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Senior Awards Ceremonies Round Out the Year

The 2024 Top Don awardees were honored on May 20 for their accomplishments in their respective subjects. These students were nominated by their teachers for excelling in their class and exceeding their expectations. 

The Top Don recipients for journalism were co-editors in chief, Kelly Meeder and Charley Raymond.

Presley O’Hearn received the Top Don award for History. “I am super excited to be a Top Don. The ceremony was really fun. I think AP US history with Mr. Gannon was the reason I got the award, [as] I enjoyed that class and worked very hard in it, and it ended up working out for me.” Presley will continue to work hard in the classroom throughout her college career at UCLA.

Mackenna Show received the Top Don award for Science, and will be joining O’Hearn at UCLA. “I am really honored and happy because I am going to go study science at UCLA. It’s really motivational for me. I think both my AP Biology and AP Environmental Science classes helped me get this award because I was very vocal and outgoing in both of those classes and asked a lot of questions about specific things I found interesting.”

Isabella Fabio received the Top Don award for English. “It’s super awesome and I’m honored because I love english.” She believes her AP Literature class with Ms. Ruth was the reason she was nominated for this award. She enjoyed challenging myself and going outside of the prompt or thinking outside of the box in whatever assignment she was tasked with.

In addition to 33 Top Dons, a separate group of 28 students received the Distinguished Dons award. A different award than Top Don, these students were nominated by all staff at Santa Barbara High School, for various reasons. One awardee, Yharai Casas Mejia, feels extremely honored to receive this award. “It makes me feel recognized for all of the stuff I do. It’s kind of like the cherry on top since I’m about to graduate and soon going to college at UC Riverside. I feel appreciated and noticed for all my hard work these last four years.”

The Varsity Awards Ceremony occurred on May 22 in order to showcase all the hard work varsity athletes at SBHS have put into their sports in their seasons this year. Athletes received leadership awards, student-athlete awards, and more. 

Tobin Shyrock, captain of the varsity boys basketball team received the leadership award from head coach, Greg Zuffelato. “I’m very proud of myself. As much as I did to earn this award, it doesn’t nearly compare to my teammates’ impact on me. If they didn’t take my constructive criticism on and off the court, my leadership wouldn’t have shown. I also want to thank Coach Z for putting me in the right situations to lead well, and my fellow captain, Luke Zuffelato for what he does on the court. His impact as a leader goes unrecognized but leaves a lasting impact on this team.”

Varsity awardees with their coaches. Image Courtesy of Laura Wooster


  • Carter Battle

    Carter Battle is a sophomore at Santa Barbara High School, and he is a writer for The Forge newspaper. He is on the varsity basketball team and the track team as well. He wants to spread positivity and knowledge through his thoughts and writing. He also enjoys spending time with his family, and going on fun adventures with his friends.

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