The Class of 2017 is a stellar class, Mount Si High School Principal John Belcher announced Friday night, just before the seniors in that class were to receive their diplomas, and he wanted everyone to know it.
Throughout the windy evening, marked by the occasional rain shower and a rainbow during the three valedictorians’ speeches, Belcher enumerated the 442 students’ accomplishments in academics — 58 percent of the graduating class met the requirements to be on the honor roll; athletics and extra curricular activities — 20 students have been awarded full or partial scholarships to pursue sports or the arts in college; and community service — National Honor Society students recorded thousands of hours of volunteer work, at home and abroad.
Mason Marenco was named Athlete of the Year in both wrestling and baseball in the past year. The school’s Jazz Band I returned for a fourth consecutive year to the Essentially Ellington Festival in New York, open to only the top 15 high school jazz bands in the country.
Lauren Zinkan is the number-one public forum debater in the state and 77th in the nation, following her appearance in May at the national Tournament of Champions. Riley Ovall and Jake Weidenbach were the Wildcat Seniors of the Year.
The recognition could have gone on indefinitely, but Belcher made a point of recognizing a few groups, including those students planning to pursue military service after graduation. They are: Nathan McCollough, Marines; Kade McNamara, Navy; Brennan Dalgleish and Cameron Thomas Stone, Coast Guard; Rylan Cummings and Sean Andresen, Army; and Annalee Reid, National Guard.