OHS holds virtual awards night

OKEECHOBEE– Okeechobee High School held its annual awards night on May 7 and for the first time in school history the ceremony was conducted entirely online.

“Tonight we are making Brahman history,” began OHS principal Lauren Myers during the livestream. “This is the first OHS award ceremony that has ever had to be broadcasted and presented to an almost empty room because of a worldwide pandemic.”

“We will not let those things that are out of our control overshadow the success and accomplishments of the 2019-2020 school year,” continued Mrs. Myers.

Over 230 students received 430 awards during the livestream. Mrs. Myers spoke to viewers from the OHS auditorium and a few teachers and staff members took turns announcing the awards while others sent in prerecorded messages or presentations.

Senior Alize Merchant was given the Principal’s Leadership Award for her ability to lead her peers, exceed academically and for giving back to the school and greater Okeechobee community. Sophomores Abigail Holcomb and Callie Rucks were chosen this year to participate in the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership program and were recognized during the awards ceremony.

OHS English teacher Jim Leidy announced that Okeechobee had two winners place in the Indian River State College (IRSC) writing contest. Kasey Maguire was awarded first place for her short story while Ethan Adamo was awarded third place in the poetry category.

Graduating this year Summa Cum Laude at OHS are Florinda Xandy Cea, Kendall Harrison, Aubrey Pearce and Alize Merchant. Graduating Magna Cum Laude are Cera Elliot, Itzel Guereca, Lillian Henry, Esrat Jahan, Brady Markham, Brandon Mitchell, Kirsten Pagaduan and Ashley Snyder.
Finally, graduating Cum Laude are Sol Albright, Elizabeth Casas, Julie Garcia-Arias, Hailey Korpi, Stephanie Ortega, Edwin Reyes, Antonio Vega-Hernandez and Artemio Virto.

The Brahman Pride Award was the final award of the night. Each year the number of seniors chosen for the honor match the graduation year of their class.

“These individuals walk this campus with tremendous school spirit,” said Mrs. Myers. “They are known to exhibit perseverance, respect, integrity, determination and ethics. They take care of what they need to do and make sure others are following their lead.”

The 20 Brahman Pride Award winners were Alexandria Boon, Alize Merchant, Chase Storey, Cheska Magdadaro, Cole Verano, Dayton Buxton, Derrick Chen, Edmundo Cruz, Lexi Villalpando, Florinda Xandy Cea, Itzel Guereca, John Johnson, Kendall Harrison, Laura Sanchez, Malcolm Kelly, Markeze Kelly, Mikal Kelly, Oscar Longoria, Rebecca Mims and Taylor Gibson.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Kamani Smith and Ashley Snyder were chosen as Mr. and Miss OHS for the class of 2020.

“I am incredibly proud to stand here at the end of this virtual awards night,” concluded Mrs. Myers. “This is what Brahmans do, we find solutions around the obstacles that come our way. Though I was not able to look each of you in your eyes and shake your hand, know that my heart is bursting with Brahman pride.”
You can view the livestream in its entirety here www.facebook.com/OkeechobeeHS/videos/242123643695724/?v=242123643695724.

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