Top 5% Honored

Top 5 Percent of RRHS 2021 Graduating Class Honored
Posted on 05/07/2021
2021 RRHS Top 5%

The top 5% of the Rio Rico High School 2021 graduating seniors and their invited special educators were honored at the 10th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet sponsored by the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 Education Foundation. The event was held at the Tubac Golf Resort.

The fifteen students were honored for their educational achievements and, in turn, they each honored the educator making the biggest impact on their academic success.
Ms. Karen Woodford and Francisco Padilla, directors for the Foundation , were the hosts for the evening.

“There was a disruption of what school really is. So many of the meaningful events weren’t held this year. The relationships with teachers were different and called for different approaches,” said Woodford. “You took a look at your independence and your time management and there was probably a real opportunity for not taking things or people, for granted. You learned a lot of life skills along with academic skills, and you will be telling these stories about your senior year at Rio Rico HIgh School for many years.”

The Keynote Speaker was Ally Alvarez, Rio Rico High School Success Coach. She directed her comments to the graduating senior students.

[Students], “When it comes to hard situations, there are basically two perspectives. The first, is the easy route, in which you view obstacles as your own personal failure. As a sign that you’re not good enough, and this fixed mindset can even encourage you to quit. The other perspective is harder to develop, but it is so powerful. This perspective is when you view challenges, as opportunities to grow, as lessons where you learn something about yourself. To persevere in the face of failure. This mindset, called the growth mindset, is a lot harder to have. Especially in the moment of failure, things can feel overwhelming and it can be hard to see the positive.”

The evening concluded with a video recording of each student explaining why they chose their guest teacher as the educator that made the biggest impact in their educational lives.

Students received a certificate of achievement, “Excellence In Education” medal, and a $500 scholarship. “This banquet provides a wonderful opportunity for students to thank and recognize educators who’ve had a significant impact on them,” said Padilla. “The Foundation has given away $73,000 in scholarships since 2012.”

Students and honored teachers were:
Studentand Educator
Jovanni C. Pantoja/Ms. Kathy Alford
Parth Pacharne/Mr. Falwell Bancolo
Francia Chacon-Quintero/Ms. Hallie Birkett
Jesus Lopez/Ms. Rosa Maria Cardenas
Ana F. Marquez/Ms. Michelle Gibbar
Cecile I. Raymond-Baker/Ms. Jennifer Huerta
Dagoberto Rodriguez, Jr./Mr. Len Johnson
Roberto A. Guevara, Jr./Mr. Nagesh Kumar
Gabriel R. Espinoza/Ms. Roma Lamor
Rachel S. Figuera/Ms. Quinn O'Donnell
Paulina A. Soto/Ms. Jolanne Palumbo
Carlos D. De La Cruz/Ms. Teresa Potter
Sebastian Montanez/Ms. Imela Romero
Juliana Espinoza/Ms. Claudia Saint Clair
Alexa Chavez/Ms. Margaret Shaw