Ava Bardsley, a junior at Hart High School, has been named Outstanding Student of the Year by the Hart School District’s Regional Occupational Program. Bardsley’s award came at the climax of a road trip-themed ROP Advisory Committee Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, which drew hundreds of students, parents and business and community leaders who serve on the ROP Advisory Committee.
Bardsley was nominated for the award by chef Louis Equaras, her teacher in the ROP Advanced Culinary Arts class. “Every task or recipe I have given Ava has been completed with excellence and she adds into the recipe her own touch,” Equaras said in his nomination. “Ava is a team player, a great leader and an extremely talented culinarian. I am proud to have her in my class!”
Bardsley was among 18 students singled out to receive gold, silver and bronze medals at the awards dinner, out of nearly 90 students nominated by their ROP teachers for the honor. The medals were awarded in six career clusters, and the gold medalists will represent the Hart District ROP in Olympic Chapter competition later this spring.
Gold medalists, and the classes for which they were nominated, include Elliot Adair, Silk Screen Printing; Thomas Beckett, Virtual Enterprise; Carol Chavez, Dental Assistant; Phillip Suarez, Fire Academy; Anthony Trejo, Plumbing; and Bardsley, who also was a silver medalist in last year’s ROP awards program.
Silver medalists include Joseph Corona, Plumbing; Jenifer Foote, Dental Assistant; Samantha Rosas, Floristry; Angeles Salcido, Retail Operations; Ashley Valenzuela-Hughes, Law Academy; and Alexandra Vatchkova, Graphic Arts/Offset Lithography.
Students awarded bronze medals include Nicholas Bowling, Computer Assisted Drafting; Deborah Burch, Pharmacy Assistant; Ariel Hanie, Emergency Medical Responder; Shannon Kane, Advanced Culinary Arts; Treavor Sellnow, Entertainment/Performance Occupations; and Daniel Storey, Exploring Engineering Technology.
Medal winners were selected on the basis of essays they wrote on what ROP has meant to them, and personal interviews before a panel of business and community leaders. Gold medalists went through a second set of interviews to select the ROP Student of the Year.
The ROP Entertainment class provided a lively choreographed number based on the theme, “ROP=Road Of Prosperity,” singing and dancing to historic road trip songs. Student MCs Cheryl Matteson from Mission View Charter and Taylor Smith from Bowman High School kept the program moving along and introduced guest speaker Alisa Behar from Moorpark College.
A number of ROP classes played a role in producing the program, from floral arrangements and decorations to food service, photography and uniformed students from the Law Academy and Fire Academy classes who led the flag salute.
The program also saluted students from the Virtual Enterprise marketing team, who designed the winning poster used to promote the dinner. Students on the team include Angel Abadiano and Jaina Balouzian from Golden Valley High School and Galen Flynn and Luis Perez from Saugus High School.
ROP students from across the district contributed to the program: Construction Technology, prop construction; Digital Photography, photo coverage; Entertainment/Performance, entertainment and emcees; Advanced Floristry, floral arrangements; Hotel/Restaurant Operations, dinner service; Silk Screen Printing, costumes and prop printing. John Moskal, teacher of the Entertainment class, was the show’s producer and director.