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The Saratoga Falcon

Juniors honored at CSF award ceremony

The annual California Scholarship Federation Junior Award Ceremony, which took place May 22, honored 13 juniors who were chosen by their teachers for their outstanding work in science, English, history, math or leadership. Teachers nominated students in late March and presented awards during teacher collaboration early Wednesday morning.
The California Scholarship Federation, or CSF, is an organization that gives awards, which could potentially lead to scholarships, to students who have demonstrated outstanding character while achieving academic excellence.
“I was happily surprised, because I had never thought that any aspect of my schoolwork or behavior was worth recognizing,” said junior Gloria Breck, who received the Mount Holyoke College Book Award, an award given to a student who consistently shows a mastery of the English language in his or her writing.  
Junior Casey Takahashi, who won the Brown Book Award, agrees that the banquet was a good experience. It allowed her to realize that her endeavors in class were taken into consideration.
“I was really excited that Ms. Herzman noticed me because I really tried to make an effort in her class,” Takashi said. “I liked hearing what she thought of me.”
The teachers, however, take more than than the students’ letter grades into accounts, said AP Computer Science teacher Debra Troxell.
“Many kids would be eligible for the same award, so when we choose, we take the whole person into account,” Troxell said. “It’s hard for teachers to pick just one.” 
Troxell nominated junior Akshay Madhani for the Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology for a multitude of reasons, focusing on his active interest in programming and his person as a whole.
“[I picked Madhani] because of his involvement in the App Development Club, of which he’s going to president next year, his personal drive last year in AP Computer Science, and his curiosity for software.”
Although teachers were the ones who nominated their students, they were not the only ones with good things to say. Many of the recipients also had good reports of their teachers.
“[Debra Troxell] was able to make the class about good programming techniques rather than just blind programming,” Madhani said. “She helped me overcome the frustrations of not being able to fix your errors and become a calmer, more efficient programmer.”
Breck agrees that her teachers have a big positive influence on her maturation as a student and a person.
“My English teacher, [Amy Keys], is incredibly encouraging, and stomached every crazy thing that I put down on paper,” Breck said. “It’s not only English that she teaches; the lessons we learn in her class pour into every aspect of our lives.”
The ceremony, which included breakfast, did more than present awards and give titles. Not only did the recipients get recognition, but they also became more confident for future events.
“I was filled with new confidence, and that will surely pour into all that I do,” Breck said. “I have no fear to aspire.”
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