SBHS top students honored at annual senior night

Cota, Keith named co-valedictorians

Staff report

Before a packed house of students, families and presenters, nearly $275,000 worth of scholarships were awarded to 103 students at San Benito High School’s Senior Awards Night at a May 22 ceremony.

School staff also announced its top 10 graduating students, scholar-athletes, salutatorian and co-valedictorians for the Class of 2019.

“Tonight validates all you have done in the last 18 years or so to support your sons and daughters,” said SBHS principal Adrian Ramirez, who helped welcome the audience members along with scholarship adviser Mary Andrade.

SBHS will have co-valedictorians this year, with MIT-bound Jaron Cota and future UCLA student Frederick Keith sharing the honor.

Ian Sills, who will attend Stanford in the fall, was selected as the class salutatorian.

The remainder of the top 10 students from the Balers’ 2019 class are: Sara Meza (UC-Irvine, biomedical engineering with a pre-med emphasis); Erin Taylor (UC-Davis, statistics); Jennifer Rosas (UC-Berkeley, mathematics with a minor in linguistics); Grace Richards (BYU, education); Sean Slavich (UC-Berkeley, industrial engineering and operations research); Madison Ricker (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, animal science); and Simone Yamaoka (University of Washington, civil engineering).

The scholar athletes of the year are Senior Class President Alyssa Ito and Joseph Loredo. Ito, who will play softball for UC-Davis next year, maintained a 4.22 GPA while earning 11 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. Loredo, who will attend the University of San Francisco, earned a 4.13 GPA while earning six varsity letters in cross country and track.

Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum thanked the “extreme generosity of our community” including individuals and organizations that fund scholarships for students. He also praised the students being recognized for their academic and athletic achievements, saying they “have seized the opportunities presented to you with a level of maturity far beyond your years.”

“It is because of you,” he added, that SBHS “continues to thrive as a place of growth, creativity and prosperity.”


91 seniors earn Seal of Biliteracy

Ninety-one SBHS seniors were recognized May 24 for earning the Seal of Biliteracy, along with those who earned Senior Scholar Awards and served as Senior Class officers.

School staff provided a free pizza lunch to the entire Class of 2019.

To receive the Seal of Biliteracy, students must meet all English language arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or above and Pass the Smarter Balanced Assessments in English language arts administered in grade 11 at the proficient level or above.

They must also be proficient in one or more languages in addition to English as demonstrated through one of three options: passing a foreign language Advanced Placement examination with a score of 3 or higher or an International Baccalaureate examination with a score of 4 or higher; completing a four-year course of study in the same foreign language, and attain an overall GPA of 3.0 or above; or passing the SAT 2 foreign language exam with a score of 600 or higher.

The Senior Academic Scholar designation is for any senior who maintained a cumulative/career GPA of 3.5 or above through the fifth grading period of their senior year.


197 Golden State Seal recipients from SBHS

San Benito High School has 197 Golden State Seal Merit Diploma qualifiers, up from 132 last year and 105 the year before, according to a SBHS District announcement.

The award recognizes public school graduates who have demonstrated mastery of the high school curriculum in at least six subject areas, four of which are English language arts, mathematics, science and U.S. history, with the remaining two subject areas selected by the student.

Eligible seniors will receive two GSSMD seals: a gold embossed seal to be affixed to the student’s high school diploma and a black-and-white seal to be affixed to the student’s transcript.

  • San Benito High School’s 124th annual commencement ceremony will honor its Class of 2019 at 8:30am June 7 on the new multi-use fields of the 1220 Monterey Street campus.

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