Monday night marked a special occasion at Upper St. Clair High School.

“It’s been over 15 months since we’ve had a student recognition in person,” John Rozzo, district superintendent, announced to a live audience in the school theater. “We appreciate all the effort that went into replicating these events to conduct them virtually, but it’s certainly not the same as being here with you in person.”

As part of Awards Night for seniors, he proceeded to announce recipients of the Superintendent’s Academic Achievement Awards, who prior to this year had garnered recognition only as printed in the commencement program.

“Earning all A’s throughout one’s entire high school experience, with all of the many responsibilities and activities that our young people undertake, is a remarkable achievement and is indicative of a student’s commitment to learning,” he said.

The seniors who accomplished the feat are Amy Bellas, Lucas Cesar, James Fang, Rebecca Gehring, Eliza Glunt, Taylor Hutter, Caroline Knizner, Katelin Radonovich, Gabriela Gomes and Caroline Wright.

In another first, District Judge Ron Arnoni presented his initial Leadership In Action Scholarship to Owen Mann. Arnoni plans to honor a Bethel Park High School senior in a similar manner.

On Monday, plenty of other honors went to members of the Upper St. Clair High School Class of 2021.

“Though Awards Night is typically associated with a prize and accolade, or the announcement of a significant win, always remember how important effort, progress and growth are in all that you pursue,” Principal Tim Wagner said.

“As you reflect this evening, consider in what ways you have grown over your high school years, what have been the habits and the ways of working that have accumulated to and culminated in your present achievement,” he continued. “A quote from Benjamin Franklin contends that without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.”

Wagner thanked Kristin Pardini, who chaired Awards Night, and event committee members Brooke Tarcson and Tchad Heil.

“Their tireless energy brought this evening’s program to us,” he said.

Also honored during Awards Night were:

  • Brandeis Book Award – Jacob Bernstein;
  • Chatham University Rachel Carson Healthy Planet Book Award – Vidhur Senthil;
  • Harvard University Book Prize – Phoebe Chen;
  • Johns Hopkins Book Award – Scott Cheung;
  • Princeton University Book Award – Molly Maher;
  • Rensselaer Medal – Eden Ma;
  • RIT Computing Medal and Scholarship Award – Sujay Shah and Sophie Chen;
  • RIT Innovation and Creativity Award – Ritvik Shah and Julia Roeschenthaler;
  • St. Michael’s College Book Award – Paige Copenhaver;
  • Tulane University Book Award – Felipe Mola Curi;
  • University of Pennsylvania Book Award – Dev Patel;
  • University of Virginia Jefferson Book Award – Bria Zegarella;
  • Yale University Book Award – William Bacdayan;
  • William & Mary Leadership Book Award – R.J. Shontz;
  • Paul Harris Award, USC-Bethel Park Evening Rotary Club – Eva Rankin;
  • Carson Scholarship – Eva Rankin;
  • Ghilani Scholarship – Abelardo Sobarzo;
  • John Small Spirit of Community Award – Eileen Guo;
  • Paul Wildenhain Memorial Scholarship – Christian Chiu and Kyle Ralyea;
  • Pride of the Panthers Award – Abelardo Sobarzo;
  • Sharon Popp Memorial Award – Stephanie Lu;
  • T.J. White Scholarship – Ethan Dahlem
  • Teresa Fox Memorial Scholarship for Students Pursuing a Degree in Special Education – Caroline Sandford;
  • Teresa Fox Memorial Scholarship for Students Who Have Overcome Learning Challenges – Brooke Kramer;
  • William A. Pope Scholarship – Brooke Reitz;
  • The USC Education Association Scholarship – Caroline Sandford;
  • Service Above Self, Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park Breakfast Rotary Club – Samantha Seewald;
  • Service Above Self, Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park Evening Rotary Club – Chris Jahn and Sydney Lisak;
  • Upper St. Clair ESPA/PSEA Transportation Scholarship – Abelardo Sobarzo;
  • Woman’s Club of Upper St. Clair scholarships – Mia DePolo, Haley Qin, Owen Mann;
  • DAR Good Citizen Award – Samantha Seewald;
  • Society of Women Engineers Awards – Katherine Li (senior), Aditri Thakur (junior), Ashvita Saxena (sophomore);
  • Chick Evan Scholarship for Caddies – Lucas Cesar;
  • Joseph L. Moscov Memorial Award – Ethan Hanson;
  • Ellie Levine Memorial Award – Morgan Meddings and Alexandra Hall;
  • USCHS Counseling Humanitarian Award – Eileen Guo, Sammy Tindale, Shay McDowell, Marina Bulazo, Caroline Sandford, Abby Rutkowski, Ellie Rising, Patrick Benedict and Madison Fisher;
  • Joseph F. Argiro Science Award – Reshma Gudla;
  • Outstanding Senior Athletes – Josh Matheny, Claire Hoffman;
  • Student of the Year Awards – Brendan Crowley (senior), Anna Hess (junior), Jocelyn Rullo (sophomore), Isaac Bernstein (freshman).

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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