As the school year comes to an end, Santa Barbara High School celebrates our Top Dons. Every year teachers from every department nominate who they think best represents their department. According to the teachers, there are usually a few names that come up for every department but ultimately they are chosen by who excelled academically, were involved in our community, showed good character and overall demonstrated what being a Don is.
The Top Dons ceremony took place on May 23rd on the front lawn of Santa Barbara High School at 4pm. Teachers went in alphabetical order from their departments, giving a speech on what made them choose the honored student. Recipients went up to the stage to receive their award and announce where they were continuing their journey after high school.
This year 27 students were honored, below is the list of our 2023 Top Dons along with the department they were chosen from.
I asked a few students from this list what being Top Don felt like to them. “At first I wasn’t aware what a Top Don was, but once I was chosen, they explained what it was to me and I felt really surprised and really happy because (…) an award like that felt so far away for me and being actually recognized was really cool,” the MAD Top Don recipient, James Sanchez shared. One of yearbook’s Top Dons, Xiomari Loaeza, said that she is very thankful and happy to have been chosen.
Congratulations to this year’s Top Dons who continue to show us what being a Don looks like !!
Sophia Chamorro – Art
Ella MaClear – ASB
Jaxon Burford – Athletics
Joseline Gonzalez Aguilera – AVID
Heero Bigby – Business
Christian Sanchez – Computer Science
Emmanuel Razo Aguilar – Culinary
Anya McCue & Keelyn Ferguson – Dance
Jesus Rosales Ibarra – Emergent Multilingual Learner
Grace Wyman – English
Anya McCue – The Forge
Josue Valdez -Instrumental Music
James Sanchez – MAD
Troy Gankas – Math
Jacob Velasquez – PE
Hattie Ugoretz – Science
Parker Hann – Social Studies
Michael Alvarado Ruiz – Special Education
Morgan Gonthier & Destiny Ornelas – Sports Medicine
Sofia Rakowski – Theater
Lena Szerwo – VADA
Kyle Fitton & Josue Lopez Montes – Vocal Music
Sierra Ortiz & Xiomari Loaeza Gonzalez – Yearbook
All the top dons [Image Credit: Valeria Polanco].