Senior Recognition Ceremony 2023

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

Central Academy recognized the seniors in the class of 2023 on April 16 at the Scottish Rite Consistory.  If you were not able to come to the ceremony, please stop by the Academy office to get your certificate, program, and any other awards you may have.

Watch the ceremony here:


C.O.R.E Leadership Award: Ealaf Adam (25:34)

National Merit Semi-finalist: Sebastian Schmolek (26:08)

National Merit Finalist: Maya Owens, Sarah Symonds (26:08)

Capstone Diploma Recognition: Mateo Angel, Sydney Baratta, Abi Hahn, SaraGrace Lamb, Cooper Reece (27:47)

Denis Hildreth Award: Jayda Dixon (29:43)

Department Awards:

Art: Wesley Reese (35:41)

Kaitlyn Bartz, Kaden Klocke, Patience Koch, Daniela Pintor-Mendoza

English: Elana Cummings (40:34)

Bailey Baccam, Roxana Barahona-Alvarado, Campbell Helton, Tessa Silberhorn, Zakk Tipton

Mathematics: Ryan Trujillo (45:20)

Adrienne Buettner-Cable, Larissa Levering, Nick Lueder, Kevin Nguyen, Cooper Reece

Science: Adrienne Buettner-Cable (53:12)

Bailey Baccam, Genesis Duarte-Perez, Maya Owens, Kevin Nguyen, Owen Comiskey

Social Science: SaraGrace Lamb (58:08)

Ealaf Adam, Mateo Angel, Roxana Barahona-Alvardo, Amanda Eclatt, Dayton Fleenor, Ella Miner

World Languages:  Hannah Siefken   (1:04:04)

Italian: Cori Baker, Cooper Reece

Chinese: Larissa Levering, Ayden Dyar, Matthew Mila, Maya Owens

German: Ryan Trujillo, Cameron Wheeler

French: Adrien Ibsen, Samantha Miller, Kayrena Holmes

Senior Scholar (Selected by senior voting): Ryan Trujillo (1:09:40)

Senior Speaker (Selected by senior voting): Cameron Wheeler (1:11:47)


Good Afternoon!

Here we are at the start of senior celebrations!  I am so grateful to see so many of you here today. We have come to celebrate the remarkable members of the class of 2023!  I am Dr. Gogerty, Director of Advanced Learning and am your host for this recognition ceremony.

AP exams are in a couple of weeks.  Try not to panic. I debated about bringing it up today because this is a celebration.  But seniors, you are ready.  These teachers did not go easy on you! They know you can’t get stronger standing around the weight room watching someone else lift weights.  You’ve got to be the one doing the work to develop the strength.  And you are so much stronger than I think you know because you’ve been ‘doing the work’ under incredible circumstances.

In the 24 years after the last global pandemic in 1918, we experienced the sharp curtailing of personal liberty known as prohibition, bank failures of the Great Depression, and World War II.  After the most recent pandemic—just since you were sophomores—we have seen the curtailing of personal liberty, bank failures, and another land war in Europe. But remember after WWII America experienced robust economic growth, remarkable scientific and technological innovation including landing humans on the moon, an expansion of civil liberties, and greater social justice.  The Greatest Generation came up in the shadow of hardship of the last pandemic and its fall out—talk about weightlifting.  My Uncle Danny, a member of that generations who turns 100 this year says, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”   And now YOU are that generation.  We are even preparing to return to the moon!

So, AP Exams?  You’ve got this and all that will come after.  I’ve been monitoring the markers of your achievement and I have been amazed at what you’ve been able to accomplish.  For example, in the first semester, 88% of grades earned by Academy’s class of 2023 were a B or higher.  Pre-pandemic our stretch goal was 86%.

You, the class of 2023, have attended contests and competitions and exhibits and presentations in Creative writing, Literature, art, mathematics, science and history.  And you’ve qualified for top national and international recognitions in Mathematics and Science.  You participated in community service, elevated the discourse about social justice issues, and spoken at school board meetings. Seniors, if at any time in your experience at Academy you have participated in any of these opportunities, please stand up.

Most of you have been at Academy for a long time.  How many of you have been attending Academy since middle school?  Please stand up!

Seniors, if you are graduating with college credit please stand up.  Remain standing if you have 5 or more credits… 10 or more credits… etc.

Seniors, please stand up if you have already been awarded a college scholarship. Allow me to call out our Questbridge finalists who have all earned full ride scholarships to elite colleges and universities, Tu Truong, Kevin Nguyen and Ealaf Adams.

It has been a long journey to get to this point but it has also gone by so quickly! And we did not get here alone. Parents, grandparents, guardians and families, will you please stand up and be recognized for your support of our soon-to-be-graduates.


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