Congratulations to a Powerhouse Group of Seniors

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ASU Prep Digital Hosts Senior Awards Ceremony

On May 22, 2023 the ASU Prep Digital team hosted a Senior Awards Ceremony via Zoom to honor “a powerhouse group of seniors,” as referred to by Amy McGrath, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice President of ASU Educational Outreach.

The event opened with a slideshow of the award recipients’ photos and selected senior quotes and then Michelle Ugalde, Learning Success Coach Manager, welcomed everyone “in attendance,” including students, families, friends and staff. 

Ms. McGrath opened the ceremony, marking its significance, “This is a momentous occasion. It’s a total landmark for our seniors and for our ASU Prep Digital story of growth.” She went on to make note of the 2,091 college credits earned by the graduating class. Also earned: a jaw-dropping 5.8 million dollars in scholarships. 

McGrath called the ceremony, “A moment to celebrate the hard work, the dedication, and the perseverance demonstrated by each and every one of our graduating seniors. It’s a huge milestone.” She highlighted that although completing their high school career virtually, this group of standouts “transcended the physical boundaries” with their support for one another, as well as their resilience, agility and creativity. 

Sparky Achievement Awards 

Kristin Jackson-Nesmith, ASU Prep Digital Assistant Principal, introduced the Sparky Achievement Awards, presented to students demonstrating academic excellence.

  • Mathematics: Terra Jang Instructor Graham Livingston praised her as someone who “thinks critically. Is constantly engaged in school. Is respectful of her peers and her teachers and just is an all around wonderful person and asset to our school community.”
  • Social Studies: Elias Moreno-Harrington Instructor Raquel Manzanet explained, “We always had great discussions. He would come to class and participate and just engage with his classmates. Always relevant, always having a positive attitude.”
  • English: Isabella G. DelaTorre-Means Instructor Samantha Parker shared, “She makes amazing connections to the world around her. What’s going on in the world, what’s going on in school, to the text that we read.”
  • Electives: Kricia Gianni Zamarron Spanish 3 instructor Renata Valenza described her as “an incredibly motivated and hard-working student who expresses interest and curiosity about the subjects that she studies.”
  • Science: Sofia Sandoval Instructor Jessica Berger shared, “I admired her intellect when she asked complex questions during class. I also learned about her many talents and passions. Sophia is kind hearted, and always respectful of others.”
Grammage: Grit & Growth Awards 

Dr. Robert Striebel, Principal, introduced the Grammage awards for students showing grit and growth throughout the year, making the connection to growth mindset as a key factor in resilience and perseverance. 

  • Mathematics: David Hunter Clark Instructor Erin Morrison taught Hunter in several courses, really getting to witness his path to success: “It was really amazing to watch him soar and he didn’t just soar in my class; he soared in all of his classes.”
  • Social Studies: Emma Glembocki Instructor James Jaeger said Emma “stood out as an exceptional student, disciplined and hardworking” with a marvelous “ability to analyze assignments for the class, some of which were pretty challenging.” 
  • Science: Laisha Ramos Instructor Brooke Toon shared, “The Science Department is extremely proud of the growth she’s made here at ASU Prep Digital, and we cannot wait to see what she does in the future.”
  • English: Ashley Pierre Instructor Samantha Parker praised Ashley for her self-advocacy and ability to ask for help with confidence and maturity. “On top of that, she’s kind, gets excellent grades and participates immensely.”
  • Electives: Madeline Nulph French 3 Honors instructor Ashley Prinsen described how Madeline’s passion really grew after a trip to France and called their in-person meeting a privilege. “She’s every bit as wonderful in person, as I knew she would be.”
A-Mountain Advanced Awards  

May Prince, Executive Director of Student Achievement, introduced the A-Mountain Advanced Awards to seniors earning the most ASU credits while in high school.

  • Paul Montoya graduated summa cum laude with 78 college credits, a weighted GPA of 4.587, well on his way to fulfill a cyber security major at ASU. 
  • Cameron Eckman graduated with 64 college credits and an impressive 4.6 GPA, at just age 16. He plans to attend ASU, majoring in material science and engineering. 
  • Abigail Panusa graduated with 54 college credits, working towards completing a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in criminal justice. 
Sun Devil Spirit Award

Mike Casper, Executive Director of Digital Academics, introduced the Sun Devil Spirit Awards for outstanding seniors who embody the Sun Devil way, as nominated by their Learning Success Coach. 

  • Belinda Fechter is “a ray of sunshine,” involved in a variety of student clubs and activities. She plans to attend Santa Clara University and major in marketing. 
  • Nur Khan, always “two steps ahead” will attend ASU Honors College focusing on material science and engineering.
  • Lucas Moller, “a model ASU Prep Digital student” earned a 4.74 high school GPA as well as 50 college credits with a 4.0 GPA, as well as attended online events and clubs.
  • Matthew Plants’ “exceptional intelligence” will help him soar as he pursues a degree in exploratory math, physical sciences, engineering and technology through ASU online.
  • Hannah Perez “exudes ASU Prep Digital,” completing every semester early, concurrent classes with ease, and graduating summa cum laude.
  • Mariam Khan, “an absolute delight” is known for her drive, determination, true grit, grace and positivity, working hard to achieve her goals. 
  • Moth Hansen, a dedicated hard worker, exemplifies ASU spirit “achieving goals, finishing all courses on time and in good standing.” 
  • Brady Beamer has shown amazing growth and works really hard to achieve his goals, showing perseverance, and unwavering commitment to improve himself. 

Michelle Ugalde closed the ceremony, saying, “I’m so comforted to know that these students are our future and what you’ve been able to accomplish and achieve in high school is truly exceptional, and we can’t even imagine what you are going to accomplish in the coming years.”  

ASU Preparatory Class of 2023 graduated a few days later on May 25.