Photos by Samantha Bengtson/Soledad Bee
This year’s top seniors (above), juniors, sophomores and freshmen (below) at Soledad High are recognized.
SOLEDAD — Soledad High School and Soledad Rotary celebrated the top students in the high school May 15 in the Student Center.
Soledad Rotarians provided dinner, drinks and a ceremony to recognize the top 10 students in the senior, junior, sophomore and freshmen classes.
Julissa Tinajero was named the “Most Inspirational” in the senior class as well as being one of the Top 10 Seniors. In the fall, Tinajero is planning to attend San Jose State University as a computer science major.
“It’s important to do well academically because it will take you far personally and you’ll be able to inspire a lot of people along the way,” said Tinajero.
Belen Torres, a senior and named to the Top 10 in the class of 2018, will be headed to UCLA in the fall as a pre-business economic major.
“Academics are very important because it opens up new opportunities that you may not have had if you didn’t have that education behind you,” said Torres.
The other eight Top 10 spots were awarded to Arylene Nunez-Dominguez, Jesus Cuevas, Raul Figueroa-Santamaria, Jasmine Medina, Mikaela Chavez, Miguel Serrano, Christopher Villarreal, Jerianne Balino and Xenia Suarez.
A student from each grade level was also awarded “Most Inspirational.”
In the senior class, it was Tinajero; the junior class selected Jessica Herrera; Chanelle Argueta was chosen for the sophomore class and Vanessa Cruz-Mata for the freshmen class.
The special guest speaker for the night was Superintendent Tim Vanoli, who attended many of the same Soledad schools as the top 52 students, such as San Vicente and Main Street School, which set him up for success going forward in education.
“It’s because of the educational system that I got the chance to be able to do the things I have in my life,” said Vanoli. “I learned how to read, think, write, speak and compute. And, because you are so good at it, you are here tonight.”
The Annual Top 52 Student Dinner is an event hosted by the Rotary Club of Soledad and put on to honor students for their academic successes.
The evening is one of the only times that parents are not invited.