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ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARDS CEREMONY SALUTES TOP SCHOLARS

Four scholars in caps and gowns light the lamp of knowledgeFor the 16th year, the District’s Academic Excellence Ceremony recognized members of the Class of 2024 who have achieved high academic standing through rigor of courses and a grade point average of at least 3.4.


Wednesday evening at the Southwest Motors Events Center, more than 200 of these top-achieving scholars who represent Academic Achievement, Leadership, Character, and Service – the pillars that make up the coveted Lamp of Knowledge – were saluted by the District, its community partners, and those in attendance.


Based on collective academic merit and other factors, the Lamp of Knowledge this year was awarded to South, who reclaimed the trophy after earning it in 2022.


Four scholars were singled out with special awards for best exemplifying the qualities represented on the Lamp of Knowledge.


EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE AWARD
Michael Montoya, Central


Described by his teachers and friends as positive, diligent in pursuit of his goals and dedicated to the service of others, Michael always puts others before himself.
As a member of Central’s CAT Crew, Michael mentored incoming freshmen while serving as a role model through his actions in the classroom, on the turf of Dutch Clark Stadium and on the performance stage.
Michael volunteers at the Well Pet Clinic, undertakes yard work for those in need, visits residents of retirement homes and represented Central and Pueblo at the Colorado State Capitol as part of the “Boosting Colorado’s Workforce and Economy” press conference.
He also champions suicide awareness, as witnessed by his work in establishing a “You Don't Stand Alone” sculpture that now sits on the Riverwalk Levee.


EXCELLENCE IN CHARACTER AWARD
Ryan Lane, South


A natural leader and inspiration who sets a standard of excellence by modeling kindness and gratitude, Ryan served as football team captain and owns the honor of being a four-year state track and field qualifier.
To assist less fortunate athletes, Ryan created a “Cleats for a Cause” drive that generated donations of footwear. He also is a member of the CEI Youth Council program, working to support fellow students in making their community projects a reality.
A guitarist, Ryan has volunteered more than 300 hours over the last four years in the worship band in his church.
Those who know him describe Ryan as someone who cares deeply for the community and will continue to work to make the lives of others better.


EXCELLENCE IN LEADERSHIP AWARD
Kimberly Sample, South


Kimberly has served as secretary for both Key Club and Environmental Club, with membership in LINK Crew, National Honor Society, and Girls Cabinet. She has participated in numerous community service projects such as a community garden, clothing drives, food banks, and neighborhood clean-ups, and has served as a mentor for youth through for Junior Achievement and the K-Kids program.
Over the last four years, she has seen the importance of being involved in her school community, which has spurred her passion for encouraging fellow students to be involved in sports, clubs, and organizations. Kimberly strongly feels that the younger generation deserves responsible role models to look up to and takes pride in being one.
One of her proudest moments of leadership was working with community artists, school staff, and fellow students to create a stunning mural at South.


EXCELLENCE IN ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
Eli Schwartz, Centennial


Calculated by combining the Latin Laude and Honors Designation, SAT score, and grade point average, this year’s Academic Scholar Awardee is a student-athlete who takes immense pride in serving Centennial and his community.
Eli is a driven, motivated, passionate young man who has not only achieved top scholar status in the District but did so while serving his school and community in numerous ways.
He held leadership positions in National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, and LINK Crew. Through this involvement, he helped lead Rake Up Pueblo, clean-up missions at the Pueblo Zoo, and other service projects. As a senior LINK Crew leader, he guided 18 freshmen to discover how to be successful during the transition to high school and continued to mentor these freshmen throughout the year.
He volunteered with the One World Surgery Medical Mission, spending 80 hours in Tegucigalpa, Honduras assisting with surgical and dental procedures.
Eli, a member of the South boys volleyball team, earned over $250,000 in college scholarships. He will be attending the University of Colorado to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies.
The Academic Excellence Class of 2024 has collectively earned more than $10 million in scholarships, to colleges in Pueblo, Colorado and throughout the nation. Participation in FBLA, DECA, Girls Cabinet, Key Club, JROTC, Speech and Debate, Student Council and National Honor Society can be found the resumes of the honored scholars.
Attesting to a robust well roundedness, the Class of 2024 includes athletes who participated in football, basketball, baseball and softball, soccer, swimming, tennis, wrestling, volleyball, track and field, golf, band and choir, and spirit.
Singularly honored were those scholars who concurrently earned an Associate’s Degree or Industry Certification from Pueblo Community College, as well as those who earned Industry Certification from a State or National recognized board.


ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE HONOREES
Summa Cum Laude: 3.8 or above
Magna Cum Laude: 3.60 to 3.79
Cum Laude: 3.4 to 3.59
Students with a designation of Distinction have earned 9 or more laude points, followed by Honor (6 to 8.5 laude points) and Merit (3 to 5.5 laude points)


CENTRAL
Michael Montoya Summa Cum Laude Honors
Alexia Amaro Summa Cum Laude Honors
Isabella Arguello Summa Cum Laude Honors
Thalia Bravo Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Cathy Marquez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Esteviana Pacheco Montiel Cum Laude Merit
Avril Pagano Summa Cum Laude Honors
Jaydon Pfeifer Summa Cum Laude Honors
Mikayla Renner Magna Cum Laude Distinction
Jordan Vela Summa Cum Laude Honors
Kenneth Zittel Cum Laude Honors
Natasha Abeyta Summa Cum Laude Merit
Adrian Adubato-Koch Magna Cum Laude Merit
Sage Alfonso Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Liam Almanza Summa Cum Laude Merit
Lluvia Alvarado Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Jacob Arguello Summa Cum Laude Honors
Ethan Ayala Summa Cum Laude Merit
Josiah Barela Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Isabella Beltran Cum Laude Honors
Xavier Beltran Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Trinity Berk Cum Laude Honors
John Raphael Blanco Summa Cum Laude Honors
Christopher Bojorquez Cum Laude Merit
Jonathan Cadena Guarda Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Tasheena Calderon Magna Cum Laude Merit
Stephanie Calzadillas Rojo Cum Laude Merit
Deven Capritta Cum Laude
Eliana Carlton Summa Cum Laude Honors
Kaden Clay Cum Laude Merit
Brooke Cordova-De La Torre Cum Laude Merit
Nikolas Davila Summa Cum Laude Honors
Leanna Diaz Cum Laude
Dillon Eaton Magna Cum Laude Honors
Gabriel Enriquez Magna Cum Laude Distinction
Emily Ferry Summa Cum Laude Merit
Jakob Gallegos Magna Cum Laude No Recognition
Jaziel Gaytan Caballero Cum Laude No Recognition
Zachary Jernberg Magna Cum Laude Honors
James Laubach Cum Laude
Essence Lopez Cum Laude Merit
Charley Ludwig Cum Laude Merit
Layla Marquez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Mario Martinez-Ratliff Cum Laude Honors
Dustin Masters Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Zach Mehess Summa Cum Laude Honors
Mia Montoya Summa Cum Laude Honors
Andrew Morris Magna Cum Laude No Recognition
Alyssa Ortega Magna Cum Laude No Recognition
Russell Phillips Magna Cum Laude Honors
Cameron Piper Cum Laude Merit
Lillie Pratt Summa Cum Laude Honors
Kynoah Renville Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Alicia Rodriguez-Ortega Summa Cum Laude Honors
Joshua Sanchez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Corinn Sandoval Cum Laude Honors
Hugo Santistevan Cum Laude Merit
Zane Santos Magna Cum Laude Honors
Ethan Scales Cum Laude
Raelyn Skubal Summa Cum Laude Honors
Peyton Smith Cum Laude
Gianna Strasia Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Kyle Telfer Cum Laude
Grace Venn Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Hadli Welsby Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Arellana Williamson Summa Cum Laude Honors
Willard Wilton Summa Cum Laude Honors


SOUTH
Jaime Pearson Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Ryan Lane Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Kimberly Sample Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Anahi Lopez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Breanna Molina-Nevarez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Kenshin Siffring Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Hunter Acosta Cum Laude
Jonathan Amaro Ortega Magna Cum Laude
Maurice Austin Summa Cum Laude Merit
Destinie Baker Cum Laude Distinction
Alexa Baros Cum Laude Distinction
Santiago Botello Banuelos Cum Laude Honors
Giuliana Chavez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Alleyah Cunningham Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Andres Cura Summa Cum Laude Merit
Trinity Davalos Magna Cum Laude Merit
Luke Dehn Summa Cum Laude Honors
Emilee Espinoza Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Cristopher Flores Magna Cum Laude Honors
Izaiah Fuentes Summa Cum Laude Merit
Fabian Garcia Magna Cum Laude Distinction
Madyson Garner Cum Laude Merit
Ellianna Highfill Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Alexander Hughes Summa Cum Laude Honors
Lyliah Jaber Magna Cum Laude Honors
Aiyana Jaramillo Cum Laude
Eve Massaro Cum Laude Merit
Kaylee McAwley Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Ariel McCarthy Summa Cum Laude Merit
Braden Medina Cum Laude Honors
Analise Minjarez Summa Cum Laude Honors
Gianna Mirshamsi Summa Cum Laude Honors
Samuel Musso Cum Laude Honors
Jonah Parker Summa Cum Laude Honors
Analisia Rendon Cum Laude Merit
William Saint Cuppy Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Ubaldo Salazar Summa Cum Laude Honors
Alison Sample Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Mariah Secora Cum Laude Honors
Julia Simony Cum Laude Merit
Timothy Sisneros Cum Laude Merit
Aiden Solano Summa Cum Laude
Brenden Souther Summa Cum Laude Honors
Gianna Spinuzzi Summa Cum Laude Merit
Rebekah Underwood Summa Cum Laude Merit
Madison Vallejos Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Xavier Velasquez Summa Cum Laude Merit
Quentin Wilson Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Colby Wyatt Summa Cum Laude Honors


CENTENNIAL
Ian Martinez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Austyn Webb Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Eli Schwartz Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Gwendolyn Towner Magna Cum Laude Merit
Kennedy Davis Summa Cum Laude Merit
Gabriela Aguilar Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Maria Arrieta Summa Cum Laude Honors
Brooklyn Barela Magna Cum Laude Merit
Loriah Chacon Summa Cum Laude Honors
Sara DeHeart Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Cynthia Garcia Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Anicka Gilmore Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Allyson Hanrahan Cum Laude Merit
Audiana Jaramillo Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Antonio Luevanos Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Emily McCreight Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Keeley Miles Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Gabriella Morales Magna Cum Laude Distinction
Hoa Nguyen Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Patrice Sais Summa Cum Laude Merit
Katie Valdez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Taylor Vigil Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Timothy Aguilar Cum Laude Honors
Novalee Ah Yo Summa Cum Laude Honors
Giovanni Alfonso Summa Cum Laude Honors
Strummer Baum Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Jennifer Bojorquez Magna Cum Laude No Recognition
Dolores Castillo Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Michael Ceyrolles Summa Cum Laude Honors
Cameryn Cordova Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Sean Cummings Summa Cum Laude Honors
Laila Duran Summa Cum Laude Honors
Kylee Farrer Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Sam Francis Cum Laude Distinction
Trevor Gillispie Summa Cum Laude Merit
Omar Gonzalez Flores Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Destiny Green Cum Laude Merit
Evan Hernandez Summa Cum Laude Merit
Denzel Hlazo Magna Cum Laude Merit
Mariah Hogue Magna Cum Laude Merit
Aubrey Horton Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Adyn Jara Summa Cum Laude Merit
LilyRae Martinez Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Maximiliano Martinez Cum Laude Distinction
Anelise Medina Magna Cum Laude No Recognition
Alexis Mondragon Cum Laude Merit
Mia Mulay Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Jhenna Neff Cum Laude Honors
Joshua Noller Summa Cum Laude Honors
Laurel Nunn Summa Cum Laude Merit
Isaiah Ortiz Cum Laude Honors
Felicity Pacheco Summa Cum Laude Honors
Julia Powell Magna Cum Laude No Recognition
Jenny Rejas Padilla Cum Laude
Maleena Romero Summa Cum Laude Honors
Aidan Scott Summa Cum Laude Honors
Lawson Shay Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Brandon Simmons Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Michael Sinclair Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Logan Smith Summa Cum Laude Honors
Rylee Sterling Summa Cum Laude Merit
Isabelle Strang Cum Laude Distinction
Erin Toupal Cum Laude Merit
Haylie Villalpando Summa Cum Laude Merit
Jacob Welte Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Shon West Summa Cum Laude Honors
Evan Woodka-Kelly Summa Cum Laude Distinction


EAST
Ariana Leon-Mendoza Cum Laude Merit
William Rivera Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Lizbeth Serna Summa Cum Laude Merit
Katie Austin Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Tanner Clark Cum Laude Merit
Cheyenne Comer Summa Cum Laude Merit
Cheyene Criger Summa Cum Laude Honors
Antonio Crowder Cum Laude Merit
Alexis Garcia Magna Cum Laude
Henry Gifford Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Daeli Gomez Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Marisa Gonzales Summa Cum Laude
Rosely Gonzalez Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Jasiah Gurule Cum Laude Merit
Deanna Hernandez Cum Laude
Ashley Huerta Anaya Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Mryssa Jaramillo Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Deandre Johnson Magna Cum Laude Merit
Rory Lewis Summa Cum Laude Merit
Zion Lucero Cum Laude Merit
Julissa Macias Summa Cum Laude Merit
Payton Maddox Cum Laude
Brooklyn Martinez Summa Cum Laude Honors
Maria Miceli Summa Cum Laude Honors
Jovanny Molina Cum Laude Merit
Evan Mora Summa Cum Laude Merit
Dylan Moran-Valdez Summa Cum Laude Honors
Alonso Federico Magna Cum Laude Distinction
Justin Gonzales Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Elijah Romero Cum Laude
Mickey Root Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Brennon Rowe Cum Laude
Sergio Silva Campa Jr. Summa Cum Laude Distinction
Samantha Steele Cum Laude
Ramon Venegas Magna Cum Laude
Michael Saiz Aleman, Magna Cum Laude
Luka Vujovic Summa Cum Laude
Richard Willis Summa Cum Laude Distinction


DUTCH CLARK DIGITAL AT PARAGON
Robert Bland Cum Laude Merit
Tena Christensen Magna Cum Laude Merit
Gayla Garcia C um Laude Honors
Ethan Gonzales Summa Cum Laude No Recognition
Alissa Martinez Cum Laude
Emily Stotts Magna Cum Laude Merit