Seniors Celebrate Academic And Personal Achievements With Jackets Of Excellence


Art by Brianna (Commission)

Celine Essaied, Reporter

At Venice, Gondos dedicate their time blooming into high achievers and demonstrating their commitment with school involvement.  The recipients of the “Jacket of Excellence” are exemplary models of what it means to be a high achieving Gondo. 

Since 1984, it has been a Venice tradition to honor high achieving seniors in their second to last semester. Seniors who meet the existing qualifications are awarded with a “Jacket of Excellence” and a luncheon to commemorate their success.  

This year is a bit more special for the seniors, according to college counselor Sarah Carrillo-Sarr. For the first time, the ceremony will be held in the auditorium after being closed down for almost over ten years. 

Compared to previous years, the event was a luncheon where students were given lunch and their awards in the school gym.  

The requirements established by the school include maintaining an overall GPA of 3.75 or higher; no more than seven absences per year; no more than three unsatisfactory marks on final report cards; and attending Venice for a minimum of three years.

Along with meeting the requirements, the student must be able to demonstrate involvement within the school and community with activities such as sports, clubs, teams, or community service. 

Senior Hitesh Sharma is one of the recipients in the Class of 2023 to be awarded with a Jacket. Sharma is a prime example of what a Jacket recipient looks like. Maintaining a high GPA, as well as being extremely involved.

Sharma demonstrates his involvement as the Senior Class of 2023 President, being a part of  Club Heal the Bay, and a member of Interact Rotary.

“It feels nice to be recognized for my accomplishments,” said Sharma. Seeing his peers being recognized after their hard work is amazing, he said. considering that “with COVID, our experience in high school was pretty rough.”

Senior Tatiana Diaz is another Jacket recipient. She’s been cheer captain and a student peer counselor. 

 “It feels extremely rewarding knowing that the hard work I’ve put in throughout the years is paying off,” Diaz said. 

If the Jacket recipients could give advice to any underclassmen seeking to receive the award, Diaz said to “make sure to maintain consistent attendance.” It’s a huge factor that stopped most students from gaining the award.

 After a rough four years, it will definitely be a memorable event for the graduating class of 2023 that gives them another special reason to commemorate their years at Venice.

The ceremony was hosted in the auditorium from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets were sold for $5 at the auditorium entrance. After the ceremony, the students and attendees participated in the appetizer reception from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.