Senior ‘Top Dawgs’ award ceremony returns in-person


Austin Ikard

PEACE OUT: Senior Madelyn Lopez Ball expresses her excitement walking off the stage as she gets her certificates and medals. The ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 10 2022 in the new athletic facility.

Donna Kim, News Editor

On Tuesday night, select junior and seniors walked up onto the gym stage to be awarded a Trustees’ Scholar Award for their academic achievements, celebrating all their hard work during the school year.

Juniors and seniors who meet the necessary requirements are invited to the Trustees’ Scholar Awards. This award acknowledges all the students who worked especially hard during their school year to become academically enriched and involved. Juniors Jason Oh and Abby Wile were among the students to have won a Trustees’ Award, and to attend the award ceremony.

“I learned about [the Trustees’ Scholar Awards] last year when I found out I was in the top 10%, and [the school] invited me to the ceremony,” junior Jason Oh said. “It’s nice to receive recognition for academics because everybody in the top 10% has worked so hard for so long to earn it.”

Rank GPA, cumulative GPA, attendance, class rank, and grades are all taken into account for students who are chosen to win the Trustees’ award. Students must have earned a GPA of 3.0, and recipients must be in the top ten percent of their class rank based on either their cumulative GPA or rank GPA at the end of the first five reporting periods for the school year.

“At first, I didn’t really think anything of winning the award. But then a couple of my friends made me go to the ceremony,” Wile said. “At the ceremony, I realized how proud of myself I am because I’ve been working so hard this year. It’s always nice being celebrated for your achievements, because it makes them seem more worthwhile.”

The Trustees’ Award is supposed to celebrate all the students of Bowie who worked especially hard in their academics, but sometimes, high school can get stressful and stress can get in the way of academic achievement. Oh gives advice on what helped him maintain his grades.

“Besides the obvious things like paying attention and working hard, my biggest piece of advice is to keep track of assignments in some form,” Oh said. “I have a homework app which has allowed me to minimize late or missing assignments.”

Wile also offers useful advice for underclassmen who are interested in receiving a Trustees’ Scholar Award.

“I’d advise underclassmen who want to receive [a Trustees’ Scholar Award] to take classes that they are interested in, as it is much easier to get good grades in classes that you enjoy. I also would encourage good attendance,” Wile said. “I would advise them to create a big overarching goal. For me, my goal is to get into my dream college. I think big goals like that serve as huge motivation, and make it easier to achieve more short term goals, like winning the Trustees’ Award.”

Right after the Trustees’ Scholar Award ceremony was senior night, which was hosted by Academic Dean Kaylin Brett. Senior Christina Canepa who received a Trustees’ Award during the ceremony, was also invited to senior night to highlight all her accomplishments throughout her high school career.

“Senior night was the second half of the Trustee Award ceremony where academic director Ms. Brett and the senior class sponsors, Mrs. Uzzle and Mrs. Grandinetti-Johnson  presented awards that seniors have earned throughout their time at Bowie,” Canepa said. “We were given chords, buttons, and metals that we got from academic extracurriculars, and teacher awards to wear at graduation. Each kid took a turn going up on stage and being given the awards from our teachers.”

US History teacher Alejandro Garcia attended senior night in support of his graduating students who were a part of his classes and student council.

“When teachers get the chance to recommend one person for their pride and performance award we get a chance to recognize students that don’t always get recognized by anyone else,” Garcia said. “It gives them a chance to feel like they’ve made an impact on Bowie. That’s really special.”

With one year being completely online, many seniors agree that they have had an unusual high school experience. Despite this, many still continued to thrive in their academics, and graduate with many academic achievements. This didn’t stop Canepa from celebrating her and her classmates’ success.

“The best part of the night was watching my friends receive all their awards. I’ve always been surrounded by hard working friends and it’s so exciting to see them honored and recognized for everything they’ve contributed to at the school,” Canepa said. “It made me really proud of my friends and my classmates for getting through a weird high school experience and continuing to excel.”   

According to Garcia, he is excited about what the future will bring for seniors. Even when teaching World History, he gives students the same compassion and advice as his upperclassman.   

“Be unapologetic and be you. Never conform to what others want you to be, just be you. Do what makes you happy,” Garcia said. “Things are going to go wrong, when a setback happens you gotta keep pressing forward, those things are what’s going to teach you the most in life.”