Gables’ Annual Awards Ceremony: Students Walk the Stage Once Again


Gabriela Blanco

Concluding the awards ceremony, the Class of 2022 received their Summa Cum Laude medal and will later on receive their graduation tassel.

Maria Odio, Staff Writer

After last year’s Zoom event, the annual Coral Gables Senior High awards ceremony is back to celebrate students’ success in person. Faculty and family members were invited to attend the in-person event and applaud the award recipients as they walked across the stage, receiving of accolades for their academic and extracurricular achievements.

To become an award recipient, Cavaliers of each grade level are first hand-selected by teachers, then Ms. Suarez and a board of teachers look over their applications to decide which students fit the criteria for an award. Upon acceptance, Student Activities members write a personalized introduction for each student that is read out loud by a faculty member while the student walks on stage.

To initiate the event, seniors Melanie Estrada and David Kuper, the masters of ceremony, introduced four students from the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp who then performed the Presentation of Colors for the Star-Spangled banner pledge. Typically, the department awards are up first; however, the Gables baseball team had a game at the same time as the ceremony, so the athletic awards were presented first by Mr. Romero.

“Being the emcee was a great honor and I had a great time planning it because it was amazing to be a small part of a special moment both for myself and my peers,” senior David Kuper said.

Following Mr. Romero were the department awards that were presented by the head teachers in each category, starting with the fine arts department.

Unbeknownst to the audience, Ms. Kiely, the International Baccalaureate Chemistry teacher, came back to Gables from her maternity leave to present the science award to Jasming Senel for her interest in IB Chemistry, IB Biology and Physics. She then went on to present some for the junior class. Additionally, each of the Gables publications presented awards under the Quill and Scroll category, which are usually only given to the editor-in-chief of the publication.

“I got the Science department award. Ms. Kiely presented me with that award. I had the privilege of having her for the first three years of high school, and academically she motivated me to take IB chemistry and write an extended essay on brain cancer. Thanks to her, I was just offered enrollment to UNC’s school of pharmacy,” senior Jasming Senel said.

After this, the freshman and sophomore awards followed suit. These awards recognized students in each graduating class on their grade point average, Cavalier spirit and impact on the school, faculty and fellow peers. There were also awards such as “You Make My Day”, Student of Distinction and a Principal Award that was handed out by Gables’ very own Principal Ulivarri.

The junior awards consisted of similar honors; however, they also had university recognitions from schools like Harvard and Cornell. Instead of plaques, students received an accolade for embodying a university’s morals and standards.

Concluding the ceremony were the senior awards which consisted of the same categories as the freshman and sophomore awards. The final and most prestigious award given out was the Summa Cum Laude medal. Summa Cum Laude is an honor given to students for maintaining a GPA of 4.00 or higher. At graduation, more than 25 seniors will have a yellow tassel to represent their achievement.

The annual Gables award ceremony took time to plan as Cavaliers in Student Activities have been organizing this event since November. Each student had a small introduction tailored specifically to their accomplishments, and each award had their name engraved on it. Additionally, after every student was recognized, Cavaliers were treated to a cupcake from Misha’s Cupcakes and an array of refreshments.

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  • Member of the award ceremony committee Ella Londoño hands the Summa Cum Laude medal to Esperanza Barrios.

  • Editor-in-chief of CavsConnect and Yale Class of 2026, Maia Berthier received one of the Quill and Scroll awards.

  • Freshmen Frank and Virginia Gozalo tied for the Freshman Gold Scholar Award.

  • Next year’s president of the Class of 2024, Olivia Rebull, received the Dirigo award for demonstrating academic achievement and leadership skills.