier and ASB adviser/12th grade English teacher Melanie “Captain” Lindsey conducted the awards ceremony. With witty comments and playful jokes, Lindsey and Frazier’s friendly banter kept the audience entertained throughout the 3 hour long ceremony.

In a nod to Ellen Degeneres’s hosting of the Academy Awards, Lindsey ordered boxes of pizza for the crowd. The pizza was delivered to hungry attendees during the awards ceremony by a group of ASB students.

“The Domino’s guy is right back there; he wouldn’t come in,” Lindsey said, pointing to the back of the auditorium.


Chris Prewitt Award presented

The Chris Prewitt award was introduced this year. This award recognizes a student who embodies the characteristics of Chris Prewitt, a former Foothill teacher who was fatally hit by a car while jogging earlier this year. The award was presented by Wantz and Cherie Eulau, Social Sciences teacher, to Dylan Donovan-Smith.

“[Prewitt] was such a positive force; he was just a presence. So it’s just a way to […] carry that forward and recognize a student with similar traits,” Eulau said.

Donovan-Smith was “ecstatic, honored, overjoyed” to receive the award.

“I met [Prewitt] once or twice. Every time I saw him he acted like he knew me really well. He was this fun, loving, happy, smiling guy. He’d always give me a firm handshake and be like ‘Hi Dylan!’ I was like ‘You’ve seen me twice, how do you know my name?’ He was just such an amazing guy,” he said.

To Eulau, although there were other deserving students, Donovan-Smith was the obvious choice.

“He just has that same demeanor that every exchange with him is positive. Even if he’s tired – even if he’s talking about that he’s busy – there’s some joke, there’s some smile. He has that same charisma, but that humble personality too,” Eulau said. “He’s just a lot like Prewitt in that way.”

Donovan-Smith received a watch with the new Foothill Dragon logo.

”I’m never taking it off,” he said.


Glenda Marshall and Aysen Tan receive “Best Overall”

Glenda Marshall and Aysen Tan received the male and female “Best Overall” Awards.

Marshall was surprised and honored to receive the award.

“There are a lot of really strong females in our senior class. I thought [Ami Ballmer] was an outstanding person so I thought she was going to get it. I wasn’t really expecting it at all,” she said.

Tan was also grateful to be receiving the award.

“It was always nice to see that the teachers had always been watching and […] recognizing all of our work, and it was really gratifying and humbling at the same time,” Tan said. “I couldn’t think of a better person I could share this honor with; Glenda.”

Other awards were presented to deserving students

Retiring Calculus teacher Anthony Muro Villa III was presented with the “Calcoolus” award by fellow Speech & Debate Advisor Jennifer Kindred.

“He’s probably terrified that I’m speaking about him. And he should be,” she joked before sharing funny memories of him with the audience.

Villa received a standing ovation.

This year’s Advisor’s Choice Award was presented to Megan Kearney. Journalism advisor Melissa Wantz described her as “undaunted” and was proud of her for working hard in the face of adversity this past year.

ASB, National Art Honors Society, CSF, F.I.R.E., and Journalism students were honored on stage and received chords to wear during graduation.

Recognition was also given for National Forensics League members, known on campus as the Speech & Debate team. Among the students recognized was Ana Bello, who had accumulated more than 1,000 Speech & Debate points from competing in and winning tournaments.

There was also recognition for the Communications Academy, Multilingual Seal, various levels of Community Service, President’s Service Award, and the Senior Focus Council. Ryan McDonald was honored with the Community Service Award for his 881 hours.

Students who “Finished Strong” with a GPA of 3.0 or higher were brought to the stage to be recognized.

Afterwards, Foothill honored 39 students who will be graduating Magna Cum Laude (4.0-4.3 GPA,) and 17 students who will be graduating Summa Cum Laude (4.4+ GPA.) They all received silver stoles for graduation.

Four Parents of the Year were recognized for their hard work behind the scenes: Lisa Beamer, Rose Hayden-Smith, Stacey Eckstrom, and Shannon Lowry.

Ventura Unified Superintendent Trudy Arriaga presented the Superintendent’s Marcus Foster Award to two students, Jenny Hamlet and Jessie Conchas. Arriaga was presented with the Marcus Foster Award for Administrative Excellence by the Association of California School Administrators, and decided to spread the check to ten deserving high schoolers, two of which were from Foothill.

“It feels almost as if I’m graduating with you,” she said fondly as she addressed the Class of 2014.

Arriaga took over the position of Superintendent the year the current seniors began Kindergarten and because of this she felt a special attachment to them.

“I look forward to shaking hands with every one of you as you cross that line in a couple of weeks,” Arriaga said.


Background Photo Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Dragon Hall of Fame
Social Science Victoria Bonds Foreign Language, Native Speaker Valeria Gonzales Phoenix Award – Male  Levi Williams
Renaissance Social Science Travis Williams Foreign Language, Non-Native Speaker  Sarah Jackson Phoenix Award – Female  Mallory McPherson-Wehan
Science Noah Davis Mathematics  Dominica Stoll Scholar Athlete – Male  Austin Takeda
Renaissance Science Ian McMillan Renaissance Mathematics  Angela King Scholar Athlete – Female  Kayalin Akins-Irby
BioScience Ami Ballmer Calcoolus  Anthony Muro Villa III Best All-Around Male  Aysen Tan
Fine Arts Anneke Zeko English  Glenda Marshall Best All-Around Female  Glenda Marshall
Renaissance Fine Arts Carolina Canosa Renaissance English  Sage Fazzone The Chris Prewitt Award  Dylan Donovan-Smith
Applied Arts Aysen Tan Club  Blake Silva F.I.R.E.  Brianna Houska
Renaissance Applied Arts Mackenzie Lowry School Service  Anna Cogswell and Erika Hurtdo Community Service  Ryan McDonald
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