Jace Pineda and Ezra Lizama were hailed as the top two students in this year’s batch of graduates of Hopwood Junior High School. The two were among the 479 eighth-graders who were promoted to high school during yesterday’s graduation ceremony at the school’s Chalan Kiya campus.
Pineda, the daughter of Elmer and Tess Pineda, is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Board of Education award, the school’s highest accolade equivalent to valedictorian honors. She will continue her education at Kagman High School.
Pineda described her two years in Hopwood as a long journey, but a very worthwhile one. “I am grateful that I was able to share this journey with my fellow friends, family, teachers and hilitai members,” she said.
Hopwood’s second top student this year’s was Ezra Lizama, the son of Shirley and Ben Lizama, who was presented with the Commissioner of Education Award. The 14-year-old will soon be a student at Kagman High School next year.
Other students on the Top 10 list were Jonavelle Cuerdo, Kristine Sophia Batac, Keanah Faye Deleon Guerrero, Matthew Lopez, Allysha Hillary Lloren, Harold Aranda, Jinky Marie Kintaro, and Marielle Kapileo.
Four students were also named recipients of the Principal’s Awards: Marielle Kapileo, Harold Aranda, Joni Castro, and Keanah Faye Deleon Guerrero.
Hopwood also named six students as recipients of the Athlete’s Awards, while several students received the U.S. Presidential Excellence Awards.
Board of Education chair Lucy Blanco-Maratita, along with member Herman Guerrero and Marylou Ada, Education Commissioner Dr. Rita A. Sablan, and Hopwood principal Jonas Barcinas bestowed the Parents-Teachers-Student Association award on PTSA president Vic Cepeda.
This year’s promotional ceremony theme was, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it” and was keynoted by Hopwood teacher Sharleen Crisostimo.
Barcinas, in his message to the graduates, said: “As you strive to achieve your dreams, don’t forget the people around you that have helped you or have made a profound impact in your life. Never stop dreaming; the world is filled with infinite possibilities.”