Honoring Class of 2023


Marley Gandee, Associate Editor-In-Chief

Congratulations class of 2023! You are almost there! With only a couple of days left of your senior year, we spent Tuesday, May 16th, celebrating your amazing accomplishments and rewarding scholarships at Honors and Awards Night. Recognized were merit scholarships from the University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, New Mexico State University, Pima Community College, and several other out-of-state colleges. There were also several other huge scholarships and awards recognized tonight: athletic scholarships and awards, diversity awards, student service awards, Cougar Foundation Scholarships, U.S. Marine Corp Awards, and so many others that showcase just how great Sahuaro’s Class of 2023 is.

For Sahuaro’s outstanding athletes, Honors Night recognized those who received scholarships to continue their athletic endeavors at the collegiate level. Vincent Manata signed with the University of La Verne to play football, Myles McAllister signed with York University to play soccer, Sophia Solano signed with Central Arizona Community College to play softball,  Natalie Briggs signed with Missouri Valley College and Tayler Clark signed with Muskingum University, both for bowling. Our senior athletes of the year were Vincent Mantana and Johanna Boehme.

The 2023 Unified in Diversity Award recognizes students, “…for their efforts in cultivating a culture where diversity is celebrated.” This award was given to Cymona Abellard, Micah Burt, Jaydah Griffith, Brooke Tekle, Louraine Bouraima, Destiny Guillen, Livia Robinson, and Neo Watson. Ms. Good, sponsor of Unified in Color said, “These students have exemplified leadership throughout the year, organizing and executing events to make sure that every student feels seen and valued. Each of these students served as role models for other students on campus and will continue their legacy of community engagement here at Sahuaro.”


Another set of graduates who were recognized were from the U.S. Marine Corps for outstanding performance in music, athletics, and academics. The Semper Fidelis Award, given to Jackson Russo, for a, “…first chair or recognized as an outstanding musical performer, a leader among his/her peers, and outstanding young citizen.” The U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award was given to Spencer Kyte and Anabelle Canto Parker. This award is for Varsity-level athletes who also show leadership and contribute as, “…outstanding young citizens.” The last U.S. Marine Corps award was given to Matthew Schafer for Scholastic Achievement. Awarded to, “A deserving student who is recognized as an academic scholar, a leader among his/her peers, and an outstanding citizen.”

The Cougar Foundation presented a generous $26,000 worth of scholarships this year. The David Ashcraft Artist-Scholar Award for a student who is going to study Fine Arts in college was given to Felicity Way. The Ann Grose Memorial Scholarship was given to Kilee Schlak, for her participation in Student Council. Russell Public Scholarship, for a student going into the communication field, was given to Spencer Kyte. Cesia Salazar and Kilee Schlak were presented with the Dr. and Mrs. Mark Cavanaugh Pre-Med Scholarship for being college-bound to study Pre-Med. The Cougar Foundation Senior Scholarship for a college-bound student with a 2.4-3.49 GPA was awarded to Jasmine Wiseman. The Red and Blue Cougar Foundation Scholarships, awarded to a few college-bound seniors with a 3.5-4.o GPA, were given to Matthew Schafer, Ava Lopez, and Spencer Kyte. Cesia Salazar and Lia Ghirardi won The Cougar Pride Scholarship, and the Diane Small Cougar Perseverance Award was given to Jasmine Wiseman, Lia Ghirardi, and Mariah Patla Flores. Finally, the Dick McConnell Memorial Scholarship was given to Vince Zamora.

In Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Lundstrom’s final Honors Night Speech, he said, “…the important thing is as you go on and do great things, is to remember the people that support you in large ways and small ways. Everybody contributes to what you will do in greatness. So I don’t want you to forget all the people along the way that helped you. No matter how big or how small, or how seemingly trivial. Those things are going to make a difference in your success.” And finally, as said in the event program, “Students, we could not be more proud of you. Stand tall, knowing your hard work and determination is not only being recognized tonight but has also built a strong foundation for your continued lifelong success.” Best of luck Class of 2023!