On Tuesday, May 13, Leesville honored its brightest at the annual Awards Ceremony. The program started at 6:30, and was held in the auditorium. Openings included renditions of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and Greenday’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” by the orchestra, with a few words from this year’s Student Body President, Hannah Daley.
Multiple awards were presented in nine departments: Career and Technical Education, English, Fine Arts, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Languages and Student Services.
It was a long, but enjoyable, evening. Friends were able to socialize with other peers, and watch them receive awards they have worked diligently all year for. The night moved as swiftly as it could, with department chairs handing out each certificate and special mementos for certain awards. Lindsey Arata, who won Outstanding Student of French, received a French dictionary. Alec Way and Rachel Langley , winners of the ‘I Dare You Leadership Award’ were given Highest Duty by Jeffrey Zaslow, which was signed by all of the Social Studies department.
Small items like this made each award more personal, and made students feel as though their hard work was worth more than just another point for their GPA.
Señor Ross, language department chair and co-organizer of Award’s Night, agrees that this is a special night for student recognition.
“So many students put such effort, hours and energy into different things. It’s a fun time to recognize those kids. There were kids onstage that I didn’t know participated in a certain thing until I saw them get an award. It’s important to honor their work and efforts, and to let them be recognized. For many of them they are getting good grades or winning competitions that no one else knows about until their name is called onstage,” said Ross.
Other teachers and administrators including Ms. Robinson, Ms. Roszko, Mr. Price and Ms. Moore contributed their time to planning the event.
As far as the actual process for choosing recipients, “[It] depends greatly on the department, for example in Spanish all the spanish teachers talk,” said Ross. “The polyglot award, which is multiple languages, isn’t a simple process. We first have to figure out what students are eligible based on how many students have taken multiple languages and higher levels of multiple languages. In other departments, I would imagine the teachers would all gather in a similar way and discuss prospective students.”
And awards are not presented solely based on grades. While having a high grade in a certain subject helps, awards like Outstanding Student focuses on those who expand their learning outside of the classroom.
Hannah Daley, student body president, reflected on the meaning of this year’s ceremony. “From the point of view as a senior this year’s ceremony held a lot of emotion. I was able to see a large number of fellow seniors receive awards that hinged on their culminating success in high school, and I felt privileged to know them! But it was just amazing to see those students who have worked so hard to be recognized, the atmosphere was celebratory and proud.”