By Alyssa Daniels
Nineteen students will be honored on May 2 at the Scholars Banquet for having a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher. Students invite their parents and a mentor who has helped them in their academic achievement or life to join them at the event. This event is to honor the students who have gone above and beyond to get where they are now.
Dean of Students Kara Larkin prepares and plans for the banquet. Larkin explained what happens at the event and the planning it takes.
“We have the students invite their families and then they essentially choose a mentor or someone that they feel played a role in kind of who they are, their education and they invite them to the dinner as well and they write them like a nice tribute or thank you letter then they present it to their mentor at the event,” Larkin said. “We have some gifts for the students. We have a nice meal. Essentially just getting those gifts and the meal and some fund raising to get the money available to do that for the students and their families.”
This banquet has been happening for years now, before Larkin was at WCHS. She explained what she enjoys most about the banquet.
“I think it’s just everyone being together and celebrating the hard work of the students and just hearing the different stories of the mentors and just how they played a role on the students’ education. Just a fun night [with] everyone being together and celebrating. It’s a lot of work for students to graduate with a 4.0 or higher. A nice evening to be able to celebrate with their families,” Larkin said.
Senior Emily Williams is one of the students who gets to be a part of the banquet due to her high GPA. She was honored to be a part of it and is picking Athletic Director Ken Sears as her mentor.
“Mr. Sears because I admire him and I think all the work he does goes unnoticed and I think he would be honored if I write a letter to him and thought it would be special,” Williams said.
Senior Rajpreet Kaur is another of the students who was invited. She already knew about it since her sister was invited to go last year, so she is excited to go. Kaur explained what the banquet means to her.
“The banquet kind of means it is finally the time for all of us students to be recognized for all of the hard work and dedication we put in on a daily basis. We are given the opportunity to be proud of ourselves amongst our peers who have done the same,” Kaur said.
Since each student has to pick a mentor, Kaur chose math teacher Mike Gillespie to be hers. She enjoyed his class when she had him and now is his TA. Kaur explained why she decided to choose him to be her mentor.
“I picked my AP Statistics teacher to be my mentor because I had him last year for AP Statistics and I’m his TA for AP Statistics currently. Mr. Gillespie is an effortlessly effervescent person who always knows how to start each day of class,” Kaur said. “He made stats entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed his class. He made it quite easy to understand and to follow along with. I’m sure going to miss his class when I graduate. Maybe I’ll come back and visit sometimes, who knows,” Kaur said.
This banquet is to honor students for their hard work that they have put in their high school lives. Kaur explained her opinion on the banquet.
“I believe it is sophisticated and well thought out. I think it’s really nice that they’re taking the time to acknowledge us hard working students,” Kaur said.
This banquet is to honor the students who have worked long and hard for four years to achieve the GPA that they have now. This is special not only for the students but also their mentors to see how much they have impacted their students’ lives.
Congrats to all nineteen students who achieved their goal of a 4.0 GPA and attending the banquet.