Wolfpack News · Students, Staff, and Community Members Honored at KSJC’s 3rd Annual Senior Signing Day

On Tuesday, June 4th, the KSJC community came together to celebrate our senior class and their plans for next year, as well as honor standout community members for the efforts in various programs on campus.  The event started off with the Content Awards, where students from all grade levels were honored for excellence in a particular subject during the Spring Semester of 2019.  Those winners are listed at the end of this post.

Our first three groups announced what schools they will be attending next fall.  Students going to SJ City College, De Anza College, and Evergreen Valley College revealed to the school where they were headed next year.

C. Carmona, N. Hernandez, and L. Betancourt are headed to SJ City College!                          Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter
A. Becerril, S. Hernandez, S. Contreras, C. Cancino, I. Torres, I. Hernandez, and A. Cortes are headed to De Anza College!                      Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter
I. Luna Ramirez, J. Hernandez, C. Pacheco, D. Rivas, M. Marquez, C. Licon, F. Medina, Z. Herrera, D. Aguilar, A. Heredia, M. Acosta, K. Baron, K. Tran, E. Wiggins, and M. Sturgill are going to Evergreen Valley College!                  Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Following those announcements, the Athletics Department gave out several awards.  The first Athletics Department honor: the Alpha Award, which recognizes a senior male and female student athlete that demonstrates excellence in academics, sportsmanship, and athletics.  The two award winners are extremely worth of this distinction.

The first recipient of the Alpha award is a 4 year varsity basketball player who has put in the time and commitment to not only better herself on the court but also in the classroom.  In her early years at KSJC, she was asked to lead the team always being one of the more mature players. She is calm, cool, and collected throughout every facet of the game and she lead a very young team these past two years through a tremendous amount of success.  She has consistently lead the team in blocks and rebounds the past 4 years and has been in the top 5 for the whole league in blocks and rebounds also. This year, she was voted by the PSAL coaches as one of the five players make first team all league. In her career, she has made second team all league two times and first team all league twice also.  This year she received Most Valuable Defensive Player for the KSJC girls’ team. In short, she has been one of the greats for KSJC girls’ basketball and has set a foundation for future Wolfpack to follow not just in how we play but also in how to be a great student and a supportive teammate first.

The second recipient is a three sport athlete, and a contributing Varsity member of both the Cross Country and Track & Field team.  In Cross Country, it was only his first year in the sport, but quickly became one of the top 7 varsity runners. He helped the team qualify for their third consecutive CCS finals appearance.  He was also a founding member of the KSJC Track & Field Team. With his performance in the 4x100m relay and the 3200m, he was a consistent scorer for a squad that won the second ever PSAL Invitational in the league’s inaugural year.  Most importantly, he was a model student and demonstrated exception character and leadership in everything he does.

The winners of the 2019 Alpha Award are Sierra Estifanos and Anthony Phung.

Asst. AD C. Dela Rosa, S. Estifanos, A. Phung, and Athletic Director R. McCormack.            Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Next, the department gave out the Neal Finch Award for Athletic Excellence.  This award is named after the first Athletic Director at KSJC, who through his hard work and effort, established a strong program that serves almost half of our student population.  The recipients of the award are being recognized for demonstrating excellence on the field of play during the 2018-19 school year.

According to Coach Sunny, this student-athlete is one of the best student-athletes he’s had the pleasure of meeting. He is not only a phenomenal athlete but also an outstanding person. He’s led or been top-3 on our team and the league in most major categories, averaging over 20 ppg, 5 apg, 5 rpg, & 4 steals per game. Kyle has finished top-3 in MVP voting both years he’s played and been 1st team All-League both years. He is our leader and personifies everything Coach Sunny looks for in not only an athlete, but in a young man.  On the Track, he is one of the top sprinters and jumpers in the program, showing particular promise in the Triple Jump event.

The female recipient for the Neal Finch Award for Athletic Excellence goes to an athlete on the girls basketball team.  When you hear about her, her name is synonymous with basketball because to be quite frank, she is very good. This sophomore has been on the varsity team for two years in a row now and has lead the team in scoring, assists, and steals the past two years.  Last year, she was voted on by the PSAL as winning 1st team all league honors and was featured in the San Jose Mercury News as a standout athlete. This year she lead the team in those stat lines once again and made first team all league for the second year in a row.  This year she was awarded the team’s most valuable offensive player for KSJC. She is on track to shatter school records for scoring, assists, and steals. On top of all of this, she is an outstanding student boasting a 4.1 GPA.

The winners for the 2019 Neal Finch Award for Athletic Excellence are Kyle DePadua and Shelley Ly.

Athletic Director R. McCormack, K. DePadua, S. Ly, and Asst. AD C. Dela Rosa                          Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

The last award from the Athletics Department is the Omega Award, given to one or more KSJC community members that have contributed a great deal to the Athletics Department, even though they typically are not recognized for their efforts.  They selflessly give their time and energy to ensure the success of the Athletics Program.

There are not very many people who do things just for the goodness of wanting to help out.  This year, both boys and girls basketball teams experienced success on the court. The varsity  boys basketball team improved tremendously from the years past and improved in their standings in league.  The varsity girls’ basketball team hosted the first round of CCS once again and finished in the same place in league as the year past.  All of this was only possible because of unseen efforts by two students in particular. Both recipients of the Omega Award were managers for the teams.  They put in extra hours, worked the scorer’s table for every home contest and kept the score book and stats for every away contest. That’s 30+ nights in the season where they volunteered to stay out late with the team and stayed even later than most being one of the last people to leave the gym.  Whenever any of the coaches needed anything, both managers were always willing to help and never complained. It’s not everyday you come across a willingness to help with virtually nothing in return.

The 2019 Omega Award Winners are Vivian Ha and James Nguyen.

Athletic Director R. McCormack, J. Nguyen, V. Ha, and Asst. AD C. Dela Rosa                        Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Finally,  outgoing Athletic Director Ryan McCormack was surprised as the school honored him with the Omega Award as well, and renaming the award to the Ryan McCormack Omega Award for his efforts with the Athletics Department over the last 7 years.

Athletic Director Ryan McCormack and incoming Asst. AD Isis Diaz.                            Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Next, we had three more groups of seniors announce where they were going to school: CSU East Bay, San Jose State University, and CSU Stanislaus!

E. Yanez, V. Back, P. Reynaga, D. Salcido, and Ms. Wight are headed to CSU East Bay!                Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter
36 KSJC Seniors are headed off to SJSU!    Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter
P. Lopez, K. Bautista, A. Melgar, and J. Quero will be attending CSU Stanislaus!                  Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Next, awards were given out by the Visual and Performing Arts Department by Art Teachers Mr. Gaeta and Music Director Mr. Thomas.  The first award from the VPA Department was the Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts.  This award to given to the two students who demonstrated excellence and commitment to the KSJC Art Program.

The first recipient is a superb photographer and model student. He is motivated to go above and beyond what is expected as an aspiring photographer. He isn’t afraid to experiment which a key and vital aspect of any successful artist.

The second recipient is a model student and an extremely skilled artist. Her work ethic is unlike many other students her age. She goes above and beyond what is expected. Her artwork displays the limitless possibilities that creativity and innovation have to offer.

The 2019 Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts goes to Trevor Lu and Kimberley Navarette.

T. Lu, Mr. G, and K. Navarette.                        Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Next, Music Director Kenny Thomas gave out the Award for Excellence in the Musical Arts. This award to given to the two students who demonstrated excellence and commitment to the KSJC Music Program.  

Our first winner is a hard working young musician and individual who has been in the vocal program for 4 years. This student is a leader amongst her peers and encourages others around her to be their best everyday. Her impact is not only felt in her performance ensemble and in her own work but throughout the program and for younger singers. She is a role model.  Her hard work and dedication to KSJC’s music program has has set a tone that will resonate for years to come.

Our second winner has been a member of the KSJC music program for 4 years. His dedication and creativity has been an essential part of our instrumental program. He has not only excelled in his own instrumental music studies but he has been asked numerous times to lend his skills for vocal performances. Over the last four years his peers and I have had the incredible opportunity to experience his love for music and the relationships he has built through it. His impact will be felt for years to come.

The 2019 Award for Excellence in the Musical Arts goes to Annie Abundiz and Leon Osias.

A. Abundiz, Music Director K. Thomas, and L. Osias.                                                                    Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

This was followed by some more students announcing that they are UC bound, with graduates heading to UC Davis, UC Irvine, and UC Merced!

Future Aggies V. Alvarez, T. Dang, H. Torres, and I. Cervantes.  Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter
Newly admitted Anteaters: T. Ngo, S. Vasquez, E. Pugay, and J. Luu. Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter
The Bobcats with the Golden Ticket: A. Cambron, K. Gonzalez, J. Saldivar, J. Navarro, F. Aguirre, and M. Castillo.                              Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Theater Director Kyle Markwalter then gave out the Karen Heredia Excellence in the Dramatic Arts Award.  The Karen Heredia Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts is given to two students who have demonstrated excellence and commitment to the Theater Club during their high school career.  

The first recipient of the Karen Heredia Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts has not participated in theater every year of high school but has devoted her time with the Theater Club to honing her already sizable talent. She has distinguished herself in her ability to take on both dramatic and comedic roles, memorize lines swiftly, and embody every character she is assigned. In two short years, she has grown tremendously as an actress and student. Her ability to perform characters with nuance and subtlety places her above so many other high school actresses. The fact that she is not flashy about her work reflects her understanding of theater as a true art form. I look forward to where her collegiate study of performing takes her.

The second recipient of the Karen Heredia Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts also joined the ranks of the Theater Productions after his first year on campus, but he has quickly become a model in the club for what it means to devote oneself to learning a character. He thinks so deeply about the minute details of his character’s life. The result is a person on stage filled with color, vivacity, and dimension. He can be entertaining, tragic, funny, and serious all within a few seconds and without breaking character. When he is on stage, you lose sight of him and see only his character, and those characters have provided our school with many incredible moments.

The 2019 Karen Heredia Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts goes to Guadalupe Ron-Lopez and Fabian Gonzalez.

F. Gonzalez, Theater Director K. Markwalter, and F. Gonzalez.  Photo Credit: Aundrey Page

Next, Parent Engagement Chair Mrs. Thomas gave out the award for the Parent of the Year.This award is given to a parent who has gone above and beyond helping the campus community. Determined by Parent Engagement Chair and Principal.

I have had the pleasure of working with this parent for the last two years. I appreciate the positive energy she brings to every KSJC Family Association Meeting. Her willingness to go above and beyond to help make our school a better place is truly inspiring. This year, she has lead and organized more than five campus fundraisers, raising over $3,000 for our school so far.  Thank you for all that you for our school community. We appreciate you and are grateful to have you at our school.

The 2019 Parent of the Year goes to Maria Serratos.

M. Serratos and Parent Engagement Chair C. Thomas.                                                                Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Next, we had several individuals announce where they were going to school.  Osvaldo Mendoza announced that he was headed to Harvard.  Danny Nguyen will be attending Chico State.  Daniel Nguyen and Sean Quach will be going to Cal Poly SLO.  Marilyn Nguyen will be flying across the country to Duke.  Denise Ramos will be starting at Humboldt State in the fall.  Faculty member Drake Reed is headed to Harvard Law School, and Hamza Ali will be attending Lehigh University!

O. Mendoza, D. Nguyen, M. Nguyen, D. Nguyen, S. Quach, D. Ramos, Mr. Reed, and H. Ali.    Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

The next award given out was the Melissa Gonzales Service Award.  This award is named after the school’s founder, and is awarded to two senior students who have demonstrated a great deal of service to the KSJC, Eastside San Jose, or larger Bay Area community.  

This first student volunteered to work with our Specialized Teaching Program in the beginning of the school year. Since then he was been a teaching assistant to two of our students with special needs. Every day he has shown patience, kindness, and true service to the students he works with.

This student began serving her community out of obligation, which quickly turned into passion.  At KSJC she became involved in various clubs such Interact Club, Key Club, and student government.  She joined this clubs as a general member but has now taken on many leadership positions such as, Event Coordinator, Historian, Vice President and President. Through her service, this student has helped fundraise money for many worthy causes and has organized events that promote school spirit.  The impact that this student has made in her community is evidence of her passion for service and growth as a leader.

The 2019 Melissa Gonzales Service Award goes to Isaias Luna-Ramirez and Jessica Pham.

Ms. G. Rios, I. Luna-Ramirez, and J. Pham. Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Our next group of seniors then took the stage for their announcements.  Kim Perez, Rosabella Perez, and Xitlali Ortiz are all headed to Sonoma State University.  Jessica Kwek and Nhat Tran are driving down to Westwood to attend UCLA.  Genesis Cutoc will become a Highlander at UC Riverside.  Sierra Estifanos and Ms. Santos will be attending UC Santa Cruz.  Finally, Jessica Pham is headed to Moraga to attend St. Mary’s College!

K. Perez, R. Perez, X. Ortiz, J. Kwek, N. Tran, G. Cutoc, S. Estifanos, Ms. C. Santos, and J. Pham. Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Our last awards for the day were the School Spirit Award,

which is given to two seniors that have demonstrated a great deal of school spirit through their actions over the last four years.  

Our first recipient of the Spirit Award has given back to KSJC through his example.  He is consistently involved in various activities and clubs around campus, and sets a tremendous example in the classroom for his peers.  As the leader of ASG, he has helped to coordinate many activities on campus such as spirit events and dances. During his four years here, he has left a definite mark on our campus, and he can Howl on with the best of them.

There are so many ways to show spirit. While showing spirit definitely includes being the loudest person at rallies or sports events, and frequently those are the people that get the most attention for spirit, spirit also means being willing to take on responsibilities that help create spirit around campus. The second winner of this years spirit award has quietly volunteered her time to many events on campus, from art shows, to dressing up every single day for spirit week, to attending sporting events just to work at them. She’s not always the loudest person in the room, but her efforts, and the pictures she takes for yearbook, speak volumes about her commitment to school spirit.

The 2019 School Spirit Award goes to Ozzie Mendoza and Vanessa Alvarez.

V. Alvarez, Asst. AD Isis Diaz, and O. Mendoza. Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Finally, our last group of seniors announced where they are headed next year.  John Sanchez is headed off to Urbane Barber College.  Sareena Delgadillo will be catching a plane to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Hoai-Houng Nguyen will fight on at USC.  Elena Mateo will be attending the University of the Pacific, and Michelle Diaz and Eduardo Ibarra will be enlisting with the US Marines Corps.

J. Sanchez, S. Delgadillo, H. Nguyen, M. Diaz, E. Mateo, and E. Ibarra.                                        Photo Credit: Kyle Markwalter

Congratulations to all our seniors and all our honorees!  We’re so proud of you.  Check out the Content Award Winners below!


  • Spanish 1 – Briana Huynh
  • Spanish 2 – Kyle Kinard
  • Spanish 3 – Nina Le
  • Spanish 4 – Abilenne Moreno
  • AP Spanish – Salvador Tapia


  • English Foundations – Joshua Ruiz
  • English 9 – Julie Ha
  • English 10 – Madison Le
  • English 11 – Meliah Monterrosa
  • English 12 – Cielito Hidalgo
  • AP English Language – Jessica Troung
  • AP English Literature – Dulce Gonzales
  • Speech & Comp – Juan Martinez

Social Studies 

  • Pre-AP World History – Jaden Jovero
  • World History – Angelina Twist
  • AP World History – Kayla Wong
  • US History – Yaritza Hernandez
  • AP US History – Rosabella Perez
  • Economics – Paola Reynaga
  • AP Government – Isabel Cervantes
  • AP Psychology – Thuy Nguyen


  • Biology – Juan Garcia
  • Chemistry – Anthony Pachuca
  • AP Chemistry – Moises Ron Lopez
  • Physics – Bryan Moreno
  • Anatomy & Physiology – Nayeli Abundis Mora


  • Algebra 1 – Madison Tlatenchi
  • Algebra 2 – Joal Pena
  • Geometry – Jaquelin Torres
  • AP Calculus – Denisse Ramos
  • Pre-Calculus – Renata Lopez Vasquez
  • Math Foundations – Sandra Enriquez


  • Drawing 1 – Stephanie Saavedra
  • Drawing 2 – Ailyn Rangel
  • AP Art – Mayra Lares


  • Cinema and Media: Film Studies – Tiffany Dang
  • Cinema and Media: Film Production – Fabian Gonzalez
  • Topics in America Culture – Veronica Nicole Garcia
  • Journalism – Jose Luis Leon
  • Resource Lab 1 – Israel Damian
  • Resource Lab 2 – Sergio Mora
  • Creative Writing – Edvin Gaspar


  • Freshman Seminar – Kaitlyn Vu
  • Sophomore Seminar – Samantha Herrera
  • Junior Seminar – Liliana De Santiago
  • Senior Seminar – Danny Nguyen