by Jonathan Hawthorne
Las Lomas’ hardest-working juniors, sophomores and freshmen were recognized at the Undergraduate Awards for their outstanding contributions to the school last Tuesday, in front of a hundred parents, teachers and supporters.
Students were nominated in several categories for their accomplishments. Altogether, 50 students received awards from their teachers.
Junior Lindsay Hedgecock received her award from Spanish teacher Mallorie Wilkerson. She is currently enrolled in Spanish 4 honors class, as well as being a peer tutor and teacher’s assistant.
“I don’t usually get very close with teachers because I don’t talk to them that much,” said Hedgecock. “Being a TA allows me to have a better relationship with Ms. Wilkerson, and I think that she is a wonderful woman and a very dedicated teacher.”
Wilkerson feels the same about Hedgecock.
“She is like having a second teacher in the room,” said Wilkerson, “so, in addition to her class performance in Spanish 4, which is really top level, that double connection made her my undergrad recepient this year.”
Junior Levi Russell received an undergraduate award in the science category for his work in AP Physics this year. His teacher, Marie Ciano, wrote in his introduction that she was especially impressed that he was able to earn a high grade without completing regular physics.
“I never felt the strain of an AP course,” said Russell. “Ciano made it a fun and enjoyable experience.”
Both Las Lomas vice principals awarded certificates and read short descriptions about each student to the audience.
Both Ruth Steele and Rhea Brandon felt that presenting the undergraduate awards is one of the most rewarding parts of their jobs because it allows them to interact with Las Lomas’ most exceptional kids, which they feel they don’t do as often as they would like.
The Undergraduate Awards are organized by Cathy Sillavo and Joan Wheller, with help from the Las Lomas chapter of the California Scholarship Federation.
Sillavo feels that it’s especially important to continue to help coordinate the event because it is a special way for the top students to be honored.
“I think that the students, parents, and teachers really enjoyed the event and found it heart-warming,” said Sillavo. “I think that it’s a very positive event for everyone involved. I especially enjoyed how Mr. Campbell had the parents stand to be recognized for the way they support their students.”