Santilli comes out a winner at Regional Occupation Program banquet
By Pat Willett
Robert Santilli, a senior at Valencia High School, has been named Outstanding Student of the Year by the Hart School District’s Regional Occupational Program. Santilli’s award came at the climax of a pirate-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.
Santilli was nominated for the award by John Moskal, his teacher in the ROP Hotel Operations class. “It is so refreshing to find a student who hungers for knowledge,” Moskal said in his nomination. “Robert is always challenging me with thought provoking questions in order to understand fully the responsibilities of the hospitality industry.”
Santilli was among 18 students singled out to receive gold, silver and bronze medals at the awards dinner, out of 84 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 Adriana Farrell, Fashion Merchandising; Katie Jurado, Child Care; Kevin Chang, Pharmacy Assistant; Carinne Urrutia, Entertainment/Performance Occupations; Darren Young, Graphic Arts/Offset Lithography; and Santilli.
Silver medalists include Jessica Rubio, Ava Bardsley, Hayley Huggs, Jennifer Kerrigan, Theodore Kredo and Mark Robinson. Bronze medals went to Matt Allman, Megan-Marie Mills, Stephanie Aguilar, Gaylord Brown, Tiffany Futrell and Gabriel Jenkins.
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, complete with sword fights and a treasure chest full of ROP classes. Student MCs Kristen Reshes from Saugus High School and Nico Bernal from Valencia High School kept the program moving along and introduced ROP graduates Cindy Bordelon and Deputy Michael Deschamps, guest speakers who recounted the impact that ROP classes had on their current success.
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 Fighting Technology classes who led the flag salute.
The program also saluted Cody Pratt, a senior from Saugus High School, who designed the winning poster used to promote the dinner. Cody created his award-winning design in his ROP Desktop Publishing class.