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High School awards ceremonies present future leaders

It took two days, endless slices of cake and hours of ceremony, but Park City High School managed to honor its outstanding students during two events last Wednesday and Thursday. In total, both events recognized more than a third of the graduating class of 2008.

Evening of Excellence

Formerly called the "Top 10 percent" evening, this event was recently renamed due to the proliferation of students with GPAs over the 4.0 benchmark. Each of the students acknowledged during the ceremony reciprocated the honor by thanking their favorite teacher with a photo taken of the student and teacher as well as a book documenting the student’s experience.

The banquet was marked by addresses from Superintendent Ray Timothy, Leanne Parry of the Park City Education Foundation, Andrew Garland of Zions Bank, Principal Hillary Hays, John Krenkel (PCHS teacher), Maureen Amendola (PCHS teacher) and Jonathan Draxton (PCHS student). Many of the addresses spoke to achievement and success. Timothy, who quoted Goethe as a reference, told these students that even though they have been equipped with a fine education, that the rest of their path belongs to them. Casey Fassett, a PCHS student, provided comic relief with a short video he made of student honorees that posed questions such as: "What song best describes you?"

A total of 46 students were awarded during the evening. In addition to their certificates, students also received $100 checking accounts from Zions Bank to get them started. As both student and teacher were called to the podium to receive their certificates and photos, Hillary Hays and Dave McNaughton read short biographies.

Community Scholarship Awards

Hillary Hays joked during her opening remark at the annual scholarship presentations that she and others pulled an all-nighter. The Community Scholarship Awards were given to students only hours after the Evening of Excellence wrapped.

During the ceremony more than 100 students from the class of 2008 received scholarships. The minimum for each scholarship was set at $500, and, in total, more than $100,000 went out to high-achieving students. Overall, Community Scholarship Advisor Dana Ardovino said that the class of 2008 received $11 million in scholarships from multiple sources including the community awards.

Students won scholarships for various reasons not limited to their academic achievements. Some students were awarded for their care of animals, others for their artistic abilities and one for her journalistic skills.

Several of the scholarships were new this year, including the Dr. Darren Bean Memorial Scholarship. Bean, a PCHS graduate, passed away weeks ago while performing his duties as a Life Flight physician in Wisconsin. The scholarship, created by the Back to our Roots Foundation, was designed to commemorate his integrity and spirit. Previously, this funding was given under a different title, but the Back to our Roots Foundation changed the name to honor their classmate and friend just days after his premature departure.

This year, the award went to A.J. Ardovino who reminded Brian Worley, Brodie Pollard and Jake Doilney of their high school classmate and friend in both achievement and attitude. Doilney said, "we could tell by his application that he was a very hard worker motivated to succeed. (Ardovino is) an honest person; caring and nice, similar to how Darren was."


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