On Thursday, May 17, several of Cooper’s most industrious high school seniors were awarded for their commitment to academics, service, athletics and involvement in extracurriculars. Attended by the many families and friends of the award recipients, the event began at 7 p.m. in the CCHS auditorium. Scholarships, departmental awards and recognition of involvement in technical and career programs were all announced at the event, including the “Outstanding Senior Awards.”
Kicking off the event, as per usual, were cadets of the CCHS NJROTC with the ritual presentation of colors. Immediately following this was a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Student Government Association (SGA) President Hannah Ferguson. Succeeding these formal and patriotic presentations was a speech by Principal Wendy Doll, congratulating the senior class for all of their hard work during their past four years attending CCHS.
This year’s graduating class accumulated over $10 million in scholarship and grant money in the 2018-19 school year as a collective. Among these was a $200,000 scholarship to the University of Florida (UF) awarded to NJROTC officer Sarah Seng— the highest amount announced for a CCHS senior during the event.
“It felt surreal being recognized for my accomplishments.”
Throughout the ceremony, some students’ names were called several times— valedictorian Philip Brinn was recognized for his involvement in several extracurricular activities, including National English Honor Society (NEHS), Key Club and water polo. Another frequently called name was that of Best Buddies president Shaddi Abdala, who received several scholarships.
Another student recognized at the event for their commitment to service and scholarship was Model United Nations president David Lee. Headed to D.C. in the fall to attend The George Washington University, Lee was recognized for his involvement in the National Honor Society (NHS) and his three-year involvement in Key Club.
“It felt surreal being recognized for my accomplishments,” senior David Lee said. “I’m blessed to see that my hard work and effort [I’ve put in] throughout my high school career has not gone unnoticed.”
“High school was a long journey to get to this point.”
Also recognized at Senior Awards Night were a plethora of CCHS’ scholar-athletes— seniors that maintained an unweighted GPA of 3.5 while excelling athletically in their specified sport. Among those awarded was Justin Lopez, who competes in water polo and will be attending UF in the fall.
“Being recognized [at the event] felt great,” Lopez said. “High school was a long journey to get to this point. It feels great to receive recognition and scholarships for the work I’ve done and classes I’ve taken throughout high school.”
Having worked towards this moment for the last four years of their lives, most seniors are grateful to have been recognized at the event, and feel vindication for all of the stress and trauma their high school career may have caused them.
Photo by Cassie Hartmann