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Celebration recognizes student scholars’ hard work
2020 Advanced Academic ScholarsSan Antonio ISD celebrated the academic achievements of more than 180 SAISD students during the Advanced Academic Scholar Celebration held at the VIA Grand Rotunda earlier this month. The District, the SAISD Foundation, and VIA Metropolitan Transit hosted the event, which recognized students who are Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) Scholars, National Hispanic Merit Scholars, or AP Scholars.

“I am really glad that they are having this for us so that it can encourage other students to work hard and pass these classes,” said Ariel Cirilo, an Edison High School student. “It feels really great to have my parents’ and teachers’ support. They give me a lot of encouragement and I feel like I can do anything I want to.” 

Ariel, who was being recognized for her AP scholar status, attended the event with her parents Roger and Mary Cirilo.

“This definitely lifts the spirits of the kids who are working hard and putting forth the effort,” said Mary Cirilo. “Academics are the basis for your future. If you don’t have a good foundation in education, you are going to struggle for the rest of your life.” 

Attendees were greeted with the sweet sounds of the SAISD Honor String Quartet, as well as refreshments before the ceremony began. Kevin Rasco, coordinator for Advanced Placement, and SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez spoke before students were individually called up to the podium to be recognized for their academic accomplishments. 

Mandie Holtsford, associate principal at Brackenridge High School, was in attendance to show her support for her school’s students. 

“They worked so hard and prepared for their AP exams all school year,” she said. “To see them get recognized for receiving a 3, 4, or 5 - it is really an honor to see that hard work pay off.”

AP Scholar recognition is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. To be eligible for the Duke TIP program, a seventh-grader takes the ACT exam and scores at the college-ready level. National Hispanic Merit Scholars are selected by a combination of an application, student’s grade point average and their test scores on the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT.

“These kids have worked so hard to get all of these different accolades,” said Dana Kincaid, AP implementation specialist. “This isn’t something that someone just handed them; they have to work really hard all year and then do well on a test. They deserve all of this.”

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