Woodgrove’s Top 5%


Geri Fiore

Photo provided by Geri Fiore.

Written by Dominique Cruz and Cora McQuaid

Twenty members of Woodgrove senior class were honored in December as part of the county’s excellence in Education Banquet, which recognized the top five percent in each senior class throughout the county.   

In 1983, Al Sowards, LCPS’s gifted program manager, first recognized the academic achievers in the basement of the Leesburg Baptist Church, where 18 high school seniors were honored with a dinner. Since then, the banquet has become a tradition with a total of over 5,000 students honored.

The honorees have many things in common including high academic achievement, a passion for learning, and many extracurriculars to balance.

Each honoree gets to nominate a guest to bring to the banquet. The guest they bring is someone who has made an impact on the student’s life, whether they have taught the student or have provided a major life lesson.

Woodgrove Senior Shelby Kostal says, “My teacher guest was Mr. Fameni. He’s just so passionate about teaching languages and teaches us more than that- about life and self confidence and overall happiness, which is just as important as school.”

A major challenge that most students seem to face is managing and organizing other activities in their day to day schedules, but these students seem to excel in this area. While putting academics into focus is vital, students have to be sure they aren’t cutting out the little things that make them happy while doing it.

Woodgrove Senior Darin Avila says, “Don’t neglect sports or music or anything else you’re interested in. Most importantly, try to take classes that genuinely interest you so even when you’re working you can enjoy it.”

Woodgrove senior and honoree Cole Zimmerman adds to Avila’s sentiment saying, “Balancing school with hobbies and social life can sometimes be tough for anyone, but as long as you keep yourself organized it’s usually not too hard to stay in line. Having other things to do/look forward to is always a good motivator to work hard and knock out your responsibilities before you have free time.”