Maintaining good grades can be challenging, even more so if extra-curricular activities are involved. But a group of Donna High School students found a way to excel.
DHS Principal Nancy Castillo said 18 students achieved the highest academic honor available to them at Donna High School and were honored by being inducted into the DHS Semester Honor Roll Scholar Hall of Fame. This elite group was able to make all A’s in every class for three consecutive six weeks, which is an entire semester.
“We always acknowledge our valedictorian, salutatorian and top 20 students but we never show our appreciation to the students who make A’s,” Castillo said. “The Semester Honor Roll Scholar Hall of Fame is a great opportunity for our school to recognize our freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who made all A’s in the first, second and third six weeks in their core classes and electives.”
Castillo said this accolade is hard to achieve especially if students are involved in other activities. “These students are for the most part college-going students who are taking Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP), Advanced Placement (AP) or dual-enrollment classes which are very rigorous,” Castillo said. “These students are able to do well in their academics as well as keep up with their extra-curricular activities. They learn how to balance both.”
Castillo believes this honor will inspire students to continue to succeed, especially the younger ones. “Our freshmen are getting their motivation from our school’s Ambassador Program, which is made up of juniors and seniors,” Castillo said. “Their primary role is to help guide the freshmen and help them succeed throughout their high school years.”
In the process, students are taught to take their education seriously. “We inform students that without an education they cannot get anywhere,” Castillo said. “It’s important that they understand that discipline needs to be in place, their attendance needs to be in place and most importantly their grades need to be in good standing.”
She said that’s why the Hall of Fame is a big honor. “It’s like being in the Super Bowl,” Castillo said. “We compare it to having a 4.0 or making the Dean’s List at the college level.”
The students agree. “My mother is really proud,” sophomore Karyme Pulido said. “As soon as she opened the letter I received from the school informing me about the honor she was like ‘oh my God, what is this?’ I was surprised myself because I didn’t know that Donna High School had a Hall of Fame program. It has motivated me to continue working hard. My goal is to attend Harvard University.”
Student Body President Marco Hernandez is among those being honored. “These students are not only top-tier students, they’re also highly involved in extra-curricular activities so it’s awesome to see them get good grades and be great students,” Hernandez said. “The Hall of Fame promotes academic success in the best way possible.”
The students were treated to a lunch in their honor and presented with a Certificate of Recognition and a bag of goodies. “We want to thank Mrs. Castillo and DISD administration for this special honor,” Hernandez said. “It shows what kind of students Donna ISD is sending out in the real world.”