RRHS seniors

From left: Jesus Lopez, Carlos D. De La Cruz, Dagoberto Rodriguez, Jr., Jovanni C. Pantoja, Sebastian Montanez, Roberto Guevara, Jr., Parth Pacharne, Rachel S. Figueroa, Ana F. Marquez, Juliana Espinoza, Paulina A. Soto, Francia Chacon-Quintero, Alexa Chavez, Cecile I. Raymond-Baker and Gabriel R. Espinoza.

Students in the top 5 percent of the Rio Rico High School Class of 2021 were recently honored at the 10th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet sponsored by the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 Education Foundation.

During the event, held at the Tubac Golf Resort, the 15 students were recognized for their academic accomplishments. Each received a certificate of achievement, a medal and a $500 scholarship.

In turn, the students each honored the educator who has made the biggest impact on their academic success.

“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 Karen Woodford, who along with foundation co-director Francisco Padilla, served as hosts for the event. “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, success coach at Rio Rico High School.

The evening concluded with a video recording of each student explaining how their chosen teacher had impacted their lives.

“This banquet provides a wonderful opportunity for students to thank and recognize educators who’ve had a significant impact on them,” Padilla said, noting that the foundation has awarded $73,000 in scholarships since 2012.

(From a news release submitted by Shannon Enciso of the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District.)

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