And the Viking Award goes to…

And the Viking Award goes to...

During the Viking Awards, which were held in the Downey Theater on Thursday the twenty-eighth, students nominated in the Fine Arts category await the results as they are called out by Mrs. Cordova and Ms. Durkee. In each category many students were nominated, but only one walked away with the Viking Award.

Sharon Kim, Parents & Teachers Editor

Parents, students, and teachers alike came together on Thurs, April 27 to honor students’ achievements in various academic categories in the Downey Theater for the 2011 Viking Awards. The nominees had been specially selected to receive these awards by their teachers out of a student body of 4000.

As the curtains rose, members of the Jazz Choir filed out in classy black and white and dazzled the audience with a song. Senior Angelica Villarreal took the lead soprano while the rest of her group followed suit with backup vocals.

MCs Mrs. Williams and Mr. Wierzchucki then initiated the award-giving with a comedic introduction. One by one, the winners were announced for each category. Teachers and faculty members then revealed the three to four medal winners for each subject. Finally, the announcers would open an envelope and broadcast the grand winner of the coveted Viking Award trophy. Throughout the event, the audience was kept in laughter by Mrs. Williams and Mr. Wierzchucki witty banter in between the award categories.

Seniors were the majority of the Viking Awards recipients for their high-ranking courses. Jacqueline Nunez and Anyssa Aguilar took the English Literature and English Composition Journalism awards respectively for the work they had done in their AP English class. Senior Elisa Ruiz was selected to receive the Viking Award for her accomplishments in Alternative Programs (ROP), and James Hofstra received an award for College Prep Math. Carlos Ontiveros, highly regarded school photographer, appropriately was a trophy recipient for Industrial Arts, and the morning announcement’s infamous John Franco took home an award for Leadership (ASB). Erl Masse also received a Viking Award for Physical Education. Christopher Skorka won for the History division of Social Sciences while senior Maged Manswer proudly accepted his award in Social Studies.

“I was really surprised when I won the Viking Award for Social Studies,” Manswer said. “There was a lot of tough competition, and I’m honored to have been chosen.”

Senior Zachary Wickham surprisingly walked away with two Viking Awards in Advanced College Prep Mathematics and Biological Sciences and a medal in Fine Arts.

“I was surprised and honored to have gotten two [awards],” Wickham said. “It was nice to see all the teachers there supporting all the students they nominated.”

The winners for each category were each briefly interviewed by Mr. Houts before they took their seats at the right of the stage. Though seniors were mostly expected to win the awards, several juniors and sophomores walked away with trophies in specialized categories. Marvin Salazar, a junior, took home the golden trophy for Physical Sciences for his Honors Physics class.

“I was surprised when I got the award, because I had been nominated freshman year and didn’t win anything,” Salazar said. “But when I heard my name, and I had one, I was shocked. It was very cool though.”

Sophomore Magaly Gastelum had no restraints in expressing her great happiness in winning the award for World Languages. Arturo Navarro swept the competition in Business/Computer Sciences, though only a junior, and Daisy Zepeda was given a golden trophy for Family and Consumer Science. Junior Patrick Solis was lauded as the Viking Award recipient in Fine Arts for his great artistic ability and creativity; Jai Yu Chang took her spot at the right of the stage for her strong academic performance in English Language Development while her family proudly cheered. Viking Awards for Resource Projects and Special Projects were given to Elizabeth Medina and Kenneth Craney respectively. Finally, junior Brian Bonilla was handed the laudatory Character Counts trophy by an appreciative Mr. Houts for his strong personal values and integrity.

At the end of the awards, the Jazz Choir came out to give another stunning number with help from the great musical talent of saxophonist Danny Atallah. Then, the award ceremony ended. The Viking Award winners stayed behind for pictures while the rest of the audience proudly streamed out of the theater with their families, medals and pins in hand.

After such a grueling school year, it was truly an honor for students to be appreciated by their teachers and have a night honoring their accomplishments.