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District Scholars Rewarded for Academic Excellence

Andrew Li stands in front of the Lamp of KnowledgeRepresenting a combined GPA of 4.32, and $10 million in scholarships to universities across the state and nation, the cream of the District’s academic crop was, for the 13th year, honored for exemplary and sustained achievement in the classroom.

The Academic Excellence Ceremony, staged Wednesday in the Southwest Motors Events Center, saw more than 130 scholars from East, South, Central and Centennial high schools celebrated for boasting a GPA of at least 4.0. 

Additionally, four of those scholars – Centennial’s Andrew Victor Li (Scholarship), South’s Carlie Jo Sweckard (Service), East’s Ariel Serena Caprioglio (Character) and East’s Shaylese Taylor Gabriella Crowder (Leadership) were bestowed with a Pillar Award in recognition of their notable accomplishments and efforts in the genre for which they were recognized.

Andrew Li earned the overall highest Academic Scholarship award, which is calculated by combining the GPA and SAT score. 

Andrew earned several scholarships, including the National Merit Scholarship and the Hurliman Foundation Scholarship. 

He participated and competed in several clubs and organizations including Speech/Debate, DECA and FBLA. He also played soccer and competed in track and field.

Andrew plans to attend Stanford University in the fall.

Collectively, East High School earned the coveted Lamp of Knowledge.

The four Pillars upon which the Lamp is supported represent the values of a holistic education grounded in Service, Character, Leadership, and Scholarship. The Lamp represents the values inherent in the District, and the books upon which it sits represent the numerous ways in which knowledge is learned and passed on from one generation to the next.

For having concurrently earned an Associates degree from Pueblo Community College, Centennial’s Jocelyn Sanchez, Central’s Elliana Gonzales and South’s Gia Genova were given a turn in the spotlight.

The 2021 Academic Excellence group includes members of FBLA, DECA, Girls’ Cabinet, Key Club, JROTC, Speech and Debate, Student Council, and National Honor Society. 

Athletically, the class includes 16 football players, 21 basketball players, 16 baseball and softball players, 25 soccer players, 20 swimmers, 19 tennis players, 2 wrestlers, 16 volleyball players, 7 golfers, 49 track and cross-country athletes, 12 cheerleaders and competitive dancers, and 16 band and/or choir members.

With $10 million in scholarships earned, the Academic Excellence Class of 2021 includes Kane, Boettcher, Hurliman and National Merit Scholars, as well as University and College Presidential Scholarship recipients.

County Commission Chair Garrison Ortiz honored the group with these words: Three students take a photo before the event began

“On behalf of the Pueblo community, it is a privilege to recognize our 4.0 graduating scholars from the four high schools. I extend my most enthusiastic congratulations to you for attaining the highest level of academic achievement possible. Your hard work, dedication, and perseverance is an inspiration to your parents, teachers, and the entire city of Pueblo, Colorado. What you have achieved is truly remarkable.

“Each of you sitting before us have all demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and dispositions throughout your four years in high school to be able to lead a life of purpose and impact. It is apparent that all of you are prepared and ready to make a difference in the communities you join. We are so very proud of you and your accomplishments and are happy to celebrate your successes this evening. Congratulations to you and your families for this wonderful milestone you have reached.”

The 2021 Academic Excellence Honorees:

CENTENNIAL: Kristina Mayela Aguilar; Rachel Appenzeller; Bryson Charles Arnott; Jayden Nevaeh Baca; Patrick    Scott Barredo; Kieya Reece Belmont; Alexi Taylor Burnett; Daniel Joseph Calkins; Madeline Grace Cummings; Sean Joseph DeHeart; Ashlyn Marie Denzler; Marissa Rose Duran; Landry Paige Eckland; Anika Fisher Escalera; Anjel Antonio Garcia; Lorelei Amity Haley; Christopher Anthony Harris; Mikayla Rachelle Henson; Kira Mae Hughes; Zackary Antonio James; Richard Arthur Lane; Jonnah    Alegria Lewis;

Andrew Victor Li; Kailey Grace Mahan; Katherine McLean; Dustin Ruben Medina; Kayleen Bobbie Miller; Isabella    Ann Mobley; Andres Estevan Moya; Aaliyah Lynn Noller;  Isabella Grace    Rodriguez;  Charleigh Justice Romero; Timothy Ryen Romero; Victoria    Lea Romero; Jocelyn Rae Sanchez; Claire Elise Sandoval; Courtney Rae Smith; Sheila Fall Ta; Isabella Rose    Taylor; Joshua Andrew Thatcher;  Mercedes Jayde Urrutia; Angelique Sheree Vigil; Ashtyn    Caite Villalpando; Grace    Ann Von Fange; Heather Gerilyn    Ward; Holly Jillian Ward; 

CENTRAL: Katie Irene Alldritt; Elvia Normari Arauz; Zephaniah Cade Borrego; Lethicia Estrellita Calderon; Marlo Nicole Castro; Caroline Tess Catulli; Skylar Diane Charles; Austin Junior Derks Gallegos; Elliana Renee Gonzales; Victor Jesus Horta; Hunter Weston Huffman; Pablo Miguel Lerma; Alicia Noel Lest; Joseph Maximus Ochoa; Ryley John Roth; Sergio Hugo Sandoval; Mackenzie Skye Turner; Donovan Michael Vigil; 

EAST: Melany Aide Adame; Ivon Diaz Alvarez; Shaniah Marie Armijo; Molly Noel Austin;  Amanda Nicole Back; Brendon Connor Bernal; Kaitlyn Elaine Butler; Brittney Bea Byrd; Ariel Serena Caprioglio; Nathanael Thomas Cason; Shayleese Taylor Gabriella Crowder; Kaleigh Neveah Duran; Antonio Eduardo Gonzalez Esquivel; Brenden Lee Harding; Andrew Robert Hendrich; Christian Quiendon Kooy; 

Demi Alyssa Lane; John Joseph Lanoue; Layne Chavez Martinez; Isobel Jitka McGivney; Kyle James Miller; Malaya Rae Pendon; Hadley Scott Perry; Jerika Elizabeth Rael; Darion Nathaniel Regalado; Jalynn Renee Sharp; Blunay Thay Kee Htoo Si; D'Andre Daniel Tafoya; Nina Renee Trujillo; Anastasia Marie Valdez; Laura Lin Huang Whited

SOUTH: Costiana Josephine Aragon-Vasquez; Olivia Marie Arellano; Makenzie Lauren Baca; Taryn Lynn Benavidez;  Isabella Grace Brown; Kassandra Nicole Cuppy; Michayla Rose DiRito Goff; Gia Rose Genova; Hannah Riley Graham; Nicole Marie Guarienti; Halle Marrie Herrera; William Garrett Highfill; Geonna Sarae King; Kaitlin Page Laughlin; Serenity Rain LeGrand; Jillian Dawn Martellaro; Dayshia Rae Martinez;

Araylea    Marie Minjarez; Judith Arleen Nolasco; Alicia Marie Ortega; Krysten Jaemarie Perkins; Cody Matthew Purkett; Zoey Nicole Rodriguez; Angel Jayleen Sandoval; Mehak Singh; Abbey Rose Strain; Carlie Jo Sweckard; Layla Tran; Nikki Christine Vasquez; Madison BreAnn Wallerstedt; Margaret Maye Wojan; Quinn Ryan Zabukovic.

East students stand in front of the Lamp of Knowledge