South Dade Awards Ceremony Returns After Two Year Hiatus


Gabriel Fuertes

Aliyah Echavarria receives her medallion.

After a two year pause on the annual awards ceremony, families of students were welcomed back into the auditorium to congratulate their students on awarded success. Over 150 awards were given out to students in all grade levels, with each student receiving a customized medallion. Awards ranged from academic awards to academy/club-based awards, such as medical and 5000 role models. The event was organized by activities director Annette Torres, and it welcomed guest announcers, like journalism teacher Patrick Sicher and 5000 Role Models sponsor Ellisica Cannon. “The whole experience, from planning it to the actual ceremony, was exciting for me. It was really rewarding to see the kids happy,” said Torres.

Being recognized for personal achievements can make students feel both appreciated and seen. “I have never really felt like I was great at something except for Language Arts, so it was really validating to be recognized for my achievements,” said junior Naomi Howard about being recognized with an award. For her, being good at Language Arts helped her realize her interest in journalism. “I think being good at Language Arts ties in with me being good at journalism because I really enjoy the writing aspect of journalism,” Naomi added.

For junior Carlos Cullett, the awards ceremony was an opportunity to help out while also showing what being a 5000 Role Model is about. “Being in the club, I have been able to get closer to Mr. De Armas, so it was an honor to help him out during the ceremony,” said Carlos. His job in the ceremony was to assist principal J.C. De Armas with handing out award medallions to students. Each of the Role Models were also awarded for being committed to and staying in the club. “Receiving my own award was special because to me, it means that I am doing something good and somebody else sees that,” said Carlos.

The South Dade Madison Reunion Scholarship was responsible for awarding three seniors with scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $3,500. The criteria required that the students’ parents also graduated from South Dade. Silver Knight nominee Jonya Moore was given a $3,500 scholarship, the largest sum of money. “At first, I didn’t know that I was going to be winning the scholarship, but when I heard my name being called, I was shocked. When I got on stage, I was really proud of myself and of all of my accomplishments,” said Jonya. The other scholarship recipients were Markey Mallary and Brooke Benitez.